1 Chronicles 16:11-13
We see in this passage that one of the ways we seek His presence is through remembering what He's done and is currently doing. Below, what I would like to do is walk us though the Story of God and how we fit into it. It all starts with creation, then the fall occurs and we are now currently wrapped in the movement of God redeeming all things to Himself. Believe it or not, were are a part for that story. Here is how we fit in…….
Genesis 1 and 2: Creation
God creates everything for his glory. So everything that is created is created so that we would experience it, enjoy it and it would lead us to worship and the praise of his name.
Food: Tastes should lead to worship.
Wine: Taste and relaxation should lead us to worship.
Sex: God created sex, nerve endings and climax should create worship of God.
Relationships: Emotional connections and community should lead to worship.
Marriage: Oneness should paint the picture between man and God and lead to worship.
Genesis 3: The Fall
Satan comes to Eve and tells her the great lie that all of us are tempted with even to this day. “God doesn’t want you to eat of this tree because if you do, you’ll become like God.”
Sin comes in and distorts everything.
Food: Is now indifferent or gluttony.
Wine: Is now indifferent or drunkenness.
Sex: Is now indifferent, casual or lust.
Relationships: Are now very surface and shallow or idolatry.
Marriage: Becomes either war or savior. War where 2 people are fighting for headship. Savior where we are looking for our spouse to bring total fulfillment.
Genesis 3:15 God says to Satan “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Genesis 8 and 9 God kills everyone and starts over with Noah.
Genesis 15:5 God says to Abraham “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[d] be.”
God gives the Law: not so that we can obey all of it but rather to show us that we cannot. And because we cannot obey it all, God creates a sacrificial system in which a Goat, Lamb or some other animal would be sacrificed by a priest for the forgiveness of sins.
God gives the prophets To tell us that there will be a Messsiah, The Christ,
John the Baptist comes on the scene telling us to prepare the way of the lord and then
Jesus comes. He lives with 12 disciples, he lives the life that we can not live, dies the death that we aught to die, “God mad him who knew no sin, to be sin, so that we may become the righteousness of God.” The great exchange.
Rises from the dead, and drops this line: The great commission. Matthew 28:18-20
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (AND THEY DO)
Acts 2 The Holy Spirit comes on the day of Pentecost and Peter preaches the first Christian sermon and 3000 people were swept into the Kingdom.
Acts 9 Saul becomes Paul in this incredible conversion and begins to travel and plant churches everywhere he goes.
Acts 10 God saves the first Gentiles and there s a board meeting to deside if God is allowed to save the Gentiles.
Acts 15 We see the first Church split, by the sovereignty of God, Paul and Barnabas Separate and go different ways spreading the gospel.
By Acts 28 and approx 70AD the gospel has spread from that little upper room to Jerusalem, Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Thessalonica, most of Europe and parts of Spain.
In 189 The bishop of Alexandria sends the first missionary to India to risk his life and preach the gospel.
By 306 Christianity is established in Britain and has spread to Asia.
In 312, the Roman Emperor Constantine claimed to have had a conversion experience. About 70 years later, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Bishops were given places of honor in the government, and by the year 400, the terms “Roman” and “Christian” were virtually synonymous.
In the 5th century St. Patrick was sent as a missionary from Britian to bring the gospel to the barbarians of Northern Ireland and Scotland. Within a few years, Christanity has become the official religion of the Celtic Irish and we celebrate that today in March on St Patricks day by wearing green and getting smashed.
In the fifteenth century, through the leadership of Godly men like Martin Luther, history saw the Bible translated and printed in most of Europe's major languages. For the first time in the history of Christianity it became available to large numbers of readers. As a result many Christians discovered that masses, confession, and other central features of their religion were not mentioned in the Bible at all.
In 1630 King Charles began to persecute the Reformed Christians. As a result, tens of thousands of them fled to New England from 1630 to 1640, founding Boston and its surrounding towns, and eventually the colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. In order to assure themselves a reliable supply of ministers, one of the first things the Puritans did was to establish Harvard College in 1636.
