The Importance of Laying a Foundation – Pt.4

4. Building for More

CLH2As we conclude our posts on the Importance of laying a Foundation, I believe that it is important that when we build, that we build for more. Consider this quote from Warren Wiersbe,

“The foundation is the most important part of the building, for it determines the size, shape, and strength of the structure.”

Here in the city of Hamburg there is a beautiful church building that has a tower that the public is able to go to the top of for an amazing view of the city. I have personally been up there many times and have brought many others with me to go and pray over Hamburg. One of the things that I challenge them with while they are up there is with the ability to see beyond all of the apartment complexes, office buildings, shopping centers, etc. and seek to see the most important part of the city – for it can easily be skipped over. What is it? The people.

As we consider laying a foundation, we want to build wisely, we want to build correctly, and we want to build to endure. Why? Because we want to build for more! I am not sure where you live, but we live in a city of 1.8 million people from over 180 different nations. I believe that when Jesus picked His twelve disciples and invested into their lives, He did not only see them, but He also saw something more. What was it? The world! I believe that He saw us here today, in this city, and in this generation. Now I have no idea what the Lord will do here in the city of Hamburg, but I do not believe that He wants to reach only a few people. I am not claiming that we are going to be a mega church, nor do I desire that, but I do believe that as we make the preparations for more, that we need to be in prayer and ask the Lord to see the people of Hamburg how He sees them.

During a recent prayer time, we spent time praying for a meeting place where Muslims, rich, poor, drug addicts, prostitutes, those in need, the proud, different people from different nations, those lives who are in shambles, etc. to be able to come to and be taught the word of God. I am not sure at this point who God will reach through this new church plant, but I do pray that lives will be transformed and those who are currently rebels will be transformed into worshipers of Jesus. Lord, have Your way! I will end this post with a quote from Dwight L. Moody. “If God is your partner, make your plans big.” 

Let’s build for more!

If you are interested in listening to the teaching, click here

The Importance of Laying a Foundation – Pt.3

Today, we continue to share with you on the topic of laying a foundation. Make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you have not already done so.

3. Building to Endure

I would say that this is a very key element that needs to be consider. In Matthew 7:24-25, Jesus said,

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”

CLH2Jesus does not say that the life of faith is going to be an easy life. In fact, He tells us that “storms” will come and will “beat” on our “house.” As we move forward with this new church plant in the city of Hamburg, one thing that we can expect for sure are storms or opposition. We know that the enemy is not simply going to lie down or roll out the red carpet and allow us to bring the gospel message to the people of Hamburg. Our faith, your faith, will be tested. Maybe you have heard the quote before, “A faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted.” But as we look a little closer at the statements of Jesus here in Matthew we see the outcome of the wise man that built his house upon the rock. It says that “…it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” Simply put, is your life built upon the rock of Jesus Christ? Then be encouraged that no matter what you may go through, you will stand in the end. If not, you may want to read what Jesus says about the man who built his house upon the sand. (see Matthew 7:26-27)

There is something else that we must consider as we discuss the topic of Building to Endure. Paul clearly declares to us that we need to “take heed” how we build upon that foundation. Let’s read…

1 Corinthians 3:12-13 “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.”

In the text, Paul gives us six materials that could be used to build with. The first set describe the things that will last through the fire and the second set describe the things that will be burned up by the fire. Paul declares to us that “…each one’s work will become clear…” I am not going to go too much into this, but I think it is pretty clear. We need to ask ourselves, “What materials am I using to build into my life?” My dear friend, take the time to reflect on that question.

Now let us consider the following quote from Warren Wiersbe, “Each of us builds into the Church what we build into our own lives.” As we are in our very beginning stages, it is our aim here at CityLight Hamburg to build with the gold, silver, and precious stones. We want to build with the things that will last, but it is important that we do it on an individual level as well. Later on in 1 Corinthians 12:12, Paul declares to us…

“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.”

We need to remember that each one of us plays a very vital role in being a part of the body of Christ. It doesn’t matter how big or small our role may be, it is vital. Therefore, it is important that we individually building with the things that will last, so that the whole body will be stronger as well.

May we be those who build to endure!

Starting on Pentecost

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4

As many of you know, we have been in the process of asking, seeking, and knocking as it comes to finding a meeting place for CityLight Hamburg. It has been a very beneficial process and we see that the Lord has been directing our steps. For the past months we have “sensed” that it was time to move forward and take the step into the city and we are excited to let you know that the Lord has opened a door for us and we will begin to meet there on Sunday, June 8, 2014. So let me share with you some of the details that have taken place these past few weeks.

Throughout the searching process, we have constantly been “hitting a wall” it seems in regards to finding a new location to meet. There were many questions and thoughts for us to consider. Where in the city? Should we get our own place at this time or should we rent out a place on a weekly basis? Could we afford our own place? What would be the best “first step” into the city? Etc. Well, a few weeks ago, as I was reading in my devotions, I had begun the book of Deuteronomy. As I began to read through chapter one, I began to read over how Moses recounted the story of Numbers 13 & 14 with the new generation that would be entering into the promise land. As I read through the chapter, there were two verses that really stood out to me.

