Pastor Shane Lehman read out of 1 Corinthians 15:58, Ezekiel 3:7, Isaiah 50:7, and Luke 9:51. Pastor Shane questioned what moves people away from fulfilling God’s promise in their lives? First distraction is people. The Lord wants one hundred percent obedience and He knows that we can’t do it on our own. The anointing is for a purpose, we need to guard our hearts The second distraction is pleasure. The third distraction are opportunities. Don’t try to fill someone else’s shoes and don’t expect anyone to step in and fill anyone else’s shoe. Don’t believe something you hear without verifying it. How do you remain unmoved? By conviction meaning fixed or firm belief. Pastor Shane read our Matthew 5:3 and 1 Timothy 2:4, John 6, Romans 1:16, and Acts 2.
Fulfill Your Purpose
Unity in the Church
The five-fold ministry is to equip the saints to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). We as the body of Christ need to do what we are called to do. As Shane obeyed God’s direction to go to missions in Russia, the Lord revealed more of what that entailed. Be in the place where you are to be, and He will reveal more to you. Church life is to be the place of true life and joy. What expectation do you bring when you come to a church service? If a part of the body is hurting, it affects the other parts. It is the same in the body of Christ. Psalm 133:1 tells how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Paul talked about trying to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3). There is one body, one Spirit, and we were called in one hope of our calling. John 17:11 and 18-21 again stresses the importance of the unity of the believers. Jesus prayed for His disciples, including us, to be one. Ephesians 5 is about unity in marriage. The body of Christ is fitly joined together (Ephesians 4:16). Ed Cole, who ministered mainly to men, said that everything God does is according to a pattern and based on a principle of God’s kingdom. Look for patterns of identification, involvement, investment, and increase. Each one has a specific role to play in the body of Christ. When someone is persecuting us, do we see that person as God sees them? Do we see their need for salvation? Increase is for God’s glory. When one member suffers, the others suffer, too. Prayer is based on covenant. Religion is based on works. Believers should come together, each one doing his or her work. What are we expecting God to do when we come together? Weeds need to be taken out by the root. Get rid of bad things at the root. Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He attacks the roots of your identification in Christ. Christ places people in the body as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:18). We need to pray for the ministry of reconciliation and reconciling the world to Christ. The world will know that we are Christ’s disciples if we have love for one another (John 13:34-35). Division comes at kingdom, city, and house level. Reconciliation comes by repentance. Right now the USA seems divided in many ways, including division in the church. There are bigger things at stake. Some people identify greatly with sports. Satan will use what you identify with to get access. We have to judge ourselves. There is so much at stake. Do not be so preoccupied with your own affairs that you do not see the bigger picture. God wants unity, but not at the expense of compromise. There are hand-off areas, such as priorities. Look at experiences in light of truth. When the church was in one accord, there was increase and miracles. Remain faithful. You will not miss out when you are in His will. LOVE is the key to unity. People are messy, but without people there can be no increase. Keep the big picture for a big family.
What Am I Following After in Life
There is a common thread in the Christmas story. Mary (Luke 1:26-38), Joseph (Matthew 1:20-23), the shepherds (Luke 2:15), Simeon (Luke 2:25-29), Anna, and the wise men (Matthew 2:2-6) all received a word from the Lord, either through an angel or through a prophet’s word in Scripture. It is only the Word of the Lord that leads people to the Savior. We all need to be willing to follow after the Word of the Lord. What are we following after? Do we know what is word of the Lord? If we gain everything, but lose our soul, what does it profit us (Mark 8:36)? Think about what you are doing: How is it fulfilling the will of God for my life? Shane testified to his brother’s life and how his premature death on Christmas Eve 2011 was due to what he was following after. All that God has provided for, His promises, protection, and provision, are available for us when we are in His will. Where do we look for help when we are in pain? We will be subject to whatever we yield to and follow. Repent and move from whatever you are subject to. Take an inventory of what you eat, speak, read, etc. We must be willing to judge ourselves. In Matthew 16:21-24 Peter did not look at what Jesus was saying would happen to Him from the perspective of His following God’s will. God’s will for your life is your cross to bear. Jesus is our life source. Because Jesus has the words of life, where else shall we go? If we follow another road, we are subject to whatever is on that road. Examine your life. Is there anything in your life that keeps you from being sold out to Jesus? Follow the Word of God for your life, the unique word for you. A key of understanding everything about a great relationship with God is what it means to have a covenant relationship. Develop your covenant relationship.
