ADAPTING TO YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Recently I have been reading in Genesis about the story of Joseph, and I want to talk about what God has been teaching me through this story. For those of you who are not familiar with the story, I encourage you to go read in Genesis 37-47. In part of this story, Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers because of their jealousy. Joseph then finds himself in several different situations that eventually promote him to being ruler of the entire land of Egypt. Let’s look at a few scriptures here that show us how Joseph was promoted. 

Genesis 39: 1-4

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant.”

After this, Joseph is falsely accused of committing adultery with Potiphar’s wife, so he is thrown in prison. 

Genesis 39:20-23

“But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.”

What happens next is, God works it out for Joseph to interpret the dreams of two people that were close in position to the Pharaoh, and he interpreted each dream correctly. So when the Pharaoh had a dream that he needed interpreted, he was told about Joseph, and Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dreams correctly as well. This impressed the Pharaoh, and he put him in charge over the land of Egypt. 

Genesis 42:46-47

“Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully.”

Here we see that everywhere Joseph went he prospered. It didn’t matter his circumstance; the Lord was with him and promoted him. Even in a place as lowly as a slave or as lowly as prison, Joseph relied on the Lord and found a way to succeed wherever he was.

Today our society tells us that if you are not succeeding somewhere then  just go find somewhere that you can succeed. Society tells us that we are always right, our truth is our truth, and if we cannot prosper in a specific environment, then it is the environment’s fault and not our own. In my own personal life, I can tell you that this is almost never the case. Majority of the time, God is calling me into places that are not only difficult for me to be in, but also to change myself in order to succeed. I think that this is also what we are seeing here with the story of Joseph. His environment didn’t affect him, he affected his environment. The scripture doesn’t say it, but I have a hard time believing that Joseph was able to succeed while being prideful and not feeling like there was anything about him that he needed to change. 

I do need to point out that you should never compromise your righteousness to fit in to an environment. If a specific environment has authority figures that are asking you to sin, then you definitely need to move out of that environment. 2 Timothy 2:22-14 says “Run from temptations that capture young people. Always do the right thing. Be faithful, loving, and easy to get along with. Worship with people whose hearts are pure. Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble, and God’s servants must not be troublemakers. They must be kind to everyone, and they must be good teachers and very patient.” 

We have to realize that we don’t have everything right, that we don’t have the answers to all, and that sometimes we are wrong. Once we can accept these truths it is then easier to receive what God has for us in specific places and situations. 

I encourage you to go to the Lord and ask Him to be your guide, ask Him if you are in the place where you are supposed to be, even if it might be a hard situation. If He says yes, then ask Him what you need to change to succeed!

Here is a short clip I saw from Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church that is a perfect summary of what we have discussed here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
 
 
PASTOR APRIL GADDIS
 

Read more...

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

Today’s society is consumed with achieving “success”. I put “success” in quotes because it is a whole other topic on how one should define success. Is success a bad thing for a Christian to desire and strive for?  No, if your heart is in the right place and the success you desire is honoring to God, it is not a bad thing. But, success can look very different to two people, so let’s agree to keep the definition of success very general for this discussion.  

 

The difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t is often just the way they think. Wrong thinking will never lead to solving problems!

 

God wants us to change the way we think. Isaiah 55: 8-9 reads: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

 

It was once shared with me that true success is guarded by difficulty and complexity.  Most people when faced with adversity or a difficult situation either give up or simply choose to ignore the situation hoping it will go away (hint: it never does). All successful people or businesses have fought their way through difficulty and complexity at some point.  Matthew 7:14 reads: “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” So, don’t ever give up! As Pastor Terry says “Grow Forward!”

 

Here are a couple of wrong ways of thinking that are prevalent in today’s world: 

 

  1. “If I only had more money”….I could solve this problem or that problem.

 

Jesus never said that more money was the solution to a problem. Although the topic of money was mentioned in the bible more than the topic of prayer (seriously) Jesus never claimed more money to be the answer. 

 

  1. “I don’t have enough experience”…to start a new business or to pursue my dream job/passion.  

 

It is often said that experience is the best teacher. I disagree with this statement. I believe that other people’s experience is the best teacher! Learn from others successes and failures. 

