Unwrap the Gift of Waiting

While You Wait, God Is Preparing You For Greater Things.

George Wright
Dec 6, 2020    46m
Do you ever feel like God isn't listening or is taking too long to answer your prayers? Take heart and have patience because it is in this time of waiting that God is preparing you for greater things. Video recorded at Columbia, South Carolina.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Claire Taylor: 00:03 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

George Wright: 00:53 What a morning, what a privilege it is to be able to gather together on what is the second Sunday in the Advent season. It is my privilege to turn your attention to the beautiful words that were just so eloquently read by Ms. Claire Taylor. Thank you, Claire, for sharing the scripture with us. We're going to be an Isaiah chapter 40 today, and so I would turn your attention now to the Old Testament, right near the middle of the book, right near the middle of the Bible, Isaiah chapter 40.

George Wright: 01:28 If you're joining us online, we're so grateful that you're here with us today, and we would turn your attention as well to the Word of God. And I would encourage all who are listening to this message today, don't just take our word for it, look for yourself at the Word of God. See for yourself what the Word of God says, and we're going to dive right in, in just a moment.

George Wright: 01:49 But I do want to let you know of something that is happening tonight here in this room, that we're very excited about, something that we've actually been praying for, for quite some time. Tonight, we are having a very special service of prayer and unity, joining together with several other churches here in the Columbia area, joining together across racial lines, across denominational lines. But also across political party lines, as we have several invited guests, several of our leaders, both from the city and the state, but also at the national level that will be joining us for this special time of prayer and worship, 7 o'clock in the room here tonight, we hope you will join us. Certainly we can all agree in this season that we are navigating collectively together, we need to be crying out to God. This is a time for the people of God to be praying that God would move in power in our midst, and so we join together to that end tonight at 7 o'clock. And if you aren't able to join us in the room, we do you to know we'll be live streaming the service online, so you're welcome to join us that way tonight as well.

George Wright: 03:05 Now, let me turn your attention back to the words that Claire just read a moment ago, Isaiah 40, and I want to read just verse 30 and 31 to get us started here in this message today. And it is what we do here at the beginning of a message at Shandon, if you're new here, we would invite you to do this with us, we stand for the reading of God's Word. So if you'd be willing, if you're able, will you stand with me as I read from God's Word. And the reason we do this, if you are new to Shandon, we want to explain this. The reason we stand for the reading of God's Word, is the Word of God is our foundation, it is the solid foundation on which we stand, it is the authority of God. These are not just words of a man, but these are divinely inspired, God breathed words through his spirit, to the biblical writers, that recorded them for us to see what the Lord lays before us, what God says is right, and good, and true. So we turn to the Word of God, and we see life, and we see hope, and we see what the Lord reveals to us that he knows we need to see.

George Wright: 04:15 And so let's look again at Isaiah 40, specifically verses 30 and 31. It says, "Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength." The second Sunday of Advent, this day of the Advent season is all about waiting and preparation, "They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

George Wright: 05:04 It's my prayer that these words would be real and alive to us here today. And I'd ask you to pray with me to that end right now, let's go before the Lord. Father, as we stand before you now, as we come to this moment that you have set apart for us to encounter your living and active word, it is my prayer that you would have your way among us, and among all who are joining us online for this service, that you would speak life and speak truth that we need to hear. Oh Father, there's so much noise fighting for our attention, especially this year in a Christmas season, so much noise fighting for our attention. I pray, Lord God, that in this sacred moment, you would remove us from the noise and allow us to hear very clearly your voice leaping off the page of scripture. Use time to speak into our lives, we need to hear from you. So we commit this time to you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. Amen. May be seated, thank you for standing.

