Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Be Like Matthew

Be Like Matthew

I just returned from vacation this week. Part of my vacation was on a Carnival Cruise Ship to Alaska. Vickie and I celebrated 25 years of a wonderful marriage. My family was able to enjoy some uninterrupted time together. We had lots of laughter and wonderful memories to store for years to come. We were stuck (in a good way) with each other because there was no way off the boat. As we were moving across the water and seeing icebergs float beside us, I couldn’t help but think about the Titanic. I didn’t share my thoughts because I didn’t want to alarm anyone. But it was an iceberg that took down the Titanic. What you see on the surface is really only 1/10th of the whole iceberg. With all the mishaps that have conspired on Carnival Cruises in the past year, I didn’t want to speak my impending doom. I did pack a few extra plastic bags just in case, if you know what I mean. I am glad to report that nothing terrible happened. But those who were on the Titanic in the late hours of April 14, 1912, cannot say the same.

There were 1,517 who died on the Titanic. Why did many of those people drown that night? It was because those who were safe in the lifeboats would not go back. They were comfortable and safe and they did not want to risk their life for the sake of others.

Have you looked around lately? There are many people around who are drowning in their sin and despair every day. A startling statistic I read the other day says that 9 out of 10 Christians are not sharing their faith. Are you the one that is sharing your faith? If God didn’t want you to share your faith then He would have taken you to heaven after He saved you.

This fall, our church will participate in “My Hope with Billy Graham.” This is not like any of the past Billy Graham Crusades held in big stadiums. This will take place in our homes. Local churches are the focus of this event. Churches are encouraged to rally their people and train them to be effective evangelists in their local neighborhoods. It is not too difficult. It should be a natural overflow to what God is doing in our lives. Relationships are the foundation to which we are going to build upon.

I want to encourage you to attend our Wednesday Night Boost at the church in the month of August. We will have classes designed to help release the story you have within you. We will train you to be like Matthew, one of Jesus closest disciples. When Matthew came into relationship with Jesus, he couldn’t hold it in. He began to introduce Jesus to all of his friends. The first session will begin on August 7 and take place the following 3 weeks. It begins at 6:45 p.m. and there is a spot reserved for you. Children’s and Youth Ministry are available so you can know that meaningful ministry will positively impact your children.

We are called to be faithful and fruitful. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15

Allow Jesus to spill through you and let’s together prepare for a great harvest.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord

Psalm 148:13-14
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens. And He has raised up for His people a horn, the praise of all His faithful servants of Israel, the people close to His heart. Praise the Lord.

I want to encourage you to go to your Bible and read the whole chapter found in Psalm 148. It is commanding everything and everyone to praise the Lord. Notice it does not say when things are going the way you think they should. It doesn’t even say when you are feeling good. It is saying that He who knows the majesty of God is not only to acknowledge and submit to it, but to live and proclaim what He knows. Stop for a minute and count the many blessings God has given. It far outweighs the trials we face. God is our deliverer and our helper. He has redeemed us from the miry clay and set our feet on a rock to stay. He has put a new song in our heart and we are to proclaim it to the world.  Creatures praise God by their being, stars praise God by shining, we praise God by consciously and verbally proclaiming His goodness. When it says that He raised up for His people a horn, it is literally saying strength. Our praise comes from the strength the Lord gives. No longer can we say we cannot praise the Lord when we know that we know that we know that God provides the strength. The great benefit is that lost people will hear it and be blessed.

What a powerful testimony from Hilbert Miller, Yi, and Ronglan on Sunday. We even saw firsthand how can work. I didn’t see that coming. I anticipate that God is going to do some exciting things in our church this upcoming year. Great things are happening and I want to be obedient and praise His Name along the way.

This Sunday we are going to continue in our series…

We will be comparing the Passover with the Passion of Christ and look at the Blood of the Perfect Lamb that frees us. It is always good to worship together as a body. I always look forward to what God does when we come together.

Joy in Jesus!
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Integrity's Reward

Integrity’s Reward
Let’s enter into a conversation between Solomon and God that reveals God’s passion for integrity.

The Lord said to him: “I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
“As for you, if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’
“But if you or your sons turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. And though this temple is now imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their fathers out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.’ ”   -- 1 Kings 9:1-9

This passage pretty much sums up what God thinks of people who are filled with integrity. Integrity is defined as being honest and upright. It is doing what is right even when no one is looking. From our Scripture today we can see that God expects us to have integrity no matter who we are in life. It is a matter of the heart. There are blessings awaiting those who walk with integrity just like there are consequences for those who live without integrity.

My prayer is that you will live according to the Truth that is found in the Bible and that the Almighty God will empower you through and through to uphold His right living principles.

This Sunday we are going to be interviewing Yi and Ronglan, who have joined us from China. A retired missionary, Hilbert Miller, who was instrumental in their call to ministry, will be here to share as well. Come and worship together with your church family and find out how to pray for Yi and Ronglan.

“O Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and does what is righteous, who speaks truth from his heart.”   Psalm 15:1-2

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike