This weekend at C3 is going to be a blast! As we celebrate 13 years as a church family we are going to thank God for all He’s done and for all He is going to do in the next 13 years. The past 13 days we have been praying and fasting and now it’s time to celebrate.
Our special guest at all three services will be recording artist Anthony Evans from Dallas, TX. Anthony is the son of Dr. Tony Evans who is the founding pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX.
We will also be taking up a special end of the year Supernatural Offering. A portion of the offering will go toward building a Girls Home in Lima, Peru that will help girls who have been rescued from human trafficking.
Hang around after each service for birthday cake and complimentary Starbucks coffee. I can’t tell you how blessed I am to be your pastor and I can’t wait to see what he does in our church family this next year and beyond. I Love You.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
Congratulations, you are in your last day of the fast! Be encouraged that you have finished strong!
When God created you long ago, He put a cause and purpose deep within you. You’ve spent the last 13 days seeking God and now it’s time to put your faith into action. The Bible tells us in James that faith without works is dead. God has prepared you long ago and refreshed you during this season to do the good works that He laid out for you to do. What will your first step be?
Will you trust Him? Will you take a step of faith and walk into the purposes and plans God has for you? Just as God told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous”, He is speaking that to you today. He told Joshua this not once but several times as He was preparing him to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.
“After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go’. So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: ‘Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.’” Joshua 1:1-11
God’s desire for you is to enter your promised land. Your promised land may not be a physical destination like the Israelites but a place of rest, of freedom, of victory and of hope. He has promised that no one will be able to stand against you. He has promised that He will never leave you and to be with you wherever you go. Your charge is to mediate on His Word, to be strong and courageous and to be obedient to what He has called you to do. God wants to use you to change a community, a state, a nation and a world. Will you take the charge?
-Pastor Matt Fry @mattfry
Behind everything that we do every day, there is motivation. Motivation is the reason that we act in a certain way or the incentive behind why we do something. In all situations, we have the option of being motivated by self or being motivated by the Holy Spirit. If our motive is self, we walk in pride and the attention is placed on us; if our motive is Jesus, we walk humbly and the glory is given to Him.
“We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives.” Proverbs 21:2
“Mixed motives twist life into tangles; Pure motives take you straight down the road.” Proverbs 21:8
According to Proverbs 21, we can appear to be doing great things, but God always knows our motives. For instance, we can compliment someone else, but if our motive is to get a compliment in return, God knows. We can serve a needy family, but if our motive is to be noticed, God knows. Whenever we operate under mixed motives, we deflect the glory from God and give it to ourselves. But, when we serve from a pure heart and a pure desire to please God, God knows and He is glorified. God is honored in our speech and in our actions when His glory is our motivation.
“…Serve Him with a whole heart and eager mind, for God examines every heart and sees through every motive.” 1 Chronicles 28:9
Today, we have the opportunity to serve ourselves and be motivated by selfish desires or we can be led by the Holy Spirit and operate in pure motives. Let our prayer be today that God would examine our heart and our motives, and take away our selfish desires. Pray that we would serve Him with our whole heart and with an eagerness to please Him. May all that we do and all that we say today bring Him glory and honor!
“I wish I had more hours in the day!” I’ve said that before, and I’m sure you have too. But no one has more (or less) time than you have. It is dealt equally to every one of us. We all have an equal measure of 24 hours in a day and it is up to us as individuals to make it count.
Solomon, in all his wisdom, realized a very simple yet powerful truth in Ecclesiastes 1:5, “The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it arose.” Basically the sun goes up and the sun goes down, and then goes back to start all over again. For some people, this is the entire quality of their life – the sun rising and the sun setting, day in and day out. This has happened over 14,750 times in my life (so far) and most of those days I don’t recall very well. But even though those days seem irrelevant the opposite is true.
The way you approach all these “normal” days determines the quality of your life. The substance of your life is not built on the big, momentous occasions. It is built rather on these ordinary days that we sometimes can’t even remember. This principle is found in Zechariah 3:10, “For who has despised the day of small things?”
Many people don’t achieve their potential because of how they approach their days. Every day has great power in your life. If you can build the right kind of days, you can build a strong foundation for the future. Even though each day will come and go, they are all ordained by God. Let’s purpose in our hearts to make every day count and live each one to the maximum potential to which God has called us.
-Chris Pipes @chrispipes
Isn’t it odd when we pray and our human nature often creeps up and our prayers can often come out in different forms of “give me this” or “please make this happen for me”? It can be a scary thing to ask God’s Will to be done instead of what we want – especially if we don’t trust His idea of what may be ‘good’. If our instinct is to control and cover our own desires – how can we break the cycle?
Jewish tradition was to pray scripture. In Matthew 6:9-10, Christ continues this tradition and laid out a perfect example of how we should pray:
“Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
We see later on in Matthew 26:42, when Christ is in the garden just before He was going to be taken away to be crucified, He prays that the Will of the Father, not His own, happen. And He prayed this knowing His life was on the line.
The challenge Christ gives and models for us is this:
1) Despite the circumstance, trust God’s long-term plan
2) Pray God’s Will and not our own
3) Live it out
I’ll leave you with a great quote from C.S. Lewis who hits the nail on the head about the importance of prayer in his novel “The Great Divorce”:
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell chose it.”
-Thomas Lipscomb @tslipscomb
“…I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11
God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us. But just as He has a plan for each of us here at C3, He has a plan for the girls who will be residing in the Hand of Hope home in Lima, Peru; He has a plan for the children and students that occupy our Next Generation Ministry every weekend and He has a plan for all those that have yet to meet Him. God’s plans for us are good, pleasing and perfect and He is no respecter of persons. What He did in the lives of those living so many years ago, He still wants to do for all of us today.
As you meditate on this passage of scripture, pray that God will begin to reveal himself to you in a brand new way. Pray He will draw out of you the plans and purposes for which He created you. Surrender your plans and agenda to God so that HIS Will may be done in your life. God wants to use each of us in a unique way to advance His Kingdom. Pray that He would clearly show you what your next steps are in your journey and then pray for a willing spirit to obey Him in all things. Let’s live today completely surrendered to all that God wants to do in an through us!
-Erin Jones @ErinAJones
“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:16-21
Fasting, like our life in Christ, is about the heart. During these 13 days let’s press into God and ask Him to make us more like Him as we submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Scripture teaches that man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. The heart is the center of our physical life as well as our spiritual life.
In Matthew 6:17 Jesus talks about fasting and the heart. He tells us not to put on a gloomy face or neglect our appearance so we will be noticed by men.
During these 13 days of prayer and fasting ask the Holy Spirit to show you heart attitudes that may not be Christ-like. Are you fasting or doing anything else to be seen by man or is your desire to please God, receive His reward, and become more like Him?
As we pray and fast let’s be more concerned about God noticing than man. As we mentioned earlier, God looks at the heart and knows our motives. As we replace food with the meat of God’s Word and submit to the Holy Spirit’s work in our heart we will be changed.
In verses 19-20 Jesus talks about storing up treasures in heaven that will last forever as opposed to earthly treasures that are only temporary. In verse 21 He says: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. What do you treasure? Where is your heart? Who or what has your heart? Let’s honor God with all that He has blessed us with.
-Vernon Harkins @vernonharkins