Friday, March 30, 2012

How He Loves Us


We’ve all heard the saying, “love is an action word”, that it is not about how you feel but what you do

LOVE = DO 

My momma use to say, “Jenny, your actions speak louder than your words.” This year at Shell Lake Full Gospel we are presenting the Easter Alive play “How He Loves.” Over the last few days I’ve been thinking about how Jesus showed us to love (do). He said to us “love (do) others as I have loved (do) you. So how did Jesus love (do) others?

  1. He trained by example, taught through simple life stories, and disciplined in love. We can show love (do) through our everyday life in all that we say and do.

  2. He valued others above Himself. We can act like others are more important than us, make decisions based on what is best for others and not ourselves, and defer to others instead correcting them.

  3. He was not full of Himself; He EMPTIED Himself, and humbled Himself (no one else humbled Him). When was the last time we have emptied ourselves emotionally, physically, or financially for another?

  4. Jesus did not come to this world to be right. He came into this world to humble Himself for your sake and mine on behalf of the world. By taking our sin and dying on the cross, He discounted the opportunity to be right every single time. Jesus could have demanded fairness, respect, or to be heard. He could have fought for His personal rights. He even could have nagged everyone in the world to death by saying “you’re a sinner, you’re a sinner, you’re a sinner”, and He would have been right! Instead, He quietly laid down His life for us. Now that’s love (do). 

    Must we always be right, be treated fairly, be respected, or be heard in order to love one another? Does nagging (even if you’re right) demonstrate the love of Jesus? When was the last time we quietly laid ourselves down for the sake of another?
 For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  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! AmenEphesians 3: 14 – 21

 - Jen Slater 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The God of Opportunities!


How does God bring opportunities? The first thing to understand in answering this question is that God is the most creative being in the universe. He has created opportunities for you, more imaginative and diverse than you are capable of comprehending. If you ask Him, He will open your eyes to these opportunities. Ask Him to show you the opportunity He has for dealing with your specific financial situation. Ask in faith, and believe He loves you and that He will answer your prayer.

Often, people will find that this opportunity is something already within their grasp. Moses discovered this in a dramatic way. God told him that He was going to lead the children of Israel out of captivity in Egypt (Exodus 4:1, 2). Moses had a lot of questions about his ability to perform such a task, and said to the Lord: “They will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A rod.”

The Lord told Moses to throw his rod on the ground and when he did, it became a serpent. Then he picked it up and it became a rod again. That rod became the symbol of God’s power and authority that rested with Moses. It was a simple, common thing, used everyday without a second thought. But God used it in bringing the children of Israel out from Egypt!

I believe the opportunity that will get you out of your Egypt is in your hand, within your grasp. Through utilizing it and using it wisely, you will be able to free yourself. Remember, the secret to your future is hidden in your daily routine. Practice something daily! Creative opportunities originate with God, and usually they are simple things. God has created us all with a certain amount of creativity! Use it!

- Pastor Regan Myers

Friday, March 16, 2012

Get Back On The Bike

(This Relevant Pen Blog Post was brought to us by guest author, Candice Hopwood)


I can clearly remember the day that I learned to ride a bike. Maybe you can too. I was five years old and I had been riding the neighbors training bike all summer. You know the kind, child sized with training wheels; easy to handle for a pint sized bike enthusiast. The only bike we had at our home was my mom's, It was a five speed, dark green , and adult sized. It was an intimidating monster in my eyes. 

One evening I decided that I was ready to take biking to the next level. I was ready to ride a bike without the training wheels, I wanted my own bike! I was ready to make my mark on my world, face my fears and step out. My dad pulled out the "Green Monster" and after many attempts that evening in our backyard, (where the grass was much more forgiving than the street) I mastered that bike. 

Why do I tell you this story? Because it best describes my life the last couple of years as an In-House Director at The Compassion Center. God has had me deal with the "Green Monsters" in my life while ministering here. And through His strength, I have grown. By His grace I am learning to ride through this call on my life. He has gently been teaching me to ride without my training wheels and to rely on His sovereignty. I wouldn't say that I have mastered my call by any means, but when I do fall, I fall into His soft and loving embrace. When I don't understand a situation that is before me, I know that He will not fail me and that He has it all under control. 

What is God calling you to? What passions in life has He laid upon your heart? Trust Him with the dreams He has given you, there is a great adventure out there...have you been off your bike for a while? Maybe it is time to get back on that bike!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Prayer: Is It Our Opportunity or Responsibility in Faith?


(This Relevant Pen Blog Post was brought to us by guest author, Chuck Adams)
In my devotional time I am reading Pastor Jack Hayford’s book “The Power and the Blessing”. He has raised an issue about prayer. Should we be sitting back and waiting for God to bring his plan to closure, or do we have a responsibility to participate? I would not ever describe myself as a prayer warrior. Maybe I need to rethink my world view as defined by God.
Pastor Hayford points out that God’s original plan was for us to “-- replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genisis 1:28  Because of original sin all was changed . We were separated from the intended fellowship he designed, death was introduced, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” 1 John 5:19  Nothing has really changed about God’s will for us. He still wants a close relationship with us and the rule of God is being made available to man. Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mathew 4:17 
Jesus taught how we should pray “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. He tells us that we have an active role to play in his kingdom. Heaven is here and now! We are each responsible to invite God’s rule into our lives through prayer. Without it we forfeit His rule in our circumstances.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. " John 3:3-5
Accepting Christ begins our participation in his kingdom. As we grow in our relationship with him and gain his perspective on our situations we are called to advance his will for the kingdom of God. 

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Jud├Ža, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 

The power is God’s, but the privilege & responsibility to pray is ours!

How do you view your prayer life?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain


 “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having the confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; that your rejoicing may be more abundant to you again.” Phil. 1:20-26
 
Bob Reichel lay on his bed suffering a heart attack and on the verge of dying, when these words came out of his mouth: “Lord if it is your time to take me, I am ready. If you have something that you want me to do for you here on earth, I am willing.” The Lord spared Bob that night, but went on to have another heart attack. When Bob finally went into the hospital he had suffered two heart attacks, had a leaking valve, a tear in the heart muscle, a leak in the heart wall, 5 100% blockages, failing kidneys, and plummeting blood pressure.
 
Gladys Leaonard was told that it would be a miracle if Bob would live. It didn’t even look like Bob would get strong enough to even have the surgery to try and save his life. From the natural viewpoint, it looked impossible. Today Bob is recovering nicely from major open heart surgery. It was a miracle! The Lord has more for Bob to do.
 
Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; that your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”
 Welcome back Bob!
 
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:6 

- Pastor Regan Myers

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Lesson For The Political World


When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone.” John 6:15

This notable miracle was sufficient to cause an immediate political rally to make Christ King of the Jews. A man that could do this could defeat the Romans and the whole world, so they tried to take Him by force and make Him a King.

Jesus did what every man must learn to do in times of popularity and temptation to be exalted over success. He slipped away from the crowd into some secret place to pray. What a lesson to learn! It would be good for many men today who are constantly seeking to exalt themselves as the man of the hour, to stumble on to this example and have grace to follow it. It is repulsive to say the least to hear and see the self-exaltation of such men.

Believe it or not Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” This will be fulfilled many times in these days of pride and boastfulness over gifts and abilities, which if really received, should make men the most humble and dependent upon God and as nothing before men.

We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.” ~Benjamin Franklin

- Pastor Regan Myers