first Sunday recap of 2011

Well, it was a good day as we kicked off 2011 @ The Ridge. We had a family worship gathering with our kids and adults all together as we started our new schedule of one worship gathering today. The kids were really good too as we gave them some activity sheets to use during the worship gathering.

The band did a great job with some of my favorite worship songs. Love these guys and their heart for ministry and leading worship!

Attendance was down still with the holidays wrapping up, but was still stronger than expected. We saw several new first timers and some other folks returning that we haven’t seen in a while. That was good to see!

We talked about being “stuck” this past year and getting “unstuck” in 2011 by looking at the story of Paul’s shipwreck on Malta in Acts 27-28 . This is one of only 3 places that the word “stuck” is found in the Bible.

Think about that verse where we find the word stuck…

But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf. (Acts 27:41)

Have you ever felt like that? Stuck, going nowhere and life, circumstances, other people are just pounding your “stern” to pieces!?

 Paul was quite familiar with finding himself “stuck” in many different situations. He was shipwrecked…more than once…imprisoned, stoned, beaten, impoverished…and on and on. But let’s look at what Paul did in this particular situation. Because you see, this “stuck” was of God.

In this situation we see that Paul…

  • prayed (v. 23, 35)
  • was confident in God (v. 25) and boldly proclaimed it
  • remained obedient…& called those around him to be too (v 31)
  • trusted God (v 24,34)
  • looked forward not back …there were no “what ifs” even in the face of a bad decision (v 21)
  • he knew that they would have to run aground in order to get where God wanted them to be . Paul would later write while he was in prison in his letter to the Philippians 1:12  Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[a] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. Paul understood that his circumstances were under the sovereignty of God and were for His purposes.

Here are some insights that I believe is applicable for us today on how you and I can get unstuck in 2011…

  • acknowledge you are stuck…don’t just sit around in a rut
  • Walk in the light…don’t try and make it through or figure it out on your own strength and in your own wisdom and understanding…walk in the light. During the storms, lean hard into God and His Word. Listen to Him.
  • Decide…to be disciplined this year…in your walk with Christ, in prayer, in church attendance, in your giving, in reading God’s Word, in serving the Lord.
  • decide that you will not wallow in being stuck. Don’t let pride keep you stuck.
  • Give thanks in all circumstances“There are no what ifs in God’s kingdom” Thank God for everything! Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
  • look at it from His perspective. Seek God’s perspective on your circumstances. Trust in His sovereignty.

Here’s The Thing…To get unstuck, I need to wait on the Lord, trust Him, listen to His Word, and do what He says.


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