As I returned from cold Ohio last week to sunny Florida, I was struck by the Cedarville University’s president’s observation that windows influence students’ behavior when light is allowed into a classroom. Discipline problems are lessened and morale is increased! Humans thrive on sunshine. After all, when the light of the Gospel shines into the darkness of our lives, we are changed. Let me open some windows to let in the light on our goals and plans for this winter season.
After their exile in Babylon, the Jews were allowed to return to Israel and rebuild the Temple under Haggai and Ezra. Even though it was delayed for 16 years, God said, “My Spirit remains in your midst...consider from this day onward” what must be done (Haggai 2:5). Acknowledging God’s past mercy, calling, provision, and anointing, we are grateful stewards of His ministries and facilities and will obey Him with unity and determination: “Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it” (Ezra 10:4).
We are encouraging our church family by prayer, fellowship, and communication to know “the mind of Christ” and the “unity of the Spirit” for the glory of the Father: “I took courage, for the hand of the Lord my God was on me” (Ezra 7:28).
We are also equipping the church to gain new vision for personal growth and kingdom impact through a variety of Spirit-led vehicles.
We are also enlarging our ministry sphere this winter by stressing missions commitment, “with one mind striving side-by-side for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27). This involves prevailing prayer, diligent witnessing, faithful stewardship, and community outreach.
We are enhancing the sacred space of our Worship Center as the House of the Lord. It should reflect the value which we place on the glory of the Lord and His glorious Gospel. You are receiving a special brochure this weekend concerning our desire to be “All In.” As “servants of the God of Heaven and earth, we are rebuilding the House of God” (Ezra 5:11). We have ministered to over 3 million people in this space over the last 16 years and touched thousands by live streaming, radio, and social media.
We are enabled by the Lord as He releases resources through faithful people who exhibit giving-living. We give to missions and support the weekly ministries of our church through “the freewill offerings of the people who vow willingly for the house of their God” (Ezra 7:16). Let there be light!
Whether members or attenders, may we be ALL IN...FOR HIM, FOR THEM, FOREVER.