“Wake Up Oh Sleepers…Arise!”

(Psalm 147: 2-3) 2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

We “church people” often have the common desire to see growth within our walls.  We long to see every seat filled…for our numbers to greatly exceed our expectations…to experience new life in every dimension of our church ministries.  We want to see souls saved, lives changed.  We implore, “Holy Spirit, come!”  We pray, we serve, and we wait.  So what’s the deal?  When you have the desire, the heart, and the willingness to serve, yet you’re all still just standing around, arm-in-arm, knee-deep in motionless water…waiting…what’s the holdup? 

There’s nothing wrong with waiting.  In fact, the Bible says in Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”  Yet after the waiting, after gathering strength and resources, when expectation has built up and readiness has filled every ounce of your being…it’s time to GO! 

  • Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
  • Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15)
  • “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” (Luke 10:2-3)

So what does Jesus mean when he tells us to go? 

Does He mean for us to go invite members from the church across town to our events?  In Romans 15:20 Paul wrote, “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” 

Does He mean go talk to other Christians about how awesome He is and how we wish more people would come to know Him?  James 2:14 says, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?”

Or do you think maybe He’s saying to reach a little further…dig a little deeper…to step out and open our eyes to the world around us?  Go.  Do.  Move.  Touch.  Heal.  Teach.  Lead.  Go…

How did the Lord build up Jerusalem?  He gathered the exiles of Israel…the castoffs…the prodigals.  He offered them refuge in His holy city, and then He healed them through and through.  So you want to see growth in your church?  It’s time to rouse ourselves from the lethargy that comes from waiting.  Get out and talk to people.  Listen to their stories and share in their hurts and struggles.  Just like Jesus, we must love the unlovable…touch the untouchable…  show them His love, His truth, and teach them His ways. 

When we begin to move with the Spirit of God, others start moving with us, and it becomes this beautiful endeavor of a limitless throng of believers on a mission of love…together…unified…with a desire to not only grow our own churches and ministries but to also see the kingdom of God expand beyond what we have imagined.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, may we always be a refuge for the exiles.  May we always be Your healing hands to the broken, and may we forever seek to share Your love with those who are blind and lost.  Thy kingdom come; thy will be done.  Amen.

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