Luke 12:35-37 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.
One of the most important lessons I have learned from serving as a minister for over 20 years is that God’s people, his church, must do what we can to be ready for God to move. We need to be expectant, anticipating the Lord to use us and use our plans and activities for his glory.
In our recent efforts to present ourselves to our wider community during the Father’s Day Car Show, we showed exactly what it means to be prepared and ready for service. We did not run a car show because we love cars. We did not have tons of family activities on site because we thought the community was bored and to have some fun. No, we made our plans and worked hard to see them come to fruition because we anticipated that the Lord would use our efforts to bring himself glory through his people yet again.
And this is exactly what happened. God took our meagre offering of time, energy, and planning, and he multiplied our efforts and brought himself fame and renown in our city. We saw at least 5,000 people pass through our church campus last week because the Lord took our preparations and added to them for his own sake.
As great as it was to be a part of that miracle last week, we, God’s church, need to get ready for what is next. We must anticipate, even expect that God will continue to use us for his own purposes and glory.
We need to anticipate that the Lord will send us those people from the Car Show that he has been preparing for this very moment. The Spirit of Christ leads people like you and me to Christ. We are called out and drawn to the Lord by the Lord’s own will and voice. We are given the opportunity to respond with faith as the Lord uses others around us to help us see Jesus and understand the truth.
And because this is what the Lord is doing at all times in the people all around us, we must expect that the Lord is going to continue to call others to himself this week, and next week.
We must prepare ourselves as a church to receive those that will respond to God’s call. We must anticipate that some of the people from last week will return this week to church. They may not know why they are coming along, they might not have any idea what it means to join us as a church, but we must be ready for them.
We must expect that God will send us some of those he is calling to himself over the next few weeks. So this means that we must be ready to receive those who are not familiar with our faith. Who are not up to speed on what it means to be a part of a church. We have to help those that don’t feel a part of the group feel welcome and accepted.
How Can We Be Ready?
Well for starters we can start praying for those that God will send to us. Pray against those obstacles and barriers that will pop up and cause them to question why they should bother coming along to church on Sunday.
Then we can prepare ourselves by choosing to show everyone around us in church love and mercy. Be welcoming and kind to everyone, not just the newcomers. Jesus made it clear that the world will see his love in the way that we love one another. So show this love to the church family as well as to our guests.
Another thing we can do is to make our celebration of our faith more accessible to those whom God will send. We can make sure we explain what we are doing in our services. We can use language that normal people can understand. And we can remove those elements of the service that might confuse those who are just beginning to seek Jesus.
One of the ways we are going to get ready is by pressing pause on our weekly celebration of Communion. This meal is an excellent reminder of what Jesus Christ has done for us in his sacrifice and mercy. But for those who are not up to speed on Jesus yet, this meal can be very odd and even a bit scary.
So, for the next three weeks we will not celebrate communion in our services. But on 01 October we will focus the entire service on the meaning of Communion and bring it back through a special teaching focus. Maybe after the break we will all appreciate the act of Communion a bit more.
The messages that we will bring over the next three weeks are going to be focused on helping those that God sends our way see how to change the outcomes they experience in life by changing their orientation toward God. These will be biblical messages that are reframed so that those with zero background can see the value and benefit to trusting in Jesus.
Over the next three weeks we will still offer to the Lord our worship through song and prayer. But our worship leaders will make the effort to explain what it is in the songs that we should focus on and how this act of praise can help us experience more of God as we turn more of our attention to the Lord.
Another way we can get ready is by making the choice to honour the Lord with our wealth. As a church we are struggling to keep up financially with the demands of being ready. It costs real money to have a church that is open and ready for the Lord to act. Please make it priority to decide for yourself how you should provide this gift of readiness today. If you need the banking details of the church just click here…. http://www.warnbro.org.au/tithing-online
I am looking forward to what the Lord is preparing our church for at the moment. God is moving in us and through us and we are right where we need to be as a church family. We are actively expectant. We are ready. And we cannot wait to see how God uses us to bring himself glory.
Thanks for being a part of this amazing family of faith.