Have you ever read the account of Isaac and Rebekah from the Old Testament book of Genesis (chapter 24)? It’s a fascinating story for our 21st Century American minds to digest. In it, Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for his son, Isaac, because he doesn’t want Isaac to fall in love with and marry a Canaanite woman. The servant goes, prays for help, and the Lord provides Rebekah who ends up being willing to go with a stranger to a foreign land to marry a man she’s never met! Isaac meets her and loves her from the beginning. God beautifully orchestrated the whole thing. God continued to fulfill His promise to Abraham to make him the father of a great nation. We find the promise carried through Isaac and Rebekah.
I can’t help but think that our merger is a little like this story. We’ve done a fair amount of due diligence in getting to know one another and attempting to spend time with each other as well as asking God to lead us. We are following God into a relationship in which we don’t know exactly how it will look. At the end of the day, it’s a risk to get married or merged into one. It’s a risk worth taking because we have a chance to develop an off-the-charts kind of love for one another that will tangibly point to the glory and goodness of God. If we were to play it safe and never get married, we would avoid the risk, but we’d also miss out on the potential of a greater family that can grow into an even larger family. I pray that God blesses our efforts to honor Him!
Our church expressed a belief that God is leading us to merge with Valley Community Church through an 85% favorable vote on November 3rd. This is an exciting time in the lives of both churches. Our transitional leadership team has already begun its work to prepare for a unification of our two churches. Our hope is to begin worshipping together at the beginning of the new year, 2020.
With the new year being 2020, it causes me to think of 20/20 vision. With 20/20 vision, one can see a set of letters 20 feet away with clarity. Having recently entered the world of those who use glasses, I better understand and appreciate being able to see things with sharpness and clarity. Our vision for the new year as a new, yet historic work is to be better together. With the strengths of both small congregations combined, we hope to have a greater capability for serving church needs and reaching out to our community.
To accomplish being better together, we are going to have to work toward the same goals for the same purpose. Most importantly, we must grow in love for God and each other as Ephesians 4:15 describes, “But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head -- Christ.” Without a love for God and His people, this won’t work. To combine two groups, we will need to be committed to loving one another. As we seek to put others’ needs ahead of our own, we’ll act in ways that please God. Our motivation for this type of sacrificial love is from gratitude for God’s love for us. Personally, I’m excited to show our community how two groups of people can come together in unity for the sake of glorifying God by displaying His love among us.
34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. - John 13:34-35
I want to leave you with the words of William Carey, the man known as the father of modern missions:
“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God”
Justin began serving as the pastor at Faith in February of 2013. He is passionate about people having the opportunity to hear the good news about eternal life through Jesus Christ.