IF you build it...

David Jeremiah says it like this:

“In a world ravaged by sin, restoration and renovation are ongoing projects.”

When we make the choice to follow Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we are restored into right relationship with God. 

But restoration does not stop there. 

There is ongoing restoration and renovation that needs to be done throughout our lives. 

IF that is something you desire, Nehemiah shows us some ways to do that.

1. HEAD: 

Neh 6:1-9

If we are going to continually build our spiritual lives, we need to deal with things head on. We are going to deal with people who tell you all the reasons why you can’t do something or shouldn’t do something. Instead, stand on the truth that God says about you.

2. HEED

Neh 8:1-8

Heed the word of the Lord. The definition of the word heed is to give careful attention to.

The people here are listening to the law of the Lord and allowing it to penetrate their hearts. They are realizing just how far from God they are and it is causing them to weep. That is how we should respond when we read something in God’s word that we are not following. His word is the standard and it is up to us to conform to Him, not try to change what He says to justify our own actions.

3. HAVE

Neh 8:10

Have fun.

Nehemiah is like, yes, you guys have jacked this up. Yes, you have not done what you were supposed to be doing. Yes, you have some work to do. But the work you have is going to be a lot more enjoyable if you are having fun doing it. God calls us to Himself and wants deeper relationship with us and that should cause us to be overjoyed all the time. Have fun following God!

4. HIKE

Neh 10:28-39

Walk in the ways of God. 

Nehemiah lays out that the people of God are supposed to be those who contribute and not consume. 

Are you one who tries to contribute or consume?

When you come to church is it all about what God has for you?

Is it all about who can help you?

Is it all about what someone else can do for you? 

Walking in the ways of God is not this specific set of rules that you are supposed to follow so that you look like you have it all together. 

Walking in the ways of God means that you do what He did. 

You look to benefit everyone you come into contact with, expecting nothing in return!

5. HALLELUJAH

Neh 12:27-43

Basically, there was a whole lot of worship going on.

Hallelujah translates to Praise to God.

It shows up all over the Bible, from praising God in a liturgical setting to letting it rip in an informal bout of worship. It's even used to convey praise for commendable people. It means praise or a rejoicing. It means praise but literally a "container" for praise. It means praise, song of praise or thanksgiving or adoration, or it denotes praiseworthy deeds. 

It means to be insane, or rather irrational in praise.

Praising God is a way of life. It is who we are not just something we do.

6. HURT

Neh 13:15-28

We need to be real with the sin in our own lives. We need to call it what it is. And we need to put a hurting on it. We have become accustomed and comfortable with a level of sin in our own lives. We allow a level of sin to live in us and through us and we make excuses. Sin is sin and we need to do violence to it. Stop compromising. Do violence to the things that you do that are not what God wants you to do. 

God is calling us to a relationship with Him. But He wants people who are His. We can be those people if we walk the way He is calling us to walk. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

if you BUILD it...

 “In a world ravaged by sin, restoration and renovation are ongoing projects.”

- Dr. David Jeremiah

There is ongoing restoration and renovation that needs to be done throughout our lives. 

By looking at what Nehemiah did in building the physical wall, we can see what we need to do to continually BUILD our spiritual lives.

1. RELATIONSHIP

Neh 3

Relationship with God is primary and of the utmost importance. But our relationship with other people is very important as well. Our society has become very isolated from each other. In chapter 3 of Nehemiah we see over and over again how the relationship between where the people were mattered. They were next to each other so that they could watch out for each other. In the same way, as we build our spiritual lives, we need to have those who are on the same path around us. The company we keep matters.

2. REQUIREMENT

Neh 4:6

There is really only one personal requirement when it comes to building your spiritual life. ALL YOUR HEART. God wants all of us. He doesn’t just want a little or half or most. He wants us to come to Him with all our heart. Nehemiah and the people were successful up to this point because they were using ALL their heart. Don’t let other things compete with God for your heart. If you want to continually build your spiritual life, you will give him all of it.   

3. RESPONSE

Neh 4:7-23

When you start building your spiritual life, there is going to be opposition. How we respond matters. Nehemiah gives us a blueprint on how to respond to the opposition that we know is coming.

