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Summary: Personal message to the church regarding a prayer action plan -- dealing with longstanding sin issues being passed on generationally.

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GOD SPEAKS TO RANDALL

Revelation 2-3

S: Listening to God

C: Prayer and Action

Th: God Speaks to the Church.

Pr: PRACT – Pray on it; Act on it.

CV: “We will passionately pursue full devotion to Jesus Christ.”

Version: ESV

RMBC 15 March 09 AM

INTRODUCTION:

Is God able to change us?

The answer is “yes” according to the video and according to those that have presented their own testimonies this morning.

There is a “before and after” for the Christian.

Is that true for you as well?

Is there a change in you?

Have you been transformed by the Spirit of God?

Today we finish up a series called “God Speaks to the Church.”

It has been based on Jesus’ words to the seven churches in Revelation.

And we found that…

God speaks to the churches, so it is all about listening (Revelation 2.7, 11, 17, 29, 3.6, 13, 22).

The churches received different messages, but Jesus did say one thing the same to each church.

It was this:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Note this…

It has never been that God is not speaking.

God has always been speaking.

He gives us His Word, which is living and active.

It reaches deep into us.

So deep that it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

God has always been speaking.

He gives us a conscience.

Through this, we are able to discern law and morality.

Each of us has been given a keen sense of right and wrong.

God has always been speaking.

To the one who has faith in Him, He has given the Holy Spirit.

When we listen to the Holy Spirit, using Scripture and the conscience, there is an inner voice that directs and guides us.

So, this brings us to the title of today’s message.

If the apostle John were to appear to us today, what would Jesus say through him?

What would God say to Randall?

When we began the consulting process over two years ago, we set up advisory teams – structure, outreach, worship, and spiritual health.

Our concern today is the mandate given the spiritual health team:

“The goal of the Spiritual Health Advisory Team is to evaluate the spiritual health of Randall and recommend a course of action to establish a spiritual vitality within the community both now and into the future.”

This room used to be full every Sunday morning, with three times as many people.

For those of you who remember those times, I am sure that it has been difficult to watch the Randall community go through this slow, but steady decline.

I know the tendency is to think that if we just go back and do the things the way we used to do them, then we will once again be that kind of church.

But in reality, there is no formula for church growth.

The Spiritual Health Advisory Team, on the advice of our consultant, took the following approach.

The team began its work investigating the history of the church, dating back to the 1960s, when Randall was growing and the “cutting edge” church in the area.

We are no longer that.

So, the purpose of the study was to discover what has been happening in the Randall community that has caused the slow, but steady decline since that time.

We examined the pastorates of Pastor Lewis, Pastor Knappen, Pastor Tornfelt and my own tenure here.

What we discovered is that there have been patterns of behavior, by leadership and in the congregation, that are contrary to what we know is God’s will.

The reason we need to pay attention to this is that…

Churches establish patterns of behavior that are repeated generationally.

Have you ever discovered that you have a tendency to be like your father and mother?

You respond to certain situations the same way they did?

The reason is both genetics and learned behavior.

The same thing is true in a church family.

We learn to respond to situations by following the example of our spiritual elders.

We learned good things from them.

We also learned some not so good things.

It is important to identify the negative things because they are repeated, and we want to be the generation that brings them to a close.

Perhaps that sounds idealistic to you, and perhaps it is, theologically, since we are all sinners, and we continue to sin.

But unless we have a goal in mind, we will settle on repeating ourselves and saying, “oh, well – I just couldn’t help it.”

I don’t think that is very pleasing to the Lord.

The point in all of this is that our decline is, at heart, a spiritual issue.

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