This Sunday will mark the last Sunday of the church year. It is exciting to see all the things our church has been involved in. If you haven’t picked up our Faith Promise Brochure, you will want to get one this Sunday. We spent $92,386 directly to others last church year. During this Faith Promise weekend, our church pledged $39,654 toward our goal of $47,000. It was amazing to see how our World Evangelism efforts have helped to spread to 162 World Areas now. This morning, I will go with the We Care Committee to give the Women’s Resource Center $16,742.48 from our Legacy Offering taken on Palm Sunday. We will try to get a video of our presentation to show our church in the days ahead.
Another exciting thing is the interview for our Youth Pastor position this weekend. Pray for us to sense the Lord’s direction in hiring the right people to add to our Pastoral team.
If many more good things happen, you are going to have to pick your pastor up off the floor. We are experiencing tremendous days of God’s overflow.
I can’t help but think of what Paul writes to Timothy,
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19
I believe our church is just scratching the surface of what God wants to do in and through His church. We are taking hold of life that is truly life. If you read on in this passage you will notice that Paul says to guard what God has entrusted to your care. He says to turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge. We need to not allow the enemy of our soul, our church, and our faith to rob us of these days by getting caught up in senseless conversations. He will do whatever he can do to distract us from what God is doing. Let’s encourage each other to be passionate for the things of God and humbly walk a godly life for others to be drawn to Jesus.
This Sunday we will be baptizing believers in the faith and worshiping our risen Savior. On Sunday night at 6pm, our Haiti Mission Team will be sharing the wonderful things that happened on the adventure to Jahanisse. Come with a longing to see God move amongst our church and community.
Joy in Jesus!
What a wonderful day we had in celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus on Sunday. The services were full with many friends and family. It marks the largest attendance in the history of our church – 580. The breakfast was a great addition to the day. Carol Peterson mentioned in a post on facebook, “Thank you to everyone who helped cook, serve and cleanup from Easter Breakfast today. 60 dozen eggs, 50 pounds of sausage, 700 pancakes, gallons of fruit, 500 sweet treats later we got it done. 439 served.” There are so many people, who helped with the meal, setting up, cleaning up, childcare, worship team, children’s classes, children’s check-in, greeters, ushers, and many other behind the scene ministries. Thank you to everyone who participated to make it all happen. It was a place filled with excitement and anticipation. The most important thing that happened was that Jesus showed up. I believe there were a lot of decisions made that morning. No longer are we going to live on a false identity. We are tied to Jesus, not our past.
This weekend coming up is Faith Promise. Many may be asking what that is all about. It is a weekend where we focus on Global Missions. Our Church is in 162 world areas ministering the Gospel of Jesus. Being affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene, we also support over 700 missionaries, seminaries, clinics, Jesus Film Partnerships, and many other ministries. It is a weekend when we put our focus on what God is doing in all parts of the world. We also have an opportunity to pledge an amount to support this work through our church that is above our regular tithes.
This Saturday in our Family Life Center at 5:30pm., we will enjoy a banquet with a taco dinner, a Piñata for kids, the Kinder Choir, and the Power Plant Kids will be singing. Bernie Slingerland will be our special guest for the weekend. He serves, with his family in the Mesoamerica Region, over evangelism and church planting. Plan now to be a part of seeing and hearing how our funds support missions around the world. Just think, we are one of many churches that train people to speak the truth in love, send called people to the uttermost parts of the world with the transforming message of Jesus, and pray for the harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” Romans 10:14-15
Great things are happening in and through our church. Let’s continue to be intentional in making an impact for Jesus Christ in this world in need of a Savior.
Joy in Jesus!
There are many stories in the Bible that shed light on the many people who were transformed and changed in an instance. Though the situations vary, their conditions don’t. People are trapped, rejected, and have nowhere to turn. When all other attempts to be freed from despair failed, Jesus steps in, even when everyone else stepped out. We were all hopelessly, helplessly lost, and in need of a Savior. It is this Holy Week that we come face to face with the impact of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
This verse cuts to the heart of why Jesus had to come. He came to give His very life to save ours. He was born so He could die for us. In order to redeem us and pay our debt, the penalty of death had to be paid. The payment demanded a sinless life. No one else could pay the penalty.
Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Jesus compares the sinner to the person who is physically ill and in need of a doctor. Some sicknesses do not go away if we ignore them. He is not talking about the common cold. This sickness is more in line with a major illness needing treatment. In the same way, we are all sinners in desperate need of salvation, which only comes through repentance and faith in Jesus. Apart from Jesus, we will die in our sins. Only Jesus is the solution. It is the only way. Jesus said, “I am the Way, Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
This is the greatest gift you will ever receive – the gift of eternal life. It only comes when you put your trust in Jesus. The Scripture goes on to say that those who do not believe in Jesus will be condemned (John 3:18).
As you continue through this week, ponder the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins. Take some time out of your week to attend Maundy Thursday at the church anytime between 5:30p-7:00p. There will be 20 minute segments to step into the upper room and receive the Lord’s Supper. There will be no Boost classes tonight (Wednesday).
Come back on Sunday as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Service times are 8:30a and 10:45a. There will be a big breakfast served in between the two services in the Family Life Center. It is going to be an awesome celebration. Come and invite someone you have been praying for. The goal of this Sunday is not to look back with amazement, but to look forward with faith. The God who spoke many years ago still speaks. The God who forgave still forgives. The God who transformed still transforms. He wants to do another miracle before us Easter.
This Sunday we will also be announcing how much came in for the Legacy Offering we received on Palm Sunday and I will mention some additional exciting news for our church. Don’t miss out on what God is doing!
Joy in Jesus!
John the Baptist was a miracle birth from the very beginning. You see, his parents were not able to have children and they were very old. Zechariah never gave up the dream of having children. He waited on the Lord. One time an angel of the Lord shows up to Zechariah while he was on duty as a priest and said, “Do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.“ It is a wonderful story of persistent prayer. To read the story, go to Luke 1:5-13.
Persistence is a necessary part of praying effectively. Whether God answers quickly or over a longer period of time, we should never give up on hearing from the Lord. It says in Scripture that God wants us to trust Him patiently on our knees. He delights when we trust in Him and walk by faith. There are times that a delayed answer reveals our true heart toward God. No matter what we are praying for, we are to wait on the Lord in faith.
If you want to see what impatience brings, read about King Saul when he took matters into his own hands (1 Samuel 3:8-14). He lost God’s blessing all because he could not wait.
There are several references to persistent, continual prayer in the Bible. Jesus, on His famous Sermon on the Mount, said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” Matthew 7:7-9. Jesus also said in Luke 18:1, that we should pray and not lose heart. Paul says, “Pray continually” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. He also says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” in Colossians 4:2. Are you seeing the bigger picture now? We are not meant to pray one time and then quit. God works on His timetable not ours. I wish God would consult me more often because I could really help Him out on this timing issue. But I can only see what is right in front of me. He sees the past, now, and forever. It would be safe to say that He doesn’t need my shallow perspective.
So don’t get discouraged, keep praying and believing. We are so accustomed to getting things now. We can get a meal in minutes after ordering, we can get a response from a text in seconds, we can upload a picture to facebook as we speak, but that doesn’t pull God into our timeframe. God’s timing is always perfect. Do as the Psalmist says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” Psalm 37:7.
This Sunday is Palm Sunday and begins Holy week. Our choir will be singing, our children will be waving palm branches, we will take our annual Legacy Offering, and we will all have the opportunity to worship together as we celebrate Jesus. On Thursday we will have an interactive communion as families can drop in and take the Lord’s Supper together. You can come anytime between 5:30p and 7:00p. I want to encourage you to reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice during holy week. Easter Sunday will then put the exclamation point on this season as we worship the Risen Savior.
Don’t forget to come to Easterific this Saturday at 9:00a in the Family Life Center. Register online to secure a spot. It will be a fun time for all the kids and parents as they share a big breakfast and play lots of games. There are plenty of opportunities to invite your neighbors and friends during the next couple of weeks.
May you walk forth with patience as you wait on God’s perfect timing for the prayers you have been praying.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene