God Opens a New Door for Oak Hills
March 26, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
The day has come. This Sunday, March 29, Oak Hills will gather for worship in a building she has purchased! For 16 years Oak Hills’ has been a “tabernacling” church in the Kansas City metro seeking to glorify God by proclaiming the good news of God’s astonishing grace. We continue that mission now in our own facility.
The words of Psalm 127:1-2 remind us of God’s sovereign care for his church: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives his beloved sleep.”
1. God is the one who builds his church. Jesus emphasizes this in Matthew 16:18. No matter how much physical work we do on a church building, no matter how much we advertise and invite people to come, no matter how much we “labor,” we cannot build Christ’s church without Him. He will draw people to himself. He will grant people a new heart leading to repentance. He will transform people into new creations. He will redeem for himself a people from every tongue, tribe, and nation. These are works only God can do.
There is great peace in this truth. At the end of the day, the church is not dependent on you or me. I cannot mess it up; neither can you! It would be vain for us to labor in building the church as if it depended on us. “Sleep” is a gift from the Lord, highlighting his gracious sustenance and provision.
2. While God is the one who builds his church, we still labor for his church. God is the ultimate cause for church growth, but he delights in using his people and their gifts to bring about the growth. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God plans and initiates the good works he accomplishes through us, but we still “walk in them.” We still have the responsibility to “work harder” for the glory of God, acknowledging that it is only by the grace of God we work (see 1 Cor. 15:10).
There is great joy in this truth. God will build his church and he plans to use you and me to do it! So, all of our “labor” for the church God uses for his sovereign work to build the church. What a significant privilege to be a part of God’s work!
Pray with me for Oak Hills as we start this “new chapter” of church labor. May our efforts be faithful to glorify God and fruitful for the sake of the gospel.