Two positive observations following the Rangers’ season opener: 1) tonight will be better; it absolutely cannot be any worse, and 2) the Rangers are still mathematically alive. For Evan Grant’s five reasons Rangers fans should not be panicked today, click here.
In case you’re keeping score at home, Kevin Schaffer won our church office bracket contest and the free lunch and dessert that goes with it. Well, actually, his wife Michele won it for him. Kevin doesn’t know a Blue Devil from a Demon Deacon. On the strength of Duke’s come from behind win in last night’s title game, Vickie Nelson, our office manager, edged past Hannah McNeill for second place and the other free lunch. With all the guys on our church staff, three ladies finished in the top three. I’m glad Connie retired before she could fill one out.
One more sports angle: how can anybody ever trust a guy like Tony Romo? Doesn’t it say something about the guy’s integrity, his character, when he’s born and raised in Wisconsin, but shows up in Indy last night wearing Duke colors and openly cheering for the Blue Devils against his home state university?!? It would be like Troy Aikman flying to Atlanta to wear blue and white and cheer for BYU over Oklahoma. It makes no sense. How do you trust a guy like that?
In Ephesians 3, Paul prays this beautiful prayer for the Church. He prays about transformation: that God may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, that Christ may dwell in your hearts, that the church would be rooted and established in love, that we would have power together with all the saints, to grasp the love of Christ, to know the love of Christ, and to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”
The request here is that God would do a whole lot with the power that is at work in the Church. This prayer is not a wide open plea for God to demonstrate his power in the world in random ways and by random means. This is a specific request for God to act in spectacular ways through his Church. The transforming power of God belongs to us. So we’re not asking God to do great things while we sit in our church buildings and wait on it. And study it. And talk about it. The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talking, but of power!
God’s Church is on a mission.
In Matthew 9, Jesus asks his disciples to pray for workers to send into the fields. Pray about it, he says. This is what we want God to do, to raise up these workers. And then in the very next sentence, just one verse later, Jesus is giving them the authority and the power and sending them into those fields to do the work. You ever notice that?
Be careful when you pray. The answer to your prayer may be the power of God moving you to mission. If you pray for God to use your church or to work through your church, be prepared to get off your pew and in to the mission. Go ahead and pray for the hungry and the sick. Please pray for God’s will to be done in your town just as it is heaven. Yes, pray those things. And then open your eyes and your ears and your heart to how God wants to work through you to do it.