logo

"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

Posts categorized Uncategorized

post

Memorial Day: We Mourn and Rejoice

Today we remember with mourning and glorious gladness

In the United States of America, the last Sunday in the month of May is Memorial Day.  Specifically, Memorial Day is for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

The honoring and mourning is represented by the decoration of our loved one’s graves.  Actually, from the early beginnings in 1868 until 1967, May 30th of each year was titled, “Decoration Day.”

Canadian doctor and surgeon, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, wrote the poem, “In Flanders Fields” in 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  Loved and were loved, and now we lie
      In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

In 1918 the National American Legion adopted the poppy as their official symbol of remembrance.

Just over a year ago Bill Welch, David Kuiper and I visited Normandy.  Spending most of the day at Omaha beach, we experienced some of the sights and sounds of the bloodiest D-day beach.

I shall remember all my life the 172.5-acre cemetery.  9,388 pure white gravestones are forever carved into my memory.

Members of MCA church have friends, relatives, associates and neighbors who have died in service of our country. 

Years ago, one of our members, Jerry, was recounting his day of service as an anti-aircraft gunner on the back of a ship at Pearl Harbor.  When his recollection arrived at the point where his weapon overheated, and he was now helpless to fight for the lives of his countrymen, he broke into tears and wept.

His tears moved me deeply.

Deuteronomy, the fifth book in the Old Testament, could be called the Book of Remembrance.

Toward the end of the book, we are told to remember, consider and ask about the days of old.

Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.  Deuteronomy 32:7

We are to remember, consider and ask about life as a slave before the Lord brought us out with His mighty hand and outstretched arm.

You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. Deuteronomy 5:15

Our memory of God’s strong action prevents us from living in fear.

you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.  Deuteronomy 7:18

We are to remember, consider and ask about the whole way that the Lord God has led us in the past.

And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. Deuteronomy 8:2

Looking back through memory, we are reminded of God’s confirmation of His covenant promises made to our fathers.

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 to remember, consider and ask with the bread of affliction, unleavened bread.

You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction—for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste—that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 16:3

How could we remember the days of old without a roadside stop with Jesus on memory lane?

14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 

I remember you, Jesus.  Your excruciating night of praying with tears, sweat and blood. 

Your tears move me deeply.

I remember you, Jesus. 

The day your feet, by which you walked into our world with the mercy and grace of God, were rendered motionless by nails and hammer into a wooden beam.

The moment your loving, healing, gracious hands were stymied and spiked to the Roman plank.

I remember the Divine back upon which you carry the sins of the world being shredded and torn.

I remember your head crowned with torture.  There held the greatest mind – the most understanding and insightful eyes – the treasured mouth which spoke the words of God – the ears which give hearing to the very voice of creation.

I remember your perfect, sacred, loving heart motionless without a beat. 

On this great day of memory, we sense again, with freshness, our mourning and sorrow over your mistreatment, abuse and death.

Our memory, however, doesn’t end there.

We recall and recollect your glorious resurrection from the dead and proclaim with the Psalmist David:

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

We remember your post-resurrection appearances filled with life and joy and hope.

We remember your ascension and your promise to be with us always in the Person of the Holy Spirit and to return in victory.

Our mourning is turned into gladness.

Normandy’s battles have become a world free of Hitler’s anti-God passion and I’m glad.

Jesus’ wounds have released us from our transgressions.

His bruises have removed our iniquities and I’m glad.

The chastisement of His body produced our peace.

The stripes he bore secured our healing and I’m glad.

We remember with mourning and glorious gladness.

Posted on 24th May 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Psalm 91: A Psalm of Trust

The outcomes of trusting God are numerous and spectacular in Psalm 91.

He delivers from the snare of the fowler

He delivers from the deadly pestilence

We will not fear the terror of the night

We will not fear the arrow that flies by day

We will not fear the pestilence that stalks in darkness

We will not fear the destruction that wastes at noonday

This all-encompassing trust flows from the deepest part of the person who dwells in the shelter of the Most High.  

Where is that shelter located?  How do we find that shelter?

Consider another scriptural location.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
    running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
    which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
    life forevermore.

Where is “there?”  Where does the Lord command the blessing?

Is the shelter of the Most High a spiritual location?  Yes.

Jesus seems to have Psalm 91:1 in His mind as he speaks in John 15.

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Abiding, similar to the dwell of Psalm 91, is featured by our Lord nine times in this brief passage.

Another similarity is the emphasis upon love.

Psalm 91:14

14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.

John 15:9

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

John 15:12, 13

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:14-17

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

The shelter of the Most High where we are to dwell, is a place of love.

To love God includes:

  • ïAffection
  • ïCommunication
  • ïEmbrace
  • ïEmotion

Feel the love of the Psalmist (73):

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strengthof my heart and my portion forever.

