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Strengthening Your Core

Acts 15:41 (NIV)
41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

 

After the important church council of Acts 15, Paul and Barnabas head in different ministry directions.  Luke follows Paul through Syria and Cilicia.  Paul’s purpose: strengthening the church.

I had a coach in college that insisted you were only as strong as your gut…that was long before “core training” became popular.  Church is no different: we are as strong as our core.  And here’s the core of the church…

Outreach – realizing what Jesus did for us wasn’t just for us and inviting as many as possible to join us.  What a joy last night to see so many folks involved in Boxes of Hope – we’ll feed and minister Jesus’ love to 153 families this Thanksgiving.  And you gave 148 gifts to impoverished children through Operation Christmas Child this year.  I talked with one family last night whose teenage girls voluntarily gave up their own Christmas presents to give to other children.  Wow!  We’re looking beyond our church walls…

Worship – realizing that God is worthy of our worship – not just our singing on Sundays, but in the way we live our lives.  It was such a joy to experience the move of the Lord at our Respond worship service last week – and for that powerful worship to carry over into Sunday.  When the worship team says “we’re done” and the congregation says, “no you’re not!”…that’s worship!  I’m hoping we continue to move to the place where there is palpable expectation of God’s move every time we come together…that no one will come late to church and there won’t be folks in the foyer talking and catching up for fear they might miss what God’s doing in the service!  We’re learning to worship…

Word – realizing that the promises of God are real and can be counted on…that you can build a wonderful, successful life on those promises.  Of course, as a teacher, this was Paul’s expertise.  He went from church to church saying: “Here’s what God says and here’s how it works in life.”  I’ll try the same thing for the next few weeks in our new sermon series, “Blessed.”  I will try to show you from Scripture how to walk in God’s supernatural favor.  We’re moving from knowing God’s word to learning to stand on God’s word…

That’s a pretty strong core.  There’s still work to do…I guess there always will be.  But we’re headed in the right direction.  May we continue to be strengthened.

I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.  Remember, God is the host!  Enjoy his company.

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