09-04-16 @North Heartland: Never Give Up (plus 9/11 plans)

Published Date: September 2, 2016
Author: Rick McGinniss

What a beautiful start this morning to what looks to be a beautiful holiday weekend! I know that many in our congregation will be traveling to enjoy the Labor Day break but, if you’re going to be in town, I want to strongly encourage you to be at church on Sunday.

Why? Well, first and most obvious (I hope!) is that every Sunday is “The Lord’s Day” – the day that Christians have, for 2000 years, gathered to worship because the resurrection of Jesus took place on a Sunday morning. And because it is “The Lord’s Day,” taking time to come together with other believers demonstrates our conviction that life is not all about us and that we are not the center of the Universe – God is!

The second reason I strongly encourage you to be at North Heartland this Sunday is that we’re concluding our “Shine Through Gospel-Drivenness” series. My message, Never Give Up, will be particularly encouraging (I hope!) for anyone who is motivated to help spread the Gospel through the determined, charitable, strategic investment of personal resources. If you’ve ever shared your faith with a family member or invited a co-worker or friend to come to church with you, you know that it can be discouraging to hear “no” or, if they do respond positively, to later see their initial excitement wane. It’s enough to make you want to give up on the whole idea of spreading the Gospel! But you shouldn’t – and this Sunday, I’ll tell you why. 🙂

If you’re not able to be at church, I strongly encourage you to catch the service via livestream on our app or website. If that’s not possible, be sure to take at least 15 minutes at some point during the day to remember how you have been blessed by the Good News of what God has done, is doing and will do because of Jesus. Maybe sit down and make a list of how your life has been impacted by the Gospel and then offer that list up to God in a prayer of thankfulness. You’ll be glad you did!

One more thing before I sign off here: I’m sure you know that NEXT Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the attack on our country that took place on September 11, 2001. I still remember that day and the anger and grief I felt. I also remember what happened in the weeks and months that followed that day; how our country collectively turned to God to ask His protection and favor on us. Church attendance nationwide reached an all-time high .

I know that our current situation is not the same, but I think you can tell from my messages of the past six months that I am very concerned about the future of our country, especially with the the impending election and the paucity of choices we have for our national leadership. As I watch and listen to the two major candidates, I continually ask myself “how in the world did we get here? What will this mean for our future?” The last time I can remember feeling this uneasy was … about 15 years ago.

So, NEXT Sunday we’re going to do a special service called 15 Years Later in which we’ll remember the events of 9/11 and then spend some time in guided prayers for the future of our country. I hope you’ll make plans now to be there. Your presence matters!

Because of the nature of the subject, the service that day will have a bit more of a somber tone than usual as well as some moments of emotional intensity. For this reason, we’ve rated it PG-13, meaning if you have smaller children it would be a great day to make sure they are in our wonderful and amazing Adventureland program!

Ok, that’s all for now. Have a great, safe and God-honoring weekend!

Rick

Ladell Thomason