Tuesday, May 1, 2012

MAY NEWSLETTER 2012

Living Word

Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 21, No. 5   May   2012

We are in a wait and see period—a time when God is fulfilling His plan for the world.  This includes judgments that are taking place. Much of America is still asleep, but that slumber will not stop God from fulfilling His plan.

We are going to have to learn to wait on God for every provision and decision. This is the only way to live in a secure and peaceful state of mind and soul. 

King David said it this way: Psa 25:3-5 (NLT)  “No one who trusts in You will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.  (4)  Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.  (5)  Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.”

This is not just some kind of suggestion.  This makes a difference when you don’t know what to do or which way to turn.  Psa 27:14 (NLT)  “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.”

God is good in all His decisions.  He is faithful to those who will be faithful and wait. The time will come when it will be worth the time of waiting.

So I encourage you to say daily, “I wait on You, dear Lord.”  It will bring peace to your mind and the ability to trust God for all that you experience. Then the blessings of the Lord will follow you.

In Christ, 

Pr. Steve

 

CHOICES

Jos 24:15 (KJV)  “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve …as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Out of man’s heart come his desires.  Out from his desires come man’s choices.  Out from man’s choices comes man’s destiny.  But our will is what determines the direction we will take.  Today God is asking us to make some choices that will forever impact our walk. We are dealing every day with both embracing the spirit of the world and trusting the world for our survival and security; or we are embracing the Spirit of God and what He wants in our lives and the way He chooses to direct us.  Our personal ambitions must become secondary if we are to be delivered in this time of transition.  No matter where you stand today, there will be a time very soon--if not now--when you will have to know your place with God by the choices you are now making. Whom are you serving?

We need to understand from God’s perspective “self-will” is expressed as rebellion when God’s Word directs us to do certain things in obedience to Him.

Our choices are determining our destinies today. Our choices come from the desires of our heart. The Bible tells us to guard our hearts: Pro 4:23 (KJV)  “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.”

The world and its desires are passing away, but the one who does the will of God will live forever (I Jn.2:17). We pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done…”  But then we go off on our own tangents and make choices that neglect our salvation.  If we do not obey Christ and keep His commandments, then we do not love Him.  If we do not obey Christ and believe His Word, then all we have is head knowledge that does nothing for us except keep us in confusion.

The Lord said if we are to be a disciple, we must lay down our life, take up our cross and follow Him.  If we are a true disciple then we have a desire to do what the Word declares: deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus.

We make the choice every day: Will I seek what the Lord wants for me today; will I serve Him as a true disciple?  If so, I should be praying that God’s will be accomplished in me and that I will do what He says.

Why is it so important as a Spirit-led believer to make the right choices?  Because this is the basis on which we will be judged.  And that judgment has already begun in the church.

[Some of you are so busy you don’t have time to make choices.  That life-style is evidence of the spirit of Antichrist.  I hear about all the work, but then I find so many out doing other things that don’t have anything that pertains to work.  God is looking for faithfulness today.  You can keep doing your own thing and working until you drop--drop dead.  Or you can honor and obey God with what He says and find all the time you need to meet your personal requirements.  You are not of this world--then act like it.]

How many of you have the Holy Spirit as your teacher in you? Then do what He teaches you.  Pray and worship in the Spirit and Truth. {God has given me new direction for the Prayer Meeting on Sundays – you need to be in it.  You have been given a hand-out about “Operation Overcomer.”  You need to be a part of it.  We know what is coming, but do we care?} 

How long do you think God is going to keep asking?  Can you not see we are primed for the Antichrist to come forth--there is utter chaos world-wide?  People are looking for someone to come forth and deliver them--but they aren’t looking to Jesus--so Antichrist will do it.

