Monthly Archives: December 2015

Born For Us, Isaiah 9:6-7

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As I have been preparing for this morning’s sermon, I wanted to share my manuscript with you:

Sunday, Dec 20, 2015

City Church Del Rio

Born for Us, Isa 9:6-7

Introduction—Babies are born at a rate of 255 per minute around the globe, while 106 deaths occur per minute. So why is the Jesus birth different? What is it that set Him apart from all the other births? Why should Jesus birth mean the world to us?

Even the world understands there is something different about this time of the year. No one can avoid the word Christmas no matter how hard they try. There is no happy holiday apart from Jesus. His birth is what makes it possible to have a holiday. Christians seem to get upset when businesses wont acknowledge Jesus by saying or advertising Christmas. They make a big uproar because Starbucks only has a red cup and not the words merry Christmas written on it. Let me let in on a little clue. Starbucks isn’t supposed to be advertising Jesus, we are. It is our job to tell the Christmas story. I wonder if Christians get in an uproar when we have those around us who aren’t believers and we won’t even tell them about Jesus.

Its easier to blame others for not spreading the Gospel, but the reality is it is our job to do that. We have been the ones that are set apart. I want to be the one telling the good news. I don’t want businesses doing my calling. I don’t want non-believing teachers teaching my kids about Jesus in the public schools, that’s my job as an entrusted parent.

When it came time to tell the story of Jesus, God made sure He placed it in the right hearts so that it could be told to a world who so desperately needs good news. This Christmas, he has entrusted you to tell others about why he was born for us.

Stand & Read Isaiah 9:6-7

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace

there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

will accomplish this.

Pray

The book of Isaiah was written around 700 BC, thus 700 years prior to the birth of Christ. Isaiah had a prophetic calling to the world about a salvation that would come through a Messiah. In several places throughout Isaiah, he mentions this Messiah that has yet to arrive, but when he does arrive, He will change the world.

  1. Born
  2. If you were never born, what would the world look like? You may think that your life really hasn’t changed anything or anyone. You would be surprised.
  3. You see birth=life. Isaiah wants you to know that in the future a Messiah will be born for you and for me.
  4. Isaiah 7:14—Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
  5. When God sent Jesus to be born, He connected to His people on a personal level. No other King, god, or leader can say that. That is why His birth changed the world.
  6. Immanuel means God with us. Jesus will be with us.

Illustration—It’s a wonderful life, never been born

Application—Have you considered why He was born? It is time to recall that in your heart.

  1. For
  2. There was purpose in Jesus birth. It was for a reason that He became 100% human with 100% of God in Him as well. Jesus would know what you and I would go through in life. His purpose was to know what it is to be in pain, sorrow, suffering, loneliness, companionship, laughter, hungry, thirsty, and you name it. It was for this reason He was born
  3. Since he could relate to his people in a personal way, salvation would be the battle cry for Jesus. He wants to save you from your sins.
  4. In our text in verse 6, Isaiah says that the government will be on His shoulders. This could be interpreted by saying, “the weight of the world is on His shoulders.”
  5. John18:36—Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
  6. This government is His Kingdom, which is not of this world, but of the Kingdom of God. That is why Isaiah continues and says that we will call Him these great titles. Remember Isaiah is prophesying about a future event in history. God would not give Him a message that relies on the powers of this world’s governmental system.
  7. Kingdom authority requires Kingdom leadership. That comes with much power and much awe.
  8. Let’s look at these titles:
  • Wonderful Counselor—That Isaiah calls the Messiah the “Wonderful Counselor” indicates the kind of character this coming King has. The word wonderful in this passage literally means “incomprehensible.” The Messiah will cause us to be “full of wonder.” The word is much weightier than the way it’s used in normal conversation today—we say things are “wonderful” if they are pleasant, lovely, or the least bit likable. Jesus is wonderful in a way that is boggling to the mind. The same word for “wonderful” is used in Judges 13:18 when Manoah, Samson’s father, asked the LORD (in a theophany) what His name was. The angel of the LORD responded, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” In other words, “Why do you ask my name, since it is beyond your understanding?”

