Calvary Church

Calvary Church

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'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!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Todays Thought - Galatians 5:22-26

Galatians 5:22-26 "But the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There are no laws against things like that. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their corrupt nature along with its passions and desires. If we live by our spiritual nature, then our lives need to conform to our spiritual nature. We can't allow ourselves to act arrogantly and to provoke or envy each other."

I've shared with you already that each of us is a leader in some form or capacity. The last couple of my blogs lead us to the question you must ask yourself today? Will I trust God's Spirit? As a believer/leader there is no choosing to lead through the Spirit of God without choosing to be changed by the Spirit. The way we speak, the way we act, even the way we feel, these things must shift as we change from leading in our own strengths to leading out of the strength of God. Our naturally selfish ambitions, even when cast through the lens of good intention, have to begin to fall away as they have been crucified with Christ. To be great in God's eyes we must come to Him with humility, having accepted that the fruit of the Spirit is beyond what we could accomplish alone, and it’s through Christ that we are empowered to access this fruit.

What is not cultivated in secret cannot be called upon in public. We have to pray for the transformative power of the Spirit to work His way in our hearts and minds, changing us forever, so our lives are not a fa├žade, but a reflection of His power at work within us. Today is a new day. Trust the will and work of God in your life, and ask Him where you need Him to work. He’s faithful to respond, and He works in your life, watch Him begin to work in the lives of others through you.

You are Loved!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Todays Thought - 2 Corinthians 2:1-5

2 Corinthians 2:1-5 "I decided not to visit you again while I was distressed.
 After all, if I had made you uncomfortable, how could you have cheered me up when you were uncomfortable? This is the very reason I wrote to you. I didn't want to visit you and be distressed by those who should make me happy. I'm confident about all of you that whatever makes me happy also makes you happy. I was deeply troubled and anguished. In fact, I had tears in my eyes when I wrote to you. I didn't write to make you uncomfortable but to let you know how much I love you. If someone caused distress, I'm not the one really affected. To some extent-although I don't want to emphasize this too much-it has affected all of you."

Todays Thought
What does the way you lead say about how you trust Jesus? Too often we believe that great leadership is about praying for a crowd or convincing a group to follow us because of our accomplishments and acumens. We’ve declared that, “We will not boast in anything; no gifts, no power, no wisdom,” and yet the story of our days tells a very different tale. Somewhere we’ve bought into the lie that what people are looking for is inspiration through eloquent speeches. We’ve forgotten that the most powerful way we can lead is by pointing us towards Jesus.

Some of us are faced with undoing generations of failed leadership. Some of us come from incredible men and women, but good or bad, the answer to how you will lead begins and ends with Jesus, it’s only through His power that our view of leadership will change. We start by seeking Him, knowing Him, being transformed to be more like Him. The more we look, act, love, and lead like Jesus, the more impactful our leadership will be to the world around us. So start learning to be a leader, our church depends on you taking the next step!

You are Loved!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Todays Thought - 2 Peter 1:3-9

2 Peter 1:3-9 "God's divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness. This power was given to us through knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and integrity. Through his glory and integrity he has given us his promises that are of the highest value. Through these promises you will share in the divine nature because you have escaped the corruption that sinful desires cause in the world. Because of this, make every effort to add integrity to your faith; and to integrity add knowledge; to knowledge add self-control; to self-control add endurance; to endurance add godliness; to godliness add Christian affection; and to Christian affection add love. If you have these qualities and they are increasing, it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive. If these qualities aren't present in your life, you're shortsighted and have forgotten that you were cleansed from your past sins."

Todays Thought
I want to continue with looking at the leader inside you. You are not alone if you struggle in this area. You do not lead through your own ability. You do not love through your own affection or withstand temptation through your own power. You have been given everything you need through the Holy Spirit. He is with you. The lie about leadership is that it is lonely; that you are alone in your decision-making and responsibility. But the truth of scripture is that you are beloved by God. You are loved and cared for by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit whose power flows through you now. As you use the gifts and talents God has given you, your capacity for life changing leadership is directly related to your willingness to be led, not your eagerness to perform. Lean in to the promises of God, allow Him to mature you in goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, and love; true hallmarks of a leader worth following. Allow yourself to be transformed and created anew, cast down the foolishness of pride and attempting to carry your own life, and the lives of others on your shoulders. You’ve been given everything you need for a godly life, now receive it.
Will you pray this prayer today...Holy Spirit, I am a changed person, brought to life through Your power and called for Your purpose. Thank you that You are ever with me. Thank you that when I am most afraid, tired, and stressed, You are there. Thank you that when I celebrate, when I laugh, when my heart is full of joy, You are there. Yet there are times when I forget you have never left me, times when I struggle, strain, and crush myself trying to carry this life alone. Holy Spirit, help me to remember You are here, right now.

At all times, help me to turn to You for strength, wisdom, and love. Be my affirmation and my security. Be my understanding and love. You have called and equipped me for a purpose. May I never search the things of this world for what you have already given me. I lead myself, and others, through You and You alone. Amen.
You are Loved!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Todays Thought - Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2 "Don't become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants-what is good, pleasing, and perfect."

Todays Thought
For the next few days I want to focus on leadership. The creation and cultivation of leadership is birthed in the quiet, unseen moments. It’s in these times that we are crafted into who we truly are. Too often we view leadership as purely outward, thinking only of how we will climb the next mountain, or overcome the next obstacle without considering who we will be when we do. But true leadership, great leadership, starts within. I know you may be thinking I'm just not a leader. Everyone is a leader in some capacity in their life. How you trust God in the place of leadership you are in will determine who you become.

The Father sees you, He wants for you far more than what you can conceive. Don’t miss out on His whispers because you have filled your head and heart with your own words. It is never too late to ask God to begin to clear away the distractions and to focus your heart on knowing His will. It’s in these moments where your ability to help others do the same will develop. After all, you can’t lead people to a place you’ve never been. It’s a simple prayer, but it will change the way you live and the way you lead, forever. Father help me seek you as I seek to help others as I lead them to you!

You are loved!