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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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Pastor Mark Burgess’ Notes: That My House Will be Full

That My House Will Be Full and The Great Commission Priorities      

The Parable of the Great Banquet – Luke 14:15-24

15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

From Verse 21, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

Poor – Those in spiritual poverty (No adequate witness of the Gospel)

The Crippled – Those whose spiritual life has been crippled (By the events of life, circumstances, or the lack of Biblical teaching)

The Blind – Those who have spiritual blindness (Spiritual yes – but not to the things of God)

The Lame – Those who cannot go forward in their spiritual walk (Spiritual growth has stagnated or stopped)

From Verse 21 again, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

Why do we GO? Because our Savior has given us a Commission to Go!

What is a Commission?

Definition: In the military, a commissioned officer’s official document of appointment.

Definition: An instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people.

Definition: A group of people officially charged with a particular function.

In Matthew 28: 16 – 20 we have our Savior’s commissioning of His disciples:

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Friends, as believers we are called to the same Commission today that Jesus gave His disciples approx. 2000 years ago!  It hasn’t changed.  For some of us we may have neglected this and as one preacher calls it, it has become for us the Great Omission instead.

If you are a believer today, you are in the group of people charged with the greatest message for all humanity.  The greatest privilege – to confess Jesus Christ and proclaim the Gospel Message to others.  To acknowledge and testify to what Jesus Christ has done in your own life to others!  To be on board with the greatest mission on earth! To be engaged in the Great Commission!

Friends, as we consider the privilege of being engaged in His Great Commission we must also consider our Savior’s words regarding those who choose not to proclaim Him. Our Jesus spoke some very strong and sobering words to us regarding if we choose not to recognize, confess and proclaim Him as Savior before others. Matthew 10:33: “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”  Friends, we are really missing out when we choose not to proclaim Christ, when we choose not to confess him, when we choose not to identify as a Christ follower before others, to those who do not believe or have yet to believe.

Speaking of those who proclaim him I so look forward to when people are being water baptized. When they have the opportunity to publicly announce that they are a follower of Jesus Christ. When they proclaim their faith, their testimony, and identify publicly before others as a follower of Jesus Christ! If you’re a Believer and you haven’t been water baptized, I encourage you to do so! A first step in publicly declaring your faith in Jesus Christ to others!

Friends, when we confess our Savior is Jesus Christ and we are willing to identify ourselves with Him before others no matter the outcome, Jesus recognizes us before the Father God: Jesus says in Matthew 10:32: “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.  Anyone in the house today want to have Jesus confess you before the Father God? Anybody today want Jesus to recognize you as His follower, his disciple before the Father? Anyone today want Jesus to proclaim you as a son or daughter before the Most High God and that you have kinship or inheritance with Him?

In this, the greatest of commissions, our Savior shares 4 steps we are to implement or carry out to engage the Great Commission.  Jesus spells it out for us: Let’s look at these:

  • Go – – Jesus calls us to follow Him. To Go, we must first learn to Follow. The calling of the first disciples in Matthew 4:19:

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” – to fish for men. Jesus says if we follow, He will send us out!

John 12:26 – 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

  • Make Disciples – To Make Disciples means to be “with others.” Let’s talk about that.

Jesus chose to be with people, to be “with them.” With people, with His disciples, with people who were in physical, mental, relational, and spiritual need. Let’s follow His example to do the same. To fulfill the Great Commission calls us to be “with them.” To be aware of those who need Him and “go” to those in need and be “with them.”

3) Baptize – “repent and be baptized” = Peter’s message on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came and 3000 people were baptized – Read Acts 2:37-41: 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

  • Teach – Luke 4:18 – 19, Jesus speaks of the priorities of His earthly ministry quoting the Messianic verses of the Prophet Isaiah from Isaiah 61:1 – 2 : We can learn a lot when we draft off our Savior’s priorities for ministry:
  • The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
  • because the Lord has anointed me
  • to proclaim good news to the poor.
  • He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
  • to proclaim freedom for the captives
  • and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
  • 2
  • to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
  • and the day of vengeance of our God,
  • to comfort all who mourn,

Friends, this is our savior’s words quoting from Isaiah. This was His Action Plan. Our Savior’s action plan should be our Action Plan – To Go, Raise up disciples, Baptize, and Teach them.  To take Jesus’ Action Plan to everyone who needs the experience salvation and the power of the Resurrected Christ in their life.

