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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Hunched over person, in the shadows.

We have the victory over discouragement and depression in Jesus!

WE HAVE THE VICTORY IN CHRIST JESUS!

Our shield of FAITH will extinguish ALL the flaming missiles of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16). Our adversary is defeated but persistent in his attacks. He cannot touch us (I John 5:18), but he does tempt us to believe lies.

Dear Friends, please remember that if God is for us, who can be against us? God empowers us to be overcomers and conquerors in this battle of life. But the key is to do it in HIS POWER and not lean on our own understanding.

Hebrews 12:3 says, “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

I find that focusing my attention on Jesus and worshipping Him revitalizes my spirit and renews my mind. It’s amazing what praising can do! I want to encourage you to worship our Lord—loudly and joyfully, as you sing of His power and His strength and His forgiveness and His grace and His mercy and His love and His purpose and His plan and His will.

Fixing our eyes and minds on Jesus is the spiritual transforming perspective that lifts us up and gives us wisdom from above to deal with life’s trials and challenges.

I pray that you are experiencing His glorious presence right now!

“In His presence is the fullness of Joy.” (Psalm 16:11)

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Ending the Journey of a Lifetime at Golgotha

Our last day began with a brief tour of the hospital where Tom Gronewald volunteers as a missionary servant to Israel. It was very enlightening to hear about and to see the medical facilities and preparations done by this hospital.

We went from the hope of holistic medicine to the sobering reality of the Holocaust! Touring the Yad Vashem museum and the atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust leaves you an ache in your heart. The staggering scenes and video-taped interviews with Holocaust survivors left a grim reminder of the evil that is in this world. It ignites the passion for showing love and restoring the dignity and value of every human being. People matter to God and people matter to us too!

Our final journey took us to the Praetorian where Jesus was flogged, mocked and spat upon. He went through all the agony of Gethsemane, the beatings and the crucifixion for us!

Wow, what a Savior!

We wept as we stood on the stones in which Jesus received His cruel thrashing. We followed the Via Dolorosa , the way of suffering where Jesus carried His cross with the help of Simon of Cyrene (Mark 15:21).

Along this busy road we came to Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. We were truly standing on holy ground as we saw the Skull in the rocky cliff and personally witnessed the empty tomb. We gathered to read, worship and celebrate Holy Communion. What a special time of personal renewal and spiritual intimacy with our Lord. Richard played his violin and Kyler led us in worship as we spent an hour and a half just praising God for His gracious sacrifice on our behalf. This is the fitting conclusion to an amazing tour.

Isaiah 53:4-5 reveals the prophetic truth of our Messiah Jesus:

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”

Our group has truly become a family and many are already planning to join us on our next trip to Israel and Greece from July 8-22, 2011. Please pray about joining us as well. You will never be the same!

Shalom!

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Disabled Woman

God is the Divine Healer

The topic of healing has generated many misrepresentations of God’s truth. There are some who have abused and sensationalized healing as if it were a circus act. Others have abandoned healing altogether as if God stopped this ministry. Still others have tried to equate certain ailments with specific sins. Friends, our responsibility is to be faithful to the teaching of Scripture and seek God as the Divine Healer.

First, we need to understand the difference between sickness coming from original sin and sickness arising from personal sin. All sickness and death is a result of sin. But not all sickness is a result of personal sin. Romans 5:12 confirms the biblical truth of original sin. We live in a fallen, sinful and broken world. People get sick, contract cancer, become paralyzed, and die because of the consequence of this original sin.

There are also examples of sickness and the discipline of death as a result of personal sin. Paul declares this in I Corinthians 11:29, 30. But we must be very careful not to equate all sickness with personal sin.

Jesus declared in John 9 that neither the blind man nor his parents sinned, but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. Paul had his thorn in the flesh that God did not heal (2 Corinthians 12). Job is another example of one who suffered without having committed personal sin. It is unfortunate that some zealous believers have imposed guilt trips on suffering individuals because a poor theology of healing.