Jesus demonstrated His wonderfulness in various ways when He was on the earth, beginning with His conception in the womb of a virgin (Matthew 1:23). He showed He is the “wonderful” One in His power to heal (Matthew 4:23), His amazing teaching (Mark 1:22), His perfect life (Hebrews 4:15), and His resurrection from the dead (Mark 16:6). Jesus taught many wonderful things that are counterintuitive to the human mind: “Blessed are those who mourn” (Matthew 5:4). “Rejoice and be glad” in persecution (Matthew 5:11–12). “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). Jesus’ kind of wonderful is awe-inspiring and superior to any other kind, for He is perfect in every way (Matthew 5:48).

The second part of the Messiah’s title is the word counselor. In ancient Israel, a counselor was portrayed as a wise king, such as Solomon, giving guidance to his people (1 Kings 4:34; Micah 4:9). Isaiah uses this word again in 28:29 to describe the LORD: “This also comes from the LORD of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.” Jesus is a wise counselor. “He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person” (John 2:25). He is able to advise His people thoroughly because He is qualified in ways no human counselor is. In Christ is “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3), including the knowledge of all human nature (Psalm 139:1–2). Jesus always knows what we are going through, and He always knows the right course of action (Hebrews 4:15–16).

Christ’s position as our Wonderful Counselor means we can trust Him to listen to our problems and guide us in the right direction (Proverbs 3:6). We can be sure He is listening because He told us to pray to Him about our worries (Philippians 4:6; James 1:5). We can be certain He has our best interests at heart because He loves us (1 John 4:19). And His love is so wide and deep (and wonderful) that we cannot fully understand it (Romans 5:8). (Taken from www.gotquestions.org)

  • Mighty God—This self explanatory if you know that Jesus is God. He isn’t just any god, but the powerful and mighty King.
  • Everlasting Father—There will be no end to Jesus’ Kingdom. He will be our Father and we will be His children.
  • Prince of Peace—In a world filled with war and violence, it’s difficult to see how Jesus could be the all-powerful God who acts in human history and be the embodiment of peace. But physical safety and political harmony don’t necessarily reflect the kind of peace He’s talking about (John 14:27).

The Hebrew word for “peace,” shalom, is often used in reference to an appearance of calm and tranquility of individuals, groups, and nations. The Greek word eirene means “unity and accord”; Paul uses eirene to describe the objective of the New Testament church. But the deeper, more foundational meaning of peace is “the spiritual harmony brought about by an individual’s restoration with God.”

In our sinful state, we are enemies with God (Romans 5:10). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are restored to a relationship of peace with God (Romans 5:1). This is the deep, abiding peace between our hearts and our Creator that cannot be taken away (John 10:27–28) and the ultimate fulfillment of Christ’s work as “Prince of Peace.”

But Christ’s sacrifice provides more for us than eternal peace; it also allows us to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, the Helper who promises to guide us (John 16:7, 13). Further, the Holy Spirit will manifest Himself in us by having us live in ways we couldn’t possibly live on our own, including filling our lives with love, joy, and peace (Galatians 5:22–23). This love, joy, and peace are all results of the Holy Spirit working in the life of a believer. They are reflections of His presence in us. And, although their deepest, most vital result is to have us live in love, joy, and peace with God, they can’t help but to spill over into our relationships with people.

And we desperately need it—especially since God calls us to live with singleness of purpose with other believers, with humility, gentleness, and patience, “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3). This unity in purpose and gentleness would be impossible without the work of the Holy Spirit in us and the peace we have with God thanks to the sacrifice of His Son.

Ironically, the lightest definition of peace, that of the appearance of tranquility in a person, can be the most difficult to grasp and maintain. We do nothing to acquire or maintain our spiritual peace with God (Ephesians 2:8–9). And, while living in unity with other believers can be extremely difficult, living in peace in our own lives can very often feel impossible.