Look at the Order Jesus put in the Great Commission: This is important:

Go

Make Disciples

Baptize

Teach

From Verse 21, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

Poor – Those in spiritual poverty

The Crippled – Those whose spiritual life has been crippled

The Blind – Those who have spiritual blindness

The Lame – Those who cannot go forward in their spiritual walk.

Friends, we have been called to GO! – John 3:16

Posted on 21st October 2018 in Weekend Talks  •  No comments yet
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The Washing of Regeneration

The Washing of Regeneration and the Renewal of the Holy Spirit

Humpty Dumpty

  • Tom Lawrence, Georgia District Council Secretary-Treasurer
  • Sensed the spirit of prophecy
  • The only words he could think of were, “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men.”
  • So, not having anything else – in faith – he started with that.
  • Then it dawned on him. The next line was, “Could not put Humpty Dumpty together again.”
  • Since he had started he went with it.
  • At the end, with embarrassment, he said, “But the Lord CAN repair and restore what no man can do.”

My selected texts for today’s Regenerate conversation is Titus 3:4-6

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior…

This text is one of only two Bible passages directly using the word, regeneration, both of which would do all of us good to experience again and again.

First is the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit in the human spirit and soul.

My guess is everyone here remembers a time in your life when you presented your entire life:

  • body, soul and spirit,
  • past, present and future,
  • In sickness and in health.

And for the first time you experienced the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit.

Glory to God for that great day of regeneration and renewal.

Notice, Paul did not say, “having been washed in regeneration.”  This is not a one and done washing of regeneration.  Paul says, “By the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”

Yes, this regeneration and renewal are true of our past experiences AND are to be powerfully present in our lives and ministries today.

Jerusalem, the city of our God, beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, finds herself, in Lamentations 1:1-2, in need of a Divine update upon her regeneration and renewal.

How lonely sits the city
that was full of people!
How like a widow has she become,
she who was great among the nations!
She who was a princess among the provinces
has become a slave.

She weeps bitterly in the night,
with tears on her cheeks;
among all her lovers
she has none to comfort her;
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
they have become her enemies.

In 1 Kings 19:4, the mighty prophet of God, Elijah, needs a fresh washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

David, in Psalm 51:11-12, begging for a regeneration and renewal cries out, Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Surely Paul was thinking of the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit when he proclaimed of himself, “Oh, wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from the body of this death?”   Romans 7:24

Undoubtedly Peter longed for another washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit after he “went out and wept bitterly?”  Luke 22:62

I know what it is to join Peter in going outside and weeping bitterly in hopes of a fresh washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3 declares a fresh washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit as we:

  • Enter our prayer closets daily seeking to hear God’s heart and message
  • Walk with our members through the valley of the shadow of death.
  • Enter the pain of humanity on a daily basis.
  • Enter the pain of our own, at times, sinful humanity.
  • Carry the heavy weight of leadership and vision and calling,
  • Bear the burdens of ministerial family life
  • So excited about all that God is saying and doing but know that without Him we can do nothing. Success is an extremely heavy load.

There is a washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit that is fresh and new for us tonight!

  1. The goodness and loving kindness of God
  2. Not by works of righteousness, but according to his own mercy.
  3. Washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior

I long for the Holy Spirit to give to you and me our own unique version of D. L. Moody’s experience.

“He began to cry out with increasing urgency and to pray for a baptism of fire, a baptism in the Holy Spirit.  He wanted a fresh in filling of the Holy Spirit on his life.  His prayers got increasingly desperate.”

Four months of struggle ensued during which time the Great Chicago Fire reduced the city to ashes.  His spiritual anguish was transferred to New York where one day he was walking down one of its prominent streets when the fire of the Holy Spirit fell on him.

He immediately turned into a house of a friend who instantly wanted to offer him refreshment.  But he asked for a room where he could be alone.  There he encountered the glory of the Lord.