Deuteronomy 1:8, “See, I have set the land before you; go in a possess the land…”

Deuteronomy 1:21 “Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.”

As I began to write some things down in my journal, I was thinking about our personal move as a family (we just moved into our new home) and, as well, the steps that were before us as CityLight. Through this time, I sensed that the Lord was clearly speaking to me that it was time to “go up and possess the land.” Although I didn’t have an answer yet on so many of our questions, I knew it was time to move forward. The next morning I receive a text message from Janos that said, “The lady called and said we can use the building.” To which I responded, “I know, the LORD already told me yesterday.” As you can imagine, he was quite excited and we quickly called each other and talked over some of the details. As the next few days went by, we arranged to go and view the possible rooms and begin the process of figuring out the costs. With the doors opening up to this location, we took our guys discipleship night and met at the location and spent time praying outside of the building and in the surrounding area. We then took part of the group over to the building on Sunday, May 25th and showed them the rooms that we will be able to use.

As we make this first step into the city, here are the few that that we know for sure. (1) We know that the LORD has spoken to us that it is time to “go up and possess the land.” (2) This was the only door that did open up for us (3) The location is very practical for us. It is right down the street to where we have already been meeting. (4) The location is a prime location, right on the Alster (water)! (5) There are not any other churches in this part of the city! (6) This door of opportunity is way beyond us!

Having shared all of this, we know that although we will be meeting literally in an upper room on Pentecost, we need something greater than a cool date and great location. We need the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to empower us for the work that He will desire to do! This is where you can join in with us and continue to be a part of what the Lord is doing here in Hamburg! Please do join in with us this month of June as we focus in on prayer. We praise God for what He is doing and look forward to what He will continue to do!

Here are a few of the pictures for our new meeting location…

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The Upper Room where the adults will be meeting

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The Children’s Ministry Room

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The back side of the building where they have canoes that you can rent for a boat ride

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The Sport Room that the kids will be able to use from time to time

The Importance of Laying a Foundation – Pt.2

Today, we continue to share with you on the topic of laying a foundation. Make sure to check out Part 1 if you have not already done so. We know continue with our second point.
CLH22. Building Correctly

Here is a question that we must ask ourselves. What made Paul the wise master builder? 1 Corinthians 3:10 gives us the answer. “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation…” Paul built correctly. He laid the foundation first!  But there is something that is very important that we note about the foundation that he laid. Let us consider some verses earlier in 1 Corinthians…

1 Corinthians 1:12-13 “Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

1 Corinthians 3:4 “For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?”

What do we notice about the foundation that Paul laid? He did not build upon any personality or upon the reputation of an individual. When we think upon these truths and today’s culture, how often is a local church centered on the wrong person? How often is a local church centered around the personality or charisma of the pastor, the graphic department, the great children’s ministry, the worship team, the building, etc.? These things are not bad in and of themselves, but they are not something to build a foundation on. What did Paul build the foundation on? He states it very clearly in the following verses…

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 

1 Corinthians 3:11 “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Paul built on the only foundation that lasts – Jesus Christ! He was not a wise master builder simply because he laid a foundation, but because he laid the right foundation. Paul knew that it was not about any particular man, this is why he wrote…

1 Corinthians 3:5-7 “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”

All those that God decides to use are simply ministers (servants). It is God who must bring the increase. Paul knew that if God was not in it, then it was not worth it. So he became that wise master builder who built correctly and laid the foundation of Jesus Christ.

And so as we consider a FOUNDATION – We want to BUILD CORRECTLY!

The Importance of Laying a Foundation – Pt.1

Over the past several weeks we have begun to go over the vision for CityLight Hamburg. Over the next several weeks or months I am going to share with you a brief post from each of the teachings, so that you can become a part of what the Lord is doing here in Hamburg and be better informed on how you can be praying for us. I am not sure how often I will be able to write these posts, but I will do my best to keep you informed. So let us begin…

1 Corinthians 3:10-13 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.”

Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

  1. Building Wisely

CLH2Paul starts off in 1 Cor. 3:10 stating, “according to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation…” The word wise in this verse means … skilled; forming the best plans and using the best means for their execution. As we consider planting a new church in the city of Hamburg and seek to be a wise master builder, here are some of the ingredients that I believe are important:

  1. Vision – what is the ultimate goal? In Prov. 29:18 it says, “Without vision, the people perish.”
  2. Design/Detail – what will it look like? (Plans, blueprints, etc.) This is a very important part of the process that takes time and is not something to be rushed over. In fact, for those of you who are familiar with working with blue prints, you know that they will be looked over and re-worked many times over before they are finalized.
  3. Patience – it is going to take some time. Any project that is worth investing into will not be something that is quickly built. Having said that, we believe that these first few years are very vital to the foundation period. Patience will be needed. Grace, love, forgiveness, and mercy will need to be extended.
  4. Order – it is important that each “phase” is done in the correct order. Each step along the way is all a part of the process and therefore it is to be enjoyed. No matter how excited we may be for future steps, if we do not do things in the correct order, than those future steps will not be correctly made either.

So as we consider laying a foundation, we desire to be those who build wisely!

More to come…