Sunday, July 6, 2014

What Precedes Revival? 2 Chron 5:1-14, 7:1-3

What Precedes Revival?
July 5, 2014
2 Chron 5:1-14, 7:1-3

  • 2 Chron 5:1-14

  • 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 dream meant.
  • 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 whole earth
  • 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.

  • 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 been found
  • 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

  • King David however, was different
  • 1 Sam 16:13 – David anointed king
  • David was humble
  • David was the youngest brother, he had a humble heart
  • God looks at the heart
  • Humility is important to God, it helps us keep our roles in perspective
  • Prov 29:23, Isa 57:15, Isa 66:2
  • David was wholehearted
  • Ps 9:11, 111:1, 119:2, 10, 34, 58, 69, 145, 138:1
  • It was important to David to worship with all his heart, no divided loyalties
  • David was obedient
  • We know about David's relationship with God, through the Psalms
  • God tells of David that He could trust David to do his will – Acts 13:22
  • David was repentant
  • David sinned. He sinned big time
  • Satan 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
  • David's reaction is to repent, once again with all his heart
  • His prayer of repentance is recoded in Psalm 51
  • So, David was humble, whole hearted, obedient and repentant
  • It was this David who desired to build a house for God, a temple, to have God close to him

  • God told David the temple would be built by his and Bathsheba's Solomon
  • So we see God making something good turn out from a terribly sinful experience in David's life
  • Solomon started his reign with a humble and teachable heart
  • 1 Kings 3:1-15 Solomon asks for wisdom
  • verse 7-9 – He shows his humility
  • He asks God for wisdom
  • During this period of his life, Solomon was still right with God
  • And it was during this time, that Solomon builds the temple
  • The Ark is brought into the Holy of Holies
  • The Levites sing praise to God accompanied by trumpets
  • The glory cloud fills the temple!
  • Solomon leads the people in a prayer of dedication of the temple – 2 Chron 6:1-40
  • Fire falls from heaven on the altar, and consumes the offerings presented to God, and God's glory fills the temple afresh
  • God appears to Solomon in a dream again, and accepts the prayer of dedication - 2 Chron 7:1-16
  • verse 14 – heal their land
  • Finally, God warns Solomon to stay obedient, or consequences would happen


  • If 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:
  • Humility
  • Wholeheartednes
  • Obedience
  • Repentance
  • This 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
  • From the president on down
  • As Christians, we are humbling ourselves in fasting and prayer
  • We are doing this with all our heart
  • We are repenting of disobedience, and setting our course to be obedient in the future
  • This is what precedes God's coming to his people
  • This is what precedes revival

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Resurrection Day - There is Life on the Other Side! - 1 Cor 15

Resurrection Day – There Is Life on The Other Side!
April 20, 2014
1 Cor 15:1-11

  • It was early in the morning, still dark
  • John was lying in bed, thinking about the last few days
  • It was just a few days ago when Jesus and his friends had eaten the Passover meal
  • Jesus had said some strange things, but now John understood what he had been warning them about
  • One of them was going to betray him
  • John could not comprehend this! Though the signs had been there for quite a while
  • Judas had been critical and seemed resentful towards Jesus
  • But he had now gone and committed suicide. How awful! John had lost two close friends in just a few days
  • So what had become of all the promises Jesus had made?
  • He had told of having to go to the Father, and of sending the Holy Spirit
  • But John had seen them lay Jesus' body in the tomb.
  • How could all this now be fulfilled?
  • ILL. 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.
  • Ruth 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."
  • But 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!
  • She 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."

  • John 20:1-10
  • Mary comes and sees that the body of Jesus has gone
  • She assumes someone has taken the body
  • Peter and John run to the tomb to see what had happened
  • They verify that the body has gone
  • It says John believed – he believed that the body had been stolen, just as Mary Magdalen had said
  • Peter and John go home, while Mary stays at the tomb, crying (John 20:11-18)
  • Mary 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
  • Mary then turns around and sees someone she thinks is the gardener
  • He asks why she is crying and she gives the same answer
  • Jesus says to her, Mary
  • Now she recognizes Jesus! He is alive!
  • Mary is overjoyed!
  • At this point, Jesus had not yet returned to the Father. Jesus tells tells Mary to tell the good news to the other disciples
  • Later that day, in the evening, the disciples are behind locked doors because they were afraid of the religious leaders
  • Suddenly Jesus appears in the room! (John 20:19-23)
  • The Jesus who had died on the Cross, is alive again!
  • He 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 in.
  • Jesus is alive! He has been raised from the dead!

