“Then he said to them, ‘Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength’” (Nehemiah 8:10 ESV). For the Judean governor, the day of renewal was a moment of celebration . . . a time to rejoice in the Lord! Indeed, Nehemiah instructed the congregation to throw a feast to celebrate God’s movement among them. They had been convicted by His revelation, and they had responded with appropriate confession and repentance. Now, they were to recognize the joy that accompanied such a revival.
Nehemiah’s words still echo in my heart, especially after this past Lord’s Day. No doubt, we experienced a “day holy to our Lord.” Yes, I know that every Sunday should be set apart for worship, reflection, and rest. It is to be different from our other days! But I also understand that the Holy Spirit chooses to manifest His presence in distinct and powerful ways on certain days—days that are unlike any others. These times comprise “holy” days. How awesome was it this past Sunday to see people rededicate themselves to the Lord, profess their faith in Christ, follow the Lord in baptism, and join our faith family in full membership! That was a day set aside by our God to show His strength and power! I do believe it was a culmination of His work in previous weeks as well as our faithfulness to pray and to witness. It was a “harvest” so to speak. And as such, I’m asking our Lord to make that yield the “firstfruit” of a continued revival within us. Would you join me in praying for more holy days ahead? Days that we will remember? Moments filled with salvations, recommitments, blessings? I hope you will!
In addition, let me ask you to lift up some other specific endeavors as we move forward. First, intercede on behalf of the Associate Minister of Music Search Committee. They are working diligently, and they need your prayer support. Second, remember our summer missionaries as they make a difference for the Kingdom. Recently, I have received messages from college/seminary students serving in Portland, West Palm, Detroit, Chicago, Calgary, and Mexico City. And of course, we have many others scattered across the globe, specifically in areas like East Asia. Ask our Lord to bless and use them powerfully. Third, pray that God would continue to honor the work of short-term teams that have already returned and for those who are preparing to leave. Just this week, we were told that Multiply Church, the Calgary church plant with whom we partner, had seen seventeen new families visit their congregation since the youth team had helped them with doorhangers in the community. WOW!! Short-term teams do advance the Kingdom! Keep petitioning our King to utilize out efforts. Fourth, encourage those who have returned from the field...the McWhorters, the Robisons, S. McCorkle, M. Robinson, etc. S. McCorkle will be sharing about her year in South Asia next Wednesday night. Mark your calendars and be here!
Finally, and as a point of information and prayer for you all, we are about to see some campus improvements over the next few months. Between overlaying the parking lot and updating some halls/ministry centers, a good bit of work will be taking place. Pray specifically that we are good stewards with the Lord’s resources. And as always, thank you for giving systematically to our budget and to the “Share the Light” fund (which allows resources for deferred maintenance) to make these things possible. See you Sunday—for what we pray will be another “holy” day!