In the late nineteenth century Millions of rural Americans began to move to the cities to get manufacturing jobs. Among them were many Methodists, who were shocked by how lax Methodism had become in the cities. To protect their children against the sins of liquor and dancing these people formed the Church of the Nazarene.
In 1960’s a group of Godly Men in Greensboro NC decided to plant a church in the outskirts of the city, called Daystar Christian Fellowship.
In September of 2000, an unbelieving no-body who had never met a Christian, Matt Chewning, enrolls at Eastern Nazarene College to play basketball, only to find Christ, a wonderful wife, and feel a call to ministry.
In 2001, Allen Holmes, becomes the pastor of Daystar Christian Fellowship and comes up with the slogan “Whatever it takes to make Christ followers everywhere.” Their mission was to invest in the coming up generation.
On October 9th 2007, After serving as a part time youth pastor, I wrote this in my journal while at a conference in Atlanta. “I told Beth about these dreams I am having in Greater Boston, before I told her, I asked her this question, “If God were to send us to plant a church, where would it be? She quickly said Greater Boston.” Is God trying to tell me something? Is he calling us to move and plant a church in Boston? That is crazy,
In 2008 After a long assessment process with Acts 29, a young man named Stephen Wagoner in Winston Salem, NC becomes the church planter of 1.21 Church.
On December 2, 2008 (My Birthday) Mimi (my mother-inlaw) gives me a journal and tells me that she feels that the Lord is calling her to move to Boston, but she’s not going unless she gets $50,000 to get out of debt.
On December 15th, 2008 Just 13 days later Steve got a phone call from a distant relative. One of his aunts died and has left them $75,000 which after taxes is a little more than $50,000. Boston, here we come.
On December 20, 2008 Beth and I got a phone-call from our neighbors that they had something to drop off. They gave us $2500 and said that God had put it on their heart to give us that money for the church plant in Boston. This is Netcast's first check.
August 11th 2009 I walked into work today and started my day doing a devotion. God clearly told me to quit my job. I called Beth and my mentors. They all helped me confirm that this was the call of God.
August 19th 2009 I gave my resignation.
On September 12, 2009 I wrote, “I was ordained today at Daystar Christian Fellowship.” I cant believe this is really happening.
September 14th 2010 Its my first day as a church planter / fundraiser and Intern at 1.21 Church in Winston Salem, NC. I am in the office and have no idea what I am supposed to be doing. I guess I’ll read my bible and pray.
January 10th 2010 Raised $50,000 so far. God is so gracious.
June 7th 2010 Met this dude Joey Columba online who runs the entire North Shore facebook pages. Seems like a great guy.
June 19th 2010 Tool a trip to the North Shore to look at the different areas and pray about where God wants us to plant. Beth and I fought the entire trip. Experiencing major spiritual warfare.
August 9th 2010 Took a 2nd trip to the North Shore. Experienced MAJOR spiritual warfare. Beth questioned our call and there is only 1 house available in the area we are looking to plant. It’s a terrible house in Beverly. We committed to live there but only if the owner cleans the house and changes the carpet.
August 12th 2010 Got an email from a dude named Dan Savlon. He came across our website. I’ll meet with him when we move. I wonder is he’s a cool dude.
August 15th 2010 Got a text from Kevin Minix today about one of his youth kids going to Gordon to play Basketball. That is insane. His name is Luke Hamilton
September 1st 2010 Moved to Beverly. The house is under construction and its gonna be great when it is done. Praise God. He is so good.
September 7th 2010 Went to Gordon to meet Luke Hamilton. Met Luke, he’s alright. But….Shaun Roach came up to me. I haven’t seen him in like 10 years. He used to be a pudgy kid, now he’s a skinny baller. What the heck is God doing?
September 9th 2010 Met this guy Josh Sturgeon today for coffee. Awesome man of God. I have no idea why the Lord has put us together. He is a worship leader and a basketball player. Well. He says he's a basketball player. I didn’t even know God made those kinds of people. Also, while having coffee we met this girl Kristin Oliver who said she was looking for a new church.
September 21st 2010 The North Shore Magazine is interviewing me for a featured story on Netcast. I tried to tell them that we're not that special.
