Wednesday, 19 August 2020 19:23
Nothing Is Impossible With GodWritten by Jeron Parkins
Can you see it? When you look at the above picture, can you see the walls and smell the fresh paint? The people walking into the classrooms on the second story? Energized children riding up and down (and up and down) the elevator and learning of the Father’s love? The hugs and laughter in the hallways? The moms gathered for coffee and the kids in the indoor play area on a cold winter day? Babies exploring the new nursery? The heads bowed in prayer in adult Sunday School? Dozens of teens singing to the Lord Jesus their rescuer?
Nothing is Impossible with God. “In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of the Cyrus kind of Persia… Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel – he is the God who is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:1-4). The Lord of heaven and earth had decreed through Jeremiah that after 70 years that he would bring a remnant of his people back to the promised land. But nobody would have bet on it. Jerusalem was so thoroughly destroyed and the nation so devastated it was impossible to imagine. After a few generations in Babylon the Jewish traditions and faith were greatly diminished. The people had become secular and few remembered their former way of life, let alone what it was to live in Israel. Would the way back to Jerusalem really open? How could it? The Babylonians had slave labor in the Israelites. They had a class of people who helped their economy. Would they send them back? No way! But God is greater than any circumstance or obstacle and nothing is impossible with God. God brought the Persians to world dominance and after they had shockingly overthrew the mighty Babylonians, God moved in the life of the Persian king to institute a new policy. He decreed that the Jews could go home!
Nothing is impossible with God. After a large group of exiles returned to Jerusalem and Judah and began rebuilding the temple, they faced opposition from the non-Jewish people in the area. They spoke negatively of the Jews intentions, and told a later king of Persia that they intended to rebel and stop paying taxes. Surely the Persian leadership, and all the government, who were hungry for revenue and dominion would shut the Jewish people down and keep them from rebuilding the temple. Not so! After many years Darius the king made a decree, saying this to those who opposed God’s people: “Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your[a] associates the governors who are in the province Beyond the River, keep away. Let the work on this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover, I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God. The cost is to be paid to these men in full and without delay from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province from Beyond the River. And whatever is needed—bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests at Jerusalem require—let that be given to them day by day without fail, 10 that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons. Also I make a decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be impaled on it, and his house shall be made a dunghill. May the God who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who shall put out a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God that is in Jerusalem. I Darius make a decree; let it be done with all diligence” (Ezra 6:6-12).
What? How? This couldn’t happen! Those who opposed Israel were made to contribute money and resources to help them rebuild their temple and strengthen the Jewish nation? How is this possible? It is possible because God wanted it to happen and decreed it to happen. When I read the book of Ezra this morning I counted six times when Ezra attributed what was happening in him and through him to God’s power, saying, “for the hand of the Lord was on him.”
Church, when God decides to accomplish something it is as good as accomplished. So we live by faith that Christ is building his church. We live by faith that the kingdom will come. We live by faith that he is with us. We live by faith that he will give us what we need to make disciples for he has sent us. We expect opposition. We expect struggle. We expect hardships and difficulties in doing God’s will because we live in a world where God’s plans are opposed. But if it’s God’s will it will be done. There were those who doubted the temple would be rebuilt (read the book of Ezra). There were those who doubted that the walls would be rebuilt (read the book of Nehemiah). But as the people acted in faith the temple went up and the walls were set. Can you see it?
“Lord Jesus, we ask you would stir us to do your will. Lord Jesus, move in us to step out in faith and seek to make disciples. May the Word of God spread from our lips into our community and may we see many turn to you. We know it’s possible because you saved us, and if you can save us, you can save anyone! Our great God, we lift up the building project to you. As we prepare to pour the concrete pad next week and as we plan on erecting the walls in September, we ask Lord that you would bless this project for the sake of your great name. We ask that it would be a tool that would contribute greatly to making disciples for you. We ask that you would protect the workers Lord and let the building be enclosed before the cold weather comes. We ask that you would provide all the funding Lord. We ask you, the one who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, to glorify yourself by moving in people to contribute in such a manner that we would one day be debt free. Nothing is impossible for you Jesus! Lord, we know that a building is just a tool, and that it is you working through your people who accomplish the task of reaching the nations. So fill us with your Spirit. Give us a love for people that we haven’t had before. Break our hearts for the lost and help us see them as you do. Our sweet Jesus, make us sing again your songs of deliverance and may lives be changed as your salvation is made known by this grateful church. We ask this all Lord in keeping with who you are in what you want to see happen. In your name Jesus, Amen.”
Here’s some of the things that are happening at Living Water in the near future…
PLAYGROUND WORKDAY This Saturday at 9:00 a.m.
WOMENS MINISTRY TEAM is planning to meet Sunday, August 30th
As we move into busier fall schedules and more ministries becoming active, it is important that everyone please check with the office (589-6351) before using the Sprung Building, Cross Building, Kitchen, Fellowship Hall or Sanctuary. Please make sure you put your event or ministry on the calendar. We want our buildings to be maximized for ministry but we don’t want any double bookings or misunderstandings, so please make sure you have a space reserved before you use it. Additionally it is very important that after you use the space that you leave the room clean for the next ministry. Our cleaning staff will be working hard to ensure clean rooms and spaces but we need everyone to help. If you need guidelines or a list of cleaning responsibilities they will be available through the office. Thanks!
Summer 2021 Guatemala trip. We are scheduled for June 26-July 3, 2021. Cost is approximately $1,300.
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES 9:00 & 10:45 a.m.
We continue our Acts sermon series this Sunday. We want to encourage you to wear a mask (we’ll have some on hand if you forget yours), and ask that you refrain from physical contact and keep some distance from others. If you are sick please stay home and join us via the live stream of the service.
SATURDAY MASK ONLY WORSHIP SERVICE 6:00 p.m.
We continue our Acts sermon series this Saturday. Since May we’ve really been missing a good section of our church on Sunday mornings who really want to be with the Lord and church in person, but because they are vulnerable to the virus can’t participate freely in a setting where lots of people aren’t wearing masks. So Saturday night services are Mask Only.
Thanks for reading!
May the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you,