This 1978 New Years Eve sermon is a reflection on the past year as well as looking at some directives from the Lord that would help guide Grace Chapel in the new year as we grow as a church and community.
This has been a year that been very important in our history as a church. We just had out 9th birthday and we were able to reach out more this year than any year in the past. It has been a year of beginnings for church planning in our church in Bisbee, Prescott and Boston.”
It has been a year of vision as God has placed upon our heart the ministry of restoration and the fact that He wants us to be involved as a body.
We can also think of many things that God did, but probably the most important was God healing us after being torn at the beginning of the year. Though all in all this was a prosperous year according to Pastor John.
I believe the highlight of the year to me was when this church in the fall began to really learn to enter into worship. As we learned to lay aside our desires unto the Lord.”
This sermon marked the beginning of our 15th year of ministry at Grace Chapel. The church was incorporated December 23rd, 1969 and it actually began as a home meeting in Pastor John’s house in August of 1969.
The church has continued to grow and prosper since that time. The Lord’s blessing has been so evident and amazing upon us.”
Pastor John believed we were entering into a new era in the Lord. That is why he felt so strongly about the coming year of 1984. He felt that the year would set the parameters and be the foundation for the next era of harvesting that God is sending to us. It will determine to a great extent the caliber of spirituality and the growth we experience as a body in the overall economy of God’s working in His Church in Tucson. He was convinced that God had called us to a great destiny and that opportunity still lied before us to a great extent. We have only scratched the surface in our growth of what God wants to do with us and through us in the city of Tucson.
In order to move into the future Grace Chapel must make sure our past is not holding us back. Instead what lies behind us should be a good foundation for confidence and wisdom in God. Our direction then as a church is to concentrate first prayer and ministry right here among us while we discern what level of outreach we are able to continue in the Will of God. Our emphasis will then be on finishing the building we are putting up and paying it off. Caring for our flock, feeding our lambs, giving our children ministry and caring for the flock of God we have right here. We want to increase our devotion and worship until we can move into waves of glory that we haven’t yet experienced.”
Pastor John will read from Romans 8, 1 John chapter 1 and Philippians chapter 3 as he speaks of the road ahead for Grace Chapel and the city of Tucson, and we continued to Walk in the Spirit and grow in the grace of God.
Heading into the year 1985, Pastor John wanted to look at something that was interesting and hopefully would speak into our hearts. The subject was about resolutions and in particular New Year’s resolutions. What’s right about them and what’s wrong about them.
As I began to really study it out I found that I couldn’t tell you everything that’s right and wrong about it. So I am just going to try and fill out the time with what I know without getting into extensive difficulty, but try to give some guidelines.”
Ephesians 5 teaches us how to obtain to the Will of God. The only way to accomplish the Will of God is through the Holy Spirit. What Pastor John said is that we need to know the Will of God, we need to live carefully and take the opportunities that the Lord puts in front of us.
Ultimately, we need to create the time to serve the Lord.
At this point in time in 1987 Pastor John had been going through a series on the book of 1 Peter. Due to the time and season that was upon us, Pastor John took break from the Peter series to speak on a very important message that the Lord had laid heavy on his heart. For this message we are going to be reading from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 a very important and powerful part of the scripture.
We are living in a time that is doing its best to just take from us our fervency, our zeal, our enthusiasm, the freshness of His presence. Trying to rob us from those things that would do the most for us.”
As we approached the year of 1988, Pastor John believed we were entering into a time of destiny for our church. It was a time for us to be conscience of the Lord, the time we lived, and the importance of the hour. He hoped that this year rather than everybody playing his own tune, we could instead play a great concert for Jesus. He hoped rather than doing our own thing and going our own way that we would by recognizing a time, work together to pull in a harvest that the Lord has ordained for us. We can do that and he believe that is the reason for this message on this Sunday morning. We could do that if we really understand what time it is.
I believe that 1988 is a year for us to make probably one resolution. I’m just making a suggestion to you. Lets walk with Jesus this year. Lets walk with Jesus together. Lets seek His face…So we open our hearts oh God and we purpose in our heart to serve you this year. We purpose in our heart to lay things aside that hinder. We purpose in our heart to walk in unity. We purpose in our heart Father, to set before us the goals of the Spirit. Simple goals of the prayer. Goals of your word. Goals of love and your service. Goals of faith and of hope.”