In this abiding and abundant love for God:

  • There is an urgent seeking.
  • I will seek him whom my soul loves.  SS 3:1
  • 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 in his temple.  Psalm 27:4
  • “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  Matthew 7:7,8
  • ïThere is an intense holding.
  • Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves.  I held him, and would not let him go.  SS 3:4
  • He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him.  2 Kings 18:5-7
  • This love captivates the heart.
  • You have captivated my heart.  SS 4:9
  • For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
  • Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee. Augustine

Notice the Old Testament’s most significant verse, Deuteronomy 6:4, 5:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 

In some ways it is easier to give God your soul and your might than it is to give Him your heart.

  • It is in our hearts that we hold bitterness and unforgiveness
  • It is in our hearts that we cling to our brokenness, woundedness and pain
  • It is in our hearts that previous and lesser loves have left us cut off and alone.
  • It is in our hearts that we find our deepest fears and failures.

It is precisely with this heart that God longs for me to love Him.

Posted on 20th May 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Never Waste a Pandemic: Insight and Wisdom

This is a season never before experienced in all of history.  

Previously we conversed about excelling in love during a season of super strong personal opinions and beliefs.

  1. 1.We seek to excel in love because our eternal inheritance requires us to do so.
  2. 2.We seek to excel in love by limiting our freedoms for the benefit of the other.
  3. 3.We seek to excel in love because Christian unity is our greatest testimony that God is love and has sent His Son to rescue us and live with us.

Although many pandemics have plagued the earth, none have happened in a world as interconnected as we are today.

On non-eternal matters explicitly addressed in the Bible we are commanded to hold to our personal conscience before God.

  • ïVery dear and wise personal Christian friends strongly hold to the belief that Paul’s sentence, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet,” as eternal guidance for all churches in all places at all times.  1 Timothy 2:12
  • ïI hold strong belief that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost upon daughters and sons, female and male, in fact, upon all flesh, indicates that Paul was clearly speaking of particular churches at a particular time.

Never in my lifetime have matters of conscience been this front and center in the Christian family of faith.

Therefore, in times like these, we have huge need for two exceedingly crucial skills; insight and wisdom.

The ability, in these turbulent times, to see into matters is a crucial need.

  • ïWhat is below the surface of what initially meets the eye?
  • ïWhat is connected to what I currently perceive?
  • ïWhat can I see in my blind spot?
  • ïWhat has the Spirit said in the Bible about this matter?

Consider the following passages from the Book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:2

To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight,

Proverbs 2:3

yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,

Proverbs 4:1

A Father’s Wise Instruction ] Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

Proverbs 4:5

Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.

Proverbs 4:7

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

Proverbs 7:4

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend,

Proverbs 8:14

I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.

Proverbs 9:6

Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”

Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

A need of the hour for the Christian is insight.

To insight we add wisdom.

Wisdom understands how to handle the insights as we daily live out our faith.

Isaiah presents the outcomes of the Spirit of the Lord being upon Jesus and through extrapolation, upon you and me today.  Isaiah 11:1-2

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Wisdom is critical because the cohesiveness of our faith falls apart if we are unwise.  

According to this passage, what good is it to have understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord if we are not wise?  Wisdom is key to all gifts and fruit of the Spirit.

Most crucial questions of this significant time in history cannot be answered definitively.

For example, many are asking, “Are these the last days?”  

We cannot give a definitive, all-encompassing answer.  It doesn’t seem wise to say “Yes,” and it surely isn’t wise to say, “No.”

My answer is, “These are more the last days than any other day in history.”  

The uncertainty of the hour demands insight and wisdom.

Revelation 13 Comments
11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. ïThere will be an exercise of overwhelming authority.
ïThere will be worship required.




ïThere will be much deception


ïThere will be the killing of those who would not worship.
ïThere will be required identification on the right hand or the forehead
ïThere will be buying or selling unless one identifies with the beast
ïTHIS CALLS FOR WISDOM

Allowing Revelation 13:11-18 to be our guide, let us pursue insight and wisdom in the following:

  1. Be very thoughtful, careful and cautious about matters of authority.
  2. Be very thoughtful, careful and cautions about matters of worship.
  3. Look closely for indications that you are becoming deceived.
  4. Should Christians be on earth during this season, prepare for life-ending violence.
  5. Be very thoughtful, careful and cautions about matters of identification.
  6. Seek insight and wisdom for the day when you may not be able to buy or sell.
  7. John is correct, THIS CALLS FOR WISDOM.
Posted on 17th May 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Never Waste A Pandemic: Excelling in Christian Love

Christianity has historically been seen for its GREATNESS in times similar to the 2020 Novel Corona Virus pandemic.

Although the world enemy was different than a microscopic virus and the war against that enemy required, Sir. Winston Churchill beautifully reframed the war.  In four weeks, we will celebrate the 80th anniversary of his prolific words (June 18, 1940).

A picture containing receipt, text

Description automatically generated

We are on history’s stage at the precise time when a very real and dangerous disease has become both a physical AND spiritual war.

Even more than we need the world’s greatest minds to find a vaccine and cure, our planet needs every Christian to war against the spirit, processes and powers of anti-Christ perspectives.

The spirit of anti-Christ is seeking to reframe his diabolical agenda in positive terms of human sustainability, health and wellness. 