Note that peaceful doesn’t mean “easy.” Jesus never promised easy; He only promised help. In fact, He told us to expect tribulation (John 16:33) and trials (James 1:2). But He also said that, if we called on Him, He would give us the “peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:6–7). No matter what hardships we are faced with, we can ask for a peace that comes from the powerful love of God that is not dependent on our own strength or the situation around us. (Taken from www.gotquestions.org)

Application—Jesus was born for a purpose and that was to establish His Kingdom. Have you received the Kingdom of God into your life?

  1. Us
  2. We are the reason that Jesus was born. He didn’t come to earth so He could show off His super-human powers. He came to seek what was lost so we could be found.
  3. He loves you and me so much. You are His prized possession.
  4. In verse 7, Isiah explains it so eloquently:

Of the greatness of his government and peace

there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

will accomplish this.

  1. He is offering us peace that will never end. Everything will be righteous. There will be no more injustice or sin, just wonderful peace from the Prince of Peace.
  2. He offers this to us.

Application—Do you believe He came for you? Have you placed you faith in Him to give you this everlasting peace?

Conclusion—He was born for us because of His love for us. Celebrate Jesus this Christmas with that in mind. Tell others why He was born for us.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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16 Trends in American Churches in 2016: Trends 1 to 16

This post comes from Thom Rainer’s blog:

Church security as the fastest growing ministry. Shootings in churches and sex abuse of children mandate this unfortunate trend. No church can afford to be without serious security measures, policies, and equipment. It will evolve into a major church ministry.
Decrease in worship center size and capacity. The large worship gathering is not as popular as it has been. Through multiple services and multiple sites, churches will follow this preference with smaller capacity worship centers.

Increase in successfully revitalized churches. More church leaders sense a call to lead revitalized churches. Because of this desire and intentionality, we will see more success stories of churches that have experienced significant revitalization.

Rapid growth of coaching ministries for pastors and church staff. The current trend is anecdotal, but it will soon be verified and obvious. Pastors and staff who have the humility to be led, and the willingness to invest resources in coaching are becoming the most effective church leaders.

Increase in the numbers of churches in gentrified communities. Thousands of older urban communities are becoming revitalized. Churches are following the increased numbers of residents to these communities.

Increased emphasis on practical ministry training. Church leaders in America have seen a much needed two-decade renewal of training in classical disciplines and doctrine. That need remains, but more leaders are crying for training in leadership, relational skills, and other practical ministries.

Increasing emphasis on groups in churches. Church leaders are getting it. When church members are a part of some type of group, such as a small group or Sunday school class, they attend more faithfully, evangelize more frequently, and give more abundantly.

Fewer segregated churches. For most of American history, 11:00 am on Sunday was the most segregated hour of the week. That is changing. A church that is not racially and ethnically diverse will soon become the exception instead of the norm.

The rise of the mini-denomination church. This trend is an acceleration of the increased number of multi-site churches. As churches grow with four or more sites, they will take on some of the characteristics of a denomination.

Increased pastoral tenure. For a number of reasons, the tenure of a pastor at a given church will increase. More pastors will make it to the five-year mark where the most fruitful years of ministry typically begin.

Rise of alternative ministry placement organizations. Old and existing systems of how churches find prospective pastors and staff are falling apart. They are being replaced with effective and independent ministry search organizations.

Increase in the number of Millennials who are Christians. I am projecting the number to increase from 15 percent of the generation to 18 percent of the generation. That is an increase of 2.3 million Millennials who will become believers in 2016.

Accelerated decline of 100,000 American congregations. Historically, American congregations have been tenacious and survived beyond most expectations. That reality is no longer true. Ineffective churches will decline rapidly as churchgoers are unwilling to be a part of congregations that are not making a difference.

Churches no longer viewed favorably by many governmental units. As a consequence, it will become increasingly difficult for churches to expand their physical facilities or to be able to hold functions in the community.

