Summary: this is more of a recap of some of the things God did during the New Testament Challenge Series we did. It was good to look back and be encouraged that God is a live and well and working through His word.
Changing Lives through the Challenge
God has changed Eternal Lives
God is changing Spiritual Lives
God is changing Physical Lives
God is changing Community Life
God is changing Church Life
Welcome to our first Sunday of multiple services.
If you are here this morning, you will always be able to say, “I was at the very first 9 am (10:45 am) service that Hickory Creek had when they went to 2 services.”
Well, this morning we are finishing up our series called the New Testament Challenge.
If you have kept up with the reading, you would have read Revelation 20-22 this morning and you would have completed reading the entire New Testament over these past 9 weeks.
It has really been an amazing 9 weeks. God has powerfully used the reading and the messages of this series through the New Testament to do some awesome works in the lives of many people in this church, including my own and my families.
As the pastor, I have had the privilege of hearing and seeing so many wonderful things that God is doing in people’s lives.
And being that it is so easy for us to complete something and quickly move on to the next things, I thought it would be good for us this morning to reflect on some of the things that God has been doing in the lives of the people here and in and through the church as a whole.
If you are visiting with us this morning, then you have picked a great morning to visit and see that God is alive and well and at work at Hickory Creek and in the lives of those who feed themselves on the word of God.
I hope you will be as encouraged by God’s work today as I am.
Now, I want to take you back to 9 weeks ago. We began this series with a challenge.
A challenge for each of you to make a commitment.
When you accepted the New Testament Challenge you were committing to
1. Striving to read and/or listen to the New Testament over these next 9 weeks.
2. Striving to attend each Sunday service over the next 9 weeks
3. Allowing God to speak into my life through His word and the messages.
4. Seeking to take any steps, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that the Lord reveals to you over these next 9 weeks.
I absolutely believe that as people have been reading the Bible, as people have been attending our Sunday morning worship and hearing the message that the Lord had for us, that
He has been speaking and
He has been empowering people to take steps of faith and obedience.
And because of that, God has been changing Lives through this Challenge
Throughout this series, the verse that really encapsulates all that has been going on is Hebrews 4:12. It reads
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
The word of God is living and active.
It is powerful. It is sharp so as we read it, it can, like a laser, help us cut away the areas in our life that are
not glorifying to Him or
beneficial to us
so we can better grow in the areas that do glorify God and benefit us.
This morning, we are not going to be studying and looking at a particular text.
We are studying and looking at the work God has been doing through the message of his word in our lives and the changes he has made in many different lives.
God is in the business of changing lives so let’s see what kinds of lives have been changed over these 9 weeks.
First, and most importantly,
God has changed Eternal lives
Over the past 9 weeks, we have been seeing more individuals come to receive Christ as Savior and have their eternal lives changed.
I have personally been able to lead 4 people to Christ and lead them to confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord as they believed in Him and His work as their Savior.
Their eternities were changed from an eternity without hope to one where they will eternally live with God in heaven.
The reading through the New Testament has done 2 things to help us see more fruit.
First, I believe that as those who were coming to Hickory Creek who had never received Christ as Savior, were challenged to read the Word, God honored and used that and spoke into their lives of their need.
Isaiah 55:11 - my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,