July, 2010

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Our Churches Public Prayer

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Some of you have asked for the prayer that we prayed together as a congregation a few weeks ago. So I decided to post it here on the blog. Enjoy!

“Father, I thank you that you have loved a sinner like me!

Break my heart over what breaks your heart

Renew a hunger and passion for YOU

You are enough

May my life demonstrate mercy

May my life be that of a peacemaker

Help me manage my inner life in purity

To be filled with the Holy Spirit

Under the control of the Holy Spirit

May I decrease that you might increase

Re-salt my life, Lord

Unashamed of the Gospel

Valuing others

Seeing people the way you do

May today mark a new beginning

Of intimacy and relationship with you, Jesus.


The First Step In Changing The World (and YOURS too)

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Whenever God wants to do something great in the world, He first stirs his people to pray! This was the case with the early church. It could be argued that the early church began in PRAYER 10 days prior to Pentecost when Peter first preached!

And I think of what took place during the JESUS MOVEMENT of the late 60’s and early 70’s …

Kay Smith, Pastor Chuck Smith’s wife, began praying! She prayed for hippies! Hippies she would see at the beach and around town. One of them happened to be none other than Greg Laurie. She would pray for Greg as he walked home from school.

I also think of the “Revival In Wales “ 1904 …

A young man by the name of Evan Roberts heard one of the men in his church pray, “Lord, bend us …” It resonated with him. He began praying, “Lord bend me” and the Lord did and it changed his outlook. Soon he was praying the Lord would give him 100,000 souls!

On October 31, 1904 Evan brought his four-point message to his home church. #1 “Is there any sin in your past that you have not confessed to God? On your knees at once. Your past must be put away, and yourself cleansed.” #2 Is there anything in your life that is doubtful – anything that you cannot decide whether it is good or evil? Away with it. There must NOT be a cloud between you and God. #3 Do what the Holy Spirit prompts you to do. Obey promptly, implicitly, and with unquestioning submission to God’s Spirit. #4 Publicly profess Christ as your Savior!

His cry became “Bend the church and save the world!”

As matter of public record, the culture in Wales changed! Taverns closed. Gambling went out of business. Prostitution houses shut down. Families were reunited. Friendships restored. Debts paid. Divisions in churches were healed!

Prayer is always the first stage in God’s plan to change the world.

Will You Be One Of The Few?

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Our series entitled INFLUENCE on Sunday mornings has been fantastic …

So far we’ve learned that Jesus categorized our influence saying, “You are SALT of the earth…” (Matt 5:13) — meaning that we are the preserving influence of the world! Last week we learned what it meant when Jesus said, “You are the LIGHT of the world a city SET on a hill …” (Matt 5:14-16) –that every Christian is strategically positioned where they are to influence by DOING works that help people see what God is doing on earth, and help connect the dots of who the Father is.

Now, Jesus continues to identify the way His followers, Influence. He calls the disciples the “few laborers” in the Harvest with more needed to help! He said that “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” (Acts 9:31-32)

Will you take a stand and say, “Count me in as one of the few laborers in the Harvest in this generation to your glory!”

Many are the critics. Many are the carnal. Many are the doubters. But few are the laborers! Will you be one of the few?

What is a Laborer?

A laborer is a part of the hands and feet of Jesus in our generation helping people physically, emotionally and spiritually in planting the seed of truth, and helping people come to Christ! And, every Christian is NEEDED in the Harvest field!

How can you help?

This week we’ll be learning …

#1 The laborer Influences by praying to the Lord of the Harvest for more laborers

#2 The laborer Influences by ploughing the field of their generation with good works

#3 The laborer Influences by planting the field with the seed of the Gospel, preaching and teaching

#4 The laborer Influences by pouring into the field by taking an active interest in others with the love of Jesus Christ

#5 The laborer Influences by leading others to Christ in gathering a harvest

#6 The laborer Influences by discipling the harvest that is gathered

“The evangelistic harvest is always urgent. The destiny of men and of nations is always being decided. Every generation is crucial; every generation is strategic. But we cannot be held responsible for the past generation and we cannot bear full responsibility for the next one. However we do have our generation! God will hold us responsible at the judgement seat of Christ for how well we fulfilled our responsibilities and took advantage of our opportunities.” Billy Graham

