Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Challenge, Part 2

A challenge isn’t a resolution and as such, I pray that this challenge is more successful than most resolutions. Most resolutions are forgotten soon after they’re made. As a matter of fact, it’s become a joke in our society to see how quickly resolutions are broken. I trust these challenges won’t end up in the Trading Journal with all the exercise equipment in a few months. Yesterday I listed my upward challenge to Brushfork Baptist Church. Today I will list the outward challenge. Although the order is not sequential, it is important. A natural by-product of a healthy upward relationship with the Lord should be a healthy relationship with those He cares so deeply for.

The first part of the outward challenge is to institute and participate in a bi-weekly churchwide visitation program. I know, I know—we’ve tried that before…. Well, we’re going to try it again. Visitation is not the sole responsibility of the pastor and deacons. It is a loosely structured way for everyone to become comfortable doing what we’re called to do. If we’re going to pray that God will give us Mercer County, then we ought to be willing to reach out to Mercer County.

The second part of the outward challenge is to support and participate in a mission trip as a church. A few weeks ago, we heard a report on a local team’s mission trip to Central America. Local teams have also gone to Cuba, Ohio, Kentucky and other parts of West Virginia. I want each of us to put our missions education and giving into practice this year by either going on a trip or financially supporting one.

Had enough? Is that enough of a challenge for us? Now is the time when the Ronco infomercial spokesman comes in with his classic voiceover—“But wait, there’s more!”

Tomorrow I will post the final challenge for 2009—the inward challenge.


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