On the surface the issues are framed, “This is for personal and global good.”  Anti-Christ spirit however is working behind the scenes not for personal or global good, but for the overthrow of the kingdom of God on the earth.

The spirit of anti-Christ is actively pursuing the end-time agenda of darkness by manipulating mental models, fear and issues of power and control throughout the whole world.

The spirit of anti-Christ is well served should Christians be turned against each other over non-eternal issues such as mask or no mask, gather or don’t gather, isolate or quarantine, constitutional rights or moral responsibility?

The Spirit of Christ, on the other hand, is identifying fully committed disciples from the partially committed and is birthing a gigantic global move of people to God.

Issues have been framed as, “Democrats put lives before the economy and Republicans put the economy before lives.”

Neither of these adequately addresses the Spirit’s priority of saving the human soul for eternal life with God.

Whether we live or die (priority upon lives) is far less important than if we are eternally saved or lost.

Whether we have a booming economy or a busted economy is far less important than being eternally saved or lost.

28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

It is my guess that more money has been spent or lost or not created in the war against this virus than all the money ever spent on missions endeavors throughout Christian history.

While we make a great fight for our economy, which is urgently needed, and while we unflinchingly fight for the saving of the physical lives of the world, we keep our primary focus on the saving of souls unto eternal life in Christ.

Below the surface of pandemic jargon and vernacular the Spirit of God is at work for the saving of souls and the advancement of God’s kingdom on earth.

The chief weapon in our battle for souls is God given love.

35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:35

The glue that holds Christ’s team together in this war is love.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  1 Peter 4:8-11

To avoid cooperation with the spirit of anti-Christ, we trust the Spirit of Christ to empower us to excel in Christian love.

We excel in Christian love because Jesus reveals that loving God and neighbor is required to inherit eternal life.

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” Luke 10:25-28

The question is very clear, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

The answer is equally clear, “Love God and neighbor.”

Our eternal inheritance requires us to excel in love.  Thanks be to God; He gives us the ability to excel in love through His Spirit.

Walking in freedom, we excel in Christian love by limiting our rights for the sake of love.

In Romans 14 the Apostle Paul highlights two matters of conscience that were hindering the Roman church from excelling in love.

First, they were not excelling in love because of heated debate between eating meat or vegetables.

Second, they were not excelling in love because of disagreement about “holy” days.

Maybe Paul would say to us today, “Excel in loving even in the deeply held beliefs of mask or no mask?  Gather or don’t gather?”

Paul reveals that excelling in love on matters of conscience requires:

  • Do not despise the person who differs from you.  Vs. 3
  • Do not pass judgement.  Vs. 3
  • Be fully convinced in your own mind.  Vs. 5
  • And be faithful to that of which you are convinced.
  • Because we won’t stand in front of each other for judgement, but before God.  Vs. 10
  • “So then each of us will give an account of himself before God.”  Vs. 12

We excel in Christian love when walking in freedom, we limit our rights for the sake of love.

We excel in Christian love because it is our most powerful testimony to the very souls we are commissioned to reach.

The need of the hour is for the world to be convinced that Jesus is God’s Son and eternal life is found only in Him.

We love one another deeply through the power of the Holy Spirit “so that the world may know” the truth about Jesus and come to know Him personally.

23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.  John 17:23

When we excel in Christian love we proclaim that the Christian’s primary ministry during the global pandemic isn’t masks or no masks, distancing or no distancing, gathering or not gathering, but loving one another deeply from the heart.

Knowing Christian love is required….

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties,

And so bear ourselves,

That if the history of our church lasts for a thousand years,

People will say,

“This was their finest hour.”

Online Bible Fellowship Homework

Listen – My Story

  • Do you have a story of receiving God’s love?
  • Do you have a favorite experience of giving God’s love?

Learn – Digging Deeper

Read 1 Corinthians 13

  1. The word “If” is highlighted in verses 1-3.  Why?  What is Paul’s point?
  • The word “is” is highlighted in verses 4-7.  What is love?
  • Verses 8-13 highlight the eternality of love.  What ends and what lasts?  Why?

Life – Taking it Home

  1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this lesson? 
  2. How can your Online Bible Fellowship help you excel in Christian love?

Lift – Prayer

  • Is there an area of life in which you hope to love more like Christ?
  • Pray for those who placed their trust in Jesus for salvation this past week.
  • Receive prayer requests and pray one for the other.
  • Please pray for the MCA congregations both at home and around the world, especially for their finances.
Posted on 16th May 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Psalm 91: Seeing the Unseen (Angels part 2)

The distinctive of MCA Church’s belief system is our understanding of how to understand the Bible.

Most evangelical Christians believe the Bible to be:

  1. The infallible
  2. Inerrant
  3. Authoritative
  4. Word of God
  5. Only rule of faith and practice.

This is common terminology for most evangelical Christians.  What then is our distinctive in this regard?

We understand New Testament narrative to be revelation of what God can do and does in our world of today.

We do not see any Bible passage stating any of the New Testament ministries have ceased or were limited to a time zone (dispensation).

