Today is the official first birthday of Generation Church. One year ago today we launched Generation Church with 15 people, no money, very little support and no building to meet in. It was a huge step of faith knowing that all we had was a God-given vision to create a community of faith with a desire to make the bride of Christ (the church) beautiful again. One year on it is hard to put into words just how faithful God has been, how much He has blessed us and how the many people who have joined Generation Church have helped created something I can only call beautiful!
Yesterday we celebrated during our Sunday Service. Below are three of the videos we showed highlighting this past year, some of the funny moments and just some of our leaders fooling around! Enjoy!
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10
Words can be very shallow at times. We see people going through problems and difficulties and often have words of advice. Remember the patriarch Job, his friends had some very shallow unhealthy advice for him. Think back to the last time someone was going through something and you tried to give words of advice. Were they words that fell on deaf ears? Were they words that were not true? Were they words that would edify?
So often we give words that we think are right to say. Don’t fear, don’t panic, trust in God, just pray, have faith, give more, have patience. However, unless we are going through what the other person is going through it is very hard to know just what to say. It is difficult to feel what they are feeling and our words can very often sound shallow. However, there is a promise in the bible from God. It is a promise to not fear, to not be anxious. These words are not shallow, they are not distant words from a God who just tells people to pull it together. They are in fact words from a God who has positioned himself to go through that pain or trial with you. He said that He is with us. That means he is walking beside us, feeling our pain, understanding our heartbreak. It means that God unlike most others understands exactly what you are feeling.
So when God tells us to not fear, not to be anxious, to be patience, to give more, not to panic, have faith and trust in God, it is not from someone who doesn’t understand, but it is from someone who has been there, done that and is living through it with you. He knows how hard that situation may be, but He also knows that there is no situation that is too big for him. Why? Because He is near, experiencing it, He has first hand knowledge of your entire situation and knows this is something to not fear about!
For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will – 2 Corinthians 8:3
When it comes to spending and budgeting the vast majority of people in the western world go beyond their means. They use their credit card, store card or buy that car or house which they know that they can not really afford. However, when it comes to ones spiritual life this mentality is soon forgotten.
For the believers at the church at Macedonia they realized that a life devoted onto Jesus Christ was a life where they would have to give more than they would be ever able to afford. It didn’t mean a life where they were writing checks which they knew were going to bounce, it didn’t mean racking up an out of control balance on their credit card, but it did mean giving of their life to the point that they couldn’t give anymore. In fact it meant just as Jesus said that anyone who wants to follow Him, they must first take up their cross, these Macedonian believers got it. They realized that they would have to give and keep giving unto God because their life was not their own. They realized that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ they had been bought with a price, this meant they would give what was expected, and then give more in gratitude and thanksgiving unto God.
This world has it so wrong! We overspend on ourselves what we can’t afford and under give to God what we can afford. Instead, God is looking for people who will over give even though it will cost them what they can’t afford and under spend on themselves out of what they can afford. Copy the Macedonians and don’t withhold from giving unto the Lord.