George Wright: 06:17 As we think about this Advent season, and specifically this Advent day of waiting, I think we all could agree that waiting is part of the Christmas season, right? But waiting during the Christmas season, actually in some ways you could argue adds to the excitement of Christmas. Especially if there are kids in your household, or kids in your extended family, and you see those children counting down the days until the big day finally gets here. The anticipation, and the waiting of Christmas just grows and grows as we get closer to December 25th. Now the waiting is starting earlier and earlier, I mean this year, it felt like the anticipation around Christmas started in July. But we certainly see those advertisements, and the Christmas music, and the lights start to show up in November. And then as each day passes the excitement, the anticipation, builds. And then that magical moment happens at some point in December where presents start to show up around the house, or underneath the tree. That moment happened for us just this week in our household, that just fueled the anticipation and the

George Wright: 07:38 And I am curious as present start to show up under trees in your homes. How many of you, now this is an important question, this is an opportunity to really be honest, it's important to be honest in church. How many of you have ever shaken or shook up a present to try and guess what was inside? Would you just show your hands? Some of you all are lying right now, pretty much everybody has done that, right? I mean, you want to see, you want to know, you want to guess, what's in there. Am I really going to get that thing that I asked for, that I really, really want? Let me ask you another question. How many of you have ever been able to have this privilege of opening presents before Christmas day? Anybody? Is that part of your family tradition? Can I just tell you when I was a kid, my mind was absolutely blown, when I found out that one of our neighbors opened all of their Christmas presents on Christmas Eve. It was like, man, their parents loved him so much more than my parents, my parents would make us wait a whole nother day, it's incredible. But the waiting at Christmas, it really is part of the excitement, it's part of the anticipation, it's part of the joy of the season because we know December 25th, it's on the calendar, that day is coming. There is a light at the end of the tunnel as we wait at Christmas.

George Wright: 09:05 But what about those seasons of waiting, where there seems to be no end to the waiting in sight? That's certainly a different type of waving altogether, isn't it? When we are waiting and we have no idea how long this season of waiting will last. I think about the difference in a young couple that is expecting their first child, and with great joy and anticipation, they are counting down the days until that due date finally arrives and that child enters into their family. And in the season of waiting there's joy, and excitement, and preparation, and anticipation. But it's a different story altogether, is it not, for the young couple that is longing for a child. But through struggles with infertility, through other circumstances and situations, they have not yet been able to conceive. And the waiting, the longer it goes, is more and more painful, more and more disappointing, more and more desperate, in a season of waiting where there appears to be no end in sight.

George Wright: 10:31 Waiting is never easy, but waiting without any idea of how long the wait will last, is especially hard. That's what we enter into here in Isaiah 40 this morning. Isaiah 40 is showing us a season among the people of God, where they have been removed from their homeland, and they are in captivity and an area called Babylon. And they have been in captivity in Babylon, literally for decades at the point that Isaiah is speaking here, in Isaiah 40. So the people of God have been crying out to God, they've been praying, but nothing's changing, nothing's happening. And as this season of waiting goes longer and longer, and all they want is just to get back to normal, they just want to get back to home. I want to get back to what's familiar, I want to get back to what I know. And yet, I'm stuck in this season of waiting, and they get more and more frustrated, more and more disappointed with God. More and more, many of them are being led to despair, and they begin to ask questions like, God, do you even hear us? Are you even listening? Do you even care about the pain of this season of a waiting? Are you even aware of what's going on, God, or are you just busy paying attention to something else? Because I keep asking and I'm not hearing anything.

George Wright: 12:17 So it's to that mentality that the prophet Isaiah begins to speak, verse 27, Isaiah says to the people, Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Isaiah is listening to what the people are saying, and he steps right into what they're saying, and the concerns that they have. And he just admits, there is pain in the waiting. The people are saying, God, do you even know what's going on? Have you totally disregarded us all together? God, do you even see what needs to take place, because if you see what needs to take place, and you're just ignoring us, that's even more painful. God, do you even have the power to bring about change? God, can you even do something about the circumstance, because if you can and you don't, I'm not sure if I can trust you at all.

George Wright: 13:27 Waiting is very difficult, waiting brings question into our lives, and even question into our faith. God, what are you doing right now? Because it appears like my way is hidden from you, and it appears like you have disregarded us all together. Maybe you feel that way right now, this has been a long year for many people. This has been a painful year for many people. And here we are approaching a new year, and our wait continues. I mean, in many ways it does not appear that we can say for certain, the wait is going to come to an end. I mean, we can't put a date on it, we can't put a season on it. We're guessing, hoping that 21 is going to look different than 20, but we're still waiting. God, where are you? Are you even there? Do you hear what we're saying, or our prayers just bouncing off the ceiling and never making it to you? Do you even know the right way forward, is our way hidden from God? Could it be that God is silent because God does not know what to do, or is powerless to do anything at all?

