30th Anniversary: Love the Past, Live the Future
|Deuteronomy 8 (NKJV™)|
|1||"Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers.|
|2||"And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.|
|3||"So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.|
|4||"Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.|
|5||"You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you.|
|6||"Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.|
|7||"For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills;|
|8||"a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;|
|9||"a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper.|
|10||"When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
In Deuteronomy 8, we learn what the Lord taught the Jewish people—to remember what the Lord had done, to know and keep the commandments, and to bless the Lord. Moses would say, "Love the Past, Live the Future." Through the text, we are reminded what the Lord had done and are given hope for what the future holds.
This collection of topical teachings from Skip Heitzig includes anniversary celebrations, messages about the vision of the church, special teachings from conferences and countries around the world, and more.
Publications referenced: Reader's Digest
Figures referenced: Napoleon
Cross references: Exodus 16, Psalm 23, Luke 17:11-17, 1 Corinthians 1:27, Philippians 3:13-14, Hebrews 12:6
Franklin Graham: Skip, Lenya, this is your favorite redneck coming from North Carolina. I just want to congratulate you guys on 30 years of ministry there in Albuquerque, and it's not just Albuquerque, it's New Mexico, the Southwest and all across the United States and, literally, all around the world. You all have touched tens of thousands of lives, and I'm just so grateful to have you guys as my friend, and I want to pray that God will just give you another 30 years. Is that possible? You bet you. Could you have 60 years of ministry? You bet you. I just pray that God will give you another 30 years and you're just halfway through, buddy. You all keep going. Listen, Lenya, keep him off the skateboard. He's too old for that stuff, okay? Love you. See you guys later!
Greg Laurie: Hey, everybody! Pastor Greg Laurie here at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside. We're just finishing our service. People are coming out, and I'm reminded of the fact that you guys at Calvary Chapel of Albuquerque have just celebrated 30 years of ministry. That is fantastic. Congratulations! That's something of a milestone, no question. I thank God for the people, ministry of Pastor Skip and his wife, Lenya, and all that God has done through your church, not only in the State of New Mexico, but really, around the country and even in the world. So I pray that God will bless you today and for many years to come as you continue to reach the whole world with the Gospel. God bless you!
Raul Ries: Hey, Skip, here I am at Santa I'm going surfing. It's the middle of the day, but I want to wish you 30th anniversary. I can remember when you started and that was at the Kiva Auditorium and you could see that from 45 people, what God has done to you and Lenya. It's a real blessing and may the Lord bless you guys in your congregation. I always feel at home when I go to New Mexico. You're part of my family. God bless you!
David Jeremiah: Hey! This is David Jeremiah, and it's my privilege to take a moment and send my love and congratulations to my friends, Skip Heitzig and the Calvary Church in Albuquerque. What an incredible thing to be together for these many years serving the Lord Jesus Christ. It's really incredible, because we just celebrated our 30th anniversary and it's wonderful to look back over your shoulder and realize how faithful God has been over three decades of ministry. I know that the best is still in front of you guys and I'm praying that He will continue to use you as He has, making a difference not only in Albuquerque, but around the world. Thanks for all you're doing and God bless on this special day in your life.
Lenya Heitzig: Hey, there! I love the past, but you can't live there, can you? Now is the time for us to look at it and thank God for the good things that He has done in and among and through us in this place. There's a poll of people over the age of 95, anyone? Well, they did poll those people and they asked him if you could do it all over again, i.e. life, what would you do differently? And the number to thing they would do differently is to take risks.
Wow! To get all the way, to that place and look back and say, "I should've taken more risks." I think risk takers are movers and shakers, especially those who live by faith. Look at Noah. He built a boat and had never rained on the planet before. That was a big risk. Or, you look at Abraham. He left Ur of the Chaldees, home, to go to the Promise Land and he didn't have a map, let alone GPS. And then Gideon, he took 300 people to fight against an insurmountable army with staggering odds and he won. Risk takers. Hebrews 11 is that great Hall of Faith and it introduces us to unwavering faith. Faith that faces an unrelenting evil. We encountered Moses and Samson, but there are chicks there, too. Sarah and Rahab, and they were risk takers. They believe God could do the impossible, the inconceivable, if you like the Princess Bride.
