Pastor's Corner - July 21st
Finally, Jonah reaches the city of Nineveh and preaches a call to repentance. Then the power of God’s great love sweeps through the streets and fills every alley. This message begins to steep in every soul. Every citizen (including the king and the cattle) cover themselves in sackcloths to fast to the Lord. The power of our grace is in full swing. This is revival.
I can’t help but wonder what a revival would look like in the greater Marion County. Just imagine the Spirit sweeping down the Main Streets of Pella, Knoxville and etc. Hymns being song of God’s great rescue in every shop on the corner. Stories of broken homes being restored and lost souls being found. Light shining in every dark space in our communities. This is revival.
But it must be noted that repentance plays a quintessential role in every revival. We know repentance requires turning away from all that holds us back (i.e. idols, addiction, abuse, and materialism etc.) and turning to God’s great love. Revivals often begin with one person. Like Jonah, one person receives a message from God, repents and turns their lives over to God. Which can cause the surrounding people to sit up and take notice. Then like a mighty flame, others catch fire and the good news spreads. This is revival.
Maybe you are like me and you dream about a revival swelling in our city and beyond. If so, what does the God of Nineveh need to revive in our own hearts? Let’s turn away from all that hinders us and run with abandon towards God’s love! Perhaps others will take notice and follow us. This is revival!
~Pastor Chris Allen
This Week Carol and I...
This weekend, Carol and I will be dedicating a tree on the grounds here at Grace Fellowship. It is a thank-you we want to share with the church for your kindness and responsiveness to us in this last year. Many of you have been kind enough to say positive things about our tenure at Grace. It has been a fruitful and rebuilding season for the church – with lots of reasons for rejoicing! Lots of people helped make that happen. We feel blessed just to have been a part.
What you should also know is that this last season has been really good for Carol and me too. I have loved living in a Dutch community. Carol has relished her opportunity to launch an AirBnB at the Villa. And our ministry experience at Grace has been filled with memorable baptisms, professions of faith, new members, and life-changing events. We have loved every minute of it – and much of that is due to your cooperative and risk-taking spirit. Thank-you!
But the tree isn’t just about saying “thank-you.” It is also our way of expressing hope for your future. I am quite confident that Pastor Chris will serve you extremely well, in this next season of ministry. Yet, not every day will be an easy day. There will be times where it gets hard. There will be days where you doubt. That’s just the reality of life.
In the ups and downs of ministry life, our hope and prayer is that you find the tree an inspiration. May it serve as a reminder that a church (like a tree) stands strong and true when its roots are deep. In the case of the church it is about being rooted in God’s word and remembering his promises. Every time you pass the tree, may you be reminded of the good you have known and the good you have yet to discover!
Your best days are still before you…