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What are the foundations of our faith? What happens when our foundation is not solid? We are ineffective in our knowledge of God, how he sees the world and, as a consequence, our view of the world and events are shaped by others. That's a problem. When others shape our worldview rather than God, we come to wrong conclusions as to what is right or wrong and what God's desire for us is.
More specifically, this world will end. Its philosophies and pressures are at odds with God's. They will fade away but God's Word will never fail - it will never end. Something "foundational" for for us to understand is that God's original design was for us to have eternal fellowship with him face-to-face. But Adam and Eve sinned and the curse of death along with eternal punishment was brought into the world. We all are born into that curse and need a savior.
Because God loved the world, in due season, He sent his son to break the curse, redeem and restore us to direct relationship with him once again. That direct relationship comes through what is called the "new birth".
How does one experience this "new birth" and become a follower of the Lord Jesus as His Disciple? We must first from the heart believe that we are sinners and that Jesus died to pay the price for our sins. We must repent (turn away from our own selfish way) and ask God to forgive us. Then we take the important step of yielding our lives to Jesus and making Him our true Lord and Savior. That's when the new birth happens and we are changed into a new creation. The old things, selfish wants and desires pass away and God replaces those with his loving desires and attributes. We quite literally are a "new creation" and have been "born again."
This new birth is as real as physical birth and has the same net effect in the Spirit - to grow us into who we were intended to be - a reflection of the living God.
There are so many things to say and you can find the entire message on the Rez Life Facebook page which was live-streamed last week. In fact, this is lesson 3 of this foundational series. Each lesson deals with key topics that are important for us to live a full life in Christ. Lesson 1 dealt with the Word of God and its importance in our lives. Lesson 2 deals with sin, repentance and forgiveness. These are topics that you can use in having a firm foundation and being able to share your faith. Upcoming topics include:
Faith Towards God;
The Understanding of Baptisms;
The Laying On of Hands;
The Resurrection of the Dead;
Principles of Prayer;
Living Victoriously in Christ.
If you need the lesson outlines that go with this series, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you.
Also, just a reminder that you can join Pastors Bill and Sharon this coming week at Rez Life Shakopee ** AND ** Rez Life Chanhassen will be streaming only this coming week. We are looking forward to resume face-to-face meetings on July 12.
Also, please note that there is no Men's bible study this coming Saturday. Instead, enjoy your 4th of July with family. The men's group will resume 9:00AM Saturday July 11.
Time and locations, along with online giving, can be found on our church website https://rezlife.org.
I love you all and hope to see you at the Micro-Church on Sunday.
2020-06-23 Micro-Church Family UpdateHappy Father’s Day! Yesterday we had a tremendous time with the Micro-Church Families and Pastors Bill and Sharon. If you’re needing relationship, feeling isolated and lonely, maybe God is speaking to your heart to step out and come to one of the Micro-Churches. God is here for you and so is your family. We have Micro-Church Families in Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Shakopee and Belle Plaine. See the Rez Life Website for directions and other information.Well, Pastor Bill gave a tremendous message for all of us but especially fathers. If you missed it, I would encourage you to replay it on our Facebook page where it was live-streamed. I’ll summarize some of it below (but you’ll really want to hear it from him too 😊)Did you know that you can use the Word as a weapon? You betcha! He has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, but power, love and a sound mind. We say that a lot but sometimes we forget that it is more than a saying and is a powerful directive for our lives.As we begin to prophesy into our lives, we should also be a prophetic voice to other people, seeing and speaking their potential rather than their current state. The world (and even many Christians) has an identity crisis – even whether someone is a man or woman. But God speaks to us to let us know that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We are more than overcomers through him who strengthens and guides us.As earthly parents, we may be disappointed with our children’s behaviors but we still love them. Just like God loved us and with his discipline and care brought us back to him. We provide our children with advice and direction, companionship, parenting and discipline, values, education, protection, provision and so much more. The bible talks about those men and parents who won’t care for or provide for their relatives – especially of their own household. They have denied the truth and are worthless. But our provision is not just in the financial realm but all areas of life. We spend time with them. We need to be present in the lives of our children – helping them along rather than doing what we would rather do. It’s a process of denying our own wants as parents in order to invest in and grow our children into Godly adults.As hard as we try, the devil often comes to try and harden our spirit, separate and cause bitterness. It is a spiritual battle that must be waged but, praise God, we have mighty weapons through him and when we see through his eyes, we know what we must do. Things may be manifest in the natural – burning, looting, killing. But when you feel the bitterness rise, stop and see them as what they could be for God. Saul, a fierce persecutor of the church (murdering, burning, destroying Christians) became Paul the mighty apostle when he encountered Christ.These days there are many false arguments against the church and God. Persecution here may become more prevalent and we see elements of it starting at this time. But we need to understand that, God loved the world but not the “things” of the world. Likewise, don’t be worries by these things going on around us. In Philippians 4:4 Paul admonishes us to “rejoice in the Lord always…” “do not worry about anything…”. More specifically, in Philippians 4:8 he encourages us to take our thoughts captive and focus on the things of God and meditate on his Word. Encourage yourself in the Lord. And, God has given us a good mind… the mind of Christ. Don’t let the enemy tell you different. You also have a good heart that is submitted to the Holy Spirit, a good body as you declare that you are healthy, healed and whole – no matter what your body says.How do we combat the enemy? Ephesian 6:10: Put on the whole armor of God. We will be victorious when we stand our ground, put on the whole armor, and focus on his direction and word.How does God see the racial tensions going on around us? He says there is no black, white or any other color. We are all created in his image as children of God. We were all going to hell and in need of a savior. Now we all can be saved through him who gave his life for us. In that act of love, he reconciled the world to him and now it’s our role to share this wonderful message of reconciliation to others.Back to being a father, it’s our job is to reconcile the family – be the first to ask for forgiveness – not look at others except through the way God sees them – their potential in him – regardless of current state. View with eyes of compassion and love. We don’t have to tell them how bad they are. They already know that. Just share how much he loves them and the wonderful plan he has for their life.If you are facing an identity crisis, God is here for you. We are not male, female, rich, poor, or any other division. We are all the same in God’s eyes. Let his forgiveness and love flow through you. Don’t let feelings lead you but act on the Word of God and allow the feelings to follow your lead.Love you all and hope to see you at the Micro-Church! Pastor Lee