Summary: Part 2 of an annual series on the conditio of the local church and direction for the New Year.
✎ Winnie the Pooh is once took an evening walk with his friend Piglet. They walked for a long time in silence, but Piglet finally asked, “When you wake up in the morning, Pooh, what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” Pooh responds, “And what do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what exciting thing is going to happen today.”
Pooh’s first thoughts turn to his tummy, while Piglet imagines the possibilities that are before him; “What exciting thing is going to happen today?” I wonder, who are you more like, Pooh or Piglet?
I fear that too often we are just like Pooh. We concern ourselves with our own desires and needs. Our tummies want to be fed; our heads want a Tylenol to deal with the stress. With a singular focus our thoughts often turn to all the things we need.
As believers we sometimes forget that God has promised to provide everything we need.
+ Matthew 6:33 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (MsgB)
Trust God and look for the incredible things He will do in your life each day. However, instead of “In God we trust,” our national motto should be, “What’s in it for me?” Let’s stop worrying about satisfying our tummies we should learn to be more like Piglet, “What exciting thing is going to happen today?”
Some of you will remember that last week I said beyond creation and the resurrection of Jesus Christ every miracle in the Bible involved a person. In other words, God doesn’t just show up on the scene and “poof” a miracle happens; God chooses to involve people in the process of a miracle.
God still works miracles in the same way today. God is looking for someone who is willing to do or say something to cooperate with God in a miracle. Our church will only experience miracles as we cooperate with God.
In last week’s message “The State of the Church” we looked at five truths as found in Matthew 16:18. Jesus said, “This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out” (MsgB). Quickly here are the five points from last week:
1. THE CHURCH IS ESTABLISHED BY JESUS. Jesus said, “I” (don’t miss the first word) “I will build my church.” Jesus is the ROCK upon which the church is built.
2. JESUS HAS A PLAN FOR HIS CHURCH. He said, “I WILL BUILD my church. Every building begins with the blue print. Jesus is the “HOUSE BUILDER” following the Master design for His Church.
3. THE CHURCH BELONGS TO JESUS. He said, “I will build MY CHURCH.” None of us died for the church; Jesus let His blood be poured out to purchase the church.
4. JESUS WILL PROTECT THE CHURCH. He said, “I will build my church, and THE GATES OF HADES WILL NOT OVERCOME IT.” Not even the very gates of hell will be able to stand up against His Church; Jesus will protect His Church.
5. YOU AND I ARE THE BUILDING MATERIALS OF THE CHURCH. Jesus is not using 2x4’s and bricks to build the church. The church is built as God transforms ordinary men and women into the image of Jesus Christ. We are the church.