Monday, November 30, 2015

Walk by Faith

2 Corinthians 5:4-7 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not, But the just shall live by his faith.

Acts 26:17-18 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Romans 4:25 – 5:1-2 “(Jesus) was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 3:22-24 “The Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Walk in Faith, Brian

Sunday, November 29, 2015

I Thank My God

Philippians 1:3-6 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Pastor Kyle seldom find the luxury of not being mid-series on the Sunday before Thanksgiving to give a special Sermon on the meaning and significance of this extraordinary holiday. Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest travel holidays during the year. In 2012, AAA estimated that nearly 44 million people traveled during this long holiday weekend as we get together with relatives. Blood is truly thicker than water and we find purpose, and value in the love of family then. Thanksgiving is a powerful time when American families gather to reflect on the blessing in their lives and gratitude is a universal language. But, Thanksgiving is actually about gratitude to the Lord for our many blessings.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Pastor Kyle gives us five things we should thank God for this Thanksgiving holiday weekend: (1) Thank God for people. God uses  people in our lives and uses our life in theirs; in both good relationships and hard relationships. So, who do you need to thank God for? (2) Thank God for privilege of financial sacrifices, using our god-given time, talents and treasures for the purposes of the kingdom. What are you storing away in your heart? Jesus knows. (3) Thank God for hardships, knowing that they shape us into the people that God wants us to be. Gratitude is the key to enduring adversity by unlocking the door to pain and avoiding the poison of bitterness. Life is too short, so embrace and cherish every moment in thankfulness.

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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.

(4) Thank God for Obedience – especially when it’s hard. Know God, love God and serve God. It’s easy to obey the God-rejecting world, but it takes courage to obey God in that world-system. When our human capacity to love runs out though, Divine love abounds for us to tap into. Obedience doesn’t produce rewards, but is the natural reaction and routine of the child of God.

Romans 1:20-21 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

(5) Thank God for Jesus and for His grace. Our Creator Father is a living God. Jesus came to die for our sins, but Jesus is alive. Be thankful for Lord Jesus and his salvation which is eternal life in Heaven, beyond this life. I thank my God in all remembrance of you.

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Team Jesus

Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

The Holy Bible states that Christianity is a community of Believers making up the “body of Christ” with Jesus as the head. Pastor Kyle equates this united world-wide kinship of brothers and sisters in Christ to a “Relay Race”. That Christianity is a team sport and those on “Team Jesus” are faithfully running one leg of this race for God’s purposes to reach the world with the gospel of Salvation. This life is an event that is about participating, not just sitting on the sidelines watching. The Coach has put us all in the race as a member of His relay team. We practice together to learn and perfect, not only running our leg to the best of our ability, but also to develop a flawless textbook receiving of the baton (the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ) from the preceding teammate runner behind us, and a seamless transfer to the next teammate runner in front of us.

1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

Though multiple complicated component, each member of Team Jesus has the same goal in the running of this race and depends on each other to compete and be competitive, to reach the goal. This works best when we work together and we let go of the things that we cannot control. Transformation doesn't happen by chance. Though God plus one is a majority, trying to run the race alone was never God’s intention. It’s design as a team effort. But, the very worse scenario is that we never run the race at all. Talents (both God-given skills and resources) were never meant to be buried – Matthew 25:14-30. Run this "Relay Race" of life together as a team, run your leg of the race in top condition and to the best of your ability, take the baton and hand off well and root the next runner on the team on. Our may be a small part of the united body of Team Jesus, but God sees every moment and approves. And in the end, we heard: “Well done good and faithful servant.”  

Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

In Christ, Brian

Friday, November 27, 2015


Ephesians 6:10-14 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.”

Michael writes this week that police officers and private security guards always wore their bullet proof vest.  We have to be prepared by putting on the full armor of God that we may be able to stand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. In Revelation 3:15, there is a warning about being lukewarm.  If lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, God will vomit you out of his mouth. Our challenge is to keep from being lukewarm. See 2 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant for your adversary prowls about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” Sober means don't be influenced by external influences or let your senses be dulled by sleep. Vigilant means deliberately shake myself out of the stupor, be alert and on guard.

1 John 2:1 “Our advocate is Jesus Christ who pleads our case before the Father.” 

Our brothers and sisters in Christ also advocates for us. God has set us in the body of Christ so that we can edify and build each other up. Not only must you know your advocates and commander in chief, you also must know your enemy.  We're here to help each others' unbelief, difficult moments and hard questions. He didn't call us to stand alone against the evil one, even though God plus one is a majority. When two or more are gathered together in his name, he said, "there am I in the midst of you." Outside of hating (what God hates) sin, hatred is from the devil: he hates God's people. The enemy is Satan himself, his hosts and the powers of darkness and principalities from on high. God is good; godless hatred is the absence of good.

