The State of the Church, Pt 2

stateofthechurch.001

But Oh The Places You Will Go…
While it’s good to look back and remember the good things that have already happened, we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. Dr. Seuss wrote the book, Oh The Places You’ll Go. Someone was kind enough to create that video that we showed, giving us a snapshot of the book. The book itself is a realistic look at the world and it’s challenges and how we determine to face them.

I love the book because while there is the idea that we will do well, there is the chance that we won’t, that we will make mistakes, that things might not go as we thought they would, that despite making the right decisions, avoiding dangers and temptations, we might still find ourselves wondering what went wrong. But even in those times, there is still a hope. 98 and 3/4% guaranteed, if we push on, we will succeed.

Now 98 and 3/4% is pretty good, right? But what if our guarantee to succeed was 103%?

I believe there are places that we will go. I believe there are things we will do, greater things than we ever would have imagined.

In fact, Jesus tells us that very thing.

In John 14:11-12, Jesus is talking to his disciples, saying that all the things that they had seen him do. The miracles, the healings, the teaching… well, let look and see exactly what he says.

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has a faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

What’s that mean? It means, that as believers, we are called to do great things. Jesus was in the business of proclaiming the redeeming message of God’s love and then watching that love transform the lives of those who believed the message. Jesus says, if you put your faith in me, you will do the same.

But then he takes it one step further and says, “He (that is the one who puts their faith in Jesus) will do even greater things than these.” Friends, we will do greater things.

That excites me. I mean, think about it. Think about all the things that Jesus did. Now we, through faith, are called to do those great things and more.

Oh the places we will go.

A Call for the Church to DO Greater Things…
As we look back and remember from where we’ve come, we must also look forward towards the great things we will do. I believe that God is giving us an amazing opportunity to do great things in this new year.

But in order for us to see these great things happen, we must first accept to call the God gives.

The Call to Put our Faith in Jesus…
The Call, we must Put Our Faith in Jesus.

Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has a faith in me will do what I have been doing.”

Can I ask you a question? Do you have a faith in Jesus? Really. is your faith in Jesus leading you to a place when you feel like you can do anything he asks of you? Can you look at what’s happening around you and see, through faith, God’s hand, working, moving, leading?

Starting a new church is hard. I mean, if it were easy, everyone would be starting churches. I never, ever thought I’d be one leading a group of believers, starting a new church. I mean, did you ever think you would be a church planter? And yet, here we are.

Why? How? I can’t speak for you, but I am here because I placed my faith in Jesus. When Amy and I didn’t know how we would do this we stepped out in faith and said, God, make this happen. And he has. It hasn’t always been our timing, or how we thought things should go, but we put our faith in God.

And we’re going to do it again. Because for the last four months we’ve been running from God. We have been afraid of our finances, wondering how we would pay our utilities, how we would dress or feed our kids, and so I took the job at McDonald’s. For the last four months I have given them 40 hours a week at $7.50 an hour and all the while the church has… Well, the church hasn’t really done anything. We’ve been kinda, just here.

You see, I believe God has called me to be your pastor. But I don’t think I’ve been a very good pastor to you. And I believe that’s because I worry about feeding my kids, paying our bills, so I work outside the church. But my desire is to be here with you. To disciple you so you can disciple others. To respond in your times of need so you experience the care and love that God has for his children. To lead you in worship, so you can go before the throne of God to honor him. And to diligently prepare for the opportunities to share the gospel message in a way that God can use to transform lives. But those things aren’t happening well. And for that I must apologize to you and ask for your help.

You see, I ask if you have put your faith in God because, I believe that are greater things that we are called to do, but we must be ready to take the big, HUGE, steps of faith. The kind of steps that scare us to death. The steps that cause us to rely on God’s storehouse of blessing and providence.

We need to step out in faith so we can see God do greater things through us.

– jay

*This is part two of the message, The State of the Church, on Sunday, December 30, 2012. The final installment will be post on January 2, 2013. Thank you for reading. Visit us at, HarvestChurchToday.org.

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