Summary: A Message of encouragement & charge to a church at the church’s 5-year anniversary

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5 Year Anniversary of River of Life Church

- Read Luke 8:22-25

Jesus and His disciples climbed into a boat. He told the apostles, let’s head to the other side of the lake. After telling His disciples where to take the boat, Jesus laid down and went to sleep. He had been teaching, He had been ministering to crowds of people; crowds so large that His mother and brothers couldn’t even get to Him. Jesus was worn out, so He went to sleep.

Several of the disciples were fishermen. They knew how to handle a boat, so as Jesus slept, they began sailing or paddling the boat to the other side.

Now, the lake they were on was known for fierce storms. With hardly a moment’s notice, the winds could sweep down from the cliffs, blow across the shallow waters of the lake, and whip the waves up into a frenzy. The disciples were accustomed to storms on the lake. They had fished there many times before, but this storm was something special. It was different. It was so bad the disciples got scared.

Oh, I believe this storm was unusually bad, because the Devil knew Jesus had an appointment on the other side of the lake. He knew Jesus was going to mess with the work he was doing on the other side of the lake, so the Devil brewed up an unusually strong storm; a storm so bad that the rain and the waves began filling the boat faster than they could bail it out. A storm so bad it brought fear into the disciples’ hearts.

What did they do with their fears? They brought them to Jesus. Jesus! Jesus! Wake up. Don’t you care that we are about to perish? Don’t you care that we are about to die?

Jesus woke up. He looked around. He examined the situation, and He spoke. He spoke to the winds, and they stopped. He spoke to the waves, and they stopped. Instantly, it became calm.

You see my friend, when Jesus has an appointment, when He has a plan, not all the storms in the world can stand in His way.

5 years ago yesterday, we held the first public worship service for River of Life Church. Back then, Wallace was the head custodian for Enterprise Elementary School. He unlocked the doors for us, showed us around, made sure we had everything we needed; and then, if I remember correctly, he went somewhere else in the school and painted. Back then, I was a bit intimidated by him; with him being as quiet as he is. Now, we all know he’s just a pussy cat.

In the past 5 years, we have seen a lot of things happen. Some who attended at the very beginning, no longer attend. It didn’t turn out to be the kind of church they thought it would be. Some who were with us in the beginning, have moved away. Others, have come, made a contribution, and then gone.

In the past 5 years, there have been times when the church’s finances have been great. At other times, they have been somewhat slimmer. We have tried some outreaches that have gone great, and we have tried other things that have failed. We have thought of building a couple of times in a couple different places. So far, we have constructed no buildings.

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