Last weekend we successfully concluded our yearlong series in the book of Mark called Discipleship Defined. I remember starting the series with some people wondering how in the world I would be able to fill 40+ Sundays from 16 chapters of the book of Mark. But I’m sure as you can all see now, God’s word is bottomless. There’s no way to exhaust the infinite treasures that are richly packed within the word. This became so apparent by the end, that some then began to say, hey, wait a minute, there’s more to be said on that. And the truth is, they’re right. But I’m confident that God has accomplished in our hearts what we set out to do last fall and that is, define what it means to be a disciple. We said if Harvest was going to be wholeheartedly set upon glorifying God by making disciples, then we needed God to define for us what it meant to be a disciple. And by His grace through the book of Mark, He has most certainly shown us that.
Now we turn our attention to the start of another ministry year. I believe there is so much that God has in store for us, but were I to sum up all that the Lord has impressed upon my heart for this upcoming year of ministry, I could summarize the focus in two words: All in! This is our theme for the year. If we’re to be the type of church that I believe God is calling us to be, it’s going to start with each and every person committing to being “All in.” This year, we’re going to get off the fence of mediocrity. We’re going to stretch ourselves beyond our levels of comfortability. We’re going to establish a clear focus on the right priorities. And we’re going to be sold out for Jesus unreservedly. Together by God’s grace, we’re going to go deeper, reach further, love harder, and live freer as we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord. Are you ready? Because going all in means taking a risk. It means you’re putting everything into it. Just imagine what the Lord will do if you give him all of you!
With our new ministry year and theme in mind, starting October 2nd, we will begin a new series called Hijacked: The Bible verses you thought you knew. In this series, we will examine some of the most often quoted but perhaps least understood portions of the Bible. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” or “For I know the plan I have for you, declares the Lord,” or, “God causes all things to work together for good.” We’ve all read those verses before but what was God trying to say? This is our “come and see” series for the Fall, meaning that it’s a perfect time to bring a friend to Harvest. Not only will the verses referenced be largely familiar to just about anyone, but they will get to see and understand the power of those verses for perhaps the first time in their life. If we’re going to be “All in”, the first place it needs to start is with our attention to God’s word. So bring a friend and come with hungry hearts to devour the Scriptures and stand upon the promises of those verses as God intended those to be understood.