we are doing by stamping “God is at work” onto it. Sometimes we theologically understand God is at work, but we have no idea how He is working. The positive experiences are not the only ways God works, as He worked in the ugly treatment of Joseph by his brothers and the perilous journey to Egypt, and God worked in the ugly treatment of Jesus by EVERYONE and his perilous journey to Calvary. Nonetheless, at this era in redemptive history, Jesus himself told us we would receive power when we received the Holy Spirit. He is expanding His kingdom throughout all nations, forgiving sinners and translating them out of a kingdom of darkness into his light and life. God is at work in His church. God is at work in Norman, OK. In May 2016, I was called from serving as RUF campus minister at the University of Oklahoma to plant the first ARP Church in Oklahoma. My family, another family, and a single man began praying. I started a weekly men’s breakfast Bible study in a BBQ restaurant. I rented a room on campus at OU and we began a Bible study on Sunday nights. In the fall of 2016, we began a Bible study with music on Sunday mornings. Few people of the (250,000 in our community) really had a lot of excitement for an ARP Church. Yet God was (and is) at work. We kept praying, teaching the Bible, sharing the gospel and by February of 2017, we

God is at Work! G

Rev. Justin Westmoreland Trinity Pres., Norman, OK

od is at work! God is always at work. Sometimes we do not “see” God’s work. Sometimes we might seek to justify what

began having weekly worship services. Many people visited. Some were called to join our group. Some attended for a time and then disappeared or moved. Some attended for a time and then because of sin and attacks of the devil became hardened to the church and the gospel. What ministers and church planters are called to do is, after all, an impossible task, if God were not at work in it. It is God who created, upholds, and sustains every single atom of our universe. We are mere instruments in his hand.

If God were not at work, none of what I am about to tell you would be true. His eternal counsel worked out in the daily providence, which led each soul to our church Sunday after Sunday. Here are eight highlights of God at work: • God provided an amazing meeting space for our start-up church. It is comical just how suitable and cost-effective our meeting place is for a church plant.

• God provides a worship service, Sunday school, and three small groups each week through our members. • One of the women in attendance in our early services was baptized in September of 2018 and Jesus has transformed her life! We carried a baptismal font about a mile over from the mainline Presbyterian church and baptized her with borrowed water that God provided.

• In April of 2018, God sent a family from 98 miles away, an hour and forty-two minutes one way (with tolls), to our building because they were called. This summer, they sold their home, joined, and moved 5 minutes from our meeting space.

• God brought one of the most talented and perhaps one of the most unlikely sophomores at OU to be a regular attendee of our church. He is representative of the kind of talented young millennial students that we believe reformed confessional churches can reach. We have a growing contingent of OU students.

• God provided a church for a young woman who had been unchurched for 8 years in Norman. • God provided a church home for a young couple who just had their first baby who will be baptized this year. • God provided a provisional session that plans for us to organize as the first ARP Church in Oklahoma in January 2020. God is at work! If that happens, you’ll all be invited to that service. If the whole ARP shows up, we can hopefully move the special service down the street to the OU football stadium. Whether you can physically make it or not to visit us on the prairie, please pray that God’s work would be seen and that we would worship and enjoy Him! I wish I could share more. Ask me at Synod or presbytery how God is at work.?

Helping You Reach Your Community 14 The Associate Reformed Presbyterian

Outreach North America

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