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 | Wednesday Weekly Blog |

Faith! 10/30/13

Just a reminder before I begin – Daylight Savings ends this weekend.  Set your clock back one hour when you go to bed on Saturday!  You get an EXTRA hour of sleep this week!

I was reminded of the life of George Muller this morning and his incredible faith.  This Sunday morning we are going to be looking at this idea of faith in the life and words of Christ and so how fitting is this.

Muller pastored a church in Bristol, England, for more than 60 years, but he is best known for his ministry to orphans.  During his life he cared for more than 10,000 orphans.  Remarkably, and intentionally, he never asked for money or other resources to provide for these orphans.  Instead he simply prayed and trusted God to provide.

I was reading about this in David Platt’s book Radical this morning and was amazed at what I read next.  The reason that Muller started the orphanage was not to care for orphans.  Read his own words.

If I, a poor man, simply by prayer and faith, obtained without asking any individual, the means for establishing and carrying on an Orphan-House, there would be something which, with the Lord’s blessing, might be instrumental in strengthening the faith of the children of God, besides being a testimony to the consciences of the unconverted, of the reality of the things of God.  This, then, was the primary reason for establishing the Orphan-House. . . .  The first and primary object of the work was (and still is:)  that God might be magnified by the fact, that the orphans under my care are provided with all they need, only by prayer and faith without anyone being asked by me or my fellow-laborers whereby it may be seen, that God is faithful still, and hears prayer still.

Platt goes on to write, “Muller decided that he wanted to live in such a way that it would be evident to all who looked at his life—Christian and non-Christian alike—that God is indeed faithful to provide for his people.  He risked his life trusting in the greatness of God, and in the end his life made much of the glory of God.”

That last sentence really challenges me—“He risked his life trusting in the greatness of God, and in the end his life made much of the glory of God.”

I don’t think I’ve risked my life at or for anything, especially in trusting in the greatness of God.  But oh, oh, oh what a challenge to me and to you.  I want my life to “make much” of the glory of God!

I want to quote Platt again.  He writes:

“The reality is that the church I lead can accomplish more during the next month in the power of God’s Spirit than we can in the next hundred years apart from his provision.  His power is so superior to ours.  Why do we not desperately seek it?”

This Sunday morning we are going to be looking at the story of Jesus healing a young boy; we find it in Mark’s gospel account, chapter 7 verses 14-29.  The verse that I have been captured by is the 23rd verse where Jesus, in answer to a father’s plea, says, “If you can?  Everything is possible for him who believes.”  More about this on Sunday.

I am struck by George Muller’s life and testimony and the words that David Platt wrote concerning the power of God’s Spirit this morning and I want to challenge you to pray with me that God will show us what faith is really all about.  I don’t believe it is about us at all:  you know what I mean . . . how much faith we can muster; the size of our faith; the amount of our faith.  ALL of those things are about us and I don’t believe that is what faith is about at all.  I believe that faith is about God.  Mull that over for the next day or so and then let’s explore what the power of the Spirit can do through people of faith.

I love you

Rick

Upcoming

 

Today, Wednesday October 30 – The teens and children will be having a great time tonight with games, candy and some good-old-fashioned fun.  We will have dinner at 5, the teens and children will be doing their thing and we’ll have our Hispanic study at 6 and our prayer time at 6.  Hope to see you here!

Saturday November 2 – DON’T FORGET TO SET YOUR CLOCKS BACK ONE HOUR BEFORE YOU GO TO BED

Thursday November 7-Saturday November 9 – Please be in prayer for pastors and district leaders as they all come to Bonita Park and we will be having our NM District Mid-Year meetings.

 



Living Water Available 10/23/13

I was having breakfast yesterday with pastor friends in Capitan and as we were talking one reminded me of a verse that I have read many times but had forgotten.  It is Jeremiah 2:12-13 and I want to quote it from The Message:  “Stand in shock, heavens, at what you see!  Throw up your hands in disbelief—this can’t be!  My people have committed a compound sin:  they’ve walked out on me, the fountain of fresh flowing waters, and then dug cisterns—cisterns that leak, cisterns that are no better than sieves.”

