We Are The Church

I love how God speaks through His Word. It amazes me that after almost 2,000 years, the Bible still speaks to today’s world! I am so thankful to have been able to be a part of our last message series “We ARE The Church”. I have learned so many things from it and hope that you have as well. But as I look back at the series, there’s one thing that contributed to the success of the early church that really struck me—the love that the people had for the Church.

What did this love look like? We saw that this love for the church came about because of an intense love for Jesus, His mission of being His witnesses, the empowerment and enablement of the Holy Spirit to live a life of faith together, and a simple desire to share life with one another. When people look at this list, many see it as something like a utopian church society where nothing ever goes wrong. But I look at it like this—their desire to be in community with God and His Church gave a new focus that put the difficulties of life in their proper perspective.

While I see this exhibited in the early church, I wonder where we see this in our own church? To be frank, our society and culture tends to keep us separated by an individualistic nature where we don’t have time to live this faith with one another. If we are going to be a church that models these traits of the early church, we need to have a genuine love for one another—a love that longs to be together, pray together, share life together, and grow in God’s word with one another. We find these traits expressed in our new ministry Home Groups.

I’m looking forward to what Home Groups is going to bring to our church. It’s going to be a place where relationships will be strengthened and a genuine love for each other will grow. It’s a place where we will be able to be open and honest about our struggles in life and pray together. We will have opportunities to turn to Scripture and watch God apply our Sunday Messages to our lives.

Have you considered signing up for a Home Group? If you have signed up, I’m excited for what God is going to do in your group. If you haven’t considered it, I pray that you will. It is a great way to grow in love for other believers and walk the life of faith together. 

Time to Suit Up

Originally Posted February 27, 2015 By Pastor Adam

I was watching CNN the other morning and the discussion, I must admit, was one that made me both examine the situation thoughtfully and also go to prayer.  The host and the guest were talking about the ongoing terror threats that are happening in the Middle East and also around the world, such as in some African nations and even here in the United States.  These reports were discussing the thought of whether or not these actions were that of a religious war.  I must admit that I tuned out a little after the host posed the question to hear the conclusions that were made, but I began to think on this question–are we really at war?

To be honest, Scripture tells us that we are at war.  But we’re not at war with who we think–we’re not at war with any human being, whether he/she is a believer in Islam, Buddhism, or any other religion.  The Apostle Paul had this same conversation with the Ephesian church, and in chapter 6:12 our enemy is clearly identified.  He says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  We are engaged in a war between the forces of good and evil.

We, as believers, have a responsibility to engage in this fight.  But it’s not in the way that you might be thinking.  Our engagement in this fight, as Paul counsels the Ephesian church, consists of two points.  First of all, we need to suit up with the armor of God.  If you’re not familiar with this term, the armor of God is a use of symbolism to get the faithful to be totally enveloped in God to use Him as our defender.  When we engage in this battle, we need to have protection, and only God is sufficient enough for the task.

Secondly, we have a responsibility to be on offense as well.  We are fortunate to have some powerful weapons at our disposal–the Word of God and Prayer.  Friends, the only way we can fight and make a difference in the world today is to live by the authority and power of Scripture and to seek God through prayer to do His work.  When we fight the battles of prayer, only then will this battle truly be won.

I am troubled by all of this.  I hate the fact that there is all of this trouble, killing, and sorrow in the world.  But, I do believe in the ONE who is the victor in all of this–our Lord Jesus Christ.  With the certainty of the victory, my challenge to each of you is that you suit up for the fight and become a warrior for the Lord as you pray for this world.  Pray that people would find the true hope that is only found in Jesus.

A Trust Exercise

Originally Posted January 29, 2015 By Pastor Adam

We had a unique opportunity to participate in something that, I would imagine, was quite difficult for the people of Circle Drive Alliance.  But before I let you all know what went on, let me take you back to 4 weeks ago and the challenge that I laid out before the congregation during our worship on that brisk January morning.

The morning worship service began as many of them do–a great time of worship through singing and then proceeding into a time of prayer.  As I was heading to the stage and preparing my heart to lead the congregation in a time of prayer, I felt led to offer the congregation an opportunity to ask the Lord Jesus over the next 3 weeks to pray and ask the question, “How do you want me to participate in sharing the hope of Jesus?”

I left it to the congregation to pray and I’ve heard some great stories of how God was leading them through this time of prayer.  Then we came to this past Sunday and I challenged the congregation to write on an index card the answers that God had given them of how each one can participate in sharing the hope of Jesus.  “Does He want me to pray for workers or pray for the lost?”  Then write that down.  “Does He want me to be faithful in giving of my finances?”  Then write down a number or percentage that He’s calling you to trust Him with.  “Does He want you to go, whether here in our community or to another culture?”  Then take the next steps to find out where to go and what to do.  This exercise stretched me and I know others into really hearing what God has for me and for us.

Now that the exercise is over, I’m now in the position to ask this question of myself–do I really trust God to provide and lead me in these areas?  Do I trust Him with my finances?  Do I trust Him to equip me to serve in ministries or even as the one who shovels the snow?  I know that I don’t have all of the answers on this, but I’m reminded that our God is faithful to do all that He has promised to do.  My encouragement to you and also to myself is this–if God has called us to do something, let’s trust Him and do it!  He will never let you down.  What a great trust exercise this has been and continues to be!

You Just Never Know

Originally Posted September 17, 2014 By Pastor Adam

It shouldn’t amaze me, but it oftentimes does, when we hear of the church worldwide going through incredible difficulties.  Today we received news that some workers that are helping to educate people in West Africa about the ebola virus were attacked by a gang and some of the members were taken hostage, with no leading (at the time of this writing) of their location.  It is hard for me to sometimes stomach the fact that these people were simply spreading the love of Christ not by crusading demanding conversion, but simply by trying to share information on how to stop the spread of this deadly disease.  It just doesn’t make sense to me.

I spent a lot of time in prayer over this today, and there was a post on Facebook that a friend of mine made recently, reminding us of how Christ wants us to act and view a situation like this.  The blog wasn’t advocating a military solution, or political isolationism.  It wasn’t a call to hate or cut off or run away from, but in fact was reminding us of the fact that we are to love our enemies.  God is the God of love, not of hate.  We find throughout Scripture that Christ never once looked to retaliate on His enemies–He chose to come to this earth and preach the message, hoping that they would turn to Him and experience His grace.  This is the exact same thing He longs for in this situation–that His grace would be extended to all.

I’m asking you all tonight to pray for these people–the captives and their captors.  Pray for safety.  Pray for grace and compassion.  Pray that God will accomplish His will and that all glory will be given to Him.  Once we rest in that statement, we realize that God is in control of everything and that our heart’s desire is simply to glorify Him.