Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Watching Over Us

Watching Over Us

This morning at 5:36 a.m. I was awoken to a text message on my cell phone. It was from American Express. They asked if I attempted to purchase something that morning. They wanted me to reply with “yes” or “no.” After I replied “no,” a quick response came back asking for me to call them to discuss this purchase. I was thinking, “Do you know what time it is? Why would I want to call and discuss a fraudulent purchase on my card? You know it isn’t, I just told you, now leave me alone so I can get some more sleep!” After laying there for a few minutes, I crawled out of bed and called them. Don’t get me wrong, I am very appreciative of Amex watching over my accounts at night while I sleep. I just wish that we could deal with this when the sun is shining on my end of the earth. It turned out to be a fraudulent charge and they cancelled the card. They are even going to send me another card over night so I don’t miss any shopping opportunities around the holidays. So, someone is going to stay up all night and drive my card to my house so I can be secure. I feel so special. Now, I hope they catch the one who tried to purchase something at ungodly hours, keeping me, the fraudulent department of Amex, and the mailman who will deliver my package tomorrow, up all night.

That reminds me of a Psalm 121, where the writer recalls how the Lord watches over us at all hours of the night. He does not need sleep. It says that the Lord will watch over our life and keep us from harm. So today, I rejoice in the Lord that He always watches over my day and my night. He neither sleeps nor slumbers. Take a moment and read this Psalm and rejoice with me about our personal living God who cares for us so much that He sent His Son to experience life on this earth with all of its temptations and blessings.

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

The Lord thinks so much of us that He personally is involved in our protection. This chapter doesn’t say that He sends His angels to watch over us. He personally takes it upon Himself. What a God we serve! So if you get a call in the middle of the night from your credit card company, let it be a reminder that the Lord watches over more important things that will make an eternal impact on our life.

I am looking forward to Sunday as we participate in the annual children’s musical and look at the story of Jesus through the eyes of Mary. The key verse is found in Joshua 1:9, “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” It’s going to be a glorious day! Come and worship the new born King together.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Give Thanks!

Give Thanks!

Throughout Scripture we are called to give thanks. It doesn’t say to only give thanks when things are going your way or when you feel like it. It says to be thankful in all things and all circumstances. I for one am thankful for what God has brought me through, what He is bringing me through, and what He will bring me through. We are not promised a life filled with everything going our way, but we are told that He will see us through whatever the circumstance.

Take the next few minutes and thank the Lord for who He is. His love endures forever. His faithfulness is never ending. Read the following 10 verses on thanksgiving and rejoice in the Living God who blesses us beyond what we deserve.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 107:1

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ephesians 5:20

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Colossians 3:15-17

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6

Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 106:1

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2

That my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Psalm 30:12

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!
Psalm 100:4

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13

Enjoy this thanksgiving season by living a thankful life and rejoice in Him forever.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Prayer 101

Prayer 101

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” 
Ephesians 6:18

How is your prayer life? Do you pray every day or do you pray only when you are around other believers? Is prayer a daily discipline for you or do you only pray when you get in trouble? These and many other questions probing how consistent you are in your worship, prayer, devotions, and other spiritual practices will either confirm the consistency you are in or it will bring guilt due to a busy lifestyle that has pushed these much-needed habits to sporadic at best.

Schedules and tiredness unfortunately push people to the status of “on-again, off-again” way too often. Have you found that you are faithful for a while, and then something happens to get you out of the routine of setting aside much-needed time for God to direct your ways? Bill Hybels wrote a book entitled, “Too Busy Not to Pray.” The title alone gets the message across loud and clear.

How often are we supposed to pray? Ephesians 6:18 gives us the answer. It says to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. It conveys to pray anytime there’s an opportunity – no matter where you are or what you’re doing. We are to pray at every occasion, every season, and every possible moment. I would recommend not closing your eyes some of those times – especially when you are driving.

Along with praying on all occasions, it is good to give God the first part of your day. Set aside specific times where it is just you and the Lord. He longs to spend time with you alone. Prayer is not an optional exercise for the Christian who is serious about their spiritual walk. According to Scripture, believers are to make prayer a top priority.

If prayer isn’t a priority in your life right now, why not make it a priority starting today? We all make time to do whatever we want to do. If it’s truly in your heart to pray, you will find the time. Make prayer your first order of business.

When you expand your prayer life to include others, it will be good to pick a few friends who are willing to meet on a regular basis. It is always good to pray and share with other brothers or sisters in Christ. This will spur other times of spiritual growth in your daily walk.

