top of page

The Glorious Work of God

Kim Melnick

Feb 2, 2024

God Working though His Church

In July of 2023, I vacationed in Banff National Park in Canada. It was indeed the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited as it boldly declares God’s magnificent glory in Creation. With its rocky, mountainous terrains, majestic valleys, turquoise waters and massive glaciers, it is a spectacular sight to behold.

Yet, as I reflect upon the glory of God seen in the beauty of this place, I realize how much greater, how much more beautiful and glorious is the work of God as He redeems and restores lives through His gospel-spreading, disciple-making vessel here on earth - the local church.

This extraordinary work that God does - the work of taking those who are dead in their sins and making them alive in Christ is all done through the ordinary means of grace, through ordinary people simply following Christ in obedience to His word.

Case in point: The story of Kristin…..

Just a few months before my trip to Canada, I, along with my husband and my pastor, was in downtown Sanford at a local park with the sole purpose of meeting people so that we could pray for them, share the gospel with them and invite them to our weekly outreach service.

That night, the Lord brought us to Kristin. She had moved to Sanford the previous week and was sitting at a picnic table drinking a beer. Months later she would tell us that, at that time,  she imagined she would be sitting there drinking a beer every day for the rest of her life.

But God!

He had a better plan for Kristin and He chose to use His church to do the awe-inspiring work of redemption and restoration in her life. She was cautiously friendly as we approached her. I sat down and we began to talk, about life and a little about the Lord. I asked how I could pray for her.

Her response, “I have a drinking problem.”

Kristin was an alcoholic. She had been abusing alcohol since the age of 12. This, as you might imagine, led to much brokenness  - in her own life and in her relationships.

She let me pray. We talked a little more. She mentioned that she didn’t have any friends in Sanford. We let her know that she did now. We invited her to our outreach service and to church and she began joining us for both services every week.

She thought that drinking was her biggest problem, but there was more going on. The Lord was at work in her heart. There were many steps forward and a few back in those first couple of months.

At first she was quiet, keeping mostly to herself but taking it all in during our services.

She listened to the theologically rich songs that proclaimed God’s Word. She took notes as she paid close attention to solid expositional preaching from the book of Romans every Sunday morning. A few more of our women befriended her, shared a meal with her, called and sent her texts and cards. She began to pray with us in small groups of 2 to 3 during our “pray for your neighbor” time at church.

Occasionally, when we would ask, “How are you?”

She would answer quickly, “I drank yesterday.”

Her humble and forthright confessions were shocking at times - her desire for sobriety was strong but, some days, the craving was stronger.

But, it was obvious that the Lord was at work. Kristin seemed to be changing before our eyes. She was opening up, asking questions and, by this time, was meeting regularly to learn more about the fundamentals of our faith.

And, then, on May 11, 2023 the Lord brought the Gospel to life in her heart. For the first time she began to understand her own sin and her need for a Savior. She confessed Christ and she knew that she was now a new creation.

The battle of her addiction was not quite over. She continued with occasional struggles  in her sobriety until June 14, 2023. Since that day, she has remained clean and sober and we are eager to celebrate her one year anniversary this June!

Kristin has continued to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. She was baptized in November of 2023 and, the following January, she covenanted with our church in membership.

She is working hard to rebuild trust in her family relationships. She is learning to extend grace to others. She is understanding what it means to have, and to be, a true friend. She is eager to read her Bible and to grow in her understanding of the truth contained in God’s Word. And, she he has a desire to serve every week with our church.

But, perhaps the greatest change in Kristin is that she now has hope.

As she often says, “I never had hope before God.”

Kristin’s hope is in the person and work of Jesus Christ. She knows that He is with her. She knows that He has done a great work for her and in her. And she knows that He has a good and glorious plan for her…for now and for eternity.

It is simply extraordinary to see what God has done.

And, it’s even more extraordinary when we consider just how shockingly ordinary the actions of the church were as the body of Christ discipled and ministered to Kristin.

There were no complex programs. No special evangelistic events. No “outside the box” seeker-sensitive strategies that were employed.

Just simple obedience to the word of God. God has ordained for His church to engage in simple obedience to His word….

He has told us to go and make disciples.

He has commanded us to know Him through His word.

He has raised up elders to preach His Word in season and out of season.

He has commanded us to pray.

He has told us to engage in the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

And, he has given His church the responsibility to practice discipline and care for souls.

God does glorious and extraordinary things through simple obedience to His ordained and ordinary means of grace.

I praise God for Kristin who is a sweet testament to that grace.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

bottom of page