One Thing to Make Our Church Healthier

Matt Evans

Posted April 8, 2021
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I strongly believe that if we all asked God for this and committed ourselves to this, Rock Bridge would be a healthier church—immediately!

I shared this last night at First Wednesday. Check out the message here.

What is THIS? The ONE THING that I am talking about?

First, “THIS ONE THING” is based on the solid logic of the cross.

Romans 8:32
He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

Because of the gift of the Gospel, we know God is not withholding from us, that He has the character, capacity, and the desire to bless His people. The prophet Isaiah captured what our response should be to this understanding of God.

Isaiah 30:18 (NIV)
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore, He will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!

We should wait on God, but waiting is not what we might think. Waiting is actively, expectantly seeking God through the channels where His grace flows the strongest and fullest.

Lamentations 3:25
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.

So, what is “THIS ONE THING?” It is active expectancy which I’ll define as seeking God for Who He is (gracious, His Son not sparing) and for the grace He longs to give.

Let’s be honest.
Do we come to worship services with active expectancy?
Read Scriptures with active expectancy?
Pray with active expectancy?
Go to our small groups with active expectancy?

It’s so easy for us to approach these means or channels of grace with a “check a box” mentality versus an “expect a move of God” anticipation.

Yet we remember Jesus’ words that “It shall be done to you according to your faith” (Matthew 9:29, NASB).

Here are five reasons why active expectancy should be our normal posture as a church.

1) The cumulative effect of consistency in the channels of grace.
Galatians 6:7-8
For whatever a person sows he will also reap because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.

Consistent investment (sowing) in areas that promote Christ-centeredness and the presence of the Holy Spirit will pay off and produce a holy harvest! 

2) God gives grace in and through corporate fellowship.
Hebrews 10:23-24
Let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.

3) God’s Word never returns empty.
Isaiah 55:10-11
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with My word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

The potential of listening and reading God’s Word is absolutely amazing!
O Lord, give us ears to hear and hearts that expect when Your word is read, taught, or preached!

4) The sovereign and spontaneous freedom of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1
When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly … they were all filled with the Holy Spirit …

“Sometimes … [the Holy Spirit] comes like the pouring rain; sometimes like the gentle dew.” {Robert Murray M’Cheyne”}

But He comes to those who ask (Luke 11:13)!

5) Exalting and magnifying Jesus makes fertile ground for the Holy Spirit …
John 16:14
He (Holy Spirit) will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.

When our goal is the same as the Holy Spirit’s—to exalt Jesus Christ—the Spirit is not quenched, resisted, or grieved but unleashed!

Rock Bridge, let’s come to church differently! Let’s be the church differently! Let’s engage the Bible differently, sing differently, listen to preaching differently, pray differently … with THIS ONE THING of active expectancy!!

The best is yet to come!!!