Category: Empowering
April 9, 2016 by Amanda George

 

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Winning can be an exhilarating experience. Often, winning produces a physical action like shouting or jumping. No matter how big or small, whether it’s winning a game, a prize, or the lottery, we internally rejoice. But what happens when we lose? Losing also results in a physical reaction. Slumped shoulders, pouting, or a fake smile that covers up the angry emotions inside are just a few gestures we witness. While winning brings a sense of pride and joy, losing can make us feel jealous and ashamed.

 

You can win an argument or you can win a person, but you can’t do both.” – Ronnie Rothe

 

Too many times we argue about ridiculous topics. We let our disputes and squabbles become great divides that sever our relationships. What may start as a very minor disagreement can end in us being repulsed by one another, competing for a “win” that brings the other person anger or jealousy. We become so engrossed in our own opinions, so obsessed with our own agendas for other people’s lives, that we lose sight of the most important commandment: to love God first, then others.

 

Matthew 22:34-40 says: “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”

 

The Pharisees were so concerned with perfectly following the Old Testament Laws that they couldn’t wrap their minds around the commandment of love. With evil motives, they intently watched Jesus waiting to trap him, catch him in wrongdoing, anything to prove him a liar. The Pharisees wanted to win. They publicly questioned him and falsely accused him, sentencing Jesus to his gruesome death on the cross. And for three days, the Pharisees thought they had won the argument that this Jesus was just a false prophet. But on that glorious day, when Jesus rose from the dead, he silenced the Pharisees with his selfless, sacrificial love. Jesus didn’t fight back with angry, resentful words that he would someday regret. He fought back with love. A love that killed him, but would pay for the sins of the world.

 

We are not in a competition with Satan, because Jesus already won! We are, however, commanded to love God and love each other. Loving includes accepting the forgiveness of Jesus for our own sins and extending that forgiveness to those who have wronged us. It includes dying to our own pride and owning up to the wrongs that we have caused others.

 

This week – Take a moment to reflect on the relationships in your life. Are there arguments you are still trying to win? How can losing that argument help you win over that person? Start by looking in the mirror and asking God to change your heart towards that person. Then GO and DO something to show them the love of Jesus.

March 24, 2016 by Relevant

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We just wrapped up a great 4 week series called “Knowing the Unknowable God”. In this series, we looked at 4 incommunicable attributes of God (attributes of God we can’t fully know about or comprehend). Check out the recap below for a summary of the series and links to catch what you missed!

 

Week 1: God Doesn’t Need Anything

 

Attribute: God’s INDEPENDENCE — God does not need us. He is fully self-existent, self-sustaining, and even experiences perfect joy and completeness apart from creation, including us.

 

Main Point: God doesn’t need us, but chose to want us.

 

Challenge Question: Do you believe God needs you, or that He simply wants you?

 

Acts 17:25 – And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

 

T-Life Guide week #1

 

God Chose Us

 

Week 2: God Doesn’t Change

 

Attribute: God’s IMMUTABILITY — From all eternity, God is unchanging. The same God that spoke life into existence is the same God that is drawing us to Himself today…He is unchanged in His Being, His Purposes, and His Promises.

 

Main Point: Since God doesn’t change, God can always be trusted.

 

Challenge Question: Are you trusting in the never-changing God of the Bible, or a different god?

 

Psalm 102:27 – You are the same, and your years have no end.

 

“God Doesn’t Change” blog post

 

T-Life Guide week #2

 

Always Be Trusted

 

Week 3: God is Eternal

 

Attribute: God’s ETERNAL NATURE — God exists apart from time. He has no beginning and no ending. He does not experience moment-by-moment succession of time. Rather, He experiences every moment all the time from past to present to future.

 

Main Point: God’s eternal nature means that we can embrace every moment as His divine opportunity to glorify His Kingdom.

 

Challenge Question: God, what are you calling me to do right here, right now?

 

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

 

T-Life Guide Week #3

 

Exactly Where

 

Week 4: God is Everywhere

 

Attribute: God’s OMNIPRESENCE – God is all-present. He is FULLY present everywhere with his WHOLE being at the same time. God does not have size and space dimensions like what we know. In the good and in the bad, God is always there.