Ephesians 6:15-18 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Which hat is God calling you to wear in this season of your life? The helmet of salvation takes on many forms: God will save us through the storms of life. Our prayer is not that God will deliver us from the storm but rather, through the storm. The helmet of salvation protects our mind, for the battlefield is in the mind. Child of God, what hat are you wearing? Our challenge is to go where God has called us and to bloom where he has planted us. Filled with the Holy Spirit, put on your bullet-proof vest of the breastplate of righteousness and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your brothers and sisters in Christ, against the adversary (the God-rejecting world system, the sinful desires of the flesh and the devil) to advance the kingdom of heaven.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing, the "upward newing" (Greek anakainosis), of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Your brother in Christ, Michael

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Psalm 100:3-5 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

I’d simple like to wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving Day. May the providence of Almighty God be the focus of our hearts today and everyday. God bless you.

Remember the original intent of this Holy Day. Here is part of President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of October 3, 1863: 
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty GodNo human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. 

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United Stated States to be affixed." - Abraham Lincoln

Happy Thanksgiving, happy thanksliving, and thanks be to God!
In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanks Forever Thing

Ephesians 5:20 “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I read lately that being thankful for everything that happens in his or her life to a Christian believer is listed in this section of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians as one of the evidences that a Christian is indeed “filled with the Spirit” – Ephesian 5:18.
That is not all. Not only for everything, but in everything, we should give thanks to God. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18. The article points out that these two commands are easy to obey when the living is easy, though we might easily forget to do so. But when the Lord is allowing us to hurt for a while, thanksgiving becomes hard. It is hard while we are experiencing the difficulty and just as hard when it has passed with no relief in sight. The two small prepositions “in” and “for” are different in New Testament Greek as well as in modern English, and God really wants us to learn how to thank Him both during and after the hard experience. Because He has allowed it for a good purpose!

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Paul says in Romans 5:3-5 that we can even “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”. Patience and real love will come to characterize a habitually thankful Christian. It’s “thanks for everything” and a “thanks forever thing.” In good times and bad times, in prosperous times and leans times, thanks be to God!

James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various  trials, (that is, “various testings”); knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanks to God

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

The origin of America’s Thanksgiving Day:

Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and had made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings. 

– William Bradford, Ye Governor of ye Plymouth Colony, November 29, 1623.

Thanksgiving is an annual reminder of America's Christian roots that goes back to the Pilgrims, we gave thanks to God. They had landed in early December of 1620, and about 50 percent of the Pilgrims died that first winter of 1621. But they were men and women of the Book and they believed the Word of God. There is nothing Americans cherish more than their freedom; and the origins of that freedom can be traced back to the Pilgrims. You may be surprised that the 1828 Webster's dictionary defines the word "Pilgrim" as one that has only a temporary residence on earth. Their purpose: " In the name of God, Amen ... by the Grace of God ... having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith" in religious liberty and freedom. 

May their steadfast faith and devotion to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be an example and inspire us all (in good times and bad times) to do the same in godliness and holiness. Give thanks to God.

In Christ, Brian

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thank Jesus

Leviticus 22:29 “When you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, offer it of your own free will.”

 1 Chronicles 16:8 / Psalm 105:1 Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! 

 1 Chronicles 16:34 / Psalm 106:1 / Psalm 107:1/Psalm 118:1 / Psalm 136:1 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!! For His mercy endures forever.

 Psalm 30:4 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

 Psalm 97:12  Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

 Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!

 Psalm 116:1, 17I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord. 

1 Corinthians 15:56-58 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Ephesians 5:18-20 “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Acts 28:18-22 “When they had examined me, wanted to let me go, because there was no cause for putting me to death. But when the Jews spoke against it, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything of which to accuse my nation. For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.” Then they said to him, “We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren who came reported or spoken any evil of you. But we desire to hear from you what you think; for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere.”

We have reached the end of our churches Sunday Sermon series through the Book of Acts. Pastor Kyle wanted to give us a few insights from the final verses of this great book. (1) A crisis in one community is no big deal in another community. You may have heard the old saying: “When in Roman, do as the Romans do”, meaning that what is important to some in one place is not important to others in another place and we have to adjust to our audience and their unique cares and concerns.

Acts 28:22-24 But we desire to hear from you what you think; for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere.” So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved.

(2) Some will believe in Jesus, some will reject Jesus. Who in your life today is listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit? Ultimately, it’s not up to us, as it is the Holy Spirit that prepares the listeners heart in advance to His voice and be transformed.

Acts 28:28-31 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!

(3) Paul’s and Luke’s purpose in Acts is fulfilled, but our part goes on because God’s purposes are never-ending. We need to keep a soft heart towards the voice of the Holy Spirit and let those who reject the gospel move on. In getting the gospel message out to our community, we must realize that our never-ending ministry is mainly focused locally within our sphere of influence. Each community reaching their community, neighborhood by neighborhood for Christ. Blessings.

In Christ, Brian