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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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Awaken the Wonder: A tour through Acts, part 5

Signs and wonders were part of God’s response to Moses’ statement, “They will not believe me or listen to my voice…” Exodus 4

Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.”[a] And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous[b] like snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”

Samuel – “Spirit of the Lord shall rush upon you and you will be a different man.” – 1 Samuel 10

Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince[a] over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you to be prince[b] over his heritage. When you depart from me today, you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?”’ Then you shall go on from there farther and come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand. After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim,[c] where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you. Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”

When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came to Gibeah,[d] behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 And a man of the place answered, “And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.

Signs and Wonders Tour

Acts 15:12                   Signs and wonders fascinate the Jerusalem Council

Acts 16:16-18              “Spirit” commanded to leave

Acts 16:25-34              Paul, Silas, and an earthquake

Acts 17:16                   Paul’s spirit provoked

Acts 19:11                   Extraordinary miracles

Acts 20:10                   Eutychus raised from the dead

Acts 23:11                   The Lord stands next to Paul and encourages him

Acts 27:23, 24             An angel gives guidance to Paul

Acts 28:8, 9                 Many healed on Malta

Posted on 18th July 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness

In total dependency upon God (poor in spirit), I mourn my tendency to rely on the self (those who mourn), and receive life as God allows it to come to me (the meek), and I long, deeply desire, and hunger and thirst to live rightly with God and people (hunger and thirst).

God, who loves His creation, provides food to satisfy the hunger and water to quench thirst.

In Creation (Genesis 2:8, 9)

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In the Exodus (Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

In the deepest longings of the soul (John 4:12-15)

Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[b] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

In the coming kingdom (Revelation 7:15-17)

“Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Hunger and thirst speak to the expansive physical and spiritual lack in our lives that can only be satisfied by God. Psalm 42:1, 2

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.

Quench your hunger and thirst with anything or anyone other than God and you find yourself more famished and dehydrated than ever before.

God invites us to place our physical hunger and thirst under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

  • How many terrible and sinful decisions were made by people in the Bible because of food and beverage? (Adam and Eve, Esau, Israel, etc.)
  • Imagine the feeling when all of your hunger and thirst is under the Lordship of Jesus?

We are also invited to find spiritual nourishment for our hungry and thirsty souls in Jesus.

  • What has turning to “spiritual junk food” cost you?
  • What joy, fulfillment, and delight has turning to God brought to our lives? Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Suggestions for developing an Appetite for God from 1 Peter 2:1-3

  1. Pray for the grace to have a God pleasing appetite and for His Spirit to empower you.
  2. Cut off all access to the fulfillment of anti-God appetites. I Peter 2:1
  3. Long for pure spiritual food. 1 Peter 2:2
  4. Long to grow up into salvation. 1 Peter 2:2
  5. Taste that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:3

“Lord, will you shape my deepest longings?  May I long for You, the King, to be in your kingdom in my heart and the world.  In my total dependence upon you, may you produce righteousness in me.”

Posted on 14th July 2018 in Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Blessed are the meek: Surrender and Shaping

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Matthew 5:6

Meekness is not any one thing.  To be meek is the personal living out, in the many and varied experiences of life, one’s total dependence upon God and one’s sorrow for self-sufficiency.

Meekness includes joyfully receiving life as God allows it to come to you and responding to God and people accordingly.

Surrendering to God as He allows life to come to you is conjoined with you and God shaping your life together.

The meek person surrenders and shapes their lives.

For the meek, the surrender/shaping paradox is a type of dynamic tension.

  • Sloppy surrender becomes careless, directionless, and lazy.
  • Over shaping becomes arrogant and controlling resistance to God.

The surrender/shaping paradox of meekness is established upon discernment. 1 Cor. 12:7-10, 1 John 4:1

“Discernment: is the heightened ability to read or hear a teaching, to encounter a problem, or to consider a proposed course of action, and then determine whether the source behind the teaching, problem, or action is divine, merely human, or satanic.”   Dean and Laura VanDruff

  • Surrender and shaping are conjoined, meaning they come as both/and.
  • One can’t answer, “Which comes first?” To surrender is a function of shaping and to shape is a function of surrender.
  • Consider the surrender/shaping paradox in the magna carta of prayer, “The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).”
    • Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Surrender.
    • Give us. Shaping.
    • Forgive us. Shaping.
    • Deliver us. Shaping.
    • For thine is the kingdom and the glory. Surrender.

The narrative of Job’s experience is an extended surrender/shaping discernment conversation.

Job must determine if his experience is something he should surrender and/or something he should shape.