George Wright: 14:58 And is to this painful cry, and these difficult questions, that the prophet begins to speak. And I want you to know the prophet speaks with tremendous clarity and tremendous boldness. Listen to what the prophet declares, as the people grow more and more discouraged and even desperate in their season of waiting. Isaiah chapter 40 verse 28, the prophet looks at the people and says, have you not known? Have you not heard? Of course, they have, these are the people of God, they know about God, they've heard about God. So here's this rhetorical question. Have you not known? Have you not heard? Are you forgetting, the Lord is the everlasting God? He is the creator of the ends of the earth, and our God does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah is saying to the people of God, if you think your way is hidden from the Lord, you just don't know God at all. If you think God is powerless to do anything about your circumstance, you just don't understand the true power of the creator of the ends of the earth. If you think God is confused and trying to figure out what to do about COVID-19, you just don't understand that our God's ways are unsearchable, and his understanding no one can fathom, he does not grow faint, he does not grow weary. Isaiah is saying to the people, let me remind you who our God is, he sees what we don't see, he knows what we don't know, and he knows what is best for us. And if we continue to wait, it must mean that God, the God who is everlasting, the God who is not limited by time and space, the God who has a vision of all things, including every intricate detail of your life and mine. He must understand something that we don't know, and he must see that there is something that is necessary in our lives in the wait.

George Wright: 17:34 Please do not miss this, I believe that the Lord has looked at his people at his church in recent days and recognized we need a collective wake up call. I believe that the Lord has looked at his people and his church and has known we have needed a divine disruption that would shake us to the core and get our attention. I believe that God has looked at his people at his church and seen that we have become so busy in all of our activity that we were not seeing clearly. And I believe that God has looked at his people at his church and seen that we so easily grow so comfortable with what we want to call normal, that perhaps it was time for a new normal to be introduced, so that we could see clearly what we need to see. That's hard to consider, but his understanding is unsearchable. It's hard to admit and acknowledge that God knows more than we know, but he is the everlasting Father, he is the creator of the ends of the earth. We talked about this last week, God sees what we can't see, God knows what we don't know, this is so incredibly important if you are going to live by faith. God sees what we can't see, God knows what we don't know, and God is at work while we wait.

George Wright: 19:40 Isaiah is showing God's people that God is with them in the waiting, and that he has something for us to see as we wait, so don't waste the wait. For please hear this, God never wastes the wait, the wait is always something that God intentionally uses. Will we listen? Will we look? Will we see? Or will the wait be wasted? You see, if Isaiah 40 shows us anything at all, it shows us that the waiting has a purpose. I don't know what the purpose may be in your life right now, in the season that you find yourself in, in the circumstances that you're navigating. I don't know the family dynamics that you may be wrestling with right now, our the big decisions that you might be trying to make as it relates to career or relationship. I don't know all the details of your life, I don't know why waiting is necessary for you specifically, but I do know the waiting has a purpose. The waiting has a purpose, God does not waste the wait. God is intentional, he uses all things to point to good for those who love him. And in this wait, whatever the wait may be, there is a purpose, a purpose that God understands even when we don't, for his understanding is unsearchable.

George Wright: 21:44 I want to turn your attention real quickly to Second Peter chapter 3, we'll come right back to Isaiah 40, and we'll have this on the screen. If you want to turn with me so that you can see this, Second Peter chapter 3 verses 8 and 9, are what I believe is one of the most beautiful passages on waiting and all of the scripture, because of what it reveals about God's divine purpose in waiting. Look at what the scripture says, Second Peter 3:8-9, "But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, (listen to this) not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."

