Description Many times, we dream or envision how to make things better. Think about how we can make the church better. We tend to think of ourselves more highly than we ought. When we thank God for things is our tendency to thank him for what He has done for us? Are we thankful for the grace God has shone to others and do we extend that same grace?
Description Christians are called to be different from the world. Not weird, not odd, not strange, but different in our attitudes, our morals, and our character. We should be known for loving God and loving others. To do that effectively, it requires we live a holy life. How can we do that?
A Holy Spirit Influencer
Description Jesus said we would get power to be able to speak into people’s lives to influence them for eternity. It should be our goal as a Christian to be an influencer for Christ. Why do we need the power of the Holy Spirit to witness to others about Jesus? Because the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from God, they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. Stir up the gift in you. Yield to the Spirit of God.
God Can Change Your Thinking
Description Have you ever believed something, pictured something one way, only to find out that it was completely different? That happens often when people start to learn more about God. When we start to learn more about God, spend time in the Bible and spend time with Him, we discover He is not always the way we pictured Him. God can change the way we think.
Be A Barnabus
“You look like you could use some encouragement.” Has anyone ever said that to you? Maybe they did not have to say it because the look on your face said it all. There was a man who lived in Jerusalem following Jesus’ ascension into heaven. He was well known for encouraging his fellow Christians. Let’s face it, Christians, then and now, need all the encouragement they can get. Encouragement is needed, given and received. Listen and learn how.
Spending Time With God
Description Moses was hungry for God’s presence and said, “Show me Your glory.” Moses spoke face to face with God. He understood the importance of the glory. God showed him goodness and his face shone with the glory of the Lord. The glory of God changes people. You can never have an encounter with God and remain unchanged.
Prodigal - Complete What You Began
Description In this final session I have a here and now word for you. Do you have something you started at some point and never finished? Something you once worked at with great fervor, but has since faded? It is time to pick it up. Dust it off. Be reminded of the significance and importance of why you started it in the first place. Remember the word prodigal has to do with returning to what you know is good. So, pick up that “good thing” God placed in you. Now is the time to complete it. You lack nothing to completion. What you pursue and complete by God’s plan is not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of others around you.
Prodigal - I Have Value
Description Remember the word prodigal is given to the one that returns to what he knows is good, not the one that remains absent. Say with me, “I have value. God paid the price of my sin that I may live.” Do you believe it? Let that truth sink deeply into your soul. Deal with the sin. Be real with God. Our sin may leave us with some wrinkles and scars, but it does not change our value in God’s sight. God forgives through the gift of grace out of the expression of love. His love.
Why Do We Keep Praying Part 2
Description There is probably not a Christian anywhere who has not asked, “How long should I pray for something?” Or maybe you have heard, “If you really had enough faith, you would only have to ask God once for something.” I believe this is a contradiction to what Jesus taught. In Luke 18 we read a parable about prayer, a judge, a widow, and faith. What lessons can we learn?
Being Shrewd in Our Walk
Description Some people use the term “wise” and “shrewd” as synonymous but being shrewd suggest thinking a few steps ahead. It focuses more on outcomes. Giving up something for a long-term benefit. So how does that relate to our Christian walk? You will see as we look at the story in the book of Acts where Paul and Silas were imprisoned.
A Moment of Preparing
Description Session Three in the Moments in Life Series will focus on Gideon. Looking at a particular passage found in Judges 6 we see that Gideon is referred to as a “man of valor”, but in the response Gideon gave to the Lord we hear doubt. Do we ever doubt God and wonder why particular things have happened in our life? We have all been there. God uses these times in our life to prepare us for what is ahead. Know God will be with us in all He calls us to do.
Description Sometimes we become so steeped in our routine that we stop paying attention to what we are doing. That can be dangerous! The same is true when it comes to the Easter season. The accounts of the Triumphal Entry, the Cross, and Easter are so familiar to us that we can easily go through the motions of a celebration without ever allowing the message of these events to touch us. Let’s look at these events with fresh eyes!
