How to Live for God

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. Psalm 37:3-5

1. KEEP A RECEPTIVE HEART. Think of our hearts as soil and the Word of God as seed. Jesus warns against rocky ground and says we must keep the soil of our hearts pliable. The condition of your heart will determine how the crop grows in your life.

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Action Steps to Open Doors

But I [Paul] will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:8-9, 13-14

1. TO GET STRONG SEEK GOD. “The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1b NKJV). Life is at its best when we walk with the Lord. In King David’s moments of challenge, he did not disengage or go on autopilot. Instead He “strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). That God is our God and He is the same faithful, strengthening God for us today as he was for David.

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Five Steps Toward Fruitfulness

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit. John 15:7-8a

2018 is a season of fruitfulness. As we fast and pray in the following weeks, here are five words that the Lord put on my heart to help us accomplish all He has called us to this year!

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According to God’s Word

“May it be done to me according to Your word.” Luke 1:38b

1. BELIEVE THE WORD. We can win in the fight of faith by getting our hearts in agreement with what God says. When God sent an angel to tell Mary of Jesus’ coming birth, she responded in faith saying, “Be it done to me according to your word” – a phrase repeated twelve times in Psalm 119. As a young Jewish woman, Mary would have studied the book of Psalms and known the importance of receiving God’s Word into her heart. We too must familiarize ourselves with what the Bible says and then meditate on it and ponder it repeatedly.

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Let’s Prepare for Easter 2018!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4

I often refer to Easter as the New Year’s Day of the Church. This is both a time for us to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and what He has done in our lives and an opportunity for us to reach people with the Good News!

Here are some ways we can prepare.

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Conquering Adversity

For a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 1 Corinthians 16:9

1. FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS. So often, obstacles coincide with opportunity. For instance, when the apostle Peter walked on water at the bidding of Jesus, the atmosphere was stormy—wind was blowing and waves were crashing (Matthew 14:27-30). When Peter diverted his eyes to his circumstances, he started to sink. When we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, ready to hear what He has to say—revelation will come, faith will be roused, and storms will be settled.

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A Time For Everything

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11a

1. SAVOR THE SEASONS. Life is a series of seasons and stages. God has an overall mission for your life, but there are different stages of your course. Along the way He has divine appointments prepared for you. So enjoy the journey!

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Sowing and Reaping

For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:7b-9

God’s Word is spiritual seed and food. As realistically as your physical body needs physical food, your spiritual self needs the Word of God. It’s pure and powerful, and when you sow it into your spirit, you will reap amazing benefits.

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Timing Is Everything

For a wide door for effective service has opened to me [Paul], and there are many adversaries. 1 Corinthians 16:9

1. CALLED TO THIS TIME. Throughout the Bible we read of the different faith heroes who were strategically placed to impact their generation. The prophet Daniel advised many kings, Joseph saved a whole region from starvation, Esther was perfectly placed to rescue an entire people group, the Apostle Paul took the Gospel to the nations. Just as these people were in the right place at the right time, so are you. You are called for such a time as this.

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Steps to Effectiveness

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

These five actions from the Apostle Paul give us an amazing scriptural to-do list that can enable us to be effective all the way through our lives.

1. BE ON THE ALERT. We are called to keep watch and stay alert and always ready for what God wants to tell us (Habakkuk 2:1). This doesn’t mean we are to be anxious, but instead we’re to be distraction-free and ready to pray and act as the Holy Spirit leads.

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How to Triumph in Trouble

We triumph even in our troubles, knowing that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope — a hope which never disappoints us, since God’s love floods our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 Moffatt

1. REALIZE JESUS HAS TRIUMPHED. The Bible makes us aware of a couple things: (1) the inevitability of problems here on earth and (2) the certainty that God will work things out. Because of what Jesus did for us on the Cross, we are not only saved, but we have abiding victory. And we triumph even in our troubles!

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Faith for the Future

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

1. FEAR NOT, ONLY BELIEVE. God has called us to this life of faith. We build endurance as we learn to walk by faith and not by how we feel. Our emotions can change from morning to night or in a split second — that’s why we don’t rely on them. Instead, we get our eyes fixed on God, who has covered everything from the cradle to the grave and from eternity to eternity.

