Day 16 – Peace of God
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
Do you want true inner peace? A peace that sustains you in every situation? Then pursue it.
Romans 5:1 (AMP) says, “Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right-standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
That kind of peace is found ONLY in a relationship with Jesus.
It must be pursued, sought after, chased and followed. True peace is not based on worldly possessions, other people, or circumstances, but on the inner knowledge that God is in control of everything and that He is absolutely and always Sovereign. There will always be things that get in the way unless we change our focus and keep our eyes on Jesus: as we pursue a relationship of peace with Him.
So even though God’s Word tells us to pursue peace, it’s important for us to gain a good understanding of what it means to do this. Of course, we may have to change some things beginning with specific views about peace because peace is not based on our stuff or on our circumstances. If we continue to think that some thing or person or action will give us peace, we will never have it. Those are all outward conditions, when true peace is found inward, through Christ and Christ alone.
Day 15 – My City
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
As I think about our city, my mind goes back to the description Kyle used in his post on Day 12 – young, vibrant and full of life. A city that is home to The Ohio State University, Fortune 500 Companies, and thriving small businesses, shopping centers and restaurants. A city with a beautiful downtown, a new and expanding Arena District, and suburbs that have been ranked as some of the nicest places to live in the country. For many, Columbus is a wonderful place to call home.
However, if begin to scratch beneath its surface, there is more to Columbus than meets the eye. The percentage of our city’s population that regularly attends a church is very low. As the Student Life Pastor at Rock City, it is a very clear reality to me that many young people come to OSU, unplug from the churches they grew up in and do not attend a church while in college. Many of those individuals remain unplugged in a church as they graduate, begin their careers, and start families.
Our city is full of people who are searching for meaning and purpose. People who are spiritually restless and feel that there is more to life than the routine they are in. Some who have once known God but in one way or another have walked away and others who have never heard about Jesus and the freedom and purpose that he freely offers.
As a church, we have seen God moving in incredible ways within our walls as well as outside of them. God has been using us in amazing ways to reach the unchurched and spiritually restless. In the past 3 years, more than 1,495 people have decided to follow Christ because of Rock City’s dedication to God’s call, but this is just the beginning. If God can draw almost 1,500 people back to Him in three short years, what can He do in the next 3. What can He do in the next 5, 10, and 20 years?
Like the verse from 2 Chronicles said, if we as a church would chase after God with all that we are and pray to him, He will heal our land. God has already begun to reveal Himself at Rock City. God is healing this land. If in 2014, we would pray big prayers and dream big dreams, how might He use Rock City to make an even bigger impact. Who else might get on their mark?
Today, as we pray …
Let’s pray for the people of our city – the healthy, the hungry, the rich, the poor, the young, the old, the happy, and the hurting. There are so many people from so many different walks of life that are lost and desperately need Jesus. God will be faithful to heal this land if we are faithful in following him and reaching out to those He loves.
Let’s pray that God would stir a fire in each and every person that calls Rock City “home” to engage the people we interact with in our communities. We have people from all over the city attending and engaging at our church. Let’s ask God to work through us every day to draw people to Himself.
Let’s pray for God’s direction and provision as our church continues to grow. Ask that God would equip our staff and leaders to be in tune with his plan and follow it faithfully.
Student Life Pastor
Day 14 – My Family
“But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children.” Psalm 103:17
Often, we consider prayer as a sort of last resort. When we can do nothing else, we can at least say, “I will pray for you.”
In the Bible, prayer is not characterized as the least or last. Instead, prayer involves privilege, access and power. It is never the least we can do but it is always an appeal to the One who can do the most. It is coming before the throne of the almighty God and, in some mysterious way, having His undivided attention.
Imagine being granted entrance to the throne room where the King has been longing for you to come and is eager to hear from you and respond to you. Even more to find out that He loves you as His child and that He loves those that you love.
Today, we are focused on bringing our family to the Lord. There is nothing greater that you can do for your children or parents or siblings. Nothing. As parents of 6 children ages 12-22, Jana and I pray for our children frequently. Years ago, we figured out that one of the best ways to pray for them was to pray God’s Word over them. For instance, the Bible says that when Jesus was young He “grew in wisdom, in stature, in favor with God and with man”. (Luke 2:52) Our prayer has long been that our children would grow in wisdom (Godly intellectual development), in stature (physical and emotional strength and maturing), in favor with God (spiritual maturity) and man (social and friendship wisdom).