  1. Discerning the source of the experience.
    1. Is it sourced in God? Acts 10:9-16
    2. Is it sourced in the evil one? Isaiah 54:17
    3. In Job’s case, it was sourced first in God and secondarily in the evil one. Job 1:8
  2. Discerning a wise response when the experience is sourced in God.
    1. Surrender to God.
    2. Shape the experience through conversation and negotiation based upon God’s scriptural revelation.
  3. Discerning a wise response when the experience is sourced in the evil one.
    1. Prayer for wisdom
    2. Deal with any “foothold” you are giving to the evil one.
    3. Rebuke
    4. Resist
  4. Discerning a wise response when the experience is first sourced in God and secondarily in the evil one. Job 13:15

 

Posted on 8th July 2018 in Beauty, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Fasting and Prayer for President Trump

Seeking the Wisdom of God for

President Trump

through

Fasting and Prayer

 

Ephesians 5:8-14 

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.””

  1. We repent of darkness in our own lives and celebrate God’s gift of light.
  2. May the national conversation and prayer be, “What pleases the Lord?”
  3. May our nation properly respond to Paul’s command, “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead” and receive his promise, “Christ will shine on you.”

Colossians 3:15 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

  1. We lift President Trump before YOU and pray that he will have eyes to see and ears to hear what YOUR choice is regarding this next Supreme Court nominee.
  2. We ask YOU to confirm to him the person of YOUR choosing.
  3. We pray that President Trump would feel deep peace when he thinks about the person of YOUR choice and deep unrest should he start to waiver from YOUR highest and best.

Proverbs 15:22 

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

  1. Give our President wise and godly counsel to help him discern YOUR will in this important decision.
  2. Give our President the ability to trust the wise and godly counsel you provide for him.

Galatians 1:10 

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

  1. We pray that President Trump will resist any temptation to please people rather than to please YOU in this selection process.
  2. May what pleases YOU be very clear to our President.

Luke 12:2 

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.

  1. We pray that there is nothing covered that will not be revealed or hidden that will not be made known, regarding those who are being considered to fill this vacancy.

  2. May the intention of the nominee’s heart to please you be evident to our President.

2 Kings 6:8-14 

Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

“None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

“Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

  1. We pray YOU will cut off all outside enemy attempts and influences to manipulate, confuse, or confound the President’s hearing from You or his resolve to stand firm in YOUR choice.
  2. We pray our President will “put on the whole armor of God” as he deliberates.

Isaiah 41:3 

He pursues them and moves on unscathed,
by a path his feet have not traveled before.

  1. We ask YOU to give the Supreme Court Justice nominee of YOUR choice supernatural favor, wisdom, and protection to navigate through the Senate confirmation hearings and to speedily receive Senate approval.
  2. We ask YOU to direct the steps of the nominee of YOUR choice.

Esther 4:14 

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

  1. We pray that this new Supreme Court Justice will be a voice for righteousness and justice—even to changing the landscape of the entire nation toward godliness.
  2. May the new Supreme Court Justice do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You.

Proverbs 14:34 

Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin condemns any people.

  1. We pray for a Great Awakening in these United States of America.
  2. May God bless America with righteousness.

Prayer Guide adapted from https://bridgebuilders.net/2018/07/03/supreme-court-nominee/

 

Posted on 5th July 2018 in Fasting and Prayer  •  Comments are off for this post
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Fasting and Prayer for God’s Guidance for President Trump

Gigantic decisions require God’s guidance and this comes through fasting and prayer.

From my perspective a spiritual battle is raging in both the seen and unseen worlds over the upcoming selection of a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States.

It is surprising to read Republicans explaining their support and the Democrats organizing their opposition to the nominee.  How can you support or oppose a nominee that isn’t yet selected?

The national conversation is dominated by what the Democrats and Republicans want.

I have yet to hear in the media, “What does God want?”

You are invited to join me in fasting and prayer for a gift of the wisdom of God for our President in this most crucial and urgent decision.

We are requesting our brothers and sisters in our related churches in Burkina Faso, the Netherlands, Australia, Israel, Russia, Guatemala, Thailand, Samoa, Poland, and sensitive countries to pray for God’s mercy upon our nation as seen in our leaders welcoming His wisdom and guidance.

In addition to our personal fasting and prayer, MCA Church will join together in unified corporate prayer at noon on July 6th (Anchorage, Alaska time).  You are invited to join us in person or live online at http://www.mcaonline.org/media/live-streaming/

In the spirit of the Apostle Paul, we pray for our leaders to “find out what pleases the Lord (Ephesians 5:10).”

Posted on 3rd July 2018 in Fasting and Prayer, Politics, Prayer, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: Meek

“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”

Because we want to know what our strict training (1 Corinthians 9:25) is to produce in our lives, we are each developing a “Beauty of Becoming Hero Collage.”

  • To what end am I directing myself?
  • What does a fully “Christianized” version of me look like?
  • Who are my examples and models?
  • What does a beautiful me look like?

The Beatitudes of Jesus, Matthew 5:1-12, are presented with a clear and important progression.

Realizing and experiencing total dependence upon God (poverty in spirit) for everything, I mourn:

  • my personal inability
  • my dependence upon self
  • the lost years of the blessings of total dependence upon God
  • the great damage I have done to others while not being totally dependent upon God
  • the overriding pride of placing any dependence upon self

The attitudes, behaviors, personality, lifestyle, and relationship dynamics of the person who is poor in spirit and who thus mourns is revealed as meekness.

Meekness is not any one thing.  To be meek is the personal living out, in the many and varied experiences of life, one’s total dependence upon God and one’s sorrow for self-sufficiency.

In the Old Testament, meekness is the God pleasing attitudes, behaviors, personality, lifestyle, and relationship dynamics of the person who is suffering, oppressed, and afflicted.

Meekness flows out of humility.

Humility includes joyfully receiving life as God allows it to come to you and responding to God and people accordingly.

“Meekness is unpretentiousness, gentleness, sweetness, and the grace to be utterly self-effacing.”  R. T. Kendall

The beatitudes of Jesus are His prophetic autobiography.

Jesus said of Himself, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus’ struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane reveals the core essence of meekness.

“Life as I want it or life as God allows it to come to me?”

Meekness joins Jesus in the “my will/thy will” conflict and surrenders joyfully to the will of God.

In this life in the world’s system meekness wins nothing, loses everything, and is discarded.

Life in God’s system proves that the meek inherit the earth.

Posted on 30th June 2018 in Uncategorized, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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God Communicates through Signs and Wonders: Deuteronomy and Acts

Signs and Wonders, Part Four

Throughout the Bible God communicates through signs and wonders.

Before one takes up the question, “Can people, under the power of the Holy Spirit, accomplish signs and wonders?” we must recognize that GOD communicates through signs and wonders.

Consider signs and wonders (collocation) in the book of Deuteronomy.


Deuteronomy 4:34

“Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?”

Others, in both the Old and New Testaments, understand God’s communication through a “…mighty hand and an outstretched arm…”

In this passage signs and wonders are about God taking “a nation for himself from the midst of another nation…”

Israel was the beneficiary of God’s action: “All of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes.”

Luke especially features God’s communication in this manner.  Acts 4:30

Deuteronomy 6:22

“And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes.”

These signs and wonders were against those resisting God’s wishes.

Deuteronomy 7:19

“the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So will the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.”

God’s signs and wonders of Israel’s recent past are a recognition of His future work among them.  “So will the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.”

Deuteronomy 26:8

“And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders.”

This passage views the signs and wonders from the experience of Israel.  “And the Lord brought us out of Egypt…”

Deuteronomy 29:3

“the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders.”

Your own eyes have seen God’s signs and great wonders, but you are not yet responding properly.

Deuteronomy 34:11

“none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land,”

Moses is honored as a man especially accredited by God.  Notice the author informs us that the Lord sent Moses to do these signs and wonders.  God sent.  Moses accomplished.

Signs and Wonders Tour of Acts 

Paul rebukes the Magician                             Acts 13:8-12

Unnamed Signs and Wonders                        Acts 14:3

Paul heals a lame man                                    Acts 14:8-10

Paul left for dead, lives                                   Acts 14:19-20

Posted on 27th June 2018 in Signs and Wonders, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
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Fully Engaged in Pursuit of God

Earnestly Pursuing God

Pursuit of a preferred future is part of health and longevity.

Consider the following article.

What will make you happy? What will make you feel fulfilled? What will help you live a longer, healthier life?

Good questions. 

Enter Lewis Terman with an answer.

Terman, a Stanford University psychologist, was a pioneer in I.Q. testing; his revisions of the Stanford-Binet test helped it become a widespread tool for measuring general intelligence.

Then in 1921 he identified 1,500 children who had scored 135 or higher on the test and began one of the longest longitudinal studies ever conducted. (The New York Times calls Terman and his study of “Termites,” as the kids called themselves, the grandfather of all lifespan research.) 

Terman’s study was guaranteed to outlive him, but that was the point: Analyzing large groups of people over many decades allows researchers to uncover connections between cause and effect that short-term studies naturally miss. (It’s really hard to know if what I did in my 20s actually made me happy in my 70s unless you catch me at both stages of life.)

So who tended to live the longest, most fulfilling lives? The people who actively pursued, and were highly engaged, in pursuing their goals.

In fact, many of those who worked the hardest turned out to live the longest.

According to the Longevity Project, actually achieving your lifelong dreams doesn’t matter. Pursuing those dreams is what counts:

We did not find that precisely living out your dreams matters much for your health. It was not the happiest or the most relaxed older participants who lived the longest. It was those who were most engaged in pursuing their goals.

