When Abram was 75-years-old, God told him to leave the land where he lived and go to a place that God would give to him. 75-years-old is pretty old to pull up stakes, move, and begin a whole new life. Yet, Abram had the faith to do exactly as the Lord instructed, made his way to Canaan, with God guiding him, protecting him, and directing him all the way.
As human beings, as we age, we tend to become set in our ways. We like our routine and what's comfortable and become less inclined to make changes in our lives. And yet, God likes new things. When God created in Genesis 1 it was a whole new world. In Revelation 21, at the end of time, God will make all things new. The word "new" is found more than 280 times in the Bible. God asks us to do new things, to not grow too comfortable, so that we can show our faith by following him, like Abram did.
I would go so far as to suggest that right now God may be asking you to do something new. He may be asking you to serve him in a new way, and if you do, he'll give you the strength and ability to serve him well. He may be asking you to learn new things about him by joining a small group or Bible class or by spending more intentional times in personal Bible study and prayer. God may want you to do something new with your finances, if you don't tithe, show your faith by giving God 10% of your income, as he instructs in the Bible. God may be asking you to talk to a friend or family member about you're faith. If you've never shared your faith with another person before, it can feel intimidating, but God will help us. What new thing might God be asking you to do?
I believe Genesis 12 speaks powerfully to the First Baptist Church of Riverside. We've served God in this community for 144 years. That's a long time. Sometimes churches, like people, grow comfortable, fear change, and when God calls them to mount a new campaign, to serve Christ in a new way, they hesitate. Well, the world is changing. If we want to continue to serve God in Riverside and have a relevant witness to the people in our community, we must be willing to change. I'm not talking about changing our beliefs or what the Bible teaches. God's word is eternal and never changes. But the way we do ministry has to change. We don't show our faith by continuing to do what's comfortable, we show our faith by being willing to follow God and do what he asks.
Maybe God is speaking to you right now, challenging you to do something new. If you want to know more about what that might look like for your life, join us for worship this Sunday at First Baptist Riverside. We have a Traditional Worship Service at 9:00 a.m. and a Contemporary Service at 10:45 a.m. This Sunday is Scout Sunday, the Scouts from Troop 2 will participate in our services and they'll have a Pancake Breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. to raise money for their activities. Come to church early enough to have breakfast and support the scouts. Hope to see you here!