Posted by: pastortomvabeach | July 17, 2013

Thought for the Week July 21, 2013

What a joy it was to have Peyton Harris here on Sunday. Peyton and Clover have been our friends since the beginnings of Christian Chapel and, as he shared, they received their call to serve overseas while members of this church!

There were a couple of things he mentioned on Sunday that relate very clearly to the outreach that we have planned in just two weeks. We will do our first (in over 20 years) Backyard Bible Club, a modified vacation Bible school that is held right where the kids live instead of at the church. We will be working alongside a military member who will host the outreach in the military housing area that is closest to our church. What an opportunity to serve!

Going back to Peyton’s message, he talked about the guys who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus, and saw three pivotal thoughts. If you remember the story which is recorded in Mark 2, and Luke 5, Jesus was teaching in a house and so many people were gathered that it was impossible to get to Him through the door. Four men lifted him up onto the roof, tore a hole, and lowered him down right in front of Jesus.

Peyton shared these significant thoughts that apply to us as we reach out into our community. First, a team, working together, brought someone to Jesus who otherwise could not have gotten there on his own. Think about it, isn’t that how the gospel goes out all the time. We work together planning, preparing, studying, praying and go to those who otherwise wouldn’t find Jesus. Many of you have already joined the team and are getting things ready. Others are handling logistics and all of us should be praying. This outreach will not happen if it’s not a team effort by the whole church. What is your part? We still need many workers. Have you stood by the team in prayer. Let me know how you can help.

Second, Peyton mentioned that the team had to take a risk to get the man to Jesus. It’s pretty risky climbing up on a roof but imagine tearing a hole in someone’s roof. How risky is that? And what if Jesus ignored them? Going into the local community to serve children where they live is risky. There is a lot we don’t know. How many kids will show up? Will we be able to handle the crowd? What if it rains? How much will it cost? What if one of us messes up our part? These are only a few questions that could come up. But we must understand that the risk is always worth it when we bring someone to Jesus. Are you holding back because there is some risk involved? Well, join the team. We’re all in the same boat! We need you.

Lastly, and I think most importantly, when they let the man down before Jesus, His heart was touched. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:5) When we work together as a team and take the risk of bringing someone to Jesus, you can be assured that God’s heart will be touched. Notice that Jesus spoke to this man’s deepest need. He didn’t say, “Be healed of your paralysis.” Instead, He saw how far the man was from God because of his sin and said, “You are forgiven.” Friends, this is why we are going forward with this adventure in the community. So many don’t really know that their greatest need is to be reconciled to God and freed from the guilt and penalty of sin. God’s heart goes out to them and He commands us to let them know.

Admittedly, we are a bit behind in our preparation for Backyard Bible Club. I didn’t get the ball rolling soon enough. But it’s rolling now, the team is picking up speed, and regardless of the risks and questions, we want to bring kids (and their families) to Jesus. I believe that God’s heart will be touched and many will come to Christ during the outreach and in the weeks and months that follow.

The first and foremost way that you can be part of the team is to pray. Will you begin to lift up every team member and ask for the Lord to help them prepare and then anoint them as they perform their functions July 31 to August 2? Would you pray for the children that will come and ask the Lord to prepare their hearts for the gospel? Then would you consider joining the team that will go. We have lots of opportunities for you to serve. It will be Wednesday through Friday, July 31 through August 2, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Anyone, adult, teen, pre-teen, can help. Let me know and keep praying.

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