This statement of Peter in 2 Peter 3:18 marks out the course for us, as it sets the goal for our life in Christ. The first part of the statement is the expectation to grow. That growth can be evaluated in many ways. Spiritual growth is purposed. It is the fruit of spiritual perspiration. Just as in any area of life, growth only occurs when effort, energy, and purpose all unite for a common cause; the result is growth. For example, if the goal is to be a mediocre follower, all it takes is showing up on most Sundays. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, your life will lack the power God desires, as well as the fire of passion which is indicative of a sold out believer. To grow involves study, prayer, dedication, meditation on the word of God, and application. If you give yourself to these disciplines-you will grow. Where there is no growth, there is decay. The middle ground of “hovering” does not exist in the Christian life; either we are growing or we are dying. The distinguishing factor which dictates which direction we go is determined by our selfishness, or our selflessness. Selfishness restricts and limits the degree in which we allow God to influence our lives. How much we listen to, and follow the direction of the Holy Spirit. Failure in these two areas will surely result in a person who considers themselves a follower of Jesus; unfortunately, Jesus would not agree. In Matthew 7:23 he called people with this mentality “workers of iniquity” which translates “you imposters.” He continues by determining their fate, “depart from me, I never knew you.” Why would this be? All of Jesus went to the cross for us. All of Jesus died on the cross for us. Therefore he desires followers who are all sold out and gladly follow him. Continued next week. Blessings.
As we near the end of summer and prepare to embrace fall, yesterday (although a little on the cool side) proved to be a day of blessing. We hosted our first community giveaway and many grateful people walked away with new items for their homes. It was touching to watch as they picked through the clothing and were so happy for whatever they could get. As I watched, I thought of how blessed we are in all we have. As easy as it is to reach for more, it is pausing to be thankful for what we have that touches God’s heart.
The best part of the day, was not the giving away of things, but the conversations that took place as we touched their lives, and engaged the hearts of some in prayer. It was interesting as some were befuddled that everything was free, some even attempted to give us a donation as a thank you; of course we declined.
One day through our efforts, the reputation of this congregation will be that we are a generous people, who care about the needy and show it by what they do.
A big thank you to those who worked so hard to make this a success. Special thanks to Jill Clyne for her efforts in volunteering to head up this project. My prayer is this will become an annual event, and as God blesses us, we pass along those blessings to others. Personally, I am proud to be a part of this loving family. Let’s continue to look for ways to glorify God by being lights and salt in our community. Blessings to all.
With good reason, the devastating power of hurricane Florence has the news stations buzzing. When nature stretches out in moments like this, it is a solemn reminder of how fragile our existence, and powerless we as humans really are. People see these powerful moments in nature many ways. Some see it as mother nature doing what she does. Others seek answers to questions like, “If there is a God, why does he allow this to happen?” or “Why would a loving God allow those innocent people to perish in the storm?” Is God responsible for these random acts in nature? Is he the author of this destruction as lives are turned upside down, houses destroyed, communities devastated and families uprooted? These are all valid questions. As we read our bibles, we quickly conclude, nothing happens without the permission of God. He is sovereign. He rules and controls all things. If such is true, then why does God allow these storms to persecute the inhabitants of earth? For me the answer comes from a realization that these storms remind us of our need to seek a greater power in life than ourselves. In moments like these, people can (and do) consider the existence of God quite possibly more than any other time. Humanity happily goes about from day to day without a thought of God; UNTIL disaster hits. It is then we freeze, and search for answers.
Now is a good time to engage family and friends as they seek answers. Tell them about our loving God who doesn’t want to see anyone perish (2Peter 3:9). Help them understand this existence we now live in, is not our permanent home; that he wants more for us, and has prepared something better for those who love him. Florence may be powerful, but she is no match for her maker, the God we serve; who is the God of the universe. Be blessed.
Time after time, we have witnessed in the bible where an individual encountered a great moment in their lives that stretched beyond their humanity. In this moment, they realized the answer to their problem/issue extended beyond their abilities to reconcile the issue- so they prayed. They sought God in every circumstance. They sought God when faced with great odds. They sought God when their once great faith has been stretched to a thin thread- nevertheless, they sought him. The power in each and every one of these situations was that the people of God cried out to him and not only did he hear them, but he acted by answering their prayer in one of three ways- yes, no, and wait.
Our deliverance will come when we can approach God with the confidence not only that he is able to deliver us from whatever we are facing, but more importantly he will- if he chooses. One thing for certain, rarely does he answer our prayers in the way we envision he will. Actually, the norm is just the opposite. The wisdom of God far exceeds that of man, and he consistently demonstrates that fact through answered prayer- even when the answer is no or wait.
What God is doing in our lives is teaching us there is no greater place to go in times of need or trouble, than to his throne in prayer.
Our prayer wall is up and ready to receive our prayer requests. This is a wonderful opportunity to share our prayers, and to allow God to work in the lives and hearts of this family. May God continue to bless you, as you seek his face in prayer. Blessings
I love to sing the song “Be Glorified” because it inspires us to glorify God, which means for all to see him in his holy majestic glory. We can sing it, but what can we do to bring that about in our personal life, and the lives of others. Our desire as the children of God is for all to see him alive- in us; and that was the goal yesterday during the car wash. Our sole focus was for God to be lifted and honored by our service, and glorified in the eyes of those who just came for a simple carwash. It was one of those woman at the well moments. What was thought to be something as simple as a carwash, became a face to face meeting with the cross of Jesus. Little did they know it was not the dirt on the vehicle being washed away, but in fact the real water, was the invitation of God to embrace the cross and surrender their lives to Christ. Will they do it? Ever? That is not our focus. We are merely seed spreaders. We expose others to him through the spirit living in us, and he does the rest. Begin praying for everyone who had their cars washed, that something will prick their hearts and create a wellspring in them, which will grow into a complete and total surrendering to the will of God.`
I want to personally thank all who gave of personal time and effort to make our 1st reverse carwash a success. My prayer is that God will immeasurably bless you for your sacrifice for his kingdom. Blessings.