In this year of the revitalization of our congregations across the Southern Union, there are three critical prerequisites we may do well to consider.
Firstly, there is a faith power that God has intended we would have to accomplish the Gospel Commission.
“This is my prayer … that you may … realise [realize] how … tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God,” Ephesians 1:19, 20 Phillips.
“And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,” Ephesians 1:19, 20 KJV.
The Power of Faith
When a person rises up on the inside and begins to believe God’s promises, a force is released that is as real as your feet and hands are attached to your ankles and wrists. It is a force beyond human beings. It is the power of God, and it causes miracles to happen.
It is important to emphasize that to know God is to experience robust, available, and usable power. It is a power that is in your mind and soul, which flows outward through your thinking, your spirit, your actions, and your circumstances. And, when it is released, it brings a harvest to meet the needs in your life and in your plateauing or declining church.
Secondly, we may want to consider giving our failure to God.
“(God) grant … that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith … that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God,” Ephesians 3:16-19 KJV.
Giving Failure to God
Maybe right now you are doubtful that Jesus Christ can ever do anything with your life or your congregation. You may be without a job, or with a financial income that just doesn’t stretch far enough for your family or your church during challenging times of recession and inflation. You may have a nagging emptiness inside … a deep fear of the future because you don’t know what to do. Simon Peter and his partners faced this challenge. They had fished all night, and all they had to show for it were empty nets and an empty boat. And that’s what Jesus asked for — the loan of their empty boat. Peter gave his failure to Jesus, and was provided a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fish. Despite the shortfalls and failures of your broken life or declining congregation, surrendered failure to God can yield amazing successes and fulfilled dreams.
Finally, in our quest to be whole, and to revitalize our congregations, we need to understand that forgiveness elicits our own healing.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you,” Ephesians 4:32 KJV.
Forgiveness Elicits Our Own Healing
We all have faults, shortcomings, and failures. There are places where none of us measure up like we ought. There are days when we can sing and rejoice and feel close to God. There are other days when we feel that God is a million miles away. It’s hard on those days, and maybe we will say things we shouldn’t say and do things we ought not to do.
I implore us to consider this. Let’s be in an attitude of forgiveness. Don’t let your heart be hardened. Don’t let bitterness come between you and your brother. Accept the fact that you have faults, and the members of your congregation have faults. Just go ahead and love one another. Accept one another — annoyances and all. Forgiving yields joyous and productive living. –RCS
Southern Union | February 2020