Later he wrote, “Ah, what a day! I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it, it is almost too sacred an experience to name – Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years- I can only say God revealed himself to me and I had such an experience of his love that I had to ask him to stay his hand.

The washing of regeneration and the refreshing of the Holy Spirit hit me in a matter of seconds.

Tom Lawrence, the Georgia District Secretary Treasurer, a bit embarrassed by his Humpty Dumpty prophecy is trying to wrap up his day at church.

  • After the service a mother came to him.  Her young daughter, around 6 years of age, was with her in the service.
  • This little girl was suffering from a serious heart problem and her favorite character just so happened to be Humpty Dumpty.
  • The little girl’s and the mother’s faith was quickened by the prophetic word given in the service, and the little girl was completely healed that night of her heart ailment.
  • Later, Pastor Lawrence discovered that two other persons that same night had been healed of serious heart problems.
  • Thus, Tom Lawrence’s prophetic word proved true – “The Lord CAN repair and restore what no man can do.”

Today, God will pour out on us richly, the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

Posted on 18th October 2018 in Conferences  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Regeneration: Jesus and Glory

Following are my message notes for The Regeneration:  Jesus and Glory.  I presented this message to the Western Ontario District Regenerate Conference.

The Eye Doctor said to me, “I have good news.  You have 20/20 vision.”  “Why can’t I see anything, if I have 20/20 vision?”

Regeneration (παλινγενεσίᾳ) is recorded twice in the New Testament.

We talked about Paul’s use of regeneration as a regeneration of the soul and spirit of a person.  Titus 3:4-6

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior…

The first use of regeneration (παλινγενεσίᾳ) is by Jesus Himself in Matthew 19:28.

28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

This is the regeneration not just of the soul and spirit of the person, but a regeneration of the entire kosmos: the regeneration of the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the galaxies, the entire universe.

Sin placed man in need of regeneration and also the universe.

This regeneration of the universe is promised by Jesus.

  • The return of Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17
  • The resurrection from the dead.
  • The judgement seat where the books shall be opened.
  • Transformation of the universe itself.  Acts 3:21 at the time of the restitution of all things.

Notice our text states that in this process, Jesus will sit in the throne of his glory.

when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory

Historical prophecy is moving toward Jesus and glory.

Let’s pick up the historical trail of God’s glory:

  1. God’s Glory on the Tabernacle.  Exodus 40:34-35

34 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

2. God’s Glory on Solomon’s Temple.  II Chronicles 7: 1-3

Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.

And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house.

And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

3. God’s Glory on Jesus.  John 1:14

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

4. God’s Glory on the newly redefined temple, which is the fully devout follower of Jesus Christ.  I Corinthians 3:16

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Some may say, “That glory stuff is Old Testament material.  We are in New Testament times.”

In response to Old Testament and New Testament glory, Paul writes 2 Corinthians 3:7 through 4:18

  1. Since the ministry that brought death and was engraved on stone came with glory, should not the current ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?  Vs. 7, 8

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?

2.  Since the ministry that condemns is glorious, should not the ministry that brings righteousness have more glory?  Vs. 9

For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.

  1. The glory of the New Covenant is so spectacular that the glory of the Old Covenant isn’t considered glory in comparison.

Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. Vs. 10

  1. The glory of the Old Covenant was temporary. The glory of the New Covenant is permanent and greater.

For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.  Vs. 11

Jesus made it very clear.  The upcoming regeneration of the entire Kosmos is directly related to “when the son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory.”

Paul makes it a personal challenge for you and the congregations we serve today.

Will we live and breathe and have our being in the greater glory of God? Vs. 18

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,[e] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.

We unveil our faces.  Throw away the masks and pretenses.

We behold the glory of the Lord.

We are transformed (Regenerated) into the image of Christ.

And the regeneration continues to grow in glory from one degree of glory to another.

I asked the eye doctor, “If I have 20/20 vision, why can’t I see anything?”

“Oh, that’s easy.  Vision and sight are different.  They aren’t the same thing.”

The Seraphim in Isaiah’s hearing declare, “The whole earth is full of his glory.”

Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of

hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

We have vision for God’s glory, but have we waited with Moses and said, “If I don’t see your glory and if your glory doesn’t go with me from here, I won’t leave this place?

Posted on 18th October 2018 in Conferences  •  Comments are off for this post
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Business as Mission Life Group Notes

MCA Church LOVED the ministry of Gea Gort and her insights into Business as Mission.

Following are the Life Group Notes for this week (October 7-14, 2018).

 

Listen – My Story

  • What is your favorite work you have done? Why?
  • What is your dream job or place of service? Why?

Learn – Digging Deeper

Our guest, Gea Gort, quoted Ephesians 3:20, 21 with meaningful work and service in mind.

  • How do you bring God’s ability to do “immeasurably more” into your life of work and service?
  • A wage is not what makes something work or service. Everyone, employed, unemployed, retired or volunteer can walk in Him who is “Able to do immeasurably more.”
  • What ideas or scriptures help you experience the immeasurably more of God?

We were also invited into mediation upon Deuteronomy 8:18. Here we learn it is God who gives the ability to produce wealth.

  • How do you feel when you think of producing wealth? Humble?  Proud? Selfish? Pleasing to God?
  • Are you maximizing the ability God has given to you to produce wealth?
  • Is the wealth you are producing useful to our King and His kingdom?
  • Is the wealth you are producing mostly used for self or for others?
  • How might you become more effective with God’s gift of ability to produce wealth.
  • Is your highest priority in your work and service the mission of God in our world of today?

Life – Taking it Home

What action step will you take this week to connect with God’s immeasurably more and ability to produce wealth?

Lift – Prayer

  • Pray for those in your Life Group who identify an area of their life that is longing for God’s “Immeasurably more.”
  • Pray over each member’s work and service whether paid or unpaid.
  • Pray for and plan to attend the “Bridging the Gap” dynamic leadership seminar, Friday evening 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM and Saturday from 9 AM – 1 PM (Lunch is provided).
Posted on 7th October 2018 in Business, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Wealth Creation and the Beatitudinal Christian

The Lausanne Movement and BAM Global organized a Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2017. About 30 people from 20 nations participated, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video. This Manifesto conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation. https://www.lausanne.org/content/wealth-creation-manifesto

The Bible has much to say about material goods, wealth and true riches.

  • Wealth can be in all areas – physical, mental, material and spiritual.
    • Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 2
      • All may go well
      • Good health
      • Healthful soul
    • If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? Luke 16:11
  • All resources are sourced in God.
    • The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,[a]
      the world and those who dwell therein,
      for he has founded it upon the seas
      and established it upon the rivers.  Psalm 24:1, 2
    • You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.  Deuteronomy 8:18
  • We are stewards entrusted with caring for God’s resources.

 

  • The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.  Genesis 2:15

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”  1 Corinthians 10:23-26

  • As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: I Peter 4:10

 

  • We steward God’s resources for God’s purposes. 17

 

  • We steward God’s resources to become rich in good works, generous and ready to share. 18

 

  • We steward God’s resources to build a good foundation for the future so that we may take hold of that which is truly life. 19

 

  • In stewarding God’s resources, we experience joy. 17

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

 

  • Stewardship indicates our treasure is God and not His resources. We do not trust in resources, but in God Himself.  Luke 12:34

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34

  • Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. Proverbs 11:28

The following affirmations and appeal are from https://www.lausanne.org/content/wealth-creation-manifesto

Affirmations

  1. Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.
  2. We are created in God’s image, to co-create with him and for him, to create products and services for the common good.
  3. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.
  4. Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.
  5. Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
  6. There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.
  7. The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.
  8. Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.
  9. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
  10. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.
  11. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.

Appeal

We present these affirmations to the Church worldwide, and especially to leaders in business, church, government, and academia.

  • We call the church to embrace wealth creation as central to our mission of holistic transformation of peoples and societies.
  • We call for fresh, ongoing efforts to equip and launch wealth creators to that very end.
  • We call wealth creators to perseverance, diligently using their God-given gifts to serve God and people.

