I can almost smell it now! My mom’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, were the best. When my mom was cooking the aroma was almost intoxicating and I knew something good was coming. A gift from her heart, a blessing of love, prepared by precious hands, with care for those she loves. I miss my momma and her cooking!
God has prepared for us out of His rich love and mercy a beautiful blessing of love --- SALVATION through His Son. Jesus was the ULTIMATE and FINAL sacrifice for sin once and for all (Hebrews 10:12). His sacrifice stirs in us a sense of gratitude, love, service, giving, and sharing. Our graciousness honors His sacrifice and pleases our Heavenly Father. Listen to the Hebrew writer as he shares God’s word in 13:15-17 - “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
We have the opportunity to give financially so the gospel can be shared locally and abroad in order to bring others into a saving relationship with God through Jesus our Lord. We also have the opportunity to be pleasing to God not only by giving but also by obeying our elders (God’s Spiritual Shepherds) in the requests they encourage us to participate in concerning HIS WORK in the Fulshear Family. A big request right now is to continue to sacrifice weekly and give for our new building. Meeting our weekly budget is paramount to ultimately building our new building. Also, PLANNING to sacrifice for our next quarterly Special Contribution (May 19) is essential to our missions and new building.
Remember, God does not require us to give what we don’t have but to certainly have a willing heart to do what we are able (2 Corinthians 8:12) knowing that He loves our gift (2 Corinthians 9:7) and that it is a Sweet Smelling Aroma to His throne of Grace and Mercy. You see, OUR GIFTS are a sweeter aroma than my mama's fried chicken and definitely better because when we give to Him we smell just like JESUS and that is a fragrance that God loves.
Listen to Paul in these two passages, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2 - “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14).
Our Lord not only says but shows that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Let’s follow His lead!
A college professor told of being invited to speak at a military base one December. On arriving, he met an unforgettable soldier named Ralph. Ralph had been sent to meet him at the airport. After they introduced themselves, they headed toward baggage claim. As they walked the concourse, Ralph kept momentarily disappearing. Once it was to help an older woman whose suitcase had opened up. Once it was to lift two toddlers up to where they could see Santa. Another time it was to give directions to someone who was lost. Each time, he would return with a big smile on his face.
“Where did you learn to live like that?” the professor asked. “During the war, I guess.” Then Ralph told the professor about his tour of duty in Vietnam. He described his job – clearing minefields. He said he had watched friends be blown up before his eyes – one after another.
“I learned to live between the steps,” he said. “I never knew whether the next one would be my last, so I learned to get everything I could out of the moment between when I picked up my foot and when I put it down again. Every step I took was a whole new world. And I guess I’ve just been that way ever since.”
May we all strive to be people who live BETWEEN THE STEPS.
1 Peter 2:21 “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an
example, that you should follow His steps”
There are things that we must continue to do and maintain in order for the church to grow in the city of Fulshear. The beauty in the body of Christ is that God uses everyone in a slightly different way to help the church develop a healthy, mature, and strong body for growth.
In his book, THE PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH, Rick Warren says “….since the church is a living organism, it is natural for it to grow if it is healthy…If a church is not growing it is dying...” We definitely have a desire to be healthy, vibrant, active, and growing in Fulshear.
It is essential that we know where Are We Going. There is an old saying if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. People are drawn to a purpose, mission, and vision. We get excited about being a part of a church that is making a difference.
Creating an Inviting atmosphere is essential for growth. We need to be proud of where we attend and worship! Providing an environment that is comfortable, encouraging, exciting, and Biblical is vital to our growth. When we are excited it permeates throughout the congregation and spills over into the community.
Developing a welcoming experience will help us make a great first impression. There are not many things more awkward than for a visitor to be ignored. We must look for and be aware of our visitors and help them to feel welcome and encouraged. We need everyone on board with looking for and encouraging our visitors when they come - Jyusef calls this “the swarm!”
We must enjoy the ride. If we don’t enjoy the ride then we will become disgruntled and that do harm to the growth of the body. Whether you are a senior member, youth group member, or somewhere in between, we must enjoy what we are doing. Spending time with God is what fuels us and serving Him is what satisfies us. “Don’t get so caught up in the ministry of the Lord that we forget the Lord of the Ministry.” He is walking with us and we will go hand in hand with Him!
