Calvary Church

Calvary Church

Thursday, February 26, 2015

God Is at Work Within You (2)

'...God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.' Philippians 2:13 NLT

What an amazing thought this morning: ‘…It is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energising and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure…satisfaction and delight.’ (Philippians 2:13 AMP)

We have a tendency to allow 101 different things to crowd God out of our lives, so He creates within us the desire to do His will. When you desire to read your Bible, it’s God urging you to do it. When you desire to pray, it’s God moving you to do it. When you desire to give, it’s God motivating you to do it. Jesus said: ‘…I am the Vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing…If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!’ (John 15:5–7 NLT) Note the word ‘dwell’; it means to live in and take up residence. So as you live in close relationship with Christ, the desires conceived within you are desires He can fulfil. When you sense that God has put certain desires in your heart, it’s important to pray and ask for those things. If you’re not sure whether or not they’re from Him, pray: ‘Lord, I have desires in my heart that may be from you. If they are, please fulfill them, but if not I can be happy without them, because I am happy with You. Lord, I trust you.’ Always measure your desires by God’s Word so you continue abiding in the Vine.

You are Loved!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

God Is at Work Within You (1)

'...God, who began the good work within you, will continue...until it is finally finished...' Philippians 1:6 NLT

When Paul wrote to the Philippian believers, he told them God was at work in each of them. Think about the positive truth that each of us must grasp everyday. He wrote: I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.’ (Philippians 1:9–11 NLT)

I know what you may be thinking, ‘That’s a tall order!’ Yes, and you’ll never accomplish it through willpower, good intentions or self–effort. You must seek God for direction, submit to Him in all things, and draw strength from Him. Trying to do for yourself what only God can do is like trying to rob a bank legally; it doesn’t work. You must entrust to God the job of equipping you for the work He’s called you to do. Yes, you need to do your part, but don’t try to do God’s part! ‘…We all…beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory [degree by degree]…by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV) What is it that changes us? The Spirit of the Lord.’ He takes the pressure off, and relieves us of the stress and anxiety we so often feel when we try to ‘change’ ourselves.

You are Loved!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Taking Your Place in God's Family

'God places the lonely in families...' Psalm 68:6 NLT

Life in God’s family can be challenging. Having been in ministry for almost 30 years we've incurred everyone of those challenges at some point. But yet here we are loving the family of God more than we have ever before. When you come to the place you understand your role in God's family your church, there are three things that will help you keep your attitude right:

(1) Your rights. When you trusted Christ as your Saviour you became a member of God’s redeemed family (John 3:3–6). That means you have the right to be accepted, loved, protected, respected, provided for, trained, equipped, and rewarded. Regardless of your past mistakes, God guarantees you these rights, so embrace and enjoy them.

(2) The rules of the house. Without the rule of law, you end up with anarchy. And it’s the same in a family. Can you imagine what would happen if the kids ran the house? Well, God’s family isn’t a democracy. You don’t get to vote on the rules. God has established unchanging principles in His Word that guarantee His blessing. If you are…obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.’ (Isaiah 1:19 NKJV)

(3) Our responsibilities to one another. You’re called to accept, love and help your brothers and sisters even when they’re selfish, immature, critical and irresponsible. Remember that God’s family is still ‘under construction’, but it’s much better than any other alternative! You need to participate in regular family life and activities. Early church believers met together ‘daily’ (Acts 2:46); as a result they survived all Satan’s attempts to destroy them. So support the life and mission of your church family with your tithes, talent and time. Don’t just be a taker; ‘…God loves a cheerful giver.’ (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV)

You are Loved!

Monday, February 23, 2015

How to be an Influencer

‘Share in the troubles we have like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.’
I was thinking this morning after my devotions about our responsibility as believers. Salvation enlists you into the service of Jesus, the King of Kings. some of us never think of it this way, but His battles become our battles, and His strategies our strategies. There are no exemptions; you’re ‘in for the long haul’. Whether you like it or not, Satan has declared war on you, and it’s ‘conquer or be conquered’. He will attack you and not stop.
1. He will attack from the world. Do you ever feel like you don’t ‘fit in’? You’re not supposed to! ‘…Don’t you realise that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God’ (James 4:4 NLT).
The line has been drawn; there’s no peaceful coexistence in this war. What is ‘worldliness’? It’s not being in the world, but being like it. It’s not mixing with the world, but blending in with its self-centred values, its ‘relative’ morality and its attitudes toward God, His cause, His Word, and His people.
The world’s hunger for power, popularity and self-promotion contradicts the principles of Scripture. ‘…Genuine religion in the sight of God [is]…refusing to let the world corrupt you’ (James 1:27 NLT). Jesus told us to avoid becoming swept up in the world’s obsession with material things, or its fear of not having enough to meet our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). You are called to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ (Matthew 5:13-14). You are to be the influencer, not the influenced. When the world can’t tell you apart from them, your light has gone out and your salt has lost its flavor. So ask God to flavor you up an help your light burn bright again!
You are Loved!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How to Accomplish Great Things (3)

'...They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.' Nehemiah 2:18 NIV

All of us have some kind of dream. My dream has been and will always be is to fulfill the mission and vision of our church. Not all dreams are fulfilled and it’s said that of all the people who have dreams, only one out of ten will fulfil theirs. Why? Because the other nine never started!