A.  Focus on God: Don’t focus on the opposition. Focus on the God who has already defeated our enemy and allow Him to lead you through whatever is opposing you.

B.  Fix: Do something different.

C.  Fight: For those around you. Stop spending all of your time trying to figure out why you are going through what you are going through and instead, look around and see who you can help. 

4. REPRESENT

Neh 5

We are representatives of Christ. Let’s act like it. If we want to be people who show others how good God is, it has to be represented by the way we live our lives.

-The way we conduct our affairs. 

-The way we handle opposition.

-The way we use the resources God gives us. 

If we are living our lives the same way the world lives, we are not representing Jesus. Be someone who represents Christ to others not by a bunch of fancy words that come out of my mouth but by the way you love. By the way you live. If you want to build your spiritual life, you have to have REPRESENT Jesus in all you do.

Some of our spiritual lives are in extreme disarray. For some the walls are pretty sad. For some they are non-existent. For others they might be in pretty decent shape. What you have to know is that our spiritual lives will never be done being built. No matter where you think you are, there is some building that needs to be done. Today, let’s be those who BUILD.

-Pastor Dale

if YOU build it...

“In a world ravaged by sin, restoration and renovation are ongoing projects.” -Dr. David Jeremiah

When we make the choice to follow Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we are restored into right relationship with God. But restoration does not stop there. There is ongoing restoration and renovation that needs to be done throughout our lives. In Nehemiah we see principles that he applied to the rebuilding of a physical structure, as well as a group of people, and it is also easy to see that those same principles can be used to continually restore and renovate our spiritual lives. 

But YOU have to do it.

1. CONCERN

Neh 1:4a

When you come to the place where there is realization that your spiritual life is in disarray, it should cause you to come to a place of concern. This is not about worrying. What I am saying is that it should be concerning to us when our walk with God is not headed the right direction. God has a plan for us but we allow sin and the enemy and life in general steal and destroy that plan so we just come up with a backup plan that is close enough. Nehemiah felt concern for something he had only heard about. He had never been to Jerusalem. He had never seen what the city looked like. He had never with his own eyes seen the wall around the city. But when he heard these things about the state of things, he sat down and wept. 

When is the last time God talked to you about the state of your life and it caused you concern? When is the last time God called you to do something or stop doing something and you just sat down and wept, not because you had to change something but because you realized you hadn’t yet changed it and it caused you concern? If YOU are going to build the spiritual life that God has planned for you, you have to come to the place where you are CONCERNED with where you are at now.  

2. CRY OUT

Neh 1:5-11

Once concern is on the radar the next step is always the same. Cry out to God. Nehemiah does not play around. He cries out to God. And he makes it very clear that he is not trying to sugar coat things or make excuses or blame or pass judgement. And he continues to pray and continues to pray. And he keeps it up day and night for four months.

When you begin to cry out for something that is in line with what God wants, don’t stop. Continue to cry out. Continue to pray. Continue to ask Him. And if you don’t get an answer right away, continue to cry out to Him until He tells you to stop. If YOU are going to build the spiritual life that God has planned for you, you have to CRY OUT continually. 

3. COURAGE

Neh 2:1-5

Courage is about doing what you know needs to be done, even when you are scared to do it. 

Nehemiah was afraid. 

See when God points out something in your spiritual life that needs changed and it causes you CONCERN and then you CRY OUT to Him, you are still going to need a lot of courage. Because whatever it is He calls you to do is not always going to be easy. Sometimes it will be the hardest thing you have ever done. We are not talking about going somewhere are rebuilding a wall here. What if what He is calling you to is to forgive that person who really messed up your life? What if He is calling you to give some of your time or resources to help others? What if He is calling you to pray for those who you have judged in the past? Whatever it is, it is going to take courage. 

Nehemiah is afraid but he trusts in God and has courage to ask the king not only to let him go rebuild the wall but that the king would also send letters for safe passage as well as all the materials to get the job done. Talk about courage!!