1 Corinthians 2:5
1 Corinthians 2:5
Description God doesn’t want us to just call on Him when things are bad, He wants us to enjoy relationship with Him whenever and wherever life may carry us. How do we keep moving forward? Pastor Tim Wright will give us three areas to work on that will help you move forward in life. God has more than enough time for us. Do we have time for Him?
Are You Leaving A Mark
1 Peter 2:11-12
1 Peter 2:11-12
Description God expects us to be more than ordinary. We are to be light in the darkness, salt to the world, and ambassadors of Jesus Christ so that we can impact the people around us. How is your life right now? If Jesus is the Lord and love or your life, then you have power and resources to live a life that leaves a mark.
Description Who are you going to live your life trying to please? The "Fear of Man" is about our desire for approval and validation. Our consuming desire to please people can actually get in the way of our pleasing God. If you live for people's acceptance, you'll die from their rejection. Where the problem lies...we obey the one we fear.
When we live for people's approval...you will eventually do something stupid. God gave Saul specific instructions. If you are consumed with trying to please people eventually you have to choose God's way or man's way. Live for an audience of One.
Whe you live for people's approveal...you will eventually make God sad. Saul feared man more than he feared God. Saul's heart belonged more to his own self-interest than it did to the purposes of God.
When you live for people's approval...God's glory often becomes less important than yours. Pride is subtle. Pride separates us from an appropriate relationship with God.
When you live for people's approval...you are inviting unnecessary drama and frustration into your life. You are bound to eventually upset someone. Saul tried to please men so he only partially obeyed the Lord's instructions - partial obedience is disobedience. Make every effort to please God.
When you live for people's approval...you will end up redefining success to meet someone else's standards. God told Saul what was required for victory. He allowed the people around him to re-define success.
When you live for people's approval...you will eventually have a hard time recognizing truth. Saul was decieving himself. There's one voice you must be certain you hear, listen to, and follow.
When you life for people's approval...you will eventually become apathetic in your faith. Apathy: A lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. Your heart is going to beat for something...and whatever it beats for...that's what will live. The Bible says God is searching the earth...looking for those whose hearts are completely devoted to Him.
When you live for people's approval...it will eventually cost you your destiny. We are not trying to please people, but God.
Who are you going to spend your life focused on pleasing?
The Gift Exchange: Give God your hurts and He'll give you healing
Description First, let's look at five wrong ways we handle hurt:
Ignore it - Deny it, delay it, mimimize it. Ignoring hurt never heals it.
Run from it - Escape. Retreat. Run as fast as you can.
Hide it - Revealing your feelings is the beginning of healing. Everybody has a hurt.
Worry over it - Worry is playing the pain repeatedly in your life.
Become bitter about it - Bitterness never makes you better. Bitterness is self-destructive behavior
In 2 Corinthians 11 we read that Paul had many hurts in his life. How did he handle so many troubles? 2 Corinthians 1 tells us and presents us with two big challenges when we're overwhelmed with trouble.
When you give your problems to God, He will give you His comfort. He is the God of all comfort. Troubles is a general word for affiliction, annoyance, inconvenience. God has all comfort for all troubles.
When God gives you His comfort, you can give comfort to others. Look at the life and ministry of Jesus.
Write down your troubles and bring them to the altar. Let's pray for the God of all comfort to give us His healing!
2 Corinthians 1:8-11
2 Corinthians 1:8-11
Description Join us for worship and an encouraging word from Pastor Tim Wright. Even faithful people can experience heartache to the point of losing hope. God knows what you are going through, and He has a plan. Find out how we can restore our hope.
Description Today I want to challenge you with one simple idea. I want to plead with you to give your life to Christ. In today's passage we see the people in Jesus' day were pretty much like us, they struggled to find freedom from their culture and be different for Christ. It's a struggle to get past our love for this world and embrace the life to which we've been called. We are ambassadors for Christ.
What does that really mean? First, an ambassador is someone who represesents the interests of others. Second, an ambassador is someone who bears the message of the one who sent him.Offer yourself to Him as a living sacrifice and say with me, "I'm an ambassdor for Christ." To be a better ambassador for Christ, there are several things that need to become a reality in our life.
Become convinced of the terror of God. If we are saved we'll stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ to give an account for what we did with Christ. In Christ we are safe and secure. Those who are lost will face the Great White Throne Judgment - that place where God condems everyone who refused His Son. Apart from Jesus we are the targets of the righteous terror of the Lord, in Christ, we've been delivered from it. God has placed people in your life - You may be the only voice they'll hear. Don't be content to let a child of God be far from the Lord and face Him with a wasted life. Vs 11 Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.
Be gripped by the compelling love of Christ. Because of our sin everyone had to die, but Jesus died in our place. Those who choose to give their lives to Christ in salvation are raised to new life. While we were sinners Christ died for us. Spend time reflecting on the love He has for you. Does the love that Jesus Christ has for you compel you to love all people the way He did?
Come to terms with your new identity in Christ. Who are you living for? What's keeping you from representing Christ out there? Give you life to Christ and live for Him, He will open your eyes to see people the way He does. God is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse you from all unrighteous ness. You have the Spirit of the Living God residing inside you. Take a step of faith. Will you accept the higher calling of Christ? He has given you a ministry - reconciling people to God through the message of Jesus Christ.
We're here to be ambassadors - to represent the interests of our homeland(heaven) - in this land.
Description Today we are going to look at one of the stories from the end of Paul's life. Who was Paul? He says he was a sinner who obtained mercy and was saved by Jesus Christ. And he takes the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. In Acts 27 we read of a voyage Paul found himself on.He was a prisoner because of his faith in Jesus and under the watch of Julius. The weather was becoming dangerous for sea travel because it was so late in the fall. Paul spoke up and said, "I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on." But the officer in charge listened more to the ship's captain than to Paul and the voyage continued. A huge storm came up and the ship was driven. They began throwing cargo overboard to lighten the ship because they were in fear of sinking. They lost all control and all hope was gone.
Shipwrecked: How this speaks to our lives today Like these men, maybe you feel your life is shipwrecked. You may feel dead in the water, out of control, overwhelmed, and hopeless. Where is the hope? This hope we have as an anchor for our souls: God's presence, God's promises, and God's power.
The strong anchor of God's Presence: Paul encouraged everyone on board to take heart, that no life would be lost only the ship. God's presense is a rock-solid anchor when we go through life's storms. He will never leave us. He is always with us.
The strong anchor of God's Promises: Paul was told, "Do not be afraid." He encouraged the others to believe God.God's promises are a strong anchor to hold onto when you go through storms. He has plans to give us a future and a hope. He has redeemed us, called us by name, and promised He would be with us.
The strong anchor of God's Power: The ship ran aground near an island and everyone jumped overboard to swim to shore. They all escaped safely to land. If God is powerful enough to create the universe, He is powerful enough to help you! With God nothing is impossible.
What kind of storm are you in right now? Does it feel out of control or hopeless? Cling to the strong anchors of God's presence, promises, and power! He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20).
Description Jesus said preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. God knows our limitations. He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, which enables us and equips us to what He asks us to do. The Holy Spirit produces a passion, the ability, and presence to reach out to those around us.
The Big C - Session 3
Description In Christ we are blessed abundantly. Ephesians 1 outlines all that is available when we have “The Big C”, Jesus Christ.
Description In a game of "Tag" it's interesting to see what happens when someone is tagged "It". First, they are prey, running away, hiding, whatever it takes to avoid being tagged. But once they are tagged, it is evident to all who is "it". They are now the predator. They act differently. Instead of running away, they're running after. The same happens when we become a Christian. Now instead of trying to avoid God and the truth of His Word, we embrace it and our lives change. It is evident to those around us. When we hear truth, we believe and trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ. And by this act of faith, we receive the Holy Spirit as the seal and guarantee from God.