  • 1 Cor 15:1-9
  • Jesus was seen by hundreds of people after his resurrection!
  • He is the first of many who will be resurrected to life!
  • Verse 20-29
  • If there is no resurrection, why go through the tribulation of this life and struggle and fight against sin
  • We might as well just live it up and die!
  • But Jesus WAS resurrected, and there is hope for those who have died!
  • Verse 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)
  • Recently a number of us had deaths in the family
  • The good news is that there is life beyond the grave!
  • Jesus was resurrected on Resurection Day, and he is the forerunner of all those who will be raised to Life when Jesus returns!

  • Ruth Dillon's son called and told her he was alive and not dead as she had supposed!
  • Jesus appeared to the disciples and told them that he was now alive!
  • A living Jesus can make change in our lives!
  • If Jesus is alive today, it changes everything!
  • The life we live today is not just for today and after that, oblivion.
  • No, there is life on the other side!
  • Do you want to make a commitment to Jesus, so you can share all eternity with him?
  • So your life can be changed?
  • Let us pray

Monday, March 17, 2014

Grace Fellowship Vision Statement

"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."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

House of Grace - Healing Sheep - Jn 10:10-11

House of Grace
March 16, 2014
John 10:10-11

  • Sheep get hurt
  • They develop cuts and tears
  • They fall down ravines and can easily break their legs
  • Sheep 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
  • One of the roles of a shepherd is to take care of his sheep
  • Because his sheep need healing
  • He will take the hurt sheep and do what is needed to restore it to full health
  • He puts antiseptic ointment on the cuts and tears
  • He sets the broken limbs, and puts them in a splint, so the leg heals up properly
  • He digs out the infected tissue in the feet, trims the hooves, and soaks the feet in an antiseptic zinc solution.
  • He then separates the sheep from any possible source of reinfection
  • Today we are going to look at an often forgotten aspect of healing

  • As we grow as a church people will be coming here who are hurt and damaged
  • Their hurts will not be the same as this sheep, but they are hurt nevertheless
  • People need healing
  • The kind of hurts they have are physical hurts, like illnesses.
  • But they also have emotional hurts and wounds
  • Both the physical and the emotional hurts need healing, God seeks total recovery for his people
  • It is his will for us that we enjoy good health and that all may go well with us – 3 John 2
  • John 10:10-11 - the good shepherd comes to bring life to the full!
  • The sheep that is hurting with foot rot is in continual pain, so much that it can often be forced to its knees
  • This is not living life to the full
  • The shepherd needs to bring healing
  • It is the same with people
  • We can walk around with our hurts and damages from the past, and they will spoil all the enjoyment we can have
  • Or we can bring these hurts to the Good Shepherd, for healing

  • God is our shepherd
  • Jesus says, I am the Good Shepherd
  • Jesus was the God of the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament
  • So let's take a look at one aspect of this God
  • God is a God of grace
  • The word Grace, in Hebrew, is chanan
  • This 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
  • I 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
  • A good name for our church would be House of Grace
  • God is a God of grace
  • This aspect of his character shows that he desires to extend grace and favor to his people
  • He extends favor to those who come to him for help in time of need
  • Hebrews 4:16 Let 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 healing.
  • It is where we receive grace
  • It is where God extends grace, favor and compassion to us

  • We are told in Hebrews, that we can come boldly to that place of grace, in our time of need.
  • 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.


  • Longing 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.
  • Knowing 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.
  • With 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 unthinkable.
  • Knowing this, Maria began her search. Bars, hotels, nightclubs, any place with the reputation for street walkers or prostitutes. She went to them all.
  • And 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.
  • It 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. 
  • It 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.
  • A 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 far away.
  • As 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.
  • Christina's 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 Lucado, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, Multnomah Press, 1986, pp. 158-9.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

God hasn't healed me yet - now what? - Luke 18:1-8

God hasn't healed me yet - now what?
March 9, 2014
Luke 18:1-8

- Sometimes we pray for something from God and it is as though God has not responded
- Sometimes a person has a serious illness, has called for the elders of the church repeatedly, and has still not been healed
- Does this mean God does not want to heal?
- Does it mean this is something he does not want to get involved with?
- Does this mean we just have to go on suffering?

- 1. Go to the elders of the church and be prayed for
- James 5:14-16
- How often do we do this?
- We get sick and just live with the consequences
- We think because we are not complaining to God, we are doing ok
- But actually we have not been obedient to this instruction
- How can we expect God to heal if we are not obedient to his instructions?
- We explain this by saying, I didn't want to bother the minister
- Or, Pastor always seems so busy
- The fact of the matter is, we did not do what he said to do
- Why is this so important?
- It takes a certain humbling of ourselves, to submit and do things God's way
- We have heard the story about Naaman who came to Elijah for healing from Leprosy - 2 Kings 5
- He was told to go and wash in the Jordan river 7 times
- His reaction was, why do I need to do that, I want things to be done my way
- When he humbled himself and was obedient, he was healed
- 2. Pray in faith
- When we receive prayer, we expect the minister to pray in faith
- But where is our own faith at?
- Are we believing that Jesus will heal us?
- Time and time again, Jesus says healing is dependent on our faith - Mat 9:2, 22, 29, 15:28, Mark 2:5, 5:34, 10:52, Luke 5:20, 7:50, 8:48, 17:19, 18:42
- We are told, The just shall live by faith - Heb 10:38 (whole verse)
- God desires people to come to him, trusting him
- He does not appreciate people coming to him half-heartedly

- Sometimes we go for prayer, and nothing seems to have happened
- How should we deal with this?
- Luke 18:1-8
- Here is a person who has an issue, and Jesus relates it to our prayer life
- What if God does not respond immediately?
- Keep on praying in faith
- Don't think, I guess God doesn't like me
- Don't think, He doesn't want to heal me
- Just keep on praying
- Sometimes God is testing us to see how obedient, and how full of faith we are
- Abraham was told to go and sacrifice his son Isaac - Gen 22
- It was a journey of 3 days, plenty of time to think about it
- God then says, Now I know you fear me and have not withheld your only son - v.12
- 1 Pet 3:9 trial of your faith

- Dan 3:17-18
- Being faithful even when things do not go our way shows that we are allowing God to be in charge
- We are entrusting our lives to him
- Not every disease will be healed in this life
- But we do know that when we stand before Jesus, we will no longer experience sickness, pain and death any more
- Because we are now with Jesus, for ever more

- If we have not yet been healed, ask self why it is
- God is faithful
- Be obedient to God's instructions, to ask for anointing
- Pray in faith, expecting results
- Continue praying in faith, God is listening

- Finally, allow God to do things his own way, not having to fit our personal agenda

The Coming of the sheep Catchers - Acts 1:8

The Coming of the Sheep-Catchers!
March 9, 2014
Phil 3:13

  • During past few weeks we have talked about sheep.
  • We have talked about how lost sheep are without hope
  • We have spoken about how God has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation
  • We have talked about going fishing
  • We have talked about what Susanville sheep look like
  • But what is the vision we have for the Grace Fellowship
  • How does this fit in to the bigger picture?
  • I have 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
  • What does this look like?
  • Here is the vision I have for this church:
  • Vision 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 Jesus Christ.
  • The baby has been conceived, this church now pregnant

  • We are co-laborers with Christ
  • Takes all of us
  • Our gifts – fill out form and place in basket
  • Luke 9:12-17 - Loaves and fishes
  • We may not think we have much to offer, but God has a way of multiplying things!
  • 1 Cor 1:26-31 – our calling
  • We are not necessarily the world's brightest
  • But God will use anyone who is dedicated to him
  • Zech 4:6-10 - Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit
  • Do not despise the day of small beginnings

  • Acts 1:8 – start at home with your friends
  • 1 Cor 7:17-24 - In whatever station of life, make the most of it
  • Psa 1:3 - Grow where planted
  • God knows who you are and your circumstances
  • Some did not agree with moving to our present location
  • Be content with where we are now
  • God is aware, and this is where we are today
  • This is where we stand
  • This is where we plant our flag
  • Psa 60:4

