Worship live in person and on Zoom at 10 with Children's Church. (attached below is the handout in our bulletins for those joining on Zoom.) Today we begin our journey in learning about the Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts and what that all means to us as we seek to Become More in '24. We will have a lot of words to pick from as we ask God to reveal to us what He desires us to work on in '24 as we seek to become more like Jesus and doing more of what we were created to do. I'm excited! Hope you are too!
Good Morning Very Loved Masterpieces of God, Family, Friends, and Empowered Sent Ones of God! There is one thing I always pray to do and that is to love like Jesus--to incarnate or bring His love alive to all those He sends my way. We are commanded to love God and others just like Jesus does--sacrificially, lavishly. And I pray that that continues to grow and come alive in, through and around me. I pray that over all of you as well as we continue to grow in and work on living sacrificially, loving lavishly and being all in for God's ways like Jesus.
God is looking right into your heart and reminding you that He knows you and everything about you and still loves you with an everlasting love. Jesus has His arms wide open for you to feel His loving embrace as He calls you by name to come to Him. His hand is outstretched to you as you are sinking in the waves of the storm and reminds you to turn off the noise and chaos and focus on Him--the Prince of Peace. He is cheering you on and wanting you to grow into His purposes for you. He sent His Holy Spirit to help you and to gift you to grow into your fullest potential and do all He has for you. His Spirit not only equips, but empowers you to go love well, grow His Kingdom and Church and make disciples of Jesus as you complete your custom purposes and mission. What joy and blessings we know, are growing into and get to share! Man, God is so awesome and good--all the time! PTL! Prepare your hearts to enter His courts with praise today!
Times are hard but not unexpected as Jesus told us to be ready for all the trials, troubles and tribulations that are to come. Our devotionals continue the reminder to be ready, stay focused on Christ and to persevere in growling faith. Check them out below. God is weaving all things together for His purposes and the good of those who believe. Keep your eyes fixed on Him and your feet following. Be attentive and be still. Listen to hear His whisper and directions. Spend time with Him and in His Word so He can speak, you can respond and He can guide you step by step in faith. He has great plans for you! You know that but do you really believe that always--especially when in the storms? Prepare your heart by working on a growing relationship with our Lord and Savior. When you ask Him to be your Lord or the Lord of the day, you can be assured that no matter what happens, it is filtered through God's hands, part of His plan and will eventually help to lead us to His best. So choose joy always as you learn to die to self, take up your cross daily and follow Jesus earnestly! As we do, His peace beyond understanding overwhelms us and we find the strength, help and wisdom to continue on this journey to Christlikeness and for God's glory alone! He is worthy of a fully surrendered life of obedience and worship that will lead us to His best! Amen! and rejoice! Sing the hymn as a prayer today, "I Surrender All". He is worthy and will lead us to His best and prepare us for eternity with Him. Amen! A life well lived in Christ begins with surrender and grows as you seek Him more with all your heart. We are learning to live and love like Jesus. Lead us Lord! Thank You! Amen
I Surrender All: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW8EA7DEQ2M
Harvest Revival Prayer Blog:
January 14, 2024 - Praying for Revival (Day 14): Hope Deferred
Hope can be defined as the belief or expectation that something can or will happen. Proverbs 13:12 describes it this way: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
How do we pray when hope seems lost, when a situation deteriorates rather than comes to resolution?
How can we keep from becoming discouraged and giving up when our nation slips further and further into darkness? How do we maintain confidence in the grace and love of God when judgment, logical consequences, and the downward slope of destruction seem inevitable?
There is a reason Paul reminded the Church at Rome: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom.15:13). The God of hope wants us to overflow with hope, but it will require the power of the Spirit in our lives.
Just imagine: complete joy, total peace, and an abundance of hope! Isn’t that what we need?
I praise You God of hope, for You pour out joy and peace as I trust in You! Please give me renewed endurance in my prayer life to keep interceding even when I don’t see immediate evidence of revival. Pour out Your mercy on our nation even when it seems judgment is what we deserve.
Father, please increase my faith and inspire my prayers with “the assurance of things hoped for.” Send a wave of repentance and a flood of revival throughout the Church in this nation.
Pr a y e r Po i n t s:
• Praise the God of hope who pours out joy and peace when we trust in Him.
• Pray for renewed endurance in your prayer life to keep interceding even when you don’t see immediate evidence of revival.
