Thursday, October 30, 2014

Church in Motion

I must tell you that I’m honored to be a shepherd of God’s flock at Maywood.  There is no other job that I would rather do besides shepherd!  Please pray for this transition into lead pastor and as I pass along other responsibilities and give myself to sermon preparation, leadership development, and to creative ways of developing the vision of Maywood.  In no way could I do the work of this ministry without other shepherds and great leaders that I labor with.  God has equipped Maywood with a wonderful team of men who are committed to having their Lord glorified through the advancement of the Gospel.  Each week I’ll strive to have a challenge for Maywood in the Newsletter and my blog site called The Shepherd’s Corner.  This can be found on the front page of our church web site.
For the next six weeks we will be examining The Church in Motion as seen in the book of Acts.  As a young boy, God instilled a love for His church within me through parents who made it a priority to be at church several times a week.  Although there were times that I thought there were better things that I could be doing I found the church to be my real passion.  Our family knew where we belonged on Sundays and Wednesdays and we were often the last ones out of the church building.  The fellowship was so sweet and I longed to grow in God’s Word. 
I believe God’s church is the agency that He works through today and it is the pillar and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15).  He makes His glory known through the church that Christ died for and allows believers to play a significant part in it (Ephesians 1:12).  The church is both an organization and an organism.  It was designed to thrive as we function according to God’s Word.  God’s church is intended to be an exciting place of lively worship—certainly not dead.  I believe that it is the Gospel that propels the church to be the church in the community.  Praying, planning, teaching, and intentionally sharing the Gospel must be a top priority to us individually and as a church.  Christianity in North America is growing at one of the lowest rates in the world.  Our own Jerusalem (Rockford) must be evangelized by us individually!  My heart rejoices to know that God promised and delivered the power necessary for us to be that witness (Acts 1:8) in our community!  Please, let’s commit to doing it together! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Learning to Just Wait on God

One of the hardest things in my life is learning to wait!!!!  I really do not like lines.  To let go of what we could never control in the first place is a great step of wisdom and Christian maturity. Letting go demonstrates a great trust in God's ability and in His sovereign hand.  It accepts His plans as being better than what we could ever desire.  I'm saddened to say that too often my greatest comfort comes when I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and when I have a firm grip on my present circumstances.  Many times I've hung on to things that I wish I would have never clung to.  Looking at a clock and knowing that there is an end to what I'm going through can sustain me at times, but what if God did not have an end in mind.  What if His answer for me was to wait a little longer because it was best for me?  Could I still trust Him to be God and in control?  Learning to trust the character of God for who He says He is and for what he says He can do brings a supernatural peace that passes ALL understanding.  

As I pray today in my prayer journal for churches and leaders around the country I'm reminded of Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."  Great things begin to happen when we wait and petition the Father for His best for us all!  Spending time alone with the Father forces believers to examine where they stand before Him--I always need this!