Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Simple Truth ... and Moving - AGAIN!

Some truly exciting things are happening at Lighthouse these days!  God continues to move among us and we give Him praise and our hearts overflow with thanksgiving.  Believing that God had called us to become a non-denominational congregation and desiring to stand on the truth of God's Word, we left our former denomination, at the cost of our church building.  We began meeting for worship at Evergreen Elementary School here in Allendale on June 10th, just seven short weeks ago.  We decided to have our two services merge into one for the summer months so we could get to know each other better and build the oneness which Christ came to give us as members of one body - the body of Christ.  With many people camping and vacationing during the summer months, we didn't expect what God was going to do.  He is bringing many new faces and attendance in worship has been steady throughout the past seven weeks.  A decision had to be made as we look towards September:  Do we stay at one service or go back to two?  If we wanted to stay at one, we would need more space!!

We committed to prayer and seeking the Lord once again and once again God seemed to make it clear: we needed to move - AGAIN!!  So on August 12th we will begin meeting at the Oakwood Intermediate School, just a small distance from where we have been meeting.  It reminded me of God telling Abraham, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you" (Genesis 12:1).  Of course, God was leading Abraham to the promised land of Canaan and was entering into covenant with him and his descendants.  But God is also in covenant with US!   And as He promised to be with Abraham, so He has promised to be with us.

Our confidence for the future lies in our faithful God.  "No matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ" (II Corinthians 1:10).  God has called us to proclaim a simple truth:  that in Jesus Christ God is at work to offer forgiveness and eternal life to those who repent and believe.  In a world that seems to like a "show," we offer those whom God brings to Lighthouse the same message that Peter preached on the day of Pentecost and that Paul preached to the Gentiles:  Christ, and Him crucified.  This is the Gospel, the good news that has the power to save, to transform, and to empower those who place their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.  While Lighthouse is blessed to have a committed team of leaders, musicians, teachers and servants in various areas of ministry, it is this simple message that is central to the ministry God has entrusted to us.  You won't find anything "fancy" at Lighthouse.  We're not trying to impress, but to be faithful to our God.

As God leads us into the future, we stand on the truth of His Word that will never change.  Some may wonder what it means to be non-denominational.  In fact, some have asked how we can be sure that we will remain true to "the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3).  Being "non-denominational" may mean different things to different people, but to us it means simply that we are part of the one true Church, the one body of Christ.  We want to take down unnecessary walls that divide, and stand firm on the simple truth of the Gospel which is the foundation for Christ's Church.  We believe that God worked in an amazing way during the Reformation, especially during the 1500's and 1600's, drawing His Church back to the truth of His Word.  We stand on the historic confessions that were written during that time period.  We aren't looking for some new message to proclaim.  The message we proclaim is the Gospel of Jesus Christ:  Christ and Him crucified, risen and exalted to the right hand of the Father.

The future is in God's hands.  Amazingly, we are already looking at some potential property for a new location for a future church building.  While we are thankful for God's provision thus far, we know that in order to carry out the ministries which God has called us to be engaged in to reach our community and area and to work with others, we will need a place to call "home."  Watch for more news on that in the near future.  Meanwhile, it is our heart's desire to glorify God as we seek earnestly to minister to all who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and to experience His love in word and deed.  It is our joy and pleasure to be used of God as His servants.  We invite you to join us in this real adventure of a lifetime!!