You know what the lesson is? We can be risk takers, because we serve a promise maker. They all serve God and hang on to His promises and made steps of faith. A recent study show that people who engage in risk taking are happier, more satisfied, more content and I can confess to you that I am a risk taker.
My name is Lenya and I'm a risk taker, and I married one of the biggest risk takers I know.
As a matter of fact, that Saint Paul said, demographic risk takers, they're tall usually, male usually, and in their 20s. That's when we came here and took the risk. I'm looking back at the past, right? At just 23 for me and 25 for Skip, we got married and the only reason we got married -- well, not the only reason, we were in love -- but we got married to move to New Mexico and start Calvary of Albuquerque.
After the engagement photos and the rings, after the invitation was dropped in the mailbox, I and Skip started having doubts. Anybody here get doubts about the promises that you are living on? Can God really do it? Did He really say that? Oh, my gosh! What am I doing? The same thing happened to us. I got on my knees and I prayed and asked God for guidance, and I believe when you ask God for guidance, you ask specifically, as specific as you can because God rewards diligent seekers, not just casual inquirers. I got on my knees and I said, "Am I suppose to marry Skip Heitzig and move to New Mexico and start a church with him?" I mean, it couldn't be more specific than that. I don't know how God speaks to you. He shows all different ways on me. I mean, he spoke to Balaam through a donkey. So He just impressed on my heart to look at Isaiah 49. I had no idea what was in Isaiah 49. I was relatively young in the Lord compared to today. I opened up the Bible and I have that Bible with me with the highlights that I had written on the Bible with everything I felt God told me in a green pen and it's dated May 15, 1981.
This is what the Lord said, "I will make you a light for the gentiles that you may bring salivation to the ends of the earth." And I went, "Oh, Lord, you're going to use us for salvation." It goes on to say that, "God has chosen you. I will answer you. I help you. I will keep you. I will make you to be a covenant of the people to restore the land." I wrote in my notes, "Oh, Lord, you're going to walk me through the valley of the shadow of death. This valley time and you're going to do something. You're promising to do it." It went to say that, "You would say to the captives, "Come out." And to those in darkness, "Be free." I've circled those things that I wrote. God, there's power in God's Word that it would be preached here. And then it had this unbelievable description of the land to which we were going. "They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. They will neither hunger or thirst nor will the dessert heat or the sun beat upon them. I will turn all my mountains into roads."
I underlined dessert heat and mountains and I put a little thing like this and went, "New Mexico." Because there were dessert with mountains. It was like God described the land to me. And then it said, "See, they will come from afar, some from the West." Well, we were in California. Clearly, I was coming from the West to this land with mountains and dessert and heat and God was going to speak salvation and set captives free. And goes on to say, "For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones." And I said, "God knows that we are dust in my margins." And then it says, "I lifted up my eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. "As Surely as I live," declares the Lord, "You will wear them as ornaments. You will put them on like a bride."" Remember, marriage was a package deal to coming here. I circled that and I put, "Like a bride." Because I felt God said, "Yes, marry the man and move to New Mexico." I wrote, "God honors his words above his name."
And then there was this really interesting part that says, "The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing, "This place is too small for us."" Peggy. We've gone from building to building to building in our 30 years. We went form the Lakes Apartment into where they have Kaufman's now, over to a building that doesn't exist anymore, to this building and we bought other buildings on this property and made buildings. The children born would say, "This place is too small for us. Give us more space to live in." Then you will say in your heart, "Who bore me this? I was bereaved and barren. I was excelled and rejected. Who brought this up? I was left all alone, but these, where have they come from?" I wrote in my margin, "God will multiply in New Mexico."
Well, I had no idea that a Bible study of five people, would grow into you; it would be this. Thirty years have been really wonderful years. We had a son in New Mexico who loves Jesus. We have a grandson and a granddaughter, and Janae, our daughter-in-law, but we have you. You know, it said, those bereaved and those who are barren -- I think a lot of you know that I suffered from infertility. I had some miscarriages before we had Nathan. My prayer over the years when that happened was, "God, if I can't have physical children, I'll take all the spiritual children you'll give us." I look at you and I feel so honored that God would bless us with this family, that you are my mothers, my sisters, my brothers, my fathers.
