Thursday, May 24, 2012

Work at Resting - Pastor Kristin

Hebrews teaches a principle that at first glance may seem confusing but is one of the most important truths to our relationship with Christ.    So many times our walk with the Lord is focused on yielding but this chapter is about us going after something aggressively.  This is how different translations word it.  We must labor, strive, be diligent, do our best, and keep at it.  And what is it that we should be so diligent to go after … rest.  It seems like an oxymoron but we have to strive to rest. 

Hebrews 4:11 (kjv) "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."

So how do we enter into the rest?  Believing daily God meets our every need.  I love how the amplified Bible puts it…

Hebrews 4:2 "For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; [neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe). 3For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest, in accordance with His declaration that those [who did not believe] should not enter when He said, As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest; and this He said although [His] works had been completed and prepared [and waiting for all who would believe] from the foundation of the world."

We have to work at resting in God’s complete and prepared work for our lives. Many times there will be things that will make us feel unsure but we have to push past the uncertainties into the rest of God. 

Before my life began
I was in Your hand
For every provision You already paid the price
I have been put into the all sufficiency of Christ
What can keep me from entering in?
Is it weakness or sin?
No only my unbelief
Can be the thief
I will not let doubt have a voice
Resting in You is my choice

Thursday, May 17, 2012

God’s Purpose or Mine? - Pastor Reeves

Mark 6:45 "He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side."

We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.

What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea” (Mark 6:49). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.

God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.

God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

How Natural Is The Supernatural? - Pastor Enid

I recently read a statement that made me pause and think about it.  And the more I have meditated upon that statement, the more thought it seems to provoke.  The statement is, "To us there are two realms- the natural and the supernatural.  To God there is only one- the natural."  At first glance I thought it may be a typo, because we all know that God operates in the supernatural.  But then I realized that what we categorize as supernatural is God's is natural for Him to operate in the supernatural.

The thing that impacted me was the discovery that I too often accept the limitations that the "natural" realm imposes.  I am quick to have faith that God can perform the miraculous, but I sometimes forget that to Him it is completely normal to do so.  And what seems like a big deal to me, probably isn't such a big deal to God because He doesn't even consider my circumstance from the perspective of my "natural".  He looks at our circumstances from a perspective where nothing is impossible-- in fact, nothing is even difficult.  From the perspective of One who is almighty, the amount of effort required is not even a consideration.

I wonder how many times we look at a circumstance or problem and too quickly accept that "it is what it is."  Because while that may be true from a human perspective, as believers we know that sometimes it isn't what it is, or conversely it is what it isn't.  And when God deposits inside of us the power that raised Christ from the dead, He intends for us to use it-- not just for "supernatural" occasions, but for everyday life.  So my goal this week has been to train my mind that supernatural shouldn't be saved for special occasions or emergencies.  That there is not a limited supply of supernatural that I must be prudent not to waste on the small things lest it won't be there for me when I truly need it.  The supernatural isn't the little black dress I pull out of the closet a couple times of's the favorite pair of jeans that I am either wearing or washing on any given day.  Or my most comfortable pair of flip flops that I wish I could wear with every outfit.

So take a minute and ask yourself "how natural is the supernatural to me?"  Because it's possible that the mountain that is standing in your way is something God has already given you the authority to move.   

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Nature - Pastor Kristin

Iwas listening to an audio book the other day when the writer asked a questionthat made me stop and take inventory. Heasked, “Why is a lamb so gentle or a wolf so aggressive? Does it have to makean effort to be? No, it is itsnature.” Are the fruits of the Spiritbeing formed in us or do we try to display them in our strength? Paul taught this same principle inEphesians.

 Ephesians 4: 21Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus,22 throw off your old evilnature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, fullof lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritualrenewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You mustdisplay a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness --righteous, holy, and true.

We must allowthe Holy Spirit to change our nature by yielding each day to the Word of Godand asking Him to form this new nature in us. We have to choose before each day begins to walk in the renewed naturethat has been given to us.  Colossiansteaches us to clothe ourselves in it.  Wecannot wait until the moment of confrontation to choose which response isproper but as we learn more from the Lord each morning receive a right naturefor the day. 

Colossians 3:8-12But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, anddirty language. 9Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and allits wicked deeds. 10 In its place you have clothedyourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as youlearn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. 11In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised oruncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave,or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. 12Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clotheyourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, andpatience.

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon youand learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find restfor your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burdenis light."

Jesus was notmotivated by his human nature but would consistently take time away with theFather to renew His spiritual nature. And so he was able to be moved with compassion.  Jesus did not have to try to love the world;He loved each person because he carried the nature of God.  And we know that God is love.

Romans 5:1-5Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through ourLord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand,and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And notonly that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation producesperseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out inour hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Each day Ipray that we cloth ourselves with His nature and ask the Holy Spirit to pourthe love of God into our hearts.