From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)
Published on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 @ 10:44 AM CDT
If you have received Christ as Lord and Savior then you are “in Christ” and He is “in you.” Because you are in Christ, EVERY ONE of these statements is true of YOU.
- I am loved. 1 John 3:3
- I am accepted. Ephesians 1:6
- I am a child of God. John 1:12
- I am Jesus' friend. John 15:14
- I am a joint heir with Jesus, sharing His inheritance with Him. Romans 8:17
- I am united with God and one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17
- I am a temple of God. His Spirit and his life lives in me. 1 Corinthians 6:19
- I am a member of Christ's body. 1 Corinthians 12:27
- I am a Saint. Ephesians 1:1
- I am redeemed and forgiven. Colossians 1:14
- I am complete in Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:10
- I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:1
- I am a new creation because I am in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17
- I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. Colossians 3:12
- I am established, anointed, and sealed by God. 2 Corinthians 1:21
- I do not have a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
- I am God's co-worker. 2 Corinthians 6:1
- I am seated in heavenly places with Christ. Eph 2:6
- I have direct access to God Ephesians. 2:18
- I am chosen to bear fruit John. 15:16
- I am one of God's living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house. 1 Peter 2:5
- I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God by which I share His nature. 2 Peter 1:4
- I can always know the presence of God because He never leaves me Hebrews. 13:5
- God works in me to help me do the things He wants me to do Philippians 2:13
- I can ask God for wisdom and He will give me what I need. James 1:5
Read the above list every day for a month, preferably out loud. The more you know who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will reflect your true identity. Simply choose to believe what God says about YOU.
Published on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 @ 3:18 PM CDT
Question: "What is wisdom? What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?"
Answer: Wisdom and knowledge, both recurring themes in the Bible, are related but not synonymous. The dictionary defines wisdom as “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.” Knowledge, on the other hand, is “information gained through experience, reasoning, or acquaintance.” Knowledge can exist without wisdom, but not the other way around. One can be knowledgeable without being wise. Knowledge is knowing how to use a gun; wisdom is knowing when to use it and when to keep it holstered.
God wants us to have knowledge of Him and what He expects of us. In order to obey Him, we have to have knowledge of the commands. But as equally important as having knowledge is having wisdom. Knowing facts about God and the Bible is not all there is to wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God. James 1:5 states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” God blesses us with wisdom in order for us to glorify Him and use the knowledge we have of Him.
The book of Proverbs is perhaps the best place in the Bible to learn of biblical wisdom. Proverbs 1:7 speaks of both biblical knowledge and wisdom: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” To fear the Lord is to start on the path to knowledge, and God can then begin to provide us with wisdom through Christ, who the Bible says is wisdom itself: “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Knowledge is what is gathered over time through study of the Scriptures. It can be said that wisdom, in turn, acts properly upon that knowledge. Wisdom is the fitting application of knowledge.
Knowledge understands the light has turned red; wisdom applies the brakes. Knowledge sees the quicksand; wisdom walks around it. Knowledge memorizes the Ten Commandments; wisdom obeys them. Knowledge learns of God; wisdom loves Him.
Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 @ 3:03 PM CDT
I bring the issue of praying together up for three reasons:
- Corporate prayer is on par with preaching and teaching as a priority in a healthy church.
- Praying together is a vital key to opening God's presence and work among His people in unique ways.
- The tendency among believers, even among those who occupy leadership positions in the church, to think of prayer gatherings as the extra-curricular activity in the life of the church.
It's good to have, but not important enough to join; something you briefly tack on to a meeting before you get down to the real business. There are a growing number of believers who view prayer meetings as optional, secondary. But here is just one of the five reasons for the Corporate Prayer Meeting:
Corporate Prayer in History
There are so many examples of how corporate prayer was the springboard for the sweeping movements of God. Let me mention a few. In 1857, America was riding the wave of a strong economy, and, as tends to be true in times of prosperity, showed a radical decrease of interest in the things of God. There was a layman named Jeremiah Lamphier whose concern led to a call for prayer. He tacked up notices in NYC calling for a weekly prayer meeting on Wednesdays from noon till one at a rented space on Fulton Street.
The first prayer meeting was on September 23, 1857. Only six people came, and they didn't arrive until just before 12:30. The next week, the attendance jumped to 20. The numbers continued to climb week-by-week.
Then, on October 10th, the Stock Market crashed and financial panic ensued. Trouble had its humbling affect and the hearts of many turned to spiritual matters. It wasn't long until somewhere between 10 and 50,000 businessmen were meeting every day in NYC to pray at noon. By week 15, the meetings moved from weekly to daily.
In 1858, this prayer movement leaped to every major city in America. The Second Great Awakening swept our land. Estimates are that a million Americans out of a population of 30 million at that time were converted in less than two years. And it all started with prayer.
Rees Howells, a Welsh coal miner, journeyed to South Africa as a missionary in 1910 in response to an increasing burden from the Lord. Six weeks after arriving, he joined in a prayer meeting. Out of that came the sweeping work of the Holy Spirit in which they had two revival meetings a day for fifteen months and all day on Friday. Thousands were converted as a result.
Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 @ 2:59 PM CDT