So God fulfilled the promises He had with the risk that we took far beyond exceedingly, abundantly beyond all that I could ask or hope. What will the next 30 years hold? I have no idea, but I stil have my Bible and I still have my knees and I'm pretty convinced it will include some risk taking.
Narrator: The year is 1982, an unheralded movie with a strong Christian theme, Chariots of Fire is a huge surprise as movie of the year.
A gallon of gas cost 92 cents. USA Today is first published as the nation's newspaper. Ronald Reagan is in the White House. It's morning in America. This is the year that Calvary Chapel comes to Albuquerque.
Chuck Smith: "To God be the glory, great things he has done."
Skip Heitzig: "You know, it's amazing to come back here and realize that it all started right here. The Bible study in the Lakes Apartments. We began in the summer time of the 1981, shortly after my wife and I were married and we came here and Kent Bagdasar had an apartment right behind me in the second floor. We were able to secure this little clubhouse. When we first saw it, we thought, "This is huge. This will accommodate lots of people."
This is the Far North Cinema Theater here in Albuquerque, New Mexico behind me, where we met for our first Sunday morning services. And of course, we were rated G, general admittance, anybody could come.
We're at 1660 Eubank, Northeast in Albuquerque and this was our second meeting place, really. Our first permanent facility. When we really thought we had a building, this was the place. Then we began to grow again and we had to rip down a wall and expand the seating capacity from about 350 to almost 500 seats or 550 seats and we thought, "Man, we're cooking down."
We were looking up for a building when we were right down the street at the first building that we had at 1660 Eubank. We've outgrown the facility and the people who are our neighbors complained because we use all of their parking for our church services on Sunday even though they didn't have much business on Sunday. We were using their parking and it was getting kind of tough. People on the both sides of the street and on both side of us on the same side of the street, we're all having the same complaint. We knew we needed to move. We looked and looked and right down the street was this building that was vacant and when we saw it, we thought "Bingo! That's it! This will be the perfect place!" And of course, now, as you could see, it actually is a bingo parlor, but that's not what we intended. We met for three years here and that was our main sanctuary. This place inside, believe it or not, could seat close to 900 bodies, adult bodies at one time.
We were at a very strategic crossroads in our old building. Here is the crossroads. Basically, we rented a space, the guy wanted more money and was about to take us to court, because I wouldn't about to pay what he was asking, what he was demanding. In the midst of that, this building came available and we looked at it and it seemed so huge, just overwhelming. In fact, my board walked with me through this building and they just said, "It will never work. It's way too big. It's out of our price range. It's out of what we'd ever use it. We should just cut in half and give half to another church, because there's no way we'd occupy even half of this probably for a long time." When I walked in, I did see things in my imagination. I said, "Oh, we could put a platform here, a stage here. We could put a foyer there. We could be seated this way." I started putting the pieces together and a few others said, "Yeah. I think we see that as well." It was a highlight because it came at the exact time that we needed.
Male Speaker: With us today our two formerly incorrigible teenagers. Skip Heitzig rebels against his demanding father and at one time…
Female Speaker: Welcome back and joining me. Lenya, I wondered. How are you affected as a young girl by your father's agnosticism? How did you view that?
Lenya Heitzig: I think as a young child, it just seemed really natural. He says agnostic, but really, I felt atheistic.
Skip Heitzig: Please. Thank you, Lord. Have a seat, please. A little bit of bad news. Chuck Smith was unable to make it this weekend, because -- well, he's 85. He wasn't feeling great this week and couldn't get the plane schedule, but he gave us a little video that I'd direct your attention to before we finish our service. Let's watch the screen.
Chuck Smith: We would like to, first of all, express our joy and our blessing and all to see what God has done there in Albuquerque, through the faithful ministry of the Word of God. We just want to congratulate you for the 30 years. It's just marvel that what God has done in that ministry and how you've impacted, really, the City of Albuquerque, because of what God has done and then through the ministry there. So congratulations on 30 years of successful ministry. We don't know how long before the Lord is going to come for his church, but if it is another 30 years, we pray that the next 30 will be just as profitable and just as blessed as the last 30 years. So congratulations! Happy 30th! What a joy to be able to at least be with you here on the video for this special day and special occasion.
