Friday, November 16, 2012
So it hit me as I was driving this week, the importance of prayer. Not that I never understood the importance before, but this week I was really challenged. Here is how it started. I was listening to a podcast when the well known speaker shared he was asked to attend a supper at the white house and lead in prayer. His invite was issued by Michelle Obama. He continued on makeing a statement, "who wouldn't want to attend an invitation by the president?" I found myself instantly thinking, "I wouldn't have any desire to be in the same room with them!" Now before you get to judgemental, don't we all have someone we feel that way about, maybe even the same people? Anyway, from there a mirage of thoughts coursed through my mind leaving me to struggle with my beliefs, right vs wrong, flesh vs spirit to mention a few. It really came down to a relatively easy deduction of 3 options. yes, no and yes with the wrong motivation. Now as a side note, I will continue to stand on the truth of who Jesus is and why it is we have an ongoing connection with God which enables us to speak to the Father and be heard. Anyone desiring to join ranks and pray together must be of the same Spirit. The Lord's prayer found in Matthew 6 is where we have and will be teaching out of for a few Sundays and it is so abused and misunderstood. Here are two clarifications that people seem to be unclear on. 1st, The Lords prayer, more accurately should be called the Disciples prayer, and serves as a model. Isn't it profound the very instruction to not offer repetitive prayers to God is exactly what some denominations are doing? When you sin to offer up a prayer for repentance by reciting a prayer with cautions on repetition. odd, isn't it? The Lords prayer serves as a model and not a rigid format to be robotically recited and repeated for some sort of special blessing. We know it is a model for many reasons but I will give only two here quickly. The Lord Himself tells the disciples to then pray in this way. It is instruction on the hows and whys of prayer. Jesus is sharing the elements of a righteous prayer. He very easily could have said pray this prayer as I do, but that brings us to the second reason. 2nd, The Lord was not praying this prayer but merely teaching the disciples, because Jesus lived without sin and so to ask the Father to "forgive us our trespasses" would have no bearing on His part. He had nothing to ask forgiveness from, if He did He sinned and would be void of the ability to serve as our spotless sacrifice. There is so much more to learn from this great model of prayer. Back to my struggle, it was good for me to have to wrestle with this, on the one hand sinners could use prayer because that is the only thing that will change them, yet to be seen with the wrong people is a hard thing to deal with. Kind of like seeing your best friends daughter with a known addict. So as i leave you today, ponder this thought, talk about this with your family and may your conclusion and discussion be God honoring, If I was asked to be in a public place with a high profile individual who is about as ungodly as you can get, would you go? Would you pray for him/her sincerely, use it as an attempt to share the gospel, or whould you reject the offer to save your reputation and avoid controversy? Till next time, honor the King!! P.M.
Posted by Pastor Mark at 11:03 AM
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Well there you go, America voted and it has chosen four more years of deception, higher taxes, astronomical growth in the defecit, job losses and a scandal that has been big enough to make watergate look like a sandbox dispute. Yet for some reason many American's blindly follow this deceptive man. Are they unaware on his stance on abortion, his ties with the muslims, overheard conversations with both terrorist leaders and country leaders that want the United States out of the way, and his myriad of other stances. Isaiah 5:20 says, "woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." As a Christian I understand that things must grow increasingly chaotic and that there will be individuals brought to power to orchestrate the downworld spiral of the world, country by country, but what truly amazes me is the wreckless abandon of the American people that can overlook the intentional crippling of a once great and strong nation, founded on Biblical principles. Thats right, Jesus Christ's teaching! How's that for politically correct? Here is the main point for todays blog. God is Sovern regardless of our actions!! Nothing takes place outside of His approval and quite honestly an immoral nation, killing babies, rewriting marriage and living openly perverse will get its reward. The Bible is full of cities that have been destroyed due to immorality. Seize the day be bold and serve Christ. To find out more on becoming a Christian, having a stronger walk and building your faith drop me a line and I will be happy to help. Till next time, Don't be discouraged, remain focused and intentional on transforming lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. P.M.
Posted by Pastor Mark at 8:44 AM
Friday, November 2, 2012
Well now that we have completed our bridges series, studied spiritual gifts, and began to build our small group ministry, with nearly 100% involvement, what next? When you think about it the only logical step is to pray. Pray with dedication and assurance that the Lord answers prayer. Specifically that we would grow as a church body and in our impact to NorthEast Nebraska. Our movie night was a great success with all the people you invited and it was such a joy to hear the laughter and fellowship within our church and with those who came for the first time. Secondly, pray for our country. I believe that God is sovereign and whoever comes out winner will be the one God has raised up to accomplish His will. I further believe that 4 more years of the same old stuff and the new proposals will be a crossing point. By that I mean we already see decisions being made that use our tax dollars to kill innocent babies. Legislature is being pushed to make it illegal to speak freely and our religous freedoms are in serious jeoprody. This election may very well be the election that makes you ask the question, "Do I follow man or follow God?" I know what my anwer is, do you? Be sure and check out citizen link and focus on the families websites for details on the candidates you will be voting on. Dont rely on the biased medias articles but look at how the individuals voted. This week will be a week of prayer for many as we approach the elections but how many of them prayed for our leaders the last four years? Could you imagine going to work every day facing the current administration knowing you were not being lifted up in prayer? I find it amazing that the one thing we all are capable of doing we forego for one vote and then forget it until the next vote. Its time for Christians to let thier voices be heard and stay the course, honor God and rejoice. Until the votes are counted stay in the presence of God P.M.
Posted by Pastor Mark at 9:47 AM