Ephesians 2: 4-10
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
In Monday's devotional we will summarise the key points and main emphases of the Sunday morning message in CCV. Then during the rest of the week we will see how they can be developed and applied to our lives as we seek to shape the city with our God given dreams.
It’s incredible to think that yesterday was our 4th anniversary in our current building. God has been so good and kind to us as a church and we have experienced so much grace and favour. However, as immensely thankful as we are, we remember that the goal was never to have a building but to change a community. To reach out to and raise up those who have yet to encounter Jesus. To dare to dream that God could radically and irreversibly transform our locality, one life at a time.
When we become a Christian it doesn’t finish there. That’s not the end goal. God has brought us out of something (sin and death) to bring us into something (life and influence). We’ve been both ‘saved from’ and ‘saved for’.
Without Christ, we were dead spiritually, but because of His great love He has made us alive. The Biblical term is ‘born again’ which, although it has some negative connotations in our culture, speaks of the profound change which occurs when we come alive in Him. Our hearts are transformed, our desires conformed to His and our DNA becomes that of His Spirit within us. From that point forward, it is more likely that our dreams are inspired by God than that they have originated elsewhere.
The Bible says we have been “raised to life” in Him. From this new vantage point, we get a completely different perspective on life. We live above the darkness and dreariness of our culture and see what God is dreaming for our family, culture, community and city. We see the world through His eyes.
Often we are waiting for permission from God before we implement the dreams in our hearts. God would want to say to us: "Permission Granted." Go for it! We’re sitting waiting on God while often He is actually waiting on us to step out, take action, and only then do we discover that all of Heaven moves to back us up. In fact, we find out that God has actually “…prepared good works in advance…”. (Eph 2: 10) He is at work all around our culture just waiting for us to show up and partner with what He’s already doing.
God has dreams for our city and community. He also has dreams for us individually. As we were encouraged to speak these out audibly on Sunday we believe that Heaven rejoiced and that significant shifts will take place in the days and weeks ahead as we see these dreams which have been conceived being brought to birth.
If you missed Sunday’s message, we would encourage you to listen to our podcast.