Calvary Church

Calvary Church

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Who are You to Condemn

For those of you who have been keeping up in the prayer journal for the 7 city prayer nights, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your diligence in following through with what I believe God wants to do in our church and city. I'm a little behind in my book because I didn't get one right away. By the time we handed them all out I had to get more. My devotion this morning was found in Romans 14; yes I'm that far behind. In Romans 14 was an amazing reminder to me of how we must treat each other.

Paul says in verse 14:4 "Who are you to condemn God's servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord's power will help them do as they should."

Sometimes we think we are in charge of other people. This is a good reminder that God is in charge and we can't forget that. It's God's power that will bring people back into right relationship with Him. Listen each of us will sin and make wrong choices at some point in our lives. But God is the one who restores and gives grace even when we don't think people should get it. Don't be the one who thinks they are so spiritual that they can some how judge others; point fingers and cast judgment and get away with it. 

Jesus was sitting with His disciples one day sharing with them about how we should treat people and He said this...

Mat 7:1-6 "Stop judging, so that you won't be judged, because the way that you judge others will be the way that you will be judged, and you will be evaluated by the standard with which you evaluate others. "Why do you see the speck in your brother's eye but fail to notice the beam in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when the beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother's eye." "Never give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs. Otherwise, they will trample them with their feet and then turn around and attack you."

So here is our prayer today...Lord, help us to recognize each other by the spirit and to honor one another as we are sanctified and molded into your image. Cause us to remember your sacrifice and the grace gifts you gave us to lead and nurture us in our faith. Help us not to fight each other over differences, but to love and embrace what your Spirit is doing in our midst!

If you are involved harming others, think about it!

You are Loved!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Questions You Should Ask Yourself (2)



'Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.' Mark 10:43 NIV
I hope you noticed a pattern in these questions; they follow in line with what we believe God has us be as a church. The last month we have been looking at how we the church should fulfill the vision of God at CFW. How we should Engage, Belong, Serve, and Give. The next questions you should ask yourself are:
 
(1) Am I willing to serve others? You say you want to be a leader? Why? Until you answer that question with the right motives, God won’t promote you. Sometimes we just want to be in control. Other times we don’t want to pay the price for success. We just want the perks that come with it: a corner office, a higher salary, a respected title and the admiration of others. Jesus said, ‘Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.’ Leadership puts you in a position to take care of your own needs first—to set yourself up—before helping others. That’s always a temptation and it’s always wrong! You must genuinely care about people and help them to reach their potential. When you do that you’re honoring God and He will honor you.
 
(2) Am I doing what I’m called to do? ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.’ (Romans 12:6 NIV) Samuel Johnson said, ‘Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess…and gain applause which he cannot keep.’ If you’re harboring a mental image of the qualities talented people are supposed to have and you don’t possess, you’ll have a hard time finding your true strengths. Henry Ford remarked, ‘The question, “Who ought to be the boss?” is like asking,  “Who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?” Obviously, the man who can sing tenor.’ To succeed in life, you must know what God gifted you to do.
 
You are Loved!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Questions You Should Ask Yourself (1)



'Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.' Proverbs 4:7 NIV


All of us want to be good parents and we want our children to succeed. God isn't any different in His desires for us. But to succeed in life, you must periodically ask yourself two questions:
 
(1) Am I committed to personal growth? ‘Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.’ Keep reading, keep learning, keep asking questions. A Chinese proverb says, ‘He who asks is a fool for five minutes; he who doesn’t ask remains a fool forever.’ Some of us are like the little girl who thought she’d exhausted the subject of mathematics once she learned her twelve–times tables. When her grandfather asked with a twinkle, ‘What’s 13 times 13?’ she scoffed, ‘Don’t be silly, Grandpa, there’s no such thing!’ Your hunger for wisdom and knowledge determines your future. In order to keep giving out, you must keep taking in.
 
(2) Am I enjoying what I do? You’ll never fulfil your destiny doing something you despise. Passion lies at the core of true success and fulfilment; it’s the spark for your fuse. It energises you when those around you grow tired. It helps you come up with answers when others cease to have creative ideas and strengthens you when they drop out. It gives you courage to take risks while others crave security. When you lose your passion, two things happen: first, you fail to pursue excellence; second, you jeopardise your integrity, because you’re tempted to take shortcuts and compromise by settling for less than God intended. Clues to your destiny are found in those things that generates passion in you. When you find yourself working at what you love you’re being clued in to God’s purposes for you.
 
You are Loved!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Evidence



'He...saw...evidence of the grace of God.' Acts 11:23 NIV
Where there’s grace, there’s growth. And where there’s growth, there’s clear evidence of it. In my Acts 2 message yesterday the principle of belonging shows us there will be growth when we learn grace.
 
