Skip navigation

Tag Archives: church

Holy Spirit

For the past two weeks I’ve been leading our church through a series about the person of the Holy Spirit… I truly believe that we will not see the Biblical mission of the church carried out and the world changed apart from the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

We have accessible to us the same Holy Spirit POWER that enabled the virgin Mary to conceive the Son of God and the same Holy Spirit POWER that raised Christ Jesus from the dead.

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. — Luke 1:34-35

The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. — Romans 1:3-4

When we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit within us… We give Him freedom to do what we are POWERLESS to do on our own. Here is a REAL testimony and example from our weekend worship service… this could not have happened apart from the Holy Spirit.

As I was standing at the door following our worship service a man shared with me that he did something that he could not explain other than it was the prompting of the Holy Spirit. He said, “Throughout the service I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to say something to the young lady in front of me, but I didn’t know who she was.” He battled with it through the service, but his faith in the Holy Spirit gave him assurance that he was to share a message with her.

So, after church he politely asked her if she had a minute and spoke these words to her… “You ARE a beautiful woman and you are going to be the best mother and give your children the childhood you always wished you had.” Pretty simple, right? To him it was nothing earth shattering.

However, when he asked me who she was and told me what the Holy Spirit prompted him to share… IT WAS A SIGNIFICANT WORD FOR HER. You see, this young lady was here for the first time in months and has been battling an addiction to heroine. She hasn’t felt beautiful in years. Also, this young lady had been adopted. He didn’t know these things… he just trusted the Holy Spirit.

As if that wasn’t awesome enough… I received a text message after church from this young lady’s mother. This is what it said… “God is so amazing! Someone had a word for my daughter that was right on target! I don’t really remember, but I don’t even think you knew about this. My daughter had been pregnant and she aborted the baby for health concerns for her and the baby (the addiction had much to do with this)… the baby was due this month. It blew her away… she told me that she had to get away from him before she started sobbing. We serve an awesome God!”

Let me remind you of the simple yet POWERFUL word that God had for this young lady… that she would have missed if this gentleman had not been listening to the Holy Spirit. “You ARE a beautiful woman and you are going to be the best mother and give your children the childhood you always wished you had.”

Will you listen to the Holy Spirit today?

 

 

Advertisements

20130604-121043.jpg

You are the SALT of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the LIGHT of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. — Matthew 5:13-16

The Bible has some pretty clear mandates for the follower of Jesus… To be a disciple means to be salt and light.

Salt gives us the reality that we are to be an agent that preserves… Light ensures that we show the way among the darkness… So, is your life displaying salt and light?

When it comes to advancing the Gospel… Salt and light WORKS! If you are a follower of Jesus today it’s because someone was salt and light.

When it comes to being a “good Christian”… I’m not so sure about that… The Bible doesn’t tell us that. However, it does give great detail about what it looks like to be a disciple or follower of Jesus. And I assure you a disciple is salt and light.

THIS IS TRUTH: Salt always preserves and light always shows the way.

Be salt. Be light.

Love

This past weekend we began a new series at Terra Nova Church called Christian. The reality is that MANY things can fall under the label of ‘Christian’ and yet not truly reflect Biblical truth. In fact, Jesus didn’t call us to become Christians, but rather disciples… learners, pupils, adherents, followers. And the Bible gives CLEAR expectations for those individuals.

We discovered that one way others will know that we are His disciples is based upon how we love others.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  — John 13:34-35

Also, when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was… He again replies with the idea that loving others is vital and a true reflection of being His disciples.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  — Matthew 22:36-40

So, where do we start? What does loving others really look like?

It is interesting that God’s greatest commandment doesn’t ask you to love humanity in general. It asks you to love your neighbor specifically. God wants you to love the actual people that you know. The one who borrows your stuff and doesn’t return it. The one whose dog gets in your trash and leaves unwanted deposits in your yard. The one who takes credit for your work. The one who spreads rumors about you. The one who constantly clings to you.

