Calvary Church

Calvary Church

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Others Are Watching You

Others Are Watching You
'In everything set them an example.' Titus 2:7 NIV

As I was researching for my message this week it hit me, are we setting the example as a believer that we should? In Jon Walkers book he shares the story about his dad. "Smoke rose over a neighborhood where 18 people died and 850 had been arrested in street riots. 'My dad, a special investigator for a government agency, sat with me watching the violence on TV. In a matter-of-fact manner, he said, "That's exactly where I'm scheduled to be today..." I said, "Why go?... Tell them you can't come...reschedule..." He looked at me and said, "Why wouldn't I go? It's my job."' Walker continues, 'It was an Aha moment for me... of course he'd go. He'd made a commitment... to be where he was supposed to be, regardless of circumstances. The same way he flew Cold War reconnaissance missions... the same way he took pictures showing Cuban missile sites being assembled... the same way he stood with me day in and day out throughout his life. In that moment I grasped the example. I understood the importance of remaining committed, regardless of the difficulty or how unreasonable it might seem... My dad spoke more by what he did than by what he said... his example became the story of God at work in a human life."

Question: What would happen if people followed your example instead of your advice when it comes to your work ethic, your online computer use, your integrity in business, and how you treat your family?

Be honest! Paul challenges each of us to 'be an example...in word... conduct... love... spirit... faith... purity.' (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV) He told Titus, 'In everything set them an example by doing what is good... show integrity.' If you think that sounds like a tall order - you're right. But 'His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.' (2 Peter 1:3 NIV)

Be the Right Example!
You are Loved!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Volunteers, Not Conscripts

Volunteers, Not Conscripts
'Whatever we do, it is...because Christ's love controls us now.' 2 Corinthians 5:14 TLB

 
Paul writes, 'Whatever we do, it is certainly not for our own profit, but because Christ's love controls us now.'

God is looking for volunteers, not conscripts. What's a conscript? Conscripts are motivated by law; volunteers are motivated by love; big difference.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, enlistment centers all over America were jammed with boys too young to fight, men who had retired, and even the blind. One elderly man said to a recruitment officer, 'I'd consider it my greatest privilege to die defending this country.' Why do men and women do this? Duty? Yes, but something even greater - devotion! Their hearts have been captured by a cause. This is the point: are you captured for the cause of Christ?

Facing the loss of his freedom, his ministry and possibly his life, Martin Luther told the ecclesiastical powers of his day, 'I will not recant. My conscience is captive to the Word of God!'

Your Pastor, No one, should ever have to beg and pressure you to teach a Sunday school class, work with young people, give to the cause of Christ through your tithe, visit the sick, lonely and needy, or serve others. You should be begging for the privilege!

Paul said, 'What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ... for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.' (Philippians 3:7-8 KJV) Commitment to Christ is like signing your name on a blank check and saying, 'Lord, You fill in the amount.' You're not doing God a favor by serving Him; He's honoring you by allowing you to serve Him. Today, measure what you would do for the Lord - by what you actually do.

You are Loved!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Three Principles of Successful Living

Three Principles of Success

'That you may be successful wherever you go.' Joshua 1:7 NIV

God wants you to succeed in life (Joshua 1:8).

Yes, stop for a moment and let that thought of negativism go away. Once you're convinced of that:

(1) Take into account your temperament. A fillet steak cooks best at a very high heat for a short time, but a roast joint cooks best at a lower heat for a longer time. You can tell I like meat....Either way, you can have a delicious meal. You just need to know what kind of meat you have, and how to cook it. Are you getting the point?

(2) Overcome your fear of being different from others. Because Daniel wouldn't obey the decree only to pray to the king and not God, he landed in a lion's den. But he came out, and prospered in a top spot in government (Daniel 6:28). You can't be part of the crowd and still 'stand out'. To achieve great things you must trust God, disregard the negative opinions of people and pursue your destiny.

(3) Resist the apathy that often accompanies ageing. Keep the enthusiasm of your youth and mix it with the wisdom of your old age. Don't lose your sense of idealism. Don't let day-to-day difficulties discourage you or allow life's disappointments to get you down. At every age and stage of life there are obstacles and advantages, trials and triumphs. It's up to you to make the most of the positive, and not let the negative derail you. You are Gods magnificent creation! So don't give up!

Look at Paul who was about 70 at the time, he said, 'I am ready to come... to... Rome to preach.' (Romans 1:15 TLB) At eighty, Moses led Israel out of slavery. At eighty-five, Caleb said, 'Give me the mountain...the Lord promised me.' (Joshua 14:12 NCV) You're only 'old' when your regrets take the place of your dreams. So be a dreamer and lets do some amazing things for God this year.

Love you Much!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mission Through Community

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 "Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn't hold people's faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others. Therefore, we are Christ's representatives, and through us God is calling you. We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God. God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin so that we might receive God's approval through him."


 
Yesterday in our morning service I shared on keeping our church's spiritual axe sharp in community. This morning I want to continue with the theme of community looking at what our mission should be in fulfilling community in our lives.

Our number one mission, our divine appointment, is to be ambassadors of Christ! In all of the stress, and worry of attempting to find our personal “calling,” we must remember our responsibility as adopted sons and daughters of the Holy One. We’ve been brought to life. Rescued from death, and now have been commissioned to share the message of God’s reconciliation through community.

How each of us does this will look different. Some of us will lead families, others businesses, and others churches. All of us playing our part in the reconciliation of the world. That’s the beauty of the Church. All of its many parts gathered as one body, pointing the world towards Christ Jesus. The question is how will you lead in doing this? Our mission is this, that we would live lives worthy of the Gospel, that we would allow ourselves to be internally changed, that we would create external effect that loves the world to Jesus.
Will you pray with me: God, this world is yours, everything in it is yours. I am yours, do with my life what you will. Help me to release the things of my flesh, so that I may be transformed according to your Spirit. Give me a heart for those around me, a burden for my community that compels me to fulfill the mission you have may give him. Teach me to clothe myself in you, to speak your words and offer your hands.


You are Loved!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Love Your Church - Jesus Does!

Love Your Church - Jesus Does!

'You too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives.' Ephesians 2:22 NIV
Jesus lives in each of those who make up His church. Scripture tells us 'You are... members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.' (Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV) Nothing is nearer and dearer to the heart of God than His church. 'Christ... loved the church and gave Himself for her.' (Ephesians 5:25 NKJV)

His greatest interest, and the core of His eternal purpose, is that 'through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.' (Ephesians 3:10 NIV) You ask, 'How can I become a member of Christ's church?' It's a family; you must be born into it. That's why Jesus told Nicodemus, 'You must be born again.' (John 3:7 NKJV) You don't get in by shaking a preacher's hand, filling out a membership card or making a donation to the building fund. The Bible says, 'Receive one another, just as Christ...received [you].' (Romans 15:7 NKJV) How cool is that. One of the things I love about our church is that we practice "receiving people just like you."

But once you've accepted Christ and He has accepted you, you're 'in'. Nothing me or anyone else does...it's all about what Jesus has done for you. In God's eyes you're a bona fide, blood-washed, Heaven-bound member of His family. The Bible says, 'The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved' (Acts 2:47 KJV) - and when He adds you, there's not a soul on earth who can subtract you!

You are Loved!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Forgive Them and Get on With It!

Forgive Them, and Let It Go!
 
'Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.' Matthew 5:44 NKJV

People will harm you! I know; how can I say such a thing. But it happens everyday to even the most spiritual of us. We must be careful we don't carry an unforgiving attitude that can keep us from moving forward in life. So get serious about forgiving the one who hurt you? You say, 'But then they'll have got away with it.' They're not getting away with anything! God is qualified to judge; you're not. Remember, your critics are making decisions about you based on limited information, but God knows the truth and He will deal with your detractors in His own time. So stop trying to defend yourself and prove them wrong, you're stepping into territory that belongs exclusively to God.

The Bible says: 'Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone... never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the Lord. Instead, if your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads. Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.' (Romans 12:17-21 NLT)

Satan's goal is to get you all tied up in knots and steal your peace. Don't play into his hands! Christ, your example, prayed for those who drove the nails into His hands: 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' (Luke 23:34 KJV) Your enemies may think they're smart, but often they're acting in ignorance. Don't come down to their level by retaliating. Forgive them, and let it go.

Remember, your value is not based on what others think of you! Your value comes from God. You are Loved!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Todays Thought - 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 "Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn't hold people's faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others. Therefore, we are Christ's representatives, and through us God is calling you. We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God. God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin so that we might receive God's approval through him."
 
 
Good Morning,
Great service yesterday as we walked through the process of keeping our spiritual axe sharp as we live out our mission, our divine appointment, as ambassadors of Christ.
In your personal “calling,” remember your responsibility as adopted sons and daughters of the Holy One. We’ve been brought to life. Rescued from death, and now share the message of God’s reconciliation.

How each of us does this will look different. Some of us will lead families, others businesses, and others churches. The amazing thing is that when we live in unity with each other, God opens our eyes, and all of a sudden we see ourselves playing our part in the reconciliation of the world. That’s the beauty of the Church. All of its many parts gathered as one body, pointing the world towards Christ Jesus!

The question is how will you do that? Our mission is this, that we would live lives worthy of the Gospel, that we would allow ourselves to be internally changed, that we would create external effect, and in His way, reconcile the world to His will.

I want to pray for you today...God, this world is yours, everything in it is yours. I am yours, do with my life what you will. Help me to release the things of my flesh, so that I may be transformed according to your Spirit. Give me a heart for those around me, a burden for my community that compels me to fulfill the mission you have may give him. Teach me to clothe myself in you, to speak your words and offer your hands.

You are Loved!