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Summary: As the Lord has blessed each one of us to enter into a new year, 2010, I have been in prayer and have found myself very contemplative about the healthy and consistent spiritual growth of this congregation. Looking back over 2009, it is probably evident t

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Evangelist Herman E. Wesley III

LORD MAKE US A STRONG CHURCH

Acts 4:23-31 (NIV)

The Text

On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

" 'Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.

Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

INTRODUCTION

As the Lord has blessed each one of us to enter into a new year, 2010, I have been in prayer and have found myself very contemplative about the healthy and consistent spiritual growth of this congregation. Looking back over 2009, it is probably evident to all who seek to view things with a spiritual focus, that we have allowed our intensity to wane, our commitment to decrease, and our creativity to be compromised by a preoccupation with the things of this world, and a misappropriation of priorities. What’s really important. When I use the term, “misappropriation of priorities,” I simply mean that those of us who have been baptized into Christ did so willingly, not under physical threat or compulsion, other than that of the Holy Spirit. we voluntarily committed our lives to Christ, and, using a spiritual metaphor, put our hands to the plow. It is important to note here the words of Jesus, when He says in Luke 9:62:

"No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

As a matter of fact, The Word of God is clear on this subject of falling back into the pattern of the world being distasteful to God, for Peter writes to the early church in 2 Peter 2:20-22:

“If they (speaking of Christians) have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."

And, so then, it is safe to conclude that the will of God is not that we would get in the church, and maintain the same lifestyle, values and actions that identified us before we were voluntarily and willingly baptized into Christ. We are to be witnesses to the world of Who Christ is, What Christ offers and Why a Life apart from Him is a life that is without power, and without hope and without promise.

No matter how high your bank account, how large your home, how prestigious your accomplishments, without Christ, your life is nothing!

No matter how big your heart, how generous your spirit, how deep your love, without Christ, your life is nothing! Are you hearing what I’m saying?

No matter how deep your thoughts and how profound your conclusions, without Christ your life is nothing!

And to have Christ in your life correctly dictates that you have a healthy, abiding, spirit-filled, cooperative and progressive relationship with His Church! His Church is important, His Church is necessary, and His Church is the vehicle where God shapes you and makes you and equips you and challenges you to serve!

What good is a father, who serves everyone outside his house, but won’t lift a finger to serve those in his house? What good is a mother, who nurtures the young in her community, but won’t nurture the young in her house? What good is a child, who shows respect and understanding, who takes directions from those in the street, but refuses to take directions from those who are called to care for them in their own house? God demands from us solid, consistent growth! He has given us spiritual leaders to assist us in this journey! He has sent His Son to provide hope, sacrificed His Son to provide redemption, and given His Son a seat on His Right Hand to give us power. God wants, indeed, God needs a strong church, and the prayer of NorthPointe in 2010 is, “Lord, Make Us A Strong Church!”

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