Monday, April 23, 2012
Today’s Topic: Love and Faithfulness
Today’s Text: Psalm 115:1 (NIV) Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
When was the last time you sang the children’s song Jesus Loves Me in church on a Sunday morning? For those of us at Calvary, it was yesterday. What an amazing day God orchestrated for us, from the break of dawn until after dessert. Let me tell you about it.
I tend to see God in the little things. I thank Him that I do. Back in January, when we began to see God start this latest move of His Spirit in our church, I was directed to Psalm 115:1 as the theme for our upcoming annual Jubilee celebration. We were beginning negotiations on the sale of our building as the Lord had brought us a buyer out of the blue. We had organized a building team to start the design work on our new building. God granted us the faith to step out and follow His clear direction, not for us or so that others would notice us, but for His glory based on His love and His faithfulness.
As plans continued to develop, the Lord began to move mightily in the hearts of people. We had multiple people saved and had ten baptisms in four weeks, with more planned in the next two months. Week after week the Lord was drawing new people to our church, and people’s lives were being connected to God in a deeper and more meaningful way through the ongoing discipleship ministries of the church.
It was obvious that the Holy Spirit was directing everything, because I was failing at communicating with the worship team about any themes or subject matter for my sermons. I’m terrible at planning out a sermon series beyond one or two weeks, but each week the worship ministry was and still is incredible – planned totally by men and women who are filled with the Spirit of God and are being used by Him to lead us into His Presence.
Yesterday was no exception. Yesterday was the day we had chosen for our Building on the Rock: Steps of Faith dessert banquet where we would ask God to open the floodgates of heaven on us and pour out a financial blessing that would allow us to continue to follow Him by faith into the new ministry center He has planned for us. The service started with a couple of great old hymns done with a contemporary flavor that celebrated our salvation. Then it happened. My heart was broken when we sang Unfailing Love, followed by Jesus Paid it All and Jesus Loves Me. Nothing captures my heart more than the love of God!
The Holy Spirit was in charge of everything in the service, including the clock. When I arrived at the church, I noticed that the clock placed on the back wall so that I have something to ignore was five minutes slow. So I got a ladder and fixed it. When we started the service two hours later, that clock was right on time. When I got up to preach it was right on time. When I got done preaching the clock was almost fifteen minutes slow. I thought I was quitting right on time, yet the Holy Spirit had kept us there an extra 15 minutes without my knowledge. I can’t wait to see what the Holy Spirit did in people’s hearts during that extra time.
Then came the afternoon dessert banquet. One of our Elders rose to speak a challenge from God’s Word to us all, and it was on the Holy Spirit chosen subject of faithfulness. In his mini sermon, he read from the book of Lamentations. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Love and faithfulness. It was amazing, yet why should we be surprised. Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. The Holy Spirit magnificently showed me that He is in the little things, right down to the individual choices made by multiple people so that everything reflects the unity of the Body of Christ. O how great it is to walk in fellowship with the Lord!
When the dessert banquet was over, the congregation rejoiced at the gifts that were given for the new ministry center. Not everyone from the church was there, so there are still more commitments to be made, but we are getting very close to having sufficient commitments to move forward. We believe that God will continue to provide. We have a signed purchase agreement on our current building. The building team is meeting Tuesday to interview potential contractors. The initial design of the building has been approved. This is a fearfully wonderful time, and we will proceed on this premise and promise –
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.