Please understand: God still heals. Sometimes He does it through medical procedures and sometimes He miraculously heals a person. My mom is a living example of a miraculous healing by His gracious response to many prayers. Even the doctors declared that she was a genuine miracle of healing.

The key is to pray and seek God for healing, but leave the results to Him. I just gave a sermon on James 5:13-18 on October 18th, 2009 which deals with this topic in more detail than this short blog. I believe that many people suffer needlessly because they have not asked God for healing or confessed their sins to experience forgiveness.

David prayed and fasted for seven days and nights for his child. The child died and David arose, washed, anointed himself, and came into the house of the Lord and worshiped (2 Samuel 12:15-23). David’s faith was in a God who heals, not in a healing. Please make sure your faith is in the sovereign God who has the power to heal. It is up to Him if, how and who He will heal. God loves it when we come to Him in humble prayer seeking His will for our lives.

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Rescue

Do You Have Assurance of Salvation?

God wants His children to have that calm assurance and anchored hope of eternal life. God’s love for people is truly marvelous. He wants us to experience life and have it abundantly. Our adversary, the devil, wants to create doubt, shame and guilt in our lives. Allow the truths of Scripture, not varying emotions, to shape your theology.

I John 5:11-13 states, “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Have you personally received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If you have, then you also have eternal life. You can know that you are His beloved child for “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12, 13).

There are many passages of Scripture which give assurance to believers. There are also warnings given to show that not all people who “profess” to be a Christian really “possess” Christ in their hearts. The key? Where is your faith? Who do you trust in to save you? If you are trusting in Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead for your salvation, then you also have eternal life.

Paul declares, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, 39).

Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:27-30). You’re in good hands with our Lord.

Hebrews 13:5 states, “He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’” Remember, if God is for us, who is against us? You can rest in God’s gracious promise to keep you in His loving care.

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cross

We want our key core values to be reflected in all our ministries:

Recognizing our SEVEN “S” VALUES keeps our focus on developing each individual person in their spiritual journey. We want to be a community of people who radically devoted to God and earnestly seeking to impact people for eternity. Our core values are:

  1. SALVATION: Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” We want to display an evangelistic intensity that burns white-hot. Lost people matter to God and lost people matter to us! We want to dream of ways to reach out with the love of Christ to people. It is a relentless passion to see people come to know Christ, personally.
  2. SPIRITUAL GROWTH: Colossians 2:6, 7, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Our desire is to “raise the bar” on everyone’s spiritual growth. As our purpose statement declares, we want to see Christ-like disciples multiplied. There are many venues to encourage this growth.
  3. SCRIPTURE BASED: 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” At every level of ministry we want to have clear, anointed teaching of God’s Word. In a world where truth has be relative, we want to declare the absolute truths of the Holy Bible.
  4. SPIRIT FILLED: Ephesians 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” This is the most life-changing truth I have ever learned as a Christian. It is not us living for God, but God living through us. As Paul said, “I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:29). The Spirit-filled life is one of active obedience knowing that it is God doing the work in and through us by faith. I will write a future BLOG on this more fully.
  5. SMALL GROUPS: Acts 4:46, “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.” All of the “one another” teachings of Scripture are best fulfilled in a small group context. We value people being in authentic community and developing deep spiritual friendships. It was the pattern of the early church as Paul stated that he was, “teaching you publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20). Groups help to build healthy accountability!
  6. SPIRITUAL GIFTS: I Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Our desire is to see each person operating in their spiritual gifts as a personal blessing to them and for a greater impact for the kingdom of God. Every believer is a minister and they each need to find their unique calling and giftedness to maximize their spiritual influence.
  7. SERVICE: Titus 3:14, “Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.” We want people to move from a “consumer” to a “contributor,” from a “spectator” to a “participant.” Our goal is that 100% of people are engaged in giving of their time, talents and treasures faithfully and generously.

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