In His Name Outreach – Monday, 7/30

This morning we set up and gave out starbucks coffee and cold water on the street… in His Name (Mark 9:41).  Mostly water, but I think when it gets cooler people will want coffee more.  We will also add cocoa to this mix 🙂

Someone came to church yesterday and told me how blessed they were that we gave them cold water on a hot day after they worked all day.  Showing people God’s love doesn’t require something elaborate, just a simple act of kindness.

A few pics from this morning…

Thanks to Cain, Judy, Zac and Emma for their service to the Lord today!

Advertisements

The Pentecostal/ Charismatic Movement

I found these statistics to be interesting and thought I’d share them.  The pentecostal/charismatic movement now comprises 26.7% of the world Christian population, and 8.5% of the total world population.  And to think, it all started in a small church on Azusa street in the wrong part of Los Angelos a little over 100 years ago.  God is fulfilling Joel 2:25 and pouring out His Spirit on all flesh!

 

christians by movement

Symbols of the Word: Hammer

God’s Word is a Hammer

Jeremiah 23:29 goes on to say, “…and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”  

If you strike a rock 100 times with no break, and you strike it again and it breaks, was it the one hit or the 101?  God’s Word is like that, always working in our hearts until the breakthrough comes.

Some areas require only a little time of the Word hammering away, but other areas, perhaps a few years. God told the Israelites that when they enter the promised land that He would drive out the inhabitants of the land as they advance (Exodus 23:28).  If we expect God to drive out the enemy from our lives, then the onus is on us to advance… to progress… to grow… to develop.  This can only be down through time in His Word.  It is important to note how God said that He would drive them out:

Exodus 23:30: I will drive them out little by little, until there are enough of you to take possession of the land

Little by little… that is the nature of God’s work in our lives.  Sure, He does some things instantly, but in most cases, when it comes to character development and healing of the soul, God works in us progressively as we advance in His Word.  I grew up without much affirmation or expression of love.  It affected me greatly as I grew up and developed my personality.  When I was saved at the age of 20, God had to begin renewing my mind and healing my soul.  But it didn’t happen overnight and I can still slip into heeding negative self-talk if I don’t keep guard over my heart and mind with the Word.

What area of your life is the Word working to change?  Are you allowing it to hammer away and break off the hardened cover we used to self-preserve?  The hammer of the Word will challenge the self-preservation mode that we put on.  Breakthrough is coming; don’t stop submitting to the Word of God.  The truth will make us free… but first, it often makes us miserable.  In the end, you will experience great joy through the freedom it brings.

In His Name Outreach – Wednesday, 7/25

On Wednesday we gave out cold water in His Name across from the post office.  There were lots of opportunities to share Christ and invite people to church.  It was one of our busiest days so far.

Symbols of the Word: Fire

God’s Word is Fire

 

 

Jeremiah said, “His Word was in my heart like a burning fire (Jeremiah 20:9).  

God’s Word is a purifier and purger to cleanse and sanctify us.  Like Jeremiah, I have had the fire of God’s Word burn out the dross in me and prepare me for His purposes.  Several times in my walk with God I have felt the fire of God burn through me.  Once early in my walk with God, when about to live a small church I was serving at, God arrested my attention with the fire of the Holy Spirit.  I was at a campmeeting shortly after I had told the pastor that I was leaving and at the end of the campmeeting service the preacher said there is someone here who is about to leave a church and God says He’s not through with you there.  Well, my first thought was, “whoever that is needs to get back to where they’re supposed to be.”  But as the thought was streaming through my mind, the Holy Spirit opened me up and poured fire all through me and said, “I’m talking to you!”  So I humbled myself and went back to the small church until God was finished with me there.

The backdrop of this verse of Scripture is Jeremiah’s struggle with rejection.  His ministry had become quite unpopular as he was speaking the truth concerning Israel’s captivity while the other prophets in the land were preaching a much easier path.  You can feel the emotional struggle in Jeremiah’s words as he cries out to the Lord:

Jeremiah 20:7: O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; everyone mocks me.

Jeremiah went on to make an emotional decision that his spirit would not allow him to keep.  God had placed too much inside of him to allow outward circumstances to dictate the outcome.  The foundation of God’s Word had been poured and some tribulation was not going to shake Jeremiah loose from the calling of God on his life.

Jeremiah 20:9: Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.

God went on to say through Jeremiah: “Is not My Word like a fire, says the Lord?” in Jeremiah 23:29.

Have you ever decided to quit something because you weren’t seeing the results you wanted?  People do it all the time with the physical aspect of their life.  They try a diet and exercise program for a few weeks and ultimately quit because their transformation is not moving as fast as they would like.  People quit churches because they didn’t get to do something that they wanted to do.  If God has called you to do something, allow the fire of His Word to refine you and purge out the dross of selfish ambition and the desire for worldly attention.

Malachi 3:2-3 speaks of the presence of God being like a refiner’s fire:

“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.

The word “purify” in verse 3 in the Hebrew (taher, pronounced taw-hare) means the following:

  • To be bright
  • Clear
  • Unadulterated
  • Uncontaminated
  • Morally innocent

Hebrews 12:29 also tells us, “Our God is a Consuming Fire.”

 

Symbols of the Word: Food

The Word of God is Food

This is the first post in a series on the symbols of the Word of God.

Jesus said that “man should not live by bread alone but by every word of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Hebrews 5:12-14 teaches us that God expects us to nourish ourselves and build ourselves up with the Word.

Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The Hebrew Church had a clear deficiency in that they were not progressing in their walk with God.  They had stagnated and needed to be taught again the very basics of their faith.  God sets forth the expectation that we are to grow, to progress in our knowledge of Him.  To fail to do so will limit what God is able to do in our lives.  God tells us in Jeremiah 29:13 that we will find Him when we seek for Him with all our heart.

While reading plans for the Bible are good, such as the ones where you read through the entire Bible in one year.  However, it is more important to allow the Word to get into our hearts.  James wrote to “receive with meekness the engrafted Word” into our hearts (James 1:21).  The word “engrafted” in the Greek (emphytos, pronounced em-foo-tos) means, “to be implanted, to become part of our nature.” It is not enough that you get into the Word… are you allowing the Word to get into you?

Amos prophesied of a time when there would be a famine of the Word of God:

Amos 8:11: “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.

It is important to study the Word of God when God gives you opportunity.  There are definite seasons in our lives when God gives more opportunity to feed on His Word.  For me, there was a 5-year period after I was saved that God used to pour a foundation of His Word into my life.  I literally studied the Word and prayed as if it were my full-time job, for 8-10 hours a day.  I was a young man without financial responsibilities and God supernaturally provided for me as He set me apart unto Himself.  I will never have that time back in my life again and I am thankful to God that He allowed it.

You may not have 8 hours a day to feed on God’s Word, but do you have an hour?  There are many things that God wants to show you, if you will get alone with Him and allow His Word to speak to you.  If you are hungry, God will fill you.  He will give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.

Tomorrow, we will look at the Word of God as Fire.