We understand “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever,” to include the ministries he did, the message He proclaimed and the promises He made.

The hermeneutic of the typical Pentecostal believer is straightforward and simple: the stories in Acts are my stories—stories that were written to serve as models for shaping my life and experience.  Menzies, Robert. Pentecost: This Story is Our Story . Gospel Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

The poetry of Psalm 91 introduces us to God’s angels accomplishing His purposes in the earth.

For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

From our perspective, the poetry of Psalm 91 is valid revelation for our lives today.

“Thus, the Psalm invites readers from diverse contexts to help shape the meaning of the Psalm by contributing their own answers….”  The Oxford Handbook of the Psalms, Brennan Breed, page 298

Consider praying for God to give guidance to the angels on your behalf.

  1. Angels are messengers of God.  “Lord, I pray to receive every message you intend for me, whether by the gifts of the Spirit, the Bible, wise counsel from others or by angelic delivery.”
  2. Angels are involved in the worship of God.  “Lord, I pray to worship you at a much higher level than I do now.  May I learn from the angels a greater capacity for worship.”
  3. Angels are God’s warriors.  “Lord, I pray that you will commission your angels in the unseen war related to my life.  May your angels go to war on my behalf.”
  4. Angels guard the throne of God and His glory.  “Lord, as you increase my personal experience with your glory, may you send your angels to guard both me and your glory.”
  5. Angels “lift you up” so that your walk is steady.  “Lord, I ask you to commission your angels to lift me up so that I walk steady and holy before you.”

Because of the Bible’s strong teaching that its narratives are instructive for today (ALL scripture is God breathed and is PROFITABLE), we consider the angelic ministry in the New Testament to be normative for God’s work in our world today.

“The stories in Acts are our stories.”

Luke’s Book of Acts significantly features angelic ministry in the life of the newly launched church.  We too should expect and anticipate God guiding, providing, protecting and communicating through angels.

10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”  Acts 1:10-11   Heavenly messengersIn white robesSuddenly stood by themTwo in numberApparently vanished as quickly as they arrivedMessage of Jesus’ return to earth someday
17 But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy  18 they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”    Opened locked and secured doorsNavigated the apostles through the prison security systemGave detailed instructions
    15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.  Acts 6:15     30 “Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.  Acts 7:30   35 “This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.  Acts 7:35   38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received  living oracles to give to us.  Acts 7:38   53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”  Acts 7:53     There is a look on the human face considered to be like an angel.       An angel standing in a flame of fire         The angelic messenger is a validation of the seriousness of God’s message           Moses’ “living oracles” were given to him by an angel at Mount Sinai       The law of God was considered to be delivered to Israel by angels
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south[d] to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went.  Acts 8:26   Life and ministry direction given by an angel
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.”  And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.”   A very real visitation in a visionKnowledge of the impact prayer and alms giving rising as a memorial before GodLife direction givenKnowledge of where Simon Peter was lodging
Peter also had a vision but his experience isn’t attributed to angels but to the Lord and the Spirit.  
22 And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.” 23 So he invited them in to be his guests.   The angelic visitation authenticates the guests to Peter and he invites them into his house
27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”   Peter is TOTALLY confident in the message of the vision and the voice of the Lord and the Spirit
30 And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”   Cornelius still validates his actions, four days later, because of the angel’s ministry.An angelic hint is the quick appearance, “Stood before me.”An angelic hint is the “bright clothing.”An angelic hint is knowing what has been remembered before God.
Posted on 13th May 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
post

MCA Church Novel Corona Virus Mitigation Plan

The MCA Church Corona Virus Mitigation Plan reflects the following Bible instructions:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Philippians 2:3, 4

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Romans 13:1

Stay Home if You are Not Feeling Well or Have Someone Sick in Your Home

  • A fever of 100.4 or higher or a sense of having a fever
  • A cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • A sore throat
  • New muscle aches
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 include difficulty breathing, chills, decreased appetite, diminished sense of taste or smell, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, muscle/joint aches, nausea, rash, rigors, runny nose, sore throat, or sputum production
  • Been in close contact, longer than fifteen minutes and under six feet, with anyone who has been confirmed positive for COVID-19 or are displaying these symptoms
  • If any of the above are true for you or your household, we strongly recommend seeing your health care provider and following all of their guidelines

We Recommend that You Stay Home if You are In the High-Risk Category

  • Age 65 and older
  • Have underlying health issues
    • Hypertension
    • Heart disease
    • Lung disease
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity (BMI>40)
    • Immuno-compromised states

Six Feet of Separation from All Non-household Members at All Times

Hand Sanitization Required for Entry

  • MCA Central Campus has One Hand Washing Station for those Allergic or Sensitive to Sanitizer

Cloth Face Masks Strongly Recommended at All Times

All of Our Facilities will Host Touchless Services

  • Doors will be open when you arrive
  • Christian Fellowship will NOT include handshakes, hugs or other forms of touching

Observe One Way Traffic in the MCA Facilities at All Times.

