Instead of Panicking About It, Talk to God About It

2-corinthians-129 (1)
 
Have you ever found yourself feeling completely overwhelmed by what God has asked you to do?

Do you feel not big enough, strong enough, or smart enough?

Sometimes the tasks God puts in front of us seem huge and very overwhelming.  They may seem way bigger than us and that’s because they ARE way bigger than us!

Our God is BIG and He does BIG things! And guess what? Sometimes He uses people like us to help Him do them!

Still feeling overwhelmed and unequipped?

I know that overwhelmed and unequipped feeling all to well. Over the past few years I have felt it way more times than I would like to have felt it, but something I have learned is you don’t have to feel that way.

Because if God asks you to do something he will equip you to do it.

So instead of panicking about it, talk to God about it!

Let us come boldly to the throne of our Gracious God. There we will receive His mercy and we will find Grace to help us when we need it most.  Hebrews 4:16

He will help us. He knows what we need and when we need it. All we have to do is ask!  Just ask Him to help you and then breathe His peace in. When you give all that nervousness and panic to your Father, you will feel His strength flow through you equipping you for the job He has asked you to do.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

If it is something God asked you to do then trust in Him that it will be done.

Do you have something bigger than you weighing you down today? Remember your God is Huge!

With man this is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible.  Matthew 19:26

 


Healing

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I was pleased to see Pastor Jack offer healing prayers during one of his recent messages. As he said, in Africa the people wanted prayers for their special needs at every service while we were there. While I was attending the Academy of Spiritual Formation we had healing services also. Many claimed relief from pains or burdens after such deep and focused prayer.
Jesus demonstrated openly that the only way the gospel can biblically be shared is to focus on the whole person, with all his or her need. We too need to involve the church in ministering to these personal needs as we lead people to Christ.
Our concern for the whole person by showing Christ with no strings attached, helps people come to faith. We know that our genuine concern and prayers for others is no small thing. People look for authenticity of our faith. When we live like we talk, our love can change our world and our community and our church.
Let’s show how much we genuinely care each day through our prayers and showing love and concern to someone who needs Christ in their life. You will be amazed at the results!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I was pleased to see Pastor Jack offer healing prayers during one of his recent messages. As he said, in Africa the people wanted prayers for their special needs at every service while we were there. While I was attending the Academy of Spiritual Formation we had healing services also. Many claimed relief from pains or burdens after such deep and focused prayer.
Jesus demonstrated openly that the only way the gospel can biblically be shared is to focus on the whole person, with all his or her need. We too need to involve the church in ministering to these personal needs as we lead people to Christ.
Our concern for the whole person by showing Christ with no strings attached, helps people come to faith. We know that our genuine concern and prayers for others is no small thing. People look for authenticity of our faith. When we live like we talk, our love can change our world and our community and our church.
Let’s show how much we genuinely care each day through our prayers and showing love and concern to someone who needs Christ in their life. You will be amazed at the results!

By:  Alan Petefish



Outreach Minute

Become zealous about the Word. For the Word’s first condition is faith; the second is love; the third is works. Now from these comes life. For the Word is like a grain of wheat. When someone sowed it, he believed in it; and when it sprouted, he loved it, because he looked forward to many grains in the place of one; and when he worked it, he was saved, because he prepared it for food. Again he left some grains to sow. Thus it is also possible for you all to receive the Kingdom of Heaven: unless you receive it through knowledge, you will not be able to find it. The Apocryphon of James

I know we are all busy people but we need to take the time to know what God has planned for us here on earth.  We need to be certain we do the most important things first and then the lesser things.

The wisdom from James in the first paragraph is extremely beneficial to our understanding of outreach and our belief about what can occur from our reaching someone, at the right time and in the right manner. According to this saying it begins with our knowledge of the Word of God and spreads to others.

I invite you to study and to understand so you can be lead into service to others for the growth of God’s kingdom.

By:  Alan Petefish



Advent – A Poem based on Rev. 22:20

I am. I was. I will be.
I am not coming soon I am here.
I was born on a cold night in a cold place
Unnoticed, unheralded by cold people
Who turned my mother away.
On that night were you listening?
On that night the “least of your brothers” was me.
Now do you see, do you hear and do you care?
I am not coming soon I am here.
In your life do you see me
In the ragged men and women
Who search the cold street
Looking for my reflection in your heart?
Do you hear my voice in
Their muttered plea or in their tear?
I am not coming soon I am here.
Do you hear me when your friend turns to you
To ask forgiveness and trust?
Do I not forgive you always?
Do I not give you a merciful ear?
I am not coming soon I am here.
In this season I was born unto you
Fulfilling the promise of God’s care.
Look for me, listen to me…
I am not coming soon I am here.
by W. H. Smaw

 



Advent

Advent is the beginning of the great marriage of heaven and earth. God’s heavenly Holy Spirit unites with a humble woman named Mary, a woman from earth whom God saw as fully worthy to give birth to his son.

This is also the season we seem to be most in tune with the material as we rush to purchase more items we don’t need; as our nation commercializes the season and ponders the mystery that poets try to capture.  God has seen fit to honor humanity with his presence.  It is the time God, himself, arrives on earth to wait in the womb to become the Prince of Peace.

