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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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Crisis Intervention for Children with Developmental Disabilities and Special Needs: Hope and healing after the earthquake

Knowing the importance of assisting South Central Alaskan children to resiliently navigate the recent 7.0 earthquake and the multiple hundreds of aftershocks, I have invited Sandra Robinson, Ph.D., to make several presentations to all interested parents, teachers, educators, volunteers, and church leaders.
Caring for our children, especially those with developmental disabilities, is a highly urgent matter.  Due to the urgent need we are not as perfectly organized as we would like to be, but we are ready for three sessions of timely, practical and encouraging training and interaction with Dr. Robinson.  Her introduction presented below is super impressive and comforting.
Dr. Robinson will make her presentation three times on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday evening December 9, 2018.
Saturday, December 8 (No childcare)
  • Registration – 12:30 PM
  • First Opportunity – 1:00-4:00 PM
  • Second Opportunity -5:30-8:30 PM

Sunday, December 9 (Childcare provided)

  • Registration – 5:30 PM
  • Third Opportunity- 6:00-9:00 PM

Dr. Sandy Robinson has over 34 years of experience in public education. She has taught grades 5-12. She has also been a site administrator and the Director of Special Education in two different districts.

Dr. Sandy has taught teacher preparation courses at California State University, Riverside. She has trained educators, administrators, and parents in the areas of positive behavior techniques, teaching and learning strategies, inclusion techniques, crisis intervention, and Special Education Law. She is an Inclusion Specialist. She brings her extensive experience in the field of special education to faith communities.

Dr. Sandy has been the Regional Director of Champions Club, an international ministry for students and adults with special needs and their families. She is currently the Training Coordinator and Inclusion Specialist for Champions Clubs. In 2012, with the support of Pastor Craig Johnson and Covina Assembly of God Church, she developed and  launched the first Champions Club outside of Lakewood Church.

In 2014, Dr. Sandy and Mr. Craig Johnson wrote the first full scale curriculum for Champions (individuals with special needs). The curriculum encourages families to come to know God, love Him, and to share His love with others. In 2017, they released a family devotional that provides families access to the curriculum. It is her desire to assist churches, of all denominations, to successfully include exceptional individuals and their families in all aspects of church life.

She has been married to her best friend for 29 years. God has blessed them with two amazing daughters who love and serve God, and two pugs named Littleman and Charlie.

Posted on 6th December 2018 in Children's Ministry, Conferences, Peak Performance, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Gaze Upon the Beauty of the Lord

We are studying the usage of “revival” in Psalm 119.  Today we are taking a second look (part 2) of Psalm 119:37

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.

Any system of belief must give definition to at least three top priorities:

  1. What is true? Epistemology
  2. What is good? Ethics
  3. What is beautiful? Aesthetics

The Bible addresses truth.

  1. In John 14:6 we learn truth is not primarily propositions, but The Person of Jesus from whom propositions emanate.
  2. John tells us, in John 1:14, Jesus is the fulness of truth (and Grace). Colossians 2:9
  3. John 16:13 points out the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth.
  4. Paul reveals that the church of the living God is the household of God and is the pillar and buttress of truth. 1 Timothy 3:15
  5. 2 Timothy 2:2 instructs us to “rightly handle the word of truth.”

The Bible addresses ethics.

  1. Galatians 5:16-26 reveals a clear ethic.
  2. Micah 6:8 informs us that God has revealed what is good.

The Bible addresses aesthetics.

  1. Up to 40% of the Old Testament involves poetic
  2. Somewhere near 50 chapters of the Pentateuch reveal God’s keen eye for architecture and artistic techniques for His ornate
  3. Also near 50 chapters of the Old Testament are given to the artistic design and creation of Solomon’s Temple.
  4. Ezekiel writes 3 chapters about a third temple.
  5. The Gospels, Paul and John write about the beauty of the earthly and heavenly sanctuary of God.

Let’s consider Exodus 28:2 and 40.

And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. Vs. 2

40 “For Aaron’s sons you shall make coats and sashes and caps. You shall make them for glory and beauty.  Vs. 40

Ephesians 2:10 reveals God as the Master Artist and His art form is the human being whose trust is in Jesus for salvation.

We now come to the thesis of today’s presentation.

The Psalmist indicates a need for personal revival in relation to “looking at worthless things.”

Our question today is, “At what might I look that is worth-full?”

The Psalms do not leave us directionless on this vital question.  Consider Psalm 27:1-4

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet[b] I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire[c] in his temple.

In the midst of evildoers who assail him, adversaries and foes, and an army encamped around him, and war arising against him, his ONE THING is to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.