 

We need to change how we think and what we think. The power of our mind is an awesome thing. We must protect what we allow into our minds through our eyes (what we watch/read) and through our ears (what we listen to). If what we watch, read and listen to is not honoring to God there is a good chance that we ultimately make poor decisions. 

 

Proverbs 13:20 reads: Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Protect your mind and your heart against the ways of this world.  Place into your mind those things which are holy and righteous and you will make better decisions.   

 

– Read the bible! It has all the answers and will never lead you astray.  

– Read and watch good media. Ask yourself, “Will this take me closer to God? If not, why watch it?  

– Listen to good worship music. Our God loves it when we worship him. We were built for worship. It allows us to truly connect to our Creator and honor him. Don’t fill your mind and your heart with impure and unholy media/music. It leads to bad thinking. 

 

You get revelation when you spend time with God through reading his word, time in prayer and through worship.  It enables you to think properly and make good decisions. Information moves people, but revelation changes people.

 

Don’t just seek God’s hand, seek His face. A personal, intimate relationship with God allows you to think properly, make good decisions and achieve the ultimate success. 
 
ELDER JUSTIN MECKLENBERG

Read more...

WAITING

Have you been praying for something and it just hasn’t happened yet? Are you in a season of waiting? I want to encourage you today to let the frustration and the spirit of defeat of an immediate breakthrough go. In today’s culture, we don’t have to wait for much. I mean you can have whatever you want practically delivered to your door in two days with amazon prime.  

I have a friend that I call Nana, now she’s not actually my biological nana but everyone calls her nana because well, she is nana. Nana prayed for her brother’s salvation for over 30 years. 30 YEARS!! That is a long time in today’s society. Nana’s brother accepted Jesus, was baptized and the angels rejoiced! Prayer answered!!! I can imagine that Nana got frustrated sometimes and began to doubt if her brother would ever accept his eternal salvation that Jesus had for him. I can also imagine that Nana’s faith overpowered that frustration and doubt and made her press in even more for her brother. 30 years was a long season of waiting, but I know Nana would’ve prayed until the day she met Jesus for her brother, because that’s who she is, she is a solid pillar, full of faith in our Heavenly Father!

Abraham and Sarah endured a season of waiting. God had promised them a son but Sarah was past the child bearing age and very old. But God! 

Genesis 18:9-19

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time, I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.” Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.

What Abraham and Sarah didn’t know at the time was that God was going to not only give them a son but a nation. We are all decedents of Abraham. Do you remember the old song, “Father Abraham, had many sons, and many sons had Father Abraham” In their season of waiting God was setting them up for something they couldn’t even imagine. They simply asked for a Son. God said, I won’t only give you a son, I’m going to give you an entire nation. Is there anything too hard for the Lord? 

I have a sweet family member, named Avery Mae, that was in a car wreck almost two years ago. God saved Avery Mae, but she is still not completely whole. She suffered a TBI and is still in a semi-conscious state. She has had many prayer warriors rally around her. We have prayed that she would be completely healed from the top of her head all the way to the bottom of her feet. We believe Jesus will completely heal her and we are in a season of waiting for this prayer to be answered. 

Maybe today finds you in a season of waiting. I encourage you to renew your mind and continue to press in to the Father with all you’ve got. 

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 

We have been given authority through Jesus, when doubt, worry, fear, and anxiety rises, demolish it in the name of Jesus! 

 There is a chorus from one of my favorite songs by Kristene DiMarco that says. Listen here!

Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting, He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope, as your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing, He’s never failing

Take courage my friends, he is in the waiting, don’t give up! 

Is there anything too hard for the Lord?
 
 

Read more...

DUDE YOU ARE RIGHTEOUS

Imagine officers walking you down a long hallway and they open the doors and you realize you are in a huge court.  You are about to stand trial for every sin that you have committed.

As you look up you notice that God is the Judge. You know that you are not gonna be able to lie about anything and get away with it anyway.

Charge after charge is being made against you.  Most of them true and some are huge exaggerations.  But never the less it seems like forever and the charges keep coming.

Finally the Judge asks what do you plead, guilty or not guilty?  

You can’t say guilty because you don’t want to go to hell and you can’t say not guilty because that’s not true.

