Summary: This is a sermon we preached on our 18th anniversary at the church. It challenges us to Rise Up And Choose Christ. It’s our theme. Watch the video or listen to the audio version at www.glenvillenewlife.com.
Rise Up And Choose Christ
Today is the celebration of starting our 18th year in ministry together. We praise God for God’s working in and through the life of this church to make a difference for Jesus Christ. How many of you can say that Jesus has made a difference at some point in your life during the past 18 years? How many of you can say that being at Glenville has enriched your life and your growth in the Lord? How many of you can say you have something to be thankful for, because of the move of God in and through your brothers and sisters in Christ?
18 years ago, there were many who doubted we would be here today. Some thought the work of God was done through this place. Some thought the church should close. Some thought the time had past. But thank God for others. Others who dreamed there was yet a future? Others who believed a fresh move of God was possible.
Others who believed and claimed that passage of Scripture which bodly proclaims. Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV) 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men and women stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
For the past 18 years, we have been learning on how to hope in the Lord. Some translations use the words wait upon the Lord .To “wait” or to hope on God means to look to God and to depend upon God. We wait by actively serving God in allowing God to do what God wants to do in and through our lives. We are launching today, our theme for the year. Our theme is “Rise Up And Choose Christ” which is shortened to RUACC. Say Why am I wearing this button.
You have been given a button to wear so that others might ask you the question what is RU-ACC at GNLCC. You are to tell them that God has called us to think before we make decisions, and in so doing we are to rise up above the situation and choose Christ’s will for our lives in this particular situation. For those who wait upon the Lord shall rise up with wings like eagles. Only then can we look down and see things from God’s perspectives. Tell your neighbor, “You need to rise up, and see things from God’s perspective.”
One of the hard things for us as believers to deal with is to do the right thing, and end up having things go to pieces. Have you ever said to God, “Lord I was trying to do it your way and look at what happened”? We like to think that when rise up and choose Christ, it means everything will go smoothly.
In the past 18 years, we have risen up as a church to choose Christ, but it did not mean we did not have some difficult encounters along the way. We rise and choose Christ, because in faith we believe that God is a good God, who loves us, and whatever God’s will for us in a situation is, it is better than what we would choose on our own.
We rise up and choose Christ so that we can demonstrate God’s love and mercy in a given situation. We rise up and choose Christ because our actions will either help someone to know God or will turn someone away from God altogether We rise up and choose Christ because we desire to please God more than we desire to please ourselves. Can you tell me what’s the difference between a chicken and an eagle.
Of course I can. Eagles know how to fly gracefully. Chickens do not. There are plenty of chickens walking around plucking at whatever they might see. They put in their two cents here. They run around squawking over there. But God has not called you to stay on the ground and pick and pluck and squak. God has called you as an individual and we as a church to rise up like an eagle, maintain our peace and our flight, and choose Christ.
In our New Testament reading Paul and Barnabus had been telling others about the life and power of Jesus Christ in the city of Iconium. Some of the people became angry with them for speaking boldly in the Lord. God granted them power to do some miracles so the crowds started gathering. This produced a lot of jealousy among those opposed to the gospel. The enemies of the gospel got together and planned a secret plot to first mistreat Paul and Barnabus and then to stone them.