To enter the Promised Land, the Israelites had to cross the Jordan River when it was in flood and they were afraid. But God told them that when the priests stepped into the water it would roll back. (See Joshua 3) It did, and they reached their destiny. So, what are you waiting for?

(1) Perfect conditions? You’ll never find them. Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.’ (Ecclesiastes 11:4 NIV) The New Living Translation says, ‘If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. You say, ‘I’m waiting for God to move.’ Has it occurred to you that maybe He’s waiting for you to move?

(2) Everybody to agree with you? When David announced his intention to fight Goliath, his older brother Eliab, a general in King Saul’s army, told him to go back home because he was embarrassing the family. But David refused to be put off or put down; instead, he went out and defeated the giant. And with God’s help you can too!

(3) Until you feel ‘qualified’? God doesn’t always call the qualified, but He always qualifies the called. Regardless of your education, nationality, or gender, God can use you. Oliver Wendell Holmes started studying Greek at eighty. When a friend asked him why, he replied, ‘Frankly, it’s now or never!’ Because Nehemiah was willing to start, God gave him a glorious finish. And He will do the same for you. So what are you waiting for? Get moving!

You are Loved!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How to Accomplish Great Things (2)

'...If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight...' Nehemiah 2:5 NIV

Thanks to everyone who wished Amy a Happy Birthday...she had a great day and was blessed by everyone's generosity. Thank you so much!

It's been a couple days but I want to continue to ask the question: How can we together Accomplish Great things for God?

Sunday I shared a message on the abundance of God; How we miss the boat by not asking God to Super-Size everything we ask for. When Jesus blessed the 2 fish and 5 loaves, the blessing only happened when the disciples believed and began to do the work of the blessing. Faith and action working together brings about great results.

When you study the lives of successful people, you’ll find they had vision, patience, determination, character and talent. And you’ll also find one more thing at work—favor. We need the favor of God on our lives. There are some closed doors that will open when you approach them in faith, and there are other doors that’ll open only with help from the right people. That’s when you need favor!

Alex Haley, the author of Roots, had a picture in his office. It was of a turtle sitting on top of a tall fencepost, and the caption read, ‘You can be sure he didn’t get up there by himself’! Nehemiah needed an army to protect him, and resources to enable him to build. So he prayed, then went to the one man who could provide what he needed: the king. He said,If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favour in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.’ (Nehemiah 2:5 NIV) And the king did.

There’s an important lesson here: when your heart is set on promoting God’s kingdom, He will give you ‘kingdom connections’. But be careful; your help may not always come via the people you expect, agree with, or even like. God used a heathen king to help Nehemiah, and He used a penniless widow to feed the prophet Elijah. Don’t dictate to God who He can and cannot use. Just pray for favor, expect it, and accept it with thanks in whatever form He sends it.

You are Loved!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How to Accomplish Great Things (1)

'When I heard these things, I sat down and wept...' Nehemiah 1:4 NIV

In spite of impossible odds and implacable enemies, Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in just 52 days. It was an incredible accomplishment! And he wasn’t even a builder; he was a waiter in the palace of Artaxerxes, a heathen king. Pioneer rocket scientist Robert Goddard said, ‘It’s difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.’ So before you say, ‘It can’t be done,’ or ‘I don’t have the qualifications,’ let’s examine Nehemiah’s story for the next few days.

The first lesson we learn is: you must find a need that moves you. They said to me… “The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned…fasted and prayed before…God…’ (Nehemiah 1:3–4 NIV) And what did Nehemiah fast and pray for? ‘…Give your servant success…’ (Nehemiah 1:11 NIV) When you find a need that moves you to tears and causes you to say, ‘Something must be done about this!’ the chances are that God’s calling you to do something. You may be a leader like Nehemiah, or you may simply be like one of the followers who helped him. Either way, when God stirs your heart about a need, He’s calling you to get involved and take action. If you’re willing to say, ‘Yes!’ then He’ll place Heaven’s resources at your disposal. When your heart says, ‘This is what I was born to do,’ you may have found your life’s vision.

More tomorrow...You are Loved!