Thursday, February 28, 2013

Busy in the Word
























About six months ago I asked the LORD to provide opportunities for me to preach, teach, and facilitate five times per week. God answered my prayer very quickly, and I'm now teaching, preaching, participating in or facilitating participatory Bible studies about seven times per week, sometimes more. This is one of the reasons this blog has been less active. I'm about maxed out as far as commitments, and meditating on the word constantly. My week looks something like this:

Monday afternoon: DBS on the Gospel of Mark with my ESL class.
Monday night: DBS on Seven Stories of Hope at Tim Horton's

Tuesday afternoon: DBS on the Gospel of Mark with my ESL class.
Tuesday night: DBS on the Gospel of Luke at my house.

Wendsday night: House fellowship

Thursday morning: Church Planter's DBS at Coffee Shop (we're using a slightly different curriculum available at cityteam.org)
Thursday Afternoon: DBS on the Gospel of Mark with my ESL class.
Thursday Night: Catalyst Young Adults Group

Sunday Morning: Preaching about once a month.

The demographic of these studies ranges from leaders and church planters to former addicts and homosexuals as well as practitioners of other religions who are discovering the words of Jesus for the first time. This is in addition to my personal reading and study practices, which by God's grace have not slacked.

I encourage everyone to join or start a Bible study that focuses on disciple-making and obedience.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Powerful Foundation (February 2013 Newsletter)


And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:4-5

Our faith is not meant to be in wisdom, speech, understanding, theology or even doctrine but in the power of God. The awesome ability, strength, and might of God our Savior is the foundation of the Christian life. Our life with God sprung from the supernatural resurrection of Christ by the power of God and continues through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Good News of the Kingdom is the power of God for all who believe. It is the power of God that transforms us. It was the power of God that parted the Red Sea and delivered Israel from bondage, and it’s the power of God that delivers every captive today. It was the power of God that shook Paul and Silas’s prison and broke every chain, and it’s the power of God that opens prison doors and shakes off shackles today. The power of God changes circumstances. The power of God demonstrates the love of God and changes people forever.

It was the power of God’s Spirit and the demonstration of God’s power in signs and wonders that prompted Paul to claim, “In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ” or “preached the gospel fully” (Romans 15:18-19). The Good News is not news of a faraway God who only forgives sins, but an ever present God who is an awesome deliverer and strong tower for his people. He is near to all who call on Him, to all who call upon him in truth (Psalm 145:18). As believers we were made to experience the power of God and demonstrate the power of God in our lifestyle, holiness, love, and in miracles that follow those who believe.

The power of the Holy Spirit is our hope (Rom 15:13). We are hopeless without the power of God. Human wisdom, understanding, and ability will shift like sand, but we can have a constant, anchoring hope in the power of God. We have a joyful expectation that God will move mountains and perform miracles on behalf of His beloved. Christ himself embodies the power of God and the wisdom of God, and the message of the cross is the power of God to those who are saved (1 Cor 1:24, 1 Cor 1:18). Jesus is a man of power and his atonement and resurrection defeated every enemy and provided for the salvation, deliverance, and healing of every human being. This is not some ethereal provision. It’s the power of God touching a human life. The kingdom of God is not in word but in power (1 Cor 4:20). It’s not just to be talked about, but to be experienced. It’s real. Faith accesses the power of God and faith works by love (Gal 5:6). God’s great power is available to all who believe and released by all who love.

This kingdom is near to us and within us, and we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us (Luke 17:21, 2 Cor 4:7). Our Lord Jesus took on an earthen vessel, came as a human being, and entered human existence and suffering, yet now he lives forever by the power of God. “For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you” (2 Cor 23:4). The power of God should be our whole life. We live by the power of God and are kept by the power of God for salvation (1 Peter 3:22), and it’s by His power that we are given all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

The Gospel is the Good News that the power of God has come in Jesus Christ to transform every aspect of our life and person. We live as new creations, one spirit with God, crucified and resurrected with Christ by the power of God. We’re not the same. We’ve been changed. The Good News of the Gospel is that there is power. You don’t have to stay the same, you can be changed! Every bondage, addiction, captivity and sin must bow to the name of Jesus. We are freed by the power of God and empowered to free others. The kingdom always advances in power and the best is yet to come for all who believe!

“Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness,
The power and the glory,
The victory and the majesty;
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O Lord,
And You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You,
And You reign over all.
In Your hand is power and might;
In Your hand it is to make great
And to give strength to all.
-1 Chronicles 29:11-12

Read the rest of the February 2013 Newsletter
Read past Newsletters.