God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)
This week I attended the annual Midwinter Pastor’s Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Once a year my denomination creates a space that brings over 1,000 pastor’s together from around the world. We experience uplifting worship, engaging speakers, collegial opportunities and workshops to keep our competencies strong and our understanding informed by current shifts in culture that are impacting the church.
We spent time in prayer, so much time in prayer, and our voices were lifted to the One who is reminding us to trust beyond what we can see. ECC President Tammy Swanson-Draheim shared, "God is not bound by the constraints of our finite minds, or our sometimes dwarfed spiritual imaginations, or the limitations of the content of our prayer. God delights to surprise us with immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!"
And in this time, what did I and others pray for? For Eden Church, for each one of you as the Lord brought you to mind. It was easy to think of all the ways we serve the Lord, one another and our community as I listened to the Holy Spirit speak through our brothers and sisters in the larger family of God.
I could hear God affirm the ministries we have planted, the love we are growing to share and the vision we have to be a mission church. I heard the echoes of Eden within the larger family of God saying we are focused on the main thing: To know Jesus more intimately, Love Jesus more intensely, and follow Jesus more closely. Why? So we can do our part in God bringing heaven and earth together again.
I heard God saying this will not be easy and will take sacrifice, a commitment to one another and Christ’s Church and open hearts asking to be filled with God’s love and passion for each person. And I hear God say, it will be messy but we will be inspired as we hear the stories of the lives transformed because we kept the main thing the main thing.
What I heard reminded me and so I want to remind you. God is not calling us to compete with other churches. We are not competing to reach churched people, we are doing everything we can to reach the unchurched. With our doors open to all, from all faith backgrounds or no faith background at all, our greatest witness is to share His abundance of love and BLESSing.
From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. John 1:16-18 NLT
As we make God’s Word central to our every day life, pray as we go and gather in community for encouragement, loving people along the way, I have no doubt God will surprise us too. From His abundance, God will do immeasurably more!
See you Sunday!
Praying for Surprises,
Reflect: In the history of the Covenant there was a question that was brought up often as they met for small groups in their homes. As they studied the Bible, feasted around the table and prayed they would ask each other, “How goes your walk?” How about you?
Spiritual Practice: Is there something you can bring to God in prayer and ask for that “immeasurably more.” Where in your life or in the life of someone you know do you see the need for God’s abundance.
Gather: How are you experiencing God in the 730 Bible Reading Plan? Remember, you don’t have to walk it alone. Join a Life Group, Sunday Study Group, or Triad and find out what it’s like to be mission friends with others on this special journey.
If you would like to listen in on some of the inspiring messages given at Midwinter click the link below and get ready to be encouraged.
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