If God calls you to do something, have courage. Because as you walk out His plan for your life, you will be successful. If it is God’s plan and you are following it, you will succeed. GOD wants you to take territory in your spiritual life. Have courage. He is with you. He will not leave you. If YOU are going to build the spiritual life that God has planned for you, you have to have COURAGE to do what God has called you to do.

4. CONFIDENT

Neh 2:17-20

Once we hear from God about the state of things and it causes us CONCERN. 

And then we CRY OUT.

And then we have COURAGE to do what needs to be done. 

WALK IN CONFIDENCE.

Speak things into existence. We need to do away with the negative self-talk. This isn’t about naming and claiming something. This is about speaking positively. It is about affirming who you are in Christ. It is about speaking over and over the praiseworthy deeds of our God. It is about giving Him credit for every good thing in our lives and not allowing the enemy to tell you that you are anything less than a child of the one true KING. If something in your spiritual life needs rebuilt or restored, have confidence that God will give you all you need to make that happen. Just like through the king, God gave Nehemiah all he needed to make it happen. If YOU are going to build the spiritual life that God has planned for you, you have to have CONFIDENCE in what He is going to do.

The bottom line is this; God wants to do some restoration in your spiritual life. Let’s be those who not only allow Him to but actually proactively take part in the process.

-Pastor Dale

VALUE OTHERS

In Acts 3 we see Peter and John heal a lame beggar and while that is completely awesome, we also gain some perspective of how we should value others above ourselves.

While this teaching is not new, and it is pretty simple in theory, we often have a hard time following through. Let’s be those who don’t just think about doing these things but actually practically walk them out in our lives.

1.   Always keep your eyes open. Don’t just go through the motions of the day. Look around. See what is going on. See who God puts in your path today. Sometimes we are so focused on our schedule that we fail to see the people that God wants us to help. Keep those eyes open and ask God to show you what and who you are supposed to see today.

2.   Acknowledge those around you. Seeing people is great but spend some time conversing. A smile, a kind word, a word of encouragement, all could help to heal those we come into contact with today. One of the nicest sounds to people is the sound of their own name.

3.   Give people your attention. Once you acknowledge that there are other people, give them your attention. It is done like this; listen. Listen to them in a way where they know they are being heard. Hear them not to correct or answer or suggest but to actually show them that they have been heard. Also listen to God so if you are called to respond, you will be giving wise counsel.

4.   Make it about them. We are not called to give people what they think they need. We are called to give people what God tells us to give them. God made it all about us when He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us. That is the example He set and that is what He is calling each of us to.

5.   Be amazing. This way of life is not common and when we truly live like this, people will be amazed. People will want to know why we do what we do. They will be amazed and begin to ask questions. When that happens, point them back to Jesus. Because He is truly amazing.

We have the opportunity to value others every day. Let’s be those who take full advantage of that opportunity. Let’s be those who value others.

-Pastor Dale

 

 

 

OPPOSITION

If you are truly headed toward Jesus, you will face opposition. There will be things that try to take you off course. There will be things that try to distract you. There will be things that try to stop you. Opposition is not just something that might happen when you follow Christ, it is a guarantee. 

Here are four things that will continually try to take us off course. These are not the only four, but these are pretty common.

1. DESTRUCTION

Acts 7:54-60

When it comes to opposition, the easiest thing for the enemy to do is to destroy your desire to go on. In this passage of scripture, the enemy is trying to destroy the faith of the church through the killing of Stephen.

The death of Stephen was about trying to scare the rest of the believers so they would stop talking about Jesus. The enemy has changed his tactics but he is still trying to produce the same effect. He doesn’t usually just kill us anymore. He just wants to destroy your faith. The thing is, when we stand firm in the Lord and what we believe, we get to have a similar experience that Stephen did. We get to see God working in our lives and the lives of those around us. We are going to face opposition, but if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will not be DESTROYED by it. 

2. DETAINMENT

Acts 8:1-3

The next way the emery likes to bring opposition into our lives is by making sure we are detained. Essentially, he likes to try to keep us from being free. He likes to take whatever might cause you to be free and use it as a way to bind you up. But a lot of the time we are really detained. Maybe through legalism. Maybe because of sin. But either way, the biggest lie that you can believe is that you are free without consistently drawing close to Jesus. We are going to face opposition, but if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will not be DETAINED by it. 

