Church growth is God's work, from the beginning to the end. He opens doors no one can shut and he moves hearts we consider unmovable. God does God-sized miracles.
But open doors come with a cost. First, Christ said, "I will build my church," and the cost of our salvation was paid by Christ by dying for our sins. His Spirit, also, has inspired the gospel we have to share and has empowered the church's witness for almost 2000 years. And behind the scenes in each life that turns to Christ, and in each church that seeks to love and share, God has been at work in a thousand-plus unseen ways. God is the Hero of the growth of the church, but God calls others to also pay a price: the price of prayer, of compassion, of sacrifice, of giving, of loving service, and of sharing.
The freshness of God's Spirit, as he moves in our lives, is a wonderful reality of the Church Age. We stand upon his word and trust in his grace and guidance, but we also want to move with his Spirit as he leads and empowers us today. This morning as we look at the church spreading to Europe in Acts 16, we can each remember the extraordinary ways that God brought the gospel to us, to our family, and to our nation.