Serving beyond your comfort zone

Calvary Wolfeboro and Friends,

I've heard many stories of what God did last Sunday at Freedom Reigns. Earlier this week, a young woman in our church was walking through town when she overheard another woman, talking on her cellphone, describing coming to Freedom Reigns, "There was this giant tent and you walked into it and they were giving away burgers and there was a huge stage and..." This woman couldn't believe what she was seeing. Others told me of God-ordained conversations with people they knew and with complete strangers. One man, personally, came up to me with tears in his eyes and expressed his need for Jesus. He gave his life to Christ that night. We always say that if just one comes to know Jesus Christ, if just one person is rescued from their slavery to sin, it is worth it. I don't know if that man was the only one, but he was one. I can't wait to hear more stories of God's work through you, Calvary Wolfeboro. I'm so proud to be a part of this church. You did it. You loved every person who came onto our property with the love that only Jesus Christ can give.

As I stood up there on stage pleading with people to consider what true freedom is and where it comes from, I was struck, once again, by how inadequate I am for this work. And this is exactly how it should be...always!

"Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant..."
II Corinthians 3:5-6a

You see, when we follow Christ and let Him lead us, He will always bring us past the end of ourselves where only His ability and His strength is sufficient for the work in front of us. When I think about my journey with Christ and the ever-changing ministry opportunities that He has given me, I know that those experiences have been a part of the equation. God certainly does prepare and equip us through experience and study and "on-the-job-training." But what I am most profoundly aware of after Sunday night is the fact that it wasn't any of those things that gave me the courage to preach the Gospel. It was all God. And it wasn't an option for me. I knew that as uncomfortable as it was and as insufficient as I am in myself, God was calling me to proclaim His truth and He would give me what I needed in the moment. He didn't want me to be comfortable. He didn't expect me to be "prepared." He didn't ask me to be polished or professional or "effective." He asked me to be obedient. To be His vessel.

That's what He asks of you too. Yes, you need to study. Yes, you should pursue preparation and training. Yes, there is work that we have to put into our growth and readiness. But don't think for a minute that God will only ask you to do that which you are fully equipped, trained, and certified in. There is no place for Him in that equation. No, He will always ask us to go beyond ourselves, where His grace is the only power sufficient. It's the place where we are most uncomfortable. But here's the good news. It's also the only place where we can possibly see miracles happen. It's the only place where the God of the universe can display His glory and His power through us.

The work is just beginning here in Wolfeboro. Sunday night was a big deal. But it's just the beginning of what God is asking us to do in reaching out of ourselves and into the lives of the broken and lost and hurting and spiritually enslaved all around us. Sunday night was a big introduction. The body of the story that God is writing will now require more and more of us to let God have his way and take us to the edge of ourselves and beyond.

To God be the glory, great things He has done...and will do!

Pastor Justin

P.S. We will gather in the next couple of weeks, possibly on a Wednesday night, to watch some of the video and pictures that we captured from Freedom Reigns, and share some of the stories of what God did through us! Be ready to share.