Pastor Brad welcomed us warmly, then shared today's theme. “God is not willing that any should perish. This is an incredible mission that God has given us. As we move forward in life we sometimes get anxious because we don’t always have answers for everything we are facing, but Jesus isn’t anxious at all."
VBS training after the service. This year we have more kids signed up than ever before. Thank you for your help and support.
Softball Tuesday eve at UMD Field #3 at 7 p.m.
10 a.m. Friday will be setup for VBS at the Community Center
Chuck and Darlene led the worship time this morning. He began by noting that the Holy Spirit leads us and challenged us to look for His leading this week. How is the Holy Spirit leading you? They also sang a beautiful duet while the offering was taken.
Everyone Gets A Vote
Brad began by reading from the opening verses of the Book of Acts.
The Book of Acts begins after the resurrection of Jesus but before His ascension. These are his last words to his disciples, which include the statement that "you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you wll be My witnesses."
Brad shared how he was thinking about letters he receives from missionaries who are having real hardships, and make our own “hardships” to be so small in comparison. How do we learn to handle conflict when we don’t feel in control? How do we live this faith mission we are on?
"I decided today that we’re going to vote on our future together. We’re not going to vote about carpet color or seat arrangement. We’re going to vote on something far more important.
"I want you to think about that statement at the beginning of the service… God is not willing that any should perish. God wants to redeem every person He has ever created."
Brad drew a graph to show the extensive population growth in the past century. God is not willing that any should perish.
If you could live in any other point in human history, and you wanted to make a difference for God, when would you want to live? History has significant moments which are unlike others. One of these was the first coming of Christ. “When the fullness of time had come, God sent His son….”
"I think this included the historical time period, the Pax Romana that let people move around and the common language that enabled the story to spread. The world was connected in ways that never had been before or since… until now."
Today is again such a time of global interconnectedness as never before.
Brad noted the YouVersion app that enables people everywhere to download a free Bible on the phones with the click of a button.
Our God is able. As Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. ~Eph. 3:20, 21
Does anyone here ever feel inadequate? Sometimes our problems seem enormous… But then Paul says our God "is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.”
Brad reminded us that God is not willing that anyone should perish. And it is through the church that He has planned to do this work.
“But you will receive power," Jesus said.
Brad then brought this all home, detailing the history of New Life Covenant Church.
On June 24, 1939 three men had a vision… “We need to have a place to worship.” In 1951 there was only one survivor and he turned this over to others.
The primary founders of this church were not professional pastors. They were lay people who responded to the Spirit. There were times that the church almost didn’t make it…. It's an interesting history. Two years ago we took another step and started a stewardship campaign…
What makes a church great is when the people say, “By the power of the Holy Spirit in my life…" The vision of the church is what produces life. Once the church's focus is survival it is already dead.
The kingdom of God moves forward when a church has a sense of mission.
This is a choice for us: Mission vs. survival?
The questions you get to vote on are these: What is one thing the church could do to bless the world in a tangible way? Am I doing my best to help God accomplish this mission?
Here is what a yes means for this second question: I will seek to surrender to my God anew every morning and live my best for Him every day. I will give God the best out of my resources. I will give up my sin and live for Him.