3Generate

Well, what a fantastic weekend! I left last Sunday, feeling completely exhausted yet very proud to be a Methodist and really excited about the future of this church.

I’ll be blogging over the next week or so about all that happened at 3Generate, but I want to start with the worship. Partly because, this was my contribution to the weekend(!), and also because for me it was the most powerful thing about the whole weekend.

We kicked off looking at CALLING, and I spoke on the story of Samuel and how he was called by God. Three verses stuck out for me (annoyingly as I was trying REALLY hard not to make it a 3 point sermon!)...

‘...the word of the Lord was rare...’

I often look at the world, and my own situation and just think, where on earth is God in all this. That was true for Samuel, and is probably true for pretty much everyone at some time in their life. But actually, you don’t have to look that hard to see where God actually is!

I challenge you to make a list of all the places you can see God working through (e.g. creation, friends & family), and see how many pieces of paper you can fill...I guarantee it’ll be at least 2!

‘...Samuel did not yet know the Lord...’

We often think that we have to be this perfect Christian to be called by God. Actually, if you look through the Bible, the people God called were the last people you’d expect to be called by God.

'By Him, you are called into relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ' – 1 Corinthians 1:9

Each and every one of us is called by God; primarily to have a relationship with Him. God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

‘...stood before Him exactly as before...’

God stood right in front of Samuel to call him, but still didn’t notice until after Eli pointed out it was God! I think a lot of us have a very set image as to what God’s call will end up looking like, and unless the call fits in with that set image we have in our head we often miss it.

I challenge you to open your eyes and your hearts to what God’s call might be, and prepare yourself to be blown away by the incredible and surprising way that God reveals that to us.

The Saturday looked at our RESPONSE to God’s call, looking at the story of Noah. I doubt whether many people have received such a specific call as Noah did (I doubt He’s ever given many the exact measurements for the boat that He wants them to build!), but all credit to the guy; he did as God called Him to. How often do we just have that blind obedience to God’s call? How easy is it for us to do that? Can we actually just go in with blind obedience, or are there too many external factors for us ever to be completely sure that its God calling us?

I hope you realise I ask all these questions because I don’t actually have the answers myself...if any of you could enlighten me that would be great!

We spent the evening sharing a Love Feast. Ruth Pickles shared her testimony about when she felt like Noah and we all had a really good discussion. I was amazed at how everyone took part and responded. God definitely richly blessed us in our worship at 3Generate.

I challenge you to consider the questions we discussed for yourself, or maybe in a group with people from your youth group, housegroup or church...

  • When did you last feel like Noah?
  • When did you last feel like you were sinking – what happened?
  • What is the oddest thing God has called you to do?
  • Where have you seen God this week?
  • Do you feel God calling you? What will your response be?

On the Sunday morning, we spent some time reflecting on God’s PROMISE to be with us, using the story of Jeremiah as a focus. God calls Jeremiah, but he’s scared and says he’s too young. But God says to him, ‘Do not be afraid, for I am with you’ (Jer 1:8).

This is God’s promise for EVERYONE! I think sometimes as a church, we’re afraid to take risks. I’m not saying we should start doing all this irrational stuff, but sometimes the way forward is to step out, and to take that risk. Certainly, that risk, for me, becomes much less scary when I remember that God is with me in all that I do. I’m never too young to respond to God’s call, because God is with me all the time, whatever age.

God CALLS us into relationship with Him, that demands a RESPONSE, and through all that God’s PROMISE is to be with us.

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