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New Year — Same Faithful God!

“Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.” Joshua 1:3-4

1. TAKE YOUR PLACE. In Joshua 1 we see a transitional moment for Joshua and the people of Israel. Joshua was in his seventies when he became the leader of the people of Israel. But God imparted something fresh and called the people to go out and take their places. We too have empowerment from God. Young or old, God has something fresh for you in 2018, and as you seek Him, He will order your steps (Proverbs 16:9).

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Life in Jesus

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

LIVE DEEP. Have you ever noticed how your thought life can get bombarded with negativity? That’s why God invites us to study, ponder and meditate on His Word. I love to marinate foods, and the longer a steak is marinated, the more flavorful and tender it becomes. You and I are invited to soak in God’s presence and in His Word and let the truth go deep into our hearts.

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Jesus Brings Freedom

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

1. THE FORETELLING. When humanity first sinned, it was promised that a Savior would come. God is really good at following through, and all the prophecies in the Bible have been or will be fulfilled. Hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, Isaiah, the Hebrew prophet, foretold of a Messiah in such specific terminology that, as we read it today, it produces faith, gives us bearing, and shows us God’s plan.

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You’re Covered!

He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. Psalm 91:4

1. GOD’S PROTECTION. Though Psalm 91 was written for Israel thousands of years ago, it is just as pertinent for us today. The Bible informs our faith, shows us who God is, what He will do, and how His amazing provision covers us. God’s pinions (v. 4) represent His arms which are your refuge and your shield. God has your back!

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Ten Ways to Enjoy the Holidays

From Pastors Jeff & Patsy
Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 1 Peter 4:9

1. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS. We love the beauty and togetherness of the holidays, but this time of year can also bring up feelings of loss and lack. Understand you are human and keep everything in perspective. Lift your eyes to Jesus the Rescuer who came to push aside the darkness and set us free from sin.

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The Real Deal

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. 2 Chronicles 16:9a

1. RESTORATION. A life with God is the most wonderful life. God sent Jesus to redeem sinners and to restore that close connection between God and humanity. When we humble ourselves and commit to following Jesus, He sets us free, gives us a new nature, and shows us His purpose for our lives. It’s really amazing, isn’t it!?

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Thank God

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

1. REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS DONE. God is inviting us into a lifestyle of expressing thanks and praise to Him. We have a lot to be thankful for! God sent Jesus to rescue us from sin and death. The most precious gift you have is your fellowship with God. When we give thanks, we’re acknowledging God has done something for us!

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Eight Things God Does for Those Who Love Him

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

Faith, love, and confidence in God grow with the continual confession of His Word. Take time to read Psalm 91 out loud and see the amazing promises distilled in this chapter.

1. HE WILL DELIVER YOU. God has designed and fashioned us to love Him. As we love Him, He will deliver us — even from temptation.
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Living Water

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit. John 7:37-39a

1. GET IN THE FLOW. God’s flow is life-giving; it’s deep and beautiful. When Jesus offered the Samaritan woman living water (John 4:10), He looked past ethnic, gender, and religious divisions. He knew her condition and offered her eternal life. He knew her sin and was there to forgive her. The Holy Spirit never changes and the New Testament truths are for us today. Jesus is calling out to all of us, inviting us to partake in His flow.

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Stable and Fixed

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. Psalm 91:1 AMPC

1. THE SECRET PLACE. We have a breathtaking invitation into a close relationship with God. There is a secret place where we can draw near to Him and know Him; where we will become stabilized and immovable against any pressure or enemy.

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Guided by the Holy Spirit

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

1. THE SPIRIT IS LIFE. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I [Jesus] have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). Living by the Spirit gives life and peace, but the mind set on the flesh leads to death (Romans 8:6). The Spirit raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11), led Moses and parted the Red Sea (Isaiah 63:11-12), hovered over the water at Creation (Genesis 1:2), and visited the disciples on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4). And He is the same Holy Spirit who is available to us today!

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From Fear to Faith!

Peace I [Jesus] leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

Jesus told us not to let our hearts be troubled or fearful because He knew there would be opportunities to do so. The cure for despair is to take practical steps to move from fear to faith. When confronted with a challenge, we have a few options: (1) be apathetic; (2) freak out; or (3) get busy in faith.

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