The Hope of the World (5 of 6) by Kerry Shook

This content is part of a series.

The Hope of the World (5 of 6)
Series: Stand
Pastor Kerry Shook

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"... and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Matthew 16:18 (KJV)


"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 (TLB)

• Ephesians 1:18-23 (NIV)



Well, it was nineteen years ago yesterday that Chris and I and are family and a couple of other folks were at the John Cooper School in The Woodlands, and we unloaded baby beds, sound system, all kinds of equipment, and it took us all day long to set up Woodlands Church to prepare for our very first service. And I'll never forget, it was midnight on Sunday morning, and I was so stressed and worn out, and Chris and I were just overwhelmed. We got everything finally set up, and then I needed to go home and go over the message a few more times, the first message ever preached at Woodlands Church, and I wanted God to really use it. And I remember Chris and I talking about ... Do you think anybody is going to come? ... because we had spent our last dime on an invitation to the community and all the children's equipment and the little core group. We were just sacrificing everything we had to rent the facility and get all the equipment and everything set up for the church, and once we had set everything up, we were just feeling worn out, overwhelmed and wondering if anyone other than my mom would come.

I will never forget, we just got on our knees on the stage at the Lower School Auditorium of the John Cooper School, and we had set out about a hundred forty chairs, and we were thinking: Boy, I hope maybe half of these chairs are filled. And as we were on our knees, we just said Lord this is your church. You're going to have to build it. We give it to you. We are already overwhelmed and haven't even started yet. We don't have the strength, so you're going to have to build your church. This is your church, and if just one person comes to Christ, it will all be worth it. If one eternal destiny is forever changed, it will all be worth it. And we got up off our knees and the burden had lifted because we knew God would build the church. It's His church. And the next morning a hundred sixty-four people came through the doors, and Woodlands Church began ... our first service, and four people prayed to receive Christ, and their eternal destinies were forever changed, and that's what the goal is every week, if just one more person comes to Jesus Christ.
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