Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FOLLOWING JESUS

MY NEW SERMON SERIES, ACTING UP! is about the church becoming what God desires it to become. The one thing I have learned this far is that if we desire to become the church that God desires us to be, then we must each be the person that God desires us to be.  It is when we are connected to Jesus, as Francis Chan states in his video series BASIC: We are the Church, the church begins when each person comes to the point of Fearing God, Following Jesus, and Being Filled with the Holy Spirit.

Today, I received an email from my daughter, Krista, with a powerful message contained within it. A message in one sense calls us to personal faith in a personal Christ, so that we can be the people and through that, the church that God desires us to be.

This week's sermon text is Acts 1:1-26.  I believe that the link that Krista sent me was not without the finger of God upon it. While I have been preaching about what it means to be the church, and how God calls us from individualism unto being part of a body, Christ's Body, it is also true that God is calling each one of us to fulfill our part in that Body, even if that fulfillment finds itself manifested in very limited ways, as you will see if you take a few moments to watch this powerful and humbling video, and then to take the time to ask the Lord what part am I (you) to take within the larger Body of Christ.

I invite you to read through Acts 3:1-26, and then watch the video, and take some time, especially as we enter this Lenten season, to
ask the Holy Spirit to open your ears to hear His voice, to open your heart to receive His truth, to open your mind to obtain His wisdom, to open your mouth to proclaim His truth and to open your hands to serve those whom you encounter each day.


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Friday, February 17, 2012

ENOCH WAS NO MORE

FRIDAY MORNINGS my associate pastor and I spend about an hour in prayer together. We use a portion of the Scriptures to be our prayer guide for that time, allowing the Holy Spirit to stir our spirits through the Word of the Lord. Today my prayer-partner chose Hebrews 11. We both thought it would be a good passage because of what we had been learning as a church body about the spiritual gift of faith that is quite prevalent within our church family.

As we got to our knees in prayer we both wondered aloud how this passage would work as a guide to prayer. Often we use one of the Psalms or one of the "prayers" of Scripture which lend themselves more to be a guide to prayer, than our passage for the morning.  But once again, the Holy Spirit surprised us by giving a good solid direction for our time of prayer.


The one verse that grab me right toward the beginning of our prayer was Hebrews 11:5 that speaks of the faith of Enoch and how he did not see death but rather walked with God and he was seen no more. I have often prayed a prayer of Enoch for the senior adults of our church, that they would walk so close to the Lord that when the time of their death would approach they would simply and quietly walk home with the Lord. But today I was struck by another thought in regards to Enoch, faith, and me.


I saw in Enoch what we as followers of Jesus are to be. We are to be walking closer and closer to Jesus everyday, that one day we cease to be. We may well be still alive, but Randy as a person is so surrendered to the Lord, that it is Jesus that is now seen, not Randy. Will I ever get there, if I do it will only be by the grace of God, but it is still the life we are called to live.


Jesus said, if any man would seek to follow Him, that one would have to pick up their cross (die to self) in order to be His follower. (Luke 9:23) The Apostle Paul would declare, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21) and in Paul's letter to the church in Galatia, Paul states that it is no longer he who lives but it is Christ who lives in and through him. (Galatians 2:20)


So, I guess, my call of faith this week, and on through my life, should be to walk as Enoch. Closer and closer to the LORD each day, until that time when I am no longer seen, only Jesus.  This shall make a good meditation for our time of fasting during this soon to arrive period of Lent.


Oh, LORD that we would all walk in the steps of the saints of old be they Enoch or Paul, so that You would be our life and that You would be seen.
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF

WE HERE AT FELTON BIBLE CHURCH ARE PRAYING THAT GOD WOULD ALLOW US TO SEE 350 INDIVIDUALS COME TO KNOW JESUS CHRIST AS LORD AND SAVIOR.

My present sermon series,

"Acting Out: Becoming the Church God Desires Us to Be" is being preached to that end as well, to see the Gospel shared more actively and the Kingdom of God grown as a result.

Today, I received my daily email from Chuck Colson's "Pastor to Pastor." Today's author, T. M. Moore, wrote the following, and I just had to pass it on, for it speaks so powerfully to the call before the church and the call to prayer.  Mr. Moore wrote,
“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:8-9

Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival VI
The Rev. Alexander Cumming, Minister of Dunbarney Parish

“If any believer here present should say that his hours are so crowded with the avocations of business that he has not time to allot to prayer for the extension of the Saviour’s kingdom, I would remind him that he should act towards Christ as Christ did towards him. The Saviour had room for all his people in his heart when he was going to endure the floods of the divine wrath in Calvary and Gethsemane: in his intercessory prayer which he put up when on the verge of that terrific scene of misery which wound up his gloomy pilgrimage, he makes mention not only of his personal followers, but of all who in every age believe in his name, and every individual here present who is united to him in the bonds of the everlasting covenant must have been then in his mind. It might have been supposed, that when his hour of withering desolation was impending, he could have had room for nothing but the anticipation of his anguish; but so deeply was our immortal happiness entwined with the strings of his heart, that he could not dismiss that pleasing subject from his meditations, even in the hour of his dreary abandonment.
“And if he could think of us when the fire of God’s wrath was about to scorch him, and pray for the prosperity of his cause amidst the multiplicity of the human pursuit; if he could think of us not only when the dark cloud was about to burst upon his head, but when the thunderbolts which lay hid in its bosom were expending on him all their fury; if the hope of our eternal felicity was so sweet and soothing as to uphold him amidst the bitterest throes of his anguish, surely amidst the greatest hurry and distraction of business, and amidst the most saddening vicissitudes of life, we should separate some intervals to concert schemes for his glory, and to implore speedy prostration of every antichristian authority.”
Wow!
 How do you respond to the challenge of this excerpt?
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