Friday, June 1, 2012

All things new...

We took a giant leap about a month ago.  For a while now, I have become more and more convinced that 1) we could be more effective as a church in reaching our community
2) I was being prepared to take on the Lead Pastor role

So, in a joint decision with NorthStar, we decided to transition our church from a NorthStar campus to a church plant of NorthStar.  So, beginning today, we are now Vertical Life Church! This means that we are completely autonomous in every way, and are ready to see what God has in store for us!

One our core team members sent me this devotional about living on faith, and it's really appropriate for where we, as a church, and we, as a family, are right now:

Walk with God
Chris Tiegreen

Fearful First Steps

For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.
2 Corinthians 5:7 Amp

The problem most of us encounter in this life of faith is that we must base our decisions, our futures, our families, our jobs – our everything, in fact – on realities we cannot see. Not only can we not see them clearly – though God will open our eyes to them more clearly if we ask – those around us cannot see them, either. That’s where the misunderstandings, the rejection, and even the ridicule come in. When we live by faith, we are at first uncertain of where we’re going. We can’t see very far in front of us. And our family members and friends are watching. While we’re barely understanding our next steps, they can’t understand them at all.

The principles of this world are all based on sight. Our human cultures like tangible evidence. It has learned to thrive on the limitations we’ve been given. But start bucking those limitations and see how quickly your peers back off. When you refuse to live by sight, you refuse to play the games of this world. You reject its most foundational beliefs. Religion is only speculative, we’ve been told. Our world doesn’t mind us believing whatever we want, as long as we don’t base our lives on the unseen. But when the eyes of faith are opened to the greater reality of God’s Kingdom, the label of “unstable” or even “crazy” comes quickly.

Just ask Abraham, whose mission it was to move to a place he would be told of later, and who was promised a most improbable son. Or Moses, who was called to demand from a hostile ruler the release of a million profitable slaves. Or Elisha, who was surrounded by a vicious army, but more greatly encompassed by heavenly hosts. Or Mary, who bore the son of God by quite unconventional – and socially unacceptable – means.

 Are you afraid to live by faith? Welcome to the club. But the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11 was made of such a club. Be bold and forsake nearsightedness. Faith sees more that sight ever can.

The ultimate ground of faith and knowledge is confidence in God.