Going in to Sunday, I knew that I had a hard hitting sermon because I was going to talk about something near and dear to our hearts. At Eastview we looked at Acts 4 and the way the early church shared to meet each other's needs. I went in praying that God would move in the hearts and souls of our church to act on what was preached...you see, I knew that Pastor Shadrack and his wife Violet would be here meeting our congregation for the first time and that I was going to ask our church to begin our relationship by giving generously to the church in the slums of Nairobi Kenya with a special offering. I was praying for $40,000 to help them build a new church building and school. The total as of last night was $196,000! This is after we had taken our regular offering! Amazing!
the church in the first century generously gave to meet the needs in their church fellowship and so did Eastview last night - nothing's changed.
I pray for $40K and God completely exceeds my expectations by far....$196,000 - spur of the moment, last minute offering...c'mon...God is so awesome...just showing off...nothing's changed.
I believe that God works through his people by prayer and the preaching of the word...we prayed, I preached, the people gave...nothing's changed.
I believe that Satan tries to mess us up and discourage us (like when the Kenyan government bull-dozed the entire slum, including all the church, school, and orphanage in November) and God turns it into great blessing (like when Shadrack meets a church in Central Illinois and gets enough money to build beyond what they had)...God always does this with His church...nothing's changed.
I believe that when a church tries to do stuff for God (like some comments we got about building the well) people will not understand and may even criticize, but we will continue to move forward...nothing's changed.
The elders were led by the Spirit to see Eastview as a fearless church of Christ-followers whose ridiculous love and dangerous witness are irreisistible...and I think God wants to do this in us...nothing's changed.