Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The God of Unlimited Resources!

Every year as we approach our Missions Conference and prepare to serve the many missionaries who come to Shell Lake, I go through a little anxiety over how well prepared we are as a church to see that everything runs smoothly. This year was no exception!

We had given a lot of attention to making improvements on our parking lot and developing the new commons. So many people had given their time and financial support to making these things happen that there did not seem to be much of a buzz about the upcoming Missions Conference. In fact, with only 3 weeks to go until conference, there had been little done to prepare for the church’s biggest annual event. Hence, a little anxiety.

But God’s people in this congregation stepped up to the task. You opened your homes to house missionaries and your hearts to provide meals. You all provided food for the fellowship meals and committed to pray for God’s holy presence to fill every service.

The theme of our conference this year was called “Reign.” We asked God to “reign” and to rule over every aspect of the conference. For those who attended the packed out services can concur that Jesus was present to touch His people and to pour out major blessings upon every missionary who was present.

The speakers were anointed and spot on with the Word of the Lord every time. The worship team was powerfully anointed to prepare us for what God wanted to do in each service. It did not take long to sense that God was going to release something supernatural during the conference. And did He open up the gates!

The final evening was His point of release so that the missionaries and their many needs could be met to carry out God’s plan for the world to come to know Him. I had never seen anything like what happened here on Wednesday night! It was victory night! It was God displaying His “rule and reign” by extending His grace toward meeting needs that each missionary brought before Him to the conference.

I know that it might stagger some of you as it did astonish me with the final financial results for the entire conference. Here is the report:

The total cash offerings totaled $119,856.00! The cash offerings still to come in total $21,985.00. The monthly pledged support for this next year which are all new commitments totaled $23,760.00. These offerings from this year’s conference totaled the sum of $165,601.00!   It is very apparent that we do serve the God of unlimited resources! By the way, any anxiety that I had is all gone.

With humble praise and thanksgiving,
Pastor Amundson

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Our 27th Annual World Missions Conference

Welcome church family, guest missionaries and church leaders attending our 27th Annual World Missions Conference. We are excited and blessed to have you here.

We have been preparing by pre-praying over this conference because we know that missionaries are facing formidable challenges and new shifts in how missions work is done in this century. We also know that the needs remain great and we want to completely trust God’s provision and direction for His will to be done.

There are 2 billion born-again believers in our world today. That means there are still 5 billion people who are still lost. Standing together single-file that would make a line of people which would encircle the entire world 37 times. Romans 10:13 says, “Whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” “Allah” cannot save them. “There is no salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved.”

Romans 10:14, 15 states: “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed?” “How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” People are not going to be saved by their ignorance. “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” It is the lost who must hear the Name of Jesus! “How shall they hear without a preacher?” The sending of preachers is absolutely critical! “How shall they preach unless they are sent?”

I believe this is our mandate! We have a mandate to preach the gospel to the world. Our mandate is to let the whole world know that “There is only one Name given under heaven by which men must be saved.” Acts 4:12

We have many missionaries who will be at this conference who have not permitted Satan to melt down the mandate to carry out the call God has given them to reach lost souls for the Kingdom of God.

It is to you that we give our honor and applause for staying true to the call God has given you. We humbly extend our hearts to serve you and love you as you extend your stay with us this week. We celebrate with you at this greatest time of gathering in the harvest around the world, and rejoice with you for the fruitfulness of your ministry. Many of you after years of faithful ministry. We love you all!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Path of Life

Biblical Discipleship Requires a Life of Sacrifice
by Rick Joyner

One of the great weaknesses of modern Christianity has been our devotion to making converts rather than disciples. When people are led to believe that all they have to do for salvation is raise their hand while standing in the back of a room, with every eye closed and every head bowed so as not to embarrass those who might slip up their hand, these “converts” are made to think that to be a follower of Christ will require little from them. However, true faith will require everything, including our lives. True discipleship is to no longer live for ourselves but for Him.  Biblical conversion is different than how many present it today. Those who committed their lives to being a follower of Christ were likely marked for martyrdom. Often their possessions and property were seized, and they lived their life not knowing if every day might be their last. The only way they could sustain a life like that was by growing in love for God and growing in faith. For them it was a better life than anyone else could have because their faith in God was better than any treasure or any possession.

True Christianity is the greatest adventure that can be had on this earth, and it is the most fulfilling life we could ever have, but it is also the most difficult. The integrity of the One whom we represent should compel us to be straightforward about the Gospel. Christianity is not for wimps. There is no place for self-pity or self-centeredness in the true faith. Yet, the more we are emptied of these things and our own ambitions, the richer and more fulfilling our lives will be. There is no freer person than the slave of Christ!