Those who were the most successful were the ones least likely to die at any given age. In fact, those men who were carefree, undependable, and unambitious in childhood and very unsuccessful in their careers had a whopping increase in their mortality risk.

Of course “success” means — and definitely should mean — different things to different people.  That’s why determining what success means to you, and then actively working to achieve your definition of success, is the key. Living a laid-back, care-free, stress-free life may sound great — but, as the study shows, “happy-go-lucky” people don’t thrive.

Persistent, conscientious people thrive. 

Of course, other things matter as well. Other research shows good relationships make you happier and healthier. Terman’s study shows that kids who have greater willpower and perseverance tend to be more successful as adults, regardless of relative I.Q. 

It’s not easy to change the quality of your relationships overnight, though. Nor is it easy to develop greater willpower and determination (although there are certainly ways you can increase your ability to resist temptation, stay focused and determined, and remain resolute in pursuit of your goals.)

But what you can do, starting today, is actively work toward achieving one of your goals. Working toward a goal will make you happier. Working hard to achieve a goal will help you live longer. 

Actively pursuing a goal, even if you never quite achieve it, will make your life more fulfilling, both now and when you eventually look back on a life well-lived.

Because there’s only one longitudinal study that truly matters.

Yours.

Make sure you’re delighted with the results of that study.

PUBLISHED ON: JUN 11, 2018

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/this-95-year-stanford-study-reveals-1-secret-to-living-a-longer-more-fulfilling-life.html

Psalm 63 is a perfect guide for life-long pursuit of God

 

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

 

 

1.     Make God your God.

2.     Pursue God earnestly.

A.    Who? I.

·      My soul

·      My flesh

·      My eyes (looked upon you)

·      My lips

·      My hands

·      My memory

B.    How?

·      Seek

·      Thirst

·      Faints

·      Behold

·      Praise

·      Bless

·      Mediate

·      Sing

C.     Where?

·      In a dry and weary land

·      In the sanctuary

·      At table

·      In bed

·      In the shadow of your wings

D.    Why?

·      Steadfast love is better than life

·      My soul will be satisfied

·      You have been my help

3.     My soul chases and clings to your as your right hand upholds me.

Today is the best day to start your life-long pursuit of God with the power of full engagement.

Are you a former God chaser who has succumbed to the motionlessness of;

  • Disappointment with God or the Church or God’s children?
  • Being misunderstood?
  • Distractions of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life?
  • Vision and dream shrinkage?

Today, reignite your engines and EARNESTLY PURSUE GOD!

Posted on 17th June 2018 in Father's Day, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Signs and Wonders in the book of Acts with a review of Romans 15:17-21

Signs and Wonders in the Acts of the Apostles

Notice the importance of signs and wonders in Paul’s understanding of ministry.  Romans 15:17-21

17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”

Let’s take a look at this passage in the original language.

We pick up our tour of Signs and Wonders in the Acts of the Apostles in chapter 10.

The Holy Spirit Poured upon Gentiles            Acts 10:44-48

Prophecy of Coming Famine and Response   Acts 11:27-30

Angel’s Free Peter from Prison                       Acts 12:6-12

Herod Judged                                                  Acts 12:22-23

The Holy Spirit guides audibly                        Acts 13:1-3

Paul rebukes the Magician                             Acts 13:8-12

Unnamed Signs and Wonders                        Acts 14:3

Paul heals a lame man                                    Acts 14:8-10

Paul left for dead, lives                                   Acts 14:19-20

 

Posted on 13th June 2018 in Awaken the Wonder  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: Blessed are those who mourn

Steven Pavek, today’s teaching pastor, invites us into the becomingness of mourning.

The Beauty of Becoming

Do we understand the beauty of mourning?

 

  • “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted” Mt 5:4

In order to adopt the attributes of this beatitude I’m challenging us to ask 3 questions.

A. Do we understand why God mourns over our sin?

  • Not Because…he is a cosmic kill joy
  • Not because he is just angry all the time

B. God’s mourning over our sin is derived from His deep love  for us!

  • Sin separates us from his good, pleasing and perfect will
    • Luke 19
    • John 11:35
    • The fact that we have a God that mourns is a terrific thing
    • God’s mourning is intense because the solution is so simple and available.

C. Are we mourning over ALL of OUR sin?

  • We become more like Jesus when our hearts are sensitized to the sin in our lives
  • Eph 4:18-19
  • Are our hearts in a position to mourn over sin that we haven’t been convicted of yet?

D. Are we mourning for those who don’t know that comfort is available?

  • Are we patient with those who are not mourning?
  • Romans 10:14
  • When we understand our brokenness it becomes easier to understand someone else’s
  • Does it bother us that people don’t know Jesus?
    1. Romans 9:1-3
    2. What if we asked God to show us how he feels about the people around us?
Posted on 9th June 2018 in Beauty, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post