We are very excited for 2017 and what opportunities are before us. We have renewed our lease on our building and with the increase in rent we face some challenges to our faith for the financial needs. In 2016 we lost some major contributors due to a death of a dear brother and some economic issues others experienced, but God is faithful and our needs were met.
It is our conviction that having our "needs met" is the "baby end" of our resource. To quote Graham Cook, “God always meets needs, it is supernatural breakthrough we must contend for.”
According to Ephesians 3:20 God promises that "now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." This year we must take God at His word and see a breakthrough beyond our "thinking" and ask boldly for supernatural provision. Here are the challenges we desire for our partners in this ministry.
Our first challenge is we need to review and renew our Vision. Allow me to paraphrase Joshua 1:5-9 "no man is able to stand against you all the days of your life, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you, I will not leave you nor forsake you, so be strong and of good courage. Only be strong and very courageous that you observe and obey the word of the Lord Moses my servant commanded you, do not turn to the right hand or the left, keep your focus on the promises I gave you. Meditate on the scriptures day and night that you may see and understand my promises, then you will be prosperous and have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage: do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
I love the Message translation of Proverbs 29:18 "if people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves, but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed." Our vision is that we be a place of Decision, Discipleship, Discovery and Destiny. Our focus is to reach our homeless guests - and those we encounter in our daily lives - with the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, resulting in a decision to follow him. Understanding that decision is the starting place in the discipleship process; we then believe that each person comes to discover their true identity, destiny and purpose.
Our second challenge is a matter of faith and expectancy. In Mark 9:23, Jesus said, "if you can believe all things are possible to him who believes." It is our job to hear the word of the Lord and believe it and expect the power of God to change lives. We believe the "Gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes..." CCR'S vision and the Front Porch Outreach to the homeless, is where we activate our beliefs through practical service and proclamation of the good news; Christ's saving grace to the hungry, hurting and broken lives we get to touch.
Our third challenge is to constantly grow in total dependency on the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who reveals Jesus as Savior and Lord. He is the one who pours out the love of God in our hearts and pours his love out through his church to world. Jesus poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and empowered the church with gifts and ability to demonstrate his goodness and mercy. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the truth of the Kingdom of God and convinces men and women of their need for forgiveness … and for the newness of life available to each one who receives him. Zechariah 4:6 declares, "it is not by my might nor by my power but by the Spirit of the Lord" that will do the work of salvation and finish it. (Philippians 1:6)
Our fourth challenge is the call to unity and partnership among the body of Christ. For example the Front Porch Outreach to the homeless is accomplished through the churches in Loveland, Colorado partnering with us by bringing food, servers and true love and compassion for the needy in our community. It is through the compassion and partnership of the local churches that we have served over 70,000 meals to the homeless since we began hosting the Front Porch Outreach in November 2008.
The volunteers from our own CCR body make it possible to organize and manage the daily routine. Jesus and Chris Zubia are the minister managers who joyfully give of their time and expertise to see the hungry and hurting are not only fed but cared for with love and compassion. The members of the congregation at CCR have faithfully supported this ministry and sacrificed personally to see the vision and mission fulfilled. It is because of the local body of Christ in Loveland, and their commitment to the Headship of Jesus that the ministry is affecting lives on a daily basis.
Psalm 133 states significant outcomes of the unity of the body of Christ; First, it is beautiful and pleasant to see when we work together for the glory of God. Second, there is an anointing from God that flows down over his church ... an anointing of power to serve. The oil of the anointing that preserves our unity by reducing friction over small differences of doctrine or practice. Third, it is refreshing like the dew that descends into the valleys and the low places that need refreshing. Fourth, God commands his blessing of Life forevermore where there is unity among the people. It is true in the world we live in as well as in the churches.
Our fifth challenge is one of financial responsibility. Without the faithful giving of finances we would not be able to do what we do as a church and as an evangelistic outreach church. Through the faithful tithers at CCR and the communities generosity in giving financially, we are able to meet the daily demands for food and facilities. In these very challenging days of political, social and cultural shifts, we must, as a caring and compassionate community, keep our focus on the things that Jesus assigned us to do in our field of influence.
Learning to give generously in difficult times is the hallmark of the church's history. I believe the Church of Jesus Christ is the agent of the Kingdom of God in this volatile time in history. Jesus taught us to pray "thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” There is no scarcity or poverty in heaven, so, on earth, the church and its mission will be provided for in abundance in order to accomplish our mission assignment. Our prayer is that many who read this blog will partner with us to see a permanent footprint for this ministry established in downtown arena where we serve.
Our sixth challenge is that we understand our spiritual stewardship and responsibility. 2 Corinthians 4:7 states that "we carry a precious treasure in ordinary vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us." God has given us exceeding great and precious promises that by these we might become partakers of his divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And that through diligence we might be fruitful and not barren in the knowledge of the Lord. That our vision would not be obscured or blinded by forgetting how we were cleansed from our sins. So we are challenged to make our call and election sure by diligence in observing the kingdom values found in the promises of God’s word. We are promised an abundant supply and entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (see 2 Peter 1:-11)
The church in Acts carried the Holy Spirit anointing that demonstrated the power of the risen and ascended Christ. They functioned in supernatural power while living in the real world of persecution and opportunity. The Apostle Paul stated in Colossians 1:27 that "it is Christ in you the hope of glory." The hope of the world is wrapped up in the witness of the church demonstrating the power of the gospel. You carry a precious treasure of the Holy Spirit to touch a hurting, hungry world.
We owe the world the gospel of power. We cannot let bad theology and personal irresponsibility diminish the witness Jesus said we would have when he gave us the Holy Spirit. Each of us has a well springing up in us that gives us the joy of salvation (see Isaiah 12:3). This is the your personal resource of the indwelling life of Jesus. In John 7:38,39 Jesus proclaimed "he that believes in me as the scriptures have said out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water, but this he spoke of the Spirit…."
Jesus gave us the well of water which is our salvation, but he also gave us "a river" of his Holy Spirit, we drink from a well, but the river was given to flood the harvest fields with the power of God to work miracles and meet the needs of many.
This is your heritage in Christ. Let God use you in powerful ways as we look for his appearing.