1. Lose weight 2. Stop smoking 3. Stick to a budget
4. Save or earn more money 5. Find a better job 6.
Become more organized 7. Exercise more 8. Be more
patient at work with others 9. Eat better 10. Become a
Over 80% of resolutions are not kept!
The truth is, however, that without resolving to change, nothing
will be different
We either plan to win or we plan to fail
There is no middle ground!
Today we are going to look at how to make 2015 a year when we win!
Personally, and as a church!
TO PERSEVERE – verse 12
Paul had a lot of achievements in the physical realm, just like all
When we look at our lives in detail, we have a lot to be thankful
This church as well has achieved a lot. Will talk about that in the
business meeting on Jan 18. In some ways we are like the church in
Smyrna, Rev 2:8 – we have gone through hard stuff, and satan's
attacks, but we are still in the fight!
But the most important thing for Paul was that one goal, the pearl
of great price, the treasure for which he would give up everything
That treasure was to know Jesus intimately, and to achieve the
purpose for which Jesus had laid hold of him
For Paul, that was what his whole life revolved around
And so he persevered, he pressed on. He was not satisfied with the
What has Jesus laid hold of you, for? What does he expect of you,
What does Jesus expect of this church? Are we doing what he is
This is a time for introspection, for looking inside our heart
When we stand before Jesus and give an account of how we conducted
our lives, will we have accomplished what he has asked of us?
Some of us have been persevering, drawing near and being obedient to
our call. We are persevering
Others of us may not have been doing so well.
Today is a day when we can get back on track, and then persevere
till we achieve that purpose!
TO FORGE AHEAD – verse 13-14
As we have seen in previous weeks, God's kingdom is a growing
It does not reach a point of self-satisfaction, thinking it has
It is the same with us!
We leave the past behind and reach forward to the future!
We look to what is ahead of us, and make plans for future growth!
What is it that God wants to do in your life, this coming year? If
you don't know, ask him! Listen for his quiet voice. Expect his
answer! Write it down!
This church is making plans to forge ahead! More about this on Jan
We will be setting goals
How about ourselves? What goals have we set for this year?
Goals that are a part of the purpose God has for us, personally?
Is he showing you he is changing your direction either slightly or
in a big way? Build this into your plans!
Then forge ahead, throw yourself into achieving those goals
We walk by faith and not by sight – 2 Cor 5:7
TO MAINTAIN MOMENTUM – verse 15-16
As we mature in our Christian walk, we can look back at a history of
both accomplishments and setbacks
Paul is telling us to look at those things which we have succeeded
in, and maintain the momentum we achieved
What things worked for you, this last year?
What made it work? Decide to continue doing those things!
Learn lessons from the past and then plan to maintain momentum in
those things that God blessed!
Here are some of the things that have worked in this church:
We are a small church, but even when we were larger, this church was
a family! We welcome visitors into our family!
We have a dedicated worship leader and we enter into God's presence
with anointed worship each Sunday!
We have been responsible in paying off our debts, as a church!
Around $58,000 in the last 4 years!
We actively pursue God's presence and leadership
We are not afraid to actively confront the enemy, which is a
distinctive of our church.
These are things we need to maintain, they are a part of our
So how are we going to make 2015 a winning year?
Plan to persevere and not give up – discover what Jesus expects of
you, and persevere in doing this. Get back on track if necessary,
but persevere in accomplishing God's purpose
Plan to forge ahead – set goals, which fit into God's purpose for
you, and then throw yourself into it!
Plan to maintain momentum in those areas of life God is blessing!
Move forward in new areas God is leading you and at the same time
maintain momentum in the areas where God is blessing you.
Above all, let our central focus be seeking God and his perfect will
If we do this both as an individual, and as a church, the fruit will
Last week I mentioned
a dream I had a couple of months ago
In this dream, I saw
Mt Susanville erupting, and boulders rolling down its sides
A couple months
before that someone came and asked me about a dream she had had,
where once again boulders were rolling down the hill, through a mist
and yet no one was being hurt. At the time I did not know what this
I now believe both
dreams were about the Kingdom of God increasing territory in
Susanville, in other words, revival.
As in Dan 2 – the
stone cut out of a mountain without hands, and then filling the
But what is it that
prepares the way for revival?
What are the
conditions like when revival happens?
Today we are going to
talk the conditions that precede revival.
