Sunday Recap 7-12-09

What a difference a week makes! Last week was July 4th weekend and attendance was LOW. This week we were back up closer to normal…actually about 40% more folks.Here are some highlights and a recap of our teaching:

  • We had a great worship gathering. Introduced Jerry Davison as our new Creative Arts Pastor. Great to have him on board!
  • The band did an awesome job yesterday. Lots of energy and very engaging worship. Set up the message very well.
  • It was great to see so many people back @ The Ridge yesterday
  • We recognized and honored TEACHERS and all those who work in the school system as HEROES. Thank you guys for all that you do!
  • We saw two more people follow Christ in believer’s baptism…a husband and wife! That NEVER gets old! By the way that’s TEN baptisms in the last 4 weeks!
  • Had a great response from people handing out water and glo-sticks at the Paulding Co. Fireworks show Saturday night. I LOVE our volunteers @ The Ridge! You guys are awesome and you totally “get it” when it comes to the Great Commission! Angie Pruett did a great job of organizing for this event!
  • Several people attended Sunday as a result of the Fireworks outreach. One person came with his family and put his faith in Jesus for the first time!!! THAT’S why we do those things! Awesome!
  • In our teahcing time, we looked at the “Unwavering Heroes” of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Love studying these guys!

What makes Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego “HEROES” boils down to two words: UNWAVERING INTEGRITY. Integrity comes from the same root word as Integer which is a whole number. If someone has integrity, they are whole. They aren’t scattered, or fractured in any way. They are consistent…unwavering.

Godly integrity doesn’t waver …because of its foundation, it’s devotion to prayer  and it’s unconditional obedience to, and trust in, God. An unwavering Hero can only be so because of an unwavering faith in an unwavering God.

Talked about a guy I knew growing up, who was a missionary and was recently martyred in Mauritania in NW Africa. Read his story HERE. Chris Leggett was a young man unknown to most of the world.  Just a few weeks ago, Chris was brutally murdered by Al Qaeda assassins in Mauritania. He and his wife and four children had lived and ministered in Mauritania for 7 years. The group taking responisbility aired their motive for the slaying on the Arab satellite station Al Jazeera  saying:  “Two knights of the Islamic Maghreb succeeded Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. to kill the infidel American chrisleggett4Christopher Leggett for his Christianizing activities.”

The Mauritania Minister of Justice said Chris’ death “was a great loss to Mauritania.” The Minister also said Chris was greatly loved and respected by the people of the West African nation.

Chris’ father Jay, Leggett said this after the funeral:
Our family’s great hope has been that Chris will not have died in vain, but that through his physical death, thousands will continue to be challenged passionately to join him in demonstrating God’s love. We now know that that hope is being honored based on the comments of many who visited us last night. Our family again thanks everyone for their prayers and eagerness to share ‘Chris Leggett stories’ regarding how he touched their lives.We continue to request your prayers during this difficult time. May Chris’s memory be lifted up — but only for the glory of God. To God be the glory, to God be the glory, great things He has done and great things He will do.

What kind of person becomes a “hero of the faith?” One who doesn’t waver in their faith. One who like Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Daniel…and Chris Leggett…and maybe even you…can say:

17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)

Is there an area of your life where you have wavered in your faith? …in your walk with Christ?  Has God been trying to get your attention, but you have simply fallen back into a default comfort zone? Maybe it is in a specific area of obedience to Him…maybe it is in a relationship that you have decided to bail on…maybe it is in some selfishness… maybe it is in some habit…maybe it is in the area of laziness toward God…maybe you have wavered long enough on whether you are going to put your faith in Jesus Christ and follow Him with all your heart….

We are called to an unwavering faith in an unwavering God. THAT is what makes us a hero of the faith. It isn’t something WE can do…it is something only GOD can do. And you can’t just decide now that you won’t waver anymore. It has to be day to day and sometimes even moment to moment. But one thing you can be sure of, He will never leave his faithful children alone. When Nebuchadnezzar looked into the fiery furnace, into which he had just had the three young Hebrews thrown, he saw something that blew him away…

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Jesus Himself was with them…IN the fire. Trials in our lives don’t give us character, they reveal it. Jesus doesn’t always deliver us from the fire, but refines us through the fire.

Whatever you are facing right now, FIRST put your faith in Jesus..who will never leave you nor forsake you…THEN don’t waver in that faith because you can know that He NEVER wavers!


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