1. How do others receive you, or what influence do you have on others? Do they see patience, work ethic, commitment, selflessness, love, grace, etc.? Or is it laziness, selfishness, hate, argumentative, impatience, frustration, etc.? Does your life reflect Christ and His teaching?
2. How do others or the world influence you? What impact does TV, books, social media, politics, your job, friends, family, church, etc. have on your walk in Christ. How has it shaped your view of people and situations? What do you focus on, what do you spend your time doing?
We will spend today addressing these questions and much more.
What new beginning are you hoping for, or have asked God for in 2020, or as the world calls it, what resolutions have you made or are planning to make? Basically put, when we speak about New Beginnings, we are talking about making a change, a shift, a transition in our life from one season to another. To end old habits, to end a relationship, to end a job, to end old mind sets, to end an old spiritual attitude, etc; in order to pursue something new in those areas. The pursuit of a new beginnings stirs hope, activates confidence, incites ambition, and provokes our endurance. These times are usually full of excitement and energy. But our hope and elation should not be in the “new beginning”, but in the One who provides it. This series will look at “new beginnings” and its significance in our lives, and its place in God’s plan for us.
As we come to the end of 2019, I cannot help but reflect on the transition we face going from one year to another. Additionally, we transition in our age, education, career, relationships, family, etc. Simply put, we face transition all the time. Every one of us go through a period of changing from one season, or condition or situation to another. We move or develop from one stage of life to another. As a Christian, HOW we deal with this transition or “change” from one season to another is important, and impacts our faith, our testimony, and our life. Let’s discover God’s instructions on facing life’s transitions.
Christmas was a day that was originally set aside to commemorate the birth of Jesus. It is obvious Jesus’ birth and life has forever changed the world and was an impactful event. Even the calendars we use today is based on the time Jesus was born. Remember, Jesus came from humble means; His earthly father was a carpenter, Jesus led no earthly army, He did not rule an earthly nation, He did not attain great wealth or land. But by his very existence as a Man, our world was changed forever.
Probably one of the greatest miracle Jesus performed is how He went about and changed the world. Jesus did not lift a sword, overthrow a government, or spend large amounts of money to influence others, but He did it all because of “love.” The love of a Heavenly Father to save an undeserving world by extending grace to it. John 3:16-17
In 2019, the Word for Church at the Well was “Breakthrough!” Some may have hoped for or experienced a breakthrough in a tough relationship, or maybe in a difficult job issue, or maybe seeking a breakthrough in their walk with God. Breakthroughs are never an easy thing to endure. Because each of us have to live through the process of “breaking” the issue, whatever it may be. The best part is, (even though the process may be intense), God’s grace and love is greater. As this year comes to an end, it does not mean opportunity to overcome obstacles or endure a race or achieve a breakthrough is over, but that it is just the beginning. Let’s talk about breakthrough.
“Tis the season” refers to the holiday season, specifically the time we celebrate from Thanksgiving to Christmas. For many, this is a time of peace, happiness, generosity, and festivities. Most would describe it as a joyous time of year. But then December 26th comes, and it seems like that festive “season” is over. The season has changed. Aren't our lives very much like the Christmas season? There is a time of joy, but then the time changes into something different. Over the next few weeks, we will discuss the ever-changing seasons in our lives and some key points on how to understand them.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week; I always ask the question what am I (we) am thankful for? The common answers are family, friends, money, possessions, food, and hopefully Jesus. But I think many of us are do not consider the hard or difficulty times of our lives. Most may not contemplate the trials or hardships we have endured. But it is during those hard times we grow, we mature, our faith deepens, and our trust in God develops. I know I have endured many hard times, and I am better for it. I am thankful to Jesus for getting me to the other side of hard.
We hope you enjoy this special message by our apostolic covering, Pastor Ron Johnson.
Every part of the body has its function. It's extremely important that each part continues to operate and function in a healthy manner. If your kidney begins to fail, you can't fool the body or dress it up to look like it's operating fine and healthy. In the same way that we, as the Body of Christ, cannot cover up our mess and dress it up to look "okay." The Church is called to become a Bride without blemish by perfecting the body and becoming more like Christ. This is a walking out process. The way we do this is by edifying one another and speaking truth through love.
Gideon is known for his great faith. In fact, he is listed among the great men/women of faith in Hebrews 11. But how did Gideon get there? In the book of Judges, it describes Gideon as a man that needed God to prove Himself several times; this does not sound like a man with great faith. Gideon’s past and current circumstance played a negative part in his faith toward God. Doubt has crept in, fear changed how he saw God, and Gideon’s faith wavered. But God’s love, patience and grace for Gideon and Israel was greater. God met Gideon right where he was, and helped him heal, be restored, encouraged, and grow in his faith. Let’s see how this story unfolds and how it is applicable to our own lives today.