  • Walking paths are clearly marked
  • Seating options are clearly marked

All Common Surfaces are Sanitized Hourly (Between Services)

No Food or Beverages Will Be Served (Bring Your Own Beverages)

Children Will Worship WITH Their Parent or Guardian

  • Due to Children’s difficulty for properly distancing from one another
  • Due to the high likelihood of children sharing toys and other surfaces
Posted on 13th May 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
post

MCA Church: Anchorage – Reopening Schedule Beginning May 16, 2020

We are delighted to commence meeting together the weekend of May 16 and 17, 2020.

It is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE that we all follow the MCA Church Corona Virus Mitigation Plan. If you don’t feel well, stay home and consult your medical professionals to determine your health plan.

Please contact our receptionist and reserve your worship seat for your preferred gathering. Text or call 907 337-nine four nine five today.

Weekend Worship Schedule

West Campus

Saturday

5:30 PM – 6:15 PM  Greatest Hits

Sunday

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM   Island Revival 1

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM  Island Revival 2

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM  Multi-language

Central Campus

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM  LIVE

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM  LIVE

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM  LIVE

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM  Strong Tower

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM  Strong Tower

4:00 PM – 4:45 PM  LIVE

6:00 PM – 6:45 PM Sunday Night Live

Posted on 10th May 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Living Hope: The Power of God

Mother’s Day 2020

Order of Worship

Call to Worship     

17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Worship Selection One

[Verse 1]
Now the darkness fades
Into new beginnings
As we lift our eyes to a hope beyond
All creation waits
With an expectation
To declare the reign of the Lord our God

[Chorus]
We will not be moved
When the earth gives way
For the risen One has overcome
And for every fear
There’s an empty grave
For the risen One has overcome

[Verse 2]
Now the silence breaks
In the name of Jesus
As the heavens cry let the earth respond
All creation shouts
With a voice of triumph
To declare the reign of the Lord our God

[Chorus]
We will not be moved
When the earth gives way
For the risen One has overcome
And for every fear
There’s an empty grave
For the risen One has overcome

[Bridge]
He shall reign forever
Strongholds now surrender
For the Lord our God has overcome
Who can be against us?
Jesus our Defender
He is Lord and He has overcome
He shall reign forever
Strongholds now surrender
For the Lord our God has overcome
Who can be against us?
Jesus our Defender
He is Lord and He has overcome!..

[Chorus]
We will not be moved
When the earth gives way
For the risen One has overcome
And for every fear
There’s an empty grave
For the risen One has overcome
We will not be moved
When the earth gives way
For the risen One has overcome
And for every fear
There’s an empty grave
For the risen One has overcome…

Worship Selection Two

Verse 1
You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

Chorus 1
What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Verse 2
You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great Your love was greater
What could separate us now

Chorus 2
What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Bridge
Death could not hold You
The veil tore before You
You silence the boast of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring
The praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again

You have no rival
You have no equal
Now and forever God You reign
Yours is the kingdom
Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names

Chorus 3
What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

A Mother’s Prayer Lyrics

I pray you’ll be my eyes
And watch her where she goes
And help her to be wise
Help me to let go

Every mother’s prayer
Every child knows
Lead her to a place
Guide her with your grace
To a place where she’ll be safe

I pray she finds your light
And holds it in her heart
As darkness falls each night
Remind her where you are

Every mother’s prayer
Every child knows
Need to find a place
Guide her with your grace
Give her faith so she’ll be safe

Lead her to a place
Guide her with your grace
To a place where she’ll be safe

Message Notes

The Spirit is teaching us about HOPE from 1 Peter 1:1-9. 

H – Heaven

O – Outcomes of our faith

P – Power of God

E – InExpressible Joy

It seems to me that Peter writes this letter one time and it is read by God’s chosen people in a region and then transported to the next region. 

  • Pontus
  • Galatia
  • Cappadocia
  • Asia (a Roman province)
  • Bithynia

The New Testament Paul is known as the Apostle of Faith, John is known as the Apostle of Love and Peter is understood as the Apostle of Hope.

Peter tells us the reason for writing this letter, “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  Vs. 3

The need for this reminder of the Christian’s living hope is they are dispersed (vs. 1) and are being tested by fire (vs. 7).

In this letter, living hope is for Christians who are scattered and tested.

The experience of being scattered (dispersed) may carry feelings of:

  • Displacement – unsettled, never at home, not where I belong.
  • Dis-ordered – this isn’t how life is supposed to be.

The experience of being tested by fire may carry feelings of:

  • This isn’t fair.
  • I am not safe and secure.

Being both scattered and tested by fire can birth questions we want to ask God.

  • Where are You?
  • It doesn’t appear to me that you are fulfilling your promises.

Into this painful reality, Peter speaks living hope.

The Christian’s HOPE is secure because our inheritance is kept in heaven for you (Vs. 4).

  • Imperishable
  • Undefiled
  • Unfading

We thank God for the security and safety of our inheritance kept in heaven.

HOWEVER, our HOPE isn’t a living hope only because our inheritance is safe and secure, but because WE are too!

