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All Church Online Sunday | Church for the City

All Church Online Sunday 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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As we look ahead to a new year, Pastor Bill said it right, no one knows what the future holds. Some of you may see new opportunities and fresh starts, while others of you anticipate new concerns.
My name is Ryan Reed, and I am the Coral Gables Campus Pastor at Christ Journey Church. I want to share for a few moments how our Coral Gables campus can meet the physical needs of our community.
What God said to Jeremiah still holds true for you this day in 2017… God knows the plans for you, to bring you peace, not to harm you.
The people who heard these words from God back then felt entirely hopeless and without any vision for their future. Some of you, too, may be starting 2017 with a dim view of what the next several months hold in store for you.
You may even think that God wants nothing to do with you, but that could not be further from the truth.
God promised then and now to be for you, not against you, even promising to give you hope and a future, and saying, “I will be found by you,” when you seek him with all of your heart.
For those of you joining us online as a guest, this may be the first time you’ve ever heard that.
More than anything God desires you, your life so that you may know the true satisfaction and peace that God promised to the world through Jesus Christ.
Let God’s promise come to you, then get through you to change your world.
For that reason, God told Jeremiah to pray for the healing of the city.
For most of us who call Miami, Coral Gables and the surrounding towns home, the problem of pain may not readily come to your mind when you think of our city, and yet…
A recent Miami Herald article cited a study naming Miami ‘the worst city’ in the United States to live and raise a child.
For those of you like me who love our city, that hurts. Yet, our city is far from perfect.
Our downtown and Coral Gables suburb represent the highest economic disparity between the wealthy and poor of any city in the country.
And our violent crime rates top the highest of urban centers in America, giving rise to growing insecurities for both families and businesses in our city.
On the surface, Miami appears like a tropical utopia, but beneath the palm trees, the brokenness of its people remain a stark reality. Homelessness, drug abuse, broken families, young people dying… all shadow sides of a city crying out for redemption and salvation - the
Young adults, teenagers, kids, please hear me: one life lost to drugs or violence is one too many. You can’t even begin to know how much your life matters to our church.
Now more than ever in its history, our city needs our church to rise up as a gathering of believers in the heart of Coral Gables with united our hearts, minds, hands and feet… working together in prayer and action for the real and now healing restoration to meet the needs of our city!
We can change the city. With the power of the Holy Spirit in you, your life can bear witness to mercy, grace, salvation, and an altogether different reality.
This is the calling of our church in the city - our Christ Journey Coral Gables Campus - to assume this responsibility and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us for the sake of healing the lost and hurting of Miami.
We must walk boldly into the most difficult areas of Miami, and let the redemptive work of Christ permeate into peoples lives.
A few years ago, we decided as a church to say no more food insecure kids in our city who go to bed hungry. We believe every child and family deserves a healthy meal without fearing where to find the next one.
In 2015, Feed Miami provided more than 35,000 meals to children and families. And we hope to top that for 2016 because God called the church to live as the very hands and feet of Jesus to heal our city.
In 2017, let’s aim for 50,000 meals and make child hunger a distant memory in our city. Let’s step into the wild together.
Let us continue praying and working toward the total healing of our city… where families stay whole and healthy… where people can discover economic freedom… and those with addictions and hurts may find restoration.
God believes in our church… we can change the world, but not without him.
The Psalmist wrote, “Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him. For when he spoke the world began. It appeared at his command.Ps 33:8-9
Our city belongs to God… you belong to God… so May the Holy Spirit use us as world changers - our Coral Gables campus - to boldly serve our city this new year and cover it with the sweet aroma of redemption that Jesus gave to the world.
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