Daniel concluded our Vision series this week by painting a picture of what Covenant could look like ten years from now. More than that, what would Pearland look like? If the members of Covenant committed themselves to planting and growing authentic gospel communities. If they shaped their lives around the call of Christ to make disciples who make disciples. What could happen? We can't be 100% sure, but we know it would be glorious!
We can brainstorm and plan and execute, but the mission and vision of Covenant to glorify God through planting and growing authentic gospel communities won't be achieved without the Holy Spirit. What are we doing, but asking dead men to rise. Only God can do that.
“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”” (Ezekiel 37:1–14 ESV)
Tim Ganger, looking to the example of the Acts church, called Covenant to respond to the vision of the church with generous, joyful giving. God has not only saved us, but he has given us the privilege of participating and furthering his mission to seek and save the lost. Everything we have, including our finances, can be used for worship and eternity.
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (Acts 4:32-35, ESV)
Covenant's mission is to "glorify God and enjoy Him through planting and growing authentic gospel communities." Dave began a three-week series which gives the strategy of our church to carry out this mission, beginning with the Sunday Gathering.
How do our Sunday Gatherings encourage and support and further our mission? Listen in to find out.
Paul tells us to follow his example, but his example feels so out of reach. How does he do what he does? It seems as if he has no fear. In 2 Corinthians, he explains that "the love of Christ controls him" (2 Corinthians 5:14). Yet, we are so often controlled by other loves.
Dave, preaching from 1 John 4, looks at the love of God in the gospel. He explains that the love of God controls us by freeing us from all fear.
It's a fundamental belief of every Christian that things are not the way they are supposed to be, that I am not the way I'm supposed to be. I need to change. Normally change is scary, but because of the grace and hope we find in Christ, you and I can embrace change. With Paul, we can "press on toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3), confident not in ourselves but in God who saves.
Dave calls us to change, explaining why, how, and where to begin. Please note: There's are three silent spaces in the audio which the congregation used for prayer. Don't fast forward, though! If you want change, you need prayer, too!