Yesterday in my quiet time, I studied Acts 8:1-8. The passage is about a great persecution that broke out against THE CHURCH in Jerusalem. All the Christians, except the apostles, were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. In Acts 1:8, Jesus told THE CHURCH that they would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses for him in Jerusalem, then Judea, Samaria and ultimately to the ends of the earth. It’s interesting that it took a persecution (I.e. something “bad” happening to THE CHURCH) to get them to spread the news of Jesus to the areas outside of Jerusalem. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed Christ there. God did miraculous things in that city through Philip and “there was great joy in that city.”
A few years ago I wrote in the margin of my Bible, “What is Graystone’s Samaria?” And as we know, Walton County has become our Samaria, and Monroe is the specific city in our Samaria that God has led us. We prayed yesterday morning with some of the Graystone staff team that God would use Graystone Walton to bring great joy to the city of Monroe. We are claiming Acts 8:8 in addition to Acts 1:8.
Last night, over 50 people gathered at our Walton Campus in Monroe to pray. We prayed inside and outside the building. We prayed over the parking lot and lobby areas. We prayed over the kids and student areas. We prayed over the auditorium where hundreds will come to worship God and hear the word of God. We wrote Bible verses on the floor and people’s names that we want to see God do a great work in their lives. We prayed that God would use this new building as a tool for His kingdom and His glory. After the prayer time, we were slowing making our way to our cars. No one seemed to be in a hurry to leave. The fellowship was sweet. And then a car that was driving down Highway 11 slowed down and pulled into the parking lot. The man inside the care rolled down his window and asked us about the church. He ended up getting out of the his car and sharing with us how Jesus had changed his life. He was excited to find a church that his middle school kids could get involved (BTW, he adopted his youngest child from China.) He connected with Alan and Allison, our campus/student pastors.
We were encouraged. God is already answering our Acts 8:8 prayer. Thousands of cars drive up and down Highway 11 every day. May God draw MANY to Himself. May the love of Jesus through THE CHURCH bring great joy to the city of Monroe and Walton County. I cannot wait to see all does in and through our Walton Campus. I know that it will be immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.