Will you seek to see the beauty of the Lord in Revelation 4 and 5?

Notice the “door standing open” in Revelation 4:1.

Consider God’s miraculous ministry in Acts 3:2.

There is a gate or door through which those who have limited mobility are invited to miraculously travel into a greater experience with the beauty of the Lord.

Today we join the Psalmist and eschew gazing at “worthless things” and join him in gazing at the beauty of the Lord.

Posted on 21st November 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Psalm 119: Personal Revival

Psalm 119: Personal Revival

Eleven times the Psalmist prays for personal revival.

Vs. 25              My soul clings to the dust.  Revive me according to your word.

Psalm 44:25

For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground.

Psalm 113:7

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,

Psalm 103:14

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Vs. 37              Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Vs. 40              Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

 

Vs. 50              This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

 

Vs. 88              In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

 

Vs. 93              I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

 

Vs. 107             I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!

 

Vs. 149            Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life.

 

Vs. 154             Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!

 

Vs. 156             Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules.

 

Vs. 159             Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.

Psalm 85

Lord, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you covered all their sin. Selah
You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.

10 Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.

Ten Suggestions for a Personal Revival: “The Size of the Soul (Chapter 5)” A.W. Tozer

  1. Get thoroughly dissatisfied with yourself.
  2. Set your face like a flint toward a sweeping transformation of your life.
  3. Put yourself in the way of the blessing.
  4. Do a thorough job of repenting.
  5. Make restitution whenever possible.
  6. Bring your life into accord with the Sermon on the Mount and such other New Testament Scriptures as are designed to instruct us in the way of righteousness. (Self-examination made on our knees)
  7. Be serious-minded.
  8. Deliberately narrow your interests.
  9. Begin to witness.
  10. Have faith in God (begin to expect).

 

Posted on 31st October 2018 in Uncategorized  •  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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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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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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The Holy Spirit and Me: Experience and Expression

The Holy Spirit and Me: Experience and Expression

Genesis 1:1-5

Experience with the Spirit:    The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters

The Expression:                      And God said, “Let there be light.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Genesis 6:1-8

Experience with the Spirit:    Every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

The Expression:                      My Spirit shall not abide in man forever.

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in[a] man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim[b] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Genesis 41:16 24, 25, 37

Experience with the Spirit:    The interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream

The Expression:                      It is not in me: God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer. “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” 38

Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”[a] 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. 18 Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19 Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows,21 but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. 22 I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. 23 Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24 and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.

37 This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?”

Exodus 31:1-11

The Experience with the Spirit:         I have filled him with the Spirit of God

The Expression:                                  with ability and intelligence, knowledge and al craftsmanship, devise artistic designs, work in gold, silver, and bronze, cutting stones for setting, and carving wood.

 

The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, 10 and the finely worked garments,[a] the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”

Numbers 11:24-30

The Experience with the Spirit:         Took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. Two outside the camp, Eldad and Medad.

The Expression:                                  They prophesied.

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Numbers 24:1-3

The Experience with the Spirit:         And the Spirit of God came upon him

The Expression:                                  and he took up his discourse and said…

When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said,

Numbers 27:1-3

The Experience with the Spirit:         Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit and lay your hand on him

The Expression:                                  You shall commission him in their sight.  You shall invest him with some of your authority…

So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him. 19 Make him stand before Eleazar the priest and all the congregation, and you shall commission him in their sight. 20 You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey. 21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the Lord. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he and all the people of Israel with him, the whole congregation.”

Posted on 12th September 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Heart and Heaven: Part 2

Jesus makes it clear, who we are and what we do determines our reward in heaven.

Jesus’ analysis of the heart includes: intent, motive and inclinations.

  1. God sees every intention of the thoughts of our hearts.
  • Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

  1. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination and becomes even worse when presented with evil intent.
  • Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil.

  1. Intent is an active sin in the heart.
  • Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

  1. The intent of our hearts is forgiven by repentance and prayer.
  • Acts 8:22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

  1. The Spirit led reading, studying, meditating, hearing, and memorization of the Bible discerns your heart’s intentions.
  • Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The intentions of your heart impact and influence your reward in heaven.

God loves us. His Son, Jesus guides us into avoiding a great personal fall and crash by ending the Sermon on the Mount with urgent pleading for us to “found” our hearts and lives upon the rock solid truth of the Sermon.

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Today, we seek God’s grace to make Jesus’ beatitudes the intentions of our hearts.