  • I see an army come over the crest of the hill
  • They wear armor and carry swords
  • Their helmets flash as the sun catches them in the distance
  • They are stretched in a line from horizon to horizon as far as the eye can see
  • In their midst is a banner
  • The motif on the flag is the Lamb of God, bearing a Cross
  • They have come to bring hope and freedom to the lost
  • They fight against the darkness to set the captives free
  • We are in this army
  • In next few weeks we will start our preparations for reaching our community

“Onward Christian Soldiers”

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Heart for the Hopeless – there is no hope without Jesus - Luke 15:4-7

A Heart for the Hopeless – there is no hope without Jesus
February 23, 2014
Luke 15:4-7

  • A sheep wandered away from the flock
  • It had no concept of the danger it was in.
  • It meandered down the narrow, almost invisible path that sheep make as they find their way across the field, down to the river
  • It was quiet here, there was shade from the sun, there was water and green grass
  • It lay down in the grass, slowly chewing its cud. Then its tormentor arrived
  • A fly kept buzzing around. The sheep shook its head, time and again, till the fly settled on its ear
  • The sheep could not scratch its ear, so it rolled on its side, trying to get rid of the pesky parasite
  • It its attempts to get rid of the fly, the sheep rolled over, onto its back
  • Horror of horrors!
  • Suddenly the sheep could not right itself
  • Sheep have a broad, flat back, and they are unable to rescue themselves from this position
  • The sheep started bleating for help
  • But it had wandered away from the flock and its shepherd
  • They couldn't hear the sheep!
  • As the sheep struggled, it grew gradually weaker and weaker
  • Its situation was hopeless. Death was only a matter of time.
  • Today we are going to talk about the rescue of this lost sheep

  • Luke 15:4-7

What is a lost sheep?
  • This sheep was lost, not in the sense that it did not know where it was, but in the sense that its situation was hopeless
  • This sheep had a place where it belonged
  • It had a flock to which it was attached, it had a shepherd who took care of it
  • It had food and shelter, everything that it needed
  • When it left its home and wandered away from the shepherd, suddenly it discovered life could be dangerous, when it was on its own
  • A sheep could die out there!
  • People are a lot like sheep
  • People start off all innocent and childlike
  • Just like Adam and Eve
  • God created them, gave them a protected environment
  • He took care of them and they had all that they could want
  • But then they wandered away from God
  • They went ahead and did their own thing
  • They discovered that the forbidden fruit looked good, tasted great, and it was totally desireable
  • Having wandered away from God, though, they were now fair game for the enemy
  • The enemy tricked them, and they rebelled against God
  • When they rebelled against God, they lost his protection and provision.
  • It was at this moment, that life became hopeless
  • There was no hope.
  • All they could now look forward to, was death
  • Just like our sheep.

What does that death look like?
  • This morning I was asking God about the sermon.
  • About the lost sheep
  • Here is what I wrote in my journal:
  • “My thoughts are not your thoughts. I look at things differently than you (Isa 55:8).
  • “In my presence there is fullness of joy evermore (Psa 16:1).
  • But for the lost there is only darkness and torment (Jude 1:13, Matt 8:12, 22:13), because they do not want me in their lives (John 3:19), they do not want to walk with me
  • “Many have said Yes, Yes, but do not do the things that I say (Matt 7:21-23, Luke 6:46-49)
  • “Their place will be outside the Kingdom, in darkness and pain
  • “But for those who do choose to walk with me, who have my heart and think like me, there will be joy and fulfillment for ever more.”
  • Time and time again in the Old Testament, God calls to his people, come back to me, why would you suffer, why don't you change your ways and repent
  • Jer 35:15
  • This is God's heart
  • God is seeking the lost sheep
  • God's heart is totally motivated by love, he IS love (1 John 4:16)
  • He has no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked (Ezek 33:11)
  • He has sent us into the harvest as his workers
  • Our task is to bring in those who have been sold for destruction, and offer them life instead
  • We are God's instruments in reaching our world
  • The mission field starts right outside our front door
  • 2 Cor 5:17-20
  • God has called us to be his agents in rescuing the lost sheep and bringing them home


  • In the coming weeks we will be exploring and getting fired up for the task God has called us to
  • We have been called to reach our friends, family and neighbors with the good news that life is not without hope, that no matter where we have been, or what we have done, God has not given up on us
  • He has called us to bring the lost sheep of Susanville, into the fold, into a saving relationship with Jesus
  • Let's have God's heart for those without hope 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Healing the Brokenhearted - Luke 4:18

