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Summary: Examines the way the Lord has blessed our church.

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THESE THINGS WE HAVE

This morning I would like to draw on just part of one verse as the primary text for my message.

> Matthew 16:18 …I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. We have in this verse, a picture: a picture of 2 kingdoms. There is the kingdom of Satan, represented by the gates of Hell. We have another kingdom: the kingdom of God on earth, represented by the church.

In this verse we have another picture, a picture of a battle between these 2 kingdoms. In this verse Jesus says, “My Kingdom, My Church, will overcome.” There is nothing the Devil and his henchmen can do to stop the growth, and the expansion of God’s Kingdom.

Think of the many things the Devil sent against the 1st century church, to try and stop it. In Acts chapter 6, the Devil had Peter and the other apostles arrested an imprisoned, but God sent an angel to open their prison doors, and the next day they were preaching again.

In Acts chapter 7, the Devil sent dissention among the believers; over the way the widows were treated in the church. So, God had deacons appointed to help in the Lord’s work. Next we find persecution arising, and Stephen being stoned. So, Jesus turned Saul, that great persecutor, into a preacher.

Next we find confusion over whether or not Gentiles can be saved. Again God works by giving Peter a vision and telling him to go with the Gentiles. He preached to the Gentiles, and they were saved and included in the church.

Herod had James killed and Peter imprisoned, planning to kill him as well. That night, an angel opened Peter’s prison doors, and shortly thereafter, God killed Herod.

Move and counter move. The Devil attacks, and God whips him. Jesus says, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. Devil, send all you can, but I’ll whop you every time!”

Nothing the Devil sends against the church can stop it, but we can stop ourselves.

Almost 7 years ago, God gave a vision to a number of people in the Deltona area. He gave them a vision and a burden to start a new church. At the time, He also laid a burden on my heart to move back here to be a part of this new church.

Next Sunday, we will celebrate the 6-year anniversary of our first public worship services, held in this very room. At that time, the only space we had available to us was this one room. We’ve come a long way since those early days and there are many things we still don’t have, that we would like. We don’t yet have a building of our own, large enough for us to meet in on Sunday mornings. We don’t yet have the resources to have many of the ministries we would like. We don’t yet have a place where we can hold various classes and meetings during the week. But there are several things we have, God has provided, that I would like us to think about this morning.

THESE THINGS WE HAVE

1. We Have a Great God – We have a great God. We have a God Who is mightier, smarter, and more loving, than all of creation put together. John wrote in

>1 John 4:4, Great is He that is in you, than he that is ion the world.

We have a great God Who loves and protects us.

2. We Have a Great Mission – Jesus says, “Go into all the world and make disciples of every nation.” We have a vital mission, with a call on all of our lives. Jesus has given each of you, the job, the task of representing Him in the world. You are to be salt and light. You are His ambassadors, showing the world what your Savior is like.

My friends, we have a vital mission, a mission of utmost importance. You and I are to be reaching and teaching. We are start at home. Then we are to reach our neighborhoods. We are to reach our communities, our nation, and our world. The call of Christ is placed on each of us.

3. We have great blessings. Do you realize how God has blessed us since He started this church?

a. The school - I know of other new churches that would give their eyeteeth, to be able to meet in a place like this, and pay what we do for rent. We meet in a comfortable school, where we enjoy heating and air conditioning about 49 weeks out of the year.

Since we began meeting here, this school has had 4 or 5 different principals. Each of them has been willing to work with us to some extent or another. After 9/11, when many schools, out of fear, no longer allowed outsiders to meet on school grounds, the Lord protected us here. Several of the principals have allowed us the use of additional rooms that they have not charged us for, like the closet we store our stuff in, and the hallway we use as a nursery.

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