CONTINUE TO LIVE IN HIM

Living for Christ

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:6-8 NIV

As we received Christ Jesus as Lord – you need to continue to live in Him! How did you receive Him? Was it by your works or by your effort? NO! If you really received Jesus – not a church, not a denomination, not a religion – but Jesus – then you received Him by FAITH in His GRACE! If you did not receive Him by faith then you did not receive Him at all!

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:21-24 NIV

We are justified freely by His grace. When we first receive Jesus and we fall in love with Him – we are excited, we are full of wonder and joy, we love to be in His presence, we are hungry for His word, we talk about Him all the time and we tell everyone we meet how wonderful He is. We must continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in our faith as we were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. The only way we are going to maintain a fruitful relationship with the Lord and retain the joy of our salvation is by filling up on the word of God and by spending time in His presence.

The more time we spend with Him, the more rooted we become. The deeper and firmer the root – the stronger the tree! As we fill up with the Word – we are built up and strengthened in our faith. The most awesome thing we experience when we first receive Jesus is FREEDOM! We receive freedom from sin and freedom from religion and tradition. We feel the bondage of sin and the world leaving us and we experience the freedom of forgiveness and acceptance. We lay down our heavy burden and we pick up His light one.

For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:19-21 NIV

Christ died to deliver us from sin and the curse of the law. We receive Jesus by faith – not by keeping the law. Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

There are people who feel that it is their duty to bring you back into the bondage that Jesus saved you out of. You are saved by faith and you must live the rest of your life by faith (Hebrews 10:38). Don’t shrink back from your faith because it is the only way to please God. God is not pleased by your works, which are without faith. Only those things that are motivated and carried out by faith are pleasing to Him.

If we rely on hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ – then we will lose the life and freedom that Jesus paid for so dearly. Man’s wisdom and tradition may sound right and make sense to our minds because it appeals to our intellect, however it is foolishness to God. The religion and tradition of man relies on the efforts of man – long lists of do’s and don’ts – but God tells us to trust Him and not our own effort or ability. Man’s religion and tradition gives us rules and regulations – some of which are most unpleasant and extreme.

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.Colossians 2:20-23 NIV

There are people who fast — just to punish themselves — not to open their spiritual ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to them. They also mutilate their bodies and inflict pain on themselves, but it does not help to bring their sensual desires under control. This does not please or impress God – neither does He reward us for it. It is nothing but false humility. False humility is when we abase ourselves in order to EARN God’s favor. Our OWN righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and is unacceptable to God, but the righteousness God bestows, allows us to come boldly into His throne room any time we choose. We live by faith in God and only the Spirit of God can help us to control and eliminate ungodly, fleshly desires. Jesus died to make us free – let us honor Him and continue to LIVE free!

RUN WITH THE VISION

Habakkuk 2:2-3

2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

When the Lord called Adonica and I to start this church, He showed us the need for a local church that would:

  1. Be a place where the Spirit of the Lord would have liberty to do whatever He desires.
  2. Have powerful praise and worship.
  3. Have powerful Word-based preaching and teaching.
  4. Be a church of givers – in every way.
  5. Be a praying church.
  6. Be a place where people will come to be saved, healed, restored, renewed and then when they are ready – sent out to set others free.
  7. Be a place where the average believer is fulfilling the great commission.
  8. Be a church where we reach the community through powerful outreaches, bring in the lost, and make disciples of them.

In just three and a half years this local church has been a part of spreading revival around the word and has also been a large part of two great soul-winning events in New York City and Shreveport/Bossier. The best is yet to come.

We believe that the time is coming soon to rise and build a place that we, as a local church, can call home. We have sown much and harvest time is upon us.

We want to announce September 3rd as “Membership Sunday” We would love to have all the members of this congregation present at one time, so that we can share the vision for the next three years. You can choose to attend either one of the two morning services. Those members who work on Sunday mornings, please let us know that you will only be able to make it on Sunday night. This will help us facilitate the flow of the day. This is an important date. Please place this on your calendar and mark it for special attention. On this day we want to introduce all our staff to you and to show you all the different areas of this ministry. As your pastors, we want to share our hearts with you. Everyone will be given a nametag at the door. During the month of September, we will also be doing a survey to see how many people are coming through the doors in a week and a month – this will help us to plan and to minister to you in a more efficient way.

Prayer request – please stand in agreement with us for a church bus in order to help those who do not have transportation, to get to and from church.

GOD IS READY

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJ)9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Rodney Howard Browne shows us that God is very, very patient with us – earnestly desiring that we should come to repentance. He wants us to realize that we are hopelessly unable to save ourselves and to throw ourselves on His grace and mercy. Many people are under the false impression that God sends people to hell and that He is seeking every opportunity to do so. On the contrary, He is seeking any opportunity to send us to heaven! If He wanted us to go to hell He should not have sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be born of a virgin, suffer, die and be raised up again for our deliverance and salvation. He should have and could have left us alone, because we were already going to hell all by ourselves. John 3:16-21 (NKJ)16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.21 “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” Rodney Howard Browne also shows us that God does not condemn us. We condemn ourselves by our refusal to accept the way He has made for us. The gospel is as simple, as it is powerful. People try to complicate it, but the truth is not hard to understand for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Jesus bore the penalty of our sin so that we could be born again into the family of God. John 14:6 (NKJ)6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Rodney Howard Browne teaches us that all we do is repent of our sin, believe that Jesus died and rose again, and accept Him as Lord of our life. From that moment on you are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light and you become a partaker of God’s eternal life. Your heart will be forever changed from within and you will live in the presence of God eternally. Ezekiel 36:24-27 (NKJ)24 “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Rodney Howard Browne reminds us that God’s love and mercy have been extended toward you. He wants you in His family – He wants you as His child and He wants to be your Father. He loves you – you are valuable and precious to Him. He has done everything He can for you – in Jesus – and He is waiting for you to take the next step toward Him. He will meet you at the point of your faith and you will never be the same again!

VICTORY IN JESUS

Foundation Scripture: John 16:33 (AMP)33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage: be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [ I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] The word “tribulation” means pressure (literally or figuratively). It is also translated as – afflicted, affliction, anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, and trouble in the King James Bible. If we live in this world and this world system, it is very likely that we will experience tribulations, burdens and persecutions. Everyone experiences tribulation in one form or another if they live on this earth, whether they serve God or the devil. The difference between the two, is this, those who serve God, are comforted in the middle of the trial and have a really good chance of coming out on top at the end. Those who serve the devil just have a horrible time with no happy ending! Romans 8:35-39 (NKJ)35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing that we go through can separate us from the love that our Father God and Jesus Christ have for us. Because of Jesus’ love, He came to conquer the enemy on our behalf, so that we can walk free and victorious! It does not matter what comes your way, you can take comfort and have confidence in this: that Jesus is on your side and if you will place your trust and confidence in Him, He will take you through to the other side – through into the victory! Jesus has already done everything that He needed to do for you when He conquered the world and the devil. You are not waiting on Him – He is waiting on you to take Him at His word and walk victoriously. There are two reasons that you face tribulations – because you are doing something wrong, or because you are doing something right! When you sin, tribulation comes your way as a result of sin. If you subject yourself to the world, to be like the world, you will reap the harvest of your sin and disobedience. If you are on the devil’s turf, you are subject to him. The devil may make you many promises, but there is no good thing in him and if you hang around with him, you will have what he has – distress, frustration, death and destruction – with no way out.

If, on the other hand, you choose to serve God only and you devote yourself to Him, you will face much opposition from the devil and the world, but the tribulation of persecution cannot defeat you, because your life is in God’s hands and your enemy is His enemy. That is bad news for the devil. Jesus told us to be of good cheer and be confident because He has conquered the world and deprived it of its power