FAITH IN DECEMBER 2016

A reminder to enjoy what’s right before you cause you just never know when the one you held onto in the morning may not be there in the evening. Why? It’s just life…period. 

If someone would have told me that 

  • it would be the last time I held my daughter in my arms while we visited the mall…i would have never let her down.
  • It would be the last time i made breakfast for her even though it was just toast and jelly…i would have sat and talked while she ate.
  • It would be the last time I would hug my wife before she left to visit a friend…I would have hugged her twice as long and let my last words be “i love you…forever”.
  • It would be the last time I got to sit down with my pastor and ask him to pray for me…i would have told him why and hold nothing back from him.
  • It would be the last time I would give my grandson and punch on the shoulder and tell him I love him…i would have hugged him instead and drive with him to school….with his phone off.
  • It would be the last time i got to address our congregation…i would throw away my notes and share what was in my heart…to focus on the things that matter the most…Your God…Your Family…Your Mission w/ Obedience.

I am blessed this morning. Baby Faith brought healing to my heart that i needed today. Sometimes we wake up and never realized that there is so much collateral damage in our soul, that we miss and forget to take the time to embrace the things that matter the most.

Love you. You’re God’s Best.

Pastor

9/11 PRAYER

9-11-01logo450Psalm 34:19
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-9
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

Father, there are over 3000 people who wake up this morning in Washington, Pennsylvania, and New York remembering what life was like 15 years ago. Their lives changed in one moment of time. Not only did their life change but this nation changed and shifted as well. My prayer is for the families of those who left this earth. The loved ones who continue to move forward…some with hope and others without any. Father, i know things have changed but there is something I will forever hold on to regardless of what the circumstances are on this earth….Your unfailing love! YOU NEVER CHANGE and You are the same yesterday, today, and forever! Afflictions come but You deliver! Pressure comes but You release it in your timing so that we are not crushed by it. We find ourselves perplexed at various times in life but we dare not despair. The towers of faith and hope may have been struck down in many lives but our faith in You will never be destroyed. You are our Sustainer and the lifter up of our head. We place our trust in You this morning Master. Move by Your Spirit over this nation Father and may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. May heaven reach down and touch earth today once again and reveal Yourself in a special way to Your people. Allow those who do not know you see your loving kindness and tender mercies. Bring them to the entrance of Your salvation and knock on the doors of their heart. May they open it and see Your beauty. For You are good and Your loving Kindness extends to all the earth. I declare Your Lordship over this day here in our city, our family, and in my life personally. Much pain has come but much much more mercy has been revealed. I honor You Father. Speak to us today in Your own way. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sola Fide
Your Servant,
Marcus

Psalm 34:19 

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

WHAT IMAGE DO I REFLECT?

02drown27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
(Genesis 1:27-28)

I was reading this morning and thinking about God’s original design for man. What was God’s original intention for man when He created them and placed them on this earth? After all, God created  them in His image and after His likeness, therefore, what does “His likeness” look like? Is there something in scripture that helps me chart my course and gives me some type of measuring grid. I’ve always been about evaluation, progress, course correction, and just making sure I was moving in a direction in my life that had forward motion. Unsurprisingly, there it was in Genesis.

God has given us 4 things that we can measure ourselves with. The question to ask is this: Am I reflecting Gods image in my life? When I inspect the harvest in my life, what do I see? Does it match God’s original design?

If our Creator asked His creation to accomplish a certain task, then He also placed within them the ability to get it done. We have what it takes cause God’s Design has placed this within us. Believe it. Yield your heart to it and begin walking in it!

8 Then God blessed them, and God said to them,

  1. “Be fruitful  – h6509. פָּרָה p̱ârâ

    • to cause to bear fruit, to make fruitful, to show fruitfulness, to grow or increase.
  2. and multiply;- h7235. רָבָה râḇâ 
    • to increase in whatever respect; to enlarge; to have more in number; to become many or be numerous, greater, abundance.
  3. fill the earth- h4390. מָלֵא mâlê

    • to satisfy, accomplish, complete, and confirm; to be full of; to be at an end, furnish, replenish and satisfy.
  4. and subdue h3533. כָּבַשׁ ḵâḇaš

    • to tread down, conquer, subjugate, keep under or bring into subjection; to make subservient.

QUESTION: DOES MY LIFE REFLECT THE FOLLOWING IMAGE?

  1. Being Fruitful – Am I growing?
  2. Experiencing Multiplication – Am I increasing?
  3. Filling Earth – Am I a Resource for others and myself?
  4. Subduing the Earth – Am I in Control of my Appetites?

IN HIM

the-book-of-ephesians7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him –
(Ephesians 1:6-10 NKJV)

START DOING: according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us

  • Have you ever been asked to go to a store and pick up or pick out an item that someone else has already paid for? Your responsibility is to take the time and go into the store, choose the item (in some cases) or just receive the item that has already been purchased. I have and it’s absolutely a joy when you get to bring it home and begin to use it for your home and family. Natalie and I have had mattresses, cars, school tuition, checks, and countless of other items. There has never been a time when we walked out and said, “Is that all we get?” or we walk away feeling like we just wasted our time. There has always been a sense of gratitude simply because we received what was not expected or even deserved.
  • Same is true here. Paul mentions something similar, “According the RICHES of His grace which HE MADE to ABOUND TOWARD US…” Listen, the word, “redemption” means this: a releasing effected by payment of ransom or liberation procured by the payment of a ransom. Simple terminology is this: We are recipients of treasure that someone else paid for.
  • START REMINDING YOURSELF. He DAILY loads you with benefits; He is not mad at you. Your mad at yourself and trying to muster up points to get God approval. He already has approved you and accepted you even when you and I were far away from Him. He gave us what we didn’t deserve…abundantly, richly, abounding TOWARD US…

