Changed

“Old things are passed away
All things are new
I’m not the same
Yes I’ve been changed, Yeah
It’s true I found my life in you
All things are new
I’m not the same
Yes, I’ve been changed.”

In Tuesday Night Bible Study, we’ve been reading Acts and Romans, discussing the importance of the birth of new church after Jesus Christ’s resurrection and ascension to heaven, where He poured out His spirit to guide the believers in the spreading of the Gospel.

We discuss the importance and necessity of the Holy Spirit operating in a true Christian’s life. What are the signs that you have the Holy Spirit? Is it a feeling? Or is it something more? One clear evidence that should be visible in the life of a believer who is guided by the Holy Spirit is a change in character and temperant. Christian should be going through a process to become bearers of the fruit of the Spirit. Our worship should reflect the transformation in our minds and the dying to our flesh every day.

This song is a declaration that yes, you have been changed. You are not the same and that is only made possible by the Holy Spirit!

Photo provided by Ross Findon

Free Indeed

Happy Independence Day, America!

The power behind worship is that it is a choice. No matter your circumstances, you can choose how to respond to your situation. You can choose to be miserable during hard times, or choose to let go and trust God. Ultimately, you decide whether to live a life in bondage or be a free child of God. Worship is an act of your will.  This song simply says:

“I’m free indeed, in Christ I’m free indeed. No chains are holding me, its who I choose to be…I choose to be free!”

The bible says in Romans 8:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who[a] do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son…Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our freedom, and Jesus died for us out of His love for us, that we may not be held in the bondage of sin but have freedom and everlasting life through the gift of salvation. All we need to do is choose Jesus. Choose to live a life of obedience to the Word, renouncing sin out of our lives. All we need to do is willingly lift up our hands in worship, declaring that in Christ, we are free indeed! Selah.

Photo provided by unsplash-logoWilliam White

Again and Again and Again

First, take a minute to LISTEN TO THIS ENTIRE SONG!

When has God never been there for you? Even when you think you are alone, God is there! And He will solve all your problems. He will heal all your pain. He has the PERFECT plan for your life. When are you going to praise God like you REALLY trust Him? When are you going to truly give up on trying to things on your own and allow God to be GOD in your life? I mean, when are you going to let Him be first and foremost, let Him guide you and take care of you and let the endless depth of His love pour over you? Stop worrying and praise the King of kings! He is the Lord of lords! He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

Psalm 113 “Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.
2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.
3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.
4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high,
6 Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
8 That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.”

AND IF HE DID IT BEFORE, HE WILL DO IT AGAIN! That difficult thing you are going through? GIVE IT UP TO GOD!! LET HIM HANDLE IT! Be empowered! Get up and praise Him now! Selah.

He’s faithful God
He’s an on-time God
He’s a healing God
You will come through once again!
Just in the nick of time!
Satan is defeated!
You WILL come through once again!

He’s a wonder, He’s a wonder! He’s a mighty God!

Photo provided by unsplash-logoJessica Felicio

The Day of Pentecost

Welcome to Summer! In Bible study we have been discussing the book of Acts. Today we discuss the Day of Pentecost. What happened at Pentecost in the Bible? How does it relate to Christians today? Read Acts II.

Starting in Acts II, we read an account of the Holy Spirit coming upon the believers at Pentecost. This is in Jerusalem after Jesus has ascended to Heaven to be with God post-crucifixion and after the disciples are reaffirmed in their mission for the Kingdom of God. The Day of Pentecost signifies the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and we see Peter acknowledge the fulfillment of prophecy from Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.

Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He spoke to the believers about being baptized in the Holy Spirit and the significance. This spectacular event not only signified the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and followers of Christ Jesus, but it signified the birth of the new church. Peter spoke a sermon over a crowd of thousands in Jerusalem, converting 3,000 people to Christianity from many nations and backgrounds. From that day on, the revived church began and the good news of the Gospel of Salvation was being spread.

Acts II: 42-47The Fellowship of the Believers: 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

God used the Day of Pentecost as a revival for the Kingdom of God after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ever since that day, believers have been working in as servants of God to spread the message of the gospel to all who have ears to hear with a mission of saving as many people as possible. They met daily fellowship and talk about the goodness of God to those who had yet to hear.

God’s promise is that all people will have heard the good news of Salvation before the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the Day of Pentecost signifies a call to action for all believers to spread to gospel of Jesus: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. The mission began at Pentecost and continues with all of us who have given our lives to God today. It is our calling and the will of God that we use our gifts and the direction of the Holy Spirit to spread the message of love and salvation to all who are lost.

Prayer: Father, allow me to be used by You to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ. Allow the love, grace, and mercy that You have shown me give me the ability to show a lost soul the way to Jesus Christ. Transform my heart and fill my heart with the compassion of the disciples and believers at Pentecost. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead me to those who need to hear about You, and give me the boldness and confidence to share Your gift with the world. Amen.

Photo provided by unsplash-logoSunyu

Great Are You Lord+Good Good Father

This past Sunday we celebrated Father’s Day with many people in the morning service taking a couple minutes to share with the congregation what their father means to them.

