Archive for September, 2009
For over a year now, my wife and I, along with several other believers from Lake Country have been praying and working towards the establishment of a local church in Delafield, WI. God has shown himself powerful to open each door as He builds his Church for his glory. This Sunday, we look forward to the beginning of a brand new local body, Lakewood Baptist Church. In an area where the preaching of the Word is often not the priority on Sunday and where the gospel has been muddled by seeker-programs and liturgical ritualism, we are praying that God will shine his gospel light brightly through this new and imperfect body that is simply seeking to be faithful to the teaching of Scripture while maintaining a vibrant evangelistic presence in the community.
The preparations for this day have been long and stretching. We began meeting for Wednesday Bible studies about one year ago. After several months of study and prayer, it became apparent through some difficult circumstances that it was not yet God’s timing for this work to begin. So, we took a step back and re-evaluated the timeline and the method and then regrouped. When we launched our team-building phase on April 8th of this year, about 20 believers began studying the book of Philippians together at a local hotel conference room, all the while praying that God would take our small Bible study and turn it into a local body for the sake of his glory in our community.
One week into June, sensing that God was indeed working through us, we launched our outreach phase in which we:
- Made 18,000 phone calls with the help of our mother church (Calvary Baptist in Watertown)
- Held a Cola War with the help of the youth groups from Calvary Baptist and Brookside Baptist
- Sent 3 bulk mailings to the 1,300 people on our mailing list
This week, we will be following-up with each of the 1,300 on our mailing list and preparing for our first Sunday morning worship service this Sunday at Cushing Elementary School in the City of Delafield at 10:00 AM. We are praying that God would:
- Be glorified through the ministry of our church (Ephesians 3:21)
- Continue to raise up believers in this community who are in need of a place for their families to grow (Ephesians 4)
- Continue to open doors for faithful gospel witness (Ephesians 6:19)
I ask for your prayers!
With the rising popularity of John Piper’s Desiring God as well his overall emphasis of being satisfied in God, my generation has been moved to seek satisfaction in our relationships with God. In Psalm 17:15, the psalmist passionately declares:
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
This emphasis is right and proper. In an age when individuals are incessantly tempted to be distracted by what is shiniest, Christians, as they progress in sanctification, should be increasingly satisfied in God and decreasingly satisfied by stuff.
Sadly, however, what I’ve seen on occasion and what I’ve known experientially is not complete satisfaction from God. Sipping a mint mocha frappe at Starbuck’s while reading Mortification of Sin or Valley of Vision is not the purposed end of deep and sustaining satisfaction in God.
I fear that too many Christians are only finding half of the satisfaction that God intended for us. If we only search for satisfaction in God, and never put our hands to the plough in working for God, then we will not gain the whole of the satisfaction that God designed for us.
That was Jesus’ point in John 4. While the disciples were in the city buying food for them and for Jesus, an immoral Samaritan woman approaches Jacob’s well. You know the story; our Lord lovingly confronts the sin of her heart, convicting her of sin. When the Lord, then, reveals his messianic identity, the woman runs to her home proclaiming that Jesus is some sort of prophet sent from God. The disciples stumbled upon this scene and said something like this in their hearts,
Master, why are you speaking to a woman? Why this woman? How could you defile yourself like this, Lord? Why aren’t you reading the Puritans…
But none of them said a word. Instead, they told Jesus that he must eat. Naturally, they would think that Jesus needed something to sustain and satisfy him amidst their long journeying. Jesus answered,
I have meat to eat that you don’t know about…My meat is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish his work.
Here, Jesus reveals that there is satisfaction in doing, in accomplishing – in working. Usually, when we think about being satisfied in our Christian life, we think of satisfaction primarily in terms of our relationship with God. Here, Jesus explains that there is satisfaction in our work for God.
What is this satisfying work?
The context is clear. Immediately preceding, Jesus has a spiritual encounter with the Samaritan woman that leads to confrontation and conviction of personal sin. Immediately after this scene, Jesus says, “Lift up your eyes and look unto the fields, for they are white already to harvest.” The work that our Lord speaks of is a gospel, disciple-making work.
The great commission is not an option from peer to peer; it is a command from the King to his servants. Here, however, Jesus is reminding us that there is delight to be found in our service to the King.