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We – all of us – are blessed! How do I know we are all blessed? Because God’s Word says so: “How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ” Ephesians 1:3 (TLB). So, praise Him for His blessings in your life and if you don’t particularly feel blessed right now then ask Him to show you the blessings that are there. A good place to start is to praise the Father for sending Jesus to redeem us.
We had our first LifeGroup meeting this past Tuesday night at Bobby and Becky Cowart’s house. There were ten people present. The fellowship was rich and the food good. We shared, cared and prayed together. God is doing a work of building genuine New Testament Fellowship in our church family and I am so proud of those who came to start this process. Our next meeting for the DeLand area will be Tuesday after next at Regina Bigg’s house.
This coming Tuesday, there will be a LifeGroup meeting in Barberville at Eunice and Mandi Turner’s house. Once again, all are invited. It will begin at 7 PM. If you live in the Barberville/Astor/Pierson area this is the meeting for you but any who want to make the trek up is invited to do so.
Our LifeGroups are meeting to connect all of the family of God to each other in genuine, Body of Christ/Family of God fellowship (Acts 2:42). As we get to know each other, care about each other and learn to walk in love as we travel life’s path with one another, we will begin to find the opportunities to serve and minister to each other in the power of Christ’s Spirit. This is the advantage of moving from “rows to circles.” LifeGroup opens up avenues of fruitfulness that just attending Sunday morning worship services cannot. Fellowship produces ministry. Please consider becoming part of one of the LifeGroups. You will be glad you did. It will help you to become even more of a blessing to the family of God and help you on the journey we are on as others bless and minister to you.
Next Sunday (Feb. 17th) we will be having our “Let’s Celebrate” service here at Life Fellowship. We complete the 40 Days of Purpose and I will be wrapping up this “Season of Purpose” with the last message in the series “What On Earth Am I Here For.” I also invite testimonies from others to share what they have learned about their divine purpose through this emphasis these past forty days. We will be eating together after the service so you know what that means. Invite your friends to come and be with us for this special time. Let’s fill the place up!
Life Fellowship is “real people doing life together with a great God.” I’m glad you are a part of that. Together we are making a difference in this world that is lost and hurting. Jesus is relevant and present! He is as able to touch this generation as He did others before us. Let’s report for duty. Pray with me that Jesus will use us to be His hands and feet today. Let’s be “laborers” in His vineyard and rejoice in the Harvest with Him!
“My heart is crying this morning. The greatest sign that these are the last days is not the cataclysmic events we see around us, but according to Jesus, Paul and Peter, is DECEPTION. Jesus warned of it in his message to the disciples (Mt. 24) 4 times more than any other issue. And I am appalled that Christians in America cannot see the DECEPTION of the rhetoric in the Presidential candidates on BOTH sides. It is troubling for Christians to cry about the duty to vote, yet spend NO real time in genuine intercession for our country, pouring their hearts out to God that HE would send His Spirit in a mighty wind of Repentance and revival. That is the only thing that can turn our country around. IF it is “too late” it is not because of electing the right political leader, but because the Church in America is not on its knees. That shows just how deceived we really are. God is not going to bring revival through a political figure who rejects the gospel and worships a god that is Antichrist. He works through His people who will carry His burden and weep before HIM for our lost and dying condition.” Frank Ides Van Dyck
I saw him in the church building for the first time last Wednesday evening. He was in his mid 70s with silver hair and a neat brown suit. Many times in the past I had invited him to come. Several friends had talked to him about the Lord and had tried to share the Good News of Christ with him. He was a well-respected, honest man with so many characteristics a Christian should have, but he had never put on Christ in baptism. A few years ago, I asked him, after finishing a pleasant day of visiting and talking, “Have you ever been to a church service in your life?” He hesitated, then with a bitter smile he told me of a childhood experience some sixty years ago.
He was one of many children in a large impoverished family. His parents had struggled to provide food, with little left for housing and clothing. When he was about ten, some neighbors invited him to worship with them. The Bible class had been very exciting. He had never heard such songs and stories before. He had never heard anyone read from the Bible before. After class was over, the teacher took him aside and said, “Son, please don’t come again dressed as you are now. We want to look our best when we come worship the Lord.” He stood in his ragged, unpatched overalls, looked at his bare, dirty feet and said, “No ma’am, I won’t ever!” And he never did.
There must have been other factors to have hardened him so, but this one experience formed a significant part of the bitterness in his heart. I’m sure the Bible teacher meant well, but what if she had studied and accepted the teachings found in the second chapter of James? What if she had put her arms around that dirty, ragged little boy and said, “Son, I’m so glad you are here, and I hope you will come every chance you get to hear more about Jesus!” What a difference that statement would have made in this little boy’s life!
