Friday, July 1, 2011

JULY NEWSLETTER 2011

Living Word

Christian Fellowship

“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7

Vol. 20, No. 7 July 2011

Hardly a day goes by any more in which the reports coming out of the news don’t get to me. I only listen for a short while because it is too bad. But something seems to affect me clear down in my belly. I daily ask the Lord to fill me with His Spirit so I am not moved by anything except Him. So maybe the Spirit is grieved as well.

We truly do need to feel what the Spirit feels. If we want to be led by the Spirit, then we need to know what He is all about. No, I don’t know many Christians who are happy with things today. But again, maybe that is alright if it makes us happy in Jesus. It is difficult to separate yourself from the worldly things that happen. So remember what Jesus said: 1Jn 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

I think we need to confess that perhaps we do have some love for the world in us. The world will continue to affect us until we let go and allow God complete control over the things that happen. We are to be compassionate towards the people, even as Jesus was compassionate over what He saw happening. And yes ,He even cried over the horrible things that He saw coming. But His love for the Father caused Him to rise above it all and do His will without hesitation. So must we.

In Christ,

Pr. Steve

CONFIDENCE

Heb 11:6 (KJV) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Faith is supposed to be in the Lord, not in principles. We are directed to put our faith in the Lord and to wait on Him. Faith in the Lord brings glory to the Lord Jesus. Many today think if they can figure out faith, then they can work it to their advantage. But that will only bring despair and then condemnation that makes you feel as if you don’t have enough faith to get what you are asking for. Faith is not magic or a metaphysical principle. Faith is our grasp of God’s character and the faithfulness of His promises.

Psa 84:11 (KJV) “For the LORD God [is] a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good [thing] will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

God will withhold no good thing from the individual who walks uprightly. We know God answers prayer. Sometimes it takes a long period of time, so we have to wait on the Lord. But in God’s Presence there is fullness of joy. So He eventually heals all our diseases and fills our mouth with good things. The Lord will deliver us from all our afflictions.

Psa 103:3 (KJV) “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;”

The key to all of this, even our rewards, is FAITH. Yes, there are times of “hope deferred and your heart is sick”--But FAITH.

How is it that God truly operates? He wants us to press forward in faith that builds our CONFIDENCE.

Heb 10:35 (KJV) “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.”

Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV) “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Mat 21:22 (KJV) “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

Joh 14:13-14 (KJV) “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].”

DOES THIS BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE? It will--if you have faith!

The Word of God is always true. Heaven and earth shall pass away but the Word of the Lord Jesus never shall pass away.

The answer to faith is that we are not to cast away our confidence, for it will

be richly rewarded.

The moment we ask for something in the name of the Lord Jesus -- in that very moment -- God begins to answer. The scriptures cannot be changed; they are eternally true. If we ask anything in the name of Jesus, He will do it. But He didn’t say when, or how, or under what circumstances, or how our prayers would be refined so the answer would be what we truly were requesting, bringing us joy, love and peace.

IF YOU DO NOT THROW YOUR CONFIDENCE AWAY, YOU SHALL RECEIVE YOUR ANSWER.

Are you waiting long enough for God? God knows when the right time is to answer your prayers – but do you?

God can speak to you to change the way you are praying. He can make you know what you are asking for is not right and can bring you harm. If this happens, are you willing to trust Him enough to do what He says? If you insist on God doing exactly what you have asked for, it may bring you years of agony. God opens His hand to satisfy the desire of every living thing. But if you insist after God warns you, you may suffer the consequences of what you demand.

Many have prayed for someone who is ready to die – “Lord, I beg you to let them live.” Remember Hezekiah and Manasseh! He was the most wicked ruler of Israel. ALWAYS pray, “Your will be done.” This is not a passive or fatalistic prayer; it is the most power prayer possible. Always seek the will of God and pray with fervor and diligence in the name of the Lord Jesus. Never take anything for granted. Persist in prayer until you know God has heard you and you have the mind of Christ. Do not be put off easily. How many Christians remain ill because they have reasoned “It must be a thorn in the flesh.” Or they think they are not worthy, or that God must be punishing them, or God is too busy, or “healing is not for me,” or their problem is rationally accepted because a doctor told them it was inherited. “When flu season comes around, it is just normal.” GET IN THERE AND FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU WANT. You have been talked into defeat when you could have victory. DON’T LET ANYONE TAKE YOUR CROWN.

God has commanded you not to throw away your confidence in His Word. You can’t answer your own prayer, but you can keep your confidence strong. If you feel confidence weakening, ask the Lord to strengthen your confidence. He wants to do that.

You will get what you desire if you do not quit.

Psa 37:4 (KJV) “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

We gain victory over the enemy by three means:

1. By the blood of the Lamb

2. By the Word of our testimony

3. By loving not our life to the death

We must walk in the light of God’s will. If we do, the blood of God’s Lamb, Christ, will continue to cleanse us from all sin.

Line up your statements of faith with the Word of God. His Word is corporate and personal. We are to hold fast our confidence to what He has said and what He does say personally to us. If we do this, we shall receive God’s answer. This is how we overcome the accuser of the brethren by the word of our testimony – i.e. God’s Word.

If we are going to remain victorious we must not love our life more than our confidence in God’s Word. If there is any part of our personality that we are clutching to, whether relational or material or physical, the enemy will keep at it until he can we collapse our faith.

Yield to God all you are and all you possess. Give joyously to the Lord all He requests. Place every person, every possession and every hope on the altar of God.

If we are to exercise faith, we must trust in the blood of the Lamb.

If we are to exercise faith, we must testify that God speaks only truth and His Word is unchangeable.

If we are to exercise faith, we must relinquish everything to God, counting ourselves as crucified to the world and the world to us.

Until we are taking these actions we are not living in Divine Faith!

Hold fast your confidence.

Live by the blood of the Lamb.

Hold fast to the Word of your testimony.

Love not your life to the point of death.

Patient endurance is one of the major virtues of the Kingdom of God. (Heb. 10:36) Luk 8:15 (KJV) “The seed that fell on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.”

Luk 21:19 (KJV) “In your patience possess ye your souls.”

Rom 8:25 (KJV) “But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].”

Patience is an important aspect of faith. We must ask and then wait patiently for the answer without throwing away our confidence. We will endure many tribulations if we are to attain our goal. We must persevere if we are to receive the promise.

It is not easy to be patient. It is not easy to wait until the fervent desire of our soul has been granted. We are tempted to scheme and manipulate by forcing our ways and circumstances on others. It is difficult and a test of faith to continue to serve when all we feel is worthless, worn down, or used up. But all that is happening is to teach us obedience to the Word of Truth. We learn obedience through the things we suffer.

Patience is required if we are to have the image of Christ formed in us. If we don’t gain and maintain integrity it is impossible for the Kingdom of God to come forth in us. The seed of the Kingdom must fall into an “honest and good heart.”

If our adamic nature keeps us from becoming a living sacrifice before God, it is impossible for the Word of God to come into maturity in our lives.

If our human personality does not persevere patiently in testings and tribulations, we will not be able to possess our soul. The desires of the flesh will take control and bring us down to destruction. We LOSE our reward.

Two thousand years ago the Lord said He would come quickly. So our answers may be instant or may take 40 years (symbolic of time of testing) or longer. But God always answers. Maybe He is waiting for us to change. I think most of the time He is waiting on us. So let us patiently prepare even though we wait on Him. All things are possible with God. Let us have faith in God, wait patiently for Him, obey Him in every detail, faint not, fear not, and not allow weariness to beat us down, for in due season we shall reap.

-Pr. Steve

I am going to be sharing with you thoughts from my journal over the past few years. This is to show you how the Lord has brought about His Word in my life to minister to you and to show you how real this walk can be. Please read and understand by the Spirit about ...

. . . My calling as a pastor


Pastor’s Journal 2010

July 3: “The righteous will not fear bad news; his heart is confident, trusting in the Lord. His heart is assured he will not fear. In the end he will look in triumph on his foes.” (Psm. 112:6-8)

July 6: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psm. 27: 1)

July 12: “Above all, be strong and courageous.”

July 16: “May the Lord be praised! Day after day He bears our burdens; God is our salvation” (Psm.68:19).

July 20: “Occupy until I come!”