So what do you do? Do you plead guilty or not guilty?

Do you know what Jesus wants us to do?  After all He is your lawyer.  The legal advice He gives you is to plead His blood.  Only His blood can wash away ALL our sins and make us righteous.  

2 Corinthians 5:21

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  NIV

Righteousness is a free gift given to us when we believe. The moment that you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life, He made you righteous. It’s WHO you are now!

We can’t earn righteousness….  salvation… healing… or anything from God for that matter.

Ephesians 2:8,9

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 

9 not by works, so that no one can boast.  NIV

Putting our faith in what Jesus has already done on the cross for us is what saves us and makes us righteous.

You might be wondering right now, “Pastor Randy, if I’m righteous then why do I keep on sinning?”

That’s a really good question.  There could be several reasons for that but let’s just focus in on a few of them.

One of the reasons why Christians keep on sinning after they are saved is because they still believe they are sinners.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I am just a sinner saved by grace?” Or something like that.

That’s not true.  We used to be sinners saved by grace.  Now we are saints saved by grace.  Why is that important?  It’s important because if we believe that we are sinners, guess what we are going to do…  sin.  If you believe that you are righteous what will you do… the right thing.

The devil wants you to focus on everything that is wrong with you…  He wants you to live in the past…  Think about what could have been if you hadn’t done this or that…  But the righteous live by faith…  Romans 1:16-17

Jesus wants you to focus on what He has made right…  You are a new creation when you give your life to Jesus.  You are brand new!  You are righteous!  You see the Bible teaches us that we were all born sinners because of Adam and Eve. They messed it up for all of us. Sound a little unfair?  I understand… but there is good news (the gospel)…  The good news is this…

Jesus became like us so that we could become like Him.

Everything we lost because of Adam, we gained because of Jesus. Jesus took ALL of our sin so that we could have ALL of His righteousness.  So when God the Father sees us He sees Jesus.  He sees His Son’s righteousness. Jesus sacrificed everything for us, so that we don’t have to live in darkness any more… doubt… worry… fear…  Because we live by faith…

This is what I want you to do this week… Confess what God says about you.  I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Don’t confess what you feel or what you think about you.  Start saying what Jesus says about you. He has the right to define you…  He created you and died on a cross for you…

Jesus doesn’t want us to focus on what’s wrong with us, sin conscious…  

He wants us to be focused on Jesus and what He says about us, Christ conscious…

Let’s open up the free gift of righteousness that Jesus gives to all of us who simply believe in Him.

Each time Jesus hears us confess, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ,” it brings much pleasure to His heart, because we are laying hold of what He suffered and died to give us.
 
PASTOR RANDY HENDERSON

Read more...

YOU CAN WORSHIP EVEN IF YOU CANNOT SING!

I have often asked God why He did not bless me with a pretty voice to sing. I say to God, “You know how much I love to worship and praise you.” I know this may sound funny but its true, I have said this more than once. I love to sing my heart and lungs out to God. When I sing I sense things just breaking off of me that had weighed me down minutes before. I can sense breakthrough for loved ones as I began to proclaim praises to God and thank Him for victory in situations. But the most amazing, and my very favorite thing that happens when I worship Him in this uninhibited manor is, I feel Him so very close. I begin to see the throne room of God and I see myself bowing before the King of Kings. The encounters change but one thing stays the same and that Is God! His love, His presence, provision and vision began to fill me like at no other time. This place I am describing is the best place and my very favorite. My prayer and desire is that every believer experiences this worship I am writing about today. 

“ Worship transcends our weakness while acknowledging Gods power.” Jack Hayford

What a great definition of worship by Jack Hayford, it resonated with me because this is what happens in my prayer and worship time with Him. The Word of God says in Revelations 12:11 , “And they defeated him by the blood of the lamb and by their testimony,” so with that being my backdrop I want to share a personal testimony of a time I overcame through the amazing gift of worship. Because of what Jesus has done for me I have this connection, this gift to be in relationship and worship Him! 