More bivocational pastors and staff. This trend is increasingly becoming the result of choices by pastors and staff, rather than financial limitations of congregations.

Dramatic changes in senior adult ministries. The baby boomers will not participate in the way most churches do senior adult ministry. They will force change, particularly from the entertainment model to an activist model.

In many ways, I see 2016 as a pivotal year for thousands of congregations. Unfortunately, many church leaders and church members will elect not to change anything. Those congregations will be among the 100,000 rapidly declining churches. They will choose to die.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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5 Reasons Pastoral Tenure Could Increase

 

 

 

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As we move into our next phase for City Church, I am enthralled about the possibility to have a long tenure here. Although I am not a millennial, I feel a connection with this group and count them as peers. I realized that they have so much to offer churches in the way of leadership. They do not lead like my generation. They lead as soon as they see an opportunity. My generation (busters) sees a need and forms a group to pray about if we should have any connection with that need. While we wait, the young millennials have already moved in and helped.

City Church is a vibrant young congregation just 4 weeks into its birth. More than half our staff is 30 years or younger with years of experience already! We are a blessed church ready to minister to the city of Del Rio!

Beginning January 3, 2016, the Lord has opened up an opportunity for us to meet in another church’s facilities. What a huge answer to prayer. We will be meeting at Livingstone Worship Center where my good friend Pastor Martin Seca leads. He is just as excited as we are. There staff has been such a blessing to us here at City Church! We can hardly wait to move forward as we have already outgrown the house in which we meet. Last Sunday, we had 48 people in church, and this Sunday expects to be more.

As you read this blog, would you pray for God’s will to guide us as we seek Him first. We know His New Testament church is a growing church, so we are praying for God to lead us in this quest to evangelize Del Rio, Texas.

Thom Rainer wrote:

The five reasons pastoral tenure could increase are:

  1. Pastors want to invest their lives in a community.
  2. Pastors want more stability for their families.
  3. Pastors don’t measure ministry success and fulfillment by numbers and size.
  4. Pastors are starting new churches.
  5. Pastors are leading church revitalization.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Eight Characteristics of Evangelistic Church Growth Leaders

Are you leading your sphere of influence in evangelism?

Eight Characteristics of Evangelistic Church Growth Leaders
1. They believe the Bible is the Word of God. Consequently, they accept the truth that people who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus are without hope. The Word drives them to want to reach people.

2. They take the lead in personal evangelism. They model evangelism, but not because they happen to be the pastor; they do it because Jesus is in their heart and evangelism is in their blood. These leaders would evangelize even if they weren’t pastors.

3. They know the church’s numbers. They’re not idolatrous of those numbers, but they’re certainly aware of them. “A number represents a person” is much more than an adage to them; it’s a reflection of their focus on real people who need Jesus.

4. They take personally any lack of evangelistic growth. That’s not to suggest, though, that they believe they can somehow create growth. It’s simply that they so long to see lives changed that they want to evaluate why when it doesn’t happen.

5. They’ve led their churches to get ready for growth. They’re not always fully prepared for what God does, but their churches don’t take lightly their responsibility to disciple new believers God gives them. They have the “nursery” ready for babes in Christ.

6. They know their community well – and they love that community. They can usually describe the general demographic makeup of their community, not only because they’ve studied the data but also because they’ve walked the streets. They’re glad to live where they live, and they hope to stay there awhile.

7. They hold their staff accountable for doing evangelism. They may not always require written reports, but they’re intentional about asking for verbal reports during staff meetings. Typically, they’re hesitant to hire anyone who doesn’t have a strong evangelism record.

8. Increasingly, they are more committed to church planting. Because these pastors want to see people saved, they’ve often joined the forces emphasizing evangelistic church planting today. They aren’t worried that everyone comes to their church, and they’re willing to send out some of their best to start congregations.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Church Planting 2015: Who Attends and What Attracted Them

Successful new churches share four factors, LifeWay Research finds.

Church Planting 2015: Who Attends and What Attracted ThemNorth American Mission Board
A 2014 church plant worships in a South Dakota school.

