Thursday, 24 December 2015
Week Four - Peace Calms Storms - Day 5
Many of us mask our love for God behind what we do in Church. We are part of a program or ministry. There is much work in around the Church to do, so we busy ourselves with that. Many of us mask our failures or weakness as excuses for not involving ourselves in discipling and helping others grow spiritually. Today in going deeper I want to challenge us to take off our masks and take on the peace of Jesus. God was loud and clear in sending the message of Jesus and His purpose here on earth. In today's verse God said He was pleased with Jesus because Jesus was peace on earth among men, men here means every human being. May I remind you that what God saw in Jesus Christ, He sees in you through Jesus Christ. If you know Jesus personally today, you need to know God is pleased with you and is pleased that you can carry the peace of Jesus with you for others to see. If God went before Jesus to let others know of His coming, then God will also let others know you are coming. You may smile about that or you may not agree with that I do not know which today. But I am here to tell you that God will go before you to others. All you have to do is tell Jesus you will obey Him and what He says. Then when He speaks you go and do what He says. When you do that, what seems like work will not be work and all. Why? Because it will be done in and with the peace of God. Today the peace of God is real, today the peace of God needs someone to activate it. Do not let today go by without praying, listening and obeying God. While Jesus died for you and you revived Him into your hearts that was not for you to put a light shade on it and hide it, but to let the peace shine in the dark world around you. Jesus Christ has lit your bulb, go let it shine. Go in the peace of God.
Posted on 12/24/2015 4:06 AM by Pastor Dan
Wednesday, 23 December 2015
Week Four - Peace Calms Storms - Day 4
How do you feel on Christmas eve, eve? There is often much excitement building this day. Christmas day is getting very close, presents under the tree, people longing for being together with family and friends, sounds so perfect doesn't it.
Will you please take a moment to stop with me today?
After 25 years in ministry there is a greater awareness than ever before the people who get angry, depressed or frustrated when they hear the above description about Christmas. Why in the world would that be, you might ask? So much sadness and hurt, there are people everywhere that have lost a loved one on or around Christmas, or throughout the year and this is the first year they will not be with them. What about the person who has lost their job or some other hardship and cannot sense or feel the joy of the season. Please take time this year to be aware of those around you in this state of mind. Give them a call, help them in some way, and invite them to be with you and your family. Pray as a family for those you may or may not know who are going through this tough time. Now that I have your full attention may I challenge you to go one step further.
WHAT ABOUT ETERNITY?
What happens in heaven also happens on earth, you think and pray about that a little bit. Let me explain in more detail. Have you ever stopped to think what it will be like in heaven praising the Lord 24/7, all day every day, because you now realize the only reason you are there is because God loved you and saved you. You tried the best you knew how, to love and obey Him. Now if I could make a comparison, just like those who are hurting this time of year, there are people who might not be able to celebrate the love of God with you in heaven if. Do think, pray and share with them about your joy? When you get to heaven it will be too late. Today going deeper might be a little bit shorter but that is because it is time for you to go to prayer. It is time for you and I to get serious about sharing our reason for hope, faith, joy and peace. It is because of Emanuel "God with us". Today start challenging yourself to become an evangelist. In your own way with the gift God gave pursue sharing God's love with others. Here at New Life of Currituck 2016 will be a year of building life. Life stands for Love, Invite, Fulfill, Equip. Please join New Life of Currituck in discipline others.
Posted on 12/23/2015 4:48 AM by Pastor Dan
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Week Four - Peace Calms Storms - Day 3
Today our challenge lies very little in the outward seeking of peace, but rather the inward pursuit of peace. Yes we can serve in our communities and world, try to live at peace with those around us and speak on peace every chance we get. There is however a greater peace to pursue, that is the inward peace God gives. Peter quotes part of Psalm 32 in the following passage that is in this day of going deeper. Please read it and pray for the revelation of God within its words.
"To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, Let him who means to love life and see good days Refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile. And let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 1 Peter 3:8-18
Now may I please refer to the one and only place true peace comes from. "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your heart" That inward peace we desire and long for maybe even whether we know it or not, comes from the inner workings of our hearts through Christ. Make note to self today that the heart is where emotions and actions originate and come from. Often times how I feel about something is what I take action on. So the psalmist says that he is tired of seeing hate that is driving the actions of people when his thoughts and actions are peace.
WHATE ABOUT YOU TODAY?
No I am not talking about what you think about others or even the world around you. Jesus came that you may have an inner peace. That if you believe in Jesus Christ then you can settle the battle that rages within. The battle for self-worth, the battle for affirmation, the battle for confidence, the battle to be loved. Oh there is not enough paper or time in the world to talk about each one of these things. Story after story of individuals who have been robbed of unconditional love and see Jesus Christ as the same as the way others have treated them. I pray today that you are able to look and think beyond your experiences and interaction with humans, people who for whatever reasons have defamed your self-worth, put you down by not affirming you, spoke hurtfully and left you without confidence, and by their actions and words have left you feeling unloved. Choose today to forgive them and seek peace and pursue it, pursue a relationship with Jesus. Know today you are loved by Jesus Christ and seek friendship with other people who love Jesus as well.