3. DIVISION

Acts 8:4-8

The enemy knows that we are stronger together. When it comes to dividing us today, it is not about scattering us physically, it is about dividing us spiritually. When it comes to dividing us, the enemy wants you to stay in your head because he can spin things up there that lead you to think things about others that are not actually true. And if he can keep you in your head, he can keep planting seeds of doubt and all kinds of other stuff. This is not about all of us being the same. We are not called to all be the same. We are called to all be together. We are going to face opposition, but if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will not be DIVIDED by it. 

4. DUPLICATION

Acts 8:9-22

Simon the sorcerer was trying to obtain something by duplication rather than by relationship. We as Christians sometimes have the tendency to do the same thing. We want something someone else has but we don’t want to do the work they did to get it.

Whether it is a good marriage. 

Or great kids. 

Or a strong spiritual walk.

Or a good prayer life. 

Or whatever. 

The enemy makes us think that we should be able to have it. Or that we deserve it. Or that we are entitled to it. That is false. God has something specific for each of us. God wants us to come to Him, each one of us. God wants a personal relationship with each of us. He doesn’t want you to duplicate someone else’s relationship with Him. We are going to face opposition, but if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will not just try to DUPLICATE someone else’s faith.

You are going to be opposed every minute you decide to draw closer to Christ. That opposition will come in various forms. But there is only one way to truly combat it. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. 

-Pastor Dale

BE A SERVANT

In Acts 6 we see that the church, the body of Christ, has been growing at a very rapid rate. So much so that there were some needs that were not being met. The Bible says in Acts 6:3-4 that they were to pick some people to serve that had four specific qualities. As we look at these qualities it is important that we examine ourselves so that we can BE A SERVANT.

1. INTEGRATED

“from among you”

Those that were called to serve at this time were integrated into the body of Christ. This is not just about attending a church service every once in awhile. This was about being connected. This was about being known by those in leadership. This was about being known by their peers. Integrated was not just about attending Sunday morning and Wednesday night church. They were a part of the body. People knew them both at church and at home. They were connected and they were full of integrity. To BE A SERVANT we have to be integrated into the Body of Christ.  

2. INFILLED

Known to be full of the Spirit

Some people think that being filled with the spirit is all about speaking in tongues or raising people from the dead or casting out demons. That is not what it is all about. This is about having an intimate personal relationship with Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to live in you and to guide you and teach you. This is about being a person intimately connected to God. It is about the spirit at work in you and it is changing you and it is transforming you and it is causing you to look more and more like Jesus. Being infilled with the Spirit is about the change that is continually taking place in your heart and in your life. To BE A SERVANT, we have to be infilled with the Spirit.

3. INFORMED by wisdom, not information

Known to be Full of Wisdom

This is not about information. This is not about knowing the whole bible by heart. This is about wisdom. Wisdom is about a constant state of learning the ways of God and walking in them. And tripping and falling while doing it and getting up and learning and continuing. Wisdom is about the substance of who you are. To BE A SERVANT, we have to have wisdom.

4. IN CONTROL

We will turn this responsibility over to them.

In Control means that you can handle responsibility. 

Here is why:

There is no small job in the kingdom of heaven. 

There is nothing that is unimportant. 

There is nothing that is just busy work. 

Whatever God has for you to do, it is super important. 

Because God has it for you to do. 

If we are waiting for some big thing that God is going to ask us to do, we will be waiting for a long time. God almost always starts with a small thing to see if we will be responsible with that. If you are faithful with little, you will be given more. If we want to BE A SERVANT, we have to be IN CONTROL and be able to handle the responsibility given to us no matter how big or small.

Serving God is the most amazing privilege in the world. The fact that the creator of the universe uses us even though we are probably going to mess things up is mind boggling. Additionally, we are like Jesus when we take the attitude of a servant and serve, because that is what He did.

That is why we should all BE A SERVANT.