My husband and I got married my senior year of High School, his freshman year of college. We were young, poor and had the most beautiful baby boy! We lived in low incoming housing in Corona, California. It was a rough neighborhood but it was what we could afford. Terry traveled for his football games and so some weekends I was there alone with our son Garrett. I remember one night being awakened to a sound and then shadows I could see an outline of people walking by my window. I was alone and terrified. My mind raced as I thought why would people be lurking around back windows late at night. I began to pray softly in my bed as they went by. Although they were gone I could not shake the fear that had rocked me to the core. I sat there in my bed with my arms locked around my legs and I began to sing; “Whenever I am afraid I will trust in You. You are my hiding place, whenever I am afraid I will trust in You.” Then the coolest thing happened as I was singing I started to pray too and then this beautiful sound started coming from me! My spirit began to pray but it came out as a song and it was beautiful, peace filled every part of me. I felt as though I was being held and I had no fear at all. I remember being amazed and thankful for the encounter. 

So I want to encourage you today to get into Gods presence with worship and praise. It doesn’t matter how good you sound, what matters is your heart, that your passion is for Him! Experience the power of worship that transcend weakness while acknowledging Gods power!
 
PASTOR TONYA PAYNE

Read more...

WHO ARE YOU FIGHTING?

A couple of Sunday’s ago at LifeWay Church we heard a sermon from Pastor Robert Morris of GateWay Church titled “under attack.” His message was about what to do when you are under attack from the enemy. There was one point that He gave that really stood out to me. He said that you have to first recognize that you are in a battle. I think this is the hardest thing for us to do at times. We now live in a time where everything is paganize and things are no longer spiritualized. We walk around with a worldly mindset instead of a heavenly mindset.

I think we first have to hit the topic of “over-spiritualized.” This statement has never quite made sense to me. Colossians 1:16 says “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” If we believe this scripture then I am not sure how there is anything on this earth that is not “spiritual.” It is all about God, ALWAYS! Another scripture to consider when you feel that you or someone else might be making things too “spiritual” is Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” If finding “life,” which is Jesus, is difficult, then I would say I need to set my mind on things that are spiritual way more often than not. We tend to think people that “over-spiritualize” things are weird. They do and say strange things, but the reality is that God is not weird. He is the creator of the universe! I don’t think you can get much cooler than that. We cannot let the way different people respond to God affect the way we respond to Him. 

The next thing I want to cover is, remember who you are fighting when you recognize you are in battle. Ephesians 6:12 says “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Long answer short, you are fighting the devil. I believe there are three other people we blame instead of Him. 

1.We blame ourselves 

         The devil is really good at making you feel like everything is your fault. He is good at isolating you and he is best at making you feel ashamed. This shame causes us to not want to turn to God or other people. When you are struggling do not beat yourself up. God would not do that to you, so you know it is not from Him. It is important, however, that you recognize in the battle how and what God wants to change in you. If you have done wrong then confess it, and ask God how He wants you to move on from there. 

2.We blame others

        The enemy’s number one tactic is to cause division. If you have not read the book The Bait of Satan by John Bevere I encourage you to read it. This book shows how the devil pits us against one another through taking offense, instead of recognizing that it is the enemy that is trying to separate us. God created ALL people, and He created us for Him and for each other. We are here to help each other not hurt each other. Even if you have had several people hurt you in your life, God can and will bless you with people that will love and help you. We can’t play the enemy’s game by allowing us to turn against our brothers and sisters. 

3.We blame God 

        James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Your Father loves you and He only wants good for you. I think this aspect is easier for people that have children to understand. You discipline your kids, and you allow them to make their own decisions, even if they are bad, so they can grow. That is the same thing God does for us. If we are in a battle it is because God will use it for good and will use it to grow us. When the enemy causes evil things to happen against us, God only uses it for good, and for us to draw closer to Him, because He knows that being close to Him is the only way we survive. 

I encourage you today to think with a heavenly mindset. Pray that you would be fully and completely aware of God at all times. Learn His voice. Then you will be able to recognize when you are in a battle and who you are fighting.
 
PASTOR APRIL GADDIS

Read more...

SHOVEL FULL OF GRACE

Ok, so first off, if any of you reading this and you know me personally then you probably know my struggle with rage and anger against other drivers USED to be a huge issue for me. Mainly because in my mind, back then, most people drove like complete idiots. Except for me…  (Praise God He change my perspective..)

