Monday, April 18, 2011

God Came Down

Sunday service was awesome and the message was great as usual.  Today our children’s minister, Petie gave the message and I want to share it with you.

God Came Down -

Jesus is the most central figure and the most controversial man talked about in history.  He accomplished much in the 33 years of his life and only 3 years doing his ministry.

We all agree that He was a man.  He was like you and me - a baby, a teenage, had an occupation as a carpenter and experienced everything we experience.
Jesus is at the top of two lists.
     1.      He was a great man - the way He treated people by helping and healing.
     2.     He was the greatest teacher of all time.

So what’s the big deal?  He was not just a great man and great teacher. 
He is GOD!
John 1:1-14 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning….”  (V14)“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
God coming down to us is unique and happens in no other religion.  He has a relationship with us and understands us, because as a man, He went through everything we go through. 

Jesus Himself said He was God.
John 14:6-7 - “Jesus said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you knew me, you would know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
John 10:33 – “I and the Father are one.”

Even the demons knew He was God.
Luke 4:31 – “Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!  But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.”

People worshiped Him.
Matt 21:9 - “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!’ “  (Hosanna means ‘God you are here.’)

His actions showed He was God.
He turned water into wine, fed the 5,000, healed many people by his touch alone, walked on water, raised the dead – pretty good evidence that He is God.
So what do we did with Jesus?
Some Christians are only “Buffet Christians”.  We pick and choose what we want to do for Jesus – like we choose what to eat at a buffet.  We will feed the hungry, clothed the needy, but will not preach the gospel as Jesus commands.  We don’t want to offend anyone so we don’t tell them about Jesus.  Isn’t it a greater offensive to not tell someone they are going to hell?  We are more concerned about their earthly life than their eternal life.  When He comes again, the only thing that will matter is what we did with Jesus.  Either Jesus was a liar, a crazy man or He is Lord.
Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ “

Do you know Jesus? Do you have a relationship with Him?  Is He Lord of your life?  Do you put your trust in Him?  Do you share Him with others?  Do you seek His will?  Do you spend time with Him in His word regularly?   

If you are not sure, get on your knees and admit that you are a sinner, confess your sins, believe that Jesus is the Christ who went to the Cross for you, taking your guilt upon Himself and enduring God's judgment in your place.  Then believe that Christ rose from the dead on the 3rd day, conquering sin and death, and that He ascended to the Father in heaven to reign as Lord.  But don't stop there!  Find a church and fellowship with other Christians where you will find encouragement.  Spend time in reading the Word, praying and listening to God so you will grow in your faith.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Prayer for the Salvation of the Lost

A dear friend gave me a book called "Prayers That Avail Much" by Germaine Copeland.  In this book she uses scripture and puts into the form of prayers.  The prayers are broken down into different needs one may need to pray, such as -  prayers of salvation; overcoming depression, discouragement, worry, etc.; concerns of single, divorced, and the widowed; marriage, wives, husbands, home, etc.  You get the picture.  If there is a need, there is a scripture and prayer for it. God likes for us to pray His words back to Him.  I will share one of these prayers with you.

Prayer for the Salvation of the Lost

      Father, it is written in Your Word, "First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men" - 1 Tim. 2:1
      Therefore, Father, we bring the lost of the world this day - every man, woman, and child from here to the farthest corner of the earth - before You.  As we intercede, we use our faith, believing that thousands this day have the opportunity to make Jesus their Lord.
      Father, we know that Satan would prevent these from hearing truth, if possible.  We are human, but we don't wage war with human plans and methods.  We use God's mighty weapons to knock down the devil's strongholds.  With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God.  With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas and teach them to obey Christ.
      We ask the Lord of the harvest to thrust the perfect laborers across these lives this day to share the good news of the Gospel in a special way so that they will listen and understand it.  We believe that they will not be able to resist the wooing of the Holy Spirit, for You, Father, bring them to repentance by Your goodness and love.
      We confess that they shall see who have never been told of Jesus.  They shall understand who have never heard of Jesus.  And they shall come out of the snare of the devil who has held them captive.  They shall open their eyes and turn from darkness to light - from the power of Satan to You, God!
      In Jesus' name amen.

Scripture References
 1 Timothy 2:1,2                    
 2 Corinthians 10:3-5           
 Matthew 9:38
 Romans 2:4
 Romans 15:21
 2 Timothy 2:26

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Original Poems




Walking In The Light  

        (Taken from 1 John 1)


When walking with Him I walk in the light.

In God there is no darkness.

For Jesus’ blood does purify me from sin,

with Him I have forgiveness.


He’s with me each and every day

and His commands I try hard to keep.

He is always faithful and just.

He makes my joy complete.


The message I’ve heard from the beginning

to love one another.

I have passed from death to life,

because I love my brother.


What I will be in heaven

has not yet been made known,

but I know someday I’ll be with Him

as He sits on His heavenly throne.


God has given me eternal life

and this life is in His Son,

For my faith in Jesus Christ will carry me through

and the battle together He and I have won.

                                                                    --- by Linda Vittitow


     Forgive Me

Forgive my selfishness,
always wanting my own way.
May I yield only to your will
each and everyday.
Forgive my impatience,
wanting everything right now!
May I learn to wait for your timing
for you know when and how.
Forgive all my desires
to have more than I really need.
May I always give to others
and not be full of greed.
Help me strive to be worthy
all through my life,
So that my name will be written
in the Book of Life.