Sin is Serious

One of the things that the religious leaders in Jesus' day were guilty of was hypocrisy. A hypocrite is a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions contradict stated beliefs. Another way to put it is a hypocrite is a person who likes to take credit for a sacrifice without actually paying the price. Hypocrisy was addressed by Jesus in Matthew 23 and the passage we looked at last Sunday in Acts 5, showed two other people who were guilty of it. There were several things that caused them to walk in hypocrisy and I believe that we deal with some of these still today. 

1. PRIDE - “Pride is the only disease known to man that makes everyone sick except the person who has it.” Pride is thinking very highly of ourselves or having a high opinion of our own importance. It is not always shown in our actions but even if it is in our mind, it is not a good thing. It causes us to think that we are on the same plane as God. Humility is the cure for pride. Choose to be humble.

2. PERSONAL GAIN - This is when we have a strong desire to get tangible rewards for ourselves, right now. When this is how we walk, we are going against what Jesus tells us to do when He says to "store up for yourselves treasures in heaven". When we are too busy trying to store up for ourselves stuff right now, we will always walk in hypocrisy.

3. PARTICIPANT - Sometimes we just go with the flow. That is not the way to go. If you or someone you know is walking in hypocrisy and you just go along with it, you are guilty as well. Start by taking a look in the mirror and making sure that you are not doing that and then call it like it is. Don't just go along with it because it is easier. Don't be a participant in hypocrisy.

4. PERPETUATE - Continuing without intermission or interruption. Sin breeds more sin. Once someone begins walking in hypocrisy, it is really hard to stop. Pretty soon it increases and you have to be more and more hypocritical to maintain your hypocrisy. We need to stop perpetuating the sin in our lives in general but specifically, hypocrisy. Hypocrisy has no place in the kingdom of God, the church, or in our lives. 

In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira told a lie. Hypocrisy is living a lie. They died because of their lie. Hypocrisy will kill our relationship with Jesus and with others. Sin is serious so let's do all we can to stay away from it. 

 

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LEARN

The Pharisees in John 8 ask Jesus a question. Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? As I look at this question I think, had they actually come to Jesus to learn something, I am sure they would have. However, as we know, they were not there to learn. They were there to try to trap Jesus so that they would have basis to accuse Him. So here is the question for us today. Why do we come to Jesus? Why do we go to church? Why do we pray? Why do we read the bible? Why do we do anything else that has to do with our faith? When we come before Jesus, do we come to learn? Or do we come for some other reason? Maybe we are not like the Pharisees in that we are not trying to trap Jesus to have a basis to accuse Him. But if we are not coming to Him to learn, well then we are not going to learn. And that is really sad because we could learn a lot if we continually came to Jesus with a heart open to hearing what it is that He wants to speak to us.

There is something that I know has happened as I have continued to grow in my faith. The more I know, the more I realize how much I don't really know. The more time I spend coming to Jesus with my agenda or to let Him know how much I know, the less I learn. But the more I come to Jesus seeking to learn, the more I learn. I am not talking about knowing the bible better or being able to remember verses or stuff like that, although those things are a beneficial byproduct of coming to Him. I am talking about learning about myself. Learning about the things in me that need to change so that I not only can draw closer to Jesus, but I can also begin to be more and more like Him.

We are called to learn. Let's be those who continue to do so all of our days.

Pastor Dale

LOVE

Being judgmental is pretty much the opposite of what we are called to do as followers of Christ which is to love one another. In John 8 we can see the Pharisees bringing this woman caught in the act of adultery before Jesus, not because they are trying to show her love but because they are trying to trap Jesus. There does nothing about what they are doing that could be considered loving toward Jesus or toward this woman. They decide basically that she is not worth anything except to be a pawn that can be sacrificed to further their agenda. When we judge we are doing the exact same thing. We are basically bringing that person before Jesus and pointing out everything that they are doing that we have decided is wrong. Or maybe they have actually done something that is opposed to God's word. Then we feel completely justified in throwing them at the feet of Jesus and pointing out all that they have done wrong. This is not the way Jesus operates with us and it is not the way we should operate with others.

We are called to love people. The bigger problem is that when we choose not to do that, when we choose to be judgmental instead, we are not only choosing not to love those people, we are also choosing not to love God. 1 John 4:20-21 says this, Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Let's be those who love God and love people, no matter who they are or what they have done. Isn't that the way Jesus loves us??