 

Main Point: Because God is always present, we can be assured that God is always with us.

 

Challenge Questions: Do you want to see and experience God with you today? Will you begin to fix your eyes on Jesus?

 

Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

 

T-Life Guide Week #4

 

Fix Your Eyes

 

 

For more, check out the “Knowing the Unknowable God” Series Page!

 

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February 25, 2016 by Relevant

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This week, we wrapped our final week of the #UnqualifiedSeries! Check out below for a brief recap.

 

God appeared to Moses – an old murderer, liar, and coward who was doing the lowly job of a shepherd – in a burning bush. He told Moses about His big plan: freeing the Hebrew people from slavery and leading them to land He had promised them they would possess long before. AND then…God said something Moses never saw coming: “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10). Essentially, God was saying, “I am calling all my people to this great mission and purpose, but I have a SPECIFIC calling for you within it, Moses…I want you to LEAD it. I am sending you to do this. Moses, I am calling YOU to a great mission, purpose, adventure.

 

Moses pushed back on God’s calling, like many of us would if called to such a great mission. Specifically, Moses pushed back with 5 reservations. I believe these are the same reservations many of us have when we feel God calling us into something, big or small. Check out Moses’ reservations below and how God responded to each of them.

 

 

RESERVATION #1: Who am I?

“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)

 

 

GOD’S RESPONSE: I will be with you.

I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:12)

 

God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. God qualifies those He calls by being with them.

 

 

RESERVATION #2: Who are You, God?

“Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” (Exodus 3:13)

 

GOD’S RESPONSE: I AM WHO I AM.

I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM [Yahweh] has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14)

 

Believing what God can do begins with knowing who He is.

 

 

RESERVATION #3: What about them?

“What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” (Exodus 4:1)

 

GOD’S RESPONSE: Moses, here are 3 signs. I’VE GOT YOUR BACK. I WILL BE WITH YOU.

Signs

  • #1: God turns Moses’ staff into a snake, then back into a staff. (Exodus 4:2-5)
  • #2: God tells Moses to put his hand in his cloak. Moses’ hand turns leprous. Moses is instructed to put his hand back into his cloak, and his hand is restored. (Exodus 4:6-7)
  • #3: Water from the Nile poured on dry ground becomes blood. (Exodus 4:8-9) 

God is not looking for us to do great things. He is looking to do great things through us.

 

  

RESERVATION #4: I’m not ready.

“Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)

 

GOD’S RESPONSE: GO anyways.

“Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Exodus 4:11-12)

 

God doesn’t want us to be ABLE. He wants us to be AVAILABLE. And once we are AVAILABLE, then He will make us ABLE.

  

 

RESERVATION #5: Send someone else.

“Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13)

 

GOD’S RESPONSE: GO! I will send your brother Aaron with you.

“Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.” (Exodus 4:14-15)

 

God doesn’t call you to do everything, but to do your thing with others.

 

 

Like Moses, we have a choice to make…will we say YES to what God is calling us to do despite our reservations or will we say NO to what God calls us to because of our reservations?

 

In the end, Moses said YES to God, and God did amazing things in and through him. Followers of Christ…like Moses, God has a great calling and purpose for you! Are you willing to accept His calling and step into it despite your reservations?

 

 

Reflect:

  • Do you want God with you?
  • Do you know Him?
  • Is fear of the Lord what guides the decisions you make?
  • Are you available to God?
  • Do you want to see God do powerful things through you? Are you trying to do everything by yourself, or are you doing your thing with others?

 

Check out what you missed or re-live the #UnqualifiedSeries through the Series Page on the website or the Relevant Mobile App.

 

Dig deeper! Check out the weekly T-Life guides from the series to dig deeper (week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5).

 

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February 23, 2016 by Ronnie Rothe

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Exodus 4:13-16

 

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.

 

In Moses’ final reservation, we see him saying the same things we do: “I believe You are the God who can make anyone able, but I also know who I am, and the magnitude of my weaknesses. No ‘amount of You’ is going to change that. I am humbled that You say You will be with me, but that’s not enough. Someone else would be better suited. Please don’t send me…send someone else.”