That being said, when the story I’m about to tell you took place, I was in the process of TRYING to be much better, let God be in control while driving, and not yell, scream, swear, and tell people to pull over so much anymore.

So, at Church there was an illustration where the speaker had a shovel in his hands and was showing us how when God gives, and shows us grace, that’s how He does it. He shovels it all over us all the time!  Then he took a spoon and said,  but this is how we distribute grace to others. God gives us so much, but in return we don’t give to others anywhere near the same as it is given to us.

This was huge to me! I literally thought about, and reminded myself of this illustration, daily since I heard it. Then. that same week, someone in my life showed me a HUGE amount of grace. They blessed me in such a huge way, and I didn’t even deserve it. It was amazing.

Then, the very next day, as I was working at a trade show, I needed to come out to my truck to move it to another side of the building. And this is what I saw when I got outside….

I was instantly filled with a rage and anger that I can’t even express into words! Furious is a walk in the park compared to what I was feeling! I couldn’t decide if I was going to shatter this guy’s window, or key his entire car. (both, regrettably, I had done in the past.) I finally settled on keying his car. I got a key ready that I wasn’t to worried about destroying, and I walked to the side of his car.

Then I felt God all over me. 

It was like I heard Him say directly to me,  “Man… Kelly,  you’re not even going to use a spoon?”

And I just froze. In my mind I thought, BUT GOD!!!  PLEASE!?!  LOOK WHAT THIS JERK DID!?!  

He said, “But look what I did…” 
 
So…  I fought for a few moreseconds in my mind, then I walked to the passenger side of my car. I was about to climb over the seat to get in my side and I said to God, I can’t let him off without AT LEAST knowing about this… So I found some paper and I wrote this note to leave on his windshield.

Now, I’m not saying leaving the note was right.  In fact, it probably wasn’t. But I didn’t damage his car. I took the time to listen to God and reflect on what he taught me.

It felt good.

So as I still struggle to show grace and love to people on a daily basis, who I may feel don’t deserve it… I’m still trying. I’m making the effort to use the shovel instead of the spoon.

I want to encourage youall to do the same. Everyday you’re going to have an opportunity to show someone grace…

Will you use a shovel, or a spoon?
 
KELLY K

Read more...

TALKING TO MOUNTAINS

I want to talk to you about prayer today. Jesus taught us many things about prayer and I want to focus on one powerful aspect of His teaching. This is how Jesus prayed and how He wants us to pray also.

Matthew 17:20b

17 Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can
say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.””  NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MAT.17.20

What kind of mountain is Jesus talking about right here?

A mountain is a problem, addiction, sin, sickness, bad habit, an issue, drama in your life, or a circumstance that is keeping you from being everything that Jesus wants you to be. A mountain is anything that is slowing down your progress in your relationship with God. A mountain is anything in your life that is in the way. It is anything standing between you and God’s promises in your life.

Let me set this all up with a story right from the the Bible, David and Goliath.

1Samuel 17:2,3

2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.  NIV
 
Goliath starts talking smack to the nation of Israel and they are so terrified they say nothing back.  Goliath did this every morning and evening for forty days.  So for forty days the strongest military men in the nation of Israel were so scared that they wouldn’t even talk TO Goliath, (pause for effect) but they talked ABOUT him.

In fact, I bet they really talked him up…

O my, Look how tall he is… OMG he is a beast… I bet I couldn’t even pick up his sword… How much do you think he can benchpress? Can you imagine getting punched by him? He has never lost a battle and he’s been fighting since he was a kid… Good Lord, look at the size of his sword… I wonder how sharp it is…  I don’t know but I’m not gonna find out.

Every time they talked ABOUT Goliath it seemed more and more impossible to defeat him.  This is a picture of how many Christians deal with mountains…  They talk ABOUT their mountains but never TO them.

Don’t talk ABOUT your mountain; Talk TO it!  

Everything changed the day that David showed up to bring his brothers some food.  David heard Goliath talking smack and said this is not right and did something about it. Check it out…

1 Samuel 17:45-48

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46
This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 
47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves;
for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. NIV

David talked to his mountain…

We talk to so many people ABOUT our problems. We talk to God, our family, and our friends about our problems.  Jesus NEVER talked ABOUT his mountains, He ALWAYS talked TO them. That is how Jesus teaches us to deal with mountains. What mountain are you facing right now in your life?  Are you talking ABOUT it or TO it?

