Impossible Demands — Possible!

April 27, 2011

A few years ago I came across John Piper’s book:  

What Jesus Demands from the World.        (Buy it or download pdf)

This book challenged me to take a fresh look at the claims of Christ and the demands He puts on my life as I follow Him.  In the introduction Piper says:

“When these demands are seen for what they really are, they turn the absolute authority of Jesus into a treasure chest of holy joy.  When the most glorious person in the universe pays all my debt (Matt 20.28), and then demands that I come to live with Him and enter into His joy (Matt. 25.21), there can be no more desirable demand imaginable.”  (p. 26)

I have been waiting for the time when we could take a few weeks and look at some of these impossible demands that Jesus makes possible! (Piper breaks it into 50 chapters—we will not take 50 weeks!). 

This week Will Toburen and I are starting a new series entitled, Inside Out:  Making Impossible Obedience – Possible!  

Two requests:

1.  Pray for us and we map out the series and prepare for the first message this Sunday.

2.  Read these verses and prepare your heart to walk with us and we delight in the demands of Jesus! 

 

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Praying for Families–and Resurrection Day Celebrations!

April 23, 2011

Because our nation has a “Christian memory” –Easter Sunday (Resurrection Day) is a special day for families.  (Info about services at Calvary)

Many will travel—go to a different church—some who seldom attend a church service will go—because their families are going.

As I think about tomorrow—here are my prayer requests:   

  • Take a few moments today and pray for your family members by name (example below).*
  • Pray for those who will lead the service that you will attend—for the anointing of the Spirit to make the Gospel clear.
  • Pray for those who know Christ to deepen their dependence on the risen Lord and delight in Him above all things.
  • Pray for those who do not know Christ to see Him clearly and transfer their trust to Him.

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*Praying for our families

 “Father, I pray for _________. 

I pray that ____’s heart will be opened and ________will see the risen Lord Jesus and transfer all trust to Him.   

I pray that ___ will find complete satisfaction in Christ alone.

I pray that _____will delight in the Glorious Day of the Resurrection of Christ and anticipate the Glorious Day when we all will stand before the judgment seat of God.  I pray ____ can say:

‘if I live, I live to the Lord and if I die, I die to the Lord.’  (See Rom 14:7-12)

This is my heart cry for my loved one—in the strong and powerful name of the risen Lord Jesus!”


Encouraged? Discouraged?

April 1, 2011

It seems like both words have described life lately.  Doesn’t sound very mature to admit it–but it’s a fact. Circumstances and life-encounters can move the emotions up and down—like a roller-coaster.   

Challenges that seem insurmountable contrasted by the clear working of God.  Discouraged! Encouraged!  Some times just a few minutes apart.

Courage in or Courage out?  When I think of the word “courage,” I think about the strength to act…maybe even the strength to act beyond normal capacity—courageous. 

People are courageous because they are motivated by a need or cause that supersedes normal circumstances. The Bible challenges us to see that the presence of God supersedes circumstances.  The source of courage (and the key to overcoming discouragement) is recognizing and responding to the presence of God. 

My feelings don’t always get it right….but the Word of God makes the answer clear: 

Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9)