OceanSide church of Christ
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WHAT OUR THEME IS NOT AND WHAT OUR THEME IS
Victor M. Eskew
Our theme for OceanSide this year is: “Trusting God for the Impossible.” This theme is based upon two passages of Scripture. The first is found in Matthew 19:26. “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” The second passage is Luke 1:37. “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” In this article, we want to discuss two things. First, we will look at what our theme is not. Second, we will discuss what our theme is.
Let’s begin with what our theme is not. Our theme is not just five words that we are reminded about from time to time. Yes, we will be constantly reminded of these words. You will be asked: “What is our theme for 2019?’ You will respond: “Trusting God for the Impossible.” But, our theme is not just five words.
Our theme is not something that is catchy to others. We often hear about themes that churches have, and we say: “That’s pretty cool.” We may even wish we had thought of it. The words are inspirational. They make us feel good. The arouse emotions within. This may happen to you when you hear our theme for this year. “Trusting God for the Impossible.” That sounds wonderful. That sounds like a statement of great faith. We are glad that is our theme. It is easy to remember. It expresses a great truth. But, it is more than just a catchy slogan.
Our theme is not something to be contemplated only when we gather for Bible classes and worship services. It is when we come together that we are reminded of our theme. It is on display in the foyer. Soon, we will have bulletin boards that remind us of our theme. But, our theme is not supposed to be a thought to think only at the worship services.
What is our theme? Dear readers, our theme is an expression of truth that we need to practice in our lives every day that we live. It should permeate our spiritual thinking. It should permeate our lives that are lived among those in the world. It should begin with our elders. It should be upheld by the minister. The deacons should put it in practice in their ministries. Teachers need to teach it to their students. Members need to let it infiltrate every aspect of their lives. Trusting God for the impossible should be a way of life. Before we budget, before we plan, before we speak, and before we act, we need to remind ourselves: “For with God all things are possible.” Yes, we need to lock firmly in our minds the idea that “with God nothing shall be impossible.”
When I think of various aspects of the work at OceanSide, many things seem impossible to me.
1. It will be impossible to meet a challenging budget set by the elders.
2. It will be impossible to really interest the beaches, especially those who live around our building, in the gospel of Christ.
3. It will be impossible to really make the OceanSide church of Christ a household name in this area.
4. It will be impossible to baptized 15 or 20 people this year.
5. It will be impossible to get those who are not faithful to return to faithfulness.
6. It will be impossible for OceanSide to have a vibrant youth group.
7. It will be impossible to make our Outreach Teams really effective in ministering to our shut-ins, our visitors, and our absentees.
8. It will be impossible for OceanSide to really be active in a stateside mission work.
9. It will be impossible to turn negative critics into positive thinkers.
10. It will be impossible to turn benchwarmers into active participants in the Lord’s work.
11. It will be impossible to get some to get out of their shells and use their talents in the kingdom.
12. It will be impossible for the church here to have a faith spoken of throughout the world.
When you think of these things, do you think like I do? Do you see many of these things as being impossible? Brethren, it is this type of thinking that limits us. It is this type of thinking that keeps us from succeeding. It is this type of thinking that keeps us from doing all that God wants us to do. It is this type of thinking that keeps us down and depressed. The writer of Proverbs was right: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (Prov. 23:7).
If our theme for this year is: “Trusting God for the Impossible,” we must believe it and act upon it. We have only the end in mind. Yes, there will be obstacles, but with God all things are possible. God is greater than the opposition. God is stronger than our mightiest enemy. God can do more, much more, than we ask or think. Paul said it well: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13). We are almost three weeks into this year. There has already been some doubting. They has already been some naysaying. There have already been words of discouragement spoken. I thought we were trusting God for the impossible. If so, then let’s do just that. This does not mean that we believe God will do the impossible regardless of what we do or do not do. No. Our faithful living is going to work in conjunction with the Almighty God of heaven, and, together, we are going to accomplish the impossible.