“The Power of Longevity?”
I have lived in Highlands for eight years now. Considering the culture here in the United States, eight years is a long time to stay in one place with one employer and in one house. As this year comes to a close, I have been thinking of the past eight years and what I have seen taken place here on the Highlands-Cashiers plateau. Of course, my observations lean a bit toward those in and around the church. It’s amazing what you see when you stay in one place.
Over the past eight years I have seen some wonderful young people adventure off our mountain to feed the poor, minister to street children, care for refugees, build buildings, and make Christ known to thousands of people without hope in over 50 nations. Sometimes this millennial generation gets a bad rap, but I have seen many of our own young people serve their country or graduate from college or produce worship music and also rank nationally in oration, debate or creative arts.
I have had the privilege of seeing a man earn a seat in the U.S. Congress. I have seen seemingly hopeless marriages restored, businesses rebound from despair, bodies healed, people called into ministry, drug and alcohol addictions broken and churches planted. I have seen people overcome deep depression, loneliness and longstanding emotional wounds. I have seen some incredible compassionate care provided for people during times of incredible crisis and tragedy. I have seen many women not abort their babies and not regret it and many women abort their babies and deeply regret it.
I have seen people angry with God only to wholeheartedly accept Him as Lord. I have seen others vehemently deny God only to accept Him as their Lord, and I have seen others very ambivalent to Christ passionately come alive in Him.
It seems as though seeing these things take place is the result of being in one place and enjoying a longstanding vantage point. I suppose that is true but there is a greater truth. The wonderful things that I, and many others, have had the privilege of witnessing and experiencing are not simply because of physical proximity. The Spirit of God is at work among the people in our mountains that choose to reach out to Him. Longevity is wonderful but more so is the grandeur, majesty and nobility of Christ at work in anyone’s life regardless of their sin, filth, perceived inadequacy, drunken stupor, or low self-esteem.
As we celebrate Christmas this season and look ahead to the New Year, ask yourself this question…Am I in need of the Christmas spirit and the wonderful yet temporary emotions it elicits? Or Am I in need of an eternal, non-temporary infusion of the Holy Spirit of God that transforms my thoughts, actions, wants and desires while moving me into greater purpose and mission? Just words? No, much more than words, I am seeing this everyday and hoping you are as well. Call on Christ this Christmas and find someone who knows what they are talking about when it means to receive His forgives, love and joy! Let them lead you to a new life in Him.
Learn more about Community Bible Church and Pastor Gary Hewins