God so Loved the world the He Gave His Son in hopes that we would Believe. Simple though it may seem, the order of those verbs is vital! And that’s where it all started last Friday night in Fairfield, CA. These words directly affect our picture of God—they determine how we treat others, and they revolutionize every doctrine we hold dear. (Be on the lookout for this presentation on our Sermons page entitled Love, Gave, Believe.)
This visit represents my second time at this church, and let me humbly say that it is always a pleasure from start to finish. Once again, I was blessed beyond words by the warmth of this church. In addition, let me share that working with the pastor there (Pastor Leon Brown) has been such a tremendous blessing. As I watched him this weekend, I saw time and again the many qualities that make or break a pastor in terms of his/her ability to disciple people, on a heart-felt level, along their spiritual walk with our Heavenly Father.
This weekend held quite a few paradigm shifts for those who attended. God’s spirit was keenly felt from the start. (As a matter of fact, I think Friday night’s presentation will provide the source material for the first three chapters of my new book.) We covered some fresh thoughts that have been rolling around in my heart-space—thoughts about our mission as people in relation to the character of God. I’d been considering the relationship of our teachings to the Gospel, and how each belief plays an integral part in shaping our understanding of God’s love for each of us. Our beliefs were never intended to convince, but to convert. They are meant not to just change people’s thinking intellectually, but to touch their hearts with a new encounter with God’s love—changing them from the inside out. And this is exactly what many testified happened for them over the course of the presentations.
The weekend was a success on so many levels, but most of all, it succeeded in revealing God’s love to many as they had never experienced it before. Seeing God in such a new way created in them what inspiration calls an awakening of love, by love, to love. Certainly lives were touched and hearts won for eternity, as God and our beliefs as a people were encountered in a refreshing new light. This message remains surprisingly relevant to the world around us that we are trying to reach.
I’m already looking forward to being back in Fairfield next year for a longer, community-focused series. Please keep this church in your prayers until next year, when both the church there in Fairfield, CA and the RHM partner in lightening the earth, once again, with the glory of Him whom the Bible defines as love.