My apologies for being a day late on this post. I’ll be posting today’s reading on Matthew 23-25 later this evening.
The text that resonated with me and that I will write on today, because it has been bouncing around in my mind and heart for several weeks now is,
“And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him
(For I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
And My God is My strength),
6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light of the nations
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” -Isaiah 49:5, 6
Isaiah’s mission was to bring the people of Israel back from their wanderings away from God. Part of Isaiah’s mission was then to remind the people of their mission,
“It is too small a thing that you should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make you a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Israel had too small of vision. They thought they were only to be for their “own kind” but God reminds them that is too small, you are a nation for the purpose of the salvation of all other nations.
I have been thinking much about this and I’ve been wondering how many churches are satisfied with only reaching their own? Or reaching other Adventists. How many of our churches are growing, not based on actual growth in the truth and the love of Jesus, but simply through the transfer of other Adventists? I ask this question because if you look at the church I currently pastor over the last 10 years we would be considered a growing and strong church…
I researched the numbers for my recent State of the Church address and while over the last 10 years our membership has grown by more than 300 members roughly a 2.10% growth rate (still below average in the North American Division), if we took out the transfers of other Adventists to our church then our growth rate would be -1.0% (just in case you didn’t see that line preceding the 1 that is a NEGATIVE 1 percent). We’re a church primarily for Adventists.
“It is too small a thing that you should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Adventists and to restore the preserved ones of Adventism; I will also make you a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
How many other churches are in our same situation?
Jesus give us hearts (make us churches) to be witnesses to the nations that we may play a role in reaching to the ends of the earth!