October 10th 2010 We had our first Vision Party today and 31 people showed up. The highlight of the night is that some random girl, Brooke, showed up because she saw something about us online. She left saying that “she's in.” We'll see about that.
October 23rd 2010 Dan Savlon has committed to the team and Erica Sturgeon wrote a blog about how God has called her and Josh to be apart of Netcast. The team is growing much faster than we ever thought.
October 24th 2010 I love my college students. Just took some kid, Sam, out to coffee and he grilled me for an hour to make sure that I don't water the gospel down. Who is this guy?
November 1st 2010 We are going to start meeting together in the morning to pray about possible looking to launch a service.
November 21st 2010 As a team, we served Thanksgiving dinner to over 30 people at the YMCA. I love my core team. They are incredible. Also, the YMCA has given me keys to the building.
November 23rd 2010 The magazine article is out and a dude at the YMCA stopped me and said, “you’re that guy in that article.” It freaked me out.
December 12, 2010 40 people gather in my house for the last Netcast Church meeting of 2010. God is building his church.
December 18th, 2010 Got an email from a guy named Eric Keifer. They're in. Looks like we'll have a youth group. They have 8 kids.
January 11, 2011 We are feeling spiritually attacked. A scary man is sending us weird letters, Jacob is having night terrors and weird things are happening in the house. To Christ be all glory as I know that the enemy has already been defeated.
January 23rd, 2011 We launched the church today. 120 people joined us for worship for our opening Service. I told people that “Heaven was gonna be a city, and if they don't like the city, they can go hell.” Will anyone come back next week?
January 30, 2011 People came back. The house was full again. This is crazy. And people tithed.
February 2011 We did a 2 week sex series with Q&A. Not sure if I'll ever do that again. We had all the questions on the screen and I kid you not, the words “anal and toys” were up there. Either this church is gonna blow up quick or die fast.
March 2011 Community Groups started this week and Dan Byrd, my college pastor, brought a missions team from his church in Florida. We put on a movie night for the community and had a ton of families join us.
April 2011 Had an easter egg hunt in the rain and 400 people came out to it. Gave away about $1000 worth of gifts to the community. I love how we are becoming a church not just in the city, but for the city.
May 2011 Dan Byrd called me today weeping over the phone. God is moving in his heart to have a different type of ministry. He's asking questions about Beverly and it seems that God is laying on his heart to be more of a part of what God is doing at Netcast.
August 2011 It was a very stressful but productive summer. We continued to grow all summer long with people from our community. I have actually begun to see gray hair in the crowd. Praying that God continues to bring more mature believers as we prepare for our college students to come back.
September 1 2011 Dan and Tara Byrd have officially moved. This is crazy. They will be responsible in helping oversee all of our community groups and multiplication. In order to really change this region, we need to start to plant churches and other campuses.
September 4, 2011 We broke the 200 mark today. Preached my heart out about the healing power of Jesus. God saved a friend of mine in the service.
September 11, 2011 Today is a huge day for me and Netcast. I celebrated being a christian for 11 years and baptized 9 people in front of a crowd of about 215 people. Probably the most powerful service I have ever been a part of. God is saving people every week it seems. Looking forward to the Encounter Series.
Why am I sharing this? Because thousands of years ago in Genesis 15, God told Abraham that he was going to raise up a nation for himself that will outnumber the stars. Then in the gospels Jesus says, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not stop it.” And that’s exactly what he is doing and this is what we are wrapped up in.
It is important to remember this because at times life is hard, pain is real, suffering will occur and forgetting is easy. We are called to remember what we are involved in; The Story of God.
So, what is our Response?
In the passage below, it is clear that our remembering should lead us to worship.
1 Chronicles 16:8-34
8 Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 9Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! 10Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!11 Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! 12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered, 13O offspring of Israel his servant, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! 14He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 15Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, 16the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, 17which he confirmed as a statute to Jacob, as an everlasting covenant to Israel, 18saying, "To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance." 19When you were few in number, and of little account, and sojourners in it, 20wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, 21he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, 22saying, "Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!" 23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. 24Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. 25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be held in awe above all gods. 26For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 27Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. 28Ascribe to the LORD, O clans of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! 29Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; 30tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!" 32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! 33Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. 34Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!