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.

The Cynicism Circuit :: DANGEROUS SIDE ROADS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 1/22/23 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Cynics are on a cycle that 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.

The Roundabout of Futility :: DANGEROUS SIDE ROADS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 1/15/23 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Have you ever had feelings of futility?

The definition of futile is having no constructive effect, achieving nothing of value.

Everyone experiences futility at some point. These futile feelings are rooted in the mundane.

When we look in Ecclesiastes 1, we see Solomon’s perspective on futility. You cannot escape futility through education, pleasure, wisdom or keeping busy. Instead, you find satisfaction when you make God central in all things.

Some questions to think about. Is the Lord central to my faith? Is the Lord central to my mission? Is the Lord central to my family?

Who Is This God We Follow?

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 1/08/23 by Rev. Brad Sickler.

We serve a God that scripture states is the absolute essence of holiness. What does that mean?

God is wholly other. He is totally different than us even though He created us in His image. He created everything out of nothing. He is completely righteous.

God is all sufficient. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us.

This holy, all sufficient God keeps His promises.

We have a sin nature, but God wants to save us. He loves us and wants us. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us.

We are not holy, and we have a holy, holy, holy God.

God made a solution for this problem when He took on flesh in the form of Jesus. The One who came, lived a perfect life, took our sins upon Himself, and was crucified on the cross. He died there because of our sin. He was buried, and rose from the dead. God made Him, who had no sin to be sin for us. So that in Christ we might be able to be holy.

God has promised He will supply our needs.

What is our response to this God that we follow? We seek to grow closer to God. Jesus opened the way to be in the presence of God.

We each need to be saved individually, but we are saved into the body of Christ. One of the ways the Lord develops holiness in us is our interaction with others.

The Control Corridor :: DANGEROUS SIDE ROADS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 01/01/23 by Pastor Steve Shields.

God calls us to exercise control, but it can be tricky.

Control can become a problem depending on who is exercising the control in whose life? What is being controlled? When control is executed? Where control is taking place? Why control is happening? How control is implemented?

The engine behind control is often lust. Lust is a deep desire. Biblically, lust can be positive and negative.

Improper control (inappropriate desire) destroys relationships.

Keys for staying out of the control corridor. Know the One who is in control. Trust the One who is in control!