It's Valentine's Day, and something Big is happening tonight. There won't be roses, and I don't think there won't be chocolate. But, there will be a whole lot of LOVE.
For several months our Grace Church growth group has been praying about how we can live out our faith. About four weeks ago, God laid something Big on someones heart, and tonight we get to see it come to fruition.
Tonight, by the grace of God, we get to lavish the love of Jesus Christ on the residents and staff of Hope Ministries in downtown South Bend. We were going to do something easy... something simple... something quiet... something that came from our hearts, and fit in our wallets. But no. God called us to something Bigger... something Better... something Ordained... something Pre-Planned... something Involved... something Complex... something Expensive. Funny God, eh?
In just four weeks, and only by the Power of the Great I AM, 25 finite people have pieced together a banquet, that will be held downtown South Bend at Coveleski Stadium. It is a dinner buffet, with cloth linens... a professional photographer... live music... games for kids... and oozing with JESUS.
We need prayer, big time. If you have even 15 minutes tonight, would you read below and find a way to cover us in prayer?
"Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." John 14:13
We're calling it "Hope at the Cove." Below is the schedule and suggested prayer points with a few verses for the time slots. If you feel led, pray as much as you can. Please feel free to choose a designated time, set an alarm, and go on your knees before God. We truly believe that God is able and willing, we need only ask in faith and trust that His will be done!
May Christ be glorified in and through all of us! (Shout out to my sister @ChristenSnavely who put this together!)
6:00 Arrival of our team
Pray that our hearts would be filled with Gods love, the Spirit would fill us, use us, speak through us. We would have joy overflowing. Final details, too... That everything would come together.
**"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
** "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5
6:15-6:30 Arrival of beloved guests
God's presence would be felt. People will feel comfortable, and loved.
**"For this reason I bow before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Eph 3:14-19
** "And He said, 'My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.' And he said to Him, 'If Your Presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and your people? Is it not in Your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and Your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?"
6:30-6:45 Welcome, opening prayer
For Kyle Jones' music--to impact their hearts, and bring God glory... For the men leading and welcoming (Christian, Dustin, Philip and Tim)... For God's peace and His Words.
** that we would "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Phil. 2:3-4
That we would have enough food. ;) and that the people would feel Christ's love and favor and joy. Conversations would be fun, deep, and beaming with love. That our team would relate and trust Jesus for words to speak and for His ears to hear and eyes to see.
**"And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."
**"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God." 1John 4:7
7:15-7:30 Sharing time
That God would speak through Christian, Dustin and Philip. That God would give them words and discernment, and they'd trust that as He has called them to share, He promises to go before them and equip and lead them. Open hearts, too, to hear the Gospel. It would be clearly shared and perceived. That Jesus would be magnified more than anything, and lives would be changed.
**"...and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak." Eph. 6:19-20
7:30-7:45 Large group games
For laughter and joy and smooth gaming by all. :)
** "For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you." Philemon 1:7
**"Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, 'The LORD has done great things for them.' The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:2 Fill them/us with your JOY! Because of all that we have in Christ!
7:30-8:15 Kids' games, photos, caricatures
That the kiddos would have a sweet, fun time... That the adults would be engaged in conversations as well, and that again, Jesus would be glorified.
** "And this is eternal life, that they know You, the One True God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." John 17:3**Jesus, move amongst us! "And the Word become flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and Truth." Through Your Spirit, allow Christ to be seen and felt and dwell among the precious people of Hope!
8:15-8:30 Giving tshirts, Bibles, closing up
Oh that the people, and us, would be drawn closer to God, and each other! For protection from the enemy, as opposition is expected.
**"He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD." Psalm 40:3
**"For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in our prayer, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power towards us who believe, according to the working of HIS great might, that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." Ephesians 1:15-23
Thanks so much everyone!