In praying His Word, we are expressing worship by agreeing that we want our children to grow as Jesus grew.
Praying for our family often involves an admission on our part that we are simply not able to do what God is able to do. I cannot save my children or sibling or spouse or parent. But I do know the One who can and does. His lovingkindness is from everlasting to everlasting. When we pray for those we love, we are counting on that love because it is who God is.
Family Engagement Pastor
Day 13 – My Church
… not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:25
Why do we need the church?
I will never forget the growing frustration my wife and I had come to with just doing church. It felt like week after week, we were dealing with the same people, dealing with the same stuff, and going to church for us was more of an obligation than it was a way of life.
In 2008, my wife and I, after growing frustrated with the church, felt led to step down from full-time ministry and to move to Columbus, Ohio to focus on our family and to seek God for our next steps. This time didn’t come without a lot of trials and hurts. At one point, I remember thinking, “why do we need the church?” I had become so jaded by the institution and the people who made up the church that I was missing what the church was suppose to be.
It was during this time of praying for direction that we felt God leading us to plant a life-giving church that was different from any church we had been a part of in the past.
… A church that was authentic and balanced.
… A church that went outside the four walls of a building to help the hurting and feed the hungry.
… A church that was inviting to the unchurched and was a bridge to the spiritually restless.
Today, I stand amazed at all that God is doing in my life, my family, and in the lives of those who walk through the doors of Rock City. I have had the opportunity to go beyond our walls on four missions trips and see two communities in two different countries transformed by the generosity of a local church. I have witnessed over 1,500 people at Rock City “Get on their Mark” and follow Christ, and I’ve participated in more than 300 baptisms – Many of them had never stepped foot inside of a church. And what’s crazy is … this is only the beginning!
I believe the writer of Hebrews knew that this is why we need the church in our lives – To encourage one another on to good works and to celebrate with those whose lives have been transformed … from hope-less, to hope-full.
I am so thankful to call Rock City Church, MY CHURCH!
Will you join me in praying that God would show the leadership of Rock City Church what His plan is for 2014? And would you be willing to ask God this question:
“What role do you want ME to play in your church?”
Day 12 – LifeGroup Leaders
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2
We live in an amazing city. A young city, vibrant and full of life.
But, Columbus is also a city where the vast majority of people are unchurched and spiritually restless – where people wake up everyday feeling broken, hurt and alone – living life without the hope, love and peace of Christ. When Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful …” I know it’s true, just by looking at the city I live in.
That’s why I am so excited to be a part of church like Rock City – a church God is using in remarkable ways, to not only reach the people of Columbus, but to engage the people of Columbus.
Hundreds of people engage in a Rock City LifeGroup every single week – a LifeGroup where they can grow closer to God, experience community, serve people and develop as leaders. The LifeGroup Leaders at Rock City, the “workers,” are sharing their example of what it means to love and live like Christ. They are pouring themselves out to people who are hurting, questioning and desperate to know God. They are allowing God to use them to make a real difference in the lives of so many people.
When my wife and I were asked to lead a LifeGroup at Rock City, we both immediately said, “NO!” We felt like we were too busy, too inadequate and honestly, Meridith didn’t want anyone to mess up the pillows on our couch. But, we finally agreed to do it and I am so thankful for the opportunity we’ve had to be a part of God changing the lives of people we care about so much – people we’re growing closer to God with – people we connect with – people we do life with.
It’s amazing to see what all God has done – all the people He has led to become LifeGroup Leaders at Rock City and the hundreds of people engaging in LifeGroups each week. But this is still, just the beginning. The “harvest is plentiful” and we expect God to continue to “send out workers” – to move in the hearts of people at Rock City to lead them to make the decision to be a LifeGroup Leader.
Today, as we pray…
Let’s pray for God to use us to provide opportunities for people to experience authentic community.
Let’s pray for God to continue to pour Himself into the LifeGroup Leaders of Rock City so they can continue to be filled with His Spirit, His love, His peace and His joy.
Let’s pray for God to continue to “send out workers” from Rock City by moving in the hearts of people to make the decision to lead a LifeGroup.
Regal Campus Pastor / LifeGroup Director