I sit through // engage in // grow from sermons every week. They challenge me, encourage me, frighten me, and convict me. However, even though my church is stellar beyond compare (love you, RH), sometimes it takes an outside voice to convict beyond comprehension. To leave you in a daze- that mix between “What did I just hear” and “Brain, don’t you dare lose anything you just heard.”
That was my experience with Mike Erre last Thursday night.
Mike spoke at The Way, which is a monthly gathering in the OC that explores life and freedom in Jesus. It’s the brainchild of John Mark Comer, who is the pastor for teaching and vision at Bridgetown Church in Portland. John Mark is typically the speaker for each of these gatherings (that occur once a month), but this month Mike took the reins. Mike is the senior pastor of First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, CA, and speaks all over the country.
[Quick aside: John Mark is not only a gifted speaker, but also a gifted writer of books like My Name is Hope, Garden City, Loveology, and most recently, God Has a Name. I just finished God Has a Name, and it completely wrecked me in the best way. Stay tuned for a book review :)]
Anyways, back to Mike. His talk focused on our apprenticeship with Jesus and the different reality we are invited into as followers of Jesus. Mike speaks with such authority, but also a kind humbleness. Even when he is challenging you, you know it’s for you good + growth. It would be impossible for me and my mental mindscape to go through the entire talk word for word, so I thought that instead, I would list my 7 takeaways // truth bombs from the evening (buckle up, folks):
You do not need more bible study, you need to live the bible you know.
The bible invites us to live in a different reality- whatever story we subscribe to shapes us from the inside >> out.
The bible gives you pictures of God. Jesus gives you the full picture of God.
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.
When we read the bible we see some of God; when we look at Jesus we see all of God.
How do you recognize the voice of God? It always sounds like Jesus.
And my favorite one of all:
Your transformation cannot outrun your picture of Jesus.
I’ll give you a minute to digest all of this Mike-Erre-greatness.
I don’t know about you, but the overarching theme I received from this was how fullness with the Father is obtained through the Son. We get to know the fullness of God’s love // kindness // gentleness // will by seeking first through the Son. Each of these points challenge me, encourage me, and invite me to think deeper, especially when I think about the way I am currently seeking. I plan on diving into each of these in the coming months, because they deserve my full attention. They simply demand it. Mike Erre is a master craftsman- he uses the life of Jesus as his building blocks and his God-given gifts for storytelling and speaking as his tools to build God’s Kingdom here on Earth. Thanks Mike 🙂
John Mark is back speaking at the next Way gathering on May 25th at Vanguard University. For more information or to hear past sessions (including Mike’s, but give them some time to get it up on the site), visit their website, http://www.thewayofjesus.org/