Connecting Point – February 28, 2024

 

We've had two great months so far in 2024 at Celebration Church. In January and February (yes even during Mardi Gras month) we've seen the Lord move in powerful ways in our worship services and we've experienced significant growth in attendance at our Celebration Campuses. Along with our numerical growth, in January we had 400+ new people sign up to join a Life Group, and we had 366 new people sign up this past Sunday to get involved in serving the Lord and people through our ministries. And last but not least, we've had 186 people pray to receive Jesus as their Savior in our worship services, and we've had 48 people take the step of baptism. Every week at Celebration we're hearing reports of lives, circumstances and relationships being transformed by the person and power of Jesus Christ.

There is only one area where we're lagging behind - and that's in the area of giving to support God's work through His Church. At Celebration we believe in giving generously to support God's work because

  • God Himself is a great giver (John 3:16)
  • Jesus has instructed us to give generously (Luke 6:38, Acts 20:35)
  • Paul said we're to give consistently to support God's work through His Church (1 Corinthians 16:2), and because "God loves cheerful givers" (2 Corinthians 9:7)
  • The Lord has promised to provide for our needs when we give generously to His work (2 Corinthians 9:8)
  • The Lord uses our giving to bring help, hope and healing to people in our region and around the world (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).

So let me encourage you, if you're behind in your giving, to seek to catch up. You can do so by going to www.celebrationchurch.org/give.

In my Couples LIfe Group this past Sunday someone asked me to remind them of my analogy of how a person's life can be like that of the Sea of Galilee or the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are two large bodies of water that are on the eastern side of the nation of Israel, that are connected together by the Jordan River. The Sea of Galilee is a great illustration of life. It's surrounded by beautiful hills, plants, people and towns, and its waters contain lots of fish and other animal life. The Dead Sea, farther to the south is a great illustration of death. The Dead Sea is located in one of the most barren places on earth. There are very few plants, animals or people in the hills surrounding the Dead Sea, and very little plant or animal life in its salty waters. So we have two large bodies of water, both fed by the same river, but one is an illustration of life while the other is an illustration of death. What makes them so different? One reason is because the Sea of Galilee takes in the Jordan River, and then sends it back out on its southern shore. While the Dead Sea just takes in. Those two bodies of water remind us that if we are just "takers" we are going to dry up and perhaps die spiritually. But if we are "givers" as well as "receivers," our lives will be filled with the life of the Lord.

So, be sure to get involved in what the Lord is doing here at Celebration through your giving as well as through your attending, praying and serving. In doing so you will experience more of the abundant life (John 10:10) and provision (Philippians 4:19) that the Lord wants you to experience.

One of the reasons that we've experienced so much significant growth so far in 2024 is because people are really benefiting from our IT'S TIME TO CHANGE series in our worship services and Life Groups. In this series we're learning how to allow the Holy Spirit to work in powerful ways in our lives to develop the "fruit of the Spirit" in our lives. So far we've learned about the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness. So, I challenge you to give yourself a score (from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest mark) on how you're doing so far with developing the "fruit of the Spirit" in your life. How would you rate yourself when it comes to:

  • Loving others in selfless and sacrificial ways?
  • Living with Joy instead of discouragement, frustration and/or sadness?
  • Living a Peace-filled life rather than a stress-filled life?
  • Being Patient with others - including the people that you live and work with?
  • Being Kind to others - including the people that are difficult to deal with?
  • "Being good" and "doing good" on a consistent basis in your life?

We've not finished our study of the "fruit of the Spirit", but this is a good time to go back and assess whether you are living out what you're learning. If you are, take some time to thank the Lord for working in you to make you a godlier person. If you aren't, make it your plan to really start putting into practice what you've been learning. Remember, the Lord's way is always the best way for our lives.

 As I mentioned earlier, this past Sunday we had 366 people sign up to get involved on one of our Serve Teams. The Bible says that all Christians need to be involved in serving God through serving others (Ephesians 2:10, 1 Peter 4:10). And Jesus said that we can't become all He's called us to be and do all He's called us to do until we really get involved in serving Him and people (Matthew 20:20-26). So, if you didn't sign up to join a Serve Team this past Sunday, you can do so today by going to www.celebrationchurch.org/serve. We're especially looking for people who have a heart and passion to encourage and help children, pre-teens and teens in our Church and the communities around us. Let us know if God has given you such a heart for the next generation.

CLICK HERE TO FIND A SERVE TEAM!

This coming Sunday at our Celebration Campuses we will be selling City Park Tickets at a discounted cost to our members and attendees for our annual Celebration At City Park event on March 15. New Orleans City Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the country, and it has a lot of fun rides and good food. Attending Celebration at City Park also gives us an opportunity to connect with members of our Church family who attend worship services at other Campuses. And the proceeds from Celebration At City Park go to benefit our Crescent City Christian School.

So, be sure to join us this Sunday to get your Celebration At City Park tickets. Or you can order them today by clicking HERE. And by the way, invite your friends and family members to come with you for a fun-filled night on March 15.

At Celebration we are so grateful for your willingness to live for the Lord, serve Him, participate in our Worship services and Life Groups, and give to support ministries in our region and missionaries around the world. And know that we are here to help and serve you, and encourage you in every way. If there are ways that we can be of help or service to you, please email us at info@celebrationchurch.org or call us at 504.831.9673.

Remember - Jesus Changes Everything.

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