True Discipleship - Disciples of Christ are called to be “dead to this world.” This is where the greatest freedom comes. If we are dead, what can the world do to us? Those who live the life of the cross have no fear because what can a dead man fear? Those who are dead to this world do not fear troubles that others fear because their lives are built on another foundation.

Disciples live by the power of the age to come, not by the powers that control this present world. As this world and the powers that control it crumble, true disciples will not even be shaken, but will be on solid ground and able to pull others out of the quicksand. True disciples who have access to kingdom resources, will not be impressed by the wealth of this world. It seems from the gospels that Jesus did not even carry earthly money, He did not need to because He had access to much greater resources anytime He needed them. We will not get to this stature of faith immediately after we become disciples, but “we are to grow up in all aspects into Him.” (Ephesians 4:15) Jesus would not have called us to depend upon Him for every need if we could not attain it. We can do nothing more important than to depend on Him. This is biblical discipleship.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Way - What do you get when you follow Christ?

The theme of ministry for the past several weeks is discovering our progress in spiritual maturity by being effective in our Christian walk as disciples of Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who is the only way to God. The early church believers were called followers of the way. The life of Jesus Christ is the turning point of all history. It is only Jesus Christ who is able to grant eternal life. The most important decision we make in this life is where we will spend eternal life. When we have made that choice we’re not only ready to die...we’re finally ready to live! Spiritual life is not a “religion.” It is a relationship with God.

Two great moments in our lives are when we are born, and when we discover why we were born. We were created for a reason—a real purpose. God has a personal plan for each one of us. His purpose in our lives can only be accomplished because of Jesus Christ. Last week Josiah Hodgett spoke to us about the “lifestyle of a disciple.” He stated that the term “disciple” means “learner,” or one who learns from a teacher. For believers, the term “disciple” refers to students of Jesus.

Discipleship then refers to a disciples transformation from some other world view and practice of life, into that of the life and lifestyle of Jesus Christ. In Romans 12:2 we are not to be conformed into this world’s mold, but to have a transformed mind so that we can discover God’s will and purpose for our lives.

Is it really worth it to follow Christ?

In Luke 18:29, 30 Jesus said, “I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brother or wife or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, - who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Peter had just told Jesus that he and the disciples had left all to follow him and had asked Jesus in Matthew 19:27, “Therefore, what shall we have?” He was wondering, “What do we get for following Christ? Is it really worth the sacrifices we’re making? Or , are we fools to give up everything to follow Christ?” Jesus knew Peter’s need for some assurance and reminded him that to “forsake all to follow him will have many benefits.” The motivation for following Christ should not be just to get the benefits. We follow Him because He is the one who He claimed to be, the Savior and Messiah. But He does reassure of some promised benefits for serving Him.

1. You get blessings in this life. (Mark 10:30) Jesus promises that you will receive many times (100 times) as much at this time.

2. You get blessings in eternity. (Matthew 18:22) Jesus said that you will have treasures in heaven. The blessing of eternity is living in the presence of God in His glory and with His angels and His saints.

3. You get trials in life as the privilege of suffering for Him. “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12 “Faith that is tested by fire will find praise, honor, and glory on the day when Jesus is revealed to the whole world.” I Peter 1:7

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Way - A Meek Composure

“The meek - shall inherit the earth.” Jesus said in Matthew 5:5.

One of the most important aspects of discipleship is that of a meek composure. Meekness. What is meekness? Is it a milksop, faint-hearted, spineless kind of timidity? Not at all! Moses was nothing like that, and scripture says Moses was the meekest man on earth. (Numbers 12:3)

Clearly, meekness is not weakness. As a matter of fact, meekness is strength under control. The idea is closely related to the expression “poor in spirit” in Matthew 5:3. Both expressions speak of humility. But meekness is the aspect of humility that is manifest in mild, longsuffering, patient disposition.

Meekness is often characterized as the polar opposite of an angry personality, and I think that gets close to the truth. Jesus was meek. He “did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (Luke 9:56) When He formally entered Jerusalem as King, it was not on a stallion decked out for battle. He was riding on the foal of a donkey (Matthew 21:5). He came with the express purpose of dying, not subduing others by force. And He left us an example to follow: “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.” (1 Peter 2:22-23)

Meekness, to sum up, is where humility and self control meet. It’s one of the most attractive and indispensable aspects of true Christ-like character. May each one of us walk hand in hand in meekness.