(click here for the video) The Apostle Paul includes a prayer over the church in Ephesus in one of his prison epistles. This prayer has shaped my life as a pastor for 30 years. It is one of Paul’s crowning jewels in prayer over a little church 2,000 years ago. It’s applicable today in so many ways. Paul prays with a confidence that comes from knowing we can enter into God’s throne room at any time and God will hear us. God’s desire is that we utilize the power of God in our daily circumstances so that we might grasp just how unfathomable are the riches of God for us. If we were to realize the full measure of grace God has granted to us in Christ Jesus, we could change the world. This is Paul’s prayer, that we could know the riches of God in Christ. My prayer for the church is that we might move past ourselves and begin to comprehend our location in the heavenly realms in Christ. Nothing can stop the one who believes in the full measure of God in us.
Tag Archives: Hurricane
Paul is in prison, and writes about how we can encourage one another in the faith. He gives us admonition to be ready to answer anyone for the faith you believe. He recommends that our speech always be seasoned with salt, rather than vinegar. He asks the faith community to pray that God would open doors for the gospel to be shared. I think this “praying for open doors” is a ways of saying we all can look for opportunities to share our faith in God. The clear vision of Paul was that the gospel is relationships and that gospel is life saving in relationships, and that in relationships God is opening doors for His Kingdom to grow and flourish. How are you praying for open doors and open hearts in the lives of your friends? Keep the main thing the main thing, and keep sharing your love for Jesus in this dark world. You never know what God can do.
Pastor Reid Olson of Crossroads Church of Greeley teaches on Colossians 3:1-17, where we look at what it means to live a life holy to God. Have you ever wondered if the Bible is too full of rules and regulations? And, have you ever wondered if anyone can even keep all those rules in the first place? We obviously cannot keep all the rules to make God happy with us, but since God is already pleased with us, we have been given a set of life regulations, so that we can live a life fully unto God.
We have to make sure we keep the right perspective in order. We don’t live by rules to make God happy, or try to find salvation. It is when we receive salvation through Jesus’ work for us, then we can live unto a new “full life” standard that makes us fulfilled under God’s authority. Top shelf thinking is when we place our mindset on the things of God for our lives, rather than a bottom shelf mindset that lives for oneself and loses their purpose in life. You get to choose.
Pastor Reid Olson of Crossroads Church of Greeley teaches on Colossians 2:16-23, where the Apostle Paul warns the small home church on Colossae to walk by faith in Jesus, rather than be bound by all the Jewish laws and regulations of faith.
Rules and regulations don’t save you from your sin. Rules don’t have the power to save or to heal. Only a life found in Christ can bring healing and restoration from a broken life of sin. Do you find yourself bound by rules in religion, and restricted by the attempt to “keep all the rules” for God? If so, you can find more freedom in letting Jesus have influence in your life and submit to his leading. You can receive this power of God today by letting Jesus enter your life and surrendering to Him alone.
Now the spirit of fear is real, but it’s false, in the sense that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God did not give us that spirit of fear, or timidity. Young Timothy was pastor of a church and needed encouragement to be bold in his faith. Where do you need to be more bold in your faith in God, rather than being defeated by a spirit of fear? Is your mind captured by fear of something, someone, some loss, or rejection? God hasn’t given you that fear. You can overcome fear by naming it, acknowledge it, take away its power by claiming it for God, and then trust God for the results. You live in a world where fear runs rampant around you, but fear is a liar. You can claim your life for God and give your fear to Jesus.
Crossroads Church of Greeley, Colorado http://www.crossroadsgreeley.com
We often encounter people who want control over us, or want to manipulate us. Even Jesus experienced the Apostle Peter, who tried to stop Jesus’ mission of going to Jerusalem to die for the sins of the world. Did Peter really try to derail God’s plan? No. He just didn’t want Jesus to be killed. Peter, however, didn’t know the bigger plan of God for the world. We can act like this sometimes. We can get in the way of another person, or other people can get in the way of God’s mission in our lives. How do we learn to articulate our calling from God and live into the purposes of God, while letting God have control? Join us to find out.
Oh Come All Ye Faithful. Sometimes we don’t feel very faithful, or very joyful or triumphant in our walk with God. There are even more people who don’t even feel like coming to God to approach Him. What do we do to move beyond our feelings about not approaching God? Can there be a better solution than ignoring God’s call? God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be born in Bethlehem, in an animal stable of all things, and God invited the lowly shepherds to the party first. What a better picture of God reaching out to those of us who don’t feel faithful, joyful or triumphant in life. God wants you. God came for you. Won’t you come to Bethlehem to see this one, born king of the angels? God is waiting for you to come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant.