Posts Tagged 'Jesus Christ'

Blocking My Own Blessings

a big rock in the road
On Sunday mornings, the adult class that I teach has been working through Steps to Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright. The founder of Campus Crusade, Dr. Bright was pretty influential in my life through his evangelism training materials that I learned to use as a new believer.
A few weeks ago, we were working through God’s Promises and Provisions through Prayer. One of the verses about God’s provision really struck me, and caused me to re-think my views on God’s blessing.
Here it is, Ephesians 1:3 –
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

I’m sure I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this verse, but this time it hit me: the PAST TENSE. Look carefully – God HAS BLESSED US. This is not a promise that God *will* bless us if we follow hard after Him, or that God *might* bless us based on some other condition. This is a DONE DEAL. God HAS blessed us!
This made me think – hard – about what God has already done in us, and what we are doing about it. Do you feel as if you’ve received every spiritual blessing already? I know I sure don’t! And what THAT brings to mind is the question:
If I’ve already been given every spiritual blessing in Christ… what is getting in the way of me actually laying hold of that blessing? How am I blocking my own growth in my spiritual walk?
When I put it that way, I’m convicted. I know very well what things I’m holding on to instead of letting go, and letting God’s blessings actually get through to me.
As we enter this new year of 2014, let’s ask ourselves… and each other: what is holding us back from living the Kingdom life to which God is calling us? What are we clinging to that needs to be released?
I am looking forward to discovering this year just how God is going to move among us. It should be quite an adventure!
Keep Following Jesus – Ed

Strength in the Storm~Matthew 7

Sermon Notes: January 12, 2014
Strength in the Storm ~ Matthew 7:21-27

F.B. Meyer wrote about two Germans who wanted to climb the Matterhorn. They hired three guides and began their ascent at the steepest and most slippery part. The men roped themselves together in this order: guide, traveler, guide, traveler, guide. They had gone only a little way up the side when the last man lost his footing. He was held up temporarily by the other four, because each had a toehold in the niches they had cut in the ice. But then the next man slipped, and he pulled down the two above him. The only one to stand firm was the first guide, who had driven a spike deep into the ice. Because he held his ground, all the men beneath him regained their footing. F.B. Meyer concluded his story by drawing a spiritual application. He said, “I am like one of those men who slipped, but thank God, I am bound in a living partnership to Christ. And because He stands, I will never perish.”
What Is Our Shelter In The Storms Of Life?
* Being Religious Offers No Shelter (21-23)
* A Living Relationship Is Our Only Stability (24-27)
God doesn’t want you to be religious: He wants YOU. Your heart, your life, your dreams, your everything, with Him at the center – just the way that YOU are the center of HIS desire. That’s why God gave His only Son – to provide the Way back to His heart!

Money Matters – Matthew 6:19-24

Money Matters – Matthew 6:19-24
~To Invest in God’s Kingdom, you have to ask:
* What Do You Treasure? (10-21)
*Why Do You Make your Choices? (22-23)
*Who Do You Serve? (24)
We MUST realize that we are not the ones in control who get to choose how much we will serve and how much we will not – Kingdom of God reminds us that GOD is King, and that position is already filled. We are servants – how are we serving the King?

Love For The World ~ Matthew 4:12-25

Love For The World ~ Matthew 4:12-25
How Do We Love The Lost?
* Our Challenge: Hold Up The Light (12-17)
* Our Goal: Follow The Light (18-22)
* Our Invitation: Live In The Light (23-25)
People respond not just to the PERSON of Jesus, but the Call of the Kingdom. We are the ones who share that call with a world dying for lack of love when we extend that invitation to real life in Christ.

Joy To The World: Matthew 3:1-12

Joy To The World: Matthew 3:1-12
~The World Will receive Joy When it:
* Listens To The Message (1-6)
* Heeds The Warning (7-10)
* Prepares For The Result (11-12)
Joy for the World is only found in the Message of the Manger – the lowest of the low places so that no one can reject it out of pride; making room for the Babe in our hearts so that no one rejects Him out of fear.


Pastor Ed Backell

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