VISION SUNDAYS AND BEYOND
15.09.16 | PAUL MANN
Our God is amazingly faithful and good. The Israelites had just fled from Egypt and seen God’s incredible miracle of parting the Red Sea so that they could pass through on dry land, before it crashed back together, covering the Egyptians who were chasing them, enabling the Israelites to escape.
In chapter after chapter of Exodus, we read of the faithfulness of God: any need that His people had, He looked after them.
Yet the one thing that seems almost as consistent as God's miraculous provision is the people being quick to grumble and moan! In fact, within three days of the Red Sea parting, they were grumbling and complaining, as if they’d forgotten what God had done! Actually, moaning was frequently the Israelites’ first response.
It can be ours, too, and we can think it doesn't matter that much. We can imagine God isn't that bothered. After all, everyone does it! But actually, God says to Moses: "How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?" (Numbers 14:11) The truth is that grumbling and complaining poison the root of faith. And God wants our faith to grow!
God has been so incredibly good to us. He has done amazing things in our 40-year history, and even in just the last five years we have seen 76 people baptised in water, 110 people respond to the gospel, church membership grow by 60, and our Sunday attendance has risen from 350 to 450. These statistics represent numerous individuals who have had they lives changed by God.
Not only this, but we've also seen the building completely transformed and now busier during the week than on Sundays! We've become more community-focused, too, with Community Groups, the Foodbank, partnering with other churches to run the local CAP Debt Centre, being part of Hastings Borough Council's Anti-Poverty Group, and many, many other ways.
Our eldership team has also grown – we didn't back off or consolidate, but even with just one elder, we pushed into so many new things we felt God was calling us to, and now our eldership team has grown and there's a real diversity of gifting among the team.
There's no doubting God's goodness to us. He has done far more than we asked or imagined. And reflecting on all that He has done – even just over the last five years – causes our faith to rise for what’s coming next!
Listen to the first sermon in the What's Next? series and download the life application here.
Posted by Paul Mann
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