George Wright: 22:38 Now, what is this all about? Well, here Peter is writing this letter to the church, and he makes this statement about what could be called the day of the Lord, or the second coming of Christ. And if you were here with us last week as we kicked off this Advent series, one of the things we've seen historically about Advent as it's celebrated in the church, is it's not just about Christmas, historically. Yes, advent points to the coming of the Messiah, what we celebrate at Christmas, but the Advent season was also intended to point the church to the second coming of Christ. So the church would be looking forward to that day when the Lord would return, that day where when evil would be defeated for forever once and for all, and where Christ would unite with his people perfectly. The day when Jesus comes for his people, the day that the church should be longing for as we wait for the second coming of our King.

George Wright: 23:52 And here's what Peter does, Peter says, as we wait for that day, believing that this life is not all there is, believing that there is eternity on the other side of this life, either eternal life with Christ or eternal death separated from Christ. If we believe that, that there is a heaven and a hell. If we believe that Jesus will return for his people, if we believe that, we should be longing for that day, but as we wait, we must recognize God has a purpose in the waiting, and the purpose is always of eternal significance as it relates to God. So Peter says, in the waiting, God is inviting people to see their need for him, he's inviting people to see what he has done for them through Christ. In the waiting, God is inviting people to repentance, because it is through repentance, turning away from sin, turning away from self-centered living, turning away from the desire to be God of our lives, and turning to something else altogether different, turning to trust in Jesus, that's what repentance is, God knows that repentance leads to salvation.

George Wright: 25:18 And so in the waiting we see God's heart, we see God's desire, not that all would be judged, no, we see God's heart and God's desire that all would be saved. That's God's heart, that's God's heart for you, he wants you to be saved. But please hear this, not everyone will be saved, in fact, there are many who will reject repentance and choose to live their way. There are many who will remain in their sin, separated from the forgiveness and grace that is offered through Christ, because they choose to live their own way. And so God, in his heart for us, in his heart for the world, in his desire that more would be saved, God is patiently waiting to send Christ back to the world so that more can be led to repentance, so that more can see what Christ has done, so that more, listen to this, can be saved through Christ. That's the love of God for you, that's the love of God for me, that we would see our need in the waiting, and we would turn to Christ, who is our only hope. And we will be reconciled to God, not only now, but forever more, that's the gift of salvation that is being offered through Christ as we wait.

George Wright: 26:53 This waiting has a purpose, the second thing we see here is the waiting reveals our need. The waiting reveals our need. My guess is there are some things that have been revealed to you in 2020, that you perhaps were not thinking about in 2019, maybe as it relates just to the way you interact with your family, maybe as it relates to the things that are most important to you, maybe as it relates to some things that potentially need to change, or some things that you couldn't see before a season of waiting. The waiting reveals our need.

George Wright: 27:33 Look at what it says in Isaiah 40 verse 29, as we return to our text for the day, "He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength." Here's a very important question to consider, who is it that experiences the power of God? Is it those who are the strongest in the world, who have no need? Is it those who have concluded that they are righteous because of what they are doing, and they are righteous because of their effort, is that who receives the power of God? Is it those who think they can save themselves? No, of course that's not what the scripture says. Those who experience the power of God, in a real and personal way, are those who recognize they are about to faint. Those who recognize that they have no might or power on their own to save themselves, or fix themselves, or provide for themselves, what their soul so desperately needs. And it's in the waiting that our need is often revealed the clearest.

George Wright: 29:00 I love the Apostle Paul's personal testimony about this in Second Corinthians chapter 12, if you would turn there with me, and we'll come right back again to Isaiah 40. But Second Corinthians 12, as the apostle Paul reveals, he reveals that his need is made clear as he waits. And yet look at what he says, verse 7 through 10. I love this, "So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations." I need to stop here just for a second, this is so powerful, and so beautiful, and so important. In verse 7, Paul is saying, hey, God has revealed some things to me that everyone has not seen. God has revealed some things to me about his grace and his mercy, and it's beautiful, and I'm excited, and I'm fired up, and I'm looking around, and I'm seeing other people, and they have not seen what I've seen. And so it's very easy for me to start to live with the mentality that I'm holier than them, it's very easy for me to go, hey, I know some stuff that you don't know, and so I'm actually more spiritual than you, and I'm better than you, and I have this understanding of the gospel that you don't have. And so look at me, sorry, hopefully someday you'll get there. Paul says, God loves me so much, that as he has revealed this truth to me, he does not want me to become conceited and self-righteous, so listen to what God has done.