KING SAUL – PROUD AND
Saul was the first
king of Israel. He was a Benjaminite, he believed in God's
guidance, and he had a low estimation of himself
1 Samuel 9:1-14 –
searching for donkeys, servant encourages Saul to enquire of God
God tells Samuel to
anoint Saul to be king
And the donkeys have
Saul depends heavily
on Samuel to pray and intercede for him, does not seem to have had a
close personal walk with God
He starts seemingly
humble, but his position goes to his head and he is proud and
disobedient, finally even seeking guidance from a fortune teller
King Saul was
definitely not leading the people into revival
It was Saul's choice
– it grieved God that he had made Saul king – 1 Sam 15:35
DAVID – HUMBLE, WHOLEHEARTED, OBEDIENT AND REPENTANT
David however, was different
Sam 16:13 – David anointed king
was the youngest brother, he had a humble heart
looks at the heart
is important to God, it helps us keep our roles in perspective
29:23, Isa 57:15, Isa 66:2
9:11, 111:1, 119:2, 10, 34, 58, 69, 145, 138:1
was important to David to worship with all his heart, no divided
know about David's relationship with God, through the Psalms
tells of David that He could trust David to do his will – Acts
sinned. He sinned big time
tries to destroy David's relationship with God, by tempting him with
a beautiful woman, Bathsheba. David commits adultery, and ends up
murdering her husband, to have this lady as his wife
reaction is to repent, once again with all his heart
prayer of repentance is recoded in Psalm 51
David was humble, whole hearted, obedient and repentant
was this David who desired to build a house for God, a temple, to
have God close to him
SOLOMON – HUMBLE AND TEACHABLE
told David the temple would be built by his and Bathsheba's Solomon
we see God making something good turn out from a terribly sinful
experience in David's life
started his reign with a humble and teachable heart
Kings 3:1-15 Solomon asks for wisdom
7-9 – He shows his humility
asks God for wisdom
this period of his life, Solomon was still right with God
it was during this time, that Solomon builds the temple
Ark is brought into the Holy of Holies
Levites sing praise to God accompanied by trumpets
glory cloud fills the temple!
leads the people in a prayer of dedication of the temple – 2 Chron
falls from heaven on the altar, and consumes the offerings presented
to God, and God's glory fills the temple afresh
appears to Solomon in a dream again, and accepts the prayer of
dedication - 2 Chron 7:1-16
14 – heal their land
God warns Solomon to stay obedient, or consequences would happen
we are to see Revival, or an Awakening, in this nation, in this
county, in this city, or in our personal life, these qualities
should be evident:
is why, tomorrow, we are going to fast 7 hours, to ask the Lord to
hear our prayers this week, and bring change in our nation
the president on down
Christians, we are humbling ourselves in fasting and prayer
are doing this with all our heart
are repenting of disobedience, and setting our course to be
obedient in the future
Day – There Is Life on The Other Side!
was early in the morning, still dark
was lying in bed, thinking about the last few days
was just a few days ago when Jesus and his friends had eaten the
had said some strange things, but now John understood what he had
been warning them about
of them was going to betray him
could not comprehend this! Though the signs had been there for
quite a while
had been critical and seemed resentful towards Jesus
he had now gone and committed suicide. How awful! John had lost
two close friends in just a few days
what had become of all the promises Jesus had made?
had told of having to go to the Father, and of sending the Holy
John had seen them lay Jesus' body in the tomb.
could all this now be fulfilled?
It was 23 years ago, on Feb. 27, 1991, at the height of Desert
Storm, that Ruth Dillow received a very sad message from the
Pentagon. It stated that her son, Clayton Carpenter, Private 1st
Class, had stepped on a mine in Kuwait & was dead.
Dillow later wrote, "I can’t begin to describe my grief &
shock. It was almost more than I could bear. For 3 days I wept. For
3 days I expressed anger & loss. For 3 days people tried to
comfort me, to no avail because the loss was too great."
3 days after she received that message, the telephone rang. The
voice on the other end said, "Mom, it’s me. I’m alive."
Ruth Dillow said, "I couldn’t believe it at first. But then I
recognized his voice, & he really was alive." The message
was all a mistake!
said, "I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels,
because my son whom I had thought was dead, was really alive. I’m
sure none of you can even begin to understand how I felt."
HAPPENED ON RESURRECTION DAY?
comes and sees that the body of Jesus has gone
assumes someone has taken the body
and John run to the tomb to see what had happened
verify that the body has gone
says John believed – he believed that the body had been stolen,
just as Mary Magdalen had said
and John go home, while Mary stays at the tomb, crying (John
looks inside the tomb and sees two angels sitting where Jesus' body
had laid – they ask why she is weeping, and she responds that the
body has been stolen, and she does not know where it is
then turns around and sees someone she thinks is the gardener
asks why she is crying and she gives the same answer
says to her, Mary
she recognizes Jesus! He is alive!
this point, Jesus had not yet returned to the Father. Jesus tells
tells Mary to tell the good news to the other disciples
that day, in the evening, the disciples are behind locked doors
because they were afraid of the religious leaders
Jesus appears in the room! (John 20:19-23)
Jesus who had died on the Cross, is alive again!
shows them his body, the holes where the nails had torn his hands
and feet, and the hole in his side where the spear had been jammed
is alive! He has been raised from the dead!
IS LIFE AFTER DEATH!
was seen by hundreds of people after his resurrection!
is the first of many who will be resurrected to life!
there is no resurrection, why go through the tribulation of this
life and struggle and fight against sin
might as well just live it up and die!
Jesus WAS resurrected, and there is hope for those who have died!
29 – if there is no resurrection, why repent and be baptized,
replacing those who have previously died in Christ (baptism is an
outward expression of our faith in Jesus and our repentance from our
old ways – it cannot be done on behalf of someone who has died,
because they are unable to repent and have faith in Jesus)
a number of us had deaths in the family
good news is that there is life beyond the grave!
was resurrected on Resurection Day, and he is the forerunner of all
those who will be raised to Life when Jesus returns!
Dillon's son called and told her he was alive and not dead as she
appeared to the disciples and told them that he was now alive!
living Jesus can make change in our lives!
Jesus is alive today, it changes everything!
life we live today is not just for today and after that, oblivion.
there is life on the other side!
you want to make a commitment to Jesus, so you can share all
eternity with him?
"We see Grace Fellowship as being a growing, Spirit-filled, multi-generational, multi-cultural, unified, motivated body of believers, reaching out into the Susanville, Janesville and surrounding communities, overcoming spiritual opposition, and extending encouragement, restoration, healing and deliverance through a vibrant relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ."
fall down ravines and can easily break their legs
stand out in wet pasture land, and develop foot rot, a bacterial
infection which causes the hoof to rot, and the sheep would
ultimately need to be put down
of the roles of a shepherd is to take care of his sheep
his sheep need healing
will take the hurt sheep and do what is needed to restore it to full
puts antiseptic ointment on the cuts and tears
sets the broken limbs, and puts them in a splint, so the leg heals
digs out the infected tissue in the feet, trims the hooves, and
soaks the feet in an antiseptic zinc solution.
then separates the sheep from any possible source of reinfection
we are going to look at an often forgotten aspect of healing
we grow as a church people will be coming here who are hurt and
hurts will not be the same as this sheep, but they are hurt
kind of hurts they have are physical hurts, like illnesses.
they also have emotional hurts and wounds
the physical and the emotional hurts need healing, God seeks total
recovery for his people
is his will for us that we enjoy good health and that all may go
well with us – 3 John 2
10:10-11 - the good shepherd comes to bring life to the full!
sheep that is hurting with foot rot is in continual pain, so much
that it can often be forced to its knees
is not living life to the full
shepherd needs to bring healing
is the same with people
can walk around with our hurts and damages from the past, and they
will spoil all the enjoyment we can have
we can bring these hurts to the Good Shepherd, for healing
GOOD SHEPHERD AND GRACE
is our shepherd
says, I am the Good Shepherd
was the God of the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament
let's take a look at one aspect of this God
is a God of grace
word Grace, in Hebrew, is chanan
word means (1) to BE gracious, to show favor, to be compassionate,
(2) to MAKE gracious, to make favorable, to direct favor or to have
mercy on someone, (3) to BE SHOWN favor, mercy or compassion
believe this word may have been the reason the original name of this
church was Canaan Rest – the rest that comes when we receive grace
good name for our church would be House of Grace
is a God of grace
aspect of his character shows that he desires to extend grace and
favor to his people
extends favor to those who come to him for help in time of need
us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
In the Old
Testament, in the temple, in the Holy of Holies where God revealed
his presence, was the ark of the covenant.