-Pastor Dale

Listen

One thing that can cause us to be judgmental is not listening when we come to Jesus. In John 8 the Pharisees are bringing a woman caught in adultery before Jesus to try to trick Him. In verse 2 the bible says that Jesus was in the temple courts and the people were gathered around listening to Him teach. The Pharisees were clearly not there to listen to Jesus. Had they been listening at any point in Jesus ministry they would have already known the answer to their question. They did not want to hear what Jesus had to say on that subject or any other because it might cause them to have to do something different. It would definitely cause them to have to stop being judgmental. That is really the problem when we are not listening. We do stuff or say stuff or don't do stuff because that is what we feel like we need to do for whatever reason not because Jesus told us to. That is in no way putting your faith and trust in Jesus. That is putting your faith in yourself and what you think is best. When we come to Jesus and we have our own agenda already laid out, we are probably not going to be listening to Him. Not listening to Jesus will cause you to become a person who Judges others. When you continue to judge others, you will continue to not listen to Jesus.

However, if we choose to listen to Jesus we will walk in the love, grace, and forgiveness that He continually walks in with each of us. That is an excellent way to allow your faith to affect what you do. Let's stop being people who are judgmental and start being people who listen to Jesus.

-Pastor Dale

CHANGE.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ, yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:7-14

 

I think that we often see this passage of scripture as a good idea or something we should try to do when we get around to it. We think that pressing on means going to church a couple of times a week or trying to pray or read the bible on a semi-regular basis. I think that needs to change. If we are going to be those who press on and strain toward the CHANGE that God wants to take place in our lives, then we need to start taking proactive steps rather than just reacting to circumstances and situations. We have not been called to some mediocre, come when you feel like it, add it to your life if it is convenient, religious practice. We have been called into a dynamic, intimate, constant, ever-growing relationship with our creator through Christ Jesus. When we are convinced of that, we will walk in the fact that we are More Than Conquerors. We will begin to take territory in our lives rather than succumbing to the enemy's schemes. Let's press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us.

 

Pastor Dale

Healing

As we spend time talking about the healing that Jesus offers to each of us, it is good to remember that we all need it in one way or another. Especially when we are talking about Him healing our hearts. Additionally it is important to remember that it doesn't really matter how your heart became damaged. The fact is we need healing. Jesus wants to heal us. Let's be those who receive the healing that Jesus has for us.

The Father's Business: Unity

I just want to take a minute and remind everyone that our Father is all about unity. His word says "We are the body of Christ and each one of us is part of it." For us that means that we get to begin by BELIEVING that is the truth. You are a vital part of the body of Christ. Secondly, it is important for us to BE the part that God has called us to be. Ask God what He wants you to do and do that. Lastly, we are part of the body to BENEFIT the rest of the body of Christ. As we do what it is God has called us to do we should remain focused on benefitting the body as a whole and benefitting those we come into contact with. Let's be about our Father's business, let's be about unity.

Pastor Dale

Forgive

To be those who truly forgive, we have to pray. We have to get the mind of Christ and how He sees others to be able to forgive. If we try to do it on our own, it will be difficult and sometimes frustrating. As we walk in forgiveness through prayer remember these four points: Personal: Pray for the person you need to forgive.

Refocus: Pray that you would always remember that God is in control and if He chooses to forgive, so should we.

Allow: Allow yourself to receive forgiveness.

Yield: Completely surrender yourself to God and His will.

The Lord's Prayer in Matt 6 is an excellent blueprint so that we can remain in a place of prayer and continue to forgive as the Lord forgave us.

The Father's Business: LOVE

If we are going to be those who are about our Father's business then the first thing that we need to do is to LOVE. Love God and love each other. To do that we have to stay connected to the Father and be recipients of His love at all times. When we do that it is much easier for His love to flow through us rather than trying to muster up love on our own power. As we stay connected to Him and receive the love that He so freely gives, we can then give out love. Four things to remember as you love one another:

1. Listen: Listen to what people are saying. Take the time to hear them and to understand them.

2. Overlook: Overlook petty faults and things that don't really matter. Instead of figuring out everyone's mistakes, overlook them and look for the positives.

