Where to from Here? (3)

Taking the next step in our faith isn’t always easy.

As new believers, we may have a hard time discerning the things that rally spur us on to greater growth in our faith. So far, we’ve learned that we must have a passionate pursuit of God, and that the power to change comes from the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us.

The Holy Spirit has some partners when it comes to change in our lives. One of those partners is the Word of God. As we read the Word of God, the Holy Spirit takes GOd’s Word and reveals truth. Then, as truth is revealed to us, we adjust our lives an obey what we have learned. Henry Blackaby says, “The Spirit always uses God’s Word to reveal Himself and His purposes. The Spirit uses God’s Word to instruct us in the ways fo God.”

Without a doubt, the Bible is a key when it comes to our Spiritual progress. In fact, real life change cannot occur without the living Word of God.

“All Scripture is inspired by God, and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.” II Timothy 3:16



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Where to from Here? (2)

Sometimes we just don’t know what to do next.

We get stuck.  We get confused.  This can be true Spiritually.  In our lives as believers it is important to know what to do next when it comes to growing in our faith.  The truth is, we all need to be reminded of the basic, fundamental attitudes and actions that allow us to grow up Spiritually.  Last week, we learned that we must pursue this relationship with God passionately.  We must desire it out of an adoration of His character and a gratefulness for what He has done for us in Christ.  In short, we have to want it with all of our hearts.

This week, we will learn that the power to change comes from a very special gift that God gives us at salvation.  In fact, without this gift, we are doomed to failure.  Learning to walk and live in the Spirit of God is the key to life change in every believer.  Isn’t it good to know that we have a helper and a comforter as we pursue the goal of Christ likeness?



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Where to from Here? (1)

Several years ago, I was hiking in an unfamiliar area, and suddenly  realized that the trail split in two directions. I had to make a choice, but I knew that only one of those choices would lead me to where I wanted to go. I simply did not know what to do next.  I made a choice, but it was hard to take the next step.

Have you ever been in the middle of something, but had no idea what to do next?

This can happen to us in our walk with God. When we first come to Christ, we are overwhelmed at His grace and mercy in our lives and gladly accept His offer of forgiveness and relationship. However, sometimes the question then becomes, “Where to from here?”

New believers may be fearful of going the wrong direction or simply confused at how to deepen this brand new relationship with God.  Even those that have been Christians a long time may need to be reminded of the very simple “next steps” with their Savior.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to dig in to the question, “Where to from here?” and take the right trail in following Jesus. By the way, I took the wrong trail, got lost, but at least I made it back before dark. It’s sure a good thing that we have a “road map” as believers called The Bible.



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Sanctity of Human Life (2018)

This is a sensitive subject.

The sanctity of human life, abortion, and adoption can bring up lots of strong feelings and images of angry people on all sides of the issue. In today’s message, we seek to lay a biblical foundation and create some spiritual anchors.

When we, the church, declare the truth from Scripture that LIFE begins at conception, we must do it in honest, consistent, bold, and gentle ways. In order to be clear about the sin of abortion, we must also be willing to enter into the solution. Too many people have never encountered the hope that is in Jesus either because the church is apathetic or because of the fear that all they will find is judgement and anger in the church.

The church has to be a place of love and healing.

 


This weeks message from Steve Carpenter is from our Atoka Campus.  If you missed the message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast. 


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Why Generosity? (3)

If you’ve ever been to a big time sporting event, then you know that fans can get pretty excited about their favorite team.  They will paint their faces, wear crazy outfits, and yell their heads off for hours for their team.  They are fans.  They are not there when the team is running wind sprints in practice at 6:00am.  They are busy refilling their drinks when the team is digging deep and suffering through injuries in order to win the game.  They are fans.  They are just finishing off their 15th chicken wing when the team is recovering in the locker room after giving it all they had.  They are fans.  If the team struggles, their enthusiasm wanes.  They might even stop flying the flag on their cars, or maybe even switch loyalties to another team.  They are fans.

In the church today, we have too many fans of Jesus, and not nearly enough followers.  There is a HUGE difference between fans and actual team members.  Jesus didn’t come to entertain everyone in huge arenas or to give interesting speeches. He came and called out a group of people that would go all-in for Him and for His Kingdom.  He calls players and not fans.  He calls disciples, and not spectators.  He wants folks that will live and die with the team.

Today, in our final message of the series, “Why Generosity?”, we are going to consider what it looks like to sacrifice for the mission.  When I give myself and my resources to God, how is He using it?  We will learn that generosity is not something that God wants from us, but something He wants for us.  He wants to wrestle the idols out of our hearts.  Would you let God do that today in your heart?



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