On this ark or box,
were two golden cherubim, facing each other
They were known as
the covering cherubim, and the place they covered was the Mercy Seat
God says we are
free to come before the mercy seat, whenever we need help or
It is where we
It is where God
extends grace, favor and compassion to us
ASKING FOR GRACE
We are told in
Hebrews, that we can come boldly to that place of grace, in our time
We all know that we
need to trust God or have faith, when we ask for healing
But grace extends a
whole new aspect to our asking for healing
God is the good
shepherd who loves his sheep, and extends favor to us, and is
compassionate, and merciful
Because of this
grace that is extended, we can experience health, and wellness
Both in our
physical bodies, but also in our emotional life
God wants to heal
us, wherever we are at.
to leave her poor Brazilian neighborhood, Christina wanted to see
the world. Discontent with a home having only a pallet on the floor,
a washbasin, and a wood-burning stove, she dreamed of a better life
in the city. One
morning she slipped away, breaking her mother's heart.
what life on the streets would be like for her young, attractive
daughter, Maria hurriedly packed to go find her. On her way to the
bus stop she entered a drugstore to get one last thing. Pictures.
She sat in the photograph booth, closed the curtain, and spent all
she could on pictures of herself.
her purse full of small black-and-white photos, she boarded the next
bus to Rio de Janiero. Maria knew Christina had no way of earning
money. She also knew that her daughter was too stubborn to give up.
When pride meets hunger, a human will do things that were before
this, Maria began her search. Bars, hotels, nightclubs, any place
with the reputation for street walkers or prostitutes. She went to
at each place she left her picture--taped on a bathroom mirror,
tacked to a hotel bulletin board, fastened to a corner phone booth.
And on the back of each photo she wrote a note.
wasn't too long before both the money and the pictures ran out, and
Maria had to go home. The weary mother wept as the bus began its
long journey back to her small village.
was a few weeks later that young Christina descended the hotel
stairs. Her young face was tired. Her brown eyes no longer danced
with youth but spoke of pain and fear. Her laughter was broken. Her
dream had become a nightmare.
thousand times over she had longed to trade these countless beds for
her secure pallet. Yet the little village was, in too many ways, too
she reached the bottom of the stairs, her eyes noticed a familiar
face. She looked again, and there on the lobby mirror was a small
picture of her mother.
eyes burned and her throat tightened as she walked across the room
and removed the small photo. Written on the back was this compelling
invitation. "Whatever you have done, whatever you have become,
it doesn't matter. Please come home." She did. - Max
Wonder They Call Him the Savior,
Multnomah Press, 1986, pp. 158-9.
have talked about how lost sheep are without hope
have spoken about how God has committed to us the ministry of
have talked about going fishing
have talked about what Susanville sheep look like
But what is
the vision we have for the Grace Fellowship
this fit in to the bigger picture?
mentioned before how this church was given a founding prophecy,
which said that this church would be a source of healing and
restoration for this community
this look like?
Here is the
vision I have for this church:
statement - We see Grace Fellowship as being a growing,
Spirit-filled, multi-generational, multi-cultural, unified,
motivated group of believers, reaching thousands, with
multiple church services, church plants, home groups and ministries,
reaching out into the Susanville, Janesville and Lake Forest communities,
overcoming spiritual opposition, and extending encouragement,
restoration and healing through a vibrant relationship with our Lord
The baby has
been conceived, this church now pregnant
WHAT DO WE BRING
TO THE TABLE?
co-laborers with Christ
Takes all of
Our gifts –
fill out form and place in basket
- Loaves and fishes
We may not
think we have much to offer, but God has a way of multiplying
1:26-31 – our calling
We are not
necessarily the world's brightest
But God will
use anyone who is dedicated to him
- Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit
despise the day of small beginnings
WHERE DO WE
Acts 1:8 –
start at home with your friends
7:17-24 - In whatever station of life, make the most of it
Psa 1:3 -
Grow where planted
who you are and your circumstances
Some did not
agree with moving to our present location
with where we are now
aware, and this is where we are today
where we stand
where we plant our flag
I see an
army come over the crest of the hill
armor and carry swords
helmets flash as the sun catches them in the distance
stretched in a line from horizon to horizon as far as the eye can
midst is a banner
The motif on
the flag is the Lamb of God, bearing a Cross
come to bring hope and freedom to the lost
against the darkness to set the captives free
We are in
In next few
weeks we will start our preparations for reaching our community