Let us never forget how our fathers have impacted and shaped our lives, good or bad. However, ultimately it is our Father in heaven who has the final say and the most influence on our lives. It is our Great Father in heaven who knows us all better than we know ourselves and who has already ordained a divine and victorious will for our lives. The Bible says,

Jeremiah 29:11 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Let us worship our Father in heaven, remembering how perfect He is in all of His ways, how faithful and true He is. How He never changes. He is the highest standard for fatherhood and what we should strive for in parenting our children.

Thank you, Father, for showing me the depths of Your love. Amen.

Photo provided by: unsplash-logoChris Benson

Man of Faith: Abraham

Happy Father’s Day! Today we discuss Abraham, the father of all nations and a true man of faith.

Abraham is the man who took his son Isaac on a mountain as a sacrifice to God.
Abraham is a man who started out as Abram, who believed in God but was still unsure of his calling.

We are the descendants of Abraham, the father of all nations. We’ll look at Abraham’s life and learn from what God spoke to him. Today we’re going to talk about TRUST.

God’s call is a call to trust.

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Abram’s journey to becoming Abraham in the Bible reveals a man who was obedient but struggling with depending completely on God. It is fascinating to think that the same man who lied to protect himself would end up taking his only son to serve as a sacrifice to the Lord. Abraham’s overall growth is a journey we all face, to lean not on our own understanding but to depend completely on the direction of God and the Holy Spirit.

Abraham’s growth reveals man who learned to trust along with his obedience.

God established his covenant with Abram, changing his identity to align with the calling that is on his life which is signified by the change in his name from ‘exalted father’ to ‘father of many’ (Abraham).

Genesis 12:2-3 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 

God uses people He calls to fulfill His promise.

God’s promise was fulfilled through the birth of Abraham’s eight sons, and nations would be forthcoming that would lead to the birth of Jesus Christ. God accomplished this through His servant Abram who He called, just like He has called and chosen each one of us to fulfill a promise and purpose in our own lives that will impact the Kingdom of God.

Prayer: Father, let my faith be made strong in mt weakness and just as You established Your covenant with Abraham who struggled with trust, establish Your will with me that I may fulfill the purpose You have designed for my life. Teach me to trust in You and learn to lean not on my own understanding, but instead follow Your guidance and direction, and be obedient to Your word. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Photo provided by unsplash-logoAaron Burden

Akekho Ofana Nojesu (There is No One Like Jesus)

The song says:
There is no one like Jesus
I have traveled everywhere
I have looked everywhere
I have searched everywhere
There is no one like Him!

You don’t have to understand the language to feel the power of the praise of the people of God! See how they dance and move and shout to God? Aren’t they having a great time praising God together? We should strive to have the same or better praise and worship experience no matter who we are, where we are, or the circumstances we face! God deserves the all the glory and the honor and the praise! Don’t let the rocks and stones cry out in your place, praise God now and always. Selah!

Psalm 150:1-6 “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!”
Ephesians 5:19 “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.
Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Photo provided by: unsplash-logoHanna Morris

My Worship

Worship Wednesdays

Worshipping God should be a continuous act, a sacrifice of praise, and today we encourage you to NOT BE SILENT! Cry out in those moments you need to, remembering the God you serve is greater than your circumstance! He’s greater than your doubt! He’s greater than your troubles! He’s GREATER THAN YOUR FEARS! The best advocate for change in your circumstance is YOU, no one can worship God for you!  You may not be able to change it right now, but you can your attitude and give God all the praise He deserves. If you woke up this morning, you are blessed and God has a plan for your life. Tap into the power you have as a child of God! Say to Him today, HERE IS MY WORSHIP LORD! ALL OF MY WORSHIP! Selah! Be blessed!

“My Worship” by Phil Thompson:

Photo provided by:unsplash-logoHudson Hintze

The Truth Be Told…

The word is in your mouth. God spoke His Word out into the dead world, giving it life and fulfilling His will.

Words are spirit; and when spoken, a word will search for a body to be established, because it cannot return. The preacher has to establish the word in himself; until the word is established in a body, the word remains spirit.

When we speak a word that comes from God, it is intentional – there is someone with a certain situation who is meant to hear and receive. That’s why it’s dangerous to listen to gossip, and listen to garbage; it will influence what we preach – it weakens discernment. It is also very important to function under the unction of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore the speaker becomes the carrier of the Word, which is the Holy Spirit established in us (The life I live not I that live but Christ that lives in us), if we are given the authority to speak the Word, then we are also given the authority to unlock any barrier to the establishment of the word. Until the word is established it remains unfulfilled.

The word needs to become flesh. If our hearts are not right, the word will not germinate and produce. The word is not the problem, the ground of our hearts is; until we fix our hearts to receive, we will remain a un-fertile ground. The word is powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, it will accomplished the task it sets out in the lives of whoever has prepared themselves to receive.

What soil are you?

The Truth Be Told…

The truth be told: A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)
We often wonder why we have to deal with so many challenging situations. Why do I have to deal with so many problems? I am a good person and yet I have this weight carrying. That’s what’s wrong, the weight I am carrying. A problem is defined as an unintended deviation from a plan or objective. Without complete trust in the leadership of the Blessed Holy Spirit, it is very difficult to identify and appropriately deal with the devil’s traps. His traps are specifically and meticulously designed to cause problems for US. The devil’s goal is that we end up living in our deviation not or destiny.
So, brothers and sisters, I implore us all to put the weight down, without which we will never be able to objectively run this race to a successful conclusion.