Be encouraged to know that God loves the time you set aside to pray to Him. He longs to have an intimate relationship beyond the Sunday worship experience. He also loves to see you pray with others when they present a need. He even loves it when you pray at different occasions. Let’s grow in our prayer life to be more like Jesus.

This Sunday I will be looking at a familiar verse found in John 10:10. If your spiritual life has grown stale or you feel you are constantly under attack, then you will want to make sure you make a priority to attend this Sunday during the morning worship. Bring a friend with you to experience all God has for you this weekend. It’s always good to come together and worship the Lord.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

Wednesday, November 9, 2016



The election is over. Some are excited about their candidate winning and some are not so excited because their candidate lost. Either way, God is on the throne!

Max Lucado is a gifted author who is able to draw word pictures on your mind as you read his books. I want to put an excerpt of an article he wrote and published on the Fox News website. I believe it sums up what people of faith ought to be thinking and living out.

“We are really ready for this presidential election to be over. We’re ready for an end to the rancor and tackiness. Voters on both sides feel frustrated, even embarrassed by it all. There is a visceral fear, an angst about the result. What if so and so wins? When we wake up to November 9, post-election, when the confetti is swept away and the election is finally over, what will we see?

I have a prediction. I know exactly what November 9 will bring – another day of God’s perfect sovereignty.

He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won’t on November 9, 2016. 
“The LORD can control a king’s mind as He controls a river; He can direct it as He pleases” (Proverbs 21:1 NCV).

On one occasion the Lord turned the heart of the King of Assyria so that he aided them in the construction of the Temple. On another occasion, he stirred the heart of Cyrus to release the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar was considered to be the mightiest king of his generation. But God humbled and put him in “detention” for seven years.
 “The kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations” (Psalms 22:28).

Understanding God’s sovereignty over the nations opens the door to peace. When we realize that God influences the hearts of all rulers, we can then choose to pray for them rather than fret about them. Rather than wring our hands we bend our knees, we select prayer over despair.

Jeremiah did this. He was the prophet to Israel during one of her darkest periods of rebellion. He was called “the weeping prophet” because he was one. He wept at the condition of the people and the depravity of their faith. He was so distraught that one of his books was entitled Lamentations. But then he considered the work of God. Note the intentionality of his words:

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness (Lam. 3:21-23).

Imitate Jeremiah. Lift up your eyes. Dare to believe that good things will happen. Dare to believe that God was speaking to us when He said:
 “In everything God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).

I would imagine that several people are worn out because they stayed up and watched the drama unfold. I know I was flipping from station to station to see what was transpiring. Be encouraged today. God is still God. Nothing will ever distract Him. He is not shocked by the things that happen in our time. Keep the faith and believe in the One who saves us. Let’s pray for a peace and unity to be restored to our Nation. It will be a miracle, but God is into miracles.

I look forward to a great day of worship on Sunday and another time to get together on Sunday night for our Harvest Dinner. Come rested up and ready to experience the Name of Jesus.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Which Plan Are You Following? (Part 3)

Which Plan Are You Following? (Part 3)

For the past two weeks, we have considered Jesus’ words found in John:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” John 10:10.

The enemy of our soul is going to do whatever it takes to step in on any progress we make toward becoming like Jesus. He is relentless in his efforts to discourage followers of Jesus. But don’t get discouraged because Jesus promised to fill us and give us the ability to live above the enemy’s tactics. He calls us to embrace this matchless, incomparable, overflowing life He has provided.

In what areas are you not experiencing abundant life? It would be very helpful for you to make a list of these areas so you can pray about them and begin to believe for God’s abundance to flow into these parts of your life.

Here is a simple prayer and confession you can pray:
I confess that Jesus Christ gives me a life that is filled with extraordinary abundance! He came that I might retain a zest for living that springs up from deep down inside of me. He gives me a life that is not rattled or easily shaken by any outward event. I therefore embrace this overflowing life that Jesus died to give to me! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

When you pray a prayer like that, you are reminding the devil that he has no place in your life. You are choosing to embrace the plans God has for you and you are speaking and living it into existence.

I am looking forward to worshipping together on Sunday. Don’t forget to change your clocks on Saturday night before you go to bed. If you don’t remember, then I will see you an hour earlier. As a matter of fact, you can join the staff and me for prayer if you forget to set your clock. So forget there is a change this weekend. Now in the Spring that is a different story…

May you live a life that reflects the holiness of God today.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike