Living In A World Of Uncertainty :: 1 THESSALONIANS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 05/19/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

How do we respond to the world’s evil? We can respond emotionally. We can respond rationally. But, we need to respond from the right place.

How do you respond from the right place? Remember what kind of person you are. You are a church person. You are an important person. Jesus would have come and died for you even if you were the only person. You are an inspired and inspiring person. When you choose to live in hope, you risk disappointment. When you choose to give into despair, you guarantee it.

Remember the kind of God you worship. A God who loves you. A God who chose you. A God who is transforming you.

Humility – Walking Humbly With Your God

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 5/12/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

There are dangers in humility. You may think “I am nothing.” “I am humbled to say….” If we are not thinking sometimes what we regard as humility is pride in disguise. “Who am I to judge?” Biblical humility does not require us to abandon the belief that some things are true and others false.

How do we walk Humbly with God? Lose the swagger. “You’re most dangerous in the Kingdom of God when you’re right.” – Bernie Knefley. Prioritize the needs of others.

How do we acquire Biblical humility? Acknowledge you don’t have it and never will. The closer you walk with your God, the more humility will flourish. Ask God to kill the part of you that walks in pride. Ask the Holy Spirit to alert you when you walk outside of humility.

Hesed – The Merciful, Lovingkindness of God

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 05/05/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Hesed is kindness, lovingkindness, mercy, goodness, faithfulness and love.

Hesed is fundamental to God’s nature. God requires us to love hesed.

Hesed is precious. It makes the world a better place. It increases your lovability. Hesed multiplies your influence for Christ.

The power of hesed comes from your experience receiving hesed. It comes from your confidence in Christ’s hesed. It comes from your abiding in hesed.

The Difference Is In The Details

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 04/28/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Listen as Pastor Steve speaks on Micah 6:8.

Justice is tending to the details. It is desiring the lives of others be full. Abundant living happens when you receive the good things in life as gifts received from God. Seeing to it that others are treated with respect. Making sure others have what they need to survive. Treating people with fairness.

How do we live out attending to the details? Defend the weak – love them. Help those without help. Protect the vulnerable.

Where do you start? Begin by looking at the details. Take a look at yourself. Become more aware.

It is true – you probably can’t change the world, BUT you might be able to change someone else’s world.

The Power of Forgiveness – The Power of The Cross

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 04/21/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

The cross of Jesus offers us power to forgive those who have sinned against us.

Forgiveness is powerful. Forgiveness is a strategy for improved mental health. Both forgiving and receiving forgiveness improves mental health.

What does forgiveness mean? Forgiving is releasing someone from bondage. Forgiving another is the most God-like thing you can do! Choosing to forgive will cost you.

There is value in forgiveness. There is unrivaled relief in forgiveness. When you forgive another, it demonstrates to your own heart that the encounter you have with Jesus is real.

The pathway toward forgiveness is difficult.

Forgiveness acknowledges the reality of the debt. The act of forgiveness proclaims the significance of the loss. Admit the impact of the debt, but don’t overdramatize or under-dramatize the offense. Remember that forgiveness is not forgetting. Consider the forgiveness you have received from God as you walk the pathway toward forgiving. Trust God for the greater reward. Give it to God – it is His to repay.

Standing Against The Darkness :: KINGDOM FOCUS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 04/14/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

People Fall. It doesn’t matter who you are, you will fall. Christian leaders fall. Ordinary Christians fall. People who don’t call themselves Christians fall.

Falling can come at unexpected times, even on the heels of triumph.

People who stand well in the faith stand clear of ungodly influences. They prioritize engagement in the Kingdom. They stand back up when they fall.

How do you stand in confidence in the Kingdom? Do what you do faithfully. Do what you do filled with faith. Do what you do consistently.

The Significance Of The Ordinary :: KINGDOM FOCUS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 04/07/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

There is great significance in the ordinary. You do not have to shake the world to have value. Ordinary people living ordinary lives have an extraordinary impact. The Kingdom is made of the ordinary.

God gives the ordinary significance.

What are you doing here? I am living here. I am working here. I am praying here. I am singing here. I am keeping watch here. The people in Nehemiah were doing ordinary things, and God put their names on the pages of the Bible.

In order to see significance in the ordinary we need to use perspective. God defines significance. You need to use humility. You cannot be significant apart from God. You need to trust that God won’t forget you. To see the significance of the ordinary in the kingdom you need to be in the pages of the Bible.

The Empty Tomb: Something Is Missing

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 3/31/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

When the women went to the tomb, they expected Jesus’ lifeless body. But it was missing. They thought that their hero had fallen. They thought that their dream was dying, They thought that their hope was extinguished.

What was in that tomb?

Our guilt. Our hopelessness. Our separation. Our dysfunction. Our unfulfilled longings. Our insecurity. Our doubts.

The Time of Your Visitation – Palm Sunday

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 03/24/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Listen as Pastor Steve speaks about the time of your visitation.

How do you miss this visitation – the incarnation? People missed the incarnation as they asked whatcha got for me? As they said you’re not really what we want, or you’re getting in the way.

There is a visitation coming that no one will miss. For some that day of visitation will be wonderful. For some that day of visitation will be terrible.

A visitation you can’t afford to miss in the here and now. It happens in everyday places. It might happen when you’re finally looking. It might be in this moment.

Did you recognize the time of your visitation?

Getting Our Priorities In Place :: KINGDOM FOCUS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 03/17/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

How are your priorities? Pastor Steve has some questions for you to ask yourself to assess your priorities.

What’s your schedule like? Are you giving attention to the needs of others? Do you find yourself struggling with anger? Where is your treasure? Where is your heart? Are you giving God His due – your time and service?

Why should God be a priority in my life? He made you. He called you. Jesus died for you. He placed His Spirit within you. He will require an account for your life. He forgave you.

Priorities require commitment. What kind of commitment do kingdom people make?

Kingdom people make a proactive commitment. They take initiative, and they take responsibility. They make a commitment that is sincere and not casual. They make a commitment that is broad in scope. They don’t give God the leftovers, instead they give Him the first.

What if you were to write some promises to God? They might be things related to relationships. Things that distract you from God. Things that tempt you to compromise.

But be aware you can’t maintain the covenant. Instead look to the Holy Spirit for strength. Look to Jesus for grace. Look to tomorrow for hope.