Summary: We are on the edge of incredible. Are we rady? Are we moving in the direction that God has for us?
The Church on the edge
The last few weeks we talked about being the church on the edge and how to get there and on the edge of what. What it show us even though it might be scary or way out of our comfort zone.
We talked about how the church has no walls. We can not worship the place we meet at but we can worship at the place we meet.
We talked about not owning the church—it is Jesus’ Church
We also talked about knowing where we were in Christ- in Him, clothed with Him. Last week we talked about being on the edge of eternity and how to be there with Anticipating, Expecting and Rejoicing, at His return and the edge of intimacy as we must be intimate with ourselves, Be intimate with others and Be Intimate with God.
This weeks Verse we will concentrate on is verse 18B the gates of HELL will not prevail against it (the Church).
But today I wish to talk to you about what we are on the edge of still.
Announcing itself with shrieking, 145-mph winds, Hurricane Katrina slammed
into the Gulf Coast just outside New Orleans on Monday, submerging entire
neighborhoods up to their roofs, swamping Mississippi’s beachfront and
blowing out windows in hospitals, hotels and high-rises. The night before
landfall, I remember the Mayor of New Orleans saying that this was the One.
The One we had all feared. The perfect storm. And it nearly was. He even
described it, on Sunday night, as a catastrophe of biblical proportions.
Even though the storm just missed New Orleans and slowed down just enough
before landfall, the financial tally of this storm may end up being more
than Hurricane Andrew. South Mississippi and Alabama were swamped by the
rising coastal waters and have been devastated. It is, at times like these,
that we need to take heart and remember these words: "For where two or three
come together in my name, there I am in the midst of them."
When we come together in pain: There He is with us. When we come together to
pray. He is with us. When we come together in compassion to help others. He is with us. Where do you find Jesus? That’s our question for the day. In Matthew’s
Gospel Jesus makes an incredible promise to us: "Where two or three come
together in my name, there am I with them."
Think about that. When a married couple kneels together beside their bed in
prayer, Jesus is there. When a family bows their heads to give thanks at the
dinner table, He is there. When a preacher has a prayer beside a bed in a
hospital with someone who is suffering, He is there. When storms destroy our
communities and we, Christians, bind together, He is there. Want to know where
to find Jesus? Here’s the secret: Get together with someone else who is a
follower of His for the express purpose of studying His word, or worshiping
His name or lifting up petitions in prayer, or binding the broken hearted,
and He will be there, guaranteed! (ILL. Is from an E-mail I received on Friday, Thank you Mike)
Jesus also said in Matthew 28:20 He will be with us always
You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good
luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I’ve ever heard this
twist on the story. Gives you something to think about. The story goes:
Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend
the weekend at the husband’s employer’s home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on
the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.
The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this
rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband’s employer was
quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene
knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of
extravagance again so was enjoying herself immensely.
As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that
evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.
Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the
ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few
cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.
He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a
great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny?