God’s Mercy for the New Year. A Look Forward: Celebrating the Church.

Knowing our history and considering the future both bring us closer to each other and the Lord.

God's people consistently were reminded of God's faithfulness in their past. Peter recounts Israel's history while proclaiming Christ in Acts 2:14-36 and 3:12-26. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 says that remembering Israel's failure can help the church avoid repeating it. Moses used the whole book of Deuteronomy to remember God's faithfulness to Israel and often reminded them of the nation's future.

Believers have nothing but a glorious future ahead both personally and corporately in the church. Once we are saved, we should always be moving forward (2 Corinthians 5:17). Philippians 3:12-16 describe's Paul's pursuit of spiritual growth. The word "straining" invokes the sense of using every muscle to move forward. Spiritual learning done for its own sake or even for our personal growth alone is incomplete. We learn so we can share truth with others.

It is healthy to set spiritual goals. Paul had personal spiritual goals and a plan to pursue Gospel growth. Personal growth always leads to Gospel advancement. As Winston Churchill said, "It's always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than we can see." Even so, God sets goals for His people throughout history. Joshua reminded the people of Israel of God's presence as they looked over the Promised Land. The Lord has set spiritual goals for His church in Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8 and promised His presence with us.

The Old Testament saint Job observed the activity and future of God's people: "The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger" (Job 17:9).

What God Accomplished through Grace Church of Mentor in 2017
  • 49 souls came to know Christ, many as a result of personal witness
  • many people followed the Lord in baptism
  • hundreds in discipleship relationships
  • children's outreaches at Great Lakes Mall, Mentor CityFest
  • reached many homes with Gospel literature
  • spreading the Gospel to children and families through Grace Bible Soccer Camp, Grace Bible Day Camp, and GBDC Junior
  • fellowships as a whole church and in age groups
  • increased learning in GLBI classes
  • hurricane relief for partner churches and missionaries
  • multiple mission trips
  • thousands of dollars saved in office addition
  • over $750,000 in One Legacy giving
  • $49,000 given in evangelistic Christmas offering
  • Bible studies for men and women
  • faithful service in choir, children's ministry, Aquila & Priscilla, and youth group
  • pastors, elders, and deacons faithfully overseeing the flock
  • 12 future deacons and pastors training in our midst
  • growth of Arch Ministries and Gospel networks
  • added 6 new missionaries and increased support for 2 more
What God Can Accomplish in the Future of Grace Church

May 2018 will kick off Grace's 70th year of existence. In the months leading up to this, we will begin celebrating the church through a 30-day Facebook devotional by Pastor Tim (February), a T-3 class on Creation and trip to the Creation Museum (March), launching a Generations class on Sunday evenings, and a Grace Church podcast (April). Our theme for this and the next 5 years will be Celebrating the Church. Different emphases each year will include:

  • 2018: Giving to Our Community
  • 2019: Finishing a Building
  • 2020: Regional Gospel Growth
  • 2021: National Gospel Growth
  • 2022: Global Gospel Growth

In 2023, we will celebrate 75 years of God's goodness to Grace Church of Mentor!

This year, we will practice the principle found in Luke 16:1-9 – creatively using the resources God has given us to make friends for eternity. As God honors our efforts, we will see Proverbs 4:18 come true in our church.

Application Points

  • What are your spiritual goals?
  • Are you straining towards more Christ-likeness?
  • With whom will you share the spiritual truth you learn this year?
  • Are you ready to celebrate the local church and give to our community this year? Plan to participate in our plans this year and come up with your own creative ideas to reach our area with the Gospel!

Tools for Further Study

A Hymn to Encourage: "Jesus Paid It All"

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
My lips shall still repeat.