George Wright: 30:43 The scripture continues, Romans 12 verse 8 and following, "A thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited." Because that's the way I would naturally go, I would love for you to believe that I'm better than you, that's what Paul is saying. But God, in his love for me, has given me a thorn to harass me, and look, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me." God, this is uncomfortable, I don't like it. I'm in this season of waiting, will you change it? "But he said to me..." Listen to this, "he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore (Paul writes) I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

George Wright: 32:07 This is such a challenging testimony of the Apostle Paul. We don't know what the thorn in his flesh was, many people have guessed. Some people have said it was a physical ailment of some kind, that was debilitating and painful, and preventing him from doing what he wanted to do in his strength. Some have said it was a harsh critic, or a determined enemy, that was seeking to pull Paul down. We don't know what it was, we know he didn't like it, we know it was incredibly frustrating, it was driving him crazy. We know he was begging God to remove this storm, whatever it was, and God said, I've got you in a season of waiting with this thorn for a reason. And the more Paul became aware of his need, the more he began to understand the sufficiency of God's grace to meet him in his need. And so here's what's crazy, chew on this, the weaker Paul became, the stronger he became because of God's grace and God's power in his life.

George Wright: 33:31 About ten years ago, I went on a mission trip to Uganda in Africa. I've been to Africa many times, I've been to Uganda many times. And on this particular trip, about 10 years ago, I came home from Uganda with an uninvited guest, a parasite. I'm not really sure how I got the parasite, I was a very Adventurous eater about 10 years ago, I'm not as Adventurous anymore. But this parasite came home with me, and sent me into a journey that was over a year long, that was one of the most painful, difficult seasons of my life. I was about the size that I am right now, and in a matter of three to four months, I lost 30 pounds. It's not a diet I would recommend at all, the parasite diet is not a fun one. I was so weak that most mornings I would roll out of bed at 8 or 9 to try and go in and do some work, many nights I was back in bed by 7 or 8 o'clock. On Sunday mornings I would get up to go preach, and I couldn't even make it through a sermon standing up, so I was preaching sitting down. Not because that's like cool, or hip, or fun, to sit at a table, because I literally couldn't get through a sermon standing up. It was a long year, we went to a lot of different doctors, we were trying to figure out what was really going on and what we could do about it. We even went to an appointment with the CDC, before the CDC was like a really cool thing that everybody talks about, they couldn't figure it out. We were trying everything, praying, God, please heal my body, please remove this thing from me, whatever it is.

George Wright: 35:33 And yet during that season, the Lord started reveal to me, as a young pastor who had just turned 30, the things that I had been building my life upon, and the things that I'd been building my ministry upon, were really more about me than they were about the Lord. I was season of my life during that time where I was very proud of my physical fitness, very proud of the fact that I could do some things that other guys in their thirties might not be able to do, I was very proud of the fact that our church was growing very fast, very proud of the fact that the ministry seemed to be going well. And in that season of waiting, that was very painful, the Lord just begin to gently whisper grace into my life to see that so much of what I was doing was really more about me than it was about his story For you see, it's when we're weak, that then we become strong in Christ. It's when we see our need, then we get to see what our gracious God has done for us in our need, and we get to see that his grace truly is sufficient for us in our weakness. The waiting is never wasted, if we will trust in God to reveal what we need to see.

George Wright: 37:10 It has a purpose, as God reveals our need, the waiting has a purpose, and that's what we see here at these final verses we'll consider today. Isaiah 40:30 through 31 show us, please don't miss this, the waiting is preparation for greater kingdom impact. The waiting is preparation for greater kingdom impact. Nobody likes the off season, because the off season is all about wind sprints, and weight lifting, and getting up early, and doing all the things that you have to do to get ready for the season. But the season doesn't go well without the off season, the Gamecocks have proved that, I guess. I thought the training was going great, but I'm not sure what happened. The waiting is preparation for greater kingdom impact, if we will trust the Lord in the waiting. For it says, "Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." And the language of this statement, renew, in the original context actually could be translated, to have something new take its place, to be altered completely for the sake of something new. That's what it means to renew your strength as you wait on the Lord.

