Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 3/26/23 by Pastor Steve Shields.
Prayer is important.As we look to Jesus, we see he prayed a lot! He prayed at His baptism. He prayed before calling the disciples. He prayed at the feeding of the multitudes. He prayed all the time. He prayed before His arrest. He prayed after His resurrection.
Why do we pray? We pray to connect spiritually to God.
We pray to receive wisdom in life’s decisions.
We pray to have strength when the stakes are high.
We pray to take advantage of the blessings of prayer.
We pray to prepare ourselves for battles yet to come.
How do you make prayer an integral part of your lives? You set aside deliberate time to pray. You don’t let fear of “virtue signaling” prevent you from teaching others to pray. You share stories with others of answered prayers.
Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 3/19/23 by Pastor Steve Shields.
Pastor Steve continues his series on COMMISSION.
Interdependence permeates our existence. Our differences strengthen us. God made us to need one another.
In order to walk deeply into the pathway of interdependence you must let go of fear. You must let go of your pride. You must let go of your judgement and instead give grace. Grace is essential in interdependence.
Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 2/19/23 by Pastor Steve Shields.
Everyone wants to make a difference. But the difference isn’t a matter of size; it’s a matter of commission.
Making a difference requires a clear vision of your commission. Resist the temptation to “be somebody”. Productive ministry can happen is small, personal ways.
Making a difference that matters means you need to separate yourself from sin.
Making a difference that matters means you need to love God’s instruction and God Himself.
Making a difference that matters means you look for ways to influence others.
The difference we make has an eternal blessing. God uses it to restore value to human lives. God uses it to prepare others to stand in righteousness. God uses it to change lives by bringing His presence.
Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 2/12/23 by Pastor Steve Shields.
Our commission regards Kingdom interests. The promises of asking anything in God’s name and receiving it are given in a certain environment. They are given to “disciples”, people who are following Christ. The promises are given in the context of Kingdom ministry.
Human political movements are not the solution to humankind’s greatest of needs. Instead, we need to look to the greatness of God’s power.
Mountain moving faith trusts God.
Mountain moving faith rescues people from evil.
Do you have some mountains that need moving? Personal spiritual mountains are things that keep you from being who God wants you to be. Personal ministry mountains are the things that keep you from doing what God wants you to do. Collective ministry mountains are the things that keep us from doing what God has for us to do.
Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 01/29/23 by Pastor Steve Shields.
C in commission is for call. Coming to Jesus changes your life. There is a better life to come, and it is for certain! The future affects how you live now. It affects how you live with others in this life, and it affects how people view you in this life. You are motivated by the love of Christ.
What does living your call look like?
You see people from a different perspective, from Christ’s perspective. You see the kinds of changes God makes in the lives of people. Christ changes people through the Gospel.
God has called each of us. He has commissioned us. The call of God in your life is a pretty big deal! The seriousness of the situation influences the expectation of participation.
Indifference to the call is a warning sign that you may need a reboot. You may need to ask God what He has for you and to see from His perspective.
Some healthy motivation to respond to the call is knowing that you are Christ’s ambassador as stated in Corinthians 5:20. You can make an eternal impact. You can make a personal impact. You can give your life to Someone greater than yourself.
Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 1/22/23 by Pastor Steve Shields.
Cynics are on a cyclethat starts with a disappointment, which leads to discontentment with life. Then they decide to protect themselves, which leads to a cynical spirit. Then a negative experience happens, which leads to disappointment, and the cycle continues.
Cynicism effects your faith. It causes some to jump ship. It causes some to stay put but to stop hoping. Disenchantment robs their faith of its enchantment. It causes some to erase the miraculous from their faith. They and their faith are dis-enchanted.
The use of enchantment is to speak of the opposite of mundane. Mundane is lacking interest or excitement or of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one.
Our faith is enchanted. Our faith is founded on the supernatural. A virgin birth is not mundane. Our faith is enacted by the miraculous. The atoning work of Christ on the cross, and His resurrection is anything but mundane.
Our faith is of the Spirit of God. Communicating with God in Spirit and in truth is not mundane.
What factors contribute to disenchantment? Arrogance, ignorance and fear all contribute to disenchantment.
What steps can we take toward re-enchantment?
Drill down to what Christian faith is. Real Christian faith is found at the cross. At the cross, Jesus loved his neighbor as Himself, His enemies and His Father in heaven.
Look into your own heart. The problem of many who are disenchanted is not their lack of faith, but their abundance of arrogance.
Radically open your heart to wonder. Release God from your demands. Look for the miracles and expect them.
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