Calvary Church

Calvary Church

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Be Flexible in all you Do

'The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.' Psalm 37:23 NKJV
The Psalmist writes, ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.’ (Psalm 37:23–24 NKJV)

There are three things God desires from us:
(1) God delights in the fact that you’re willing to step out in faith and try.
(2) He doesn’t guarantee that you won’t stumble, but that ultimately He won’t let you fail.
(3) When you feel like you can’t go on, He will uphold and strengthen you.

What more could you ask for? God never changes, but life does. So you must be ready to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, is credited with having been a visionary leader. His dream was to provide value to customers in order to improve their lives. But he was notorious for changing plans and abandoning strategies that didn’t work. Sam’s son Jim Walton admitted, ‘We all laughed at some writers who viewed Dad as a grand strategist who intuitively developed complex plans and implemented them with precision. Dad thrived on change, and no decision was ever sacred.’ What good is a well–planned strategy if it doesn’t yield good results? 

God is more committed to the vision He’s given you than you are. But when He leads you in a new direction, you must be ready to follow Him. Like Israel in the wilderness, when the guiding cloud moved they had to move with it. The same goes for you. So, be flexible.

You are Loved!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Power of Prayer has a Three Fold Potential (3)

Prayer will personally awaken you spiritually

 


 Jude 1:20-21 “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

 

Charles Spurgeon wrote; “in the ark of salvation we find a lower, second, and third story; all are in the ark but all are not on the same story. Most Christians, as to the river of experience, are only up to the ankles; some others have waded until the stream is up to the knees; a few find it breast high; but only a few! How few find it a river to swim in, the bottom of which they cannot touch. Wise is a person who learns to pray with this prevailing power. Such a one will not only participate in changing the world, but will watch a continual change in his or her personal life.”

Spiritual growth comes through prayer as you learn to love Jesus.
Prayer has the capacity to change you, and Who of us doesn't desire a closer relationship with Christ.
 
Paul told the Philippians in 3:10 “I want to know Christ—I want to know Him.” To know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”

When I was young believer I didn’t get what Paul was saying in PHP 3. It seemed like way to much work. My question was, God you want me to know Christ? Your relationship with Christ has to be more than a surface relationship. When I was stalking my wife, I wanted to know her, be with her, love her, and die old with her. That is what Paul is saying here. I tell her that all the time. We need to tell Christ that all the time.

Finally, The bible tells us that you have the power and…
Capacity to change the church through prayer because of your relationship with Christ.

Circumstances change because we pray. A joyful, loving, and caring church is one which keeps each other in prayer. The opposite is an unjoyful, unloving, uncaring Christian community. When we fail to remember and support each other in prayer there are missed opportunities because we are not listening to God with an open mind and heart.

Christian community without prayer is not possible. It’s like trying to cook a good meal without the necessary equipment; or fix a car without the necessary tools and repairs—it is not possible. Prayer not only gives us the necessary resources to be the community God wants us to be and accomplish the tasks he wants us to do; prayer also changes our impossible situations into possible ones.

The bible tells us we have the Capacity to change the World through prayer

More importantly, prayer changes us to change our world! Prayer transforms our harmful attitudes and behaviors. So as Paul would say, never underestimate the power of your prayers—God works miracles through them.
When we take on the task of prayer amazing stuff happens.

Prayer: we [express our hearts to God in Prayer] by believing God for an expanding multitude of growing Christians that are learning to walk in intimacy with Him; Believing God for the impossible.
 
You are Loved!

 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Power of Prayer has a Three Fold Potential (2)





 
     Christian Unity comes about Through Prayer.

We become unified in heart and purpose when we pray together. Prayer unifies us to the mission of Christ. But Disunity on the other hand, is one of the biggest factors that break apart people and churches. I love the phrase there is power in our words; because we can use our words to uplift or teardown.
Paul encourages the Philippians to do something incredible and use their words and actions to uplift.

Php 2:12-16  “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life."

Do you want to Shine? Then don't grumble and complain. Were does grumbling lead us?

To dis·uni·ty

The state of not being able to agree about important things: lack of unity; especially: dissension

We have a choice everyday to choose unity or Dissention. To work out our salvation or to complain about it. In the church unity is a hard balancing act. We all want to do it our way or to see it done our way. When things get done differently we rebel. Luke shared about the church that was in unity and harmony with one another in Acts 4:31-35; this is what the church should be like.

Act 4:31 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”

What was the church to be?
One heart - one mind
They shared their possessions
They testified to the resurrection of Jesus, they were about making peoples days better through Christ.
Grace was upon them
They were givers

This is what happens when People are functioning in Spiritual unity. It brings people of various backgrounds together at the throne of grace. Prayer is the factor that changes our world. More tomorrow...
 
You are Loved!

 


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Power of Prayer has a threefold Potential!


The Power of Prayer has a Threefold Potential!


We know God commands us to pray. We know that it is his will. When we pray, we are being obedient. Every time the church prayed in Acts, they received power and God received glory. When we pray and ask God to make us a praying individual or church that is a powerful thing.  

Visions come in many fascinating ways. God has always given me a vision for a praying church. I have always asked God to fill us to capacity spiritually, even though it is not on me to make that happen. It’s upon us to allow God to work in our lives because we know Christianity is not just a social club, but a life changing moment in our lives when Jesus Christ comes into our heart. Paul explained that simply as “we have become a new creation.” The new creation we have become leads us to relationship with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Prayer is just a natural part of that relationship.

There are lot of definitions I could use but let me put it this way: Why is prayer so important? Because Someone prayed for you!  Someone cared enough to spend energy praying that you would come to know Jesus. You wouldn’t be here if someone hadn’t been praying for you or being an example of Christ in your life.

The vision we have here at Calvary is for a praying church that asks God how can we reach those who need Jesus by making someone’s day better through prayer. Making someone’s day better isn’t just about doing something for them, it’s much more.

The next step in being there for people is to pray for them. Evangelism and prayer go hand in hand.

1.   Prayer will help us fulfill the Great Commission…

 Reaching our community is simply praying for one person at a time. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus tells us, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

We are commanded to make disciples. That seems big, but the “we” is the church. The church’s task: goal, responsibility, and commissioning is to preach the gospel of repentance and forgiveness. We pray in the harvest…

This year was the first year I got cherries on our rainier cherry tree. That tree had sat there for three years and never gave us any fruit. Then one day Larry asks me if I had ever pruned the tree? Of course I hadn’t; so he prunes it and guess what? I get cherries.

When we are looking at the great commission it isn’t about us just witnessing to people, we need to pray for them as well. 

Jesus was speaking to His disciples in Matthew 9:37&38 “Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

The word “ask” that is used in the NIV; in the Kings James the word is “Pray therefore.” We are to pray to the Lord of the harvest for others to come into His kingdom.

The Greek word for prayer is Deomai, and it  Means…
1) to want to
2) to desire, long for
3) to ask, beg
3a) beseech
3b) to pray, make supplications, entreat

If we want to see the others come to Christ then we must pray for the Lord of the harvest to help us. I hope you will be a part of making that happen in our church and community.
You are Loved!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Eye-Opening

'Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them.' Luke 24:15 NIV



As I was drinking my coffee this morning and reading in Luke following the crucifixion; Cleopas and his companion were on the road that led home to Emmaus. That’s when ‘Jesus himself came up and walked along with them.’ Their hopes lay buried in a tomb; their faith had turned to doubt. So what did Jesus do? He held a Bible study! ‘Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.’ (Luke 24:27 NLT)

Jesus knows that when you’re walking the road of doubt, you need to get into His Word and get it into you. I know you here that from me often, but it is true. When you get into God's word, three things happen:
(1) Your eyes will be opened. ‘Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him.’ (Luke 24:31 NKJV) There are things you will only see when God reveals them to you through His Word. That’s why Bible reading must be one of your highest priorities.
(2) Your heart will burn. ‘They said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us?”’ (Luke 24:32 NKJV) When you put God’s Word to work and begin to walk out its precepts, it will energize you and change your life.
(3) You’ll want to tell everybody. ‘They rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed.”’ (Luke 24:33–34 NKJV) You say, ‘But I’m timid, and not very good with words.’ When you truly fall in love, you’ll find a way to express it. So today look for an opportunity to tell someone what Jesus has done for you. Why don't you make their day better!

You are Loved!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Growing Your Hope

'Lord, where do I put my hope?' Psalm 39:7 NLT
The bible tells us to ask for more faith, because without faith "it is impossible to please God." Faith and hope go hand in hand. In Psalm 39:7 David asks the question, "where do I put my hope?" So if you find yourself in a place were you are asking that question:

 (1) Admit how you feel. That doesn’t mean sitting around wallowing in negativity; it means trusting God enough to acknowledge how you really feel. Pretending things are fine when they’re not, makes it harder to get back up. We all have down times. The Psalmist asked God to help him cope with despondency (Psalms 42–43). And at one point Paul was under so much pressure he ‘despaired even of life.’ (2 Corinthians 1:8 NKJV)

(2) Identify the source. Discouragement often comes on the heels of a setback or disappointment. Did something you set your heart on fall apart? Were your hopes unrealistic to start with? Did somebody let you down? Or is your dejection coming from a generalised feeling of burnout?

(3) Talk with a trusted counsellor. Solomon said, ‘…there is safety in having many advisers.’ (Proverbs 11:14 NLT) Don’t let pride prevent you from opening up to those who will listen empathetically and respond wisely. Talking to the right people can lessen your sense of isolation, and also pave the way for others who are hurting to do the same.

(4) Be open before God. He, not fate or circumstances, gets to write the last chapter. Maybe He’s trying to teach you something or redirect your energies. David said, ‘Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in You.’ When your hope is in God, He replaces discouragement with confidence so that what you’re going through can become a path to spiritual growth.

You are Loved!

Monday, October 13, 2014

When Prayer Is Hard Work (1)

Laboring fervently for you in prayers.' Colossians 4:12 NKJV

Paul writes, ‘Epaphras, who is…always laboring fervently for you in prayers.’ Sometimes praying for others feels like ‘laboring’. You have a hard time just uttering a few words even. Once you understand and accept that prayer won’t discourage you. You can smile and tell yourself, ‘This is the way the Bible says it will be sometimes.’

G. Campbell Morgan said, ‘A man may offer a prayer, beautiful in diction and perfect in the number of its petitions. But if it gives him gratification afterwards, that prayer cannot have been truly prayed.’ What did he mean? Simply this: you’ll feel good after you’ve prayed, but your goal isn’t to feel good about the fact that you have prayed, or that you felt particularly good during the process.

Observe: (1) Prayer is a duty. It’s like going to work. You do it because it’s a commitment, and because of the rewards it brings.
(2) Prayer is a discipline. The old–timers used to talk about ‘praying through’. Through what? Through fatigue, through fears, and every other form of resistance and distraction. When you enter the ‘prayer zone’, Satan will fight you at every turn. But when you stand in the name of Jesus, the powers of darkness will retreat and you’ll prevail (John 14:13–14).
(3) Prayer is a delight. It won’t happen every time, but if you’re faithful to the place of prayer there’ll be times when your whole being will be conscious that God is present, answering your prayer and giving you guidance. And even when the answer isn’t completely clear, you’ll leave His presence saying, ‘Now I have peace about it.’

You are Loved!