Something miraculous happened this past week which I took as a sign of the great things to come for Gateway South!
King Hezekiah was in the news this past week!
Israeli archeologists have discovered a mark from a seal of the biblical King Hezekiah—and the discovery is being touted in some circles as proof of the authenticity of the biblical record.
One of the few good kings of Judea, the Southern Kingdom of Israel, Hezekiah led his people to a time of spiritual renewal 2,700 years ago. This seal was found all this time later in a garbage dump outside the Old City of Jerusalem.
From the Daily Beast article:
Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who directed the excavation, said the seal may well have been made by the king himself. It likely ended up in the dump, Mazar said, when it was tossed from an adjacent royal building. “This is,” she said, “the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king has ever come to light in a scientific excavation.”
So why is this a big deal?
During Life Giving Life in the fall of 2012, the story of Hezekiah’s life really inspired me. In fact, it was after spending time reading the story of Hezekiah that I began praying the following:
- I prayed for unity, provision, and a harvest for Gateway South.
- I prayed for spiritual renewal in my life, in the lives of our leaders, and for our campus.
- I even began praying that if God wanted us to move into a permanent location, that He would help us do so sooner than later! If His plan meant moving in 5 to 10 to 15 years, I prayed and asked God that our move might be moved up sooner than that.
Hezekiah’s prayers fast forwarded His people into a better future!
Under attack from an enemy army, Hezekiah prayed, and God responded:
Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass. – Isaiah 37:26
In other words, God planned to end the reign of the evil army in the future, but because of Hezekiah’s prayers He ended their evil reign sooner than planned.
Later, Hezekiah was about to die, and he prayed and asked God for mercy. God’s response:
“I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.” – Isaiah 38:5-6
Remarkable! Hezekiah’s choice to reach out to God once again altered God’s plan for his life. He received 15 years! God’s overriding plan remained in place, but there was room for Hezekiah to have 15 more years on earth. He still died 15 years later, but he got 15 more years!!
Waiting for God’s Best
On the morning I read the story of Hezekiah and began praying these audacious prayers, I ended my prayer time so I could get coffee. It was then that I had a prompting from God: “wait on the coffee.”
Now I am ashamed to admit it, but I don’t know how to make coffee but I do know how to drink it.
Now, during this time, God’s voice had become more and more obvious to me. At this point, I had never felt prompted by God to wait on coffee. That had to be from God because I would certainly never have that thought!
So I decided to wait and get some coffee during lunch. Well, my meeting before lunch ran late, so I hurried over to my noon meeting with the Gateway staff without any lunch or coffee. During the meeting, Rick Shurtz showed two videos. During the first video the speaker from the Ted conference talked about making a difference in the lives of others through simply handing out a lollipop. This sounded delicious. I was tempted to sneak out for some lunch and some coffee, but it kept my attention. During the 2nd video which I had seen before, I actually got up to go get some lunch and some coffee but once again felt prompted by God to wait.
Unsure of what God had in mind (and why He even cared about this particular day’s coffee), I sat back down just as the video ended. At about the same time, Amber – the Central and South Campus administrator came over to where I was sitting. She walked towards me and in her hand was a gift for me: a 20 oz sugar free vanilla latte from Starbucks! The South and Central Austin team had chipped in together to buy me a gift for boss’ day (which I had not realized was that day. Even if had I known, I wouldn’t think we would be celebrating it). I was shocked as she also handed me a thank you card with an amazon gift card in it along with cake pops (which looked a lot like lollipops).
The gift was certainly unexpected and incredibly generous, but I was overwhelmed in that moment with this thought:
God cared so much for me He didn’t want me to ruin this gift!
Had I had coffee already, I would not have been able to enjoy it. I could tell Amber saw I was speechless in that moment. I am sure she was thinking: “wow, it’s just a latte.”
God has so much good in mind for you!
Are we willing to start trusting instead of just keep trying?
Rather than hustling, what if we learned to rest in Him?
Some of us are in a time of waiting. I promise, what God has in store for you when you trust Him is worth the wait! Whatever He is asking you to sacrifice is worth giving up!
The Time Is Now!
Of all the times for the news to come out about King Hezekiah, it was this past week!
Of all the kings for which archaeologists could have found more proof, it was King Hezekiah!
For us as a campus, God is saying: the wait is over! God is saying to us: “I have a new place for you sooner than later!”
Because of your generosity, we can afford this move!
Now, our challenge is that we have $500,000 more we want to pledge towards this project by the end of this month so that we can complete the build out without having to go into debt!
With $500,000 pledged, we can also buy new equipment and pass along all of our equipment to our team starting our new Gateway Central Campus!
We believe that if everyone gave something, we would have all we need!
If Gateway South is your church home, how does God want you to give?
If all who attend on Sundays gave $20 per week for the next 15 months, we would have over $500,000!
- Some of us may be led by God to give just $1 per week.
- Others of us may be led to give far more than $20 per week.
- Some will sense God leading you to fulfill your current pledge sooner than you planned.
This is not about equal amounts. This is about equal sacrifice!
In our new place:
- Children will discover a relationship with Jesus and grow up and choose a different path than their parents did – avoiding some of the same pitfalls and pain and heartache.
- Teens will learn to hear God’s voice.
- College students will discover their calling.
- Singles who are wanting to be married will find their soul mate.
- Couples’ marriages will be healed, and they will bring healing to other couples.
- Adults will discover life and freedom in Jesus and bring that life and freedom to their neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends!
To help you as you pray about your involvement, check out the following:
The Website – www.life24seven.org
The Pledge Card
Be praying as we bring our pledges to Gateway South this Sunday!