Together-Serving

You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all together, irrespective of how we got here, in what He is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation.

Now He’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the Cornerstone that holds all the parts together.

We see it taking shape day after day, a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a sanctuary in which God is quite at home.

Pastor Michael opened today by stating he feels God creates waves of direction. God has uniquely designed you and placed something on your heart that moves you individually. He gave several examples of how people at FBC have used what moved their hearts to give back to their community. Pastor Kelleen is passionate about prayer and created the worship on the water event. Jason Gibbons has used his love of basketball as a way to spread a powerful anti-bullying message and several food/ hat & mitten drives took place to fill a need in our schools. One person can make a difference. Kim beautifully sang “The Man in the Mirror” to reiterate the point that change begins with you-the person you see in the mirror everyday.

Pastor Michael then posed the question of what can a whole group of people do together? We have size in our favor and being unified by God allows us to change our community. God is blessing and leading us in the direction He wants us to go. FBC is made up of people with a variety of backgrounds, beliefs and skills making us more powerful in reaching the lost. Due to our strength together, the only weapon the enemy has is distraction causing us to stand alone to fight our own individual battles. When Christ is not the cornerstone holding us together, our core becomes weak. When we are weak, we have a hard time accomplishing anything. When we unite as one, we can accomplish what is not supposed to happen. Then we not only survive, but we win. One person can make a difference, but together we are unstoppable.

Together-Unlikely

Ephesians 2:22 We see it taking shape day after day, a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it.

Pastor Michael opened today by reminding us that we are a part of the movement of Christ, which we refer to as the church.  This movement will influence our community for the next 100 years to come and is much more that just the physical building of the church.  It is having Christ in your heart and being a light to other people.  It is incredible that God wants to use you and I in this movement, but we may feel that we are “flawed” and would be a weak brick in the building.  God tends to use the most unlikely people in the most unlikely places to do the unimaginable.

Pastor Michael illustrated this point by telling the story of King Ahab and Elijah.  God used Elijah to deliver a message to King Ahab who constantly provoked God’s anger.  The message was that it would not rain again until God said so.  God promised to protect Elijah by providing him a place to hide with a brook and food delivered by ravens.  One day the brook dried up and God told Elijah to go to the village of Zarephath were a widow had been instructed to feed him.  When he arrived, he saw the widow gathering sticks and asked her for a cup of water with a bite of bread.  The widow replied that she did not have any bread and only had a handful of flour with a little bit of cooking oil left.  She was preparing to make a fire so she could cook a final meal for herself and her son, then they were going to die.  Elijah told the widow not to be afraid and that she should continue with her plans, but she should feed him first.  If she did that he assured her there would always be flour and oil in her containers until God made it rain again.  The widow had a decision to make and she chose to feed Elijah.  A miracle happened and she was never without again.  An unlikely place with an unlikely person that did an unlikely thing in order to see an unlikely result.

God provides in the most unlikely places and that is normally where we are now.  By embracing where you are in life right now, you will be amazed to see where God will put you in the future.  Remember, all we ever have is the “here” and God is at work now.

God uses the most unlikely people to accomplish the most extraordinary things.  God is not looking for your strength, but for your availability.  God wants to show you what He can do when He is able to shine through you.

God provides unlikely outcomes when you focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have.  Often times the “ingredients” for a miracle are already in our hands, but our excuses close the door on God’s unlikely outcome.  When we trust in God and give Him what He asks for, we tap into God’s unlimited resources.  Those resources will never run out as you cannot out give God.

Pastor Michael closed by asking you to pray and ask God to show you a place in your life where you can be used by Him to perform a miracle.  Pastor Michael wants you to know what it feels like when God uses you to be a blessing for someone else.

Together-Foundation

Ephesians 3:20  God is building a home.  He’s using us all, irrespective of how we got here, in what He is building.

Pastor Michael opened his sermon by stating that each stage of our lives brings different opportunities and challenges.  One stage of life is either buying or building a house.  You begin with an idea in your mind of what you want your house to look like, but based on your budget you have to revise your plans.  You decide what you want now and figure out what you will add on later.  You love your first house and see the potential it has.  It is the same way with God.  He adores you right where you are.  God is excited and proud of what you give Him.  He sees the potential in what He has created for you and what you can do with a little direction.

