I’m sitting before a white screen pondering the word and theme to build this blog around. Here it is. Transition /tranˈziSH(ə)n/ – “a process or period of changing from one condition or state of being to another.” Sunday marks one of those for our church. And for our dear friends Phil and Carol Lilly.
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There are rare occasions when the title and the theme of my blog go hand in hand. Today is one of them. As we moved towards the end of the year, we all were encouraged to come on strong in our giving to the Lord’s work through FBC. I am happy to report that our December finish was the strongest in years. That was much appreciated, and much needed as we carry forth the ministry God has called us to at FBC.
I am especially happy to report that our contributions to mission ministry beyond these walls were stronger than it has been in many years. In the weeks ahead, we will highlight the lives that have been changed and the difference made by our focus beyond ourselves. I do believe that God takes notice of these things, blesses us, and presents us with more opportunities to extend the gospel and the kingdom. As a church family, we should be proud of and increasingly committed to funding and participating in such worthy ministries.
I do want you to know as we move ahead, the need to fully fund the ministry we envision here will only grow. And it should. I would hate to think that we would have so little vision, so little boldness and commitment that we would be limited by what feels easily within our capacity. In fact, that is the heart of the matter. No ministry whose scope is determined by what a church is easily willing and capable of doing will approach that to which God designs. And where God provides, God provides. And most often, he uses his people to do it.
In this coming year, I am increasingly committed to boldly setting forth the directions that God would have us go and the mountains he would have us climb. I believe with all my heart that God has a special mission in mind for this church in this place and this time. But it is not a mission we will stumble into or realize on our own. With God’s direction and the aggressive faithfulness of his people, his will will be done. I believe that. And it will take far more than money to bring it about, but it will not happen without significantly more financial resources than we have now. That’s just the truth. But so too, is it true, that with increased success, excitement over wins great and small, changed lives and marked progress, God’s people are more than apt to step up and fulfill our God-sized challenge. I believe it because I believe in God and the work he has specifically called us to. And I believe in my people. Looking forward to the journey ahead, all it will bring, and all it will demand.
There’s a unique song on Kyle Matthews’ Christmas album. I think it is the last song on there – if not, it should have been – and behind some killer piano licks, he talks about the days following Christmas. He reckons, as do I, that the days following Christmas are days meant for following Christ. We have spent a month or better getting to and from Bethlehem. Now what? In a word – FOLLOW.
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