Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Power of Prayer

The Power of Prayer

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  – Philippians 4:6

Corrie ten Boom tells a story about the power of prayer in her book, Not I, But Christ: “A missionary was in great danger and one evening was alone in his house. Enemies wanted to kill him, but nothing happened. The next day one of the men came to him and said, ‘Last night we intended to kill you, but we could not. There were only four of us and about seventeen men stood around your house.’ The missionary wrote this to his friends at home. They came to the conclusion that on this particular night they had had a prayer meeting – seventeen had come to pray. Seventeen believers prayed at home. Seventeen angels stood around the missionary’s house.”

What a great reminder of the magnitude of prayer. Prayer is the heart and soul of every great movement of God. Why is it that we have a tendency to make prayer our last resort? Getting caught up in discussing prayer rather than actually going to our knees and crying out to the Lord seems to be our first response.

I have personally seen many answers to prayer in recent days concerning the renovation and many other situations happening in the church. When I talk about answers, I am not talking about things going the way that I prayed them to, but things working together to glorify our Father in heaven. Answers to prayer do not always go the way you want them to. The posture of prayer is bowing humbly before God and wanting what He wants. When the answer comes or develops, then we submit to the wisdom and direction the Lord sets.

I am so grateful for the prayer focus on Wednesday and throughout the week. I believe we are experiencing what we are because of prayer. It is amazing to see God’s hand at work in and through the church. We are a blessed people.

Well, the renovation is under way and things are moving right along. It is exciting to see the progress that is being made. I also have some great news concerning our chairs for our new worship area. Are you ready for it? Maybe I’ll wait untill Sunday to tell you. Okay, I’ll tell you. We have reached our goal of 400! This week we have all the chairs purchased. Praise the Lord! We have many things to celebrate as we move forward infaith.

Remember, Sunday we will worship in the Family Life Center. Come prepared to worship the Lord together and celebrate His presence.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Priceless Treasure

Priceless Treasure

I am excited about what God is doing in the hearts of people in our church. Revived believers who practice the presence of the Living Word also take delight in the written Word because there is no difference. Jesus Himself, who always was, became flesh so He could show us that we too could become living, breathing, testimonies of the presence of the Living Word. Sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit is crucial, but placing great value on knowing the truths of Scripture is a priceless treasure. I am encouraged to see hungry people come together to respond to the One and Only. It is like we are coming corporately wanting to hear God speak to us so we know where to go from here.

Look with me at the longest chapter in the Bible – Psalm 119. It is an acrostic psalm, an alphabet of prayers and reflections on the Word of God, giving each Hebrew letter its turn to introduce different verses on the subject of cherishing the Word of God for what it is. It was done that way in order to aid in the area of memory. Many of us would say, “I need all the help I can get in that area.” It was also used to show that the subject was going to be covered from “A to Z.” This chapter is rich on placing the Word of God in the center of everything.

Look at a few verses dispersed among many moving thoughts:

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” Psalm 119:9-11.

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” 
Psalm 119:18.

“I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts” Psalm 119:44-45.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws” Psalm 119:105-106.

“Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them” Psalm 119:140.

“I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight. Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me. I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands” Psalm 119:174-176.

The mood in which these verses were written is meditative. Take these verses and put them to memory, pray them in your spirit, meditate on them day and night, and allow your thoughts to be overcome by the Living Word who has come to fill you and take you to greater depths.

I am looking forward to our last worship service in the sanctuary before it is transformed into our new worship center. There have been good memories that have been formed in these walls but we are not going to let those define who we are in Christ. Change is not easy but following the Change Maker is the best ride we could ever experience. Let’s have a record attendance in both of our services as we prepare for greater days ahead.

If anyone wants to help us unbolt the pews, clean out the racks, move furniture out of our classrooms, or participate in many odd jobs in cleaning out the area for the work crews, then join us on Sunday at 4 p.m. There is something for everyone.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

PS. Come and join us for the revival tonight. Supper is at 5:45 in the Family Life Center and service is at 6:30 in the Sanctuary. Come to both or just come for service. It’s all GOOD!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015



This past weekend it was good to have Stephen Manley at our men’s retreat. He always reminds you that Jesus should be your only source in life. When you put aside all the things you depend on, there is only one thing worth keeping at the center of your life – Jesus. That is the type of relationship Jesus had with the Heavenly Father. In John 15:1-17, Jesus compares this close relationship in the picture of a vine and the branches. Take the time to read it today during some down time you may have. By all means, don’t do it while driving down the road. Go to a park if you are bound to your car and take a few moments to saturate in the concept of the vine and the branches.