God is building a home and He is using you in what He is building.  It doesn’t matter how you got here.  We all come from different paths.  The things that you think you are not good at are the things God uses.  Being different is good.  Our differences make us stronger as we unite through Christ.  God made you unique for a reason.  It’s not about you, but about what God can do through you.  God uses weaknesses more than strengths to bless and bring hope to those who need it.  Pastor Michael continued by telling the story of Saul of Tarsus.  Saul believed in God, but not Jesus.  He thought he was doing God’s work and was preserving God by killing the followers of Jesus.  When Saul saw Jesus, he realized he had been doing the wrong thing.  God chose Saul to deliver His message and he became a strong component of spreading the gospel.

God takes people that don’t fit in and makes them fit in.   God has a plan.  He is working in me to be a light in you.  We are all part of a movement called church, but it bigger than a building.  We are “bricks” in this building and are valuable.  We can show people what the real church looks like by changing one person at a time.  By starting small and showing one person what the love of God looks like we become difference makers.  That is how the world changes.

Together-Belong

Ephesians 2:19-You’re no longer strangers or outsiders.  You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone.

At some point in your life you may have felt like an outsider.  You may even feel like an outsider right now.  Pastor Michael’s sermon focused on belonging, as he broke down Ephesians 2:19 into three points.

The first point says you are no longer an outsider as you are part of the family of Christ.  Jesus said you have as much right to be a Christian as anyone.  When you feel like an outsider, you feel hopeless.  Jesus said you don’t have to live your life without hope as you have a future that includes an eternal Heaven.  FBC wants to find the outsiders and let them know what it feels like to be an insider.  It’s not about one or two people.  It’s about us altogether.  Jesus said you fit in.

The second point is you belong here.  Sometimes when you are a part of something, you can have a fear of being replaced.  With Jesus you do not need to have that fear as your relationship with Him is inside you and on going.  We are stronger together than we are apart, even though we are different.  Our differences balance each other out.  Sometimes we don’t recognize that we belong to something bigger than ourselves.  There is a hunger in us that can’t be filled with money or stuff.  It can only be filled with our desire to be a part of God and to have a relationship with Him.

The third point is you have the right to the name Christian.  You are a member of God’s family.  Being part of His family is not contingent on what you do.  You are God’s masterpiece with all of your flaws and imperfections.  God is proud of you and He loves you.  God did not mess up when He created you.

God is moving through FBC.  We have prayed about our Home for Good and received a donation of land.  We prayed for healing and it happened.  People are realizing they fit in and marriages are being saved.  We are a part of something much bigger.  Don’t miss out on what God is doing.

Call of Duty – Spiritual Warfare


Ephesians 6:10-20 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Bill Atchison spoke about being strong in the Lord, putting on our armor and standing our ground against the evil at work in the world.  We are fighting a battle for the advancement of the Gospel.  Jesus is supreme.

The belt of truth allows us to move freely.  When we live our lives the way God wants us to, we do not need to worry about what other people say.  We are not hypocrites as we are clothed in the breastplate of righteousness making us invincible.  The shoes of peace allow us to go out and share the news of Jesus.  There are people in the world crying out that they want their lives to change, but they don’t know how.  Jesus is the truth and those people need Him.  It is up to us to show them the way.  The shield of faith extinguishes the fiery darts of temptation, which come from the adversary when he attacks.  How we think is how we act and the helmet of salvation secures that nothing in all Creation can separate us from the love of Jesus.  He is ours and we are His.  We are loved by Him and are part of his eternal family.  The sword of the spirit has a double edge, being sharp on both sides.  There is a defensive side keeping us from sin and a protective side used against the temptations of the world.  The power of prayer is how Jesus fights our battles for us.   Prayer needs to be applied continuously with passion and energy that focuses on specific targets for the benefit of others.  Prayer is mighty and powerful.  Prayer is hard work.

Our call of duty is to be strong in the Lord, to put our armor on and keep it on and to focus on Jesus.  Don’t doubt in the dark what you can see in the light.