Protestants are planting new churches in America faster than their old churches are closing.

More than 4,000 new Protestant churches opened their doors in the United States in 2014, outpacing the 3,700 that shuttered, according to estimates by LifeWay Research based on input from 34 denominational statisticians.

And American church planters say 42 percent of their worshipers were unchurched while 43 percent switched from an existing church, according to LifeWay’s 2015 National Church Planting Study, released today.

For the study, the Nashville-based research organization analyzed 843 churches started since 2008 by 17 denominations and church-planting networks, including: the Assemblies of God, Baptist Missionary Association of America, Center for US Missions (Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod), Christian and Missionary Alliance, Converge Worldwide, Evangelical Free Church of America, Free Methodist Church USA, International Pentecostal Holiness Church, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Texas District, New Thing Network, North American Mission Board (Southern Baptist Convention), Presbyterian Church in America, Project Jerusalem, Path1 (United Methodist Church), Southern Baptists of Texas, Vineyard Church, and The Wesleyan Church.

“In winning new converts to Christ, church plants are light years ahead of the average church because of their focus on reaching the unchurched,” said executive director Ed Stetzer.

Successful church launches have several factors in common, the study found:

  • Meeting in a public space: New churches that meet in schools have significantly higher worship attendance, report more first-time commitments to Christ, and are more likely to become financially self-sufficient than other church plants.
  • Focusing on outreach: New churches offering sports leagues, social gatherings, and children’s special events are significantly more likely to attract previously unchurched people than other startups.
  • Supporting their leaders: Adequate compensation and health insurance for the church planter are linked to higher worship attendance and a greater likelihood of financial independence for the new church.
  • Starting more churches: New churches that invest in church planting and launch at least one additional new church in their first five years report higher worship attendance and more new commitments to Christ.

“Healthy new churches have an outward focus from day one, communicating every month that the goal is to be a multiplying church,” Stetzer said.

Though some pastors bristle at new churches coming into their community, they have much to learn—and not much to fear—from the startup down the street, Stetzer said.

One lesson is the value of time-tested methods. While most church plants use the Internet for outreach, 77 percent say word of mouth and personal relationships are the most effective forms of publicity, while only 6 percent say social media is most effective.

In addition, nearly two-thirds of new churches (63%) say Bible study is their primary small-group activity.

“It’s not the most innovative things that matter most. It’s the nuts and bolts,” Stetzer said. “An existing church can take notice and ask, ‘Hey, are we doing those things? Are we making sure people in the community know we exist? Are we inviting people to come and making them feel welcome and all those things a church plant does?’”

Instead of siphoning off members from existing churches, new churches can attract demographic groups that may be largely unreached by existing ones, Stetzer said. Sixty percent of church plants aim to reach a cross-cultural or multiethnic group of people.

“It takes multiple methods to reach a diverse population,” Stetzer said. “The United States from its founding has been a very diverse population. A one-size-fits-all church has never been part of the American equation. As much as ever, we need different approaches to reach different types of people.”

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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New Kingdom Work

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I came across this article the other day and found it quite fitting for church planters even 7 years later. God is at work in Del Rio!

Keys to Kingdom Church Planting

For those of you who came to my talk yesterday, here are the notes I promised. This is from the message I gave at Catalyst church planting lab.

Keys to Kingdom Church Church Planting

In Matthew 16, Jesus’ relationship with His disciples takes a dramatic turn. Until now, the disciples were expecting a front row seat as Jesus fully ushered in His Kingdom. And on the surface, that made a lot of sense.

We have a King… check. We have a Kingdom… check. Let’s get this show on the road and restore the Kingdom, right?! Not exactly.

At this time, Jesus introduces a new element. He tells them about you and me– the church. What in the world is that?

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven.” And He gave the disciples orders to tell no one that He was the Messiah.

Matthew 16:13-20 (HCSB)

Three Key Kingdom Recognitions for Church Planters:

1. Jesus is Messiah.

Matthew 16:13-16 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”

Understanding the Lordship of Christ is essential to planting Kingdom focused churches.

First, note that Jesus left and went into a Gentile area– he announced the “church” in Gentile land.

The disciples answered and indicated “who” people thought he was.

Some referred to Elijah / John the Baptist.

Malachi 4:5 Look, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome Day of the Lord comes.

Luke 1:17 And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.

Some might have though that Jesus was a resurrected Jeremiah because 2 Maccabees hints at that.

But Peter, speaking for the group, knew he was the Messiah.

This was not the first confession of faith, but here Jesus asked for his confession and this was the first clear one. There had been some exclamations but this was a little different.

In this verse, Jesus announces that the church is birthed in the wake of the Kingdom. The Lordship of Christ is essential if you are planting a Kingdom focused church.

Jesus needs to be Lord of your church plant:

  • He is the hero, not your creativity.
  • He is the answer, not your solutions.
  • He is the relationship, not your community.

2. Peter’s Confession is the Foundation of the Church.

Matthew 13:17-18 And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.

The authority does not belong to Peter, but to his confession.

Simon’s nickname, “Peter” is equivalent to English “Rocky.”

petros [a stone], and upon this rock [petra–a large rock] I will build My church.

But Peter is not the foundation of the church.

Ephesians 2:20-21 Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. The whole building is being fitted together in Him and is growing into a holy sanctuary in the Lord,

1 Corinthians 3:11 No one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid–that is, Jesus Christ.

Gates of Hades. Forces of Hades. Means the forces of death. No army attacks with gates, but it is the Kingdom that is advancing.

3. The Kingdom’s Keys

Matthew 13:19-20 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven.” And He gave the disciples orders to tell no one that He was the Messiah.

The church (represented here by Peter) holds the keys to the Kingdom. It is not the Kingdom, but it is created by the Kingdom.

What are the keys:

  1. People are admitted to the “door” of the king Kingdom through proclaiming the good news (the keys)
  2. The church is to exercise binding and loosing though church discipline (next is in Matthew 18)

Matthew 18:18 I assure you: Whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven.

Interestingly, Jesus only mentions the Church two times. Yet, there are eighty-five references to the kingdom of God/heaven in the Synoptic Gospels. What are the implications? Is the Kingdom more important than the Church? Did Jesus introduce the Kingdom and the Church formed in its wake? Just what is the connection between the Kingdom and the Church in redemptive history?

The entrance of the kingdom of God is through the keys of the church.

The Kingdom births the church in its wake– and church planters are on the vanguard of Kingdom work.

What do you do:

  1. Take seriously the keys.
  2. Know the Kingdom is more important that your church.
  3. Evident and kingdom mindset.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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If…

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If is such a small 2 letter word with the capacity of the weightiness of a much more complex, multi-letter word. it singles an opportunity to to make a decision. If only, if you would, if I could, if I would have, if I am able, you get the point. but when God places an if in Scripture, now we see a God-size word that far exceeds the 2 letters. God says if you will follow me, I will answer you. If you want to know what is required of God, check out all the ifs in Scripture.

2 Chronicles 7:14 is one of those “biggies.” A challenge is thrown down by God to say this: If you will humble yourself, if you will pray, if you will seek my face, and if you will turn away from your evil desires. God say, I WILL HEAR. I would be satisfied with that knowledge alone, that God will hear me, but God doesn’t stop there; He never does. He not only WILL HEAR us, but He WILL forgive us. What a great promise from the word “IF”

You would think that after hearing us and forgiving us, God would stop there. After all, He’s God, what else can we expect? Not our God, He also promises to heal our land. Our land is consisted of people. People who have families, people who have marriages, people who have ministries, people who are lost, people who need a loving relationship with Jesus.

Do you want God to heal you today? Do you want God to heal your marriage? Do you want God to heal your family? Do you want God to help our land? If we will do these 4 things, He says that HE WILL heal!

Are you ready to be part of the 5th Great Awakening?

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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