TESTS OF OUR FAITH AND ADAPTING TO GOD'S PLAN

 

As I type, God is testing City Life's faith in HIm. We're trying to discern what God wants us to do, and how to do it. We understand that God is the one who actually enables His people to achieve whatever it is we do. We are called to fulfill His plans, submit to His will, and be obedient to His directions for us. It applies to us as a church, and to us individually throughout our life time. 

It's been encouraging to read about past and present Christians who have experienced frustration and not knowing where the future lay for them as they sought God's direction, and then to see when the Light of God broke through and revealed His will. 

Our prayer is that all Christians would be so blessed, to be sustained by the Holy Spirit as they wait on Him. We rejoice with them in excitement and joy when God breaks through, as He always does. 

God bless you!

DOES IT MATTER WHO IS IN CHARGE?

The news these days can be discouraging. Violent acts of terrorism are being inflicted upon people here and in countries abroad. Many Americans are uncertain and fearful about what will happen in the U.S. as a result of the leaders we've elected. "Chaos" is one word used by a friend to describe how many view our future. What I'm hearing is that there is a need for hope, a ray of light, some breath of life that we can latch on to.

As we celebrated our Thanksgiving service this past Sunday, Pastor Linda Lampe (The Father's House) spoke on "thankfulness." She shared how she was in the hospital a few years ago because of a severe liver condition that almost killed her, and she was challenged to be "thankful." I can imagine that when it comes down to our life hanging in the balance, it forces us to think about what is really important, what are we really hanging on to. For Pastor Linda, she clung to God, our Father in heaven. Her soul was saved by the blood of the precious Son of God, Jesus Christ. Whether she lived or died, her trust was in God and not what the future would bring.

Our currency bears the words, "In God We Trust." Maybe these days are upon us to try us, as Christians, whether we truly believe those words. If we really do, then that will be our source of strength, of comfort. And I believe that it will show, like a city on a hill, or a lamp that can't be hid. Our reason to be thankful doesn't lie in the things we have or don't have. Our reason to be thankful is because we have God. 

Does it matter who is in charge? Yes; who is in charge of our heart, of our mind. And these days, many will be looking for some reason to believe things will get better. My prayer is that as your light shines, as your behavior provokes a question from those around you about how you can be thankful in spite of all that has happened to you, that you will seize that opportunity to tell them "Who it is" that is your reason for being thankful. 

 

 

Read Your Bible In 90 Days!

Katherine Weber, Christian Post reporter, wrote recently of how Billy Graham valued the Bible. Reverend Graham's view is that no other book is as important as the Bible and Christians need to make an effort to understand it.

City Life has begun an ambitious program to read through the whole Bible in 90 days together. We're using the B90 program developed by Scripture Awakening. Their website has several testimonials of people who have done it, some more than 10 times! I've been encouraged this past week by comments from various members about the readings because it indicates to me that people are actually participating!

Our hope and prayer is that this will help to build mature disciples of Christ who, as Paul admonished his protege Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15, will prove to be effective ministers of God.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (NASB)

This is a sermon in itself, but some of the outcomes we desire for our church family are:

That we will gain a Biblical worldview that guides our choices and direction in life;

That we see and cooperate with God’s will for us, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, as we read of the events recorded for us from Genesis through Revelation;

And that ultimately, we are transformed in our character by having His Word become life in us.

As with any endeavor, there are many distractions that can deter us from staying the course. Sometimes we can think ourselves into failure by citing the reasons we can fail, and perhaps never get out of the starting gates. I like Robert H. Schuller’s attitude:

I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.

Thanksgiving Week

It's the week of Thanksgiving and our thoughts turn to those that don't have the comforts we do. Things are far from perfect for us but this time of the year forces us to have some perspective. We are very grateful for the many things which we never worry about and often take for granted. We thank God for the little things and the big things and even for the hard things.  As it says in Romans 5:3-5

  " ...but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

Have you thanked God for your hard times?  Life can be tough at times but God isn't letting it happen just so you suffer or so that you "get what you deserve".  He wants to build perseverance, character, and hope in you.

God bless, enjoy your Thanksgiving!