Posted on 12/22/2015 4:36 AM by Pastor Dan
Monday, 21 December 2015
Week Four - Peace Calms Storms - Day 2
Are you a marked person today? So many thoughts flood my mind today as I read these words. Sometimes the English language makes it confusing. Our first verse is very simple in the Hebrew language let me share it with you, it goes like this. "Mark perfect and behold the upright for the end of that man peace." As I read that there are two verses in the New Testament of Jesus speaking and He said this. "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." John 14:27-28 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33. So I ask you again are you a marked person today? Let us break it down a bit and then I am asking you to share this with many others today. How many people know you are marked today? No really how many? Stop for a moment and look at this from God's perspective. He wants to mark you today. Mark you because God wants others to learn to know who Jesus Christ really is. Mark you because God wants to let Satan know whose you are. Mark you so you can spend eternity in heaven praising God. You see it says God marks perfect, That is the way God sees you when you live an upright life. What the psalmist is saying does not mean you are perfect in this world but you are being perfected. Each mistake, each experience and yes even each sin is an opportunity for us to receive God's mercy and be perfected in grace. When this perfecting is happening in us we are beheld or in the verse is says behold. The visual picture is that God and others are watching. When we ask for forgiveness of our sins by the blood and the name of Jesus Christ we receive forgiveness and are being perfected. As that perfecting is taking place God looks through Jesus Christ and calls us perfecting. As that perfecting is taking place others look at us and see Jesus Christ as well. As others see Jesus in us it gives us opportunity to share Christ with others, First at home, second at Church and third to the world around us. That means we are marked. Now since there is no true peace in the world then as a marked person my hope is in eternity meaning what comes to my spirit when I die. The psalmist is clear in what he is writing, I am clear in what I am writing, God's promise through Jesus is clear
YOU WILL HAVE TRUE PEACE IN HEAVEN IF GOD MARKS YOU.
So I ask you a final time today are you a marked person? If yes share with as many people as you can, if no or unsure call someone today that you can trust to talk about becoming a marked person for Jesus Christ, you will have hope that dispels fear, faith without limits, joy as an unending resource, peace that calms the storms of life in this world and peace praising God for all eternity. Will you join me in this peace?
Posted on 12/21/2015 4:25 AM by Pastor Dan
Sunday, 20 December 2015
Week Four - Peace Calms Storms - Day 1
I would like to break down this blessing in our verse today so that we may learn something from God (Yahweh). Before we do that I want to remind you that this verse comes at the end of the chapter in which God gives direction for a person to take a nazirite vow. Only three people are mentioned in scripture as to have this as a lifetime vow, they are Solomon, Samson and John the Baptist. Anyone could take the nazirite vow on their own free will and generally it was for a period of 30 or 60 days or multiple 30 day periods. This vow was to set yourself apart for God, but it was not something where you would go off alone to be with God. This vow was taken as a desire to live holy before God to serve others. Now in the Old Testament there were specific things you had to do going into and coming out of this vow. We will not take time to look at them because they are specific to the Old Testament. Today this vow is still something that you can do and I challenge you today to pray about it. The vow today is loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Have you heard that before? Now let me get real with you, this means using your gift to serve the people around you. Now let me get more real and I do this in love understanding the gift God has given me which is to love, share and grow God's Church. The Old Testament vow was for the specific purpose of serving fellow Israelites, given in today's context it is to serve believers in the Church. Please note that serving others has more to do with who you are becoming in Jesus Christ than what you are doing. When that is understood then what we do emits from who we are in Christ, so the blessing of serving in the Jesus Christ in us. So the blessing that is in our verse today is a blessing given in the context of serving others in the Church. Today take time to grade yourself on how you are doing with serving others within the Church. This self-perspective before God is a good evaluation at times to help us re-focus. As you take time to re-focus may the blessing here encourage and fill you with God's Holy Spirit. Here are the three parts of this blessing.
1. May God (Yahweh) bless you and preserve you. May God of peace speak good to you, by giving you His excellent promises, (Note not our wants or even our needs) for the purpose of looking out for others) May God preserve you in the stewardship of the possession of all the good you have been given, and keep you from all the evil with that threatens to harm you.
2. May God (Yahweh) cause his light to shine on you, and give you grace. (please remember that mercy forgives your sins and grace provides the strength for serving others) May the Holy Spirit ignite your heart with the true knowledge of Jesus Christ in God. May the revelation of this igniting show you His mercy in forgiving your sins, and may His gracious support strengthen your soul.
3. May God (Yahweh) shine His glory on you, and show you prosperity according to His will. May God give you communion with the Father, Son, and Spirit, with a constant sense of his mercy and grace to grant you prosperity in your soul, and in all of life's affairs.
So my prayer for you today in parting is this. May "The Lord bless you, and keep you. The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26
Go and encourage others today
Posted on 12/20/2015 4:24 AM by Pastor Dan