What does it mean to be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise?
To authenticate as genuine and true
Being sealed with the Holy Spirit is God's way of authenticating the fact that we are now His
It's the presence of the Holy Spirit in us activating His gifts and talents, producing within us the fruit of the Spirit - their presence confirms that we are indeed Christians.
To mark someone's property
The seal of the Holy Spirit is internal
We are His because He purchased us through the price of Jesus Christ paid when He died on the cross for our sins
To make secure
His guarantee of our ultimate salvation
How is the Holy Spirit our guarantee?
A "down payment" - secures the transaction with a promise that more will come
God gave the Holy Spirit as a "down payment"
This present life in the Spirit is God's promise of something more
What we have experienced of the Holy Spirit is only a foretast
Certain things we must avoid:
Quenching the Holy Spirit
Grieving the Holy Spirit
When we quench or grieve the Holy Spirit we lose the joy of our salvation and the fullness of the Spirit's blessing.
How can we get back to the fullness?
It begins with repentance
Accept God's gift of salvation
Invite the Holy Spirit to come in and fill you to overflowing
Description Today we begin a 4-week Back To Church series entitled Together. The church is like Legos - a collection of invididuals of various sizes, shapes, and colors. When we come together the way God intended, we from the church. Together we are on this journey of transformation. Over the next four weeks we will discover Together - we find peace, we experience love, we grow stronger, and we can change the world. Join us on this journey.
This week's focus - Together We Find Peace
Peace in Unity The church is our place of belonging. All believers are of the same status - sinners in need of grace. Recognize that it is grace that has saved us. Grace brings us together in unity. Jesus broke down the deepest divisions of eternity between God and man and the deepest divisions of humanity between God's covenant people and others. Jesus brought peace.
Peace in God's Presence Christ Himself is our peace. We experience peace as a fruit of God's Spirit living in and through us. Peace is the presence of God in His people.
The Way of Peace Through Jesus death and resurrection, He made the way of peace available to us. When we surrender to His power and accept His life, we embrace the way of peace. Our peace goes beyond a circumstance or feeling. The Holy Spirit is our source of peace. We fit together to form the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit fills and enables us with the peace of Christ.
Description Some things just go together. For instance: Salt and pepper, Peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, Adam and Eve,
Hide and seek, Pros and cons. This demonstrates the power of things that have become so closely associated that they are insperable. Now, what do people think of when they hear the word church? You may have a word that comes to mind, but it's not likely the same for everyone. Depending on your experience, the association could be positive, negative, or somewhere in between. I want to challenge us as a church to consider what it would take to build an insperable link between church and love.
Together We Experience Love We are on this journey together. God's love is wider, longer, higher, and deeper - it is immeasurable. Love is relational. It is together that our ability to grasp God's love deepens. We find support, belonging, acceptance, encouragement and strength from others.
Love is God's Plan Being willing to humbly recognize our need for help, for forgiveness, for strength, for a deeper kind of life - then allows us to be known and to know God and others authentically. We're able to receive support and encouragement, and to offer acceptance and help to others. According to 1 John, God IS love. Everyone will know that we are His disciples if we love one another.
Love Binds Us Together As One Love can't be experienced alone. Love is something that is given and shared. God calls us to be TOGETHER.
How can we creat an insperable association between church and love?
CONNECTION: Where are you plugged in? Where would you like to be?
COMFORT: Be there for each other.
COLLABORATION: It is working together toward a purpose.
It is love that guides and unifies us and our efforts. It is Christ living in us that allows His love to grow in and flow through us. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
Description There is Strength in Numbers Examples from nature: When the largest most powerful rivers start, they are mere drops of snowmelt finding their way downhill. Drops beconme trickles, trickles become channels, channels become streams, eventually streams become rivers. Animals naturally group together to survive. Our togetherness as believers is about strength for moving forward. Our differences are key! Unity is not the same as uniformity. More people means more - influence, creativity, ability, skill, compassion, relationship, love, and impact on the world around us. We are headed toward the fullness of Christ.