The church at Jerusalem sent Barnabas to the church at Antioch, and ‘when he arrived and saw…evidence of the grace of God, he was glad.’ As believers, we should be growing in ‘grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.’ (2 Peter 3:18 NIV) And there should be evidence of it!
 
When you accept Christ, He ‘[equips] you with everything good for doing His will’ (Hebrews 13:21 NIV); you become ‘a new creation…old things have gone; everything is made new!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17 NCV)
 
Grace makes you more caring and compassionate, and less critical and judgmental. It makes you slow to speak and quick to consider the other person’s point of view. You’re less likely to react in anger when things don’t go your way, and more likely to put the good of others ahead of your own (1 Corinthians 10:24). When you become a believer your role changes. You no longer have the job of looking out for your own interests; your job is to represent the interests of Jesus. You are the face of Jesus; showing up in the lives of others on His behalf… in hospitals… at funerals… at weddings… across the table as you share coffee with a friend… You’re on the job for Jesus, and the more you serve others in love, the more you’ll influence them toward Christ. Paul wrote, ‘Though I am free…I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.’ (1 Corinthians 9:19 NIV) That’s what it’s all about!
 
You are Loved!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Life Is About Choices (1)


'Daniel resolved not to.' Daniel 1:8 NIV

I absolutely love this Scripture...'Daniel resolved not to.' Daniel 1:8 NIV When Daniel was taken prisoner to Babylon, he was quickly promoted to leadership in the king’s palace. But as a Jew he refused to ‘defile himself with the royal food and wine’. Could his choice have affected his career, or even cost him his life? Absolutely! But what we choose to do under pressure results from one of two things:
 
(1) Clearly established convictions we live by.
 
(2) Fuzzy convictions we’re willing to compromise for personal gain.
 
Hard times don’t make you, they reveal you! In Leadership Gold John Maxwell writes: ‘After visiting twenty cities in seven days, it was good to be coming home! As the small private jet approached the runway, we were celebrating the success of the week. Then, in a moment, everything changed. The plane was hit by crosswinds and dropped straight down to the runway, the wheels hitting out of balance. All conversation stopped and our eyes widened as we realised we were in danger. The pilot, without hesitation, pushed the throttle and launched the plane back into the air… We all realised that could have been it! We sat quietly as the plane circled the airfield and a few minutes later we landed safely.’ As he got off the plane, John asked the captain, ‘When did you make the decision to put the plane back into the air?’ He replied, ‘Fifteen years ago.’ He went on to explain how as a young pilot in training, he decided in advance what decision he would make for every possible air problem. His decision was made long before the crisis. So have a gameplan in place before the problem arises.
 
You are Loved!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Prayer (5)


'...For we do not know what we should pray for' Romans 8:26 NKJV

Ever dialed 911 for an emergency? Prayer works like the emergency system. All you need to do is dial those numbers and you're instantly connected to an operator who is trained to keep calm in emergency situations and is able to connect with the emergency service required to send help straight away. You might not be able to say what the problem is. Perhaps a loved one has just suffered a heart attack and you are so out of control that all you can do is scream into the telephone. No problem. The operator doesn't need all the details. He knows where the call is coming from, and help is on the way.

There are times in our desperation and pain when we pray prayers that we just can't seem to get out. We're overwhelmed. Sometimes we don't know the words to speak. But God hears. He knows our name and our situation. Help is on the way; He's already begun to bring the remedy. 'Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.' (Romans 8:26-28 NKJV)

I love what John Bunyan said, 'In prayer it is better to have a heart without words, than words without a heart.'

You are Loved!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Prayer (4)



'He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him' Psalm 91:15 NKJV

I love the story of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, who boasted that anyone could know his personal email address if they wanted it. So when The New Yorker magazine published Gates' email address he quickly got into trouble with email overload. Now anyone on the internet was able to mail the computer genius. In no time he was swamped with thousands of messages-he simply couldn't handle it. So he armed his computer with software that filtered his email, allowing important messages through and sending all the others to electronic oblivion.

Each of us are limited; we can handle only so much and do only so much. God, on the other hand, never tires of s-mail (spirit mail). His ear is always open to our prayers, and He has an unlimited capacity to help. You'll never hear Him say, 'Due to an unusually high call volume I am unable to take your message at this time. Please call back or leave a message.' No, the Bible says, 'He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.' (Psalm 91:15 NKJV) '...the desire of the righteous will be granted.' (Proverbs 10:24 NKJV) '...the prayer of the upright is His delight.' (Proverbs 15:8 NKJV) 'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.' (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV) 'If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.' (John 15:7 NKJV)

So never give up in Prayer!
You are Loved!