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – For the greater glory of God

Posted on 3rd October 2018 in BAM, Uncategorized, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
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Salt and Light are Useful

We are joining the disciples on the Mount of Beatitudes to be taught by Jesus.

I’m loving the conversations throughout our congregations regarding this exceptionally important revelation from Jesus.

  1. Why so much talk about heaven?
  2. What about abundant life here and now?

The Gospel authors show the laser-like focus of Jesus’ ministry regarding heaven.

  • Seventeen times Jesus teaches about heaven in this one sermon.
  • Four additional times, in this sermon, Jesus speaks of our “heavenly Father.”

Jesus wants it to be very clear – citizenship in the kingdom of heaven is the highest priority.

Disciples of Jesus live all of life as subjects to King Jesus and as citizens of His heavenly kingdom.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…” Matthew 6:33

But our citizenship is in heaven.”  Philippians 3:20

God’s abundant life is the life of the kingdom of heaven in Jesus’ disciples here and now, and there and then (heaven).

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10

The abundant life, full life, and meaningful life is life as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus’ beatitudes are benchmarks for evaluating our citizenship in the kingdom of heaven.

There is no doubt, citizenship in the kingdom of heaven is by being “born again” by the grace of God through faith in Jesus.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:8,9

The greatest place on earth is Jesus’ Church living in every way the Sermon on the Mount.

In today’s text, Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus reveals His citizens are useful.

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

It is the beatitudinal Christian who is the salt of the earth.  R. T. Kendall says it beautifully, “Just being a church member or professing to be a Christian does not make you the salt of the earth.  It is when you are broken, pure in heart, hungering for righteousness, full of mercy and persecuted because of righteousness that you qualify to be the salt of the earth.”

You, a beatitudinal Christian, are the salt of the earth and the light of the world and…

  • Are useful
  • With purpose
  • Know your why.

By God’s grace and our commitment to live the values of our King and His heavenly kingdom (Righteousness) we avoid the curse of tasteless salt (no longer good for anything) and light that is covered by a bowl.

By God’s grace and our commitment to live the values of our King and His heavenly kingdom (Righteousness) we are useful salt and light for our King and to the world.

Flavorless salt and covered light are useless to our King and His kingdom.

As a beatitudinal Christian you are called by God out of the salt shaker and out from under the bowl “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Everywhere you go and in everything you do you are useful to the King and His kingdom.  You are there with purpose.  You know your why.

  • I am useful by adding the flavor of the kingdom of heaven.
  • I am useful by radiating the light of the kingdom of heaven.

We don’t isolate or hide our citizenship from people.  We take the King’s salt and light everywhere we go and in everything we do.

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.  2 Timothy 2:20, 21

Posted on 1st October 2018 in Sermon on the Mount, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Rushing Spirit and the Suddenly’s of God

I am investigating every mention of the Spirit in the Old Testament.  These notes are for the usage of the word “Spirit” in Judges through 1 Samuel 16.

The emphasis in these verses upon “The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him,” caught my attention.  Upon further thinking, I also see that Luke, in Acts, places special emphasis upon the Spirit doing things “suddenly.”

May the Spirit RUSH upon you SUDDENLY with God’s ministry to you.

Judges 14:5-6, 19; 15:14

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him,

The Expression:                                  although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces

Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat

1 Samuel 10:6, 10

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you

The Expression:                                  you will prophesy and be turned into another man

Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.

When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them.           

1 Samuel 11:6

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of God rushed upon Saul

The Expression:                                  and his anger was greatly kindled.

And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled.

1 Samuel 16:13

The Experience with the Spirit:         The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.

The Expression:                                  Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers.

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

The Holy Spirit and Luke, in the book of Acts, place enormous emphasis upon the urgent rushing of the Holy Spirit into and upon people and situations.

Acts 2:2

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Acts 8:39

When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

Acts 9:3

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.

Acts 10:30

Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me

Acts 12:7

Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

Acts 12:10

They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

Acts 16:26

Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

Acts 22:6

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.

Malachi 3:1-2

 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

 

Posted on 26th September 2018 in Uncategorized, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Greatest Place on Earth: A church living the Sermon on the Mount

The greatest place on earth is the kingdom of heaven as seen in the local church living out daily Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  This is truly a fulfillment of the nine “blessed are” sayings of Jesus in Matthew 5.

