Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Key to a Miracle...

In week three of #stepup at Revolution Church, we discussed miracles.

Miracles happen when incredible circumstances result which can only be accomplished by divine intervention. In the scene of John chapter two, Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding feast. It was his first recorded miracle, and set the stage for his earthly ministry to be revealed.

Expecting a miracle takes a lot of courage and prayer. There were five key things we want you to see if you're in that waiting period for a miracle. Here are the keys:

1. The setting. There was a party. God did not choose to reveal his son Jesus at the temple, he instead performed the first miracle at the party. The miracle may be done in an unexpected place or circumstance because God has something greater than just allowing you to celebrate it with people who already know Him.

2. The need. There was a problem. The problem is the stage of a miracle when your questions can turn to anger. You feel so abandoned that it's perfectly reasonable to want to lash out at God because life is not fair. No miracle can happen without a problem, so learn perseverance because there is a greater hope than what you are facing right now. In the meantime, pray, follow the instructions, and don't settle for less than God's answer.

3. The opportunity. There was a plan. The plan was that guests would be served, the best could be provided, the impossible could be done and Jesus could be revealed. What if the miracle is really not about YOU? What if God wants to show off and you are the one he has chosen to endure the suffering for His glory?

4. The reason. There was a purpose. What if the reason for your problem and subsequent miracle are to point people to Jesus? The whole reason the water was turned into wine was the ultimate revelation of Jesus as the Messiah, the son of God. Could God be using YOU to reach OTHERS?

5. The power. There was a plea. When you have nothing left, pray. Trust God. Seek him. Ask hard questions. Cry. Lean on him. Turn anger into hope. Take action. Don't give up.

So you're there, and the answer has not come. You prayed, and it feels like God ignored you or did not answer. You're angry, and it seems justified.

Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes the answer is no. Or wait. Or now. Or maybe later. Or for a season. Or for another person. Or for patience. Or for his glory. Or for mercy. Or for growth. Or - the hardest one - for Heaven.

But God answers prayer, and he performs miracle.

The key is figuring out what his mission is for performing the miracle because it's never just the moment.

Even sick people who are healed eventually die.

God has a bigger plan that fixing your right now. He's looking to fix a lot of people forever.

Do you believe in miracles?

Pardon me, Al Michaels. But yes! Yes, I do.


I love you all, and these are my thoughts.

Pastor K

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pardon me, but the best platform may be the kitchen table

Can we beg Christian America to put away the soapbox and trade it for a more reasonable option?

In the book of Joshua, a strong leader was nearing his death. Joshua was a military commander for Moses, widely known as one of the greatest and most influential leaders of the Old Testament. It could be argued Joshua was greater than his predecessor, having taken the Israelites into the Promised Land. The land was divided based upon the 12 tribes of Israel and the heritage of the people determined the household and place of their future.

In the book which bears his name, Joshua issues a challenge on the doorstep of his death:

I gave you land you had not worked on, and I gave you towns you did not build—the towns where you are now living. I gave you vineyards and olive groves for food, though you did not plant them. So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:13-15)
The people respond with a resounding agreement. But Joshua is wise, and he challenges the people to hold to their responsibilities despite their words. He then sends them, in verse 28 of the chapter, “away to their own homelands.”
It has become both common and popular to defend Jesus and the Bible with our words. But those words both inspire and require action to have a solid foundation. What Joshua understood is the Israelites history and propensity to give lip service to God but just as easy be tempted to sway from their dedication to serve other interests and other gods. It would happen again.
Our culture has developed a platform for giving “word-service” to our allegiance. Social media drives this train. In response to hot-button issues, we sensationalize the moment in our defense of something we many times are not living out in our own lives.
If you carry heartbreak that prayer is removed from schools, take an action step to teach your children how to boldly and respectfully pray in front of their classmates at the lunch table. Combat hatred and intolerance by loving others like Jesus instructed, rather than spewing words through blogs and comments on social media. Rather than condemn those which are different from you, take the approach of the friend of sinners and open a conversation about faith around a table. That is the proper platform. Take action.
This action begins at home. Before carrying the banner of the controversy with your words, be sure your actions match your attitude. Pardon the phrase, but it’s very hypocritical of followers of Christ to “stand with” the popular celebrity of the moment and then stay in bed on Saturday or Sunday and refuse to worship with a group of believers in a church setting because we can’t fix our priorities.
It’s easy to talk a good game. Joshua sent them to their homes to lead one.
And leadership of your home is hard, but that is what ultimately makes the lasting difference.
I appreciate well the defense of the faith. Just make sure when you draw your weapon, you are standing on the proper foundation. Clear your table, and you’ll find a solid place to start.

Your house.
I love you all, and these are my thoughts.
Pastor K