• Pray for God’s mercy on our nation, even when it seems judgment is more appropriate.
• Ask God to increase your faith and inspire your prayers with “the assurance of things hoped for.”
• Pray for a wave of repentance and a flood of revival throughout the Church in this nation.
--Adapted from Day 14 by Jim Jarman: Do It Again, Lord (30 Days of Hope-Filled Prayer for Revival) compiled and edited by Carol Madison. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Nineteenth-century Scottish pastor, Thomas Chalmers, once told the story of riding in a horse-drawn carriage in the Highlands region as it hugged a narrow mountain ledge, along a harrowing precipice. One of the horses startled, and the driver, fearing they would plummet to their death, repeatedly flicked his whip. After they made it past the danger, Chalmers asked the driver why he used the whip with such force. “I needed to give the horses something else to think about,” he said. “I needed to get their attention.”
In a world overflowing with threats and dangers all around us, we all need something else to arrest our attention. However, we need more than merely mental distraction—a kind of psychological trick. What we most need is to fasten our minds upon a reality more powerful than all our fears. As Isaiah told God’s people in Judah, what we truly need is to fix our minds on God. “You will keep in perfect peace,” Isaiah promises, “all who trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3 nlt). And we can “trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock” (v. 4 nlt).
Peace—this is the gift for all who fix their gaze on God. And His peace provides far more than only a technique for holding our worst thoughts at bay. For those who will surrender their future, their hopes, and their worries, the Spirit makes an entirely new way of life possible.
By Winn Collier
REFLECT & PRAY
Where do you normally fix your attention? How might you renew your gaze on God?
Dear God, my mind can be a scary place, and I fear so much. Please give me Your peace.
In calling His people to trust Him instead of trusting in other nations, God proclaimed Himself sovereign over all human history (Isaiah 24-27). He’s at work behind the scenes, orchestrating events to the triumphant outcome He planned for the end of time. He’ll judge and punish the wicked and the proud (24:16-23; 25:10-12) but will bless those who humble themselves and trust in Him (25:1-8). Isaiah 26 is a song of praise celebrating the salvation and blessings God will bestow on those who trust, obey, and honor Him (vv. 7-9).
K. T. Sim
UR: Behind and Ahead
[The Lord] guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. - Psalm 23:3 (NIV)
I am facing south on a long, narrow strip of land that is nearly at the southernmost point of Africa. Sometimes it is calm and beautiful at Cape Point, but today it is buffeted by storms. The raging Atlantic Ocean is on my right and the turbulent Indian Ocean to my left. I have walked bravely but with trepidation to my present position below the towering lighthouse that has guided mariners for many years. Behind me is the solid bulk of the African continent, and far ahead of me, unseen beyond the horizon but certain in my mind, is Antarctica. I stand awed and exhilarated.
I liken my situation in this moment to my life in Christ. At times calm, at times buffeted and storm-tossed, I have walked bravely along a narrow path. But Jesus is my eternal beacon. If I listen carefully I can hear his voice calming the waters and bidding me to keep the faith, knowing that behind me is the solid ground of forgiveness, power, and love. Ahead of me, unseen and awesome but certain, lies eternity with Christ.
O God, grant us strength and guidance when we encounter the stormy gales of life. Help us to be beacons of your grace and shelter for others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Bulletin Insert: Words...
Become More in ’24 Challenge
Pray about and pick a word or two to work on: a “be” word to help you become who you were created to be and a “do” word to help you to work on what you were created to do
Possible words to work on
Words for ’23:
Faith, hope, peace, time, value, understanding, bold, change, patience, pause, energy, stewardship, useful, courage, relationships, restoration, rest, agape and discipleship
Spiritual gifts words:
1 Corinthians 12:8–10:
1. Prophecy 2. Serving 3. Teaching 4. Exhortation 5. Giving 6. Leadership 7. Mercy
1 Corinthians 12:28–30
1. Word of wisdom 2. Word of knowledge 3. Faith 4. Gifts of healings 5. Miracles 6. Prophecy 7. Distinguishing between spirits 8. Tongues 9. Interpretation of tongues
1. Apostle 2. Prophet 3.Teacher 4. Miracles 5. Kinds of healings 6. Helps 7. Administration 8. Tongues
1. Apostle 2. Prophet 3. Evangelist 4. Pastor 5. Teacher
1 Peter 4:11
1. Whoever speaks 2. Whoever renders service