Praying Together

The prayer meeting downtown Asheville has sparked a lot of interest in the subject of prayer.
Some have spoken of a prayer revival. That is the burden to pray again or to pray more. Others have confessed, “I never have prayed that much. I know I’m saved, I love Jesus, but I’m not a person of prayer.”
As a pastor, I know that God has burdened me, and circumstances have forced me to pray more each day. Our families, our church, and our community deserve the faithful prayer of the people that have been changed by the power of God.
James 5:16 starts with that prayer of confession, “Confess your faults.” We know there is none righteous, no not one! Our prayer to God is “that we need Him.” That same verse declares,
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
The word “effectual” is the Greek word ENERGEO. It means that the prayer birthed in the “Just man” is by divine energy! A God powered prayer!
You see the connection? Not my will, but thy will be done! Not my time, but God’s time. Galatians 4:4 shows, not my way, but God you have your way, your divine purpose for your glory!
It is God’s prayer by the Holy Spirit through us; the instruments of His plan and purpose!
No wonder the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray!”

True Worship

We worship the Lord! We praise the name of God, Jehovah, who gave His Son Jesus for our Salvation.  We go into our church to participate in praise to the Lord and worship of our God. We leave the House of Worship to enter back into the world to be Salt and Light. We are giving our best for Worship and for Witness!

In Genesis 22, Abraham went to Mt. Moriah to worship. In Psalm 99, we are told, “To worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness,” and to “Worship at His footstool.” In the book of Isaiah there is even the declaration of things to come, “…shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.”

The Bible doesn’t contain one simple definition of true worship. God uses instead the condition of our heart and the surrender of self. There are many different verbs pertaining to worship. All of these words focus on the human acknowledgement of the power and attributes of God. True worship is about giving of self to the Lord.

The Greek word “Latrene” means to serve or to render religious homage, or in translation, to worship! That is the material being involved with the Spiritual. In the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in John 12:3, Mary takes,  “…a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus.”

Mary gave her time at Jesus’ feet; Mary gave her talent in service to Jesus;  Mary gave her treasure, a generous gift to Jesus.

May we increase our worship by surrendering self to His service.

Easter: Jesus is Alive!

Of all of the World’s religions, in only one is the founder still alive. Christians celebrate today a LIVING LORD! Each of the world’s religions has a founder, a story, a death, and a grave memorial.

When we examine Christianity, our founder, The Lord Jesus Christ, is still ALIVE! That is the message of Easter with The Death, The Burial and the RESURRECTION of Jesus, our Saviour. That is why we, as Christians, celebrate Easter and Christmas. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We celebrate that light invaded darkness. We rejoice that because of Jesus there is hope in a world filled with chaos and confusion! That is because Jesus was born.

We celebrate Easter because Jesus still lives. Death tried to bury Jesus. Darkness tried to hide the Light of the World. But, on Easter Sunday morning, Jesus walked out of that tomb, alive for ever more! Glory to His name!
On Wednesday night in the Chapel we studied Matthew Chapters 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 with the message, “Sunday is on the Way!” It may look bad when Judas’ kiss betrayed, it may look bad at the trial, it may look even worse at the cross, but wait!
You can’t forget, “Sunday is on the Way!” Jesus is Alive and well!
There is hope in our hearts and our world. Jesus makes the difference!

The Gospel Alive

 We are still rejoicing over those who trusted Jesus for Salvation last Sunday. We saw God use the drama, The Passover in Egypt, to illustrate His plan of redemption! The portrayal of the blood on the doorpost of the families that believed in God, contrasted with the family that rejected the blood was very powerful. You could see and understand God’s plan of salvation. God’s Lamb, Jesus, died in my place. We rejoice in our own salvation.

Today we continue to follow the Passover through time. From the first Passover, almost 3,500 years ago, we now fast forward to 2,000 years ago at the time of Christ. Jesus is coming to Jerusalem. Jesus is a religious Jew. He observes all the laws and practices of Judaism.

Jesus will use the Passover meal before His crucifixion as a teaching time. He will share powerful lessons from the Word of God, demonstrate grace and mercy reaching out to Judas and share love and assurance with the disciples.

A special thank you to all the workers and volunteers for making this Living Bible Lesson come to life!

The Praise of His People

Thank the Lord for the wonderful service Wednesday night! The spirit of praise and thanksgiving was a blessing to each of us. We walked into the church from all over Western North Carolina. We came in different cars, trucks, and vans. We carried in various problems and burdens of life. Some were sad and some were glad. Some of us felt great while others came to church not feeling well or even in treatment for a serious sickness. Some of us had prayed and prepared our heart to worship and some had been very busy and would pray later.

Yet, in spite of all our differences we entered into the building for the purpose of worship. We began to pray. We started to sing and the choir began to lead us in praise to our Lord! Hebrews 13:15 tells us that sometimes we don’t feel like singing, praising God, or, for that matter, even going to church. However, through Jesus we can still offer praise to God. This verse states that it may be difficult to praise God in your situation but we are to praise the Lord anyway. It may be a sacrifice but Praise the Lord!

“A sacrifice of praise” is an interesting thought. Through Jesus Christ living in us, By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God…How? The next word is, …continually, the offering or “fruit” of our lips. This can be words to encourage or discourage, words to bless and help or words to sow discord and curse. That is a whole new study.God dwells in the praises of His people!

Thank you for being faithful!