Redeem the Commute is not just about courses – it’s about being part of a community of people being challenged to live differently by following Jesus.  We posted fresh daily challenges from 2012 to 2016 that followed a daily and weekly rhythm:

  • Mondays: A New Idea
  • Tuesdays: Study It
  • Wednesdays: Change our Thinking
  • Thursdays: Act on It
  • Fridays: Reflect on It
  • Saturdays: Rest
  • Sundays: Community
Start by checking out the daily challenge, and then invite someone else to join  you.  When you’ve been meeting in a group for a little while, register your group here.  You can also discuss the daily challenge here.

Ryan Sim - May 2, 2014

Friday - 2014 Status Update - Grace in Lifestyle

Status Update

Hi, welcome to Redeem The Commute. I'm Ryan, your host to the daily challenges. Normally, we follow a weekly rhythm that helps us explore a different topic and how following Jesus impacts that topic. This week is going to be a little different. We're going to be taking an opportunity to just kind of see where we are as a community. You probably know us as a mobile app and website for busy commuters, but we're also trying to become a church community. As we explore what it means to follow Jesus as individual people engaged in a busy lifestyle, we want to make sure that we're not completely disconnected from one another and that even though we're usually quite scattered as a community, we want to take time to gather as well. As a gathered community, we want to make sure that we are committed to some of the same things in common. That's why through this week, this week alone, it's going to be kind of a special week. We're going to be looking at each of the things our community is committed to one by one and see how we're doing as a community by hearing the stories of individuals who are part of our growing online community or our in-person courses who are seeing their lives changed. We hope they'll inspire you to see some transformation in your own life as well. The 5 things that we're committed to as a community start with being committed to growth in discipleship. We have some common content to learn together. We also want to be committed to God in worship, committed to generosity in our resources, committed to grace in our lifestyles and witness, and, finally, committed to groups in community. We're going to be looking at each of those points one by one this week. Today, being Monday, we're going to start by looking at growth in discipleship. Today, we're going to talk about the last of the 5 things we'll be committed to as Redeem The Commute becomes Redeemer Church. We talked about groups, generosity. We talked about worshiping God. We've talked about growth in discipleship. Finally, today, we're going to talk about how we can be committed to grace in how we live and how we speak, in our lifestyle and in our witness. A few weeks ago, we shared with you the story of April. April was the first person to be baptized as a member of the Redeem The Commute community and Redeemer Church. She came to the Christianity 101 course after getting to know me through her work. When she first came to the course we held at All Saints' Church in Whitby, she was actually quite nervous to come. She didn't know what it would be like to come to a church. She was a little bit afraid to even come to the building. Her life and her encounters with churches in the past couldn't really be described as grace-filled. She'd found people in churches to be kind of judgmental and was afraid that her encounter with church people at this course would be similar. Thankfully, when she came to Christianity 101, she learned all about grace, that grace is a free gift that God gives us. We describe that, GRACE, as God's Riches At Christ's Expense. She learned that we don't earn our place in God's kingdom. We don't earn our love from God through our actions, by being good, by being perfect, by being holy and godly, but rather through a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, by turning our lives over to Him, recognizing Him as our sole source of salvation. Then we have that relationship with God that's built on His unconditional love, His grace, His giving a free gift to us of a relationship with Him. From there, we can then become good and wonderful people through the power of His holy spirit, rather than under our own power. That's, in a nutshell, the amazing gift that Christianity is to the world, that it's not about we need to do for God, but rather about what God has done for us. That was the message that April encountered when she took our Christianity 101 course, and I hope it's the message that you've encountered through our daily challenges, through our courses as well, a faith that is built on grace. Now, we took a video of April describing her encounter with grace as part of her baptism and you can watch that now. So why were you thinking about you and your daughter being baptized? What was going on? April: I'm finding out that it’s a big change and I wanted to embrace being Christian and embracing faith. I wanted to be able to be ... I wanted to be baptized, and I wanted my daughter baptized. I feel that my daughter was meant to be part of my life and part of my baby's life. Even at Christianity 101, church with you, I've learned that God works in different ways and sometimes you don't see it at first. Once you open your