Repentance – Jan 25
What did Jesus begin, end, and preach throughout His ministry? It was repentance- repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. Christ knew that something new was about to be released through Him. God made provision for sin under the Old Covenant through patiently waiting to give judgment and through atonement (to cover) by animal sacrifice. The sins of the people were only covered, but not removed. All sin needs to be judged. Are today’s churches dealing with sin? You determine whether you will go to heaven. Jesus knew that remission (to release the sinner from his sins), not just covering, was coming through Him. Christ purchased us with His redemption. He is now in us. Now we have a reconciled (fixed) relationship, and we can call on the sacrificed Jesus Christ. When people repent, they can be reconciled to God. It is impossible to walk in God’s blessings without repentance and reconciliation. God wants us to repent of sins. Matthew9:13 says that Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. God wants all men and women to be saved. In Luke 15:7, the parable of the lost sheep, God rejoices over one sinner who repents. This should bring us more joy than anything, because this is God’s heart. God’s plan has been to reconcile the world to Himself. We are reconciled through God only (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). We all have the ministry of reconciliation. Each of us must do what we are called to do. We are all part of the same body. Do what you are called to do. The ministry of reconciliation is for us wherever we are, and we do it with the Word of God. The Gospel is good news, worthy to be declared. Romans 1:16 tells us that the Gospel is the power of God. The Word in me is powerful. How do we lead others to repent? We do it by showing the goodness of the Lord (Romans 2:4). People must understand that relationship with God is good. They must see His goodness in us. We are God’s magnets to pull them to God. We draw near to Him first. (Shane shared an experience of this at his job.) Is what I am doing showing God’s love and who God is? We always have to be ready for the hope that is in us. What have I done with the ministry of reconciliation? Lead people to repentance by exposing them to the goodness of God. Guard your heart with all diligence.
Repentance – Jan 24
David was restored to God when he repented. There always is a consequence for every sin. Christ paid the price for our sin, and if we sin, we should be reminded of that price. What did Jesus begin, end, and preach throughout His ministry? It was repentance- repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. In Luke 24 His last words were repentance and remission of sins should be preached in all nations in His name. God’s perspective of us when we repent and ask for forgiveness is that of joy. He loves when we repent. When your children disobey, do not bless them until they repent. God made provision for sin under the Old Covenant through the priesthood and through atonement (to cover) by animal sacrifice. The sins of the people were only covered, but not removed. All sin needs to be judged. Jesus Christ paid for our redemption, so that now when people repent, there is remission (removal) of sins from their hearts. Then there is reconciliation with God. In other words, it’s redemption, repentance, remission, and reconciliation with God. You are restored to a personal relationship with God. He told us to preach repentance of sins. In Matthew 9:13 He said that He came to call the sinners to repentance. Only one-third to one-half of the pastors believes that the Bible is inspired by God and that it is infallible. People need to hear the truth to even know they need to repent. First John 1:9 tells us to confess our sin. In Luke 15:7, the parable of the lost sheep, God rejoices over one sinner who repents. This should bring us more joy than anything, because this is God’s heart. There has to be repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 says that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Do we have a sense of urgency to see people repent? We have access to what Jesus did for us. God wants to reconcile the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). We have the ministry of reconciliation. Ministry (work, service, calling) is done by us through the word of reconciliation, but first it must be strong in us. Ed Cole in his teaching told of an eight-year old who received a ten-year old’s heart. The younger girl had a dream of the image of the man who killed the older girl that was retained in the heart of the dead child, which was used to arrest the man. We are not to be ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power to salvation (Romans 1:16). What are you doing with that word of reconciliation? The best thing we can do is fulfill what God has for us to do. The Gospel is good news! Take the Gospel and talk about it with love, so others can hear about God’s goodness. How do you lead people to repentance? Lead people to repentance by exposing them to the goodness of God (Romans 2:4). People need to see the God’s goodness by seeing the goodness of our relationship with God. Romans 10:13-15 says that the Word needs to be preached and shared. Come back to God’s presence. It is the truth that will change peoples’ lives. Sin is ugly and will not go away without repentance. It is easy to submit to love. (Shane shared an experience of this at his job.) Is being right worth compromising the integrity of Christ? (Shane shared how his son asked what sin is and as a result, he received Jesus Christ into his heart.) Small kindnesses open doors to the Gospel. Are you ready to share it? Are you like the ten spies or the two spies? Too often we get our eyes on what we are going through and not on what we are going to. You will have challenges, but God has made a way through it. God promises victory. How would others report on your life? People have the right desires but are looking at the wrong places and ways to get them. God can use you where you are. (Shane told God’s revelation to Shane of his anger at Him after his wife had two miscarriages. At the same time his wife was being ministered to at the Landmark. Three months later she was pregnant. God showed him that it is not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit.) We have experiences that hurt, but He shows us the way to victory. People must repent and see the value of a relationship with God and a life overcome by the goodness of God. If you have a lack of appreciation of what God has done for you, go to God and tell Him your heart. He wants to bring restoration and joy to you.
Offering message by Karen Burrows: Malachi 3:10-12 tells us that if we bring in all the tithes into the storehouse, we can prove God that He will 1) open the windows of heaven, 2) pour you out a blessing, and 3) rebuke the devourer for your sake. Both 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Corinthians 9 build on that. When you give, give to the Father, because every good gift comes from Him.