Friday, April 29, 2016

"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."  Matthew 6:6 (NIV)

When do you truly get to be yourself with someone and build a relationship with them? When you’re stripped from all the expectations of those around you and when you don’t have to worry about anyone else except the person you are speaking with. I think anyone you ask would all answer in a very similar way, when you have one on one time; just you and the other person. That is exactly what God’s intention of prayer is for us, one on one time with Him. It is in these times of private prayer where you can be yourself, voicing your praises, your thanks, and even your anger. God wants us to be authentic with Him. He doesn’t want us to put on some mask that gives us the appearance o...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."  Luke 11:9 (NIV)

If we call ourselves Christians, we have to be people that live our lives in prayer. The world will always try to get us to turn our eyes away from Christ, and that can easily happen if we are not constantly in prayer. We often see prayer as something we do when we want something or are in a tough place and wants God to help us out. We rarely see it as a way to communicate with God as our friend. A true friend would do anything for you. When we communicate with God as our friend, we can ask and we will receive, we may need help looking and He will help us find it, and we can knock at His door and He will open it. With God we are given, we find, and He opens doors. Doors we can’t open. Spend time in prayer; He isn’t a rabbit’s f...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”  Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

We all know what it is like to desire to do the good, but feel like we are incapable of living it out.  It’s like we just don’t have the strength.  We are too weak.  The reality is, in our own strength we are exactly that - too weak!  Jesus let’s us know that strength to overcome our flesh comes from a life of consistently watching (on the lookout) where Jesus is presently working and joining Him.  It also consists of a life spending time in His Word and praying.  When we commune with Jesus through Bible reading, gathering with our community of Believers, ministry, and prayer, there is a power and strength that results naturally.  As we hang out with Jesus, the OVERFLOW of His Life into ours, OVERFLOWS into those around us.  Not o...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours."  Mark 11:24 (NLT)

The fact that our prayers don’t have to be prayed in hope, but in belief, is so powerful. If you believe that you will receive it, then you can expect to receive it. We serve a very powerful God, and when we put a little bit of faith in our prayers and trust in Him, they can go a long way. The problem is that we read that verse and most of us automatically have a hard time believing it because of the condition of our hearts. Throughout our lives things happen that change our hearts and our childlike faith seems to fade away. It’s the hardening of our hearts that changes our willingness to believe. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and, as we sin, it changes our perspective and hardens our heart. That heart of stone can...

Monday, April 25, 2016

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Let me ask you a question?  What has “worry” ever done for you?  I can’t think of one single testimony where someone said the following, “… and then I began to worry, and felt the most incredible peace and strength and joy.  I couldn’t believe the clarity I received concerning my situation…”  You never heard that one either have you?  That is because worry and anxiety never lead to positive outcomes.  Worry and anxiety only rob of us clarity, strength, and joy.  Why not listen to what Paul said in our verse today.  Don’t let worry be the path you take when dealing with problems, but let prayer (talking to Jesus) and petition (asking Jesus’ for His help concerning our own physical, spiritual, and emotional needs)...

Friday, April 22, 2016

“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (NIV)

No matter how much money we make, no matter how many little old ladies we help across the street , no matter how many likes we get on a Facebook post, or retweets on Twitter, we will never ever do enough to make God say, “Wow!  You’ve really accomplished a lot during your life. C’mon into Heaven, you’ve earned it.” 

The truth is, not one of us is good enough to force our way into heaven.  I thank God that’s not how he works, because if it was, then the checklist of things that I needed to do in order to get into heaven would just keep getting longer and longer. Every time I say a hurtful comment to my wife, or when I exaggerate the truth to make myself look better, my own personal “to-do list” would...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16 (NIV)

There is a powerful principle revealed in this passage that is rarely practiced by Christians and non-Christians - Asking for forgiveness (confession) when we have wronged someone.  James is sharing, that when God’s people live in a lifestyle of confession and praying for each other, God will answer our prayers and heal, and deliver.  When we live like this, we are walking righteously before God, and our prayers become powerful and effective.  I believe, many times, our prayers go unanswered by God, is because we have unconfessed sin towards another family member in the Body of Christ, or even, an unbeliever.  But, when we walk in sincerity and humility of heart and are willing to confes...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."  James 4:17 (ESV)

I think about how many times in my life I have known the right thing to do and still failed to do it. This made me feel like an idiot. Knowing what to do in my heart and spirit, but choosing to please my flesh for something that has no lasting value. We feel guilty and horrible after we make the mistake because we knew better even before we did it. With that conviction upon us, we have to confess that sin so we can be forgiven. During our prayer of confession, we must ask God to give us a renewed heart with the power and strength of Christ to resist the same temptations that may come against us in a future time. Not only are we forgiven when we confess our sin, but we are empowered to live like Christ and become more and more like Him and less like the world aroun...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

 

“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long… Then I acknowledged my sin to young did not cover up my iniquity.  I said ‘I will confess to the Lord’ - and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”  Psalm 32:3,5 (NIV)

It’s amazing what guilt can do to someone.  The feelings are strong and real.  Guilt is defined as, a feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation.  Many see guilt as a bad thing, but guilt, that doesn't lead to condemnation, is actually a good thing.  God uses guilt an a positive way.  You may  say, “If guilt is so good, why does it feel so bad?”  Just like pain let’s us know that something is physically wrong with us and we need to seek medical help; guilt works the same way.  It lets us know there is something spiritually wrong in us.  And, God uses it so that we will seek Him, our “Great Physician”.  He wants...

Monday, April 18, 2016

"People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy."  Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)

This verse is spoken so clearly, direct, and to the point. It seems so simple, but we have a hard time following instruction. The world we live in pulls at our flesh, our mind, and our heart daily. We all slip and fall short of the glory of God in our lives, but if we confess that sin to the Lord, He has mercy on us and forgives us. Don’t hide from God. He knows our every move before we make it, and we are all better off with Him in our lives. He has the power to restore us and make us whole. For all our lives if we want to prosper, we have to acknowledge God and our sin and confess that sin to Him to receive forgiveness. Then we are able to prosper as we follow God’s plan for our life and operate under His mercy. You can't h...

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We believe the only life worth living is the “uncommon” life that results from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We encourage our youth to experience this life through a daily time with Jesus,  worship, ministry, and prayer.

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