                                              --- by Linda Vittitow

My Heavenly Father  

He gives me instructions
that teach me right from wrong.
He’s always there beside me
to make my family and me strong.
He cares for me when I disappoint Him,
which is every single day.
He picks me up when I fall
and helps me along the way.
I make mistakes sometimes
and don’t do His will,
but He has always been beside me
and He is with me still.
He answers all my prayers,
but first I have to pray.
He has a good ear for listening
to whatever I have to say.
He’s no stranger to me
For I know who He really is.
He alone knows all of my weaknesses,
but still he makes me His.
Someday I’ll be with him in heaven
and see Him face to face.
I’ll thank Him personally for forgiveness
He gave me by His saving grace.

                                             --- by Linda Vittitow

Easter Message & Original Poem

The Greatest Event of All Times!

What is it?  It’s the first Easter!  What is Easter?  It isn’t Easter bunnies or Easter eggs.  Springtime and eggs were used as fertility celebrations throughout history.  We Christians do have Easter eggs hunts and give Easter baskets to our children on Easter morning, but view the Easter egg as a symbol of joy and celebration of new life and resurrection.  

Easter is about Jesus’ resurrection on the third day after his crucifixion.   It is the single most important event of the Christian faith.  We celebrate this glorious day each year remembering the suffering he went through and his willingness to die on the cross to pay the debt of all those who would believe and trust in Him.  Just as Jesus rose from the dead to new life and ascended into Heaven, we Christians believe we too will rise from the dead to receive new life after death and ascend into Heaven. 

Jesus’ resurrection has changed the world. 

There are at least 12 different appearances of Christ in the resurrection accounts in scripture.  They were physical, tangible experiences with Christ eating, speaking and allowing himself to be touched.  Jesus' resurrected body was no longer subject to the same laws of nature.  He could transcend locked doors, and yet he could still be touched and he could eat.

The tomb was sealed with a large stone so Jesus could not get out.  On the third day the stone was rolled away miracleously so that everyone could see that he was risen.  He was able to walk through walls in his resurrected body.  John 20:19 – “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be eith you!’ ”

Before Jesus ascended into heaven he gave the Great Commission, telling his followers to go and make disciples of all nations.  Matthew 28:19  -
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
1 Peter 1:3
”Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead... “


He Is Risen
 (Taken from 1 Corinthians 15)

If we hold firm to the word
   By the gospel we are saved.
Jesus died on the cross for us,
        And with His blood for us He paid.
He was buried. On the third day was raised.
He appeared to many, some have fallen asleep.
He sent His Holy Spirit to be with us
   To comfort, guide, and for us to keep,
Till He comes again in clouds with power
   That we might see His great glory.
We must continue to tell others
Of the wonderful story.
How He loved us so much
          And paid the ultimate price for our sins.
Someday He’ll come back to get us.
   In heaven together we will enter in.
So stand firm. Let nothing move you.
Do His work and your labor will not be in vain.
He will always stand by you
And in you, He will remain.
For by His love He has set us free
From life’s worldly prisons.
                                 -- by Linda Vittitow

Monday, April 4, 2011

What is Worship?

At church Sunday my pastor, Randy had another wonderful message.  It was on worship.  As always he makes me think and search myself.  I want to share some of his thoughts with you.

Worship is not just on Sunday morning -
We think worship is coming together on Sunday morning with other believers to praise God.  It is that, but much more.  When we leave the church, we then should scatter for action.  Do we leave church saying, “Let’s go out and worship.”  If Monday – Saturday were spent focusing our attention on God, our worship on Sunday morning would be much more meaningful.  The worship service is a big part of worshiping God – preaching, giving, baptizing, communion, praying together, reading scripture, music, and singing.  We need to make it a priority to come together to worship.  However, worship is where we put our focus and attention of what is important to us. 

Every thing is from, through and for God and we are to live as living sacrifices. 
Romans 11:36 -“For from him and through him and to him are all things.” 
Romans 12:1 -“I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”

We all worship something.  What or where is the # 1 thing you give most of your attention?  Where we spend most of our time, money and energy is worship.  Is it shopping, TV, golf, sports, sports events, hobbies, food, our children?  If we focus on these things more and put them before than God, that’s idolatry.   
Romans 1:25 “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen.”

God wants our worship -
We take a good thing and make it an idol.  What are your idols that compete with God?  Who makes the decisions for you?  Who sets your schedule?  Where or who does your approval come from?  Who gets your first fruits?  Do you tithe?  What do we long for or desire?  What’s your god? 
Exodus 20:3-5a “You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them…”

Worship is – offering our life to God and doing specific acts of adoration and praise.

Biblical principles for corporate worship -
God centered – We don’t have to feel good about everything that happens at the service.  It's not about us.
Gospel focused – It should always be about the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Seeker sensible – Be respectful to other people.  Maybe they are not use to coming to church.
Unselfish – It’s not what I want all the time.  It probably ministers to someone else.
Missionial – It should bring the message of Christ in some way.

Why is worship so important?
It is a commandment and we’re made for it.  We become like what we worship. 
If we love money we become greedy.
If we love power we become corrupt.
If we love religion we become religious and self-righteous.
If we love Jesus we become like Christ.  Anything else is idolatry.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”         

What false gods are you seeking instead of the one true God?  What consumes your thoughts, time, energy, and emotions?  Is it God Himself, or is it some idol which leaves you with nothing to give to the Lord?  We all have idols today.  I hope this has helped you identify your idols.  I know it opened my eyes.