3. Value: Value means to regard or highly esteem. What that means for us is to consider others better than ourselves.

4. Express: Express love in practical ways. Use the first three points to find ways to practically express love to others.

As He has loved us, so we should LOVE one another!

Incapable

God is calling each of us to do what it is that He desires for us to do. At that point, we are not incapable of doing it. He will give us all the tools necessary to accomplish His will. No longer should we be people who tell God what we can't do. Let's become people who allow God to work in our lives for His glory. You are capable of doing what God calls you to do. When you feel like you are incapable, remember: 1. FOCUS: Keep your attention directed toward Jesus and not on whatever circumstances are in front of you.

2. FOLLOW: Do what it is God tells you to do. He does not call us to understand everything, He calls us to follow Him.

3. FEAR: Be one who fears the Lord. This does not mean to be afraid of Him but to have a reverent awe that the creator of the universe wants us to participate in His plan.

4. FALL: Worship the Lord in everything you do. This is not just about singing. It is about living a life that worships Him every minute of every day. Offer your body as a living sacrifice, this is your spiritual act of worship. Rom12:1

-Pastor Dale

 

Wisdom

1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; 3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

This passage at the beginning of Proverbs really breaks it down for us. Are we those who love to gain the instruction, wisdom, and understanding that the Lord wants to so freely give us or are we more like the fool, the one who despises wisdom and instruction? I think as believers we would say that we don't want to be fools. We want to be people who seek the instruction the Lord has to offer. The problem is that sometimes our actions don't line up with what we say. We learned last Wednesday that in the book of James, the main thing that James was talking about was listening and DOING. Let's not be those who say we are one thing but never back it up. Let us not be people who say with our mouths that we want to draw closer to God but in our hearts are far from Him. Let's listen to the Lord and do what He says, not because it is a requirement for salvation but because we have been saved!

Peace :)

Pastor Dale

Find The Good

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. 22 Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail.23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, The Lord is my portion;therefore I will wait for him. 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. 28 Let him sit alone in silence,for the Lord has laid it on him. 29 Let him bury his face in the dust - there may yet be hope.30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,and let him be filled with disgrace.31 For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
Lam 3:19-33
On Sunday one of the points we went over was to FIND the good. Specifically, instead of finding all of the bad things in other people and being judgemental, we should be people who look to find the good. I think this passage in Lamentations is a good reminder for us not only to find the good in others but to remember to find the good that God continually does in our lives. The first two verses speak of the author's problems. Affliction, wandering, bitterness, and gall are the things that he lists that are obviously causes to why his soul is downcast. At that point, the author has a choice to continue to find the negative things going on in his life and focusing on them or he can do what he does which is turn his focus to the good that God does in his life. He starts finding the good and in that he IMMEDIATELY has hope. If today you find your soul downcast, read this passage of scripture and be reminded of the good that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do for you and let that give you hope. Your circumstance might not immediately change but your attitude about it can. As you read this, I challenge you to FIND THE GOOD!!
Peace :)
Pastor Dale

Peace

As I sit here this evening, I am so thankful for the peace that Jesus offers us. Philippians 4:7 says, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." This is such an amazing statement. God's peace is larger than our understanding. This peace, when accessed, allows us to get through tough times. It allows us to forgive people who have hurt us, even if they didn't ask for it. It allows us to walk through trials and persecution without letting them bring us down. In addition to that, it allows us to have peace when things are going great. When everything is falling in line. When relationships are growing and life seems to be flowing along nicely. But, do we have peace in one situation and not the other? Do we freak when bad things happen and we are OK if everything is going good? Or do we do well when things are falling apart but lack peace when things are going good, always waiting for the other shoe to drop? These are questions we have to ask ourselves. If we have peace when things are going great but not when things are going bad, or vice versa, do we really have peace? Or have we just learned how to cope in certain situations? Only you can answer that question, but what I can tell you is that God's peace transcends all understanding and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. And that type of peace allows you to get through the good and the bad connected to the one who provides the peace. Peace. :)

Pastor Dale