This Sunday, we will continue are series called Faith, Hope and Luck. The first week, we talked about the dangers of circumstantial faith and the importance of having our faith anchored to the resurrection of Jesus. The reason for this is if God never does another thing in your life, never answers another prayer, never heals another illness, never performs another miracle, we can still maintain faith in our God. Why? Because our faith is not based on God showing up in our lives or in our circumstances, instead, our faith in God is based on the reality that 2,000 years ago He sent His only Son, Jesus, to walk on the earth, live a perfect life, die on a cross, predict his own resurrection, which he fulfills, and then appears to over 500 people. Our faith is based on the simple truth that God loves us.
Then last week, I gave you this definition for faith…..
Faith is confidence that God is who he says he is and that he will do everything he has promised to do.
This simply means that we can, with confidence, bring all of our requests, all of our hurts, our doubts, our fears to God, knowing with absolute certainty that he can overcome any obstacle we place in front of him, but having the type of faith that trusts God to do His will……not ours!
This Sunday, we will unpack the second half of our definition for faith…..that God will do everything he has promised to do. Our focus will be on answering the question, "What has God promised to do?"
Take some time over the next two days to read Romans 8:28-39. As Paul wraps up chapter 8, he writes with full apostolic authority, "For I am sure (or convinced)". The verb is a Greek perfect tense, indicating that something occurred in the past with ongoing results to the present time. He was convinced that nothing in life, or even our archenemy, death, can keep the love of Christ from us. His own death and resurrection reveal His power over anything and everything that threatens us in the natural realm. Furthermore, nothing in the supernatural realm, including angels and spiritual forces, can harm us. God created all things, including everything in the supernatural realm, and He continues to rule over His universe.
Because God rules over everything in time and space, nothing can subvert His will, which is to bring His people to Himself, cleanse us of sin inside and out, shape us into the image of Christ, restore us to life, and allow us to enjoy "peace with God" forever! Can I get an "AMEN!"
Don't forget that tomorrow, Saturday, June 2nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, is a time for you to drop by the Fireside room and ask questions regarding the selling of our rental properties and the future direction of our church. Then on Sunday, you will have the opportunity to cast your ballot on whether or not to sell these properties.
See you Sunday.
What is faith? How would you define Biblical Faith? Is it the same as hope? Is it a formula? Is it the ultimate Christian "power-tool"?
In Old Testament times, men and women had to rest on the promises of God. God had told them of a coming Messiah, a Deliverer who would take away sin. He told them that one day all Israel would be made clean and be ruled by this righteous Messiah. God's faithful believed God's promises, as incomplete and vague as many of those promises were. They did not have a great deal of specifics, by New Testament standards, but they knew God was in the specifics, so they put their full trust and hope in it.
That is what faith is. Faith is living in a hope that is so real it gives absolute assurance. The promises given to the Old Testament saints were so real to them, because they believed that God was who He said He was, that they based their lives on these promises. All the Old Testament promises related to the future--for many believers, far into the future. But the faithful among God's people acted as if they were in the present tense. They simply took God at His word and lived on that basis.
Hebrews 11:13 tells us that these Old Testament saints "died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them......from afar". They saw the fulfillment of God's promise with the eye of faith, which, when it is in God, has immeasurably better vision than the best of physical eyes.
This week, we will put a definition to true Biblical faith. As you prepare your hearts and minds for the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, I want to encourage you to take some time over the next few days to read the story of Noah, in Genesis 6 and 7, along with the story of Abraham in Genesis 12. As you read these stories, ask yourself this question, "Why did Noah build the ark"? Was it because he prayed for rain and wanted to be ready just in case God answered his prayer? What about Abraham? Why did he leave everything that was familiar and comfortable in order to travel to an unknown land? Was it because he got bored of Haran and wanted a change scenery? Was it because he prayed to God asking God to take him on a great adventure? What motivated these men to act in such a seemingly foolish manner?
Join us on Sunday at 9:00am as we look at the actions of these Old Testament heroes and through their lives, gain a better understanding of what true Biblical faith looks like.
Please Note: Members of FBC are invited to a special time of Q & A next Saturday, June 2nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm in the Fireside Room. This is an opportunity for members to ask questions regarding the selling of our rental properties and the future direction of our church.