I want to be sure that you know the meaning of two of these words:  Cistern – “a reservoir, tank or container for storing or holding water or other liquid.”  Sieve – “an instrument with a meshed or perforated bottom, used for separating coarse from fine parts of loose matter, for straining liquids, etc.”

The entire second chapter of Jeremiah is a record of God’s shock at how His people have turned away from Him.  But these verses brought me up short as I remembered them and as I have looked at the Church and how we have substituted so many things for God.  I love the language of The Message because it is very modern and expresses the feeling of the passage more in the vernacular of our day.  “Stand in shock . . . throw up your hands in disbelief . . .” 

We have been looking at this idea particularly over the last couple of Sundays as we have studied Mark 7, looking at man-made traditions vs. God’s Word.  Jesus condemned the Pharisees for placing their traditions above God’s Word and as we have studied it we have found that we have done much the same thing in our day and time.  We have our “rules,” we have the things that we believe and unfortunately many of them aren’t found in the Word but in our interpretation of the Word.  We push people away from God rather than loving them to God by our man-made traditions, our rules and regulations.  Why we are just like the people that God was speaking to in Jeremiah 2:13 . . . We have traded in the “fountain of fresh slowing waters” that is God, and we’ve dug our own cisterns, we’ve created our own containers for the stale water of our traditions that looks more like a pond that has no outlet and the water is crusted with a layer of scum on top of it.  We’ve traded fresh water for stale; we’ve traded the love of God for rules and regulations.

But I believe God is calling us back to His Word.  One of the things that I’ve learned in my year of studying Jesus’ words and their origin, the original language and meanings that we find in what we call the Old Testament, which was the only “Bible” that Jesus and His followers had, is that God’s Word is fresh and alive and has meaning in the 21st Century.  God has something to say to us that is powerful and extremely relevant for today.  The Word of God is not just a bunch of letters on a page, but it is “living and active . . . it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

The Word of God is alive and it is active in our lives if we will let it.  God will use it to speak to us and it will judge our thoughts and attitudes.  For too long the Church has allowed our “rules and regulations” our “special rules” and our “interpretations” to guide us, to “judge us” and to determine what we believe.  That is not what God intended.  He has intended that His Word do that.

Can we take this too far?  Of course we can; we can use anything that we want for “license” or to “prove our point.”  But if we allow the whole Word, the living, active, penetrating Word of God to fill us, to work in us, and if we will do it honestly before God, then He will judge our thoughts; He will change our attitudes; He will be God and we can be confident and secure in that!

I pray you will let Him be God and study His Word.  I urge you to fall in love with the Word again.  Read it; listen to it; let His Word fill you!

Rick

Upcoming Activities

 

Today, Wednesday October 23 – We will be having our Family Dinner tonight, honoring the families of our Wednesday night teens and children.  If you want to come and help get set up, be here by about 4 or 4:30.  Dinner starts at 5:30 tonight.  If you still haven’t signed up to help just show up and be available.  We will have a number of our teens and children whose parents and family won’t be able to come.  If you haven’t signed up to do anything specifically then why not come and sit with some of them?  We hope you’ll come and love these kids and their families!

Sunday October 27 – We are privileged to have Rudy Cervantes, Heavenly Trumpet Ministries, with us this Sunday morning. 

WE WILL BE HAVING ONE COMBINED WORSHIP SERVICE THIS SUNDAY ONLY AND IT WILL BE AT 9:30 A.M. IN THE GYM! 

You don’t want to miss this wonderful opportunity to worship and enjoy some beautiful music with us.  Plan on being here and then staying for lunch afterwards.  Our teens will be having their semi-annual Brisket Dinner with Shelly’s heavenly dinner rolls.  (Heavenly Trumpet, Heavenly Dinner Rolls – they just seem to go together!)  The dinner is on a donation basis and then we have some incredible auction items that will be available in the silent auction.  The dinner and silent auction will be immediately after the worship service at approximately 11:00 a.m. and all proceeds will go to our Youth Ministry!

