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GOD’S AMAZING GRACE

The theme of grace is something that has been discussed a lot in our churches in the past few years, as well as it should be. God’s grace is truly amazing and without it we would be truly lost. Unfortunately, there has been some misunderstanding in this area. 

 For example, many have been told that because we are “saved by grace through faith and not by our own works” (Eph. 2:8-9), that we can do whatever we want and God will accept us and that The Holy Spirit will work through us regardless. This is not true. It is true that we cannot earn our salvation and that we are only righteous through the precious blood of Jesus and the work of the cross.

Let me present something else: The Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but gives GRACE to the humble” (James 4:6).  In other words, grace is only for the humble, not for the proud. When someone decides to live in sin and that they don’t want to change then their heart becomes hard toward God’s voice. God then lifts His grace and favor (His protection) off their life and as a result, they cease to feel His Presence and then they become open to the attacks of the enemy. 

You see, It’s not God’s love for us that changes. His love can never change because God is love and He cannot change. However, God must be true to His Word and He will only give grace to those who have a truly humble and repentant heart.

So, what do we do when we don’t feel Him or think that we’re under the attack of the enemy?  We must search deep inside and ask ourselves:  Am I choosing to live in sin and opposing God’s Word?  Am I not living the way God wants me to live?  You see, “when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all our unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  

Then, when our hearts are truly set on serving Him, it’s then that His grace empowers us to live holy as He is holy. Don’t worry, we’re not going to be perfect, but with God… all things are possible. I want to challenge you today; the next time you fall into sin… fall toward the cross and fall toward The Lover of Your Soul. Be quick to forgive and quick to repent. Thank You, Lord for Your amazing grace.
 
PASTOR BRENT ANDERSON

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THE GOOD SOIL

I grew up a city boy, in the heart of NE. 23rd street here in Oklahoma City. Needless to say,

farming and small town living was never on my bucket list. Things changed the day that I

married my beautiful bride. She introduced me to a whole new world… literally. Cows,

chickens, goats, you name it. But what interested me the most during my exploration was

farming. It’s the ultimate chore! I complained about a 9-5 job, but tending 80 acres of land is

unfathomable to me. There’s a commitment, a work ethic, and a certain type of character that it

takes to do this for a living.

My wife and I have a little garden in our front lawn. The other day I put my hand to the shovel

and started digging up weeds, picking them up and storing the roots to replant the flowers. I’d

gotten about halfway through the garden when the Lord spoke in a heavy way. With broken

hands and sweat dripping from my forehead, I stood at the end of the garden and looked at the

hard work that had been put into one half, and the zero work that was put in the other. One

side was beautiful… weedless, dark brown, soft soil. The other side was a rocky, light brown,

grungy looking half garden. The difference between the two halves was work. I didn’t pray for

the garden to magically appear clean, although God absolutely has the power and authority to

do that. I took it upon myself to get on my knees and rip up those weeds shovel out the rocks,

and plant new flowers.

God showed me that anybody can have “good soil”, but it’s not easy to come by. It’s a daily

effort. You don’t water your garden 1 out of 3 days (not in this Kingfisher heat, at least) and

expect flowers and crops to grow. No, you water and tend your garden every single day.

Sometimes once in the mornings and once in the evenings. The even cooler thing is that a

broken garden can be restored. It’ll take longer, more effort into the garden to be restored, but

it’s absolutely possible.

Good soil can be represented in just about every area of our lives; from our walk with the Lord,

our finances, our families, our friends and jobs. Whatever area in your life that your

garden has gone bad, may I encourage you today to tend to your garden. Take that shovel, pull

the weeds and replant what was once destroyed, and watch the Lord bless the work of your

hands. Paul tells us in the book of Phillipians 2:12 to “Work out your salvation….” We work to

protect what God has blessed us with. We work because we love the Lord and are called to

walk in obedience. We work because we are hopeful to see the harvest from the labor that’s

been placed before us.

Work your garden, my friend!
 
-PASTOR ZACH GADDIS

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FREEDOM

Freedom, we were all born for it. Whatever our definition is of freedom we will naturally lean into it. Why? Because you and I were created for it.

What is freedom? The freedom Paul talks about from his prison cell. A knowing that regardless of your circumstances you can walk in peace, power and confidence that He will never leave you. To walk in this kind of freedom is miraculous and it comes from Him! We get the joy of partnering with God allowing Him to come to us, work in us, and through us.

How do we do this? Well, first and foremost we go to His Word.

2 Corinthians 3:17-For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

John 8:32-Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

John 8:36-So if the Son sets you free you are truly free.

I love this quote from Bill Johnson in regard to 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Wherever the Holy Spirit is Lord, freedom is the evidence” The bible refers to truth as Jesus, for He said I am the Way the Truth and the life. Jesus alone paid the price for your freedom. When you receive Jesus, He sets you free. You are a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come as He says in 2 Corinthians 5:17. The problem is we don’t always feel like a new creation and the enemy begins to whisper to us about who we are and our circumstances. It is vital that we take these feelings and thoughts to Jesus and His Word and make them line up with what God is saying. So I may not feel like an overcomer but Romans 8:37 says, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” So I stand on that and I pray, “Lord I don’t feel like an overcomer but You say I am so therefore I believe and stand on your Word!” Now I have freedom in this area because I chose to believe and stand on His words not mine.

So we get the privilege of partnering with Jesus! In a beautiful surrendering to Him! Wherever we are and no matter what. If we will invite Him into our situation into those places holding us captives, if we confess and believe Him we will walk in a freedom we never thought possible. And the words in Acts 17:28 become our reality “For in Him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own prophets have said, We are His offspring. Remember this “ Freedom is not the absence of something but the presence of Someone”-Bob Hamp. This someone is Jesus Christ.
 
– PASTOR TONYA PAYNE

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