Today is a very special day.
Today our home church The Harvest in Allen, Texas announced its new name.
When I first heard that the name was changing I was crushed. Our family had been part of The Harvest from some of its’ early beginnings. It was our family, our community and our home. I served on staff for over 13 years.
The Harvest was and still is family.
It felt like how I imagine our daughter Jessie felt as we sold our home and moved out-of-state. (Jessie remains in Texas studying and serving at our Texas church).
I’m thinking –But that means we’re not part of the church now. We are only part of the history of a church we no longer are active members at.
We hadn’t wanted to leave, but followed the tugging of the Holy Spirit.
Brad and I made the choice pursuing God on a new path in a new state; starting over again with our vocation, home, and community.
The first several months were rough. I felt as if we were being punished. Maybe we were not good enough for what God was going to do back home and He needed us out of the way. (Unguarded; the mind is such a playground for the enemy!)
This hurt at my core, so I turn to Father.
Lord, I know You are doing great things at home. You have clearly drawn us to this new place and people.
But Jesus… I still miss home and now it has a new name! Will we still be family there or some old ‘used to be’ strangers?
To which I get His response; Child, really?
I am doing marvelous things. You cannot know it all. You are not capable.
I am growing My Kingdom and the ways I do it will always be new to you.
Remember, ‘Living things grow and growing things change.’
Pastor Dustin is a man of God filled with the fire of Father’s Spirit; burning fiercely to advance the name and glory of the King.
Bear with me as I segway a minute; this is cool.
We really love how Pastor Al at Calvary Worship Center has tied together the message of Christ in our lives and culture today -throughout our study of the book of Daniel.
It’s historical, but as last week’s title “Back to the Future” implied; it really is looking back at the prophecies of God to His people, telling of things to come thousands of years ago and things yet still to be fulfilled. It’s all about Jesus.
In Daniel, we see God showing His sovereignty and goodness to His people in the midst of crooked times, leaders and cultures. Daniel helps us to look back as we look forward.
Lord, may we be a people who seek after You standing firm in Your ways no matter the times or the “political correctness”.
This week we would dive into Daniel Eleven.
Yeh, that’s the new name of our home church: Church Eleven 32!
In Daniel 11, we see that Antiochus IV Epiphanes appeased the cultures with deceit. He was all about his own kingdom and his own glory. His character was vile and he despised the Word of God. It was dark times for the people of God.
Motivated by hostility towards God and God’s people, Antiochus stops the holy offerings and desecrated the holy temple bringing in a sow. He attempts to scorn the One true God appealing to Hellenism.
In Daniel 11:32 he appeals to the culture, “By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant,”
We’re in dark times now. And there are plenty of smooth talking world leaders.
But –—! “but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.”
Here in COS we’re studying Daniel 11 and verse 32, while back home they banner the name in commitment to be the people “who know their God, will be strong and carry out great exploits”.
Of all the verses we would study today –it’s the very one our home is lifting as a beacon committed to advance God’s glory and Kingdom.
Only God knows the times and seasons, and yet, we are in a time where it is politically correct to honor all gods of all people. It’s not ‘acceptable’ to banner Jesus as THE ONLY WAY to God and heaven.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 16:6
It’s all about Jesus, wherever we are –we are to be about standing firm, honoring the King of all kings; to know Him and make Him known.
So, I’m totally rejoicing here in Colorado, excited to see what God will do next here, there and everywhere that people will stand firm to raise the name of Jesus.
Wherever you are, bloom where you’re planted -and raise the name of Jesus!