In recent weeks we have seen God actively at work at Harvest Church. Since Palm Sunday, we have welcomed a couple new families into our fellowship. And that's exciting. We've also celebrated God's blessing as we accomplished our first outreach project; Easter dinner for the local first responders: police, EMS, and fire department. And it's been great to watch as God has moved in mighty ways, in the lives of some of our families.
But as I look and see all that God is doing at Harvest, there is one work that simply blows me away.
Now before you click away from the blog thinking that I am on some ego trip, let me explain.
As we stepped into 2014, I felt this overwhelming sense that God was at work in my heart. 2013 was a rough year, but in the final days of December, I put it all on the line; my life, my family, my career, my ministry. And I told God that I would do whatever it takes, just doing something to make 2014 EPIC.
I spent those last days of 2013 in prayer, pouring myself out before the Lord. I scoured the Scriptures, longing to know God's promises. And I waited to hear God's voice. 2014 rolled around and I declared it to be an EPIC year. Epic, because I knew God was going to do something awesome, and I was going to be there when He did it!
Now 6 months into 2014, I know God is at work. And the place where I see it the most is in my own life. As a husband, as a father, as a pastor, and a believer; it's like God has turned up the heat and and my heart is at full boiling point. And it's awesome!
I feel more in love with Him than ever. When I study His Word, it's like LIFE is leaping of the pages. And when I preach, I can't believe what happens.
2013 was a year of God chiseling away all of the stuff that I have been cling to; pride, selfish ambition, fear, anxiety, frustration, disappointment, brokenness, sin. It was incredibly painful and humbling. There were a lot of tears. But each time the hammer came down, I knew God was freeing my for the work that he was calling me to.
Today is Monday, June 16, 2014. Yesterday I preached on John 2:22-30. In the passage, John deals with his disciples who reveal their jealousy at what was beginning to take shape in Jesus' ministry. In verse 26, they complain to John that, "that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him."
John's disciples tasted success. People were going to John to hear what he was teaching and to be baptized. His disciples got all caught up in what was happening. But when Jesus' ministry started, all of a sudden, the crowds were going to see Him, and that freaked them out. Suddenly, their success wasn't as successful as Jesus' success.
As a church planter and pastor, I can sympathize with John disciples. It feels great when you get a little taste of success. But when you look and see what the other guys are doing, well, suddenly their success looks better than your success and in comes the jealousy.
But John puts everything into a proper perspective. "A person can receive only what is given them from heaven." John 3:27 niv. John was sent by God with a specific purpose. He was the "the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” John knew and understood what his role was. More importantly he knew that God was also in the ministry of the "other guy."
You see, what I came to understand was, what I do as a pastor and church planter isn't about me. It's all about what God is doing. And if God is at the center of what's happening, and I am obediently do what He has called me to do, then I've succeeded! So who cares what the 'other guys" are doing, I'm doing what God wants me to do right here and now!
God has given me a passion for His people; to shepherd and care for them, to teach and lead them. And that is what I am going to do. And may His greatest work begin with me.
Oh, and my sermon...I will try and get it posted here as soon as possible.
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