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) begins to give greater detail into His primary message.

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17

Prior to John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2) and Jesus, the emphasis was, “The kingdom of Israel.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6

Jesus proclaims, “It’s different than you have been thinking.  It’s no longer about an earthly kingdom with borders and thrones, but about God’s “every tribe and every tongue” kingdom. Leadership and governance have been shifted to the King eternal, Jesus.  And of His kingdom there shall be no end.”

Jesus reveals citizenship in the kingdom of heaven is by birth.  As in the natural, I am a United States citizen by birth, so in the spiritual I am born a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:3-7

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

 

Citizenship in the kingdom of heaven is by spiritual birth through trust and belief in the person and ministry of Jesus.

Place your trust and belief in Jesus today and you will be born into the kingdom of heaven.

Life in the kingdom of heaven is the topic of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

As previously noted, Jesus is building his eternal kingdom of heaven right here and now.

In Matthew 16 Jesus introduces the church as a parallel concept with the kingdom of heaven.

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

In this way, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is introducing life as it should be in His church.  The Apostle Paul says it this way, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…”  Philippians 3:20

“So, why church? The short answer is because the Holy Spirit formed it to be a colony of heaven in the country of death.… Church is the core element in the strategy of the Holy Spirit for providing human witness and physical presence to the Jesus-inaugurated kingdom of God in this world. It is not that kingdom complete, but it is a witness to that kingdom.…Church is an appointed gathering of named people in particular places who practice a life of resurrection in a world in which death gets the biggest headlines. … The practice of resurrection is an intentional, deliberate decision to believe and participate in resurrection life, life out of death, life that trumps death, life that is the last word, Jesus life.” (Peterson, Practice Resurrection, 12)

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus reveals the glorious life of heaven’s kingdom and invites us, the church, to be a heavenly colony filled with the love, joy, peace, faith, and hope of heaven.

As a colony of heaven:

Matthew 5:16             We do so many good works that the world glorifies our Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:17-20        We know and obey God’s law with our hearts filled with love for both.

Matthew 5:21-26        We know the dangers of anger and we reconcile immediately.

Matthew 5:27-30        We know the value of people in the image of God and we do not lust.

Matthew 5:31-32        We know the priority of marriage and we keep our marriages healthy and do not divorce.

Matthew 5:33-37        Healthy relationships are top priority, so we always keep our word.

Matthew 5:38-42        Healthy relationships are top priority, so we never retaliate.

Matthew 5:43-48        Healthy relationships are top priority, so we love our enemies.

Matthew 6:1-4            We know pride is the great destroyer, so we humbly give alms secretly.

Matthew 6:5-15          We know pride is the great destroyer, so we have a private prayer life.

Matthew 6:16-18        We know pride is the great destroyer, so we have a private fasting discipline.

Matthew 6:19-21        We know earth is temporary and passing away, so we lay up treasures in heaven.

Matthew 6:22-23        Knowing earth is temporary and passing away, we keep a pure eye, guarding ourselves from longings for the temporary.

Matthew 6:24             Knowing earth is temporary and passing away, we guard ourselves from the call to serve money and serve only God.

Matthew 6:25-34        Jesus, King of the kingdom, perfectly takes care of everything.  We are not anxious, worried, or fearful.  We seek our King and His kingdom, and He takes care of all our needs.

Matthew 7:1-6            Valuing healthy relationships, we do not become judgmental.

Matthew 7:7-11          Our King loves us and responds to our asking, seeking, and knocking.

Matthew 7:12             Valuing healthy relationships, we treat others the way we want to be treated.

Matthew 7:13-14        The kingdom of heaven is so important to us that we stick to the narrow and difficult path that leads to life.

Matthew 7:15-20        The kingdom of heaven is so important to us that we watch out for those wolves who would come in sheep’s clothing to influence us for destruction.

Matthew 7:21-23        More than the language of the kingdom, we want the heart of the King and so we do the will our Father in heaven.

