A Word from Pastor Oren - August

I have a BIG announcement! But first, you need to read below.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen – (Ephesians 3:20-21)

I’m sure you’ve read this verse many times and there is no doubt that you have even heard a sermon or two featuring these verses. There are many ways to approach these verses theologically and practically, each with their own merit and reason. But for the purposes of this short article, I want you to focus on the words far more abundantly. In other translations you might read exceedingly abundantly beyond (KJV) or immeasurably more (NIV). In any case, the magnitude of what God the Father is able to do is beyond our comprehension and understanding. What’s more is that God is able to do greater things than we can even imagine. I can’t even think about that concept without my head spinning a little. As creative (and wild) as my imagination can be, God is able to do far more abundantly than even those crazy thoughts. I’m not sure if you have considered this idea, but God is ALL-POWERFUL, and he is at work in his people.

Last August, our church family gathered together to spend time in worship and prayer as we began a new era in the life of FBC Baton Rouge. On August 28, 2011, I was privileged to have the opportunity to share with you the vision that I believe God has given us for the future of our church. And to be quite honest, it is a big, daunting, and impossible vision. Now, before you say “Impossible? Nothing is impossible with God”, I would say “Yes, you are correct.” The element of impossibility in this vision is that if it is left up to us, we would never accomplish the tasks that God has set before us. BUT, with much prayer and dependence upon God Almighty, there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that God is able to do in us what he desires for the glory of his name. For reference, visit www.fbcbr.com/about-us to refresh yourself on the 11-point vision for FBC.

Now that we are 1 year removed from the beginning of this newvision for our church, it is time for us to take a serious look at how we are doing. An honest and sincere evaluation is a healthy and even encouraging way for us as a church family to see where we have come up short in some areas, but more importantly, where God has been faithful to do as he promised. When I look around FBC andconsider where we are today, I am greatly uplifted by what God has faithfully done in us and through us over the past 12 months.

Ephesians 3:20-21 has been the verse that I have turned to time and time again when I’ve grown doubtful or cynical about how we will be able to accomplish this great vision. And as always, the Holy Spirit has revealed to me that it is not up to me to do it all, but rather I am called to be faithful in leading this congregation to trust that God is able, if we would only surrender to his will and obey his Word. I believe that “he is able to do far more abundantly than we can ask or think”, so this vision isn’t so daunting anymore. I hope you understand that there is still much work left for us to do, but it is also my genuine belief that God is in our midst and he is doing just as he promised. And for that, I am overjoyed and abundantly encouraged.

Now for the BIG announcement: On Sunday evening, August 26, at 6:00 PM, we will host Vision: Revisited, which will be a worship and prayer service in the church sanctuary. The goal of this service is to revisit our vision and give ourselves a “report card” on our progress. You will find report card forms in display areas throughout the church. Please pick one up and fill it out. I would encourage you to use the space provided to suggest new and innovative ideas that can help us move forward in year 2 of our vision. Also, I hope to be able to make 2 very special and exciting presentations to you on that night as well, so you don’t want to miss it! Continue to pray for FBC and I hope to see you at Vision: Revisited on August 26.

Your Pastor,


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