I have had a strong desire to bring this message for some time now, and God has confirmed it to me in several ways. So, in light of the fact that we are beginning a New Year this week, and that we are living in some of the most chaotic, godless, fear-filled, uncertain times any of us have faced in our lifetimes, I believe it is not just advantageous, but absolutely imperative that we join our hearts and minds as God's people in learning to seek and do God's will for our individual lives and the Church.
This time of year churches usually see a fairly decent increase in attendance...
Which often lasts only weeks or months...Before many begin to fade away again!
Then there is the Corona Virus...Which has left a number of churches with record low numbers...As many have gotten comfortable not attending live services...And some... No services at all anymore..As they have gotten use to not serving others... Not fellowshipping... Not worshiping...
Last week we talked about learning to walk like Jesus in the world and how this could only be done if we learned to walk "in" Jesus through this world; knowing and relying on Him completely and being filled with His fruits of the Spirit. But, there are many Christians in our generation—by far, probably the majority just as in Jesus' day—who have truly believed in, and accepted Christ as Lord, but are living double-minded lives still clinging to many of the thoughts, sins and attitudes around them; not truly giving yourselves completely to Christ, letting Him in their house but keeping Him restricted to the front foyer.
We are hopeful for a new building sometime in our near future...And though I want it more than anyone here...And it will benefit us greatly...I do not believe that God is nearly as concerned as us...About having a new building...He is much more concerned…About having a NEW CHURCH!
Much more concerned about the work we do to renovate...THE TRUE PLACE THAT HE INDWELLS... OUR HEARTS! Because if we can learn to walk and love as Jesus exemplified while on earth...It will attract, heal and save many more people than a pretty new structure! So let's take a mindful, hungry look at how Jesus walked and loved...And then learn how we Scripturally, can do the same!
Luke 1:26-28: Almost every time I hear this term "Highly Favored" used today—whether by pastors and evangelists or "Average Joe" Christians, I tend to shudder in frustration because it is one of the least understood and often twisted and abused titles in Scriptures. This term is used one other time in Scriptures (Ephesians 1:6) when Paul uses it to describe everyone's "status" in Christ; meaning if we have been born again, we have received unmerited Grace from God for His Sacrifice. But many claim this title for themselves in the context of Mary's special place in God's Eyes because they see it as explanation for their abundance in life—materially or physically. Some feel they have received this title because of the hard work and devotion to ministry they have given.
Last week we studied about "Conflict" within a marriage! Because conflict is where…The many differences, hurts, sins, misunderstandings…And unmet needs come to a breaking point!...And HOW theses moments of confrontation are dealt with...Determine a path of hurt and division...Or of healing and understanding...
From that point forward.
We determined last week... That Conflict...Is inevitable...Is NOT always sinful...And can actually be a chance…To show love & understanding to your spouse like no other...IF… WE HANDLE CONFLICT IN A SCRIPTURAL WAY!
This is our first week away from Revelation in months and I have felt for weeks now this had to be my next topic. Because the unusual pressures of the recent months is causing enormous stress on relationships; because we are all saturated with the world's ways and attitudes; and especially in our handling of relationships and society today teaches independence and selfishness over commitment and care for others; because Satan is hell-bent on destroying marriage and family—which is the cornerstone of the foundation of society. A great marriage is very hard work. It is designed that way. It is not a fairy-tale relationship where all your needs are met perfectly and you are made to feel happy and complete forevermore. It is the God-created relationship designed to help us learn to love as God loves us. It is the place where we learn to truly put others above self; it is the place where we find out what forgiveness means and costs; where we learn to love through sins and faults even when undeserved; where we learn self-sacrifice and servitude over selfishness. Through these things true happiness and oneness can actually be achieved, not by having our needs met alone, or by always having our way, or always having a perfect spouse. True, deep love is only found through weathering the difficulties; proving our love in hard times and failures; showing the worth of one another even in faults; being there when I have a right not to be anymore; giving a place of security, acceptance, respect and love that is steadfast and unbreakable. It is learning to show the true love of Christ in the deepest and most intimate way. I am a simple hometown pastor, but the lessons you can take from today are rich and powerful. 1) Because I have lived it for 35 years and am the champion of every mistake we will discuss, and this is where God has me refocusing right now. 2) Because I have had the privilege of being a part of many marriages in troubled times and I have learned much from them. 3) Because this is God's plan and God's way. And since He created you, and He created marriage, and He is the author of love, I think this information is pretty much full-proof. Don't you?
We have spent 4 months going through the entire Book of Revelation!
From the Rapture...
To the Tribulation...
To the Thousand Year Millennium on earth...
To the Great White Throne Judgment
Where ALL is made NEW at time sin is destroyed! To make all New BEFORE this Moment would have been useless!
SO AT THIS MOMENT... IS WHERE WE WILL PICK UP AGAIN THIS WEEK!
We are in the last chapters of the entire Book of Revelation. We’ve spent months going through every detail of the Last Days on earth as we know it today—starting at the Rapture of the Church through the seven horrid years of the Tribulation, to the Second Coming of Christ to establish His throne with us, to the thousand years of perfect government on a perfect earth, but still with a mix of glorified saints and imperfect inhabitants where we will be judges, rulers and priests of God. Today we come to the end of the thousand years of peace and fellowship on this earth with our Lord as King where one more short period of chaos must occur in this world, and then the single-most terrifying event in all of human history. Just before we are ushered into a completely new beginning as we finally step into Eternity with a new Heaven and Earth.
Last week we ended our Walk Thru Revelation here...Jesus has Returned with His Army of Saints...And destroyed the gathered armies of the world at Armageddon...He has resurrected all those martyred for His Sake during the Tribulation...So that now... Any and all who have died in faith...Throughout all of earth's history to this point...Are resurrected in glorified bodies...And present with Christ on the earth together!
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