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Summary: As we enter 2005 we are going forward this year in faith. James 4:2 says, “You have not because you ask not.” This year we want to ask BIG. We want to go forward in faith and take God at His Word.

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Forward in Faith in 2005

We have much to praise God for as we plan for the coming year. At the end of 2004 we ended the year with a balance of $2,000.00. We had tithes and offerings that totaled $2,000 more than our expenses. At the end of 2003 we ended the year with deep red-ink. Our theme for our Vision dinner last year was: “Let’s Expect a Miracle in 2004.” We did have a miracle in giving for the past year.

As we enter 2005 we are going forward this year in faith. James 4:2 says, “You have not because you ask not.” This year we want to ask BIG. We want to go forward in faith and take God at His Word.

Jesus said in Luke 17:6 “Even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May God uproot you and throw you into the sea,’ and it would obey you!”

#Years ago a famous golfer was invited by the king of Saudi Arabia to play in a golf tournament. He accepted the invitation, and the king flew his private jet over to the United States to pick up the pro. They played golf for several days, and enjoyed a good time. As the golfer was getting on the plane to return to the United States, the king stopped him and said, “I want to give you a gift for coming all this way and making this time so special. Anything you want. What could I get you?”

Ever the gentleman, the golfer replied; “Oh, please; don’t get me anything. You’ve been a gracious host. I’ve had a wonderful time. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The king was adamant. He said, “No, I insist on giving you something so you will always remember your journey to our country.”

When the golfer realized that the king was resolute, he said, “Okay, find. I collect golf clubs. Why don’t you give me a golf club?”

He boarded the plane, and on his flight back home, he couldn’t help wondering what king of golf club the king might give him. He imagined that it might be a solid gold putter with his name engraved on it. Or maybe it would be a sand wedge studded with diamonds and jewels. After all , this would be a gift from the oil-rich king of Saudi Arabia.

When the golfer got home, he watched the mail and the delivery services every day, to see if his golf club had come yet. Finally, several weeks later, he received a certified letter from the king of Saudi Arabia. The U. S. professional thought that rather strange. Where’s my golf club? He wondered. He opened the envelope, and to his surprise, inside he discovered a deed to a five-hundred-acre golf course in America.

We serve a great God, and his dream for our life and ministry is so much bigger and better than we can ever imagine. Let’s pray that during the coming year our vision will be enlarged.

This year let’s pray for 20-20 spiritual vision – to have the same vision Jesus has. John 4:35 Jesus told his disciples this: “Do not think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest.” We need to lift up our heads and look around us. There are people everywhere searching for Truth.

Vision is seeing as Jesus sees.

Vision is seeing a preferable future – a future that includes the power of God.

As a local church we have a rich heritage – PP First Church and Parsonage – organized March 4, 1883, Ninth Street and St. John. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s some of you were part of the First Free Methodist Church downtown San Jose.

With vision and faith the congregation relocated to our present location in 1964-65. 3.2 acres were purchased for $40,000. We are enjoying the ministries today because people in the First Free Methodist congregation has faith to venture out for the Lord and move to this location.

As we plan for 2005 we don’t want to hold back due to little faith.

Numbers 13 Moses sent out 12 spies to survey the land of Canaan and see if the land was good or bad, rich or poor, fertile or desert.

Vision is seeing the potential – seeing for themselves the opportunities. Faith is claiming the land.

They spent 40 days surveying the land that God said would be their new home. Ten spies reported that the land is beautiful like paradise on earth flowing with milk and honey. But --- the people are strong, cities protected with walls, and giants live there. “We are not able to defeat the people, they are stronger than we are; we are like grasshoppers in their sight.”

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