ALWAYS keep 1 Peter 1:5 at the fore front of your remembrance. 

YOU, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  1 Peter 1:3-5

Sisters, brothers, moms and dads, in this scattered and fire tested world, it is by GOD’S power that we are guarded through faith.

My inheritance is kept in heaven for me AND I am guarded on earth by God’s power so I will receive my inheritance.  Glory to God!

It is by the power of God that I put on the whole armor of God.  Ephesians 6

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

It is by the power of God that we let not our heart be troubled and neither let it be afraid.

It is by the power of God that we face trials and tribulations with good cheer for Jesus has overcome the world.

It is by the power of God that we know whom we have believed in and are persuaded that He is able to keep that which we have committed unto Him against that day.

It is by the power of God that we experience Jesus who is the:

  • Bread of Life
  • The Vine
  • Water of life
  • Light of the world
  • Gate into salvation
  • Good Shepherd
  • Way the truth and the life

It is by the power of God that we know Jesus’ proclamation, “Because I live, you too shall live.” Is TRUE.

It is by the power of God, we are certain that the “Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first and we who are live and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds.”

Moms and sisters, are you feeling:

Displaced and dis-ordered?  The power of God is guarding you.

Life isn’t fair and safety and security are far away?  The power of God is guarding you.

Are you asking, “God, where are you?” and it seems God isn’t fulfilling His promises?  The power of God is guarding you.

The power of God is our:

  • Refuge and fortress
  • Stronghold and High tower
  • Strong habitation
  • Rock
  • Hiding place
  • Shield and buckler
  • Keeper and deliverer
  • And our soon coming King.

Our living hope is guarded by the POWER of God.

Receive His HOPE today.  Place your trust in Him for Salvation.

Worship Selection Three

[Verse 1]
I am weary from the waves
Crashing over every day
God of mercy, please come rescue me
I am longing for Your voice
Gentle whisper in the noise
Father, tell me everything’s all right, yeah

[Chorus]
Your power and Your presence
Breaks strongholds, King of Heaven
When You speak, mountains move
I believe there will be breakthrough, yeah

[Verse 2]
You alone can take my scars
And piece by piece restore my heart
Take what’s broken, make it whole again, oh-oh

[Chorus]
‘Cause Your power and Your presence
Breaks strongholds, King of Heaven
When You speak, mountains move
I believe there will be breakthrough, oh-oh
There will be breakthrough, oh

[Bridge]
Shake the mountains, break the walls apart
Open the Heavens, Almighty God, You are
Overcomer, Defender of my heart
It’s who You are, God
By Your power, the oceans open wide
Your fire falls down, Heaven and Earth collide
King Jesus, forever by my side
Shake the mountains, yes
Shake the mountains, break the walls apart
Open the Heavens, Almighty God, You are
Overcomer, Defender of my heart, oh-oh, yeah
And by Your power, the oceans open wide
Your fire falls down, Heaven and Earth collide
King Jesus, forever by my side, yeah

[Chorus]
‘Cause Your power and Your presence
Breaks strongholds, King of Heaven
When You speak, mountains move
I believe there will be breakthrough
And Your power and Your presence
Breaks strongholds, King of Heaven
When You speak, mountains move
I believe there will be breakthrough
There will be breakthrough
There will be breakthrough
I know, I know, I know
There will be breakthrough

[Spontaneous]
I know You are moving now, God
I know You are healing now, God
You are moving, You are healing, You are speaking
There will be, there will be victory
I know, I know, I know

[Interlude]
There will be, there will be victory here
There will be, there will be victory here
There will be, there will be victory, oh-oh
There will be, there will be victory here
There will be, there will be victory here
There will be, there will be victory here
I know, I know, yeah
There will be, come on, there will be victory here
There will be, there will be victory here
There will be, there will be victory here, oh-oh, yeah
There will be, there will be victory here
There will be, there will be victory here
There will be, there will be victory here
We believe, shake the mountains

[Bridge]
Shake the mountains, you sing, break the walls apart
Open the Heavens, Almighty God, You are
Overcomer, Defender of my heart
And by Your power, the oceans open wide
Your fire falls down, Heaven and Earth collide
King Jesus, forever by my side
Shake the mountains, shake the mountains
Shake the mountains, break the walls apart
Open the Heavens, Almighty God, You are
Overcomer, Defender of my heart
By Your power, by Your power
And by Your power, the oceans open wide
Your fire falls down, Heaven and Earth collide
King Jesus, forever by my side

[Chorus]
‘Cause Your power and Your presence
Breaks strongholds, King of Heaven
When You speak, mountains move
I believe there will be breakthrough, yeah
There will be breakthrough
We know, we know, we know
That there will be breakthrough
There will be breakthrough

Posted on 9th May 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
post

Psalm 91: Seeing the Unseen

Psalm 91: Seeing the Unseen

The hymns and poems of Israel invite us into the realities of human condition and the presence and purposes of God.

To walk in the wisdom and revelation of the Psalms requires us to make personal decisions about how we will understand the Psalms meaning for us today.