The Word of God is so very, very important and I think that this is the key to the success of the Calvary Chapel Ministries. I think where the pastors, as with your Pastor Skip, are faithful and just expounding and just going through the Word of God teaching the Word of God and each of these churches throughout the United States, God has blessed abundantly and the churches are blessed because God said that He would honor His word even above his name. And thus, where God's Word is honored and God's Word is taught and the people can grow in their understanding of the Word of God, then you have a strong, healthy church that really multiplies itself and just sees an exciting growth as you enjoy there in Albuquerque.
Each time I've come done, I've been absolutely blessed and amazed on what God has done and what God is doing through his Word and the teaching of his Word there in Albuquerque. So, may the Lord just continue his blessings and I know he will as long as you remain faithful and true to the Word of God. Why should we turn it to anything else? When you have something that is successful and working, I don't see any reason to try anything else. I've had people say to me, "Well you know, why don't you try this? Why don't you try that?" I said, "Well, I'll tell you what. As long as God is blessing His Word, I'm just going to stick with the Word of God. And when the blessings are no longer there, on the Word of God, then we'll maybe look for something else. But until that time, we're just going to stick with the Word of God."
So we encourage you there, just stick with the Word of God and just grow in your understanding of God as He has revealed Himself to us through His Word. Of course, that's basically the purpose of the Bible, is to teach you about God and to bring you into a relationship with Him by knowing Him. The Bible says, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." So, may the Lord just bless and continue to bless the teaching of His Word there Albuquerque and we'll just rejoice in what God continues to do for we know He's going to continue to bless His Word as long as we are faithful in proclaiming His truth to the world in which we live.
It's a glorious thing to just really look at the Word of God and to realize that God has promised a blessing upon it. Blessed are those that do hear and teaching the Word of God through the hearing of the Word of God, the blessing that comes upon your lives. I don't think you know that because Pastor Skip has been so faithful in teaching the Word and I enjoy, I enjoy hearing him expound God's truth. I really revel in the ability that God has given to Skip to share the Word of God in such a relevant way. I listen to His messages and I'm totally blessed by them and I'm thinking, "No wonder the church has been so blessed. No wonder the church has grown. No wonder the church has such an impact there in that community, because of the faithful teaching of God's Word." So, congratulations and may the Lord richly bless you as you celebrate this 30th anniversary.
Pastor Skip Heitzig: Would you turn in your Bibles very quickly. I just have a few minutes left with you, to the Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 8. It's the fifth book in the Bible. Just go Genesis and then over five books, you'll find Deuteronomy Chapter 8.
Thirty years. What can be accomplished in 30 years? It took 30 years for ancient people to build one pyramid in Giza, Egypt. It took 30 years for the Romans to build the Trevi Fountain that exist in Rome today to bring water from an aqueduct outside the city into town. In 1806, Napoleon commanded that Arc de Triomphe in Paris be erected. It took him 30 years to build it. Thirty years. I saw a t-shirt the other day that was meant to be for somebody who's 30 years old and the t-shirt said, "It took me 30 years to look this good." I saw that and smiled and I thought, "Just wait a few more years."
We didn't look like this, 30 years ago. Thirty years ago, a young couple from Southern California moved to New Mexico in a Datsun pick-up truck. Have you ever heard of a Datsun pick-up truck? If you have heard of that, it dates you. It was before the Nissan Corporation was around. A blue Datsun pick-up truck.
Thirty years ago, we started our home bible study in a nearby apartment complex with just a few people. We didn't know what to do next, so we had a prayer meeting on a Monday night. Thirty years ago, we started a Sunday morning in a theater cleaning up the popcorn, setting up the PA and preaching the Word. We didn't even have child care. We didn't even think about child care until after we rented the theater. So we then rented a space about a half mile up the road where you would drive, dropoff your kids if you were that daring, drive back to the theatre, drive back to get your kids and go home, thirty years ago.
Thirty years ago, there was no campus. Thirty years ago, there was no caffè, no bookstore, no skate park, no amphitheater, no staff. But 30 years ago, there was the Word of God and the worship of God and 30 years later, we are still committed to those to two things. We're still all about that.
Deuteronomy Chapter 8, I've had you turn there. Just to read with me some verses. I want to give you a couple of quick principles and we're going to go and celebrate outside, if you dare. In Deuteronomy 8, Moses is looking back and then he is looking ahead. Moses would say in Deuteronomy Chapter 8, "Love the past. Live the future." He's going back with the children of Israel and getting them to think before they act, which I've discovered is a lost ark these days. People love to act and then find out what happens after that. One of the most important things to do is think first and by the grace of God, plan for what's ahead.