Ask Yourself Today

Monday, July 19th, 2010

To a small band of Jews who had no financial or political leverage and who had lost hope nationally and personally Jesus said, “You are the light of the world!” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Isaiah spoke of Israel as a light. God had created Israel to influence the world with its highest expression in Messiah! But the remarks Jesus made were so, personal. “YOU are …” And so purposeful “…the light of the world!”  He was saying, “Let me tell you why you are here …” “Let me tell you how God views you …”

Today, if you follow Jesus Christ, “YOU are the light of the world …”

But what does that mean?

In short it means that God has put YOU in the world so that the world can see what God is doing and that the world can begin to connect the dots to who the Heavenly Father is!

This means that we’re going to have to “DO” something …

In fact, the Father invites us to leave HIS FINGER-PRINT on EVERYTHING we touch. Is. 43:7 “I have created (you) for my MY glory … I have formed (you).” Glory? The Father has created us for His “glory?” What does that mean? Glory is what emanates from God! Glory is to God as wet is to water. Heat is to fire. Light is to the bulb. For example, although we can’t see God we can see His glory in creation and in HIS PEOPLE. And as follower of Jesus Christ we can DO works that glorify the Father. We can do works from which the glory of the Father emanates!

Jesus also said that we are a “city SET on a hill!” (not built on a hill!). This tells us that every Christian is strategically placed! God has strategically placed you in your neighborhood, workplace, family, church etc etc to “do” works that glorify the Father! This is your purpose in life. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

There is only so much glow that emanates from a new job, relationship, or recognition. You were wired to know the Father through the Son. You were wired that your life would express the glow that emanates from your Heavenly Father! So ask yourself today, “What can I “do” with the opportunities that God has given me today to glorify the Father? What can I do that would draw attention to the heavenly Father?”

How Has Jesus Categorized You?

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Maybe at the dinner table or in a restaurant among friends but we’ve all said it,“Could you please pass the salt”. And why?

Because salt is a food enhancer. And you don’t need a lot of it to make the food taste just that much better! And sometimes we need just a little salt to do just that.

But during the time of Jesus, salt was not so much a food enhancer but a food preservative. Salt in the first century was an antibacterial! It preserved meat and vegetables and it was so valued that at times the Roman government paid their soldiers with, salt!

Can you imagine then how it impacted the followers of Jesus when He said to them, “YOU are the SALT of the earth …” He was calling them the refrigerant of the ancient world. He was categorizing them. He was branding them. And He was saying that without their influence the world would rot and decay.

The same is true today.

Every follower of Jesus is the preserving INFLUENCE of the world. Wherever you’re are. Whatever family you’re in. Wherever you work. Wherever you play. Wherever you live. Wherever you go to church. YOU are SALT! Right, now, you are the “Salt of the earth …”

You might be thinking, “Ok, I got it — Jesus categorized me as SALT but what exactly is the influence He is referring to that preserves the world from rotting and decaying?” The answer is found in the most immediate context of Jesus’ remarks in Matthew 5:13(and this Sunday we will begin a series of expository teaching on this very subject and I am really excited about it!)

In the meantime, let me give some perspective.

We may think that the realities of mercy and being a peacemaker and valuing others and forgiveness and sexual purity and worship and prayer — are intuitive. Just something that we’re wired to do. But that is not the case. These realities are not intuitive to everyone! They have been passed down to us and taught to us. They are the result of being transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. And, they are  totally necessary! Imagine a world without mercy, and peacemakers, and the valuing of all human beings, and forgiveness, and sexual purity and worship and prayer, to name a few. What is the alternative to these realities? Total decay!

“You are the salt of the earth” Jesus said. This is one of the ways that we, INFLUENCE.

Sometimes you’ll see a difference that your life makes. Other times you will not. But know this, salt always makes a difference. Living out your faith where you are will always make a difference to God’s glory.

I can’t wait to see everyone Sunday!