The Cry of Souls

Laila and I began our journey home from Cleveland, Tennessee, on Saturday morning. We traveled to Pigeon Forge, TN, to join Wayne and Liz Duley who had obtained passes for us to sit in the production area for the National Quartet Convention. We were privileged to a day of premier gospel music singers and musicians. Dr. Tim Hill, General Overseer of the Church of God, was a special guest in the morning session. When he finished singing and preaching there was a holy hush in the house.

Laila and I purchased Dr. Hill's latest book and two CD's. I speed read the book while listening to gospel music and felt as near to heaven as one can on earth.

There was a point in reading the book while the songs were playing that my heart cried out to God. I felt impressed, hesitated, and then followed my impression. I rose, turned, faced my chair, knelt and with tears in my eyes encountered God.

Three things were paramount in that encounter.

Whatever are are. Whatever we have. We belong to God. When we seek Him with all of our heart, He will be found by us. Prayer must become a larger force in our life—privately and publicly—and prayer must be Covenant's door to face every obstacle and opportunity.

A friend of mine personally knew Truett Cathy, the Founder of Chick-fil-A. He once approached Mr. Cathy to ask for a contribution to a worthy cause. Mr. Cathy responded: "You are thinking too small. Think big. You are not asking for enough" (paraphrased).

As I listened to this story, my pastor's heart turned homeward. I thought about Covenant Church, who we are, what we have done, what we are doing, what we plan on doing, what we would like to do. I thought about our dreams.

I imagined praying to God for favor. I wondered whether He would say to us: "You are thinking too small. Think big."

Please understand that this message is not about personal wealth and comfort. The Bible is clear that God will add to us as we "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Mt. 6:33).

Those who put the Kingdom of God first need not be anxious about bread on the table.

The limited time we have to explore opportunities to add souls to the Church of Our Lord and make disciples presses me forward.

We dreamed for twenty years of joining our buildings. God's favor finally gave us successful approval by governmental authorities. The progress toward completion is dramatic. The opportunities of increased ministry will be greater than we have ever imagined.

The thrill of resting construction and devoting our energies fully to evangelism, worship and discipleship beckons us.

It is as if we hear souls crying out "Hurry! Speed up the construction! Come bring us the news of Jesus! We are desperate for hope!"

Will you join with me in prayer every day this week? Will you pray with me for the Holy Spirit to move us as one to maximize the harvest?

Together in unity God will hear us and provide Handfuls On Purpose as He did for Ruth in the fields of Boaz.

Much love Pastor Bare

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world," (Galatians 6:14).