That's what He tells them basically to do in Verse 1 of Deuteronomy 8, Moses says, "Every commandment which I command you today, you must be careful to observe that you may live and multiply and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers. And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way this 40 years in the wilderness to humble you and test you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you. Allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you. Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates. It's a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you."
As Moses gets them to look back and look ahead, there are four instructions he gives them, and I just want you to quickly notice what they are. Notice in Verse 2, he says, "You shall remember," and then in Verse 5, "You should know," Verse 6, "You shall keep all the commandments," and Verse 10, "You shall bless the Lord." Those are the four instructions. You may want to underline them. Those four instructions have four principles. Let me give them to you.
Number one, let the past instruct you. Looking back over the past with a good memory should give you incentive for what's ahead. It's always good to rely on your memory, but you have to be very intentional about what you're going to remember. The first thing Moses tells them is, "Remember that God has led you through some hard times." How hard was the wilderness? Forty years in the desert. And so often, it seemed to them to be half hazard. We're kind of going in circles here. But God led them all the way through the wilderness, those 40 years. I bet you've had some hard times as believers. We've had some hard times together as the church.
David in Psalm 23 said, "Yea, though I through the valley of the shadow of death." We don't like to walk through the valley, do we? We wanted to be airlifted from mountain peak to mountain peak. It doesn't work that way. You got to go down into the valley and walk through because the only way out is through. So, I led you through. I saw something years ago that just stock in my mind from Reader's Digest. It said, "Expecting not to be treated badly just because you're a good person is sort of like expecting an angry bull not to charge you just because you're a vegetarian." We've even had some angry bulls charge, but the Lord has led all the way through. Then, the second thing he would have them remember is that God provided in all times, "God led you through hard times, but God provided in all times." And he reminds them of the manna that fell from heaven.
Now, can I just say manna was one of the coolest inventions God ever did. Because the Bible says in Exodus Chapter 16, that it tasted like wafers made with honey. Now, you say that to a New Mexican and what does that sound like? What do you get at the end of a Mexican meal? Sopaipillas!. Come on. Wafers and honey? Not bad for a free meal falling from the sky everyday. If you eat that stuff up, it's like crispy creamed doughnuts fallen out of the sky or sopaipillas everyday.
Notice, it also says in Verse 4, "Your garments did not wear out nor did your foot swell." Now, that's very important. Doctors tell us that people that eat the same thing every single day, like you would with manna. Every single day, the sameness of diet will deprive people from vitamins. In many countries, missionary doctors have seen the swelling of the feet that tells me that manna was the best multivitamin ever invented. It was a multivitamin that tasted great. All of the nutrients were there. "Your feet did not swell and notice also, your garments did not wear out." Can you imagine having a set of clothes that you never had to change out? They just never wore out. Now, guys would love that. Girls would hate that. "Honey, I need to get a new dress." "No. Your dress has been looking good for 20 or 30 years. Keep it going, baby." "Yeah, but that new Gucci turban is out." "Sorry. We don't need it. God's providing." God led you and provided in all times. So, let the past with all of its ups and all of its downs instruct you, remember. Let's remember where we've come from.
Second principle, let the present inspire you. Verse 5, "You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you." We should learn from the past, but we should keep learning in the present. As Chuck said so well on the video, "Keep studying the Word." If you want to live a miserable life, live it, looking in the rearview mirror. Always look back and you'll live a miserable life. So many people I know lead their Christian life in the past tense, "Oh, I remember what is was like 20 years ago," or, "in the 60s and 70s and that Jesus would have been cool." Get over it. Jesus is still moving today. Let's learn from the past, but let the present inspire you. Don't have past tense relationship but a present tense relationship with the Lord.
Now, what should we learn in the present? How should we be inspired in the present? Simply this truth in Verse 5, that God loves you as a heavenly parent, much like an earthly parent loves his son or his daughter. That's the kernel nugget in Verse 5. You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you. The closest human relationship of a parent and child is in view you here. He loves you like that. What God is saying is the reason for all the hard times is for course correction. It's part of discipline.
