Christian Fellowship Church's Sermons

Celebrating All Along the Way

January 27, 2019
Phil Schaefer
1 Chronicles 28:20 - 29:16

Description

Today, we are celebrating wrapping-up our ‘Increasing Our Capacity’ initiative that has to do with building into our future.

I think for many Christians we don’t celebrate enough. I think for many of us we don’t recognize that God is a celebrating God. I think for many of us we don’t realize that God commands us to celebrate often and around all kinds of times.

Celebrating is an act of redemption. It means you understand the redeemed life is not a burden but is a celebration of life all along the way.

Richard Foster in his classic book – Celebration of Discipline says:

  • A celebration is a spiritual discipline.
  • A celebration is the heart of Christ.
  • It brings joy into life and joy makes us strong.
  • Celebration delivers us from taking ourselves too seriously.
  • It is a corporate discipline.
  • We are supposed to enter into singing, dancing, shouting, clapping, laughter, and creativity all as part of celebrating.
  • Celebration can cure us of the common weightiness in life.
  • A celebration is meant to be done at the beginning of a thing, in the middle of a thing, and at the end of a thing.

At the start of 2015, we launched into Increasing Our Capacity and said that we believed that God was leading us into expanding our future as a church. This is a word not just to a few individuals but to us as a people.

So today we want to celebrate that over these 4 yrs. we were able to:

  1. Eliminate a $1M debt for past renovations and additions,
  2. We raised $2.4M toward our new building plan,
  3. We had over 300 families participate in giving,
  4. We had people from outside our church give,
  5. We hired architects, developed plans and those plans are being reviewed by the city for permitting, and our next step will be to get construction bids on the plans.
  6. We added a third service made up of our African members, added 2 pastors – Nene and Jean Claude, and have about 100 people attending that service on Sunday afternoon
  7. Sent missionaries into regions of the world where the people have very little knowledge of Jesus.

And we also want to celebrate how we closed out 2018. All throughout last year, we were behind financially. In September we talked about what it would look like if we became a tithing church. If we became that, we would cover all our needs and as God said: He would pour out a blessing that we would not be able to contain it.

And so, we were behind last year by hundreds of thousands of dollars. But we want to celebrate today.

  • We were able to replenish nearly all the shortfall.
  • We have $65,000 in our benevolence fund – that’s about $20,000 more than usual.
  • And we added to our building initiative.

I want us to take a moment to celebrate. Let’s stand, and I want us to shout, clap, give thanks to God.

1 Chronicles 28:20 - 29:16 - You should read this as though you are David.

  1. David celebrates because he knows God is with them.
  2. David celebrates because he knows this is for the Lord.
  3. David celebrates because God has captured the whole of him.
  4. David celebrates because of the willingness of the people.

BUT NOTICE: David is celebrating and yet they hadn’t built anything - hadn’t even gotten started. David is speaking in a truly prophetic tone: God I thank-you for all you are going to do. He is saying, I may not be here to see it, but it is in my heart, in my thinking, in my spirit. David, if you will, was called into secular work – the marketplace. He was a warrior, a king, a ruler, and yet his affection was for the things of God. David stood as a representative of the people of God. These verses are for you: For you who go off to your career in medicine, or law, or construction, or service work, whose incomes are small and whose incomes are large. You rejoice because the people around you offered willingly as unto the Lord.

So, we want to thank everyone who had a willing heart; thank all of you who took steps of faith, and sacrifice, and generosity; who see your life as being caught up in something more than our comforts.

And we are beginning now to turn our attention to the next move and the next prophetic word that we believe God is giving to us. Those who are a part of our church should be getting an invitation to come to someone’s home where we will talk about our posture for our future.

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