- Before renewal, brokenness.
- The Love of God is central to restoration.
- Grace & the Gospel are ‘by-products' of Divine Love.
- Divine Love is always expressive and uncontainable.
- Love for God and neighbor are our two immutable passions.
Before Renewal, Brokenness
a. Hurricane Katrina sovereignly created great physical need and sovereignly exposed existing spiritual need.
b. The neediness and effects of the fall were truly present prior to Katrina, but only truly felt on a much broader scale after the storm.
c. Renewal presupposes brokenness- Grace isn’t amazing until sin is.
d. Brokenness, repentance and confession must be modeled to be hallmarks of this ministry.
The Love of God is Central to Restoration
a. The love of God is the foundation of this ministry.
1. God’s love is described to us in John’s 1st Epistle:
a. “This is love, NOT that we loved God, but that He first loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
2. Love is the expression of a relationship based on the object’s need.
a. That love was expressed to us foundationally in Christ Jesus.
b. That love is transformational at conversion and the continued catalyst in sanctification.
c. The Gospel (the ‘good news’ of salvation) finds its genesis in the heart of God expressed in His love for mankind.
d. LPC was not conceived as the result of Hurricane Katrina. It was conceived as the result of the mercy and love of God shown to men long before the wind and waves of Katrina came ashore.
3. Love’s expression in the Gospel is the model for ministry at LPC Mission
a. In order to be ‘successful’ that model of incarnational ministry must be lived out and duplicated at LPC.
Grace and the Gospel are 'by-products' of Divine Love
a. When love sets its affection on an object Grace flows.
1. Grace, God’s unmerited, undeserved favor, flows toward love’s objects. It is only by this Grace that we stand adopted and righteous in His sight through the work of Christ.
b. Grace is God’s Lagniappe.
1. Lagniappe is a term derived from the Creole words “La Napa” meaning “the gift”. Lagniappe is culturally understood as ‘something for nothing’ or ‘a little something extra for free.’ This is precisely the message of Grace- we receive the full rights of sons at no cost to ourselves. This is not to say that salvation is free. Quite to the contrary- the Gospel declares that salvation’s cost is beyond measure, un-meritable by man, beyond our rescources. It is the Gospel which declares that the cost WAS NOT free, but rather paid by Christ and that this costly transaction purchased redemption for men and that redemption is bestowed upon them by Grace, as His lagniappe toward us.
c. A culture of Lagniappe at LPC
1. The hymn “Come Ye Sinners” states the principle pointedly, “Without money, without money come to Jesus Christ and buy!”
2. This is precisely the heart of LPC
i. We presuppose:
i. Love and Grace are only truly known and understood in the context of the declaration and demonstration of the Word of God.
i. Grace extended and tasted will transform the hearts of men.
ii. The Church must model the love of Christ to the community in which it proclaims love of Christ.
iii. The church is God’s chosen vehicle to make this love known to the world.
iv. The Love of Christ propels the church outside of itself toward need and brokenness just as it compelled Christ to incarnate among us who are needy and broken.
v. Strength, self-righteousness and pride are the enemies of Grace and thus our greatest hindrances to love.
vi. LPC is simply participating in the work which the Holy Spirit which began long before Katrina. This work was accelerated by the exposure of need brought with her winds.
vii. The transforming power of the Love of God, expressed to us in the Gospel will restore culture, families, ethics, laughter, beauty, truth and goodness on the Gulf coast.
Divine Love is Always Expressive and Uncontainable
i. LPC will be planted with Love, Grace and Mercy in her DNA. Her success will be measured in her duplication.
1. The Philosophy of ministry will be duplicated into individual lives and the corporate body of Christ.
2. LPC will be intentional in moving toward other needs as they are providentially exposed.
a. These needs will be exposed either by natural disasters or by the fall of man.
b. In both cases, Love is drawn toward need and LPC will be a church intent on demonstrating love.
Love for God and Neighbor are our two Unchangeable Passions
a. “Love for God and Love for neighbor”- on these two things hang all the law and the prophets, so sayeth the Lord Jesus Christ.
b. The expression of life to its fullest will be in the worship of the true and living God and in the service of true and living people.
a. God, who has no need of our love, compels us to transfer our benevolent affections for Him toward our fellow man. In this sense we ‘love Him’ by ‘loving others.’
b. These passions will remain unchanged.