Isaiah 43:18 – 19
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland"
God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His truth endures through the ages and will continue to do so, but God still does new things! We live in a world and society that can be considered as a "spiritual desert or wasteland". We read about all that's 'wrong' in the world...poverty, suffering, crime, corruption – the list is endless, yet amongst all this there's hope. A hope that is greater than what we can ever imagine – the hope of Jesus! He is our stream of LIVING water in the desert – and in our day and age HE is doing a new thing!
We know that familiar portion of scripture in John 3:16 that says: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life". Jesus' heart is for all people to know him! And his chosen vehicle to tell the world about this hope is the Church, and as the Church he has commissioned through the power of the Holy Spirit to continue the work he began – to be HIS hands and feet in this broken world – to make a difference, to teach people and equip them for serve Him – to be the hope visible in this day and age.
What is the Church? Very simply put, ordinary men and women, who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour and now aim to do his will as contained in scripture. We don't always get it 'right', we're fallible human beings, yet we serve an extraordinary God in whom all things are possible and he has given each person a gift to build up the Church (1 Cor 12:7). Each Christ Follower is significant in the extension of God's kingdom and so he has sent us out (Matt 28:19) and promised that He will be with us!
And so, God has been leading me on a journey that stretches over 4 years to plant a local church that aims to be a passionate community of believers, who radically love God, people and impacts the community and the world. The heartbeat is to LEAD PEOPLE IN A GROWING RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS" whilst creating an environment where people do life together!
If an analogy of music can be used:
If each Christ Follower represented a music note... a note on its own does not bring out the richness of music. Add two more notes and you have a chord...already sounds a bit better, but add a whole lot of different chords in succession and arranged in a unique way and you have a beautiful melody. This is in part the design of the local church – we're all adding to God's melody, all functioning in a different way, but arranged by God to bring out the fullness of his plan for his Church.
In saying this, each of us needs to understand what our part is to play in the story – hence God places us in community...community that does not only happen once a week, but throughout the week. A community that shares and does life together! (as stated in Acts 2:42 -47)
Simply put, a community:
- Fulfilling the Great Commandments (To Love God & Love people),
- Living out the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20)
- Through being the Acts 2:42 community
God is doing a new thing. He is busy growing our faith...stretching us to see HIS will accomplished where he has placed us.
Someone once said: "It's better to be a follower who sometimes fails, than to be one who fails to follow"
I believe God is calling us to a passionate faith in Him, bringing HIS hope to the world!