Vital Ministries News

1 Corinthians 14:26New International Version (NIV)

Good Order in Worship

26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

We only have 4 more weeks left in our series, ‘Frequency’, Tune In, Hear God. This coming week we will be discussing chapter 7, Be a Steward of God’s Voice. We will look at 10 ways in which God speaks. It is going to be an awesome teaching.

You can go to our vitalministries.org website to see 6 different locations in which you can get plugged in with other men as we take this incredible journey together hearing the voice of God.

The main thrust of this weeks teaching is to be careful stewards of listening to God’s voice. We will have an opportunity to distinguish the voice of the Holy Spirit to which he dramatically changes our lives to hearing his voice. Do not miss it and bring another man with you to Vital Men.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Uncomfortable

This past Sunday, Pastor John made a comment.  He said, “there are few things more uncomfortable than a comfortable church.”  This was stated in the context of the great CO-mission.  Matthew 28:19,20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.  Pastor John’s meaning of comfortable, I believe, was that we cease to be bold, press ahead or seek out the lost and find contentment with the status quo. 

In our home group, this week, the question was asked, “are we a comfortable church?”  To which I quickly responded, “yes.”  I was asked to expound on my immediate, definitive assertion.  I was talking about our “church” the congregation that I call my church home, yes, but it was more an indictment of the church in America as a whole.  I believe that as American christians, our faith is superficial.  For most it is a weekly ritual we undertake, so that we may check it off the list and feel good about that and ourselves.  I believe that most of the people I know, who profess Jesus Christ Lord and Savior, honestly and faithfully believe in Him wholeheartedly.  However, I believe that if we woke up on Sunday morning and every church building in America was gone, utterly vanished, christianity in America would be virtually gone as well.

Why do I believe that?  The American church as a whole lacks the heart.  The church in America, I believe, lacks the desire of full out pursuit of and connection to the heart of God.  I was asked by the group, if we are “comfortable”  what is the answer for change?  That’s a tough one to answer and I admittedly professed to not presume to have a complete and thorough remedy.  However, I did offer a starting point.  If we, as members of the American church body, want to see revival, get uncomfortable and draw others into the life that Jesus offers, it has to start with our individual hearts.  Action is not the answer, example is.  If we are to shake up the spiritual awareness of this nation, we must first pursue God with every ounce of our being.  We must long to know Him as intimately as we can.  We must pursue Him and place Him in the foreground of everything we do.  We must strive to read His word, pray to and converse Him daily .  Psalm 42:1,2 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When shall I come and appear before God?  When have you felt that way about God?  That if you didn’t get to the life sustaining water that is Him, you would wither away and die?

If we want to see a dynamic, infectious spiritual awakening in this country, we must first cast off self and realize that without Him, His power and the gift of life He offers, it will never happen.  We can employ the latest enticement to draw people in, entertain them, but it’s all for not if our hearts are not fully captivated by a ceaseless desire to know and love Him.  When the individuals who comprise the body of Christ get fully engaged, sold out to full pursuit of His heart, then it will spread like wild fire and disciples will be made.  Have a blessed weekend!

II Corinthians 13:5,6 (NKJV) Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.  

 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Any Moment

On any given day, I am sure there are moments when you say ‘this is terrible’ or maybe you feel frustrated with how things are going at your job or in your life.  You may hear the news and become discouraged with the state of affairs on any number of issues.  During that same day, you may also experience a closeness to God through his Word, or the beauty of creation, or the kindness shown to you by a friend or a stranger, or any number of things.  There are a multitude of experiences and feelings that may lead us to decreeing that we are having a ‘bad day’ or a ‘great day.’  Its all fairly subjective.  How are things going today?

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.  Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.                     1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

I had a professor in college who often would as us to take a ‘reality check’ when we would feel overwhelmed with understanding material or life in general.  It was often good to stop griping and complaining to take a step back and look at the big picture to help get perspective on things.  Do you ever do that?  Maybe you take a break from a project when you are getting frustrated and things are not working out so you can get an attitude adjustment or start again with a new perspective.  Maybe you even ask God for guidance or a little help seeing things as you should.  This might be part of the component of ‘pray continually’ that on the surface would seem impossible to do.  Maybe just going through life with an open line of communication with God on your heart and mind is all that is needed.  Talking out loud through the day may not always be necessary, but could prove helpful at times. 