See you Sunday.
That's right......Pastor Doug is back from cruising the Pacific Ocean and, although not as rested as I would like to be, ready to continue serving alongside you to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Beaverton. I want to say a huge "THANK YOU" to Pastor Avery, Pastor Norm and Larry Annes for preaching in my absence. We are so lucky to have such gifted preachers in our church family.
This Sunday, we will conclude our series in Joshua. Over the past 4 weeks, we have been reminded.....
1. Be strong and courageous as we follow God into the "Promised-Land" Life that is waiting for all of us.
2. Don't let the pressures of life divert our eyes from God's presence, because God's presence will lead us to places that we have never been before.
3. Pastor Norm asked the question, when facing our own "walls of Jericho", will we flee back into the wilderness or by faith, stand and face the challenge of the wall, knowing that by faith, the wall will fall.
4. A "Promised-Land" life needs to be prayed for and fought for, but it will be worth it.
On Sunday, we will dive into the life of Caleb and see how his faith had God saying....."But my servant Caleb has a different spirit." What do you think God meant by "different spirit"? As you prepare your hearts for Sunday, take some time over the next few days to read Joshua 14:7-12 and look for the secret to Caleb's faith that is revealed within this text. You might just receive a prize!
Also, don't forget that this Sunday is a special "Soup Sunday" business meeting. Join us at noon in the Fireside room for some good soup, even better desserts and hear from our church leaders about topics ranging from community outreach to finances.
See you Sunday.
Seven years of total domination. Seven nations conquered. At least 31 kings defeated. Approximately 10,000 square miles of choice real estate claimed. They were vastly outnumbered, under equipped and voted least likely to conquer some of the most barbaric armies in history. Most historians, unless they've taken the time to study Hebrew history, would never associate these facts with the nation of Israel, but this is exactly what transpired in the lives of God's people and it is all chronicled in the book of Joshua. Joshua documents for us the journey of this often forgotten nation, as they exit the wilderness and enter the promised land of Canaan. As we study their journey into a land "flowing with milk and honey", a land that was promised to Abraham, we too want to embark on our own journey out of the wilderness and into the land that God is waiting to give us.
Don't miss this Sunday as Pastor Avery, from Common Ground Church, will be preaching from Joshua 3. His focus will be on the challenge of crossing over the Jordan River (fear and doubt) and leaving our past behind, so that we can experience the promised land (Canaan) that awaits us on the other side. I would encourage you to take some time over the next few days to read Joshua 3 and ask God to show you what current challenge is hindering you from seeing the future that God has for you.
Over the next 3 Sundays, you will hear from Pastor Avery, Pastor Norm and Larry, our council chairman. Please be praying for these men as they seek the Holy Spirit for guidance as they prepare to preach God's message to his people. Also, our family is leaving tomorrow (Saturday) morning for some much needed rest and relaxation. During my absence, if you hear of any congregational needs, please inform Cheryle Douglas in the church office.
See you in a couple weeks!
As the memory of Easter Sunday fades I can't help but wonder, what must have been going through the minds of those early followers of Jesus. Followers who had committed to travel with him all around the known world, listening to him preach and watching him perform miracles. Followers who watched in disbelief as Jesus was arrested, tortured and put to death on a cross. Followers who had given up hope, only to be overcome with joy over his resurrection, but then, as Jesus ascended into heaven, left to ponder life without their Savior.
Can you at all relate to the roller-coaster of emotions this small band of Christians had been subjected too in such a short period of time? If we're honest with ourselves, sometimes life's challenges can be overwhelming. You want to remain faithful. You want to keep up. But life happens and you just have no fight left in you.
The book of Joshua is in the Bible for seasons like the one I just described. Join us for the next several weeks, as we walk with the nation of Israel on their journey from the arid desert of the wilderness to the fertile fields of the promised land. Along the way, you may be forced to ask the question, "how would my life be different if I put aside fear and followed God's vision for my life?" God has a "promised-land" vision for all of us, but it's up to us to take the first step.
In preparation for Sunday, I want to encourage you to read the first 2 chapters in the book of Joshua, especially focusing on verse 9. Also, our theme verse for this series is taken from Joshua 21:43-45, where we read....
"Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass."
See you Sunday.