Summary: This sermon was preached on our 11th anniversary as pastors indicating the changes which had taken place in the life of the church.
It’s A Different Day
What is it about God, that God is always planning, always loving, and always seeking to do a new work in the lives of His people and His church? What causes the Lord to look into the future and place wonderful opportunities in our paths or to close doors that would lead us to disaster? What is about God that He would rather work slowly through His people rather than simply speaking the word and making it so? God delights in the growth and spiritual maturity of His people.
It was eleven years ago, that God placed us together with this congregation and issued a call upon our lives as a body. As we look into the Scriptures, we discover that when God called Abraham, Abraham was not anybody special. He had not done anything great in the eyes of anybody. There’s nothing in the Bible to indicate he was super spiritual. He was not wealthy, he did not have any great faith about him. He was 75 years old and the prime of life had seemed to pass him by.
The one thing that made Abraham stick out, was when God issued a call upon his life, Abraham responded. It was a new day for his life. But he could not begin the new day of living, without letting the old days pass away. God began His call to Abraham with the word "leave." God said "leave your country, leave your friends and relatives, and leave your family’s house that you grew up in and go the place I will show you."
God then gave Abraham six promises. "I will make you into a great nation. (2) I will bless you, (3) I will make you name great and you will be a blessing, (4) I will bless those who bless you (5) I will curse those who curse you ( 6) all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Now from the beginning what God was telling Abraham, seemed a little unbelievable. How could God make him a great nation, when at age 75 he did not have child the first?
Toby & Rick
When Abraham went and shared this good news with others, they did not think he had it altogether. They asked, "Well where are you going?" I don’t know yet, but I’m leaving here. How are you going to have children at your age? I’m not sure but God told me it would happen? How in the world can all the people of the world be blessed through you, you cannot possibly speak everybody’s language and TV has not even been invented yet.? Look, God told me it was going to happen. I know that I will not be what I use to be any longer. Today is a different day from yesterday, and it will never be the same again.
When God called us as a church with a new calling 11 years ago, the call and promises He made to Abraham, were promises He made to us because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 11 years ago, some people had our church in intensive care, thinking that when the life-support plug was pulled, we would have a peaceful death. But they did understand the power of being resuscitated by receiving and responding to the call of God. You see it does not matter if others have written you off, when you say yes to Jesus, you discover yesterday does not matter, because whenever Christ comes in, it’s a different day.
The church which many had given up on was being called by God to demonstrate to the entire Presbyterian denomination, that God was not through working in Presbyterian churches. Whereas many inner city churches are closing, by responding to the call of God to leave what was behind us and journey into another place, we have discovered the blessing and the love of God in ways we could not have imagined.
What were some of the things we had to leave behind us. We left behind us the idea that God could only be present in church for 59 minutes. That was then, but today is a different day. We have discovered that the Spirit Of God can stay in church up to two and half hours for some services. We have left behind us the idea that it’s the pastor’s job to do the work of the ministry. That was then, but today is a different day.
We are equipping everybody to know the bridge illustration of leading people to Christ, because if we do not know the bridge illustration, how can we even begin to fulfill our purpose which is to bring people into a right relationship with God. The ministry is to be done by all those who know Jesus Christ, and everybody is being equipped to do something.