Tuesday, March 26, 2013

John 16:25-33

The Power of Empty

As parents we do whatever is necessary to get our kids to choose what is healthy for them.  The last couple of mornings the only cereal Ruby and Abel wanted to eat was mine.  My cereal is probably healthier for them anyway so I happily filled their bowls and poured the milk.  They immediately began to eat and of course, drink the milk from the bowl.  After Tara took them to daycare I returned to my box of cereal to discover it empty.  The empty box of cereal did not keep me from having a great breakfast.  I reached into the cabinet and grabbed a couple packages of granola bars and left for the office.  An empty box of cereal sure did not change my life.  It just caused me to do something different.

2000 years ago there was something found empty that did more than just cause people to change breakfast plans.  The morning the tomb where Jesus was laid was found empty people’s lives were radically put on a different course.  Because of the empty grave our eternal destination has changed.  We can live life with confidence in our Savior’s salvation because we know He lives.

There is not an easier day of the year to invite people to come to church.  Many who do not attend church on a regular basis look for a place to go and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The choir has worked hard preparing a musical drama of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  I will be preaching on the eternal life that came from the cross and the glory of Christ that came from the resurrection.  Those whom you invite will be fed the Gospel through two powerful mediums.  Make sure your friends and family have the opportunity to experience the eternal change that is possible because of the empty grave.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

God Can Use You!

Herbert Cooper is a friend of mine I grew up with in Wewoka.  He was a year younger than me but we played on a couple of soccer teams together and we considered ourselves friends but we were not real close.  He was a very nice and smart guy but he was not someone I would pick out of his class as someone who would become an influential leader and pastor of a mega church.  When Herbert was in high school, God took hold of his heart and he surrendered his life to Christian service.   He became an Assembly of God evangelist and eventually started a church in Oklahoma City.  That church he started, People’s Church, has grown rapidly over the last few years.  It was recently recognized as one of the top ten fastest growing churches in America. 

Is he not the exact type of person we see God using throughout the Bible?  He used people like David, who was the youngest son in an insignificant family of an insignificant tribe.  There was Mary and Joseph, ordinary Jews learning to be a good Jewish couple.  Abraham did not have much when he left what he had behind and began a journey without a named destination.  Few of the 12 disciples were educated and they all were seen as poor choices for a rabbi to ask to be his disciples. 

It is an encouragement to me that if God chooses to use these types of people, then he can use me as well.  It is time we stop making excuses for why God would not use us and step out in faith, obeying His call for our life.  This applies to our church as well.  God can use a small church like ours to do great things.  We just have to stop making excuses and obey the call God has given us.  We must be careful not to be satisfied where we are and radically buy into the vision he has given us of taking the gospel to Bartlesville and beyond.  Herbert Cooper challenges us this way, “A church is in trouble when its memories are more powerful than its dreams.”

John 16:4-15

God Provides

God provides in many different ways. I have been reading Ezra as part of my daily devotional time.     Ezra leads the people of Israel out o...