STOP DOING:9 having made known to us the mystery of His will,

  • Quit playing games and feeling sorry for yourself by saying that you dont understand or His ways are too difficult or its just too hard to figure out what God wants to do with me…. NO SIR…NO MAM…RE-FRAME…RETHINK…and embrace the precious and abundant beauty He has for you and the things that concern you like your family, your business, your future, your children, your dreams, your spouse, your relationships. Listen, there are times we need to stop trying to figure everything out and put a smile on believing that He has something special for me TODAY! Quit expecting the worse today and begin to expect the best for your life today. The mystery of His will is no longer a mystery…it’s reality! He REALLY DOES LOVE YOU AND CARE FOR YOUR LIFE, HOPES, AND DREAMS.

CONTINUE DOING: in Him…

  • Two of my favorite words in the New Testament are these: “IN HIM”. I remember taking the time one year and getting a red pen and going through the new testament and underlining every time i read the words, in Him, in whom, through Him, etc….you can grab it here: Take the time a download it, get your pen out and receive everything you have in Christ.

PRAYER: Father, you are good, gracious, and abundantly caring for us all. I am overwhelmed this morning of your love and grace. Precious are You towards us all and You make us abound in You. I pray that as we continue to walk with You, Your realities will become embedded in our hearts and minds. That we would so embrace your goodness towards us that all things unholy, unrighteous, and flat out lies would bow down to the realities we have In You. Touch our minds today so we can believe Your goodness. Amen.

HE MADE US

eph_1Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
We learned early in bible school to do everything with excellence. Even before that, my dad taught me to take pride in whatever I made. Whether a school project, the way I play a position in whatever sport, finances, etc…What you present before others is a reflection on you as a person so take pride in it. It speaks of the type of character and person you are. Dad, is what I call a plodder. One step at a time, inch by inch he will endure to the end and what he presents will be full of pride and value. We have a 1967 GTO that he purchased brand new off the lot in December of 1966. Why? He took the time to patiently wait until he was in a financial position to purchase a car he always wanted even though it took months to prepare for it. He did the same with his lot to build his house. The same with the furniture a year before building the house and then the house itself which by the way only costs 17,000 brand new! WOW, thats a while back! All i am saying is that what he made, bought, and has is something that is carefully thought through and meticulous in its choosing.
The same is true when it comes to our Heavenly Father. He has a well thought out plan for you and I. He had a holy huddle in heaven and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit got together to ensure that what He presented was full-proof and His handprint would be all over it! Guess what? You and I are the result of that meeting in the heavens.
he hath made us accepted in the beloved…. We are not a mistake! We were made for such a time as this so get up, rise up, shape up and move forward in your calling that He has prepared before the foundation of the world. 
I AM ALL HE SAYS I AM….period!

WHO ARE YOU?

the-book-of-ephesiansEPHESIANS 1-2
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

START DOING: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
  • There are times when i hear my name that I quickly forget who I am and whose I am. I am thankful for my upbringing and how God has blessed me with some tremendous parents. But so often, that identity alone is attached to the pain of the past and wounds in the soul that are a result of frail human effort. When Paul addresses this church, he knows and understands the weight of authority in his life and he approaches this moment to speak into their life by the authority and call that God has upon his life. Before he was birthed in the womb of man he was birthed in the heart of the living God as a gifted apostle and preacher of the gospel. And this not by a mans will, nor of any educational effort. The hand of God Almighty was placed upon him and he honored this above all else.
  • Let me begin my day by saying to myself, Marcus, a pastor of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Seguin, and faithful in Jesus Christ. Wow, this feels right and so registers in the deepest part of my soul, Try it,
  • Who are you? What has God called you to do? DO NOT say I don’t know or I’m not called. YOU ARE. Just man up and take the time and hear Him speak. He will so clarify this in your life simply because when you see hear and respond to His calling, you will find a rest in your soul that is indescribable.
STOP DOING: To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
  • Question: When you approach a follower of Christ, does your mind ever wander and you see the individual through your lens of measure rather than Gods? I happen to believe that God sees us first through the blood of the Lamb as faithful rather than unfaithful. He sees our potential rather than our shortcomings. He believes that redemption was enough to change us, empower us, and make us faithful to His calling in life. After all, it’s by grace that we have been saved, through faith, and that not of ourselves unless we should be proud and boast.
  • STOP seeing the worse in people and believe and see the very best. People will rise up to the potential that you see them and treat them.
CONTINUE DOING: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • I run to this as often as I can. When in trouble and in turmoil, the effort of self is a revolving effort to nowhere! Peace in my soul and grace to accomplish the task before comes thought Christ alone. I’ve been around the mountain of self-effort so often that I almost immediately recognize it throughout the day. The natural man is full of pride but in Christ, we are born not by the will of man but by the will of God and our nature has been changed, transformed, and raised up to be seated in heavenly  places in Christ Jesus. The same grace that was in Peter, the apostle Paul, and Jesus Himself has been given us. Peace is not the absence of turmoil as we often hear. Peace is being in the midst of it and still maintaining the focus and determination to make life count for eternal purposes. Nothing can move you when this truth is settled within.
  • Continue to pursue peace throughout your day. It’s sources resets within you NOW.
PRAYER: Father, may today be a day in which You are exalted in the most honorable way. May people hear and experience Your loving Hand upon them as they attend a place of worship. At Crossroads Church in Seguin, may You be welcomed and felt in a loving way and let not one person leave that place without looking up to give You thanks. We love and honor you today Master. Holy Spirit, lead and guide us throughout the day.