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”