 

Up to this point, God has been patient with Moses and his reservations. But at this point, God has had enough. His anger burns against Moses. Essentially, God said to Moses: “This is My plan that I have called you to – enough! All you’re doing is showing that you don’t trust Me. My plan and specific calling for you in it is NOT up for debate.” 

 

Whenever God calls us to something, it is NOT up for debate.

It is not okay with Him for us to not obey and go when He asks us to. God is patient with us and our reservations, but it gets to the point that our reservations for not going or not doing what He asks make Him angry – not just because it’s disobedient, but because it shows we don’t TRUST Him. Our GOING is how trust is shown AND how trust is grown.

 

The cool thing is, God already knew Moses couldn’t accomplish His mission alone. He had already called Aaron, Moses’ brother, to go with him. God basically told Moses “Aaron isn’t good at clearly hearing from me, but you are. You aren’t good at speaking to people, but Aaron is. I will speak to you, you will bumble through telling it to him, and he will clearly communicate it to everyone else. I will get my message across that way!”

 

God doesn’t fix Moses’ weaknesses like we might expect or want Him to. Instead, He sends someone with Moses who has strength where Moses is weak. God knows our strengths and weaknesses. He made us that way! He knows what we can and can’t do. He knows we can’t do His work alone. When God calls us to something, He is already working in the lives of other people for us to do it with.

 

God doesn’t call you to do everything, but to do your thing with others.

That’s what the purpose of the church is all about…being organized for mission to work together to carry on Jesus’ mission of transforming the world! As followers of Christ, God HAS called you to a great mission, a great purpose, and a great adventure! You don’t need a burning bush to discover it, and it doesn’t have to be something big and life altering. You simply need to start looking for God’s call in the seemingly small things in your life today—the burning passion He puts inside of you, His soft whisper, an invitation from someone to do something, a holy discontentment, a conviction of some sort, etc.—and be faithful with those things.

 

So, what’s your thing?

You owe it to yourself – and you owe it to God – to do everything you can to discover the answer to that question. To everyone who wants to start living a greater purpose, a greater mission, and a greater adventure, I invite and challenge you with this: PARTNER UP with others who are already living a greater mission, adventure, and purpose! You won’t be disappointed when you start to see and experience God do things way bigger than you! Your faith will grow because He will do more through you than you even think is possible.

 

 

Reflect: 

  • Do you want to see God do powerful things through you?
  • Are you trying to do everything by yourself, or are you doing your thing with others?

Next Steps:

 

Not sure what your thing is? Check out this month’s Serving Spotlight and Serving page on the website for opportunities to get involved and serve on a team alongside others who are already living on a great mission, adventure, and purpose!

 

Dig deeper on your own and with others with this week’s T-Life guide for a recap of this week’s message and reflection/discussion questions!

 

Pastor Ronnie

 

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February 18, 2016 by Relevant

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Exodus 4:10-12

 

“Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

 

Moses is like, “Cool God, glad you’re with me. Thanks for that. Thanks for the miracles. But you don’t realize how ill-equipped I am for this. I’m probably going to screw it up!” God basically responds to Moses saying, “Do you really think that your human limitations are going to stop me from using you to complete my plan? I created you!” He calls Moses to go anyway, to choose to trust Him despite his fears, self-doubt, and insecurities. God extends the same invitation to us, to step out on the waves and see what He can do. He wants to use you in a significant way, even and especially when you feel unqualified.

 

The truth is…God doesn’t WANT you to be ABLE. He wants you to be AVAILABLE.

 

Are you available to God?

 

Here are some questions to help you determine if you’re available:

  • Are you in a place where you are actively seeking out how God wants to use you? Or are you “busy”?
  • Sometimes, God’s prompting can be very disruptive to our plans or our daily agendas. Are you prioritizing HIS agenda over your own? Or are you saying “NO” because of what you have planned?
  • Often, God calls us to step outside of our comfort zones. When we’re uncomfortable, we have to trust Him instead of trusting in our ability. Are you truly open to stepping outside of your comfort zone? Or are you saying “NO” out of fear?
  • Are you willing to let go of your past mistakes and past sins? Can you let go of your concern for what people think of you? Can you let go of your own self-doubt and insecurity?

God doesn’t WANT you to be ABLE. He wants you to be AVAILABLE. And once you are AVAILABLE, then He will make you ABLE.