We are One Ephesians compares the church to a physical body. It tells us there is one body and one Spirit. Belonging is survival - when all the parts are working together as one, the body functions smoothly and correctly. We as the church are told to be one.
Growth Requires Change Actions shape our thoughts. Most change is not overnight - it is slow and takes work. To see growth we must choose to act in obedience to God. Trust God and do the next thing. Growth is a process.
The church will always be made up of imperfect people. Acknowledge it. Accept it. But don't use it as an excuse or settle for practices that fall short of God's best for us. Together we grow stronger.
Description Changing the world requires consistent choices to follow Christ daily. Let's explore some ways we can do that.
Dream Big, Act Small Be kind, be tenderhearted, and forgive each other. Think about those people who have changed history. In the case where change was for the good, we see small steps and people who didn't act alone. The most powerful change is slow and steady. The church gives us support and accountability. Change in the world happens one person at a time.
Recognize Eternal True togetherness means a shared purpose. The real battle is a spiritual one. Ephesians encourages us to be strong in the Lord and His power putting on the armor of God and also to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests for all the Lord's people.
Stay Connected Hebrews exhorts us to meet together and encourage one another. Isolation kills. Even Jesus surrounded himself with a group of people. We need real connection and authentic relationships. Living as part of God's family matters. Together we find peace, experience love, grow stronger, and we can change the world!
Description Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12. The hardest thing to hand over to God is our time.
Walk Circumspectly To look round about on all hands; to be every way watchful, wary, and cautious, in order to avoid danger and discern enemies.Questions: Have I faithfully served God with the time He has given me? Have I shown God to those around me? The average Christian spends less than 15 minutes a week in prayer. Our day also should be invested in neighbors. We must prioritize our lives.
Redeeming the Time To buy up those moments others seem to throw away. Seizing opportunities to rescue or recover our time from waste. Let time be your chief commodity. Time is that on which eternity depends.
Relationships Require Our Time Time with people: We are not meant to be solitary creatures. We are to be social creatures. Godly relationships are important to our maturity as Christians. Having relationships requires time. Relationships are intentional. Time with God: We do not learn to walk with God in five minute devos. Devotions can't take the place of the Bible. The early church was continually devoted to the apostles' teaching and fellowship.
We all have 24 hours a day. Let us use our time wisely.
I Am the Lord
Description Like the U.S., Israel was facing its worst national crisis. Was God relevant? Was He big enough? Could He help? They knew Him as God Almighty, but He wanted them to know Him as Lord. Let’s look together and discover what that really means and realize He wants the same for me and you.
A Word for Today
Description God has spoken a word to my heart and I believe it’s also a word for you too. It’s about traditions. Life is crazy now. And it will probably never look the same again, it will be different. There is a shaking going on in the world today, in and outside of the church. What does that mean for us?
Description What is a dream? A condition or achievement that is longed for, an aspiration.
A dream is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it. ~John Maxwell.
Let Joseph's story speak to your heart. Joseph was a dreamer. Realize God has good plans for your life. If you've given up on dreams, it's time to dream again. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but where dreams come true, there is life and joy. Write down the dreams, hopes and desires you have in your heart. Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. God wants us to dream big dreams!
To dream extraordinary dreams, we must know the extraordinary love of God. Behold the manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God. 1 John 3:1
Even if our dream is from the Lord, there will be opposition. Don't let someone else's disapproval or jealousy hinder you from dreaming! There are numerous examples of dreamers who overcame opposition to realize their dreams.
The rest of Joseph's story: He was thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by his brothers. He ended up working for Potiphar and was falsely accused of raping his wife. He ended up in prision...but the Lord was with Joseph. Finally, he ended up working for Pharoah in the palace and his dream came true.
Take the dream test. Discover what your dream is, then do whatever it takes to have what you want!