God is depending on you and me to do our part so that we can grow together!
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
It’s hard to believe that almost a month ago our elders (Mike Pawlik and Robert Vaughn) stood before us and talked about a FRESH NEW START as we began a new page in our history as the Fulshear Church of Christ.
Our average attendance on Sunday morning jumped up last month (6 week average of 116). Last week was an exception (holiday weekend) with an attendance of 95 for our Sunday morning worship (previous 5 week average was 121) with 37 of our regular attendees not present. The end of January and most of February was definitely an exciting month for members and visitors coming to Fulshear to worship the Lord.
Last week was also our first SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION for 2019. The REGULAR contribution combined with the SPECIAL contribution was almost $23,000 for the total. What an amazing display of faith for our future plans. Your support for this Fresh New Start was expressed and very exciting.
The FIRST rendering of our brand new facility was presented which was the culmination of years of prayer, planning, vision, and hard work. A Fresh New Start with the anticipation of a brand new facility for our Fulshear Family was definitely momentum building.
Last week also brought us NEW FAMILY MEMBERS and BAPTISMS. Jason and Jill Martignoni were baptized into Christ for forgiveness of their sins last Sunday afternoon. They are a wonderful couple with open hearts and a sincere faith. And on Wednesday night close to midnight Steven Miedke was baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of his sins. He too has an amazing love for the Lord.
We are excited to welcome our new family members with open arms into our Fulshear Family. This Fresh New Start has been a massive blessing to our wonderful family. We praise God for the providing this major increase and look forward with eager anticipation of what He will do in the future. Our cup is truly running over!
We shouldn’t be surprised by all of these beautiful blessings with this Fresh New Start because we serve a God who can do the impossible. Loving These Good Times And This Fresh New Start!! Always Remember — A HEALTHY BODY GROWS (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Immeasurably more. Those two words are packed with incredible POWER and POTENTIAL. Notice how the apostle Paul
describes the POWER and POTENTIAL of our God to do Immeasurably More. He said God “...is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
First, understand that God is able to DO whatever He wants. Do You remember in Matthew 3:9, when John the Immerser said to the Pharisees, “that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones? This is not just a cute saying but rather a massive truth about the POWER of God who actually created a beautiful world and even life itself. Certainly our creator has enough power to transcend a human mind that He created. This amazing God has the POWER to destroy both body and soul because He is able to not only give life but also take it away (Matthew 10:28). This amazing Creator is able to protect and keep that which belongs to Him (John 10:29). Our Magnificent God is also able to provide for us a glorious inheritance (Acts 20:32). God is able to sufficiently give us the grace needed and supply us with the ability to do the work He has in store for us in Fulshear (1 Corinthians 9:8). Thank God that He more importantly able to SAVE our souls (James 1:21).
Second, consider that God has the POWER to go above and beyond. Paul uses words like EXCEEDINGLY, ABUNDANTLY, or Immeasurably MORE which promote the idea that God is not bound by natural parameters or boundaries. We would say that God is LIMITLESS in what He can do! Would there be a point during the creation of the world where you would say, “God, have you thought this through because you can’t do this or that idea or thing is above your measure of doing? NO!! Because God can by His POWER do more!!
Finally, notice that Paul tells the church in Ephesus that God is actually working in and through them to accomplish His will. What were the Christians at Ephesus capable of doing? Immeasurably More! Why? Because God was working in them and there are no limitations with God and there is no need to limit a LIMITLESS GOD. The effects of their works touch our lives even today in 2019 in the great state of Texas!! How amazing is that? They never dreamed in their wildest imaginations of a place called Fulshear, Texas and that their work would touch us.
What is the takeaway for us? God is able to do Immeasurably More (an amount not measured by human standards) to work in us (beyond our human limitations) an amazing work that will cause the city of Fulshear to stop, take notice, and glorify our Great God. Don’t limit God’s ability to go beyond our wildest dreams. Dream BIG for God to shake this place and turn it upside down. Let’s get to work doing this amazing thing for Him because He has already placed the POTENTIAL in every one of us to do IMMEASURABLY MORE!