Don’t talk ABOUT your mountain; Talk TO it!  

Matthew 17:20b (WOW1)

17 Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.””  NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MAT.17.20

It doesn’t take huge faith to be a mountain mover according to Jesus’ own words. Faith the size of the smallest mustard seed can move the biggest mountain in your world.  This is a strong statement from Jesus right here…”Nothing will be impossible for you.” Jesus is giving us some priceless advice about prayer…

Don’t talk ABOUT your mountain; Talk TO it!  

I’m not saying, that we can’t ever talk about an area of our life that we are struggling with. THAT IS NOT WHAT I’M SAYING.  It can be healthy to talk about it.  However, our problem will never change if that is all we do.  Find someone that loves Jesus and loves you and get some help. There is strength in unity when we pray together.  This is a really good thing.  Don’t stop when you are finished taking about your mountain; Talk TO it.

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus uses mountains to describe problems? Why is that? Mountains are tall.  I mean they are not hills right… Am I right? Mountains are huge. Mountains are immovable. Mountains can be intimidating.  Mountains are overwhelming and bigger than life. Over 240 people have died trying to climb Mount Everest. Avalanches, rockslides, blizzards, falls, altitude sickness, freezing temperatures, exhaustion and combinations of these have all proven fatal, particularly in the so-called “death zone” above 26,000 feet. Since getting them down is grueling and dangerous, most of the corpses remain up there. They are well preserved in the snow and apparently serve as trail markers for climbers who pass by. We must stop trying to climb the mountains in our life and start speaking to them.

Jesus looks at mountains much differently than we do…

Nahum 1:5

5 “The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.”  NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/NAM.1.5

Jesus is not intimidated by your mountains!  

Mark 11:22-24 (WOW2,3,4)

22 ““Have faith in God,”Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say
will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you,
whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MRK.11.22-24

How to overcome the mountains in your life through prayer…

  1. Trust Jesus With Everything

“Have faith in God.”  Trust is the foundation of our prayer life.  Without faith or trust in Jesus our prayers won’t work and eventually we will stop praying altogether.  When we talk about and focus on the mountains in our lives the mountains becomes bigger and bigger.  The problem might only be a speed bump but because I have talked it up it looks like Mount Everest.

  1. Speak Out Loud TO Your Mountain

There is only one way to move the mountains in your life.  It’s not to be talking ABOUT IT, It’s talking TO it.  Jesus doesn’t want you to ignore your mountains either.  He wants you to talk to them…  OUT LOUD.  Silence does not move mountains, your voice does.  It’s not about the size of your faith or your mountain. It’s the size our your God!

  1. Tell Your Mountain Where To Go

Always remember that Jesus gave you the authority when dealing with mountains.

Matthew 17:20b…you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  NIV

Mark 11:23b…if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea…

You are telling your mountain to move from one place to another place so that you can move forward. You have authority to move mountains.  Jesus has ALL authority (Matthew 28:11),  and He has given you authority to move the mountains in your life.  Let me give you an example…  On the football field there are three teams.  Two of them are the home team and the away team and these teams are in conflict with each other because they have different goals. There is also another team made up of seven referees that don’t belong to the home or away teams.

On a football field the players are younger, stronger and faster than the referees. The referees are older and slower than the players. The players can knock you down to the ground but the referees can throw you out of the game. The players have power but the referees have authority! We as Christians have the power and authority to move mountains because Jesus told us to.

  1. Believe It’s Already Yours

Before you see it in the natural believe that it is already yours.  That’s real faith.

  1. Nothing will be impossible for you

This sentence sums up the power of prayer.  When we talk about our mountains they become impossible to deal with, but when we talk to them the impossible becomes possible.

It’s time to stop telling God how big our mountains are and start telling our mountains how big our God is.  Jesus has given us the right, power and authority to move mountains.  We are mountain movers!!  Start today! Just TALK TO IT! Jesus did and so can we because He lives in us.
 
PASTOR RANDY HENDERSON

Read more...

