God’s Part – Our Part

Church Update
Well, I wish I could tell you that things are moving steadily along with the airport, but they’re not. I’m sure we will be in conversation with them soon.

However, a pastor from New Jersey called and emailed this week stating that they are very interested in our pews – at least 20 of them. He said the color is nice and they like the price! He’s supposed to call soon with a firm number.

I really appreciated all who came to the Vision Casting Service on Saturday night. I was encouraged, and I hope you were, too. If you haven’t answered the question I posed to you, make sure you get it to me soon: “What is the one thing you think God’s people in South Bend should be focused on right now, and what do you intend to do about it?” (Those of you not in SB, it’s OK for you to respond in reference to your areas as well.)

Personal Update
I would like you to pray especially hard for the next couple of weeks for my immediate and extended family. There are some things that we are doing, and we would appreciate your special consideration. Thanks

Scriptural Thought of the Week
We’ve been looking at Paul’s phrase of purpose in his letter to the church in Ephesus, “in order that”. Sometimes he has us do certain things with purpose. However, many times Paul used this to show God’s purposes.

“Husbands, you must love your wives, just as also Christ loved the church and delivered Himself over on her behalf, in order that she might be set apart having been purified by the washing of the water by word,” Ephesians 5:25-26 (my trans.) 

Here God allows Paul to give us an insight into His thinking and purpose behind Jesus’ death. His purpose, His goal, in doing this was that we collectively would be set apart and dedicated to His ultimate plan. This is possible because God’s Word properly understood and taught offers a life-changing purity we won’t find anywhere else.

Like a bride would go through a ritual purification washing before her groom came to get her, God’s intention is that the Church would be holy and pure before Christ, our groom, comes to take us to His home. He doesn’t want a “used” bride; He wants one who is pure and holy – “set apart from others as long as we both shall live”.

Are you doing your part to keep the collective Church pure and holy? What areas in your life do you need to have washed before He returns?

Quote of the Week
Since I am still working through Simpson’s book on personal evangelism (see right), I am more aware of statements that come up about that topic. Here are three quotes I came across this week in a newsletter I get:

“Elton Trueblood, the Quaker scholar, once compared evangelism to fire. Evangelism occurs, he said, when Christians are so ignited by their contact with Christ that they in turn set other fires. It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as fire that does not burn is a contradiction.

“Some people love to dwell near church with choir and steeple bell. But I want to run a rescue station a yard from the gates of hell.” (C. T. Studd)

“The young salesman was disappointed about losing a big sale, and as he talked with his sales manager he lamented, ‘I guess it just proves you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.’ The manager replied, ‘Son, take my advice: your job is not to make him drink. Your job is to make him thirsty.’ So it is with evangelism. Our lives should be so filled with Christ that they create a thirst for the Gospel.”

Quoted from: SermonCentral.com weekly e-newsletter, received January 8, 2007.

 

Until next time,

Dan’l

The comments in this blog are always the personal opinions of Daniel Goepfrich and are not meant to be taken as official statements of Oak Tree Community Church, its staff, or its members.

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