Matthew 7:24-27        With Jesus as our highest priority, we both hear and put into practice His words.

The greatest place on earth is the kingdom of heaven as seen in the church living out daily

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

MCA LIFE GROUP Homework

Listen – My Story

  • Name one of your favorite places to be on the planet.
  • What do you enjoy there?
  • What happens inside you while you are there?

 

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Is it possible to become a beatitudinal Christian while isolated from the day to day issues of our brothers and sisters in Christ? 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 4:8;

 

  1. How important is the “body of Christ” in your daily life? Do you live as if you aren’t in a body of believers?  What are the personal benefits you experience by being in the Lord’s church?  1 Corinthians 12

 

Life – Taking it Home

  1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this lesson?
  2. What can you and your life group do THIS WEEK to strengthen, encourage and bless each other.

 

Lift – Prayer

 

  • Pray for “Bridging the Gap” our upcoming training on building bridges to our Muslim neighbors for the cause of Christ. October 19, 20 at MCA Church.
  • Pray for “BAM” our upcoming Business as Mission training. We are asking God to help us launch five businesses in the next five years for the cause of global evangelization.  October 6th, 9 AM to 1 PM.

 

Will you make time in your schedule to attend BAM and Bridging the Gap?  It may help you discover more about your role in the Body of Christ locally and globally.

Posted on 22nd September 2018 in Sermon on the Mount, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Bridging the Gap with David Soliman

In Anchorage, Alaska, 3.2% (2010 Census) of the neighbors God invites us to love are followers of Islam.

“Perhaps one of the largest chasms one can imagine is the separation between Western Christians and Muslims. Bridging the Gap is bridging that divide, sharing the love of Jesus with our brothers and sisters from Arab and Muslim regions.” David Soliman

Increase your loving capacity and grace!  

Free Dynamic Leadership Workshop with Bridging the Gap Founder and President, Mr. David Soliman

October 12         7:00 PM

October 13         9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

MCA Church, 7041 DeBarr Road, Anchorage, Alaska

907 337-9495              www.mcaonoline.org

FREE with Lunch Provided

“We drive to airports, board airplanes and fly half way around the world to reach people who are just like our neighbors here at home.  When obeying the Great Commission, why board a plane in Jerusalem and fly over Judea and Samaria to reach the ends of the earth?  Judea and Samaria are equally important.”  Pastor Max Wiltshire

Posted on 20th September 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Business as Mission: Gea Gort LIVE at MCA Church

Hear Gea Gort LIVE at MCA Church

Business as Mission

Saturday, October 6, 2018

7041 DeBarr Road, Anchorage, Alaska

9 AM – 1 PM Lunch Included

 

Gea’s presentations are designed to increase awareness of Business as Mission in our world of today.  Her experiences are the inspiration of her books, “God in the City: A missional way of life in an urban context” and “BAM Global Movement: concept and stories.”

“Entrepreneurs see and create opportunities. How can this talent be used to benefit society and build Gods Kingdom in innovative and holistic ways?”

Dr. Gea Gort is passionate about mission, especially in the urban context. She sees a grassroots missionary movement emerging. As author, journalist and missiologist she researches, writes and speaks about international developments regarding this movement.

There is a small, but steadily growing innovative missional movement emerging in urban places.  It is a grassroots movement; people involved are moving to vulnerable neighborhoods and connect with their neighbors. Others start Business as Mission-type initiatives, or lead fellow church members into a change; they are getting involved in a meaningful ways with their neighborhoods.

As missionaries, Gea and Menno (her husband) lived and worked for nine years on board Mercy Ships’ hospital ship, the Anastasis. We moved to Rotterdam to set up Mercy Ships Holland and I became locally involved: led a prayer movement in my city, directed a leadership network and advised the local government on multicultural issues. Meanwhile studying journalism and Urban Mission (Doctor of Ministry) and started writing about what God and Gods people are doing around the world.

Let us know of your interest in attending, 907 337-9495 or kentredfearn@pastorkent.me

Two of Gea’s insightful books call us to engage the Gospel in the urban context.

Posted on 20th September 2018 in Glocal, Missions  •  Comments are off for this post