  • May my heart be poor in spirit.
  • May my heart mourn.
  • May meekness be in my heart.
  • May my heart hunger and thirst for righteousness.
  • May my heart be merciful.
  • May my heart be pure.
  • May my heart be filled with God’s peace and may I live out God’s peace as a peacemaker.
  • May my heart be content even in times of persecution, mocking, and being falsely accused.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.  Hebrews 11:6

By faith in Jesus, we ask God to generate within us hearts that please him.

  • We believe God exists.
  • We believe that he rewards those who seek

MCA LIFE GROUPS

Listen – My Story

  • Introduce yourself to your group and mention your favorite summer memory.
  • What are you looking forward to God doing in you through this Life Group season?
  • Do you have any apprehension as we begin the process of helping each other grow in God?

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Read Genesis 16-7-16.
    1. Do you take any comfort in the wording for God in verse 13? “You are a God of seeing.”
    2. “I have seen him who looks after me.” Do you find joy in God looking after you?
  1. Read 1 Samuel 16:7.
    1. What thoughts do you have about God looking on your heart rather than your outward appearance?
    2. Is there anything in your heart you wish God couldn’t see?
    3. Rather than run and hide your heart from Him, run to Him with openness and honesty.

Life – Taking it Home

  1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this lesson?
  2. Will you identify one heart issue and work with God to purify that segment of your heart?
  3. How can your Life Group help you apply this weeks’ teaching?

Lift – Prayer

  • Pray for those who are back in school. Ask God for grace to excel for Him in the educational setting.
  • Pray for “The Bridge” our upcoming training on building bridges to our Muslim neighbors for the cause of Christ.
  • 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.

Will you invite three people to join your Life Group?  They may be forever thankful, because humans “do best in small groups.”

Posted on 8th September 2018 in Uncategorized, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Sermon on the Mount: Heart and Heaven

The beatitudinal Christian is a person of heart and heaven.

It is good to reflect upon the interior aspects of ALL of the beatitudes.  All are in the heart first and foremost.

  • Poor in spirit
  • Mourn (flows from the heart)
  • Meek (a relationship expression anchored deeply in the Christ-like heart)
  • Hunger and thirst for righteousness (The hunger and thirst is in the heart)
  • Merciful (Action and attitudes given to others from the heart)
  • Pure in heart
  • Peacemakers (Hearts filled with God’s peace overflow into helping others experience His peace too)
  • Persecuted (We are delighted, in our hearts, to experience Jesus’ sufferings in our body).

Jesus has MUCH to say about your heart in His Sermon on the Mount.

Today’s text invites us into one of Jesus’ primary revelations; reward in heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  Matthew 5:11, 12

Jesus builds the beatitudes to a vibrant and energizing finale, “Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven.”

Reward in heaven is a central theme in Jesus’ teaching.

Matthew 5:12             Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.

Matthew 5:46             For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?

Matthew 6:1               For then you will have no reward.

Matthew 6:4               And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:6               And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:18             And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 10:41           The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.

Matthew 10:42           And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Luke 6:35                     But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

What is truly in my heart gets lived out in my life and is considered by God for reward or punishment.

Live as Jesus teaches (and requires) and the benefits are exponential:

  1. Rejoice and be
  2. Great is your reward.
  3. In heaven.
  • In your life today, keep the basis for your rejoicing and gladness in the Jesus life revealed in the Sermon on the Mount.
  • Make sure your priority today is on your reward later.
  • Continuously live wisely from a beatitudinal heart in expectation of your reward in heaven.
Posted on 1st September 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Awaken the Wonder: A tour through Acts, part 5

Signs and wonders were part of God’s response to Moses’ statement, “They will not believe me or listen to my voice…” Exodus 4

Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.”[a] And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous[b] like snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”

Samuel – “Spirit of the Lord shall rush upon you and you will be a different man.” – 1 Samuel 10

Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince[a] over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you to be prince[b] over his heritage. When you depart from me today, you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?”’ Then you shall go on from there farther and come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand. After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim,[c] where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you. Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”

When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came to Gibeah,[d] behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 And a man of the place answered, “And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.

Signs and Wonders Tour

Acts 15:12                   Signs and wonders fascinate the Jerusalem Council

Acts 16:16-18              “Spirit” commanded to leave

Acts 16:25-34              Paul, Silas, and an earthquake

Acts 17:16                   Paul’s spirit provoked

Acts 19:11                   Extraordinary miracles

Acts 20:10                   Eutychus raised from the dead

Acts 23:11                   The Lord stands next to Paul and encourages him

Acts 27:23, 24             An angel gives guidance to Paul

Acts 28:8, 9                 Many healed on Malta

Posted on 18th July 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post