Okay, this was a fun Sunday, full of lots of focus on lots of different ministries of our church family.
First off, Caleb Bruhn shared a big “Praise God!” and a hearty “Thank you!” to all of you who participated in our Neighborhood Garage Sale this past weekend (whether in setting it up, donating items, or purchasing items on Saturday). Thanks to all of you, we were able to raise over $2,000 to help support the Missions Trip to Haiti coming up next month!
Second, we honored Peggy Peryam for all of her years of hard work with Women Ministries with the Covenant. But it wasn’t just our congregation -- we nominated her and she actually received an award from the national level of the ECC’s Women Ministries.
Third, we highlighted the lifetime of missions work by Paul and Linda Erickson and their family in Bolivia and MissioNexus and other ministries. They aren’t exactly retiring -- Paul referred to it as “redeployment” to some job that still makes money to provide for his family -- but they are officially stepping off of the missions field. So Paul led an Adult Sunday School class, Linda helped with JMETs, and they both shared a bit in the service.
Fourth, we celebrated with Vanessa and Richard League about their recent trip to Bavaria (apparently, Bavarians really don’t like it when you refer to Bavaria as part of Germany... even though it really is part of Germany). Not only were they able to encourage and support our longtime FCC friends Igor and Vita Swiderski, but they were also part of an outreach to the community there in Munich that helped bring several people to the Lord.
In the message this week, we began a new series, looking at letting the Holy Spirit flow out of us in ministry to those around us.
Coming off of the Resurrection that we talked about last week, we looked just a little bit closer at the “Great Commission” that we usually think of as being in Matthew 28:19-20. The truth is, each of the Gospels (and the Book of Acts) covers bits and pieces of that Great Commission that Christ gave to all of His people to be ambassadors and disciplers to a lost world.
Mark tells us that He gave the command in the context of frustration that none of His followers believed or told anyone about Him unless He showed Himself to them and personally involved Himself in the process.
Matthew clarifies that God doesn’t just want us to tell others about Him, but to share our lives with others, helping them walk the walk that we walk as we walk the walk that Christ walked. We need to help build and teach new disciples, not just make new converts.
Luke (in both his Gospel and in Acts) reminds us that Christ told us that we shouldn’t do all of this in our own power, but that the Holy Spirit would fill us to overflowing so that we are fully equipped and empowered to do what God is calling us to do. John tells us that they’d received the Spirit long before Pentecost came, so what Jesus was talking about wasn’t just having the Spirit within us (as all Christians do), but moreso that we should immerse ourselves in the Holy Spirit so that we’re supersaturated with God in our lives, doing God’s work in God’s leading and with God’s power, rather than just muscling through in our own efforts.
So are you letting God fill you to overflowing, so that His power just flows out of you and into others?
Would you be willing to pray for that and open your heart to let Him work like that in you?