Understading the Future

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It is very easy to predict the future, but getting it right is a lot more difficult. Here are some predictions that were made about technology in the past:
1876: "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." — William Preece, British Post Office.
1876: "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." — William Orton, President of Western Union.
1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company.
1946: "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." — Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox.
1955: "Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years." — Alex Lewyt, President of the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company.
1959: "Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail." — Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General.
1961: "There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States." — T.A.M. Craven, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner.
1966: "Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” — Time Magazine.
1981: “Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.” — Marty Cooper, inventor.
1995: "I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse." — Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com.
2005: "There's just not that many videos I want to watch." — Steve Chen, CTO and co-founder of YouTube expressing concerns about his company’s long term viability.
2006: "Everyone's always asking me when Apple will come out with a cell phone. My answer is, 'Probably never.'" — David Pogue, The New York Times.
2007: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.
How many of you have had hopes and dreams for the future that did not turn out exactly as you had hoped they would? Many times, we look at our lives and often things don’t look like we hoped they would 5 years ago. But how many of you know, God is still on the throne and God is still at work in our midst. When the children of Israel left Egypt, many of them would not have left if they had known where they were going to be in five years?
There are times when we want to do things for God and we want to try to make a difference for the kingdom of God, but God’s plans and our plans do not necessarily line up with each other even when we have good motives.
Acts 16:6–10 ESV
And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Paul and his companions had wanted to preach the of God in the province of Asia, but the Holy Spirit would not allow them. They saw that they could make a difference in the lives of the people of Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. Sometimes what we want to do in life or in ministry does not line up with what God has for us.
Paul and his friends were frustrated that they wanted to serve, but God was not allowing them to do so. Finally they got a sign from the Lord.
The vision before them now was to get to Macedonia and start to build some great churches for God. God had sent Paul and Silas a third great worker alongside of them by the name of Timothy. When the vision for Macedonia was cast, it did not include that Paul and Silas would be thrown into prison and severely beaten with rods. Their crime was that they used the power of Jesus Christ within them to cast a demon out of a girl. We don’t usually equate delivering people with beating and jail time.
Sometimes the path that we are on is a pretty good indicator of our future. For instance if you are on your way to Macon, but if you get on I-75 North, I can tell you with a fairly high degree of certainty even though you believe you will be in Florida , in about an hour you will be in Atlanta.
Instead of laying out a vision of what we hope to accomplish in the next five years, I want us to focus in on what is the Lord calling us to be. Why is that we are located at this place in time to make a difference for the cause of Jesus Christ in this world ? What should we be expecting to happen?

Our World Will Continue to Need Christ

One of the first things we need to recognize is that our city needs Jesus and we need him more than ever. I’m talking about a Jesus who lets people know they are valuable in the eyes of God. A Jesus who says, yes I know what your circumstances are and the sins you have committed, but I am coming to you anyways. God is calling us to be a place of acceptance for the brokenness of others.
If we watch the news in the last week there have been many people in the past weeks whose lives have been impacted in way big and small. People killed, fires, those who were impacted by weather recently…every one of those persons or families is a person or fsmily in need of a touch from God. If we were to go out and witness to them or if they somehow found their way into New Life At Calvary, what would they find when they entered our doors. Would they see people with lives different than the lives they have lived.
What does scripture say
1 Peter 3:15 ESV
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

We Have to Love People as they Are

How do we allow God to turn us into people who can accept people with sin in their lives as Jesus did with tax collectors and sinners without allowing ourselves to focus on the sin instead of seeing the person for whom Christ died. How will we handle people that comes through our doors that still have sin in their lives abd still have some cleaning up that God needs to do in them? I hope it will be with love, with truth and with grace.
Romans 12:9–10 ESV
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
In the next five years, Jesus word’s, come follow me are going to be even more challenging. Are you preparing to pay a greater cost to follow Jesus Christ. It will be harder than ever to hold true sound biblical doctrine and not be ridiculed or harassed. Our society is becoming more anti-religious and even more so anti-Christian than it has ever been before.
In the next five years God will give us the opportunity to heal the wounds and divisions in our society by starting the process within the church. Jesus said, this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. How much of our interaction in the church is with the people on the same level I am on financially or socially? Do we go out of our way to relate with those people as our equals or tolerate them as our mission project? Are we afraid of some of the people in our church?
Can our church endure another presidential election in which our allegiance is stronger to a particular party or candidate than it is to Jesus Christ so that we stop seeing people as people for whom Christ died, and will only see them through the demonic eyes of a particular party. All political parties want us to hate the opposition in order to win no matter what the costs.
After stirring up all this hatred, do you really think it just disappears out of hearts simply because an election is over. Just think, if politics brings irreconcilable differences within a church, what if any hope does the society have for unity. At least we have Jesus praying for us that we might be one as He and the Father are one. The issue with us, is do we want to be one?
Scripture tells us very clearly
Matthew 22:37–40 ESV
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
If we have a slogan or a theme here at living Word, this is it.
Body of Christ if you want to know the future of things here at Living Word.........that is it in a nutshell.....We are a
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