Calvary Church

Calvary Church

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Power of Prayer

'Pray without ceasing.' 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV

When the Bible says, ‘Pray without ceasing,’ that means pray every day, not just periodically or when you’re in trouble. ‘The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.’ (James 5:16 NKJV) The word ‘fervent’ means passionate, persistent and determined. It’s not the number of our prayers, how many they are; nor the rhetoric of our prayers, how eloquent they may be; nor the geometry of our prayers, how long they may be; nor the music of our prayers, how sweet our voice may be; nor the logic of our prayers, how argumentative they may be; nor the method of our prayers, how orderly they may be; nor even the theology of our prayers, how good the doctrine is, that God responds to.

Fervency of spirit is what ‘avails much’. The most powerful thing you can do is pray! And when you join with a prayer partner, your potential is awesome. ‘If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that [you] ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven.’ (Matthew 18:19 NKJV) It works like this: the less you pray, the less you want to pray; the more you pray, the more you want to pray. Nothing will motivate you to pray like answered prayer. But you can’t start with the answer; you’ve got to start with the prayer! Here’s a fact of life: we only keep doing what rewards us. So the key to building a great prayer life is to pray until you get answers. Think how deeply rooted doubt has actually become in our hearts when we’re surprised to find our prayers answered! So pray in faith and expect God to answer!

You are Loved!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Three Important Questions You Must Ask


'So be careful how you live... Make the most of every opportunity...' Ephesians 5:15-16 NLT

Following a plan is like using a GPS device (Global Positioning System). If you have a smart phone it has GPS and maps. It knows where you are, you tell it where you want to go, and it creates a personalised road map. The difference between a GPS and you is you have to create all your own turn–by–turn directions.

Mark Twain said, ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting the first one.’

To reach your destination you must ask yourself three questions:
(1) What’s my present position? It’s impossible to ignore the reality of where you are right now and still be successful. The former CEO of General Electric observed, ‘Strategic management is trying to understand where you will sit in tomorrow’s world, not where you hope to sit; it’s assessing where you want to be, and where you can be.’

(2) What’s my desired destination? Write down what your dream will look like when you’ve achieved it. Henry J. Kaiser, founder of Kaiser–Permanente health care system, said, ‘The evidence is overwhelming that you cannot begin to achieve your best unless you have some aim in life.’

(3) What are the in–between steps? Don’t expect them to be quick or easy. Creativity is messy. It’s far from an exact science. But unless you know where you want to go and identify the steps that will get you there, ten years from now you’ll still be where you are today. So Make the most of every opportunity.

You are Loved!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Love Your Pastor

'He...gave some to be...pastors.' Ephesians 4:11 NKJV
 
I don't do this often; talk about myself. But since it is pastor appreciation month I thought I would share something I received from a friend.
 
"Pastors have a tough job. They get more kicks than kisses. If a pastor is young, he lacks experience; if he’s grey–haired, he’s too old. If he has five kids, he has too many; if he has none, he’s setting a bad example. If his wife sings in the worship team, she’s being forward; if not, she’s not dedicated enough. If he preaches from notes, he’s dry; if his words are impromptu, he’s too shallow. If he spends too much time in his study, he’s neglecting his people; if he makes home visits, he’s not a good time manager. If he’s attentive to the poor, he’s after public approval; if he attends to the wealthy, he’s ingratiating. If he suggests improvements, he’s a dictator; if he doesn’t, he has no vision. If he uses too many illustrations, he neglects the Bible; if he doesn’t use enough stories, he’s unclear. If he speaks against wrong, he’s legalistic; if he doesn’t, he’s a compromiser. If he preaches for an hour, he’s windy; less than that, he has nothing to say. If he preaches the truth, he’s offensive; if he doesn’t, he’s wishy–washy. If he fails to please everybody, he’s hurting the church; if he tries to please everybody, he has no convictions. If he preaches tithing, he’s a money–grabber; if not, he’s failing to develop his people. If he receives a large salary, he’s mercenary; if he doesn’t, it proves he’s not worth much. If he preaches on a regular basis, people get tired of hearing the same person; if he invites guest preachers, he’s shirking his responsibility." Wow! And you thought your pastor has an easy life! How’d you like to change places? Bottom line: We need your Love and prayers!

By the way...You are Loved!

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!