LOVE PEOPLE TO JESUS

I took this picture a few weeks ago while ministering in downtown Los Angeles with the Dream Center. Of all the people I saw that week, this one picture I took spoke to me the most. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this picture says so much more to me than that. I see a sad, strung-out homeless woman, a barefoot, shirtless guitar player in his own world, and a young man enjoying his music and eating his lunch just two feet away. It breaks my heart to see the sadness in this woman’s eyes. I wonder what she is thinking about all that is going on around her.

I think sometimes we forget that everyone has a story. As we run our errands, fill up our gas tanks and wait in traffic, we dismiss nameless faces who carry stories just like ours. There is a common thread among all of us…we all need Jesus. We all have stuff going on in our lives. My big ‘stuff’ doesn’t really matter when someone needs to feel the love of Jesus. We all need to feel love.  

I John 4:7 says, “Let us continue to love on another, for love comes from God. Any who loves is a child of God and knows God.”

In the natural, I don’t love everyone. But when I became a child of God that love became part of my nature. If you know me at all or have spent any time around me, you know that a big part of who I am and what I do is spent just loving people. Loving people to Jesus. That’s what I love doing!
 
Our whole lifestyle should tell people, “If you come around me, I’m going to love you. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, how you look, smell or behave, I’m going to love you.”
 
This is agape love.  Agape love first exists, THEN it affects the emotions. Agape involves the kind of love that cannot be compensated. This is foreign to us and to our culture. The mentality of this world leads us to love and give only when there is a reason to assume that our love will be reciprocated.
 
In 
John 3:16 
we see that HE gave for us when we didn’t deserve it and had nothing to give back. Love means accepting people the way they are. We should be loving people to Jesus. We can’t worry about what people are going to say or think. 
 
I want to encourage you to take a minute this week to stop and look at the world around you. Put the music on pause, let the traffic continue on and let the errands wait. Who do you see? What is their story? Maybe God wants to use you to love someone to Jesus.
 
PASTOR SHARON ANDERSON

Read more...

LOVE, LIVE, MULTIPLY

I remember sitting in my Sunday school class as a little boy. My Sunday school teacher held up an acorn and asked the class, “what do you see?”  Some said that they saw an acorn, others said that they saw a tree. Others, like myself, said that they saw a whole orchard full of oak trees. However, that wasn’t the answer the Sunday school teacher was looking for either. She said, I see that from this one seed, you can build a whole city.

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus tells us to “go and make disciples of all nations (people groups)”. I know that so many Christians wait until they know enough about The Bible or until they think that they’ve prayed enough, until they pour what they know out and actually “make a disciple” of somebody else. I want to encourage you today, to go and be the pastor of ONE. Just one. 
 
Before you get too excited. Let’s set some basic ground rules.
 
Rule number one—Love.

 

You just have to love them. Rule number two: Life. Tell them your testimony. Here’s the deal; experience is always stronger than an argument. People will always want to debate scripture or doctrine, but your testimony will trump any debate 100% of the time. Just tell people of the great things that The Lord has done and is doing in your life and in your heart. Tell them of the reality of His Presence and the goodness of His love. That’s the gospel. That’s the good news of who He is.

Rule number 2:  Live

In other words, show them. Be encouraging and be an example. Let your life be a light. The Bible says to walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7).  What is that light? It is the light of love. It is the light of truth. It is just being real, transparent and doing right by others. 
 
Here’s the last one.

Rule number 3:  Multiply.   

Just like that acorn, you are called to multiply The Kingdom of God, so teach that one person you are pouring into to go pour into someone else. In other words, teach your disciple to make a disciple and become the pastor of one. Paul writes this to a young pastor that he was discipling (mentoring) in 2 Tim. 2:2 “The things you heard from me, commit these to faithful men who are able to teach others also.”
 
Did you get all three of those? If not I will recap will quickly for you. Love, Live, and then Multiply. Remember, it’s not your ability that God’s looking for, because He will give you the words, it’s just us saying, “OK Lord, Here I am, use me for Your Glory.” Just like that acorn, inside of you is a treasure, and I want to encourage you today to let it out and let God bless it and watch what happens.

Is. 8:16 “Preserve the teaching of God; entrust His instructions to those who follow me.”

PASTOR BRENT ANDERSON

Read more...