Sunday, July 25, 2010

For Every Goliath There is a Stone!

For Every Goliath There is a Stone!
By: Katie Rogers

How many of you are facing challenges, mountains or chaos in your life? How many are allowing your challenges, mountains and chaos to rule or even destroy your life? So often we allow those things to become greater than they are and we allow them to consume us. We don’t have to! Let me share a little story with you.

In 1st Samuel 17 we see the story you’ve all heard before, the story of David and Goliath. David just a Shepard boy who did as he was told. Took care of the sheep, protected them and even killed a bear and such to protect these sheep. But we see David get sent out to the front lines to bring food to his brothers and to check on them. Now see David’s brothers, as well as the whole army of Israel was equipped to fight the giants, the Goliath’s so to speak. But they were afraid, they allowed the Giant to consume them and for fear to set in.

It seems so often we are equipped with the tools, the armor, the things we need to fight the giant but we allow fear and uncertainty to creep in and take hold of us. But we need the spirit and the courage of David.

1st Samuel 17 shows us that David wasn’t scared, he trusted the Living God to equip Him and to bring him through the challenge of the giant. So often we think we can’t face the challenge or the giant unless we have all this garb so we dismiss God and his Word and load ourselves up with nonsense.

David a young man who wasn’t equipped with the armor of the soldier didn’t care; he knew God was with Him. Now King Saul tried to help David but his gear wasn’t made for David… So I see David like this “Okay God, it’s you and me. You’ve given me all that I need and I trust that together we’ll defeat Goliath.” God tells him to pick up the pebbles and grab his sling shot.

See David trusted God to carry him through, to defeat the giant. And as the story shows David goes and is mocked by the army of Israel as well as Goliath and the giants. But David doesn’t allow that to discourage him because he trusts in the Lord.

And we see that David slings his pebble and takes down Goliath!
God has a stone/pebble for each one of us. It doesn’t matter what the giant is He will equip us. Nothing is too big for our God.

So whether it be a financial giant- God says he provides and gives us what we need when we need it.
If it be sexual immorality God gives us scriptures to bring us to purity, gives us accountability partners, and an escape from every temptation.
Unsaved loved ones- God gives us scriptures, prayers, and seeds to plant
Restlessness- God gives us peace, patience and comforts us with his Spirit.
Whatever your Giant, God has a stone for you! Ask God for your stone!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Are you Hungry Like Pacman?

Are You Hungry Like Pacman?
By: Katie Rogers

How many of you have played the classic old style game Pacman? When I was younger I would play Pacman for hours at a time.

Pacman is completely and constantly hungry- He’ll keep going until he has completed every level ate every pellet. We need to be like Pacman spiritually. We need to be constantly hungry for God’s Word and His presence.

Prayer and Food are Intertwined.

Real Food Vs. God’s Word

How many of you have walked into a restaurant saw a very long line or been told the wait is 30+ minutes and left?

Spiritual Side- how many of you hear God say wait for me or keep studying my word-but you get bored and decide to do it your own way?
1st Samuel 13:1-4, 7-14
1 Saul was thirty[a] years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-[b]two years. 2 Saul [c] chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Micmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes. 3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, "Let the Hebrews hear!" 4 So all Israel heard the news: "Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become a stench to the Philistines." And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal
7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul's men began to scatter. 9 So he said, "Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings. [a] " And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. 11 "What have you done?" asked Samuel. Saul replied, "When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, 12 I thought, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD's favor.' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering." 13 "You acted foolishly," Samuel said. "You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD's command."

Pacman never stops eating, he can eat and eat and eat and never be full.

We need to be like Pacman.
Psalm 46:10- 10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 48:14-14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end.
Isaiah 58:11- 11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
-Constantly seeking God’s presence, Reading His Word
- Waiting Upon Him to fill us, to stir us, to guide us.

What are some things you’re willing to wait for?
A new car, a new home, a TV, a vacation?
We invest, we wait for worldly things but do we put that much effort and time into waiting for God?

When we are hungry for the spiritual and we wait upon God he renews, refreshes, provides and gives us more than we could ask or dream of. So often we lack because we haven’t waited on God, church let’s wait on God. Let’s take time to seek his face, to read His Word and to be hungry like Pacman.

