Thursday, April 29, 2010

Growing in Christ

Sermon the Confidence Game.

Ladies Remember May 14th, 2010 @6:30 p.m. is the next Book Club Meeting.

Growing in Christ

1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

(Ephesians 5:1-2, New King James Version)
Make Yourself Friendly
Some years ago we went to a conference that really began a healing in my heart concerning friendships. My husband and I had made some changes that resulted in the loss of fellowship with some dear friends. The readjustment left me wondering if the work and possible hurtful side effects of friendships were worth putting forth any effort into establishing new friendships. Sis. Fox preached a wonderful sermon at the conference explaining that to have friends you must make yourself friendly. You had to take risk and put aside old baggage that would keep you from allowing God to place people in your life. Little did I know that God was preparing me for dear friendships that I might have missed or that I might have not put time and energy into if I hadn't taken in a right now message from Sis. Fox.

Friendships help us imitate Christ and inspire us to grow in our love walk.

It is interesting that Paul relates imitating Christ with the love walk. Whether it be friendships or those who are not your typical "lovely" people....the love walk is connected with your growth process. A person cannot really imitate or be like Jesus if they don't learn to walk in love towards people. How we treat others counts. Love is not always a gooey feeling...sometimes it takes work and the expressing of honest feelings. Those years ago because of past hurts I almost stalled my spiritual growth because I was trying to imitate Christ without really investing in the work of friendship. In an effort to protect my emotions I steered away from getting too close to anyone new. As I sat there listening to Sis.F Fox I began to realize that God had brought me to a divine appointment that would open my heart to God given friendships if I would allow Him to heal my heart and take the risk of making new friendships. I know now that this was vital to my spiritual health.

Two very sweet friends

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No More Manna

Sermon "No More Manna" and Sunday School "The Armor of God"

So You Want to Go Back to Egypt
The children of Israel left Egypt after having been slaves for many years. They came out with God's great hand...but had trouble trusting God when things seemed to get bad. Sometimes we are tempted to think we wouldn't have acted that way...but more and more I'm realizing that we all have moments when the latest crisis brings insecurities from our past that we must overcome in order to believe and see God's ability to work upon our behalf. Throughout their self imposed wilderness wanderings they had opportunity to see God's hand in their everyday life. One thing God did was provide daily Mana for them. It served as a reminder that God was their provision. They were to gather a certain amount and on the day before the Sabbath they could gather enough for two days. Sometimes they chafed against this provision wishing they had a wider variety of food to eat. Some even wanted to go back to Egypt where the provision seemed greater. They seemed to forget that while Egypt had extra food it had been a land of slavery for them...a land with no future for them....and certainly not God's will. Perhaps sometimes we've been the same way with God's provision in our life. Maybe we've even wavered wondering if God really cares or if His provision is going to be enough.

What did the Manna Accomplish?
The forty years of wondering are sometimes looked upon as a useless time. Certainly I can agree that it was a result of faithlessness toward God and His ability to provide. However...I realize that many of us have followed the same path. Everyone that was in that wilderness had a chance to learn about God. The daily bread or manna was meant to give a group of people with a slave mentality the gift of knowing that there was a God in heaven who loved them enough to daily provide for them. It was not meant to go on was to be a model of God's love and mercy for His people.

No More Manna

I believe that 2010 has brought with it a new season for the Body of Christ. It is a time of transition where the old securities will fade and God will have us branch out in faith that comes as a result of seeing His daily provision. Stepping out can be scary because we are used to the old way...but when we take with us the lessons of God's faithfulness we will see His great provision in the new season. When Israel came into the promise land there was a new provision afoot. They would gather it from the place God had enabled them to place their feet upon. There would be battles to fight...and victory would require overcoming enemies. (armor of God) It was a new level and a greater provision than they had experienced in their they would gather from the land God had provided. The manna stopped but God's provision went on. There was variety...there was plenty...there was trust in God's hand. This new provision was for a generation that trusted God and was willing to overcome the works of the enemy. The provision was one of abundance. I believe we are starting to walk in that new season where abundance will flow. Make no mistake there will be obstacles to overcome and we will have to listen to God's voice and gather. When the Israeli's were ready to go into the land before Moses died...he told them in essence ....when you have houses and lands and provisions like you have not had before...don't forget the God of your provision.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Resurrection Day

Sunday Sermon: "I'll be Back and Sunday School.

Sunday was a wonderful day of Celebration. The Bible tells us that Jesus made an open show of the devil when he died on the cross and rose again. He took our sins and gave us power over all the works of the enemy.

When we celebrate the Resurrection season we talk about Good Friday. That is the day that we remember that Jesus was place on the cross and suffered and died and paid for our sins. It is a day when the disciples felt like all was lost. Their hopes that He was Messiah seemed to be shattered and questions filled their mind. Sometimes we are in a season that seems like Good Friday. Things occur that make our heart sink and cause questions. Thankfully Sunday is coming. Sunday was Resurrection. In the same way are season will not always be a Friday of questions...if we are faithful we will see resurrection and purpose.