Hebrews 12, "The Lord chastens those that He loves and punishes those He accepts as His children." He's been a dad to us. He's been a father to us. We should know that.
Here's the third lesson. Let the future invite you. Let the past instruct you. Let the present inspire you. Let the future invite you. Look at Verse 6, "Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks, of water, of fountains and springs that flow out of the valleys and the hills." Remember the past. Be learning in the present, but always with the view toward the future.
A man went to see his doctor and he was having problems with his eyesight and the doctor said, "I can't help your eyesight without impairing your memory. So it's your choice. You want your memory or your eyesight?" The man thought about it a long time and he said, "I want my eyesight. I want to see where I'm going rather than where I've been." But can I just say you need both. Remember where you've been. Remember where you've come from and learn those lessons and let that invite you into the future. It caused you to go forward.
In Philippians 3, Paul said, "Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." You know what Paul is referring to? All of his past accomplishments, that he was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, that he was a law-keeper, that he achieved status in the Jewish religion, and all those things that were so important to a worldly person. He says, "I don't care about it. I forget that, that I may press forward for something more."
The Lord has done a lot of things through you, through this fellowship. We have a lot of accomplishments we could check off and feel good about. Never be satisfied with past accomplishments. Always look forward and let the future invite you. I remember the early days of the Bible study in the Lakes Apartment. I just sat there and I said, "I wonder what God is going to do. I had no clue." And then when we moved from building the building, "I wonder what God is going to do here." But 30 years later, you know what I'm saying? "I wonder what God's going to do now." I can't wait to see because he has got a pretty good track record of doing some cool stuff already. So, based upon the past, I'm pretty exuberant about the future.
Fourth and final thing, I'll leave you with this. Let thanksgiving impel you. Let thanksgiving, praise, glory in God impel you. Look at Verse 10. "When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you." Every parent loves hearing their child say, "Thank you." So thus our Heavenly Father when we praise Him and whether we feel good during the worship service or not, we engage and we tell Him, "Thank you, thank you, thank you." He loves it.
Jesus was in one of the villages between Galilee and Samaria and 10 lepers were in the distance. Jesus healed them all and only one returned and gave Him thanks, 90% did not. I wonder if the ratio is any different these days. Jesus said to the one who came back, "Where are the other nine?" Thanksgiving should be a part of our life. You know, it's sort of like taking a handful of sand and trying to find bits of metal or iron in the sand. Looking for iron particles in handful of sand, you could do it one of two ways. You could run your fingers through it and you'll get very few, or you can sweep a magnet over it and get tons. Ever done that as a kid?
An unthankful heart is living life just running your fingers through the sand. A thankful heart moves to the day like a magnet picking up all sorts of mercies and graces and there's just enough father there to say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you," and develop that perspective. That's the idea here. As I look back over all these years, talked about the Lakes Apartments and saw that video that we did a long time ago. We were looking back then and we started with four or five people in the Lakes Apartments and we just got news a couple of weeks ago. Outreach magazine said this is the 13th largest church in the United States of America. So I'm going, "Okay. I don't really know how that happened, but thank you, thank you, thank you."
listen, it's not about numbers. I remember being in India years ago and I was listening to two Indian pastors talk and they were comparing how large their ministries were and one older brother stepped forward and then he says, "Brothers, why are you living in the Book of Numbers? You should be living in the Book of Acts." That's where I want to live.
God has chosen the foolish things in this world. Put your hand up if you're one of them. I'll put my hand up -- the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Our vision has not changed. We pursue to God who is passionately pursuing a lost world. We do it through up reach, in reach and out reach. Basically, I jotted this down. I want to see people fitter for heaven and I want to see those people outfitted for service. Are you fitted for heaven? Do you know Jesus Christ personally? Do you walk with Him in a personal relationship? And then, are you outfitted for service in His kingdom? That's maturity. That's what we're about.
I'm going to close in prayer and I have good news on your way out. Not only can you get a flash drive with teaching and worship music that is representative of worship leaders throughout the many years of Calvary's history, but also, we had manna. In the courtyard, free crispy cream doughnuts.
Thank you, Lord, for your goodness to us. Really that's all we can say is thank you and praise you and we give you the honor and the glory for what you have done, what you're doing in the present and what you're going to do in the future. In Jesus name. Amen.