by J. Gerald Harris

The Divine Mandate
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Romans 12

For three weeks I'm attempting to preach on the focal points of the report of the Strategic Planning Committee. Last Sunday morning we talked about the proposed mission statement of the church. And the proposed mission statement is this: "As followers of Jesus Christ we exist to glorify God."

This morning I want to speak to you about the ministry statement that is being proposed by our Strategic Planning Committee. And the ministry statement is this: "We desire to lead people to become devoted followers of Christ through worship, love and personal ministry."

Our mission statement and our ministry statement will become the basis for all that we shall do in the days ahead.

Did you know that these are tremendous days of opportunity? I cannot imagine being alive at a more exciting time in all of history than now. I believe that God has set before us an open door. I believe we have the opportunity of moving forward or settling down to what may very well become only a maintenance kind of ministry.

This is what Shakespeare said. He said, "There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voids of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries."

Now, what Shakespeare is saying is this. You take advantage of the opportunities when they present themselves or you ultimately reduce your destiny to mediocrity.

But let me tell you something about opportunity, dear church. When God writes opportunity on one side of an open door, he writes responsibility on the other side. And opportunity often goes around disguised as hard work. And that's why so many people fail to find it.

But I believe this is a time for us to think big. This is a time for us to trust God. This is a time for us to seize our opportunity.

Now, this morning I want to try to challenge you to think big. But at the same time I want to keep it as simple as possible. No man has ever s ...

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