It is a season of waiting and a time of paradoxes.  So, this first week of advent we wait for Christ’s arrival and we pray for peace. We wait for a time that we will turn our swords into plowshares and spears into sickles.  We look forward to the time the wolf lies with the lamb; the panther with the kid and the earthly with the heavenly.

It is the season we open ourselves up to the divinity to be reborn in our lives.  And, it is the perfect time to invite you unchurched friends to come to worship. It is one of the two big seasons where everyone’s hearts are drawn heavenward.  A time everyone with the hope for the hereafter is willing to attend a worship service.  This could be the time you have been waiting for; a time that Christ is born in the life of an unbeliever you have invited.  Let’s pray for many joyous arrivals.

By:  Alan Petefish



Come Follow Me – How Do You Know?

We have been examined and approved by God to be trusted with the good news, and that’s exactly how we speak. We aren’t trying to please people, but we are trying to please God, who continues to examine our hearts. Thessalonians 2:4

When you truly follow Jesus, your belief will manifest itself in your actions. You will have more desire for your Lord than for yourself.   When you follow, Christ is your life at all times; twenty-four hours a day.  He is in your thoughts, prayers, motives, decisions, hopes and actions. Your life will not be separable from Christ, for they are one in the same. Your life revolves around Him and not you. Your actions will be weighed based upon His teachings.   Your heart should always be to please Him and seek His will – for this you do voluntarily out of love as you seek to glorify God.

There will be times your faith will be tested. This testing always draws you closer to God or pushes you away.  In Isaiah 48:10 God says “I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering”.   These trials, tests and sufferings are not necessarily pleasant, but spiritually necessary. By nature of the act, to “follow” is to submit, yield and obey. It is by the nature of these acts you measure your loyalty and likeness to Christ.

The successful handling of these trials causes others to notice how you handle the situation and gives them courage to do the same.  In their time of distress, they want to know how you succeeded; and that my friends, is your opportunity to lead them to Christ’s peace.

May God strengthen you in your trials and bless you in your witness.

By:  Alan Petefish



Come Follow Me – The Narrow Way

“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34,

 

Here, Jesus said, “Whosoever will.” Will you?  What obstructs you? The narrow path does not seem to be overly crowded. The invitation is open to all. Is cost a problem? What is the cost? Jesus said it was trading your love of self for the love of another. John tells us in 3:30, “Jesus must become grater, but we must become less.” What about those who will not “come after” or “follow?” Mark in 8:35-36 says, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

I do not like to think or talk about the loss of salvation.  I do, however, know that we are called to lose our self -will and replace it with godliness. We must rid ourselves of inner evils; like self-centeredness, fear, resentment and guilt.  When we forsake these evils we make a place within us that fills.  We make an inner shift from a state of worry to a state of wonder; from a state of   bitterness to a state of pleasure; from a state of fault to a state of innocence.  The evils are replaced with the Will of God. There is nothing more precious to God or more profitable to us than humble obedience.

May you lead others as you lead yourself to a more devout life.

By:  Alan Petefish



Come Follow Me

The GNCC Adult Education Class is currently studying a video and discussing a series called Not A Fan. The series challenges us to consider what it really means to call yourself a Christian.  We are invited to take an honest look at our relationship with Jesus.  We look at various situations and try to determine if the person in the story is a fan or a follower.

If nothing else, this series has me thinking about what it means to follow Jesus.  To follow refers to a living faith in God, which is an unreserved (unconditional) surrender of your will to God in full love and obedience to Him, yielding to His purposes. It is seeing Christ as worthy of your full trust and confidence and following in His example. It is allowing God to rule in your heart.

In Matthew 15:8, Christ made a distinction between professing with your mouth and living with your heart. Until we die to our worldly way, there is no real conversion, no newness of life, no new creature, or authentic witness.  It is by our inner changes of the various aspects of our being that we grow in Christ which in turn allows others to see Christ in us.

It is the Christ in you that helps you to invite others to join us in life changing experiences and to lead a more enriched life.

Who in your life would like to have a better life?  I challenge you to bring them to church where their transformation can begin.

May God Bless you and your efforts.

Alan Petefish



Choosing Sides

We always choose sides. We may say we are Cardinal fans or Cubs fans and that defines where our loyalties belong. If our children are fighting over toys or something else, we always choose sides. No matter how much we think we are staying neutral, we concern ourselves with fairness for both but one is usually more in the right than the other. We choose sides in family squabbles, in church disputes, in sports contests, and in school support. Jesus makes it clear that we also need to choose him. In Luke 9:50 Jesus is talking to his disciples and says, “Anyone who is not against you is for you.” That represents a choice. Whether we make it consciously or unconsciously it is still a choice. He clarifies this in Luke 11:23. “Anyone who isn’t helping me is opposing me and anyone who is not working with me is working against me.” We have choices to make on a daily basis. Even if we decide not to choose, we have already chosen. Our choice is clear when it comes to Jesus Christ. Choose wisely.

By:  Pastor Jack King