 

 

Consider…

  • Do you want to be used by God in a significant way?
  • Are you available to Him?

 

This Week:

 

Spend some time going through and reflecting on the weekly T-Life Guide (a recap of this week’s message and discussion questions).

 

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February 10, 2016 by John Schluchter

The season of Lent starts today. Lent is the 40 days that lead up to Good Friday, the day we recognize Jesus’ death on the cross. I’ve always looked at Lent as a very “religious” thing; something “religious” people do. I’ve been challenged to “give things up” for Lent. In the past, I’ve tried and failed to sacrifice things like soda (“pop” for the natives) and watching hockey. My heart has never really been in it.

 

Don’t get me wrong. Fasting—during Lent or any other time—is an important spiritual practice. Among other things, it causes us to remove obstacles that distract us from walking with Jesus. But I’m not really talking about the fasting side of Lent in this post.

 

What I’m realizing this year is that the original intent of Lent is about confessing, repenting and preparing our hearts in anticipation of celebrating Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s about reflecting on our depravity and understanding the weight of what Jesus did for us. So that when the day arrives for us to remember Jesus’ death on the cross, and to praise Him for overcoming death through His resurrection, we are grateful.

 

As we start counting down the days until Easter weekend, I challenge us all to begin preparing our hearts. The first step—before we celebrate—is to take time to confess our sin and our desperate need for Jesus. The simple video below could be helpful in getting you started. Set aside a couple minutes of quiet, and echo the prayer in this video.

 

 

Lent (A Prayer of Repentance) from Freebridge Media on Vimeo.

 

I challenge all of us to not let this important season in our faith pass without taking time to confess, repent, and reflect before we celebrate. Lent is like turning down the volume of everything else in our lives so we can hear the Holy Spirit.

 

On Easter Sunday, when we all gather together to joyously worship our Risen Savior, let it not be a halfhearted ritual. May our worship be an overflow of gratitude for what Christ did, a true recognition of our utter reliance on Him, and genuine praise for powerfully overcoming sin and death for all mankind.

 

There is a lot more to Lent than I described here. Below are a few posts and resources if you’re interested in learning more about Lent.

Pastor John Schluchter

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February 9, 2016 by Relevant

 

GENESIS 22:1-5, 9-12

 

Abraham Tested

 

God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” 

“Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

 

 

This section is one of the greatest tests in all of Scripture, as Abraham is asked to sacrifice his promised son Isaac. Recall that in Genesis 15, God had promised Abraham an heir. Not just an heir, but a son promised to be the start of a great line of descendants. Despite Abraham and his wife Sarah’s old age (both were over 90 years of age) and years of childlessness, Abraham had trusted God to make his descendants as numerous as the stars. Now, God asked him to give up this promised son. And Abraham, displaying great fear of the Lord, set out to do what God asked of him…until God intervened and stopped him. He passed the test!

 

 

Consider…

 

  • What is your Isaac? Commit this question to prayer this week.
  • What is it that God is asking you to sacrifice? How would your life be different if you surrendered this to Him?

God wants to do amazing things through us. Are you ready to go after God with all you are in pursuit of His Kingdom?

 

THIS WEEK: Spend some time on your own and/or with a family member or friend going through the weekly T-Life Guide (a recap of this week’s message and discussion questions).

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February 2, 2016 by Ronnie Rothe

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Do you want God with you?

 

Do you know Him?

 

If you haven’t put your faith in God by asking Him to be the Forgiver of your sins and the Leader of your life, that’s your first step.

 

If you are a follower of Christ, your job is to get to know Him more. How? By remembering!

 

First, REMEMBER what God did in the past through Scripture.

If you’re not in His Word (the Bible) to see how he defines Himself, who He says He is, the actions He does, what He has promised and not promised, you will never know Him. In a previous post, I wrote a post about spending time with God in Scripture, check that out here. I encourage you…get in the Word and get to know Him!

 

Second, REMEMBER what God has done in the past in your life.

