God Will Provide! (Camp Meeting, 8/19/18)

Posted by on Aug 20, 2018 in Pitman Camp Meeting, Sermons, Worship & Prayer | 0 comments

Rev. John Inverso

The First United Methodist Church of Glassboro hosted the Pitman Camp Meeting on 8/19/18.  Glassboro’s Praise and Worship bend, Magnify, provided the music, and their pastor, Rev. John Inverso, gave the message.

God provides!

Even on a rainy night when it was tempting to stay home, God provided each member of the congregation with the vision of a special service of music and message.  The technology worked, the roof didn’t leak, and there was enough parking.  Jackets and umbrellas solved any problems caused by the raindrops.

God provides!

 

Music- Magnify!

Most of the host church’s for this summer’s Camp Meeting have featured a musical group.  We’ve had choirs, country gospel groups, ukulele trios, and full fledged Praise Bands.  Glassboro’s group, called “Magnify,” definitely falls into the category of “full fledged praise band”!  Filling the stage with vocals, keyboards, drums, and guitars, their music filled the service with worship and prayer.

Before the message, they sang three songs and afterwards added a fourth (just to keep our feet tapping as we left the service):

  1. What a Friend
  2. How Great is Our God
  3. The Heart of Worship
  4. Old Church Choir

Here are some of the lyrics they engaged us with:

[
I’ll bring You more than a song…
It’s all about You, Jesus…
No more betrayal, for He is faithful…
East to West my sins are gone…
Forever and ever His heart is my home…
How great is our God…
I got a sweet salvation and it’s beautiful…
There ain’t nothin’ gonna steal my joy!

Focusing in on “Magnify”…

 

Message- God Provides!

Pastor John Inverso just started at the Glassboro First United Methodist Church.  He was new on the job.  Even a pastor has to make a good first impression.  After seeing the devastation caused by the hurricanes that slammed into Puerto Rico, Pastor John felt the need to lead his new church on a mission trip.  Yes- spend 9 months raising the necessary $15,000 and then lead a trip to Puerto Rico- in the middle of the summer.

He broached the idea with a group of church leaders and held his breath as he waited for their response.

The lay leadership not only agreed with the idea, they were already thinking the same thing!

And as it turned out, not only did they raise the minimal $15,000, they raised enough additional funds that they could purchase equipment to be left behind for the next mission team.

Money, people to support a Praise Band Concert, volunteers; God provided a vision and the people to make that vision come true.  In July 2018, 14 people from the church traveled to Puerto Rico and helped to rebuild homes and lives.  And along the way, they were blessed by the people they came to help.

God Provides.

What’s that really mean?  Pastor John turned to Philippians 4:10-19 for some insights into this question:

Philippians 4:10-19

10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me.

11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.

12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.

13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

14 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.

15 As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this.

16 Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once.

17 I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.

18 At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God.

19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

 

Two Famous Verses

This chapter from Philippians is a really popular passage.  Sermons are preached on it all the time and people hang on to the promises that Paul makes in this chapter.  But there are two verses in particular that people are attracted to
(we’re probably most familiar with the King James Version, so that’s what’s quoted below):

Famous Verse #1:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Phil 4:13

Famous Verse #2:

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Phil 4:19

In fact, the first half of this passage (verses 10-13) talks about how strong we are through Christ.  We can do all things.  We can expect to do all things.  The second half of the passage (verses 14-19) centers on Famous Verse #2: we can do all things because God will give us everything we need.

 

Mis-using the Two Famous Verses

“God will give us everything we need.”  Does that mean that God will give us a close parking spot?  Will God give us a brand new car?  Will He give us a winning lottery ticket?  Will He pay off our mortgage?  We may think that we need these things, and we may have faith that “God shall supply all my needs according to His riches…”, but should we expect that new car?

The key is that we must put this into context.  God doesn’t give you everything you want.  God supplies the things you need in order to serve Him.  God didn’t fly 14 Glassboro UMC’ers  First Class to Hawaii.  But He did supply enough coach tickets to get the team to Puerto Rico. 

If what you want (or “need”) is about you or your achievements, you’re probably reading these verses wrong.

God is doing something far better! 

 

Something Much Better

This passage tells us that God isn’t giving us a free pass; that trip in Puerto Rico was a lot of hard work!  It was hot down there!  It took a lot of work and planning to raise the money we needed.

Contentment   Paul said that he had learned to be content with whatever he had (see verse 11 above).  Puerto Rico was hot, and there was no air conditioning to provide relief from the long days.  A  shower with hot water wasn’t easy to come by.  But things worked out.  Our hosts were loving and gracious.  God provided all that we needed to get the job done and to receive the blessings he had in store for us.

Joy  True joy is something that transcends circumstances.  Planning this trip stirred up a lot of excitement and built community.  And we weren’t alone.  Local churches pulled together to raise money for us and to pray for us.  The Conference’s “Volunteers in Mission” initiative did the heavy lifting in making the arrangements.   We went to be a blessing, but frequently found that we were being blessed.  And during our time in Puerto Rico, our host church and the homeowners constantly showed us hospitality and love. 
New cars don’t last forever.  But the relationships we formed and the examples of how Christ’s love was shown; they WILL form lasting memories.

 

Do We “What If” Ourselves into Inaction??

Planning a missions trip or even getting up the nerve to invite a neighbor to church takes faith.  It takes resources that we don’t have, but we need to trust God that He will indeed “supply all your needs according to His riches…”

And yet, it’s so easy for us to start listing all of the “What Ifs”:

  • What if nobody volunteers?
  • What if we can’t raise the money?
  • What if someone gets sick or injured?
  • What if the plane crashes?!?

We can “What If” ourselves into inaction.

How long do we hold off serving God because we don’t trust Him to give us what we need?  Fears and excuses rob Jesus of opportunities to show us how much God will provide.

If God gives you the Vision, He will give you the Provision!

 

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