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Summary: Our annual "State of the church"address

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The Spirit in the Church address

Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ

May 19, 2002

Those of you who know me well know that I really like politics. Some people chart March madness and the sweet sixteen. While I chart who is ahead in the presidential primaries. I am probably one of just a few people who really anticipate the state of the union address. When that day comes I usually get a big bowl of popcorn and sit back wit a soft drink. I like to know where we are as a country and where our leader is planning on taking us in the next year of his term.

But I’m not the only one who likes to know the plans that that are in the forecast. If you follow Wall Street you will find that there are a number of people who devote their lives to discovering what the stock market will do. What is in store for our future financially? Or perhaps that’s not your thing but one thing is sure. We like to know as much as we can possibly know about tomorrow. You don’t have to look any further than your own local weather service to find that out. In fact we make plans based on what the weather is going to do. If we were to get a report that it was going to snow tomorrow some of you would cancel plans you have made and some of you would pack up the snowmobile and anticipate one last ride before the summer. If it’s suppose to be a nice day you may have plans to go to the park and grill out while spending some time with the family.

The bible is clear that we do not know what the future holds but we can be certain in the one who does know what adventures, dangers, and obstacles tomorrow will bring. While we have this confidence in God, the Bible also reminds us that we are not to become lazy. That we need to seek God’s guidance, wisdom and insight and listen to the plans he has for our future.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. 9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

The bible is packed with people and churches who God wanted to use. And while we are to be ready because the day of his return may come at anytime we are also not to become lazy, passive or apathetic. So we are to consult God to impart His wisdom to us and be ready and involved to carry out His plan for our future. I hope you have consulted God about your future. But I also want to take some time to lay out what we believe to be God’s direction here for us as a Church unit. Then once we understand what His desire is the next thing we must do is to commit these plans to him.

Psalm 20:4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.

One of the great texts of the bible is found in Jeremiah 29 Where God is reassuring His servant about his future .Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God’s blessings did not stop with Jeremiah. We believe that God has great plans for the future of this church and everyone in it.

Over the past year we have seen some incredible growth here in Farwell. We have seen growth in almost every way that it is possible. I want to say right up front that I am glad to be a part of what God wants to do here and is doing here but the reason we have seen so much growth is because the Spirit of God is alive and well in this church today. My fellow followers today the Spirit in this church is strong!!!

In the past year we have seen numeric growth across the board from our worship service to bible studies to areas of Christian service. We have seen growth in our leadership as Christians have matured and join the ranks of those who are on the front wall of defense, decisions and policy making here at the Farwell. We have seen a personal growth as people who once were strangers are now being accepted as friends and close family in the fellowship of believers. We have seen our minds expand as we looked for ways to broaden our ministry impact in this local under churched community. And we have seen personal spiritual growth as people really grasp onto the vision of the church and strive to become more like Jesus.

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