Little Engine that Could

Philippians 4:13- 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me How many of you have read the classic children’s book “The Little Engine That Could”? Anyone who has read it has thought “wow, what an encouraging story.’ This book has been one of my favorites since I was a young girl. This book draws two themes for me, two points that I would like to parallel to a life in Christ.
1. Just because someone has strength, beauty, or wealth doesn’t mean that they are the best person to help or willing to help.-In the Little Engine that Could we see the “Shiny Engine, Big Engine, Rusty Engine (To good for you) (To Tired) These Engines or people in our lives don’t care what your dilemma is, they judge you based on what you drive, look like and eat. The Shiny Engine, the Big Engine and the Tired Engine all could have helped the broken down engine but they felt they didn’t need or owe that small train anything. Let’s look at the story of the Good Samaritan: Luke 10:25-3525 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” 27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[a] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”[b]28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[c] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’We see that a Priest and a Levite passed by the man in need. These two should have been upstanding citizens, men who in the community had good standing but they chose to pass the wounded man by. They are like the engines who thought they were to good to help the broken down engine.But both our stories show us there is help for us. The broken down engine was rescued by a small blue engine who wasn’t pretty, wasn’t big, wasn’t important in the train world. But this small blue engine chose to help, chose to exceed the normal expectations of it and to help the broken train and all those upon it. In the story of the Good Samaritan we see that the one who wouldn’t have been usually recognized or of high status chose to help the wounded. Not only did he bandage the wounds, he brought the wounded to an inn, paid for his time spent and made sure he was looked after.We need to realize God uses many varieties of people to help us and we shouldn’t have an expectation of the quality of person who God sends our way to participate in our lives.Second Point I want to make is:We can do all things through Christ who strengthens usSo often instead of taking the attitude of the Blue Engine or the Good Samaritan we take the attitude of the big and shiny engine and say no we’re not able. But just like the little blue engine did, we need to say “I can, I can, I can.”When God is leading us and we’re walking in His will each obstacle, each challenge, each task should be faced with I can, I can, and I can.God always gives us the resources, the strength and the ability to carry out the task He sets before us.So set out today to walk in God’s Will and always have the attitude of the Little Blue Engine, I think I can, I think I can!
Who are you Barnabas to?
Barnabas real name was Joseph-means “May God Increase”
We see in Acts 4:36-37 He was renamed Barnabas-means Son of Encouragement
36-37Joseph, called by the apostles "Barnabas" (which means "Son of Comfort"), a Levite born in Cyprus, sold a field that he owned, brought the money, and made an offering of it to the apostles.
We see from the first time Barnabas is mentioned in Acts that he cared for others
-Sold Land and Donated Profits to the church
Barnabas was courageous, influential and responsible
Responsible- Acts 11:22-24, 30
22-24When the church in Jerusalem got wind of this, they sent Barnabas to Antioch to check on things. As soon as he arrived, he saw that God was behind and in it all. He threw himself in with them, got behind them, urging them to stay with it the rest of their lives. He was a good man that way, enthusiastic and confident in the Holy Spirit's ways. The community grew large and strong in the Master.
God and the Apostles trusted Barnabas enough to send him on the important mission of regrouping the church that had been scattered.
30 They sent Barnabas and Saul to deliver the collection to the leaders in Jerusalem.
Someone predicted a famine and the church decided to start storing money and gifts for those who would be affected. Barnabas was trusted with their gifts and possessions to deliver to the people of Judea.

Courageous/Influential - Acts 9:26-28/Acts 11:25-27
26When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
Barnabas was willing to stand up for God and God’s people in spite of what the outcome could be. And because Barnabas did as God said he was influential with the other disciples.
Barnabas chose to love Saul who became Paul despite what the world said, despite Paul’s past. Barnabas became a support for Paul, he was accountability for Paul.
Barnabas pointed people to God. He loved people, brought people to Christ while encouraging and blessing the people. Acts 11:24, 13:7, 13:42,43
Example of my mentors blessing, praying and investing me and the impact it has had.
The question is: Who are you blessing?
Who are you praying with and for?
Who are you investing in?
Take time to find a mentor and to invest in someone else.

