“God calls things that are not as though they were.” ~Romans 4:17
A red-letter day yesterday for the family of believers here at Legacy and in our history as a congregation of God’s people. The goal for Missions Sunday was to collect $150,000 to fund our local and foreign missions budget for 2008. And our Lord blessed us with over $209,000 in cash and pledges. And the number is still going up.
What a thrill it was to watch our little children parade with their Bible classes down to the front to announce and then to dump the money they’ve collected over the month of March for our missionaries. How amazing it was to be joined by our brothers and sisters at the Centerpoint church in Bagiuo City, Philippines via video and audio hookup and to see them and talk to them and wave to them and sing “We Love You With the Love of the Lord” to them, half a world away. And then to experience our Father opening our hearts and our spirits to sacrificially give like we never have before was beyond description.
Our God always out-imagines us. He always out-dreams us. We can’t think too big or plan too big for him. He always gives us much more than we can ever ask or imagine. How wonderful to consider the lives that will be saved, the souls that will be won, the people who will be reconciled to our God as a result of yesterday’s blessings.
And our Lord continued to pour out his blessings on us as he held back the rain and kept us high and dry at last night’s fellowship / assembly in our new, not-quite-finished-yet worship center. Nearly 700 of us ate dinner together in the new building and then worshiped our God in song and prayer. We read Scripture together. We confessed Jesus as the Christ and as Lord together. We imagined together all the baptisms that are going to take place in this building, all the weddings, all the singings, all the sermons, all the laughing, all the crying, all the seminars, all the love that’s going to be shared in this building. And then we asked our God to, again, blow us away.
I saw the Legacy church transformed yesterday. I saw all our same people, all our same brothers and sisters. But I saw us differently. There was a different spirit about us yesterday. The Lord was in our midst yesterday and he was working and blessing and inspiring and planning for things I can’t even begin to see yet. But he sees them. They already exist in his sight. Our God calls things that are not as though they were. And we’re beginning to see and to think like him more and more. And it’s exciting.
After we prayed together for all of the future things that would be happening for our Lord and for the Kingdom in this new place of worship, we wrote on the foundation. We wrote our favorites passages of Scripture. We wrote our prayers. We wrote our dreams for our church family. And we wrote the names of our children.
What an incredible day. What an incredible God!
It’s 10:30 pm Monday, my computer’s been down most of the day, and I’m still riding yesterday’s high. I just got out of a Small Groups Church Co-Leader training session with a bunch of couples who are leading new groups beginning this Sunday—new groups that are all multiplications of original groups who’ve grown beyond their capacities. And they’ve all experienced the love and the ministry and the sharing and the fellowship and the connection and the evangelism that takes place in a small group. And they’re all inspired to take what they have and spread it out into our congregation and into our communities.
And we give God the glory. He alone is worthy of praise for all the wonderful things that are happening here. He alone. In Romans 4, when Paul writes about our God who “gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were,” he says Abraham’s faith was strengthened and he “gave glory to God” because he was seeing the impossible-to-deny truth that our God has “power to do what he had promised.” Amen.
May our Father use us in his Kingdom. And may we submit our lives and our church family and our wills to him. May we be blessed with his Spirit and his vision. And may his will be done in the Legacy church as it is in heaven.
The only way I beat Whitney outright in my NCAA tournament bracket is if the Bruins beat those impossibly-loaded Tigers from Memphis State AND Kansas beats Carolina. I can salvage a tie if the Tarheels win and Tiger High loses. I can salvage a tie if Kansas and Memphis win and Kansas then takes the title. But if Memphis wins the championship or if Memphis and UNC both win their semi-final games, I’m toast. And then, I’m probably done. You can’t lose to your daughter in a college basketball tournament pool. I need Kevin Love to score about 40.
Michael Young drove one deep to put Texas up 1-0 in the Rangers half of the first inning in Seattle. And Millwood looked good into the 6th. But the Rangers lose their opener (SHOCKING!!) 5-2 to the M’s. Now, Kipi, they’re tied for last place in the American League.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) is my day in Waco with Jim Martin and some of the other central Texas preachers down there. So I probably won’t write again until Wednesday morning. I’ll reflect a little bit on this year’s Tulsa Workshop then.