  1. What did the author (Author) intend for the hearer, reader and singer to understand from the psalm?  What did it mean to the author?
  2. What have hearers, readers and singers understood the psalm to mean in history?
  3. What should hearers, readers and singers understand the psalm to mean today?

“Thus, the Psalm invites readers from diverse contexts to help shape the meaning of the Psalm by contributing their own answers….”  The Oxford Handbook of the Psalms, Brennan Breed, page 298

Previously, in Psalms for All Seasons, I presented my perspective of Psalm 23 and Psalm 91 (two among many) as poetry aligning with every season of life.  All day, every day, Psalms 23 and 91 are a perfect match for the soul.

In my presentation, Psalm 91: Because He Loves Me, we looked at the poetry of Psalm 91 as though God is talking to persons whose love for Him is expansive and of His interest in rescuing and protecting those who love Him so. 

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

Psalm 91: A Perfect Match for Jesus considers the poem as a Psalm of Trust for the Perfect King. The poetic promises God makes in Psalm 91 are all fully experience by King Jesus.

In this teaching we will consider Psalm 91 as revelation from God opening to our seeing the unseen.

Things that are unseen feature prominently in this Psalm.

  • The fowler’s snare is unseen by the fowl.  Vs. 3
  • Terror of the night increases because one cannot see into the night.  Vs. 5
  • Plagues that destroy at midday also cannot be seen.  Vs. 6

The fear and danger of the unseen is met by the Psalmist’s announcement of God’s unseen (generally) angels who pronounce and protect God’s beloved.  Psalm 91:11-12

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

Henry Thiessen states in Lectures in Systematic Theology, “Scripture everywhere assumes the existence of angels, good and evil.”  (1980, page 133)

Thiessen’s “Categories of Angels” is helpful in understanding Biblical revelation about angels.

Angels

In both primary biblical languages, Hebrew and New Testament Greek, angel means messenger. 

Sometimes the messengers are human (Luke 7:24) and sometime the messengers are “heavenly” messengers.

Deciding if the Bible is referring to a human or heavenly messenger is sometimes challenging.  For example, much debate happens regarding the use of “angel” by the Apostle John to the seven churches of Asia.

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:”  Revelation 2:1

The Bible reveals a gigantic angel population.

Daniel 7:9, 10

“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. 10 A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.

Psalm 68:17

17 The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.

Revelation 5:11

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,

The Bible reveals various kinds of angels

Cherubim (singlular is Cherub) are mostly shown as the guardians of God’s throne and His glory.

24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.  Genesis 3:24

Seraphim (singular is Seraph) are mostly revealed to be the directors and worshippers of God.

Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  Isaiah 6:2

Living Creatures seem to be similar to, but different from the seraphim.  The living creatures have the unique role of administering the judgements of God.

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come!”

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever.  Revelation 4:6-10

An archangel is directly introduced in the Bible.  Archangels are shown to guard Israel, make very important announcements, and serve as warriors or leading warrior angels.

But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”  Jude 1:9

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  1 Thessalonians 4:16

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back…Revelation 12:7

The watchers may or may not be a different kind of angel.  Nebuchadnezzar saw watchers in his vision who were sent to observe and give a message from God

13 “I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. Daniel 4:13

17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.  Daniel 4:17

Sons of God is, at times, a reference to angels. 

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.  Job 1:6

when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:7

In this world of unseen dangers and fears, God has a FAR GREATER unseen ministry team serving Him on your behalf.  Psalm 91:11-12

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

Personal Application

We believe all prayer is to God the Father, through His Son Jesus, by the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, we do not pray to angels.

We understand the Bible to teach that God gives guidance to the angels for the good of those who love Him wholeheartedly.

Consider praying for God to give guidance to the angels on your behalf.

  1. Angels are messengers of God.  “Lord, I pray to receive every message you intend for me, whether by the gifts of the Spirit, the Bible, wise counsel from others or by angelic delivery.”
  2. Angels are I     nvolved in the worship of God.  “Lord, I pray to worship you at a much higher level than I do now.  May I learn from the angels a greater capacity for worship.”
  3. Angels are God’s warriors.  “Lord, I pray that you will commission your angels in the unseen war related to my life.  May your angels go to war on my behalf.”
  4. Angels guard the throne of God and His glory.  “Lord, as you increase my personal experience with your glory, may you send your angels to guard both me and your glory.”
  5. Angels “lift you up” so that your walk is steady.  “Lord, I ask you to commission your angels to lift me up so that I walk steady and holy before you.”
Posted on 6th May 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
post

The Good News of Living Hope: The Outcomes of Our Faith

Call to Worship

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Worship and Praise Selection One

“Lion And The Lamb”

He’s coming on the clouds
Kings and kingdoms will bow down
And every chain will break
As broken hearts declare His praise
For who can stop the Lord Almighty

And our God is the lion
The Lion of Judah
He’s roaring with power
And fighting our battles
And every knee will bow before Him
Our God is the lamb
The lamb that was slain
For the sins of the world
His blood breaks the chains
And every knee will bow before the lion and the lamb
Every knee will bow before Him

