Faith Covenant Church

Faith Covenant Church

From The Desk of the Bishop...

Renovate For Growth!

 

Renovate For Growth!
 
Memory Verses :
 
 
"Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited."
-- Isaiah 54: 2 - 3
 
 
Most people renovate and enlarge as a result of growth. In our text today, Israel is instructed to renovate and enlarge in anticipation of growth. When I read these verses, I think of how a pregnant woman (along with her husband) prepares the home for the arrival of a new family member. Except in this case there is no pregnancy, just a promise.
 
 
I am reminded of the story that is told concerning the healing ministry of the late Smith Wigglesworth, a powerful British evangelist of the early 20th century. Wigglesworth was known as a man of great faith whose methods were sometimes unorthodox, yet he saw many miracles. In one instance Wigglesworth prayed for a man with no feet. After praying, the evangelist told the man to go to the local boot maker and buy some shoes. Over the boot maker's objections, the man told him to put shoes on his stumps. When the boot maker went to put the shoes on the stumps, brand new lower legs and feet appeared to fit into the shoes, and the man could walk again. I wonder what size shoes the footless man ordered. When he was rolled into the shoe shop, he had a promise, but no growth. Growth only came as a result of preparing for the promise before he could see any evidence of it. His faith became his evidence! (Hebrews 11: 1).
 
 
And so it is in our text. The Lord speaks an incredible promise into an impossible situation. He gives instructions to a woman who is not only barren, but widowed. He tells her to do a "home renovation," enlarging her dwelling place to accommodate miraculous growth. He promises her that He is about to "flip the script;" that she who has been bereaved, barren, exiled and rejected shall soon have more children than the wife who has been in a fruitful marriage all along (Isaiah 54: 1, 3). An incredible promise for an impossible situation. But is it practical? Does it make sense? Wouldn't it make more sense to hold off on the expansion project until she is again married and with child? Or at least engaged to be married?
 
 
The barren woman in the text represents exiled Israel. But I suspect that she also represents you and I at certain points in our lives, as we struggle to come to grips with God's incredible promises for our impossible situations. The first lesson we must learn is that God's promises and processes may not always be practical from our point of view. "His ways are not our ways..." We say, "I'll believe it when I see it." He says, "You'll see it when you believe it." We say, "I'll expand when the growth comes." He says, "The growth will come when you expand." We say, "I can't afford to tithe or to sow extravagantly." He says, "You can't afford not to tithe and sow extravagantly." His way is not practical, but it is proven. His word never falls to the ground. His instructions, when followed, always bring the desired results.
 
 
So then, what are His instructions? What is the Lord saying to us today?
A. Praise Him for the promise before you see the provision! "Sing O barren woman...burst into song, shout for joy" (Isaiah 54: 1 NIV). In the Near East, barrenness was considered a disgrace, a cause for embarrassment. What a place from which to praise! The challenge to us today is can we praise even in our place of disgrace? Can you praise even out of your brokenness and embarrassment?
 
 
B. Enlarge and renovate your life before the promise comes to fruition! "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes" (Isaiah 54: 2 NIV). In other words, we are called to start "living large" (mentally and spiritually) before we become "large." Our thinking needs to change before our address changes. My grandfather used to say "You have to start the way you expect to end." Some churches never grow beyond a certain number because they stay stuck in a small church mentality -- doing things the way a small, struggling church would do it. Some people never grow to their potential because they allow themselves to become stagnant, stuck in a comfort zone. I believe that God is calling us to reinvent ourselves; to change our paradigm. He is calling us to "renovate for growth." If we will do the renovation, He will send the augmentation!
Thoughts for your Journal :
 
 
1. Renovation often requires demolition. What areas of your life is the Holy Spirit saying need to be removed to make room for the growth that God is promising?
 
2. Take a few minutes and prayerfully write down the answers to the following questions: What has God promised you? What has God promised Faith Covenant (in your understanding)? Take time today to praise Him for those promises.
 
 
Prayer Focus for Today :
  • Lord, open the 'womb' of FCC, so that she may bring forth spiritual children! Lord, give us fruit that will remain. Father, help us a church to enlarge our 'tent' so that we will be ready for the Harvest that You have promised.
Prayer and Worship Opportunities:
 
M - F: Noon Prayers
Thursday/Friday: Impact Crusade Revival Services Nightly - Bish. Kevin Legette and Bish. Marc House, Speakers.
Saturday: Noon Prayer and Healing Service
Sunday: 9:30 - Altar Prayer and Intercession
            11:30 - Morning Worship
             5:00 - Prayer and Intercession
             6:00 - Sunday Night Alive w/Pastor Hart Ramsey of Dothan, AL
 
Bible Reading Plan :
  • Proverbs 26
  • Isaiah 43: 1-7
  • Isaiah 54
 
Blessings in all you do,
 
 
Pastor Mark Moore

 

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