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Monthly Archives : July 2016

Praying in Difficult Times … Philippians 4:6 … July 17, 2016
     Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 NKJV
 
     A few years  ago I saw a cartoon in which a little boy was on his knees by his bed preparing to pray asking, “God, where do I start ?”  That is a good question even if it came from a cartoon.  Has there ever been a time when you felt like that?  Everything that could go wrong ….did.   Life may seem so overwhelming that when approaching the throne of grace, you may not know how to express your feelings in words to God. Let me encourage you. That might be the time that you are able to pray the best. Note Romans 8:26….“For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered.”   Remember, emotions and feeling may not always agree with what you know to be true. Truth is, as  Christian’s,  Jesus will never leave you….He promised.
 
PRAY KNOWING THAT HE HEARS YOU!  
     When overwhelmed by life, the question in our thoughts or from our lips may be, “God, where are you?”  In these times we can grow anxious with every fabric of our being.  Desperate ….. just  for just a whisper from God acknowledging that He hears you.   I believe it is in times like these that Satan taunts a person as a bully would a small or weak person who is unable to defend themselves.  But the truth is, GOD HEARS!!!  But I call to God, and the Lord will save me.  Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and HE HEARS my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage. Psalm 55: 16-18a ESV …… The Lord is near all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.  He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also HEARS their cry and saves them. Psalm 145: 18-19 ESV       
 
PRAY FROM YOUR HEART KNOWING HE IS WITH YOU! 
      I will give thanks to the Lord with my WHOLE HEART; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1 ESV  Never forget all the wonderful things God has done for you.  When you recount all that God has done, it will give you strength to trust that he is with you.  This doesn’t mean you won’t have difficult times, but you will never be alone in those difficult times.  I have said these things to you, that you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.  John 16:3 ESV When you grasp this truth, it should cause you to remember why he came and the purpose you have in completing His perfect work.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of  the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  And behold,  I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, to the end of the age. Matthew 28: 19-20 ESV 
 
PRAY KNOWING GOD KNOWS!
     God knows what you need even before you ask, yet He tells you to “let your request be made known to Him.” Jesus said“For your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:8 ESV    God takes pleasure in meeting the needs of His children.  But the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. Psalm 147:11 ESV    We were created for God and by God and communication with Him was His idea.  So talk with Him in prayers of  praise,  thanksgiving, supplications, and worship.  He is worthy of this and so much more.  This way of thinking and praying will help you in difficult time.
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David
Difficult Times … 2 Timothy 3:1 … July 10, 2016
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of  difficulty. 2 Timothy 3:1 ESV
 
     When I was a young boy, I remember listening to adults talking about how we must be living in the last days.  How could things become any worse?  Jesus’s return will no doubt be very soon, and God’s judgement will come.   Every generation of Christians, I believe, have felt these sentiments when evaluating things in the light of scripture and holiness.  I remember Dr. Billy Graham say, when he was a much younger man, “I believed I will see the return of Jesus in my lifetime.” He still may as he is still living but you understand my point.  I understand there will be a final judgement someday, but we must remember there is a judgement that has already happened, and it was the reason Jesus, God’s Son, came the first time.  For God did not send his Son into the the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is CONDEMNED ALREADY,  because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  John3:17-18 ESV   The final judgment will be the sentencing process for what has already been determined unless a person has received a pardon / substitute through Jesus by repenting and asking to be forgiven / pardoned of their crimes against God.  So, here I am, an adult and I think, His return no doubt will be very soon.  Why do I think this?  Because in light of the scriptures and Holiness, we have waxed much worse.  2 Timothy 3:2-5 sounds like a story from a news commentator who viewed the world situation last week and reported on it.  But the reality is, generations from now people may be saying when I was a little boy people thought Jesus’s return could be any day.  It is a dangerous way to think if it causes you to grow complacent in living daily with the anticipation of His return.  He is coming again because He said He would, and He does not lie.  He has done and will complete everything He said he would.  So how should we live as Christians until his return.
 
WITH ANTICIPATION:
     Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms.  If it were not so , would I have told you the I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will COME AGAIN and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:1-3 ESV  Wrap your mind around this…. YOU are going to LIVE with JESUS.  Meditate on this, Jesus, God’s Son knows you by name and has made it possible for you to be forgiven of all your crimes against God.  As a result God will pardon you because you have a Savior … His Son who took your sentence upon Himself when He died on the cross.  You are forgiven and ready to take up residence not to a prison but God’s house…. WOW!!!!
 
 
 
WITH MISSION:
             We tell the message just as the angel tells the message,  Fear not, for behold, I bring you GOOD NEWS of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2: 10-11 ESV  
         And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 ESV 
     We have a mission and purpose for living… God is not finished with us yet; our room is not ready.  Our purpose in living is to invite as many as we can to come join in the celebration of God and His Son.  It is his will for us to do this until He returns and calls us home.
 
 
 
WITH DAILY FOCUS:
        There are times we focus so much on the future that we can become burdened in the present with things for which we have no control.  This is not how we are told to live. Jesus said, “ Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things,  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 NKJV   
 
 
    Live each day with the anticipation of His return by sharing this message with everyone you possibly can, and live for the day that you are in, for you have not been guaranteed tomorrow.  —At least not on this earth.
 
  
 Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David
Called To Freedom … Galatians 5:13 … July 3, 2016
For you were called to freedom, brothers.  Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  Galatians 5:13 ESV
 
     When God calls us, He called us to freedom….liberty.  He did this for a distinct purpose.  That purpose ….. to love.  Love- which you express by serving one another. Many times this call is confused by a life governed by rules. Rules that never do anything to complete our salvation nor has ever been able to do so.  When you start to live your life concentrating on the rules rather than service by love, you begin to travel a road which will never bring satisfaction.  You will begin keeping score as to how well you’re able to follow these rules compared to others.   When you keep score, your focus moves from glorifying God to your own abilities.  The flesh tends to measure success based on performance.  But God’s measure is based on the evidence of His Son in your life.  Rules tend to frustrate…the blood of Jesus liberates.  Rules cause you to grow weary….Love causes you to run and not grow weary.   These thoughts aren’t to imply you can live performing whatever actions you wish without consequence, for the Bible teaches you will reap what you sow.  Because of grace, we can love and serve freely doing everything in gratitude because of His precious redeeming blood.  So let us look at three principles of this call.
 
CALLED TO FREEDOM.   I have heard of someone seeking freedom, but as a Christian you were CALLED to it by God.  It is  freedom that comes as a result of mercy and grace not performance.  It is freedom to know that in Christ you have been forgiven of all your sins/crimes and the consequence of those sins/crimes against God. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 ESV ….  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 ESV      
 
CALLED TO LIVE GODLY.     Sin is a prison to the soul and will keep the soul in bondage for the person who lives there.  The Bible records instructions by Jesus when forgiving or healing  a person. He said, Sin no more John 5:14 ESV  Sin will enslave you but there is freedom in Christ.
 
CALLED TO SERVE.     God called you not to be a spectator but a servant, a messenger of the good news of the gospel in Christ.  In the following verse take Paul’s name out and insert your name.   Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.  Romans 1:1 ESV  We have all been set apart to serve by sharing the gospel of the good news of Jesus.  Yes, we are to serve other Christians but the greatest service we can do for God is to share the gospel message of Christ.
May all that we do as Christians be motivated by this freedom call on our life.
  
                                                                                       Because of His Grace ~  David
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