I challenge you…when you know God has worked, WRITE IT DOWN! Maybe you were down to your last dollar and staring bills in the face, when a check came in for the exact amount you needed. Maybe you were healed emotionally or physically. Maybe you were hopeless and He gave you something to hope in. Maybe you needed a friend and God supplied you with one. Maybe He used you to transform the life of another. Maybe He spoke to you, through the Bible or a friend, exactly what you needed to hear that day. Maybe you were in trouble and He rescued you. We all have events in our lives where the only possible explanation is God. WRITE THEM DOWN!

 

I think that if for no other reason than to remember what God did in the past, journaling is an important exercise. Sometimes we are people of little faith and we need to remember what God has done. So when He provides in a special way or you see Him do something special in your life, write it down! Then, when those situations come up that make you wonder where God is in the midst of what you’re going through, you can look back and remember all that He has done.

 

If you remember who He truly is, you’ll be able to trust that if He could do THAT, then the Great I AM is big enough for THIS. You’ll be able to trust that NO circumstance and NO calling – even those you feel wholly unqualified for – is too big for Him. You’ll be able to trust that “I AM WHO I AM” – the one true God who always has been, who is, and who always will be – will be with you.

 

 

Reflect:

 

Take a look at the past week. Where did you see God work in your life? Write down some of the ways God showed up.

Why not make that practice a habit?

 

- Pastor Ronnie

 

Remember

 

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January 26, 2016 by Ronnie Rothe

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Do I want God with me?”

 

Many of us are quick to say “YES!” when asked that question. But while we say “YES”, I believe our actions prove otherwise.

 

Here’s how:

 

You haven’t put your faith in Jesus.

God has gone to great lengths to prove that He wants to be with you. Putting your faith in Jesus means asking Him to be the Leader of your life and the Forgiver of your sins. It means saying YES to Jesus and telling Him you want Him to be with you. If you’re not to that place, that’s okay. But if you don’t get to the point of saying yes to Jesus, then the conclusion that you’ve made is that you don’t want Him with you.

 

You are okay with sin in your life.

We’re all screwed up. We’re all sinners. We’re all going to sin. Sinning doesn’t disqualify you, and it doesn’t mean you’re not forgiven. But sin does separate us from God, because it causes us to turn our back on Him. We justify sin in our life through the good things we accomplish for God. But God is NOT okay with our sin. If He were, He wouldn’t have sent His Son to die for sin. God is a whole lot more concerned about who you are than what you accomplish for Him.

 

Your want your will over God’s will.

Many of us go through life evaluating: How is this going to help me? How is this going to serve me? How is this going to make me rich? God’s mission never has and never will be about you and your glory. When God asks, “Do you want Me to be with you?” essentially He’s asking, “Do you want My will to be done?”

 

You want your life to be safe, comfortable, and easy.

The #1 thing God commands from us in the Bible is “Have faith in Me!” God wants us to depend on Him and trust in Him. It’s not easy. It’s not safe. It’s not comfortable. And it’s not based on our timeframe. God calls us to step out in faith to follow Him.

God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. And God qualifies those He calls by being with them.

 

Do you want God with you?

 

Reflect:

  • Have you put your faith in Jesus, by asking Him to be the Forgiver of your sins and the Leader of your life? If you want God with you, then why go one more day without saying yes to Jesus?
  • Spend time with God, asking: What sin(s) in my life do I need to turn from today?
  • Whose will – yours or God’s – is most important to you?
  • What step(s) of faith is God calling you to take?

 

December 31, 2015 by Ronnie Rothe

Expect God (4)

 

It has been an amazing 2015! We have seen God do MORE in and through Relevant this year, and it has been awesome!

 

As we wrap up 2015, I’m excited to celebrate what God did through our Christmas Eve gatherings. Throughout the month of December, I challenged our volunteer staff to pray that there be 800 people in attendance, 100 of whom had never put their faith in Jesus…and that ALL 100 would leave our Christmas Eve gatherings with a desire to put their faith in Jesus by asking Him to be the Forgiver of their sins and Leader of their lives.

 

Let’s PRAISE GOD TOGETHER! Our initial count indicates that we had right at 800 people at our Christmas Eve Gatherings…our “800 prayer” was answered! We will never be able to tell if our “100 prayer” was answered or not, but I know our God did EXACTLY what He wanted to do that night. I am going to trust that 100 people who didn’t know Jesus were there, and all 100 of them now have a desire to take steps toward Him. It is so fun to pray together and watch God answer our prayers!

