I just wanted to send a note and let you know how blessed I am to be your pastor. Martha and I are so grateful to serve a church family that has a heart for hurting people and is willing to go “above and beyond” to make a difference for God. We are closing the chapter on the IMAGINE vision and we want to say THANK YOU! Because of your faithfulness and generosity we are in a position for the vision God has for us this year and beyond.
Earlier this year I shared with you that our vision for the next two years is IMPACT. I feel the Lord leading us to take a HUGE step forward as we expand our outreach to Raleigh and South Africa.
Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This past weekend we had our IMPACT Commitment Weekend and hundreds of families turned in their commitment cards to pray and give above and beyond their tithe to support this vision. If you haven’t turned your card in you can do so this weekend or bring it by the church anytime during the week.
This weekend is our IMPACT Celebration Weekend where we ask the church family to bring your first offering to help us take a huge step forward. There are some urgent needs especially in reference to Mganduzweni, South Africa. They desperately need us to build a well to provide clean water, food for the children, and other needs as we start a new church in this village of 170,000 people. I would ask that you pray about what God would have you to give.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Martha and I love you so much! And I can’t wait to see what God does in us and through us! Together we can IMPACT the world!
Ephesians 1:3-5 (NLT) “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
This verse tells us that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing! This is not so we can just live safe, comfortable lives. He blesses us so that we can make an IMPACT on the lives of others. One of the many ways we are going to do that is by Impacting Africa!
We also read in this verse that we have been adopted into God's family through Jesus. Without Jesus, we are all orphans, but by His grace we are called His own. Adopting you gave God great pleasure! Imagine the joy it brings Him when we put our resources toward extending love to orphans, widows and those who don't know Jesus yet! Mganduzweni, the village we are adopting, is a village of 170,000 people! God knows each one of them by name and we get the opportunity to show them the love of Christ!
Pastor Matt reminds us often that everything we have comes from Jesus, is distributed by Jesus and belongs to Jesus! And, all the results of what we do are credited to Jesus! Because of Jesus, people who have never had hope before can know what it means to have eternal hope! Because of Jesus, widows can know everlasting love. Because of Jesus, orphans can know the love of their Heavenly Father. And because of Jesus, we as a church can make a Kingdom Impact!
Dave Ohlerking, founder of Children’s Cup, always said, “Hope’s name is Jesus”. When we bring Jesus to the people of Mganduzweni, we are brining HOPE!
Today, thank God for the spiritual blessings He has given you. Give him all the glory for what He has done in your life and what He is going to do through your life. Thank Him for the plan and purpose He has for C3 in Mganduzweni and how He is going to use us to make an IMPACT!
Remember, it's all because of Jesus! Let’s make an IMPACT together in Africa!
Today as we focus on Impacting Africa, I want to encourage you to let yourself imagine for a few minutes how blessed you are to live the life that you been given. Even in our hardest times, we are blessed with all the things we have at our fingertips…family, food, shelter, clothing, a great church, the freedom to worship, etc. More blessings than you can possibly count when you really think about it. Now think for a moment of those that are less fortunate than you…no guaranteed meals, no stable home, little to no clothing, family that may or may not be in their life. It’s heartbreaking. But the good news is we have the opportunity to bring them the greatest thing of all….Jesus! As a church, we will be meeting physical needs as well as spiritual needs in Mganduzweni.
Matthew 25:40, “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
Whenever we serve, whenever we give, whenever we pray, we’re making a difference. The IMPACT of our serving, giving, praying and going will have an eternal, Kingdom impact. Jesus will be made famous and the good news of the hope found in Him will change you, as you surrender to His will, and those you are serving. Not all of us can travel to Africa but we CAN do something!
In Ephesians 3:17 it says, “Then Christ will makehishome in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
So today, remember as Christ has made His home in your heart and you trust Him on a deeper level that the love you’ve received, you will commit to spread to others. The strength you have gained from His love, you will use to strengthen others. And, the blessings you have received, you will turn them into blessings for someone who has yet to hear of His love.
Prayer Focus: Pray today that God will use you in ways that you have yet to dream about. Pray He would deposit new dreams and desires in your heart and that you would be obedient to step out in faith to be and do ALL that He is calling you to. Together, we can make an eternal IMPACT!