The famous American abolitionist and writer, Harriet Beecher Stowe, lived in the 1800s. She was famous for her novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” written in 1852. It showed the lives of African-Americans who were slaves and was instrumental in turning people’s hearts against slavery. Many plays were written from this famous book. Many people don’t know that along with the many other books she is famous for, she also wrote a small booklet entitled, “How to Live on Christ.” It is not as popular as her other works, but it is powerful. She writes, “How does the branch bear fruit? Not by incessant effort for sunshine and air; it simply abides in the vine, in silent and undisturbed union, and blossoms and fruit appear as of spontaneous growth. How then, shall a Christian bear fruit? By efforts and struggles? No: there must be a complete surrender of the whole being to Him; a constant looking to Him for grace.”

It is simple, the secret of a close and vibrant relationship with Jesus is remaining. Remaining in Him for every need, temporal or spiritual. We are to be in Jesus all the time and Jesus is to be in us. That is what we call truly remaining in Him. Whatever doesn’t rub Jesus wrong, doesn’t rub me wrong. That is when revival is unleashed in our lives. The spirit and attitude of Jesus permeates my every thought and action.

Let me reach back to an ancient hymn written in 1872 entitled, “I Need Thee Every Hour.” If you know the tune then sing it while you read it. If you don’t know the tune, make one up and worship the Lord as you are reminded how much you need Him. There is no magic in the tune, the words are just rich and true.

I Need Thee Every Hour
Verse 1
I need Thee ev’ry hour, Most gracious Lord; No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee; O I need Thee! Ev’ry hour I need Thee! O Bless me now, my Savior; I come to Thee!

Verse 2
I need Thee ev’ry hour; stay Thou nearby, temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh. (Chorus)

Verse 3
I need Thee ev’ry hour, in joy or pain; come quickly and abide, or life is in vain. (Chorus)

Verse 4
I need Thee ev’ry hour, most Holy One. O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son! (Chorus)

Revival begins this Sunday. It is going to be a powerful time together. Be sure to pick up a flyer from the bulletin and invite someone to come with you. Meals will be provided before each service Monday through Wednesday. Our children will have a special emphasis on Sunday and Wednesday. There is something for the whole family. Make a priority to attend now before your schedule gets filled. It will be worth it all.

May you remain in the Lord today and be reminded that He will remain in you.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fueled by Praise

Fueled by Praise

Have you ever felt that things were going in the wrong direction and God was nowhere to be found? I think that was what David was experiencing when he wrote Psalm 63 while in the Desert of Judah. His son Absalom was putting plans together to take the throne. David decided to flee for his life. It was in the midst of this trial that David learned a very important lesson. When you are in the middle of uncontrollable times, begin to recount the faithfulness of God and worship Him with all your heart. When you do, the presence of God falls on you. Revival will begin to break out and the joy of the Lord will mark your ways. What is true for the individual is also true for the church. Our church matures in worship as we prepare for a season of the Lord’s presence. It is in the midst of getting caught up together in worship that we prepare for another spiritual awakening. It is in the middle of seeking for revival that we experience revival.

How about you? Do you need to fuel up? Read Psalm 63 and allow the Lord to renew your spirit. The enemy is going to do all he can to keep you from realizing the truth about your situation. Bring it to the Lord and believe He wants to bring everything captive in His Name.

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.11 But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.  --Psalm 63

Last Sunday was a great day in worship followed by some rich fellowship. Grandparent’s Day is exceptional each year. I think our grandparents are worth the effort. We have so many who have paved a good road for their families to follow.

Have I told you lately that I love our church? I have heard over and over from many people how they love to worship the Lord together on Sundays. You never know what you are going to miss when you are not here. As for me and my house…

Have a blessed day and be encouraged because those who walk in Jesus today are the victors.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike