Faith Initiative

This Sunday, is not the end, but really just the beginning of our three year journey @ The Ridge called a Faith Initiative. We have been preparing for this for a couple of months now and we are culminating the whole “start-up” phase with our First Fruits Offering tomorrow.

First of all let me say THANK YOU to all those who made a commitment to the Faith Initiative @ The Ridge. Just over 100 families and individuals have thus far pledged over $495,000 over the next three years! WOW! Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and provision through His people…the church!

I am very excited about what God is going to do in the near future. He is opening up many opportunities to increase our capacity and reach many more people here in our community and beyond! It is going to be exciting as we see what the Lord does with what you have committed. We will begin, as soon as possible, to do some of the initiatives as the Lord provides and leads us.

As with anything we commit to, there has to be a starting point. That is why this Sunday, May 17 is our First Fruits Offering Day. This is the day to begin giving our commitments to the Faith Initiative. We will take our regular offering (please remember that our regular tithes are still important, necessary, and reflect our faithful obedience to the Lord), THEN at the end of the gathering, we will take up our First Fruits Offering. It is going to be a HUGE day @ The Ridge! I believe this will be the beginning of some of our most significant days of ministry in this community thus far! Sunday is going to be a catalytic day!

Come prepared to give some portion of your Faith Initiative pledge as a “first fruits” offering as we all begin our commitments this week.

Let me encourage you to PRAY without ceasing about what God wants to do among us and in us as His people here @ The Ridge. The enemy wants to see NONE of this happen and will use everything at his disposal to distract, discourage, divide, and destroy the church of Jesus and render us disabled and ineffective. Do not let disunity and confusion to come in to what God wants to do in and through each of us. PRAY for God to bring unity to His church and keep the enemy from having ANY foothold.

I know that there are a couple of people who have said that the whole Wild Goose Chase theme was not very clear to them. If that is the case, please let me clarify. In no way to I want to be unclear.

We are taught in scripture to follow Jesus. We are taught that the Holy Spirit came, after Jesus ascended to heaven, in order to guide us and direct us and comfort us. The analogy of the wild goose is just that, an analogy. In no way are we espousing the ancient Celtic traditions (which were off base in many ways, but that’s another post for another time).   While the reference to a “wild goose” isn’t  directly from scripture, it was simply used to illustrate the mysterious, adventurous nature of following the Holy Spirit’s prompting and leading in our lives. Yes, the Holy Spirit of God lives in each of us as Believers from the moment we put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

There is a mystery to the Holy Spirit that we will never understand…that’s where faith comes in. The idea of “chasing” the Holy Spirit simply uses a synonym to describe the intensity and passion with which we should follow and pursue His leading in our lives. The Holy Spirit is not “out there” somewhere for us to find in a fog and chase as if He is illusive. If that is what might have confused some, please understand that isn’t the case at all, nor was it intended to be implied.

To pursue the Holy Spirit, means to follow His leadership, as God speaks to us by the Spirit through prayer, the Word, the Church, and circumstances in our lives (never in contratiction to the Bible by the way).  It means that if I have put my faith in Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit indwells me and directs me and leads me. If He is leading, then I am to FOLLOW. I want to FOLLOW with a radical commitment and a reckless abandon…I want to PURSUE Him with all I have…I want to CHASE after His leading with my whole heart. THAT is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. THAT is what we meant when we used the analogy of the Wild Goose Chase in our Faith Initiative.

So, I’ll ask you what we asked at the beginning of this entire experience a couple of months ago. What are YOU chasing?


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