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.

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.

Reconnecting With God :: KINGDOM FOCUS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 03/10/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Where do you hear from God these days?

God speaks through His word. God speaks personally to us.

Why does God sometimes seem distant?

Sometimes it is a lie. Sometimes it is a function of our disappointment. Sometimes it is created by my own sin.

If we are feeling distant from God, how do we reconnect?

Be honest about your faults (sins). Don’t deny them, don’t excuse them, don’t celebrate them and don’t hide them. Own your wrongdoing.

Realize the rollercoaster and resist it. An unmonitored Christian life has unnecessary ups and downs. Step off of the roller coaster and onto the foundation of God and His word.

Why We Study The Bible :: KINGDOM FOCUS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 3/03/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Reasons we love the word of God.

Because of its place – it moves us forward spiritually. Because of the authority – God’s Word. Because of its universal nature – it speaks to everyone. Because of its depth. Because of its complexity. Because of its touch – it speaks to the heart. Because of its nature – it is restorative.

Four pointers on Reading God’s word from Andrew Murray (1828-1917). Read it with reverence. Read it with expectation. Read it with careful attention. Read it with desire to make it yours.

Being Spiritually Healthy and Spiritually Effective :: KINGDOM FOCUS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 02/25/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Listen as Pastor Steve discusses walls around Jerusalem from Nehemiah 7.

Walls allow people to thrive. They give you a place of shalom.

Walls allow faith to flourish. It’s hard for faith in God to flourish when dabbling in darkness.

Walls allow promises to stand.

There are doors and gates in the walls so we can be the light on the hill. These doors and gates allow us to love our enemies, be reconciled to those whom we’ve had quarrels, treat women and men with respect and dignity, be honest, forgive from the heart, give to those who are in need, let go of worry and trust your Father in heaven and build with an eye toward eternity.

Gates allow others to see the Kingdom. Ultimately, Jesus Himself is the gate to the kingdom.

Take a look at your own life at the walls and gates. Find a place of shalom. Discover the doors in your life and use them. Doors make it possible to live lives of light. Doors make it possible to understand the needs of others.

Staying The Course : KINGDOM FOCUS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 2/18/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Pastor Steve is once again in Nehemiah. Listen as he discusses how to stay the course.

There are three commitments that help us stay the course.

We need to avoid distractions. Distractions are often the tool of the enemy. We need to be committed to staying the course.

We need to address lies. Sometimes God expects you to confront lies.

We need to assess relationships. In the kingdom, genuine friends draw you closer to the King.

Am I staying the course? Which distractions tend to pull you off course? What kind of lies make you want to give in or frighten you? What friendships would you be wise to evaluate?

Crowding Out Toxicity :: KINGDOM FOCUS

Presented At Curwensville Alliance on 2/11/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Listen as Pastor Steve discusses how to crowd out toxicity.

How do you know if you are in a toxic environment? Here are some characteristics of a toxic environment. People don’t respect others. People won’t understand others. People don’t care about others.

There are several common problems leading to toxicity. Closing my eyes to the needs of others. Being unaware of the struggles of another. Being unaware of their shared brotherhood.

How do you create a healthy environment? Take a look at yourself. Take a look at the King. Live a life worth imitating.

Standing Against Lies of the Enemy :: KINGDOM FOCUS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 02/04/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

The main tool the enemy uses is deceit.

Satan’s power is nowhere near equal to God’s because his power is limited by God. Satan’s pattern is one of deception. His hands may be tied, but his mouth spews lies. Satan knows the power of deceit.

Satan has three favorite lies. You can’t! Give up! Play it safe!

Know your enemy – the father of lies. Satan is NOT God’s equal and opposite. Exposing Satan’s lies disarm him. Your Kingdom work moves forward when you choose not the believe his lies.

What Are You Doing Here? :: KINGDOM FOCUS

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 01/21/24 by Pastor Steve Shields.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness – 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV). That means even the Scripture that we wonder why is that important.

Nehemiah 3 shows us some useful lessons. All Kingdom work is spiritual work. Distraction doesn’t have to deter you from serving in the Kingdom. Everyone has a place in the Kingdom. Hearts of passion serve. There is honor serving the Kingdom.

How does a list of names have value?

Nehemiah 3 teaches us to value your role in the Kingdom, to avoid forces that distract and deter you from serving and to try some things to find your place in the Kingdom. We also see that we are to look for something or someone to care about, and to expect honor to come from God and God alone.