This Fall At Restoration City

Fall At Restoration City.jpg

These are really special days for us as a church.

It’s Wednesday morning and I’m still celebrating everything we saw God do this past weekend.  We planted Restoration City for days like last Sunday – days of salvation and days of celebration.  By God’s grace, the dream of a vibrant community that loves Jesus, one another and this city is becoming a reality.  And I believe God has so much more in store for all of us.

Over the last weeks, I’ve been praying the heart of 1 Thessalonians 1:5 over our church; that the gospel would come to us “not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”  Yes, it’s important that we sing the gospel and preach the gospel on Sundays.  Yes, the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rm.1:16).  Yes, our church is shaped by the gospel.  But if that ever becomes simply text on a website or doctrine in our heads, we’re in trouble.

I’m praying we will hunger and thirst for the power of God in our lives, in our church and in our city.  That’s what we need – the Holy Spirit of God to save sinners and send saints.  We need the rushing wind of God’s grace and love to blow through our Community Groups.  We need to be caught up in something so much bigger than ourselves. Something that can only be explained by the power of God.

I believe God wants to use 1 Thessalonians 1:5 to shape not just one weekend at Restoration City but this whole fall.  We’ve got an incredible few weeks ahead leading into ServeDC on October 27-30th.  I’m praying it’s a season of new life in Christ and new boldness in mission.  I’m praying we’ll be carried by the power of the Spirit like never before.

Will you join me in three simple commitments for this fall?

  1. Regularly praying 1 Thessalonians 1:5 over our church and your life.
  2. Boldly engaging with those around us who don’t know Jesus.  Invest in their lives.  Invite them to church.  Introduce them to Jesus.
  3. Welcoming those who are new to Jesus or church into our Sunday gatherings and Community Groups.

Nothing profound.  Just simple ways of participating in what God’s doing in our church and city.

I’ve never been more excited about what God is doing through our church than I am right now.  I pray we steward this season well.  I pray we’re able to hold out the grace and truth of Jesus in a way that’s worthy of the God we love so much.  I pray we see Him do what we can’t even imagine.  And I pray we never lose sight of the privilege it is to be a part of this together.

Someone Greater

greater

I used to think leadership and spiritual growth were all about becoming self sufficient.  The goal was to become the guy with all the answers, the guy who could get it done and inspire others to do the same.  I honestly saw being a husband and father the same way.  But the longer I walk as a husband, father and pastor, the more I realize my insufficiency.

I need someone to lead me – to point me in the right direction, tell me what to do and hold my hand from time to time.  I need someone to empower me when I do know the right thing to do but can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other to walk down the road of righteousness.  I need help doing the very things I most want to do – loving the people around me, delighting in God and living for His glory.

I need someone greater.

That might sound like weakness to you.  But it sounds like wisdom and experience to me. It also sounds like the soil in which faith grows.

The Bible unfolds the beautiful story of Someone greater.  Someone who speaks universes into existence but knows my name.  Someone who holds the stars in His hands and counts the hairs on my head.  Someone who is high and lifted up but dwells with the contrite and lowly.

Jesus.

If you’re feeling weak, tired, inadequate, afraid or overwhelmed, just know this: Jesus is for you.  You don’t have to have it all together.  You don’t have to be amazing.  You don’t have to have it all figured out.  He does.  And that’s more than enough for today.  He’ll lead you, empower you and help you.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

I’m okay with not having it all together.  In fact, I would rather depend on the One who created the heavens than try to get it right on my own.  He’s always going to do better than I am any way!

Need someone to lead you today?  Read the Bible and allow God to speak His Word into your soul.  Need someone to empower you?  That’s why God has placed His Spirit inside those of us who belong to Jesus.  Need someone to give you a whole new heart?  That’s why Jesus died on the cross – to pay for our mess and give us His righteousness.

Lift your eyes.  There is Someone Greater.  Everything changes the moment you realize He’s for you, not against you.