eyes and your heart to Him, you'll see that He is there helping guide you. The birth of my daughter, I found she helped me and my sister reconnect. We weren't in a good spot before as I was pregnant. With the birth of my daughter, it helped us reconnect, and I realized through your course, I'd have to go there for the week of grace, when you talked about grace, and it really opened up my eyes. It was a big turning point for me, and I saw that He was there helping guide me and my sister back to each other. Ryan: Now, as part of her baptism service, we read a story from the Bible called the story of the prodigal son. You may know it. We've talked about it before in our challenges. It's a story where a man has two sons. One runs away, does his own thing, wastes all his money, and the other son stays at home and does good. We're preconditioned, usually, to think that he's the good boy, and the other one was the bad boy, and that these brothers are an example of how to follow Jesus and how not to, but in fact, we found that neither son was actually in a very good place with their father. They both seemed to think their father was a man of law. One thought he'd earned his father's love. The other one thought he'd lost it and wasted it when, in fact, their father loved them unconditionally. Through that story, we see how that father wants to have his sons back and will do anything to get them back, even undermining his own dignity. That's what happened in the story, and we told that story because it was such a great illustration of April's life and April's return to God through her relationship with Jesus Christ. God simply wanted her back. See, no matter where she'd been, no matter what she'd done in her past, what mattered most when she came to that Christianity 101 course was where she went from here, how she was going to transform her life from here on in, not what she'd done in the past. That's our message for you, of course, and of course, we want that to be our message for others, as well, in our community, who learn what it means to follow Jesus through this mobile app and community. The first Christians, following Jesus after his death and resurrection, were really a community known for their love and their grace. They could be counted on to care for those that nobody else would care for. The sickest of the sick were being cared for by Christians, and that's what really stood out to people. We want Redeemer Church, forming out of Redeem the Commute's mobile community, to be known for the same kind of grace, through our generosity like we talked about yesterday. We want people to ask questions and say, "What motivates these people? What kind of a story would lead them to be so grace-filled and so generous?" In pursuit of us becoming a community known for grace, we'd love to hear your story of grace. You just heard April's story of grace on our baptism video there. I'd love to hear yours, so your challenge today is simply to tell me your grace story. Tell it to your group first. I hope you're working through our challenges with a group. If you're not, think of who could be part of that group. Share your grace story with them. How has grace changed your life? Maybe you used to be somebody who was highly religious, and you realized one day that wasn't going to save you. Only relying on God's grace. Or maybe you were somebody who tried to be as least religious as possible. You tried to burn all your bridges with God, and you realized that god was still running out to meet you like He ran out to meet his son in the story of the prodigal son. I want you to share your story with us. There's a form to do that attached to today's challenge, where you can tell us your story. Make sure to include grace in it. We'd love to hear your story. Maybe to really step up the challenge, you could tell that story to somebody else, too — somebody in your life, somebody you work with, somebody from the train or bus, not somebody who you're already discussing what it means to follow Jesus with, but somebody who maybe would be hearing that story for the first time. Listen to their story first. Then, tell your story, and eventually, you'll find they're open to hearing God's story. Have a great day trying to figure out where your grace story fits into your life and how you can tell it to me and then to somebody else. Don't forget, we're reading the Bible in sync as one community, and we've got a live parenting course coming up, which would be a great way to connect with some other parents who are trying to parent with grace in mind, as well. It's not easy, so join some other parents in discussing and learning what grace looks like in a family. Have a great discussion. I'll see you next week when we start a brand new series. It's going to be focusing on the book of Acts in the Bible. We're going to be looking at it through the lens of it being a pioneer story, a formative story of how followers of Jesus first organized themselves into what we know as the church today. It's going to be a really interesting series, not only because of the interesting book of the Bible we'll be exploring but because we're looking at it through the lens of pioneers.

From Series: "Status Update"

Ryan shares some stories from Redeem the Commute users, and looks for feedback from others.


More From "Status Update"

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