Tag Archives: Jesus

There Is A Reason For Everything

“There is a reason for everything” is a very popular saying. Many times it is said when we really don’t have an answer as to why something happened. For God fearing people, “there is a reason for everything” is an acknowledgement for knowing that God has allowed all things to happen, good or bad.

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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says:

1  There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Yesterday, 2 churches made it official that the Kingdom of God is bigger than any one agenda. The reason we are uniting is to lock arms to fight the forces of evil that lurk in our midst. City Church Del Rio and Iglesia Cristo Vive will come together on February 7 for the first time. Under the dual banner with plans to become one banner in time.

City Church Del Rio is making a difference in community of Del Rio. This is our reason:

  1. Outreach—We believe we are to engage any and all persons that God places in our sphere of influence, in order to fulfill our vision.
  2. Life groups—This will be the backbone to the growth of City Church. Our Life Groups will be dispersed throughout the city of Del Rio during the week in order to have maximum impact.
  3. Multi-Cultural Church—Reaching multi-cultural families that reflect the community of Del Rio. The way we accomplish this is to have leadership that mirrors the congregation. Of course, as we minister in Jesus name, we will minister to all people God brings into our presence. We value all cultures, races, and people just as God does. We are all valuable in the Kingdom of God.
  4. Sundays—City Church Places a high emphasis on Sundays as it pertains to the worship of Jesus for the entire family. We believe in embracing God in the most excellent experience that we can provide under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Won’t you pray for City Church or if you are in the area, please stop by at one of our Sunday services. 9 am worship en espanol, 10 am Bible Study for all, 11 English worship service.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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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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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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Fort Worth, Texas delivers supplies for Acuna Mexico

Many thanks to the community of Fort Worth, Texas for bringing a box truck full of supplies to minister to the Acuma tornado victims. 

First Baptist Church of Del Rio had a great turnout at 9 pm to unload the supplies. Many deacons and church members showed their support as they pitched in and helped. 

Shon & Janeene Young are our mission contact team and have been a huge blessing to our church as they plan and administer how this great support will be accomplished. 

            Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry 

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Acuna Mexico Friday, May 29, 2015

Day 5 in Mexico was one of importance. We sent a group of 7 to continue our presence for those that have been displaced by the F4 tornado on Monday. As we went in Jesus’ name, we made an initial stop by our partner church Templo Bautista Bethel. There we stumbled upon a pastor’s gathering in deep discussion. They were discussing how they were to proceed in preparing to begin a partnership of ministry to this tornado stricken neighborhood of 1300 homes. 

After our first stop, we proceeded to a central area where we were to feed the workers and families that had a need for nourishment. As the morning drew to a close, we proceeded to a gym that was housing over 300 people. Here I witnessed a huge gathering of young students volunteering the sorting and packing of donated items into family style bags that included things like cereal, bleach, Lysol, toilet paper, toothpaste, canned food, and other necessary items. We fed the volunteers at this location as well.

In total 700 meals were given consisting of meat, beans, rice, bread, and water. 

We also went door to door asking if there were other needs like a need for mops or bleach or a broom. Of course out supplies quickly ran out. 

The best part of the day was after all the feeding and handing out of supplies. We set up a canopy, table, and chairs to attract the children in a coloring gathering. The kids as you can see in the pictures were coloring a drawing. Then the best part came. Olympia, started to present the Gospel to this young group of kids. They were attentive and afterwards were given a New Testament and invited back on Monday to continue the conversation. This is how you start a church in Mexico. You start by storing the hearts of kids. 

As we were leaving we were able to minister to a young couple struggling to keep their marriage intact. Please pray for Diego and his wife. I plan to meet with them again on Monday

God is great every time!                

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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Preparing to feed the Tornado Victoms of Acuna Mexico

This morning, beginning at 4;30 am, a crew from Primera Iglesia Piedras Negras Mexico began making meals to feed 700. A group from FBC Del Rio will meet them in Acuna and begin the feeding ministry. 

Please pray for us as we battle fatigue, the border crossing, and not to mention that it poured rain again last night, so we aren’t sure about street conditions. 

Today we are going to start a children’s ministry tent to begin the real reason we are there. To tell people the street of Jesus love. 

       

Stay in the light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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ALS and Steve Swope

Today, I want to dedicate my post to my best friend, Mr. Steve Swope.

Steve and I met when I worked for the Department of the Army at Ft. Hood, Texas. Steve was an active duty soldier stationed there. We became really close friends as we would spend nearly every weekend together working on the yard at my house, shooting hoops, and grilling steaks to a perfect medium rare.

Our eldest son, Rene also became close friends with Steve. The 3 of us spent countless hours playing street basketball in the driveway, with no out of bounds or fouls called or water breaks.

One day, Steve received orders to a new duty assignment, Alaska. My friend was leaving Texas for the great frontier of Fairbanks, AK. I helped Steve drive to Seattle, and there we parted ways in the airport, thinking we would see each other numerous times again. As we drove the highways together, we listened to Steven Cutis Chapman’s cassette tape almost exclusively. Praising the Lord together, and remembering how blessed we were to be Christians saved by the grace of God!

Time goes by and we haven’t seen each other as much as we had thought. As a matter of fact by the time

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we had reunited, my friend has been afflicted with ALS. It has been such an emotional time for me, but not for Steve. He loves Jesus and has fully accepted his role on this earth. He has inspired me like no one else. His wife Jackie has been an amazing example of what a covenant marriage looks like. And their daughter Grace is the joy of their lives!

Here is a link of the video that was taken during Willie Robertson’s visit:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO0tKAf3yiQ&feature=youtu.be

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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