July 22: “You lead me beside still waters. You are Jehovah Shalom – The God of Peace. Peace attends to my soul. Rivers of peace flow over me and I remain in the rest of God. Nothing can move me as long as I remain in Christ and He remains in me.”

July 26: “You have the authority and power and dominion. As you continue to partake of my body and blood you will grow in these areas and fulfill My plan for your life. Much strength will follow. The Spirit will rule and your spirit will obey.”

July 31: “All that you are experiencing is to reveal My glory. You will come through. I will not leave you alone or abandon you in your time of need. Do not depart from the way I am taking you. Stay the course and you will see results.”

Quotes

"I hope some of you will agree with me that it is of far greater importance that we have better Christians than that we have more of them! If we have any spiritual concerns, our most pressing obligation is to do all in our power to obtain a revival that will result in a reformed, revitalized, purified church... followers of Christ must become personally and vitally involved in the death and resurrection of Christ. And this requires repentance, prayer, watchfulness, self-denial, detachment from the world, humility, obedience and cross-carrying.."

-A.W. Tozer

“Look upon Him as faithful and true, and therefore bound and engaged to present you, the weakest of the family, with all the chosen race before the throne of God. You will have the enjoyments which ravish the souls of the perfect saints above, if you can believe with unstaggering faith that “the one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.””

-Charles Spurgeon

A Lesson In Heart

A lesson in "heart" is my little, 10 year old daughter, Sarah, who was born with a muscle missing in her foot and wears a brace all the time. She came home one beautiful spring day to tell me she had competed in "field day" - that's where they have lots of races and other competitive events. Because of her leg support, my mind raced as I tried to think of encouragement for my Sarah, things I could say to her about not letting this get her down - but before I could get a word out, she said "Daddy, I won two of the races!" I couldn't believe it! And then Sarah said, "I had an advantage." Ah. I knew it. I thought she must have been given a head start...some kind of physical advantage. But again, before I could say anything, she said, "Daddy, I didn't get a head start... My advantage was I had to try harder!"

-Author Unknown

Remember Your First Love

2Th 2:1-3 (KJV) “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…;”

Ongoing statistics show that attendance at American Christian churchs had decreased to only 20% in the 1990’s, and has since been steadily dropping through the years, accompanied by sporadic declines that are especially concerning. Could this be the cause of the current conditions of severe spiritual slumber and moral decline across America? What could have happened to draw people away from worshipping Jesus Christ? What could have happened to make Christians forsake fellowshipping with the body of Christ in the house of God? Do we realize the state of crisis that American Christians are experiencing? There is a critical need for a spiritual awakening in both the Church and the nation.

Joh 17:14-19 (KJV) “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (15) I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (16) They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (18) As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. (19) And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”

Each Christian must survey his or her spiritual condition. Each must take a personal assessment of the whys, and the whats, and the hows of the condition of personal love and devotion to God. There has to be a reason for that drastic of a decline in worship. Christians must keep themselves from evil. When Jesus said that Christians are not of the world, He was saying that they are not partaking of the lifestyles of sin and death that the people who don’t serve Him live.

Deu 11:16-19 (KJV) “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; (17) And then the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you. (18) Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. (19) And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

What kind of message are we sending to our children, our neighbors and friends when we don’t reverence Jesus Christ and live according to His word? Has the American dream clouded the vision of God in the lives of Christian people? Has the desire to live like kings muted the call to take up our crosses and follow Jesus? Or could it be that people have been told that the sinners’ prayer is all they need? Jesus never preached an “easy Christian life.” He never preached a Gospel that included room for habitual sin or people staying trapped in satan’s clutches.

A person with no church life probably does not have a prayer life either. A person with no prayer life probably is not staying in the Bible either. A person who does not stay in the Bible, who does not pray, and who does not attend church has probably fallen away.

Rev 2:4-5 (KJV) “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (5) Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

-Kurt Thurston

Next course from Christian Life Educators Network - Richmond Center:

God’s Eternal Plan by Dr. Fuchsia Pickett

This course explores the eternal plan of God for mankind as revealed in the

Scriptures. This exploration includes a study of the relationship of time and eternity,

the nature of the Godhead, man’s creation and fall, the redemptive work of the Lamb and the

Servant ministry of the Holy Spirit.

August 11-13, 2011

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