Invitation

You know that feeling–

The feeling you get when you go to the mailbox to get your mail and find something unexpected? Not your typical bills and junk mail, but an envelope with your name on it that looks like a card, or an invitation?

 

You drop the other stuff on the counter, and grab that thing sent ‘just for you’. You open it (try not to get a paper cut), and see that it’s an invitation!

Invitation

Someone–one of your family, friends, coworkers or neighbors–has invited you to an ‘Event’. They thought enough of you to make sure you were on ‘the list’. You are apparently special enough to them to make sure they saved room for you!

What a special feeling that is! You matter!

Truth is, you and I are always ‘invited’ to be a guest. We’re invited to be part of The Event. We matter. We’re cared for.

God, Himself, has invited us!

He sent Jesus as ‘the Deliverer’ of that Invitation. Jesus delivered the message to YOU.

God loves YOU and wants YOU to be part of the festivities–where we worship, honor, and serve the Savior…the Lord…the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’.

What’s more, once you’re in, He invites you ever-deeper. He wants You to be close…to be at the ‘head table’ where the ones who are really special to Him are.

He doesn’t want you just ‘in the doorway’…

He wants you moving closer…because you matter!

Your seat is reserved!

Revelation 19:6-9:

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah!
    For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
    was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

This wedding is NOT something you want to miss!

You want to be there!

He’s inviting You to faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior…and to an ever-deepening relationship with Him.

Answer to invitation! RSVP, through repentance for sin, faith in Jesus–the Lamb of God–and life in the Spirit!

I’ll see you there!

 

Boldly Follow God’s Call!

You want to follow God, right?

You want to know His will and do it.

You want to listen for His voice, then follow.

…and you assume that your family and friends want to support you in doing so…right?

Not necessarily.

For sure, most of us have family members or friends who will support us in our desire to follow God. Some will even support you, for example, on a Missions Trip–even if they, personally do not have any interest in ever going on one.

However, there are times when those you care about will not support you.

Luke 12:51–53: Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Note: The ‘division’ is caused when Jesus calls us to follow and others don’t want us to. It is impossible to ‘follow Him’ and ‘follow others’ at the same time. The division is caused because many–even, at times, those we know and love–do not want to follow Him, and actively oppose any who do.

There are many times that the culture around you will not only ‘withhold support’, but will actively oppose you! In fact, there are times that they will launch an all-out assault against you for doing so!

Ezra 3:3: “Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.”

When God calls you to follow Him in some endeavor–stepping out in faith to do so–don’t let those around you sway you! Instead, make sure–through Prayer, the Word, the wisdom of other godly men and women, and the testimony and leading of the Holy Spirit within–that you are ‘on track’ with the Lord. If, after these things, you still think you hear clearly what He wants you to do, pray and DO IT!

There will be times when everyone gets in line behind you and cheers you on. Be thankful for those times.

However, don’t ‘depend on’ them. Instead, be led by the Spirit!

Romans 8:5-9:

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.”

When He leads…FOLLOW!

 

 

Power Source

Power.

One thing we all need, and it’s the key to progress.

If you have ‘power’, you can make improvements, invent new things, have comfortable environments, light up dark spaces, etc. When the power goes out, however, you’re stuck.

There seems to be a continual quest to invent/discover new ways of making power go further, or even new ways to get power–the wind and sun, for example.

The idea is that, if we could harness the power of nature, then it would be virtually limitless (and probably cheaper in the long run).

Power is attractive. It is interesting. Think of the stories you’ve read–whether fact or fiction. Very often, there’s a ‘power struggle’ in those stories.

The wildly-popular Avengers case in point. Avengers

In every Avenger’s story is a unique source of power–whether through discovery or accident, each one has a Power Source that makes them special. That’s part of the reason that we love ‘superhero’ movies so much–each has a unique and ‘special’ talent and source of power, and that makes us think that maybe WE have a unique source of power!

If you know me at all, you know that I really do believe that there is A SOURCE of real power–power for life,  power for meaning and purpose, power for eternity, etc. That Source of power is, of course, God.

To those who acknowledge and accept Him, God gives the power to live life the way it was designed to be lived–in submission to Him, in worship of Him, in following Him–for His glory and for our good!

The thing that many of us–even sincere, committed believers–miss, is that the Power comes from GOD, not from us. Not from ‘religion’, not from ‘church’, not from a ‘program’, not from a ‘strategy’…the power is in the RELATIONSHIP with God, through faith in Jesus! This ‘faith’ in Jesus–and the relationship it brings–is THE SOURCE of our Power to change.

Romans 1:16-17:

“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

If you are a ‘believer’, but are struggling hard to ‘make it work’, it could be because you’ve put the ‘product’–the ‘victorious Christian life’ before the ‘process’–knowing God more and more, through Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

There IS Power to live in healing, forgiveness, victory,  and freedom…and that all comes from walking closely with Jesus.

That’s why we talk at Kalamazoo Community Church about “Relentlessly pursuing an ever-deepening relationship with God”. This is the key to “Life to the full” (John 10:10) that Jesus promised!

Start TODAY to invest in the ‘relational’ aspects of faith–pray, worship, talk with God. These will help you learn not only ‘What’ to do, but the ‘Why’ as well–because of God’s love for you, and yours for Him.

There’s POWER…in the name of JESUS!