Healing the Brokenhearted
February 9, 2013
Luke 4:18


  • How many of us have felt brokenhearted?
  • Perhaps it is because someone betrayed us
  • Perhaps it is as a result of something terrible that happened in life
  • Perhaps someone let us down, our expectations were not met
  • Perhaps someone close to us died, and we mourn their loss
  • Perhaps it is because we feel like we are nobody, no one respects us or seems to care about us
  • Our heart can be broken by many things
  • How can we be healed and our broken heart mended?


  • Luke 4:18 - The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
  • Greek suntribo  -  meaning bruise, break, broken to shivers, brokenhearted, break in pieces
  • 1) break, to break in pieces, shiver 
  • 2) to tread down - to put Satan under foot and (as a conqueror) trample on him -  to break down, crush -  to tear one's body and shatter one's strength
  • When our heart feels trampled upon, when we feel broken in pieces, when our strength is shattered, when we are bruised and the pain does not seem to go away, we are broken hearted
  • Sometimes our emotional hurts find their way out in our bodies
  • Many verses in Proverbs express the concept of psychosomatic illnesses
  • Doctors say that over 80% of our illnesses, while they may be real symptoms, have their origin in our thinking
  • So how do we deal with our thinking?


  • Rom 12:2 – be transformed by the renewing of your mind
  • We are used to thinking particular ways
  • We react in a predictable manner
  • The way we think has to be renewed so we think differently about things
  • Let's take an example
  • Say we have just been hurt by someone saying something about us, behind our back
  • Our natural reaction is to be angry at the person who did this, we tend to avoid being around them, and we feel sorry for ourselves.  We nurse the hurt and let it go round and round in our head
  • But our thinking must change
  • So, how do we do this?
  • 1. We replace negative thoughts with positive ones
  • So we drink in what God's word says about it
  • Psa 107:20 - He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
  • Rom 10:17 - So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
  • Psa 147:3 - He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
  • We may feel this is impossible, but with God all things are impossible – Mark 10:27
  • 2 Cor 5:7 - For we walk by faith, not by sight:
  • 2. We respond to situations the Christian way, not led by our flesh
  • Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.
  • Matt 6:14-15 - For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
  • 3. We trust that God will work things out
  • Psa 34:18 - The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
  • Isa 41:10 - Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
  • Psa 55:22 - Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.


  • It hurts to have a broken or bruised heart
  • Sometimes it has many layers of hurt
  • But God says he will heal the brokenhearted
  • If you have a broken heart, tonight is your night to let it go!

Vision for the Future! - Luke 4:18

Vision for the future
February 9, 2014
Luke 4:18

  • Story about need for vision
  • "It started like so many evenings. Mom and Dad at home and Jimmy playing after dinner. Mom and Dad were absorbed with jobs and did not notice the time. It was a full moon and some of the light seeped through the windows. Then Mom glanced at the clock. "Jimmy, it's time to go to bed. Go up now and I'll come and settle you later." Unlike usual, Jimmy went straight upstairs to his room.
  • "An hour or so later his mother came up to check if all was well, and to her astonishment found that her son was staring quietly out of his window at the moonlit scenery. "What are you doing, Jimmy?" "I'm looking at the moon, Mommy." "Well, it's time to go to bed now."
  • "As one reluctant boy settled down, he said, "Mommy, you know one day I'm going to walk on the moon."
  • "Who could have known that the boy in whom the dream was planted that night would survive a near fatal motorbike crash which broke almost every bone in his body, and would bring to fruition this dream 32 years later when James Irwin stepped on the moon's surface, just one of the 12 representatives of the human race to have done so?" - Bill Hybels, Who You Are When No One's Looking, IVP, 1987, p. 35.
  • Today we are going to talk about vision
  • I am not bringing a new vision - this church was given its founding vision 35 years ago
  • God brought the laborers together who were to bring this vision to reality
  • Today we are going to look at where Grace Fellowship has been, and where it is going

  • 2700 years ago, during the reign of Hezekiah, the prophet Isaiah was given a word
  • It is recorded for us in Isa 61:1
  • This word was not for that time
  • Certain things had to happen before the word would start to be fulfilled
  • The Assyrian empire would come onto the world scene, and be gone
  • The Babylonian empire would rise under Nebuchadnezzar and fall to Darius, the founder of the Medo-Persian Empire
  • The Persian empire would come and then be gone, defeated by Alexander the Great
  • The Greek empire under Alexander conquered the whole of the known world, but when he died, it was divided to his four bickering generals
  • The Roman general Pompey took over Alexander's mantle and conquered most of the territory Alexander had subdued, including Palestine in 63 BC
  • Judea was now under Roman rule. Herod the Great was appointed by Rome to keep the Jews in check.
  •  It was in this atmosphere of a down-trodden nation under Roman rule, that Jesus grew up in, in Nazareth, a Roman garrison city
  • When Jesus turned 30, he was asked to read from the scroll of Isaiah
  • Luke 4:18 " The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
  • This was a popular message at that time.
  • Crowds flocked to Jesus. He started to fulfill these words, by preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God, by healing the sick, and setting people free from demonic oppression
  • But he did not complete that task
  • He passed that task on to his followers
  • John 20:21 "as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."
  • Matt 28:19-20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen"
  • Mark 16:15-20 "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned
  • "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover
  • "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."
  • The vision Jesus gave the church was to go out, preaching the gospel, healing the sick, and setting the prisoners free
  • This is our vision

  • Grace Fellowship was planted by Pastor Dom Contreras in 1979, under the name Canaan Rest
  • A word given to the church at that time said that this church would be a place for healing and restoration for this city of Susanville
  • Under the Clarksons, this church grew, and there was a sense of family as the Lord gave us space to grow and mature and develop
  • Healing rooms were established at the old church building on 5th and Cedar Streets
  • People were healed, the signs were following
  • Under Pastor Allen, the church moved to this building
  • The church grew in numbers, but turmoil came and our numbers declined rapidly
  • This is the point at which Dianne and I were invited to come to shepherd this church
  • The vision God gave me many years ago, was Luke 4:18, that God was calling me to continue in the vision Jesus passed on to the church, to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the sick, and to release the oppressed.
  • The repercussions at Grace Fellowship took some time to work their way through. 
  •  Attitudes and resentments had to be resolved.
  • However, we have now thankfully reached a place of stability
  • It is time for us to return to the vision God has for this church, to be "a place for healing and restoration for the city of Susanville"
  • This includes healing and deliverance, the signs following to confirm the preaching of the Word.

  • In your bulletin you have a summary of our finances over the last three years, since Dianne and I came to this church
  • Our finances and our attendance have stabilized
  • Tithing per attender has actually increased over each of the last three years for which we are very grateful
  • The church has been faithful in paying its tithes and undesignated missions giving to Foursquare
  • What is more important than the finances, is the work God has been doing
  • 17 people have been baptized in 2013. 9 people were filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
  • Grace Fellowship is represented in the formation committee for Teen Challenge, a Christian residential addiction recovery program
  • People have been set free from demonic oppression, often referred to us by other churches.
  • We continue to support Crossroads Ministries, our local mission to the homeless and needy of this town, financially, by our serving with bi-monthly Saturday dinners and by our weekly Friday morning Bible study
  • Our prayer team received training from our Teen Challenge prayer coordinators in Grass Valley. On the first Tuesday each month I pray with James Rorie the pastor of the Greenville AOG church for Teen Challenge, for our communities, and for our churches
  • Last month we started a monthly healing service on the second Sunday of the month, at 6pm
  • The very first service, we experienced Jesus' healing touch
  • This evening will be the second healing service, come along and be blessed
  • We have been moving back into the vision to which Jesus has called us

  • This year we plan to reach out more into the community
  • Part of this plan is to build connection with the community by providing a community dinner each month. This will start next month, on March 30. There are many people in our community who are going hungry, and we want to serve them as we are able.
  • After Easter we will initially run an Alpha course at church so we will all know what it is about. It is an exciting course to help us, our friends and family develop in their walk with Jesus.
  • In the Fall, we expect to run the course as an evangelism tool, to reach out to the people in our community
  • We will continue to have the monthly healing service, and will publicize this in the community
  • Bernice has been helping in prison ministry with Frank and Darlene on Main yard. I have just received clearance to CCC prison, and will be restarting the monthly Bible Study on Lassen yard, on Feb 24
  • So we are continuing with the vision.