Our choices are determining our destiny. God is urging us to move forward.  THE NEXT MOVE OF THE SPIRIT IS HERE – IT IS OBEDIENCE TO GOD.  We have been called to become slaves of Christ: Rom 6:22 (KJV)  “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”

Paul is not speaking of being set free from the guilt of sin, but from the action of sin.  When Paul says, “You have become slaves to God,” he means you no longer live a life of sin, but rather a life of obedience to God.  What are the benefits? Holiness and eternal life. Eternal life is the result of obedience to God.  Eternal life is the result of walking in daily obedience to God.

When you read Romans 6:22, you have a choice to make.  Either you can take the Gnostic excuse of why you have to keep living your life the way you want and doing what you want, or you obey what the Lord is asking-- giving it all to Him and keeping His commandments in order to receive eternal life NOW. [In the O.T. a person was required to give 10% of his increase and 1/7th of his week to serve God.  In the N.T. a person is required to give all, both money and time, to God.  Then He will determine what you get to do and how you get to spend.]

If you are too busy to present your body as a living sacrifice each day, then you don’t know God’s will for your life and are headed down a path of destruction.

But when a believer presents his body daily as a living sacrifice, he can be certain God’s plan for his life is being accomplished.  GLORY!

If you want to go through life without using your talent to build the kingdom of God, then get ready to lose it in the end. 

Why can’t people hear God’s voice today?  Because they are too busy in the world!  So when the time comes--and it will--you will need the mercy seat of God, but you will not find it.  You will not be able to find repentance.  Rom 9:13  “…Jacob (spirit) have I loved, but Esau (flesh)  have I hated.”

The Holy Spirit is bringing to believers’ attention whether or not they are living as disciples.  God is encouraging us to get things right, to turn from the unprofitable course, and to get back to the things of God.  All the resources of Heaven stand ready to assist you to turn from worldliness, to deny yourself, and to take up your cross and follow Jesus.

AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, THE PRIMARY ISSUE IS NOT ONE OF SIN, BUT OF THE CHOICES WE MADE.

We can’t deliver ourselves.  God sent Jesus to help us, so we must listen to Him. Christ will not deliver us apart from the choices we are making.

Our daily life consists of a multitude of decisions, most of them quite minor.  Each of them requires some decision, if only a mental agreement or disagreement. How we choose determines our outcome.  Don’t let the spirit of the world think for you.

Our choices should be profiting the Kingdom of God.  If we are committing everything to Him, then we need His approval, His wisdom, and His strength in every area of life.  Whenever we do not involve the Lord in what we do or say, there is loss in the Kingdom.  There is no issue too great or too small for us to interact with Him.

The need for today is that believers set aside their own life and choose whom they will serve.  Our present life is one of testing.  God continually tests us to know what is in our hearts: Deu 8:2 (KJV)  “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”

God is very wise. He knows what He is doing. How many of you know the Bible says we cannot heal ourselves? Therefore, we are to call on the elders of the church and have them pray over us. Why don’t we do that?  I have to ask people if I can pray for them (polite), but God’s Word declares we are to ASK.  Is this why there is so much sickness in the body?   If all we do is what He says, He will do the rest.  God knows every detail of your life.  He desires to fill you with total joy. But if you don’t obey, there is only disappointment after disappointment.

If we are maturing, then we should be sensitive to what we say to other people.  Are we sensitive to what we say to God, or do we utter foolish words?

We are commanded to gather together with fervent disciples more and more as we see the day approaching. So why is it becoming less and less?  BECAUSE WE DON’T BELIEVE GOD’S WORD, AND WE ARE NOT MAKING CHOICES THAT GIVE US ETERNAL LIFE.

What God is expecting is that we continue to press forward.  This is a conscious choice to make.  Tell the Lord that you want to be a fervent disciple of Christ.  Tell Him you want to know Him more than anything else in this life. It is necessary to make this kind of choice today and to do it consciously. 

The tares of wickedness are coming to maturity.  So is the wheat of righteousness.  Make sure you are prepared for this day.