Wednesday November 13 – We will have a special guest, Rabbi Richmond, here with us on that evening.  Rabbi Richmond is from Israel and will be speaking to us about the preparations for building the Third Temple that are being made.  This will be an incredible opportunity and we hope you won’t miss it.  We believe very strongly that as Christians and as a nation that we MUST stand with Israel; they are God’s chosen people and we hope you’ll join with us as a show of support for this incredible people!  More details will follow.



Created in His Image 10/16/13

I have been reading in Exodus in my devotions and have been going through the story of the plagues that God put on Egypt and am at the beginning of the Exodus from their slavery to the Promised Land.  There has been something that has intrigued me as I’ve read the story again.

I am reading from my iPad, I love the convenience and the ability to read it anywhere where I might have a few minutes.  Also I can highlight on the screen and it makes those things stand out.

The things that have intrigued me are the places where God tells Moses . . . “Go tell Pharaoh . . .” and then after he did it the scriptures record something like this . . .  “And the LORD did this . . .” or “ . . . and the LORD did what Moses asked.”  In Exodus 9:5-6 it reads, “The LORD set a time and said, ‘Tomorrow the LORD will do this in the land.’  And the next day the LORD did it.”  As I have read this it has been a reminder to me that God is not slack about keeping His promises but it also reminds me that God is in control.

There are some incredible promises in the Bible and some incredible stories about how God is in control.  I could enumerate them but I want to ask you this morning, are you aware that these promises and stories about God being in control are there for you?  Can I remind you that God has chosen you and me to receive His grace, His mercy and to be the recipients of His very great and precious promises? 

You were created in the image of God.  Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

NO OTHER CREATURE IN ALL OF CREATION WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD – EXCEPT YOU AND ME!

I don’t have a lot to say to you today other than that.  I wanted to remind you that the promises of God are for you today.  I am not saying that God is a big vending machine in the sky and He will simply dole out his gifts when we pay the required price – what I am saying is that “. . . we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose: (Romans 8:28).  Everything that happens in your life, God is at work to bring about His good.  It doesn’t mean that everything that happens is good, it isn’t.  We live in a fallen world; we live in a world that is scarred by sin and we face the consequences of choices that we make and sometimes we are affected by the consequences of choices that other people make.  That doesn’t make God any less in control, it just means that God does not take away the consequences of sin.  However He DOES take away the penalty of sin, death, for those whose lives have been forgiven by His grace.  And that forgiveness is free for the asking.  It came at a very high price, just not to us, He paid for it with His life.  It wasn’t cheap and it isn’t received cheaply.  It isn’t about just saying some words or walking an aisle – it is about a life that has been changed by the love and grace of God.  And when that happens He can work in any and every situation that comes into our lives. 

So remember, the next time that you are wondering what good can come of this, “And the LORD did this . . .” or “ . . . and the LORD did what Moses asked.”  In Exodus 9:5-6 it reads, “The LORD set a time and said, ‘Tomorrow the LORD will do this in the land.’  And the next day the LORD did it.”

You are special to Him!

Rick

Upcoming Activities

 

Today, Wednesday October 16 – Why not join us for dinner in the gym tonight at 5:00!  The teens and children have their regular activities tonight and the Hispanic Bible study and prayer groups meet at 6:00.

Sunday October 20 – We have three opportunities to come and worship together with the Body of Christ.  We have services at 8:45 a.m. in the gym, 10:30 in the sanctuary and then at 4:00 p.m. in the sanctuary our Hispanic congregation meets.

Wednesday October 23 – We will be having our Family Dinner to honor the families of our Wednesday night teens and children.  If you haven’t signed up to help, call the office and do so today!

Sunday October 27 – Rudy Cervantes, Heavenly Trumpet Ministries, will be leading us in worship and praise.  We will have ONE COMBINED SERVICE AT 9:30 a.m. IN THE GYM!  Immediately following the service our teens will be hosting their semi-annual brisket dinner with Shelly’s amazing dinner rolls!  This is the teens fundraising effort.  The dinner is on a donation basis and there will be a silent auction with some incredible bargains to offer.  All proceeds go to the youth ministry account.  Come and join us for an incredible worship experience and then stay for an amazing dinner and fellowship!