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4 posts from February 2013

02/24/2013

Sharing the Good News!

Today we looked at how Philip simply shared Good news to the Ethiopian.  Are you ready to share the Good News if someone asked? I often find people are afraid to share their faith because they aren't sure they will explain it or get it right. Here is a very simple presentation of the Gospel that is easy to remember. It has 2 points of bad news and 2 points of good news.  I'll script it out here and then end with a link to a video version that fleshes it out a bit more. Praying you will grow in comfort to share this.

 

The Bible contains both good news and bad news. The bad news is about us. The Good news is about God. First the bad news.

 a. We all fall short of what God desires of us. The Bible calls that sin.

 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23

 

Sin is simply missing the mark. While we may think there are
lots of people worse than us, God doesn't grade on a curve. When we lie, hate,
cheat, gossip, lust or whatever, we have missed God's standard. And that sin
separates us from God. It is hard coming to a holy God when we feel that way.

 The bad news gets worse.

 b.  The wages of our sin is death.

 For the wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23 

 We get a paycheck for our work.  We end up getting compensating and receive what we deserve. When we miss the mark with God, our relationship with Him dies. Ultimately there is eternal spiritual death. 

But there is good news.

 a. Christ died for you.

 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that  while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

 

He died in our place. It would be like having cancer and  someone comes and takes the cancer cells out of you and has them injected into them. If that happened you would live and that person would die. Jesus took the cancer cells of sin from us. HE died so that we might live.

 This is the good news that Christ took my place. He died on a cross and paid a price for me. He didn't need to die. He had no sin. But he took my place.

 The good news gets better.

 

b.  You can have eternal life and a relationship with God by trusting Christ.

 You can have a relationship with a Holy God by trusting that He died in your place. That simply is the gospel. Christ took our place on the cross. The wages of our sin is death, but He died on the cross taking our sin upon Him. He died in our place.  Do you trust that He did that for you?

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that
not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, let anyone should
boast.   (Ephesians 2:8-9)

 We must depend on him for a relationship with God. You don't  depend on your good works. You depend on him. 

 

Here is a link to that presentation:

http://evantell.org/GetStarted/GetaLife.aspx

 

02/18/2013

Don't Miss the Bible!

I don't usually recommend movies or television shows. I have my favorites, but I recognize that everyone's taste is somewhat different.

So I am stepping out this month and going to recommend that you watch the new miniseries coming on the History Channel that tells the story of the Bible. It runs for 5 Sunday nights ending on Easter Sunday. Beginning in Genesis and concluding with Revelation, this mini series gives a chronology of God's power, love and redemption culminating with His return.  It is produced by Mark Burnett who is one of the most influential producers in television today. And co produced by his wife Roma Downey who you may remember from Touched by an Angel.  They worked to create a quality production that shared the love of God through Christ.

Why should you watch it? Well here are a few reasons.

 

It will help you get an overview of the Bible and an understanding of where all the stories of the Bible fit. I find that people know some of the Bible stories, but they don't have a good understanding of the chronology. Which occured when? What else was going on when that story occured. This will help provide that.

It will help you get into the Bible. I would encourage you to watch the show with a Bible in hand. If you hadn't heard of something before, look it up. If you haven't understood something, bookmark it to read. If you think the movie got it wrong, then open your Bible and check for yourself.

It will help your family get into the Bible.  You won't have many opportunities to sit as a family and go through the Bible from cover to cover. This will be one of them.  What a great family night to watch the Bible come to life for 2 hours.

It will help your friends get into the Bible.  Talk to your friends about it. Maybe invite some skeptics to come and watch. Talk about it after. There are resources coming out to create discussion guides and studies.  Most people I have talked to who say they don't believe the Bible have never read the Bible. Challenge them to at least watch and discuss with you.

I have only seen a few clips. And those I have seen are powerful.  While I have not seen the whole movie, one of the missionaries I know and have supported highly recommends it. He is Geoff Tunnicliffe who is now the head of the World Evangelical Alliance has seen the whole series and highly recommends it. In fact he helped consult on the project through its duration and speaks very highly of it.

The Bible premieres on Sunday, March 3 on the History Channel.

My family has a date to watch it each Sunday night. I hope that you will be inspired by it.

 

Here are a couple links.

 

This is a movie trailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1hThfoBzWxw

 

This is Geoff Tunnicliffe talking about Moses and the Burning Bush

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXsw4W8zBpU&feature=youtu.be

 

 

 

02/13/2013

Calvary's Latest Addition

There are those "defining moments" in our lives when situations happen that leave an impression that change us. I remember as a teenager my aunt was going through a challenging time in her life. She broke down talking to my mom and said that she so needed to meet with God she went to 3 churches that day and they were all locked. She simply wanted a sacred place to pray and could not find one. Of course we can pray anywhere at any time and God is present, but there are times we want a quiet and safe place to do that. Over the years, I have met many people who have come to the churches I have been at just to pray. After all, Jesus said my house shall be a house of prayer. (Matthew 21:13)

 

That is why I am so glad to let you know that the latest addition to Calvary is completed. Our new prayer room is available as a sacred place to meet with God. It is open and available for people from any campus and from our community to come and pray whenever the building is open. It is set up that even if someone else is praying, there is a spot for you to meet with God. We have Bibles available and place to record your prayer request or praise.  On Sunday mornings our prayer team will be there to pray for people or to help people find a place where they can pray alone.  It is our prayer that this will be a place for great ministry and for a deep work of the Lord. Please use it. Please tell others to come. Should you want to have a short prayer retreat, it is there for you.

I am so grateful to the many people who helped volunteer to make it possible. Some of our Project 50 money was used for that. We had volunteers come and work on the construction. One of our members came by the church to try to find his wife's bible and saw the construction. He was an electrician who happened to be between jobs and gave us 2 weeks of his labor! That was a real blessing for us.

I have already heard answers to Bold Prayers from this past Sunday night. Sometimes God moves quickly. Other times He appears to move slowly. He is never late. And He is always on time. Praying Boldly for you

02/10/2013

What happens when a church prays

Words can't really express what it feels like to see hundreds of people missing the Grammy's to come simply to pray. Yes there was powerful worship which in its purest form is prayerful communication with God. Yes there were the biggest cupcakes you will ever see! But people came to pray.

People humbled themselves before a great God.

People wrote their sinful weaknesses believing God could forgive them.

People made representations of the idols of their lives and smashed them down believing Jesus is bigger.

People received prayer from the elders.

People reflected and shared communion.

People thought about what it meant to be part of a family.

And People prayed.

Boldly.

Some prayed for the restoration of their marriage.

Some prayed for their health.

Some prayed for their finances.

Some prayed that they would run to Jesus instead of food.

Some prayed that the addictions in their life would be conquered.

Some prayed that prodigal children would come home.

Some prayed that Jesus would be lifted up.

Some prayed that the church would be the church.

People felt the presence of God.

Revelation 8 tells us that when we pray, all Heaven stops to listen.

God listened to the prayers of His people tonight.

He turned His ear to us.

He pours out His spirit on us.

He heals our land.

 

I love the Lord because He has heard my cry and listened to my prayer.

I am so humbled to see people eager to meet with Jesus. I am so humbled to work with such an incredible staff who after a full full weekend stayed all afternoon to prepare for prayer and worship. I am humbled to shepherd people who have a heart for prayer.

What happens when a church prays?  I can't wait to see the fulfillment.