 

As we head into 2016, I challenge you…EXPECT GOD! Don’t miss God when He shows up in your life today and in each day of 2016.

 

I want to give you one key phrase to remember this coming year, every time you need or want God to powerfully show up, whether you expect He will or not, regardless of the situation or circumstance: “BUT GOD”  This phrase can be seen all throughout the Bible.  This powerful two-word phrase changes everything. BUT GOD…

 

  • We expect God not to do anything…BUT GOD has promised He is always working.
  • We expect God might show up…BUT GOD is at work right now, in this situation, no matter how hopeless it may seem.
  • We expect God to work according to our expectations…BUT GOD arrives in unexpected ways.
  • We expect God will show up when we WANT Him to the most…BUT GOD shows up most powerfully when we NEED Him the most.
  • We expect God to achieve our plans, in our ways, in our time, for our comfort…BUT GOD never promises that – God promises to achieve His plans, His way, in His time, for His glory. By the way, when He is glorified through us, it always is for our good because He brings us His life, His joy, His peace, and His purpose through it.
  • We expect God to give abundantly…BUT GOD promises to provide our daily bread.
  • We expect God to give us more stuff…BUT GOD is in the business of giving true life, which never comes through stuff. It only comes through Him.
  • We expect God to give us everything we desire…BUT GOD always does immeasurably more than our desires. The reason we can’t see that is because of our limited vantage point compared to His eternal vantage point.
  • We expect God to give so we can be generous…BUT GOD gives to those who already are.
  • We expect God to work for our blessing and prosperity today…BUT GOD is working primarily for our TRANSFORMATION
  • We expect God is working so we feel His blessings…BUT GOD is always working so we that we can know His LOVE.
  • We expect God to fix our spouses…BUT GOD redeems marriages through teaching two people to love one another in the way He first loved us.
  • We expect God to not let anyone we love die…BUT GOD said physical death was coming to us all, and He works through it to provide a hope for eternal life after death through Jesus…because Jesus defeated death!
  • We expect God to always work through miraculous acts…BUT GOD works miraculously through people He puts in our lives.
  • We expect God to make us comfortable…BUT GOD allows discomfort to point us to Him.
  • We expect God not to let any bad to happen to us…BUT GOD never promises that – God promises to NEVER LEAVE US when bad things do!
  • We expect God to keep us from suffering…BUT GOD allows us to go through suffering so He can show up, through us, for other people. Some of the most powerful ways God shows up in people’s lives who are suffering is through people who have been through the same type of suffering and have a hope, peace, and joy that transcends all understanding because God was with them!
  • We expect God to do things so we can be happy…BUT GOD does things so He can be known.
  • We expect God to do the most for those who do good…BUT GOD works for the good of those who love Him.
  • We expect God to stop showing up when we do bad things…BUT GOD has proven that doesn’t stop Him.
  • We expect God to be recognized no matter what we are doing…BUT GOD is missed when we are doing our own things.
  • We expect God to look past our sin…BUT GOD breaks us when we sin, so He can transform us and fill us.
  • We expect God to work based on our level of faith…BUT GOD works most powerfully in those who are FAITHFUL to Him.
  • We expect God did His best work in the past…BUT GOD is not done working, and the best is yet to come!

 

God promised to come once, and on that first Christmas, He did and it changed history! But that wasn’t the end of the story…He has promised to come back, and He will! And on that day, He will prove He does immeasurably more than we could possibly imagine! That means that no matter what ways we need and want God to show up today…the best is yet to come!

 

WHEN, not IF, God shows up in your life…DON’T MISS HIM!

 

My CHALLENGE to you as we head into 2016 is this…EXPECT GOD!

 

EXPECT GOD…but EXPECT GOD IN UNEXPECTED WAYS!

 

No matter what trouble, no matter how hopeless it seems, no matter how long it takes…expect God in unexpected ways! Expect God to do immeasurably more than you can imagine. Expect it won’t be in the ways you are expecting. Expect God in unexpected ways!

 

Are you expecting God to work in your ways or HIS unexpected ways?

EXPECT GOD in UNEXPECTED WAYS!

 

Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

 

 

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Pastor Ronnie

 

 

 
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