Psa 50:23 (KJV)  “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth [his] conversation (conduct)  [aright] will I shew the salvation of God.”

When the words of your mouth honor God and when the steps of your life honor God, then you are preparing the way for God to show you greater salvation than you have ever known.

CHOOSE TO DO THIS RIGHT NOW.

-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 2011

May 6:  “If any man come to Me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  And whosoever does not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be my disciple.”  (Luke 14: 26-27)

May 7:  Now the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him – those who depend on His faithful love to deliver them from death.  We wait for the Lord.  He is our help and shield.  For our hearts rejoice in Him because we trust in His holy name.  May your faithful love rest on us, Lord, for we put our hope in You.  (Psm 33:18-22)

May 12:  You do not think I am with you.  You do not think I am with the church.  You do not think you are in My perfect will.  But I say I am with you in all these ways.  I am leading and in control.  I am using this time to prepare you and the people for what lies ahead.  My blessings and purpose are upon you.  So do not stagger at the promises.  Do not be weary in the work.  My strength is upon you.

May 14:  Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.  You shall have everything you need in Me.

May 17:  The Spirit helps our infirmities for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

May 20:  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

May 28:  If you say you have need of nothing it is because you are increased with goods but are really wretched, miserable and poor and blind and naked.  Buy gold tried in the fire and cover your shame and hear what I have to say to you.

May 30:  Destruction is at hand.  Devastation on all sides.  I have called My people to prepare and cry out to Me. But instead they feast and party as if nothing will happen.  Truly the days of Noah are upon you.  The shaking will become more violent.  But I will give the key of authority to My own.  And there will be a place of honor where My name will be glorified.  This time has not been wasted.  You will see the salvation of the Lord your God. 

 

 Love Never Takes a Holiday

 Now that this year’s Easter celebration has passed, many of the people who visited a church on that Sunday will soon go back to staying at home or doing other things on the 51 Sundays to come.  Do we go to church to give, or to receive?  Granted, we always receive when we worship the Lord, but do we always give?

   Luk 7:36-50 (KJV)  “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.  (37)  And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,  (38)  And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.  (39)  Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.  (40)  And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.  (41)  There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.  (42)  And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?  (43)  Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.  (44)  And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.  (45)  Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.  (46)  My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.  (47)  Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.  (48)  And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.  (49)  And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?  (50)  And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

Simon the Pharisee wanted Jesus to come to his house and eat with him, but he did not ask him to do so because he loved Him. The Pharisee actually did not really believe that Jesus was anybody special.  There was no special treatment, and there was no love or adoration in word or action given to Jesus by Simon or any of his guests.  But someone else, who also was not respected by the Pharisee, came into his house and demonstrated the difference between dead religion and a loving relationship.  A sinner woman willing to suffer the scorn of the bystanders could not hold back, but was willing to display publicly her love and adoration for the Son of God; and holding nothing of value back, she openly worshipped at His feet.

Mat 2:10-11 (KJV)  “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.  (11)  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Another time of year that can sometimes attract people to the house of God is Christmas.  And once again there is a question of the motivation for this occasional visitation.  Do we want to love Jesus?  Do we want to give Him our lives?   Jesus lived and died and overcame death for us.  He is worth more than we could ever give, but what He asks of us is priceless as well; it is something He has given to us: it is love.  Love is something that cannot be bought or sold; it can only be given or received.  May our prayer be: “Lord, help me to be able to come into Your house ready to give and receive Love.” 

-Kurt Thurston

 

QUOTES:  

"In every generation the number of the righteous is small. Be sure you are among them."

- A. W. Tozer

  

"Finney preached, and sometimes the whole congregation would get up and leave! That's good preaching."

-Leonard Ravenhill

  

"Don't plan without God. God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the plans we have made, when we have not taken Him into account."

-Oswald Chambers

 

 

Next course from Christian Life Educators Network -  Richmond Center: 

Summer Break!  Classes Resume in August 

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