On Sunday (11/22) at Watermark, we were exhorted to go beyond merely attending church. “Attendees” are what cause outsiders to compliment our buildings as if brick and mortar were the church. Instead, from the words of Scripture, we were called to BE the church, so that people inside and out identify the church with those who were chosen “before the foundation of the world” to be “living stones” who “offer up spiritual sacrifices” and “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 2:5,9c).
To that end and especially with the many opportunities that surround us this Thanksgiving week, I want to impart additional truths from the Word of God to spur each of us on for His glory and the salvation of “a people for God’s own possession” (1 Peter 2:9b).
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” ~Galatians 6:9
- Remind ourselves and each other to “not lose heart”. The returns of godly living are not always immediately seen–“we look…at the things which are not seen…but…which are…eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18).
- Have faith that the “due time” will come. Patience is one of the hardest things for me to practice, but God’s timing is perfect, and we will reap the harvest in His due time.
- By the Lord’s strength, don’t give up–“do not grow weary”. During intense trials we rightly think “I can’t do this”, because in our own strength, we simply can’t. In Christ, though, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
“And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.” ~Acts 4:32
The result of being a congregation with one heart and soul is that we recognize that everything we have is the Lord’s. Whether it is a car or an apartment or a house or a bank account, all have been graciously given to us by the Lord. With that perspective, we should hold to each very loosely, as if with open palms, ready for the Lord to distribute “to each as any [have] need” (Acts 4:35). Apply the same to your time and you’ll realize that your stress decreases because God’s plans are never thrown off course. It’s been a blessing to me to realize this even today.
Finally, I’ll leave you with the passage which was in my four year olds’ lesson this Sunday in Starting Blocks. Have a very happy Thanksgiving!
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And enter His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.”