  • Each of us has a part to play in following this vision.
  • We need people first of all, who are praying and supporting those on the front lines
  • We need everyone to be obedient to God's call to support the work he is doing, financially, through our tithes and offerings
  • But each of us also needs to be an army of one, to reach our friends and neighbors and bring them to church. If each of us encouraged just one friend to come to church, our church could double in size in a year!
  • But it is not about the numbers, it is about being a person whom God can use in bringing healing to a hurting community
  • That is our vision!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

It is Time to Let Go! - Phil 3:13

It is Time to Let Go!
January 26, 2014
Phil 3:13

  • The story is told about the baptism of King Aengus of Munster in Ireland, around 445 ad.
  • Sometime during the rite, St. Patrick leaned on his sharp-pointed staff and inadvertently stabbed the king's foot.
  • After the baptism was over, St. Patrick looked down at all the blood, realized what he had done, and begged the king's forgiveness.
  • Why did you suffer this pain in silence, the Saint wanted to know. The king replied, 'I thought it was part of the ritual.'"
  • Many of us have experienced pain
  • That pain may come from hurts, betrayals, offences and painful experiences
  • Why is it so hard to let these things go?
  • Why do hurts sometimes go down so deep that we can't seem to forget them?
  • And how can we move beyond this pain and leave it behind?
  • This morning we are going to examine the subject of letting go of hurts.

  • We can be hurt by many things
  • Like king Aengus, the hurt may be a physical pain, a cut, a broken bone, a torn ligament. Our physical bodies will heal and the pain will lessen and be gone
  • It is the pain we experience in our emotions, that is so tough to leave behind.
  • The hurt is there because someone close to us damaged us in some way
  • Sometimes the hurt is intentional, while other times it may be due to misunderstanding
  • Something may be said thoughtlessly, and cause pain.
  • Other times the thing that was said innocently may hit a raw nerve, and we experience pain, not because of the word that was said, but because of an earlier hurt which had not yet been resolved.
  • There are many ways in which we can be hurt
  • James 3:2 – it is so easy to offend. We all do it.

  • Part of the reason why it is hard to let go of hurts, is that this is not the only time we have been hurt.
  • If hurts are not dealt with appropriately as we go through life, the pan accumulates.
  • Until finally we can't take it any more and we explode in anger, at either the actual source of the pain, someone else who hurt us in the past, or an innocent bystander who has nothing to do with it!
  • Past hurts lead us to put up defenses, to prevent us being hurt again.
  • Prov 18:19
  • We may withdraw from people, we may change our personality and become abrasive or angry, we avoid certain people, we attack them by gossiping about them. There are so many kinds of defenses.
  • But they all revolve around protecting our self. It is us who has been hurt and we will not allow that to happen again.

  • It is good to look at how God would want us to react.
  • Often in the heat of the moment we do not think like that, but now, after some time has passed, we can look at the better way to deal with it
  • Jesus set us an example
  • Isa 53:3-7
  • Jesus experienced rejection, humiliation, mocking, gossip, false accusations, all kinds of things that cause deep wounds in our soul
  • Yet he did not respond in kind, he did not lash out, or get even, even in his inner thoughts
  • Instead, he said “Father forgive them, they don't know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34)
  • He looked at the bigger picture. His suffering in this life was to pave the way for forgiveness for any who turn to him
  • By the pain of his stripes, we receive healing
  • Healing of our emotions is possible and it is offered to us as a part of Jesus' sacrifice for us.
  • Looking at the bigger perspective, allows us to forgive the person who has hurt us, from the heart
  • Matt 18:35
  • We do this because we see that we too need that forgiveness, so we extend forgiveness to the other
  • Then the way is clear for Jesus to bring healing in our soul
  • He removes the pain from the memory and enables us to move on


  • We have a choice.
  • We can hang onto the hurts of the past, because they give us a sense of power over the other individual
  • Or we can forgive that person, totally, and then ask Jesus to heal the pain we have been suffering
  • It is time to let go of past hurts
  • The past has held us back
  • It is time now, to let go of that hurt that held us back, and be released to move forward into the future God intends for us