George Wright: 39:01 They who wait for the Lord shall have new strength, for new kingdom impact, for this new season. So in this season of waiting, please hear this, it needs to be said, I believe this season of waiting is a season of preparation, and I believe that the fruit of what grows out of 2020 will be beautiful as it relates to kingdom impact. If the people of God will stop longing to go back to what was, and we'll start believing that our God is doing a work now, while we wait, that is preparation for greater kingdom impact than perhaps we have ever seen. Listen church, I just got to say this, my entire life, my entire ministry, I've heard people in the church say we are praying for revival in the church in America. I've heard people in the church, over and over again, look at the culture and be so frustrated, and so disgusted, at all the things that were changing in the culture. Lord, when are you going to do something? Lord, when are you going to bring revival? Perhaps he's heard our prayers. Perhaps he's looked out collectively at the church has said, okay, I will answer that prayer, will you trust me? Will you trust me? Because I want to do something new through you, I want to do something greater through you. I want to bring fruit into your life in such an abundance that you can't even imagine it. But will you stop, will you stop longing to go back to the way things were, and will you start believing that our God wants to give you new strength, for a new day, for a new season, for greater kingdom impact than you have ever experienced? For the waiting is preparation for what God alone can do, if we will trust him at his word.

George Wright: 41:36 The waiting always has a purpose, the waiting always reveals our need, and if we will trust the Lord in faith, the waiting always prepares us for greater kingdom impact. That is not just for our good, but just for God's glory, and I believe the church wants to be used for the glory of God. So let's trust him, and let's seek him, and let's long for him while we wait, believing that the fruit of the wait is going to be more beautiful than we can comprehend.

George Wright: 42:20 Would you pray with me to that end? For that is a prayer that we need to pray. Let's close. Father, we look to you. It's uncomfortable to wait, it's frustrating to wait, and if we're honest, there are things being revealed that we don't want revealed. It'd just be so much easier to go back to normal, it'd just be so much easier to find something that's more comfortable, it'd just be so much easier if we could just have our way, but Lord, you love us too much. And I'm so grateful that your grace is sufficient for us in our weakness, and I'm so grateful that you meet us in the midst of this waiting that you have orchestrated, to show us something that we need to see. I'm so grateful that as hard as it is, we're being reminded right now of our need for you. And I'm so grateful that you, Lord God, are faithful, and will not waste the wait if we will trust in you.

George Wright: 43:42 So I pray, Lord God, that you would use this waiting as a season of preparation for greater kingdom impact then the church, and our culture, perhaps has seen a long time. Lord, would you use us for your glory, please, Lord God, we don't want to waste the wait, we don't want to waste what you have revealed, we want to be used for your glory. So Lord, I pray, I pray that you would fix our eyes on Jesus, and that as we wait, you would give us new strength to mount up on wings like Eagles, to run and not grow weary, to walk and not be faint. Lord, I pray that you would give us greater strength than we had at the end of 2019. And I believe, Lord God, that you have fruits of all of this waiting somewhere in the future, would you use us, would you use us to possibly harvest some of that fruit for your glory?

George Wright: 44:54 Lord, we need you, and there are some today that recognize their need for you, perhaps in a personal way, for the first time. They've been in this season of waiting, it's been difficult and they're seeing, I can't fix this, I can't manipulate this, and I can't control this, and I need a Savior. So there are some today, Lord, I know that you're pursuing with this gift of salvation that Peter talked about in his letter. That you don't desire for anyone to perish, you desire for them to come to repentance. So Lord, give them the faith to repent of their sin, to say, I need a Savior, and I'm ready to follow Jesus. Forgive my sin, I'm ready for your grace, your sufficient grace, to cover my life as I follow you. Lord, we praise you for the gift of salvation, we pray that today there would be some who would trust in you for the gift of salvation.

George Wright: 45:54 Thank you for what you're doing among us, thank you for this beautiful season, that points us to our beautiful Savior. It's in Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Recorded in Columbia, South Carolina.
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Shandon Baptist Church
5250 Forest Drive
Columbia, South Carolina 29206