Rebuilding the Walls

Nehemiah 1:1-11
1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, 2 that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” 4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said: “I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, 6 please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8 Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; 9 but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ 10 Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. 11 O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” For I was the king’s cupbearer.
1. Recognize We Need Healing
Nehemiah 1:1-3
We can't expect healing if we don't know something is damaged.
Just like Nehemiah asked men from Judah how his country/country men were, we need to ask God what habits, sins, and hurts need to be healed in our lives.
2. Ask God to Heal and Rebuild
Nehemiah 1:5-11
Just like Nehemiah we need to recognize their need and than ask God to work in us.
We need to cry out to God, pray for guidance, wisdom and his favor as we do His will.
3. Accept the help of those God surrounds you with during the rebuilding
Nehemiah 2:1-5,8, 15-18 (Chapter 3)
Nehemiah asked the king to allow him to go rebuild the walls, the King obliged and than Nehemiah had help from his fellow countrymen.
When we are being rebuilt/healed God will use others to help us along the way. Don't turn down their help or be afraid to ask for it.
4. Be prepared for obstacles while your healing is being done
Nehemiah 4:1-3
Just because we've released the hurt to God doesn't mean the enemy is going to leave us alone.
5. Willing to fight off the enemy while rebuilding
Nehemiah 4:6-23
Nehemiah and His help worked together to fight off the enemy.
We also need to put on the armor of God daily and be ready to fight at anytime.

What is Your Prize?

What is your Prize?
By: Katie Rogers

What are prizes people strive for? What do people spend their time trying to achieve?
• Money
• Possessions such as cars and houses
• Latest Technology, computers, smart phones, etc

I often strive for prizes that involve food (Get an A on a test I deserve cake)

So often we strive for financial success. So often we strive for a title but that is not the prize God longs for us to search and seek after. Striving for worldly prizes only leave us wanting more, but as we run the race for God we lack for nothing.

2 Timothy 4:6-8
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

Hebrews 12:1
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.- New Living!

Our Prize is found in serving God and doing His will.
The race isn’t easy, it’s not quick but it is worth the training, the sweat and the sacrifice.

1. Train
Just as a runner stretches, runs, lifts weights we also need to train by:
-Read the Word
-Pray and Seek God’s Face
-Lift one another up/use our gifts to bless, encourage and glorify God.

2. Athletes Eat Right, They follow a strict diet
Just as an athlete eats according to their diet so we need to. Athletes cut out the junk and eat healthy
-Cut out improper relationships
-Cut out immorality
-Remove the sin
Replace the junk with the Word, wholesome relationships and a faith in Christ.

Our prize should be seeking, finding and knowing God and than using our skills to fulfill the destiny God has set before us.

Don’t give up on running the race, find those who will uplift, encourage and hold you accountable to running the race and obtaining the Ultimate prize.

As we seek God and allow him to be our coach, everything else will fall into place.

What Do You Wash With? Are you Clean?

What Do You Wash With? Are You Clean?
By: Katie Rogers

How many of you would say that you’re clean today?
What do you wash with? Dove? Suave? Bath and Body Works products?

No matter what product you buy, no matter how many showers you take your not clean until you’ve been washed in the blood. God wants to wash us inside and out with his blood, with his cleansing power.

1 John 1:6-8 (New International Version)
6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin. 8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
Jesus’ blood was shed so we could be free from the curse, cleansed of all the sins we have committed and will commit. Jesus’ blood cleanses us so well we don’t have to worry about dry skin, missed spots or washing multiple times. We don’t have to worry about guilt, shame and condemnation.
Hebrews 13:11-13 (New International Version)
11The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.
Jesus paid the ultimate price by giving his life on the cross and shedding his blood so that we could be washed. In the times before Jesus the people had to find a perfect animal that was fit for sacrifice and perform a ceremony to be cleansed of their sins. But Jesus changed that when he died upon the cross for us. He was the ultimate perfect sacrifice; his blood was the answer for us.
Jesus’ blood allows us to come to him for cleansing without a ceremony or chaos. It’s easy, Ask Jesus into your heart and to forgive you of your sins and his blood washes over you and cleanses you. And when you sin and become dirty again all you have to do is come to the throne and ask for forgiveness and he washes us again.
Are you washed in the blood? Are you clean today?