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Victorious. Christ makes us something we cannot be
on our own. Today we will all learn about the power
of this victory and where it should lead us in our
faith.
 
We are thrilled you are here with us. We know that
you have come to honor and worship the King of
glory. Thank you for the encouragement you share
with brothers and sisters by lifting your voices to
God in praise. Thank you for the prayers that will
remind us that we serve a sovereign God, worthy of
our humility. Thank you for your enthusiasm that you
will show in our study time, as we listen carefully to
what God is teaching us. It is such an encouragement
to be with a family that loves the Lord and loves his
people. It is such a blessing to be influenced into a
greater understanding of God through the lives of
people that desire to submit to him.
 
Our common faith, our shared anointing, our songs
about God's promises, our need for the word of God,
the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts...these
are the things that bind us together. It is not a
common meeting.
 
We are serving the Lord as we build each other up in
the faith!
 
- Alex
Think on these things...
 
"Don't think of the things you 'didn't' get after
praying. Think of the countless blessings God gave
you without even asking."
 
I cannot help but wonder sometimes how God is able
to keep up with it all. I struggle to remember the
things I am supposed to get done each day, I struggle
to remember phone calls I am supposed to return, I
even struggle at times remembering names of people
I just met! However, our God knows everything we
could possibly need and provides it even when we
don't remember to ask for it... Or worse, when we
simply forget to thank Him for it.
 
"For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and
His ears are open to their prayer." (1 Peter 3:12a)
 
The one who created the universe and everything in
it has His ear attuned to your prayers and is willing
to listen to each and every word you utter. He even
has the Holy Spirit to interpret those moments when
you cannot even fashion the things you feel into
words. (Romans 8:26-27) What a mighty God we
truly serve... May we all re-dedicate ourselves today
to a time of thanksgiving to our Creator.
 
One final thought: What if you woke up today with
ONLY what you thanked God for yesterday?
 
1 John 4:7-21
 
- Scott

... there is comfort and challenge in the final verses of the gospel of Matthew. While Jesus does comfort us with the thought that He will be with us to the ends of the age, He also challenges us to go out and teach others about Him, baptizing them in His name, the Father's name, and also the name of the Holy Spirit. If you mark in your Bibles, I want you to write out beside that passage in Matthew 28, "The fulfillment of Daniel 7:13-14" as a reminder of God's faithfulness. Daniel 7:13-14 reads, "13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." Again, we see comfort and a challenge - comfort in the knowledge that if we are a part of His kingdom we shall not be destroyed or suffer eternal punishment, but a challenge in knowing that there will come a day when all shall answer before the Ancient of Days. What are we doing to prepare ourselves and those around us for that day? I pray that you all have a good week full of opportunities to reach out to our community and the communities where you work and live with the good news of Jesus Christ.

In Him,
Scott 

Selling Out
 
There was a song several years ago that had
this line in it: “When you come close to selling
out, consider.” The Christian life is not always
one of happiness. We face many difficulties in
our effort to be faithful to God.
 
One can look at the life of Joseph to see
that a godly life will at times put us in trying
circumstances. But through all of Joseph’s trials
(family members against him, slavery, false
charges by Potiphar’s wife, being imprisoned) he
always seemed to stay focused on what was the
most important thing in life—obedience to God.
 
As Christians facing the evil and temptations
of this world, we can be presumed to look for an
easy way out. It is during these times we need to
reconsider and remember God’s help is always
present; we are not alone (Revelation 2:10), and a
reward awaits the faithful that nothing on this
earth can match (Psalm 16:11).
 
- Lance Cordle

"O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. At the tumultuous noise peoples flee; when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered, and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers; as locusts leap, it is leapt upon. The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure." - Isaiah 33:2-6

My challenge for your today is to examine how you see God's strength and sheer presence. In this particular passage (which is just one of many), Isaiah indicates that things will happen just at the very movement of God and that if He so desires, He could make one noise and scatter the nations. The reason this is such an encouragement to me is because this the being that has determined that I am worthy to be called His child. He has adopted me and sanctified me through the blood of His Son and now when I feel that the world, or people, or circumstances are closing in around me, I can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a loving God who refuses to let me be overtaken. This is encouragement personified, it is intended to make you aware of who you serve, and ultimately give you the abundant life and hope promised by Jesus Himself.

I hope this is helpful to you today and I am praying for you this week.

- Scott