I pray that I might ever be open to the tenderness of a child’s heart, and that I might never fail to see beyond the appearance and behavior of a child to the eternal possibilities within. Yes, I saw him in the church house for the first time last Wednesday evening. As I looked at that immaculately dressed old gentleman lying in his casket, I thought of the little boy of long ago. I could almost hear him saying, “No ma’am, I won’t ever!” …. and I wept.
Edward Kimball was concerned about one of his young Sunday school students who worked at a shoe store in town. One day Kimball visited him at the store, found the student working in the back stocking shelves, and led him to Christ then and there. Dwight L. Moody eventually left the shoe store to become one of the greatest preachers and evangelists of all time.
Moody, whose international speaking took him to the British Isles, preached in a little chapel pastored by a young man with the imposing name of Frederic Brotherton Meyer. In his sermon Moody told an emotionally charged story about a Sunday school teacher who personally went to every student in his class and let each of them to Christ.
That message changed Pastor Meyer’s ministry, inspiring him to become an evangelist like Moody. Over the years Meyer came to America. While speaking in Northfield, MA a young preacher heard Meyer say, “If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?” That remark led J. Wilbur Chapman to respond to the call of God on his life.
Chapman went on to become one of the most effective evangelists of his time. A volunteer by the name of Billy Sunday helped set up his crusades and learned how to preach by watching Chapman. Billy Sunday eventually took over Chapman’s ministry becoming one of the most dynamic evangelists of this century. Billy Sunday’s preaching brought thousands to Christ.
Inspired by a 1924 Billy Sunday crusade in Charlotte, NC a group of Christians dedicated themselves to reaching their city for Christ. The group invited the evangelist Mordecai Ham to come and hold a series of evangelistic meetings in 1932. A lanky 16 year old sat in the huge crowd one evening, spellbound by the message the white-haired preacher gave. Each evening the preacher seemed to be shouting and waving his finger at the young man. Night after night the teen came and finally went forward to give his life to Christ.
That teenager was Billy Graham. Billy Graham has communicated the gospel to more people than any other person in history. And it all started with a Sunday school teacher named Kimball. Millions have been affected by his decision to go into a shoe store and share Christ with one person. Millions more will continue to feel his impact.
Can something like this happen today? Of course! God wants to use you to change the world. Make an eternal difference by sharing the gospel with those around you and by supporting others who do God’s work around the world.
Noah was a successful father. I say that because he did something utterly amazing. It’s not that he built an ark or preached righteousness while doing so. It is that his family… all of them… followed him into that ark. We need some Noah’s today. Men who will so lead their families that they will follow them as they obey the Lord.
Noah didn’t raise his family in ideal circumstances. The world he led his family in was evil and wicked. Yet, he was able to keep his family “on board” in the most corrupt time in human history. The secret? He walked with God!
Walking with God means to live with the awareness of His presence minute by minute and day by day. It is to depend on God for life and strength. It implies a close, personal communion with the Father. This is the kind of man Noah was and that we can be. This is required to shepherd a family through this corrupt world we live in today.
Noah was also a witness. He preached righteousness we are told by Peter. You see there was a flood coming and God was absolutely right to send it. Noah preached this in spite of the opposition and ridicule. Listen, there is a flood coming to this world! Tribulation, persecution, judgement are coming and only Jesus Christ saves. He is the Ark of Safety and just like Noah we should preach Him to everyone.
Most importantly, Noah won his family. Like Joshua, he said in no uncertain terms that he, and His household, would serve the Lord. Men, let’s be the priests of our homes. Don’t leave spirituality to the wives. Praying mommas are wonderful but we need praying dads too. Lead by example. You want your children to consider church and praying and worship to be important? Then act like they are! Don’t send them to church… take them to church! Don’t tell them to pray… lead them in prayer!
We are living in a corrupt generation as did Noah. If he could be successful as a godly parent who led his family to follow the Lord then so can we!
One indicator of an impending move of God is that He stirs people to pray. God always precedes His working by moving His people to pray. God has chosen to use man to accomplish His purposes. He needs us to agree with Him. We pray to invite Him to do what He wants and then to decree the purpose and will of God to be done. As He leads, we pray over the details and discover our role in the move of God. Prayer is essential in discerning the season and to seeing it through to advance God's glory.
Are you praying about what God is doing in the world today?
It is the seedbed of great adventures with God.
Read this article: TBN Fight Offers Glimpse
Christians please read this article carefully. You can spin this anyway you want but I say this is not what Jesus would do. I spend too much time w/missionaries and believers from other countries who could live a year on what they spend for their “meal expenses” in a month. Prosperity is one thing… indulgence and decadence is another. Send your money to the missionary who struggles to stay on the field preaching the Gospel to the lost or a ministry in a nation that persecutes them every step of the way. Please stop sending your money to people who have (and do not live in) several mansions and rent hotel rooms for dogs for months at a time… please!</div>