Hello Wave Collective,
I shared this message recently at Wave Church and know it will also bless you.
A LIT VERSE IN A DARK CHAPTER
Message by Ps Steve Kelly
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Romans 12:3-13 NIV
Paul is saying to us;
– Don’t think more highly of yourself than you should
– You’ve got to work your gift
– Appreciate we’re all members of one body and we’re different
– Hate what is evil, cling to what is good
– Honor one another above yourselves
– Be devoted to one another
Verse 11 tells us to “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
When you stop serving God, you start lacking in zeal. Stop blaming your circumstances or other people for not loving your church anymore – it’s your responsibility!
Paul also tells us to be intentional in 3 qualities;
1. Be Joyful in Hope
2. Patient in Affliction
3. Faithful in Prayer
*Your LIT VERSE in a dark chapter;
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11 (NIV)
August 14, 2003 was the day NYC and the east coast experienced a black out. The Crown Plaza Hotel at LaGuardia Airport was in total darkness, but the Marriott Hotel across the street had power. When asked why that particular Marriott Hotel was the only one with power, the response from the manager was “this hotel was built with a gas generator.”
They had power on the inside that is not controlled by the circumstances on the outside! We have something within that’s overriding outward circumstances!
In Jeremiah chapter 29, the people were in a dark place. Verse 4 says they were sent into exile because they sinned against God. Their financial situation was desperate and they were forced to live in a godless place called Babylon. Even the preachers of the day were lying to them saying God will help you today or tomorrow.
In a dark chapter you can have a well-lit verse. IF YOU’RE NOT IN A DARK CHAPTER NOW, IT MEANS YOU JUST CAME OUT OF ONE OR YOU’RE HEADED TOWARD ONE!
Life has dark chapters. If you’re in a dark chapter – I’ve got a well-lit verse for that dark chapter.
The whole book of Jeremiah is one of judgment, negativity, darkness, depression, bad memories, and bad mistakes. The lit verse is that God gives you a future and a hope.
Hope is always future orientated. It anticipates where you are going, not where you are. The rear-view mirror is critical for what’s behind you, but your windshield is essential to see where you’re going. God’s plan is good!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
God is saying come to me first. Who do you go to first?
God is the planner who has the plan. We want the plan of God without the person of God. We have people who want a full-time plan and a part-time God.
What we are facing in the political arena isn’t about politics – it involves politics, but it’s not about politics.
In today’s world of confusion, God uses the situation to draw us close to Him, wants us to lean on Him, to become dependent on Him.
“For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress.” 2 Chronicles 15:3-6 NIV
In those days there was no true God, no true teachers, priests or law. City rose against city, nation against nation.
V4 – In their distress they cried out to the Lord and He let them find Him.
God will use the darkness to break us of our independence and drive us to Him.
You can have darkness in a family, a city, sometimes in a church and even the nation, but it’s only when we seek God with all of our heart that we find Him. God has a plan for us and it starts with the church. Everything God does from heaven He starts in the church. It starts in Gods House – not the White House!
How can we be joyful in hope when we are in a dark place? Because God has a plan.
How can we be patient in affliction? Because God uses the darkness to drive us to Him.
How can we be faithful in prayer? Because it’s darkness and affliction that drives us to God.
Remember Sodom and Gomorrah. It was destroyed not just because of the sin of the sinners, it was also destroyed because the righteous couldn’t be located. Lot was a typical American Christian – only concerned with his personal peace and influence.
He didn’t win his own sons in-law, his wife or daughters. His wife remembered Saks 5th Ave Nordstrom’s and she was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back. His daughters had incestuous relationships.
If Lot kept his wife and daughters and sons in-law in faith, that would have made 10 righteous and God would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah.
God wants full time Christian’s not part time saints. This matters for our children and the future nation they will live in.
“I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:14 NIV
God wants our undivided attention. Don’t give up until you look up.
HOPE MEANS HE CAN GIVE ME BACK WHAT I LOST EVEN IF IT’S MY FAULT I LOST IT.
I pray these few powerful words will encourage and inspire you to seek God’s wisdom.