Saturday, November 30, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Walking in the Spirit of Jesus

Galatians 5:13-26           November 24, 2013           Link for audio/video/document

The freedom we have been given in Christ is the freedom to unconditionally serve each other in love, just as Christ did for us. We are only truly free when we desperately walk in the Spirit of Jesus. Walking in the Spirit is manifested in a deeply relational life: our relationship with God, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, with each other, and with those we don’t even know. This is what we were created to do because the fruit of the Spirit is healthy relationships. The power and joy of walking with Jesus is walking in the Spirit of Jesus together!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Supremacy of Christ in Our Christian Witness

Colossians 4:2-18           November 17, 2013          Link for audio/video/document

The supremacy of Christ can be seen in us most clearly in our Christian witness in the way we speak to God about people, in the way speak to people about God and in the way we serve Jesus Christ. The power and joy of walking with Jesus is embracing the reality that Jesus is the Son of Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer, the Lord of all glory, the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, the One who created all things through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might be preeminent over all things. Jesus is Christ in you, the hope of glory, who is supreme in and over everything!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

You Were Created to Sing - Tony Reinke

God created you in his own image to dream, and work, and laugh, and love, and labor, and hope, and eat, and enjoy the good gifts in this world.
“A man is such a noble work of God,” said nineteenth century preacher Charles Spurgeon, “he cannot have been intended merely to measure off yards of silk, or to weigh pounds of sugar, or to sweep street crossings, or to put on crowns, and robes, and diamonds. There is something grander than that for man to do.”
Yes, and most grand of all: God created you to worship, praise, and sing.
The beauty of Christ is the cause of our songs. His glory draws worship from our hearts to our lips (Revelation 5:6–147:9–12).
This Christ-centered, thank-filled worship is the capstone over everything else we are and do in this life (1 Corinthians 10:30–31Colossians 3:17).
And so we sing.
To the best of our ability, we sing in our homes.
We sing with our families.
We sing alone in our cars on the drive to work.
We sing together on Sundays.
And as we raise our voices in church we are “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19–20).
So how do we “speak to one another” in our singing?
Pastor Rick Gamache explains it like this:
We come here to worship together — to respond rightly to the glory of God in Christ as the church. And when we do that, we are fulfilling the very reason we were created. And as we do that, as we sing, we are also helping others fulfill the reason why they were created.
Maybe they came in here burdened by their circumstances and their heart is cold, but when they hear you sing of God’s sovereignty and wisdom and love, the burden is lifted and so they lift their voice in song with you.
Maybe they came in weighed down by the knowledge of their own sin, but when they hear you sing about Christ, who died to bear the punishment of our sin in our place, and who lived a righteous life that’s now credited to our account, the weight is lifted and the heart is softened and they join you and lift their voice in song.
As we sing, our Spirit-filled delight in Christ ministers to the burdened, nudges them to look past the afflictions they carried in, points them back to Christ, and encourages them to rejoin the pleasure of engaging in what we are all created for — worshiping our glorious Savior.
© 2013 Desiring God

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Extravagant Kindness of the Golden Rule

"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” Jesus, in Matthew 7:12

Super Typhoon Haiyan - God is Our Refuge and Strength

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.

"Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:1-8, 10-11

Friday, November 8, 2013

As the Lord Has Forgiven You, So You Also Must Forgive

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:12-13

Pastor Saeed Transferred to Brutal Iranian Prison

November 4, 2013 
The ACLJ has confirmed through Pastor Saeed's family members in Iran that he has been moved from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj - an even more dangerous prison where he faces life-threatening conditions and treatment. . . . 
Pastor Saeed's wife Naghmeh gave the following statement in response to this disturbing turn of events: "The news of Saeed's transfer to this prison is most difficult to bear. I am devastated and I do not know what to tell my children. I am more concerned now about his safety than at any other time during his imprisonment. I can only imagine the torment and anguish he is experiencing. He is truly defenseless in this prison - defenseless from the abuse and violence of other prisoners - defenseless from a radical government that continues to violate his rights. I am grateful for everything our government has done in the past - but now during this most dangerous and uncertain time - I once again call on our government - including President Obama - to fight for Saeed's life and his freedom - to fight for this U.S. citizen. During this most difficult time, I am strengthened by my faith in Jesus Christ and I continue to pray for my husband's safety and his release. I am also very grateful for those who support Saeed and our family." 
To read the entire article, Click Here.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:10-12

Monday, November 4, 2013

Walking in the Riches of the Indwelling Word

Colossians 3:16-17        November 3, 2013       Link for audio/video/document

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16-17)