Relying on God: Sept 5th - 11th

This Week & Beyond...

FALL PRAISE & WORSHIP SCHEDULE!!

You may or may not have read your email, but the fall praise & worship schedule is out!  It includes all Sundays till the end of the year.  Please take some time to check it out.  When it comes to a Sunday you can't play, here are some things to think about:

  • Maybe I can switch with someone??  Check out the week before or after, maybe someone else would be blessed to serve a different Sunday.
  • Please fill out the reason for decline.  I know, it may seem like babysitting, but it's helpful for me to know.  It can help me for future scheduling, swapping you with others, and praying for you, should you be too busy and/or serving in a situation where you need the Lord!  Well, we always need the Lord.
  • Let me know as far in advance as possible.  It's easier to work around scheduling issues when you have more time to deal with them.  Actually, accepting as far in advance as possible is also a great help!!

KICK-OFF MEETING REMINDER!!!

If you haven't done it already, please mark your calendars on September 24th, from 10am-1pm, as our Kick-off Meeting!!  Along with sharing my heart for the upcoming year:

  • We are having Mary MacLean and Will & Elyse Horner from Gateway Christian Church come and share with us.
  • There will be a time for questions & answers.
  • We will be having lunch together, so bring your appetite!

NO SATURDAY EVENING PRACTICES....

..for the time being!! :)  Again, thanks for filling out the survey.  The question has come up as to whether we are actually going to change practice night, well, the answer is no for now.  The Saturday question was designed to gauge interest and aid in praying for the direction of the ministry, at this time, we'll leave it at Thursday.  The topic, and others in the survey, will most likely be addressed at the kick-off meeting. :)

That's it for now folks!!  As per usual, if you have questions and/or thoughts, please feel free to let me know!!  

Devotional...

Relying on God
by Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, Missouri    

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

At the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed and then he spoke candidly with the people. Allow me a moment to share just a very short excerpt from what he said. "The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers" (1 Kings 8:57-58, author's emphasis). Let me offer my own paraphrase. "May the Lord work in us to desire and do the things He wants us to do."

At least at this point in his life, Solomon got it. He recognized that unless the Lord worked in their hearts, they could never do what God wanted them to do. He realized that they did not have enough strength -- enough will-power -- on their own to make it happen. Without God empowering them, they didn't have a chance.

The same is true for you and me today. The Apostle Paul said it clearly, "For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Unless the Lord causes our hearts to be inclined toward Himself, it will never happen. If God doesn't give us the strength to obey Him, we're doomed to failure every time. But the good news is that the Lord does indeed work within us to desire and do the things He wants us to do.

Some time ago I heard a preacher make a fascinating statement. "There is nothing that God demands from us in the Bible that He doesn't, somewhere else in the Bible, supply to us." It's true. Peter tells us, "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3). Whatever strength we need, whatever effort we lack on our own, God Himself has supplied for our benefit.

In fact, when we feel weak it's the perfect time to expect the Lord to work in and through us. "My power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). When we're at the end of our rope, God is there to work in and through us. Even when we are doing well, though, it's still the Lord's power at work within us that gives us the ability to accomplish anything.

When I truly recognize this, it makes me rely much more on Him. It is so easy for me to ignore God and think that my skills and experience will enable me to be effective in worship ministry. Because of my talent or my communication skills or my [you fill in the blank], I can draw people's hearts toward the Lord. This will never be true. I must always ask for and rely on His strength to enable me to accomplish His plans and purposes. Without the Lord, I'm empty.

Trust in His power -- not your own skills or strength or abilities -- today to work in and through your life. 

Lord, I recognize that without You, I'm empty. Too often, though, I act as though I don't really need You. Forgive me. And I ask that You would cause me to seek You and rely on You for everything I do. Amen.

GOING DEEPER: 

1. Do you ever find yourself relying on your own talent or gifts to fulfill your role in the worship ministry? What steps could you take to avoid this?
2. What should the overall message of this devotion mean for you over the long term?