You would probably say that you love people in general. But do you love the specific, real live people you encounter each day? That is much more difficult, and that is what God wants from you. Love your neighbor as yourself.

When we, the Church, love others the way Jesus loves us… something incredible happens… the Gospel is put on display and totally validated in a real way!

So, GO LOVE OTHERS AS JESUS HAS LOVED YOU!

This weekend we continue our series… BOLD. I truly believe that talking through the message during the week helps you turn what God is saying to you into action steps. These talking points, questions, and scriptures are designed to help you take the next step. Use these questions to stir your heart and develop a personal action plan.

  • What’s one of the most miraculous things you’ve ever seen or heard about?

 

READ: with your Bible or YouVersion, read Acts 4:23-37.

In this passage, Peter and John prayed bold prayers before God that led to bold results.

  • How would you describe the way you typically pray? In what ways do your prayers reflect what you believe about God?
  • What stood out to you about bold prayers after reading Peter and John’s prayers in Acts 4?
  • When was the last time you were amazed by the power of prayer? How did that experience affect your relationship with God?
  • Why do you think prayers become bolder when they are prayed together in a group?
  • What’s keeping you from changing your selfish and small prayers into bold prayers?
  • What bold prayers do you need to start praying today?
  • Peter and John’s prayers led to bold results. What bold results would you like to see come from your bold prayers?
  • What impact do you think it would have on your church if everyone began praying bold prayers?
  • In what ways have you seen the power of bold prayers build your faith in Christ?

 

NEXT STEPS:

Stop praying selfish and small prayers this week and begin to pray bold prayers. Start by picking two or three bold things to pray for. Follow the example in Acts 4 by praying for boldness in your life and in the lives of others. If you or someone you know has a great need, pray that God will work a miracle in that situation. Consider sharing your bold prayer requests with others and ask them to pray your bold prayers with you.

PRAYER GUIDE:

  • Thank God for the bold and miraculous things He has done in your life and in the lives of others.
  • Ask God for boldness in your life. Ask Him to give you boldness in your prayers, speech, obedience, and actions.
  • Share some great needs that you or someone you know may have. Pray boldly that God will work miracles in these situations.
  • Ask God to make your church bold and to stir within your church the desire for bold prayers and results.
  • Ask God to help help you make a difference in the world through your bold prayers and actions.

This weekend at Terra Nova Church I will be sharing about some incredible opportunities for us to BE ALL IN for the sake of the Gospel in our community. We’ve been commanded to do WAY MORE than simply fill seats during a weekend worship experience… We’ve been asked to truly BE ALL IN

We love because he first loved us. — 1 John 4:19

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:19-20

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. — Matthew 16:24

Jesus was certainly ALL IN for us…

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8

So, as you prepare your heart for this weekend at Terra Nova Church… or just preparing to celebrate the resurrection in a couple weeks… watch this video to discover what ALL IN really looks like.

Are you really ALL in?

As I consider the times in which we live… I’m actually EXCITED. Yes, I’m serious… Just hang with me for just a few minutes! I understand the daily concerns of our culture… the condition of our government, religious liberties, jobs, our children’s future, and on and on. However, I’m excited because of one word that I believe God has been stirring in me and it’s also a word I think the Church needs to be reminded of… It’s the word OPPORTUNITY!

Op·por·tu·ni·ty (ä-pər-ˈtü-nə-tē) noun: A favorable juncture of circumstances. A good chance for advancement or progress.

When it comes to the Gospel… the time is NOW! Opportunity abounds! WE, the body of Christ, need to be faithful and switch our focus from feeling oppressed to walking in opportunity! To be blunt… GET OVER YOURSELF AND GET ON MISSION.

Scripture gives us some pretty clear mandates about opportunities…

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10 NIV)

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. (Colossians 4:5 NIV)

I immediately see three things…

1. God desires for you to capitalize on opportunities with FELLOW BELIEVERS.

2. God desires for you to capitalize on opportunities with UNBELIEVERS.

3. God desires for you to capitalize on opportunities with ALL PEOPLE.

God is CONSTANTLY and SUPERNATURALLY at work creating for you… OPPORTUNITY! He is moving people in and out of your life with purpose. However, it’s not opportunity for you to make much of self, government, your political agenda, or anything else… It’s opportunity to make much of HIM. Everything that God sets into motion has one solitary purpose… His glory!

So, I’m pretty excited about the perspective that God has birth within me this week. As I pastor Terra Nova Church, I’m keenly aware that God creating NEW OPPORTUNITIES for us to make much of Him! In fact, I’ll be sharing some of these opportunities in detail during our services on March 16th and 17th… Don’t miss it!

Until then… Be ready for your next opportunity…

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

It’s not been long ago that I shared the following blog… 21 Clear Lessons I’ve Learned On My Church Planting Journey.

It was an exhaustive list of things, but today (when I saw the video below) I was very much reminded of #18 on the list. It says, the only expectations that count are those that have been communicated.

I truly believe this is a MUST for the Church! If you are a ministry leader, it’s vital that you clearly communicate expectations. Otherwise, it could be detrimental for those whom God has called us to lead.

Here is what I mean… Watch the very short video clip below. It’s obvious that expectations WERE NOT CLEARY COMMUNICATED! Love those you lead enough to communicate expectations!

So, what about you? Are you CLEARY communicating expectations?

5questions

This blog is a great follow-up to last weekend’s Renewed Bliss message that was a challenge for men… How to Become a Great Lead-Her. WATCH IT HERE on YouTube or LISTEN HERE for the iTunes Podcast.

1. What is the most romantic thing that I’ve ever done for you?

I think you will be surprised… The answer will most likely be something you totally didn’t expect. When we get married we tend to think about nice places and spending lots of money, but the reality is that the little things go along way to communicate our love for our wife.

2. What is something fun we can do together?

Guys, our definition of fun and hers are usually completely different. One of the things about most women is that they want to feel connected to their husbands… to feel like they matter and are important… and one of the ways they do that is by simply having fun.

Now men — I’m not talking about taking her to something that you like doing… I am talking about asking her what she wants to do… and then making that happen! Trust me, it communicates to her that you care.

3. What is one thing I can do for you this week that will relieve stress from your life?

I truly believe that we honestly have no idea how much stress a lady carries around with her on a daily basis. Then you also have to take into consideration how they were created… you don’t have to understand it… you just have to know… that in their life… everything affects everything. So, we should be willing to do all that we can to relieve stress from her life.

This may include giving her an afternoon to herself… without the kids. It may include you cooking dinner one night… and even cleaning up afterwards. Whatever it takes… do it!

4. How can I pray for you?

It is amazing the number of men who will not ask their wife this question. Men, we are called to lead our homes spiritually, which means we should provide protection and direction.

Now, when she asks you to pray for something specific, please resist the temptation to go ahead and be the answer to her prayer by solving the problem she’s bringing to your attention. She asked you to pray… not lecture. I know we have a tendency to try to fix everything, but she doesn’t want you to fix her problem… she wants you to listen to her!

5. If you could change one thing about our marriage, what would it be?

This one takes guts! Most of us assume or at least hope that the answer would be… NOTHING and that our wife would proceed to tell us that we’re perfect. However, that’s rarely the case.

If your wife shares a concern, it’s probably NOT for the purpose of hurting you, but rather because she truly desires to improve that area of your marriage. It may sting a little, but it will also give great insight into what she considers to be important.

Men, Ephesians 5:25 says we are to love our wives as Christ loves his bride, the church.

  • He never stops loving the church.
  • He never stops pursuing the church.
  • He always comes home for the church.
  • He never cheats on the church.
  • He provides for the church.
  • He never stops thinking about the church.
  • He takes the church seriously.

I am not the perfect husband, but more and more I am realizing that my marriage should not be about what I can get, but what I can give and how I can serve.

As men of God, we should go all out to show the world how awesome Jesus is by loving our brides as He loves His!


This adapted post originally appeared on PerryNoble.com

This blog post was written by Lyn Smith. She and her family reside in Oklahoma City, OK where she leads Solid Foundations. We have become friends through social media and share mutual friends in ministry. Visit and SUBSCRIBE to her Blog HERE. Also connect with Lyn on Facebook and Twitter.

I loved this post because it truly echoed my Renewed Bliss message… Till Death Do Us Part. In case you missed it, here it is on YouTube and here is the iTunes Podcast. Enjoy and please share your thoughts and comments!

divorceValentine’s Day was fun and all that, but many of us are confused about what love is, what marriage is, what commitment is, and what covenant is.

February 15, as I was skimming through articles on my iPad CNN app, my eyes were caught by this one … “Day After Valentine’s Kicks Off Divorce Season.

Divorce season? I didn’t even know there was one.

“February 15th starts the busy season for divorce lawyers, as people who were unhappy with their marriages heading into Valentine’s Day often decide that they no longer want to be with the one they used to love.”

“There’s a very large number of people who are considering divorce all the time… on Valentine’s Day, they take stock of things.”

The article goes on to suggest reasons why… but the point is, even with a nationally designated day to express our love… many people don’t understand what love really is.

It isn’t candy and flowers, or lingerie and cologne. It’s not dinner and a movie, or sex. Those are expressions not love. Love is choosing to put someone else’s needs above our own. It is staying in it on purpose, intentionally, because of a vow made to and before God. It is forgiving wrongs and supporting where the other is weak. It is accepting that every day is not fun but still valuable and right.

Marriage is a sacred, unbreakable covenant.

Something like this…

 

and like this…

 

moving forwardJesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

— Matthew 16:23

 

We’ve launched 2013 with a pretty bold challenge at Terra Nova Church to BE RICH and now we are preparing to dive into a brand-new series, RENEWED BLISS, that will speak truth into marriages. It’s become very apparent that we are addressing some very critical issues in the life of our church and in the hearts of individuals.

I think we often overlook or even dismiss the reality of spiritual warfare. When God is at work… the enemy and all the forces of darkness rise to delay, derail, and destroy that which God earnestly desires for His bride.

John’s gospel reminds us…

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. — John 10:10

If you are part of the Terra Nova Church family… PLEASE pray for our church as we move forward on mission. If you are simply a regular viewer of this blog or have just stumbled upon it… PLEASE pray for our church and certainly pray for the local body that you gather with. There is NO CHURCH that is exempt from the schemes of the enemy.

Frank Viola says this…

When the Lord is having His way in a body of believers, God’s enemy will be sure to attack. Nothing so threatens the enemy’s kingdom than the church of Jesus Christ being expressed and standing for God’s timeless purpose and Christ’s fullness and headship.

So, here are four (4) things to keep in mind when such attacks occur… Notice that I said WHEN

  1. The enemy virtually always uses uncrucified flesh as the ground for his attack against a body of believers.
  2. Those who are giving ground to the enemy aren’t always aware that this is what they are doing; giving him ground via selfishness and self-gratification.
  3. The only way to close the gap is to die to self. God’s enemy has no ground by which to work then. Remember Jesus’ words: “Satan has come, but he has nothing in me.” There was no ground in Him for the enemy to use.
  4. The enemy uses lies and deception to hold ground. He’s a master at it. The scriptures wielded by crucified hands and in the Spirit are a force to break that decption.

I’m excited to be MOVING FORWARD… but please remember… we are NOT simply building an institution or a country club. We ARE called to be LIGHT in the darkness… to be agents of LIFE-CHANGE… and to decrease so that He may increase!

WE GET TO DO THIS!