We’ve been talking a lot lately about the church gathered and the church scattered. God has really been giving us new language for what our mission is and why we exist. We’ve been talking a lot about our desire not to be the best church in our city but the best church for our city. (Thank you Alan Scott) This has become my favorite quote! It jacks me up! It is in essence our mission statement in different words. If we are not extending the Kingdom, we’re really not doing what we’ve been called to do. And I don’t know about you, but I want to be effective. I want to be a part of moving God’s Kingdom forward. I’m really not interested in being a part of a club which is in essence what we are if we are not walking out of Church on Sunday on mission.
This is exactly what is happening this week for sure!
On Sunday every family in our church was invited to be a part of this great mission of “Extending God’s Kingdom.” The direction was simply to take the envelope home, ask Holy Spirit to lead us to someone we could bless and pray for. I was so excited to be the person to cast this vision to our church family and I was even more excited to read the first story that came in. See below. Oh… and don’t forget to share your story with us. Please email how God used you this week through your simple act of generosity. Stories can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today at Heartland Vineyard Church we were given an envelope containing money and instructed to allow the Lord to show us what to do with that envelope and who we could bless. Before I even left the church, a friend came to me saying that he felt led to give me his envelope based on my current situation. As I walked to my car, I knew I needed to add that gift just given to me to the envelope I grabbed to give away.
The Lord has blessed me and I knew with certainty that I was being led to give both envelopes away. So I prayed, “Show me Lord, who needs this”. I stopped at the 9th street KwikStar and saw this lady pumping gas. As I approached her, I explained what I had and that I was being led to her. She instantly started to cry and tell me that I had no idea how badly she needed that! I asked if I could pray for her. She allowed me to do that and I let her know how unconditionally loved and accepted she is by Jesus.
I still had the other envelope, still convinced I was to give the gift away. I proceeded to walk into Kwikstar and saw this young woman struggling to carry 5 loaves of bread to the counter. I stopped her and told her my name, and how this gift that was given to me was meant for her. She instantly started to cry and tell me how her boyfriend had just gotten laid off. I hugged her and told her she’s loved and God Bless! What an amazing experience, God is So Good!
This is what it’s all about peeps! We have been blessed so much. God has been so good to us. Now… let’s give it away! Let’s make Jesus famous together in this city as we express his great love.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.