So, I hope your day goes well, in the sense that you keep an open communication with God and with others, who can help you get through tough situations, rejoice with you when things are going well, and allow you to grow in patience in any and every circumstance.  It is easy to react or overreact when all you are concerned with is how things relate to me and my needs.  If everything isn’t going my way, I can feel slighted when something happens to disrupt things.  Selfishness makes us defensive , quick to anger, and capable of many a nefarious deed if we let it guide us.  At the end of the day, make a list of experiences and things you are thankful for that have happened over the past day.  Do an inventory of your life and take a reality check on where things are and where you should be headed the next day.  It will help make each day a Great Day!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Philippians 4:4-5

Blessings,
Clark

Take your friends to Jesus

So many times in my journey with Jesus I have had a friend that needed to get to Jesus but would not get there on there own.  There have been times that I wanted to get frustrated that they are stuck and seem to just be a victim.  Other times I want freedom for them more than they do and end up frustrated.  Then I have friends who are pursuing freedom and take 6 months of strides forward and the one week backwards is more than the 6 months forward.  Have you ever felt stuck in your friendships seeing the freedom available for them and they are not walking in it?  That is how these four friends felt and here is what they did…

edan-cohen-2486Mark 2:1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.

The refused to be denied.  Could you imagine the response of the homeowner when he found a new skylight in his roof?  The audacity for these four friends to damage someone’s property.  What would you do for your friend?  Would you stop at the crowd, or the fact Jesus was preaching, or how hard it would be to get a paralyzed friend on the roof? These friends found a way to get their friend to Jesus.

Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

Notice it says seeing “their faith.”  This is the faith of the four not the paralyzed friend that led Jesus to forgive the sin of the one who’s faith is not represented. 

But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves,“What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

This miracle happens because 4 friends had audacious, crazy, reckless faith to do the unthinkable, because the consequences of their friend not meeting Jesus was greater than the price of the roof, offending the crowd, or annoying Jesus.  What is the miracle God wants to do in your friends life?  What if while you are waiting on God, God is actually waiting for your faith to be activated and risk greatly for your friends freedom?  Go today in faith and risk greatly for your friends freedom!

Recklessly, Obsessively Following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Real Strength

One of the number one things men desire is strength. Have you ever gone down the “nutrition aisle” in a store? If you have, you know that the majority of the products are supplements designed (or at least marketed as such) to make one stronger. Whey protein, creatine, protein bars, and more are sold in giant containers at high prices, and many of us drop significant sums of money in an attempt to grow stronger. From the time we were young boys we’ve been taught that to be a man is to be strong. This not only means that we are to develop physical strength, but emotional strength as well. We are taught that showing emotion is a weakness, especially sadness (after all, big boys don’t cry). As men we’ve had it drilled into our heads that strength lies within, and that a major sign of weakness is that relying on someone else. That’s why we tend to never ask for directions, and why we would rather damage our vehicle then sink to the depths of going to a mechanic.

More and more men I know are walking away from church, or never even approaching God, because they see faith as a form of weakness. They reason they don’t need God in their lives because they can handle things themselves, just like they can handle every other issue in life. Even many Christian men I know still rely on their own strength and abilities rather then trusting God. We are simply so fixated on this idea that we have to develop our own strength. But, here is the reality: real strength, strength greater then even the World’s Strongest Man can imagine, comes only from God. I would argue that the the greatest strength comes not from doing everything on your own, but from admitting you can’t and getting your strength from God.

But God tell us: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

See, we are never strong enough to face the struggles of this world. Even the strongest man will eventually die. The most emotional hardened of us will eventually suffer loss and struggles that bring us to our knees. Those are the facts of life. The only source of strength that can conquer death and propel us through the greatest of difficulties is the strength that comes from God. Not only is it ok to lean on God, it is by far the best way to get through the difficulties of life. I want to encourage all of us to stop trying to go through the difficulties of our lives by ourselves, and instead turn to God for strength. Take strength from prayer, from His Word, from worship, and from other believers. Allow God to power you through this life and into the glory of His Kingdom.

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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