So, open up the gates
Make way before the King of Kings
The God who comes to save
Is here to set the captives free
For who can stop the Lord Almighty

Our God is the lion
The Lion of Judah
He’s roaring with power
And fighting our battles
And every knee will bow before Him
Our God is the lamb
The lamb that was slain
For the sins of the world
His blood breaks the chains
And every knee will bow before the lion and the lamb
Every knee will bow before Him

For who can stop the Lord Almighty
Who can stop the Lord Almighty
Who can stop the Lord Almighty
No one
Who can stop the Lord Almighty

Who can stop the Lord Almighty
Who can stop the Lord Almighty
There is no one
Who can stop the Lord Almighty
Who can stop the Lord

Our God is the lion
The Lion of Judah
He’s roaring with power
And fighting our battles
And every knee will bow before Him
Our God is the lamb
The lamb that was slain
For the sins of the world
His blood breaks the chains
And every knee will bow before the lion and the lamb
Every knee will bow before Him

Every knee will bow

Worship and Praise Selection Two

“Living Hope”

How great the chasm that lay between us
How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation, I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night
Then through the darkness, Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished, the end is written
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Who could imagine so great a mercy?
What heart could fathom such boundless grace?
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame
The cross has spoken, I am forgiven
The King of kings calls me His own
Beautiful Savior, I’m Yours forever
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence, the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me
Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence, the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me
Jesus, Yours is the victory, whoa!

Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope…

Jesus Christ, my living hope
Oh God, You are my living hope

The Old Roman Creed

I believe in God the Father almighty;
and in Christ Jesus His only Son, our Lord,
Who was born from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
Who under Pontius Pilate was crucified and buried,
on the third day rose again from the dead,
ascended into heaven,
sits at the right hand of the Father,
whence he will come to judge the living and the dead;
and in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Church,
the remission of sins,
the resurrection of the flesh, and in
life everlasting.

Holy Communion

Matthew 26:26-29

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Mother’s Day Announcement

With high esteem and great joy, we welcome Robin Schmidt as the MCA Women’s Ministry Director.

Tithes and Offerings

https://www.fellowshiponegiving.com/App/Giving/mca

Proverbs 11:24-25

24 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
    another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
    and one who waters will himself be watered.

The Good News of Living Hope: The Outcomes of Our Faith

H – Heaven

O – Outcome

P – Power of God

E – InExpressible Joy

Outcomes are important in life.

When this fully develops, what will be the outcome?

Stephen Covey, in “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” believes the second habit of effective people is to “begin with the end in mind.”

“We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind.”  Stephen Covey

Long before Covey’s masterpiece, the Holy Spirit inspired the author writing Hebrews to state,

 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.  Hebrews 13:7

Today’s primary text, 1 Peter 1:8, 9, reminds us that we are born again to living hope as we are “obtaining the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls.

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8, 9

Immediately, upon placing your trust in Jesus to birth you into His living hope, you begin obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your soul.

Knowing one’s soul is saved by God’s mercy and grace is an outstanding outcome we are receiving right now. 

A clean conscience is an outcome of our faith that we are obtaining today.

“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions,” said Atticus, “but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” 
― Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird

13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctifyfor the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.  Hebrews 9:13, 14

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

“Tolstoy said, ‘The antagonism between life and conscience may be removed either by a change of life or by a change of conscience.’ Many of us have elected to adjust our consciences rather than our lives. Our powers of rationalization are unlimited. They allow us to live in luxury and indifference while others, whom we could help if we chose to, starve and go to hell.” 
― Randy AlcornMoney, Possessions and Eternity

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.  1 Timothy 1:5

The Fruit of the Spirit is another glorious outcome of our faith that we are obtaining today.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Galatians 5:22-24

Do you have Christian HOPE today?

When the way you are living fully develops, what will be the outcome?

The outcomes of trusting Jesus are:

  • The salvation of our souls
  • A clean conscience before God
  • The fruit of the Holy Spirit.

MCA Online Bible Fellowship Conversation Guide

Listen – My Story

  • What is one of your favorite outcomes of a decision you made?
  • What was the process of making that decision?

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Read Matthew 13:53-58
  2. What was the outcome for the people of Nazareth in this passage?
  3. What has unbelief cost you?
  4. Are you willing to have the outcomes of unbelief in your life today?
  • Read Matthew 12:15
    • What was the outcome for the people in this passage?
    • Is this outcome available to people today?
    • Are you desirous of this outcome of faith in your life today?

Life – Taking it Home

  1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this lesson? 
  2. How can your Online Bible Fellowship help you apply this weeks’ teaching?

Lift – Prayer

  • Is there an outcome of faith for which we can pray with you?
  • Pray for those who placed their trust in Jesus for salvation this past week.
  • Receive prayer requests and pray one for the other.
  • Please pray for the MCA congregations both at home and around the world, especially for their finances.
Posted on 2nd May 2020 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post