If you’re married and experiencing difficulty in your marriage, then you may be wondering if it would just be easier to be married to someone else. But Pastor Ford would suggest if the grass looks greener on the other side, then you just stay on your grass and start weeding it and watering it and fertilizing it. And then you know what will happen? Your grass will look as green as the grass on the other side. In other words, marriages take work and care if they are going to succeeed.
We all know know that traditional marriage vows require a couple to promise, “until death do us part.” But Pastor Ford points out that is so often not the case in marriage today. As we begin a study in Malachi about divorce, he’ll explain how God established marriage as a permanent institution, with principles that govern it. And so, it’s just like anything else—if we honor the principles, the principles will honor us.
As we conclude our current study, Pastor Ford wants those who are hurting in his community to know that there truly is hope for them. God is available to them and will take them out of whatever situation they may be in. They don’t have to be hopeless! We’ll discover today how each of us can share hope with those who may be hopeless in our own communities.
Jesus made an exchanage with us. He took our sin and gave us salvation. He took our sadness and gave us joy. He took our carnality and gave us His spirituality and he took our poverty and gave us His wealth. And this exchange He made with us, should make us want to worship Him with all that we have.
Many people are changing the definition of sin and they’re twisting the message of the Word of God, just to make it palatable to unbelievers. But when we go out to reach our communities, Pastor Ford encourages us to take to heart what D.L. Moody used to say, “The Word of God is like a lion! You don’t have to defend it, just let it go,” so it can do it’s work in the hearts of the lost.
Pastor Ford will remind us today, that if we’re going to make any kind of impact in this world whatsoever, we’re going to have to be people who are flexible enough to change, or we’re never going to make it. We’ll consider this truth today as we look further at how to reach out to those who need Christ in our communities.
Jesus practiced incarnational ministry. We’ll see today how Jesus went to where He knew the woman at the well would be, so He could meet her in her place of need. He didn’t tell her to come to church, or come to synagogue….He took church to her! And that’s what we have to do in our own communities—take church to the lost people around us.
When you consider going beyond the walls of your church to reach your community, you may not feel ready to engage the people you will encounter. And that’s okay, because readiness can take time. But those who are ready to go still need your support through prayer. Your prayers will be the umbrella of protection over them, so that you can also be involved in the effort to reach those who need Christ.
As we consider the people who need Christ in the communities around us, we must realize that we don’t have an option—we must go and reach them! God has put us where we are to be a lighthouse for Him. And as Pastor Ford explains how he and the believers at Christ Bible Church will be striving to reach their own community, he’ll be asking us to consider this today—are we ready to make a difference where we are?
As we continue our series on worship, Pastor James Ford turns to Isaiah 40 and explains that this passage drives us to worship God, by giving us a glimpse of His glory, so we would be mesmerized by His majesty, blinded by His beauty and humbled by His holiness.
Pastor James Ford Jr. has been the senior pastor of Christ Bible Church of Chicago, located on the south side of Chicago, Ill., for over 35 years. He also serves as the president of Impact Ministries, an outreach ministry committed to strengthening families in the South Shore community of Chicago.