"There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying.” Sarah Dessen, Just Listen.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, had a number of fears. One fear Wesley shared openly was a fear that one day Methodists would become the outer form of religion without the substance. Wesley was concerned that we would settle for good moral people who have good head knowledge. But, what we wouldn't have is a life-giving, continually transforming personal experience with God. Why would any of us settle for less? Sadly, I think many people have yet to experience the transformation Wesley was convinced we needed to become spiritually vital.
It may be helpful to begin asking one another questions in our committee meetings, class meetings and small groups such as:
How have you experienced God recently in your life?
How have you experienced God’s forgiveness or grace or compassion in your life lately?
How have you experienced God’s comfort or hope or support in your own life?
Or, how have you experienced God’s challenge or direction or will?
The question is not about how you came to faith years ago and it’s not about the history of Wheatland Salem Church. A robust faith is about your real life now and God’s part in it, today--right where you live. We cannot regulate our belief or our faith based on emotions or hardships or pain. In order for us to grow, we must allow our hearts to be affected by the things that affect God's heart. The world begins to change when we cry out to God. We need to cry out for leadership, direction, provision and for a heart that burns for people that are far from God. We do the things God blesses.
This weekend is commonly known as Faith Promise weekend. We pray and seek God's direction about future blessings he will supply in order that we supply the needs for mission partners on the front lines of Christianity all over the world. God may be prompting you to support our mission partners as a committed giver this year. Either way, you can make your commitment this weekend in worship. We sent out a Faith Promise Commitment card a few weeks ago that can be returned during worship this weekend. Seek what God is asking you to do. Fill out your card and bring it with you to worship.
What you do this weekend matters. It matters to the people who have yet to hear about Jesus Christ. It matters to those who serve as local missionaries as they work to serve God at the margins of society. What you do this weekend matters to those who believe strongly the Kingdom of God is at hand and will do all they can to make sure Kingdom goals are met. But, more importantly, what you do this weekend has the capacity to impact your own spiritual life. It matters to you. Your transformation is the reward of doing the thing God blesses and being part of the miraculous work of the Kingdom of God.
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? Matthew 5:14-15 The Message