Today, the membership of Grace begins to turn the page to the next chapter in its good and honorable ministry as the church of Jesus Christ. Things will be different today. There will be no curtains on the walls, no sound system and audio-visual amplification to enhance our worship. Our stage and pulpit will be moved to the new location. Even though volunteers have been moving our belongings for weeks, today is the day that you will really see that our ministry in this location is coming to an end.
After nine years of ministry and service in this place, we need to end our presence here with grace and thanksgiving. I am reminded of what took place when Israel left their wanderings in the wilderness to set their feet in the new opportunity of the Promised Land. Joshua said to the people of Israel:
“…When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, …you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the water of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which he dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (Joshua 4:22-24)
In order for you to begin a new day, you must leave the old day behind. Israel left the wilderness to enter the Promised Land. That’s what we begin today at Grace. We leave this old place in order to enter a new place of opportunity and blessing.
I am calling upon our church family today to remember and share what the Lord has done for us here in this location. Many of you have testimonies of what God has accomplished in your lives here in this place. While being temporary in this spot, God has blessed us, adding to our numbers people who have been saved or joined from other places and churches. Lives have been changed. Babies have been born. Families have been started. Decisions to follow and exalt Jesus more fully have been made. We are a stronger church, a better church and a more determined church than we were nine years ago.
I will set aside time this morning in our worship for you to stand up for Jesus and tell your story about what God has done for you and your family over the last nine years. Even though I have prepared a sermon, I hope your testimonies will occupy the full service this morning. I will gladly delay what I have prepared to preach in order to hear what God has laid on your heart. Let’s be careful this morning to give God the glory for all that He has done in our church by providing this place for Grace Baptist Church to build its ministry. Jesus promised:
“…upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” (Matthew 16:18)
We worship God and praise Him for all that He has done to build His church in this location.
A Sunday School teacher asked her class of first graders, “Why is it important to be quiet in church?”
A small boy raised his hand and said, “Because my dad will be sleeping.”
A funny story about Grace will be appreciated. Let’s talk about the Lord today and all that He has done for us while we have been located here.