Saturday, April 28, 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, April 27, 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

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Sweetest Words

(This Relevant Pen Blog Post was brought to us by guest author, Jennifer Siem) 

My husband and I knew that we were in God’s will and knew that we had listened to His voice; but still, we felt out of place. I guess God has a history of taking people out of a place where they feel comfortable and taking them somewhere in which His presence feels like the only thing familiar.

We had been attending the same church for much of our lives. For me, it had been 16 years that I had been there. And for my husband, it had been 27 years; that was where we had grown up and even met each other. We thought we would always be there, but God had a different plan in mind. So, we found ourselves at Shell Lake Full Gospel.

As God was taking us to a new place, I had really been searching the Scriptures and my heart to make sure that I was where he wanted me to be. As a result, one of the things I had been praying for was that others would see God’s love and joy through me.

Last summer, after attending Shell Lake Full Gospel for a number of months, an elder of church came up to me and told me something that made me feel so at home and confirmed so much that my husband I were truly in the place that God wanted us to be that it brought tears to my eyes. He told me that he could see God’s joy in my smile, and that He could see God’s love through me. He probably didn’t realize that his words were an answer to prayer! I think those may have been the sweetest words I had ever heard. And that’s when I knew I was in the right place. It was a confirmation that I never expected from God, but then He always seems to amaze me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Tithe: "I'm Loving It"

I received so many comments after addressing the biblical subject of tithing from last Sunday’s sermon. Even some emails were sent this week which expressed people’s strong convictions regarding obedience-level giving according to what God’s Word teaches in both Old and New Testaments.

The most common statement that I have heard through the years from opponents of tithing is that we live under the New Testament which is under grace and that we are not under the law. Their assumption is that the act of tithing, (giving a tenth of their income to God) was only under Old Testament Law. Proverbs 3:9, 10 tells us to “honor the Lord with your wealth, and the best part of everything you produce; then He will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.” NLT

The truth concerning all giving is that God receives honor and blesses His people when they recognize Him as their source for all that they have and when they give Him the best part of everything they produce. Tithes and offerings were an expression of honoring God for all of His provisions and protection He afforded to His people. Malachi 3:8-12 is an appeal from God for Judah to return back to the covenant relationship He had with them so He could prove His faithfulness to His covenant promises toward them. The curse that was upon the nations produce (crops) from insects and disease would be broken by their obedience to return to the covenant of giving their tithes and offerings back to God. God would then rebuke the devourer and once again bring yields of produce and prosperity which would show the nations that God’s favor was upon Israel.

Today in American churches statistics reveal that Christians give an average of 2.5% of their income to their local church. This explains why so many ministries are under-resourced and church budgets are so limited in doing the work of the Kingdom. Could this lack of bringing honor to God through our giving be part of the curse that is bringing America to it’s knees financially? I believe that individually we can see the devourer rebuked in our lives if we become faithful to God’s covenant of tithes and offerings to advance His Kingdom!

New Testament Tithing - Jesus addressed the religious leaders in Matthew 23:23 that their liberty under grace should produce tithing, justice, mercy, and faith. Hebrews 7:8,9 says that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedec whose priestly office would last forever and would be unchangeable. (Hebrews 7:24) We who are not Jews are also to walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham. (Romans 4:12, 16) Tithing was an act of faith for Abraham, and still is for us today! 

- Pastor Virgil Amundson