Foundation of Ministry

Posted on 04/23/2006 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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Let's stand to our feet in honor of the King! The King of the universe is here with us today, and he is the sole reason we have gathered in this place!

Click-touch the pulpit for a notecard, and let's go to the Lord with thanksgiving and praise, for he has truly done great things, and he is great and greatly to be praised!

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Joyful, joyful, we adore thee
     God of glory, Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before thee
     opening to the sun above
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
     drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness
     fill us with the light of day

All thy works with joy surround thee
     earth and heaven reflect thy rays
Stars and angels sing around thee
     center of unbroken praise
Field and forest, vale and mountain
     flowery meadow, flashing sea
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
     call us to rejoice in thee

Thou art giving and forgiving
     ever blessing, ever blest
Well-spring of the joy of living
     ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother
     all who live in love are thine
Teach us how to love each other
     lift us to the joy divine

Mortals, join the mighty chorus
     which the morning stars began
Love divine is reigning o'er us
     binding all within its span
Ever singing, march we onward
     victors in the midst of strife
Joyful music leads us sunward
     in the triumph song of life!


The river of God
     Sets our feet a’dancing
The river of God
     Fills our heart with cheer
The river of God
     Fills our mouths with laughter
And we rejoice
     For the river is here

Down the mountain
     the river flows
And it brings refreshing
     wherever it goes
Through the valleys
     and over the fields
The river is rushing
     And the river is here

The river of God
     Is teaming with life
And all who touch it
     Can be revived
And those who linger
     On this river’s shore
Will come back thirsting
     For more of the Lord

To the mountain we love to go
     To find the presence of the Lord
Along the banks of the river we run
     We dance with laughter giving praise to the Son

As you look around you today, you'll see many different people. We have different beliefs, different ideas, different perceptions, different ways of dealing with things, different lifestyle, and different likes and dislikes.

But one thing we have in common: We were all created in the image and likeness of God, the King of the Universe, and we were all given the choice to have him as our friend, or to ignore his calls to us and his offer of Salvation.

If you haven't accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, not as a dead religious icon but as the real, risen, living, and active Jesus we know and who has changed our lives, then today he calls to you still. And today you can answer the door of your heart outside of which he stands, ever waiting to turn your spiritual poverty into feasting, and your empty heart into springs of living water which overflow with joy and gladness.

Pray with me now:

"Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I open the door of my heart to you. Come inside and make me a brand new creation. I submit to you as the Lord of my life. I am yours. Amen."

You may be seated.

As I was preparing today's service, I sensed the Lord speaking that he wants his body to first of all make things right with him and push anything out of the way that would come between him and you.

We've been talking about this is various ways over the past few months. And I believe that, while we certainly are far from perfect as we always will be on this side of glory, we are growing and moving toward maturity in Christ.

But do we all know what our purpose is on this earth? Yes, a personal relationship with Jesus is the call for us all. But do we know what we should be doing in God's Kingdom? Do we all know our calling? Do we all know our gifts?

Some of us do. And for the rest of us, don't say you don't have any gifts, because you're only fooling yourself. The enemy would have you believe you have no gifts.

But I'm here to tell you today that God has placed within you giftings with a potential so great, that the enemy would tremble with horror if he thought you were going to get a glimpse of what God has truly placed within you.

I'm reminded of the parable Jesus told of the servants whose master gave different sums of money. Two of them, although given different amounts, wisely invested what they were given, and they caused those gifts to grow.

The third one, however, hid his gift in the ground because of fear.

How many of us have hidden away our gifts inside? How many of us have been afraid we'd fail, or be proven to have no gift after all?

Well I'm here to tell you today that God is not the author of fear and confusion, but of love, power, and a sound mind. And that is his will for you today.

I'm going to turn the message over to Bob Hoekstra, as we listen to part of his message on gifts and callings. We're only going to listen to a portion of this message because many of us have time restraints, but will continue this discussion in the weeks to come.

It's not God's will for you to hide what he has given you. It is instead God's will for you to work with it and make it grow. He has not given you a gift but that he will empower you to use it and will stand behind you, and beside you, all the way.

And now let's hear from Bob Hoekstra as he brings us a message entitled "The Church: How Jesus Builds It".

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Next week we'll talk more about this issue. I think this is a good place to stop and pray, then go next door to discuss this further.

Father God, thank you for giving each of us a gift. Thank you for having a purpose for each of us, for placing a calling on each one of our lives.

Help us seek you this week, Lord, and as we get closer and closer to you, we know you will reveal your will for our lives one step at a time.

And it's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. Amen!