Monday, November 26, 2018

Where is God when I really Need Him?

Where is God when I really need Him?
 This is a question that people ask all the time. It is a question that is natural to ask, but only a non- believer or a believer that lacks the wisdom to understand, would ask that. A word used in our Theology is Omnipresence. Theology is the study of the Christian Faith and its doctrines. 'Theo' means "God" in the ancient Greek and "ology" means the study of. So together Theology means "the study of God. Omnipresence is a theological word that means that the fullness of God is present everywhere. Everything that God is is fully present at each point in a given room, at every point in the building outside the room, and at every point outside the building. “More” of God is not found at point A than at point B. God and His attributes, including His holiness, wisdom, goodness, justice, knowledge, power, and so on, are fully present in His creation at every point. We often forget that the Lord is right at hand wherever we are, but our forgetfulness does not indicate His absence. God does not fit into our boxes of time and space. This is a mistake that Christians make while trying to understand and make sense of God. God is everywhere, wholly, at all times. He is with us everywhere we go, in everything we do, and He never leaves us. 
We all have been lonely, worried, tempted, and discouraged, yet God is with us through each and every one of these. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Jonah is still relevant.

Pastor Bruce has been preaching a sermon series on Jonah. Throughout the sermons, Bruce has discussed Jonah and his shortcomings, his prayers, his situation, and his praise. One of the questions that get asked is, “Why did Jonah run?” He was not running away from God necessarily, but more running away from the path that God had planned for him. Gods plan for Jonah was to go to Nineveh and call them to repentance. Jonah just did not want to do that. Why? Because he was judgmental.  Jonah wanted the city of Nineveh destroyed and the Ninevites punished. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, a ruthless and warlike group of people who were the enemies of Israel. Jonah was judgmental because of his own ideas to see justice brought upon his enemies, who he thought deserved it. Jonah wanted them destroyed because they were enemies of Israel also and it would be a victory for God also.  Here are a few points for you to consider.
1. Isn’t the story of Jonah representative of people in the church today? 
You know the judgmental people in the church. You know when they turn their nose at some of the trash and riff-raff that comes in the doors. You know, sinners. These are modern-day Jonah’s. They know God. They hear God. Yet they fail to obey the will of God. Exactly like Jonah did. Jonah had judged the Ninevites as guilty and unworthy the grace and forgiveness of God. They deserved exactly what God was planning for them, yet God was offering them a chance at redemption. Is this not what God is doing or has done for us? God offers us a chance at redemption, reconciliation, and rejuvenation, through Jesus Christ. Is this not how we should behave as individual Christians and as a Christian Community?
2. God forgave the Ninevites who were enemies of His chosen people, Israel, so shouldn’t we forgive our enemies?
God made a covenant with Abraham, the father of the Nation of Israel. Israel and the Jews are Gods chosen people and his chosen nation. Yet when the Ninevites waged war on Israel, God offered them forgiveness and redemption. Jonah just did not want to extend the proverbial olive branch. He turned his back on the nation of Nineveh and the people of Nineveh.  We do that, it is human nature. If someone hurts us, we seek revenge or try to hurt them back. That is not what God is showing here in His actions though. It is certainly not what Jesus said while here on Earth. In Matthew 5:39 Jesus says, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” This is where the phrase “turn the other cheek” comes from. It is our Divine nature that allows us to do that, not our human nature. 
3. How great is God that He gives us multiple chances?
“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,” Jonah 3:1 Jonah was given a second chance to do what the Lord was calling him to do. This time he did what God wanted him to do. It is wonderful that God will give us so many chances to come inline with His will for our lives. God loves us so much that He is patient with us, forgives us, and gives us numerous opportunities. How great is God? 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Stress. We all have it, we all deal with it, but some of us do not handle it well or deal with it healthily. Pastor Bruce just finished up a Sermon Series entitled "Too Blessed To Be Stressed". For most of us that is a true statement. How do we deal with stress though? Running, reading, smoking, drinking, ranting and raving, denial, and just not dealing with it. How does God want us to deal with stress? God in His infinite wisdom has given us direct instructions through His word, the Holy Bible.

The Creator knew us long before we were born. He knew we would have stress. He also gave us a way to deal with that stress. Here are a few things to draw from Philippians 4:6-7
  1. "Do NOT be worried about anything BUT in every situation, through prayer and petition"  We love to worry. We cannot help it. Look around your life and the world we live in. There are plenty of things to worry about. Here in Gods word, He tells us how to Biblically deal with stress, prayer, and petition. A prayer we all know about. That is when we connect with God and communicate with Him. The word "petition" here means: "to make or present a formal request to an authority with respect to a particular cause." Here in this sentence prayer and petition are verbs. A verb shows action. The action on our part is to pray and to petition. Petition here is meaning to talk about the very issues, openly and honestly with God. The details are what you must share with God, not for His benefit but for yours. It shows an action.
  2. "With Thanksgiving"  Here the scripture tells us that we are to give thanksgiving. What are we thankful for? Write it down and read that list out during your prayer time. It helps us to see or change our perspective on our causes of stress. Our first thing on top of the list should always be Jesus Christ who sacrificed himself for us. 
  3. "Guard your hearts and minds"  The word in the Greek language used for "guard" is "phroureo" which means to protect by a military guard or to prevent a hostile invasion. Why protect the heart so much? Jeremiah 17:9 says "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  Strong words but definitely a point to ponder.  Guard your hearts and minds against outside forces, pressures, and attacks. 
God promises us so many things and here in these verses God again promises us" a peace that transcends all understanding." That is a peace that we all want to experience. 

If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, I invite you to contact Freedom Church. we would love to talk to you about how to have peace in life. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Who are we at Freedom Church? What are we about? No, not the little blurb you find on the website but who are we as people and Christians at Freedom Church. We are sinners, husbands, wives, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, friends, family, addicts, failures, hurt, lost, grieving, kind, loving, caring and most importantly, we are Christians. We have a purpose in our lives. We want you to have a true, real and loving relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have a plan for that and for our church. F.R.E.E.D.O.M. is a mission and not just a name. 

F stands for Find. Find those who need Christ. Pastor Bruce always follows that up with this question, "Who needs Christ?" EVERYBODY!! To find them is a mission in its own self. "Luke 14:23 says "Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." That is what we do at Freedom Church. We are out searching for the lost, everywhere we go. 
Once we have found the lost, we must RELATE to them with a relevant Gospel. Relevant is defined as being "closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered."  The Gospel has to be for them, where they are in their life. 
We have to ENCOURAGE those around us. We have the ability make a huge difference in the World and the people around us by just encouraging them. Ephesians 4:29 says  "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
1 Peter 2:9 tells us "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;"  Not everyone is a pastor but everyone is a minister. Minister to those around us in need is what a Biblical minister looks like. In a world where everyone has hurts, habits, and hang-ups, people need someone to come alongside them and love them and help them.  

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They're all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Whether you're rich or whether you're poor
It matters not to Him
He remembers where you're going
Not where you've been

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They're all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

At Freedom Church this is exactly what we mean, we accept all people. We believe in one race, the human race. We are all family and Jesus loves us all. 

Simply put, Organize around a simple structure means that if there is something we are doing that is not leading people to Christ, we cut it and do something else.

This is probably the hardest for most people. We love to be comfortable. We all have that favorite spot to sit on the couch at home. We have comfortable shoes, clothes, and food. In order to grow as a Christian, we must move out of our comfort zone and believe that God will support us. So let us all move out of our comfort zone and strive to grow.