“Whoever receives you receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”- Matthew 10:40
Embracing the new! Last weekend was a historic and prophetic moment in time as we began the official steps of becoming RESTORATION CHURCH. From the first moments the Holy Spirit spoke this name into my heart to all the conversations and confirmations along the way, it has been astounding to watch the Lord speak, move, and prepare us for the new. We are living out the very words of Jesus in Mark 2:22, “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”
One of the miracle marker moments of this journey came at a church council meeting. As we were prayerfully processing all the details involved with the name change, I began to share what I thought would be the mission statement connected to Restoration Church. Based on the reactions in the room, it was clear that what I perceived as a good fit was failing to resonate. After more discussion, one of our amazing leaders spoke three simple words: RECEIVE, RENEW, and RELEASE. Instantaneously, a light bulb went off and everyone around the table was nodding and speaking their “amen” to what the Holy Spirit was doing in our midst.
For the next three devotionals, I want to focus on these three words. Let’s start with RECEIVE. As it relates to God’s economy and our church’s identity and activity Restoration Church will be a place people are received, welcomed, accepted, and invited into the fullness of true faith and fellowship.
1) People will be welcomed into our community. We will receive people with love, grace, and compassion. People will not need to be perfect to come, but will encounter God’s perfect love and even find some perfect friends to do life and faith with. In Philemon 1:16 Paul encourages this brother to welcome back into community one who had wronged him, “No longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.”
2) People will be invited into relationship with Jesus. Our primary mission and existence as a church is to preach the gospel, shine the light, and call people to receive Jesus. We want those who are far away, spiritually blind, broken down by life and lost come to the light and receive His eternal life. John 1:12 tells us, “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."
3) People will be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Living with purpose, walking according to God’s ways, overcoming challenges, and bearing fruit requires the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. As people move from the decision of salvation to becoming disciples of Christ, it is the Holy Spirit’s work that leads us into transformation, growth, and impact. In Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”