Mark's View

1505835533

 When someone mentions church what do you think?

Unfortunately, many people think of words like "judgmental", "close-minded", "exclusive", and "gullible" to describe church or church goers. I get it. Many church folks are known for what they are against. Many separate from those who think and dress differently than they do. Some are best known for buying into the latest prophetic word or religious fad without thoughtful, careful, and prayerful Scriptural study.

The church that Jesus heads is not like that at all. In the Gospels Jesus constantly engaged sinful people while offering love and hope for a better life. He challenged people to move from unbelief to belief in Him. He encouraged people to study the Scriptures to prove His claims to be the Son of God. I love when Jesus states His mission in Luke 4:18-19:

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me

to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."

The people Jesus came down hard upon were the religious folks who refused to believe because it required a change in the status quo. He said to them,

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former" (Matthew 23:23).

The religious did some things well, they just didn't do them with love, which is the heart of God. And they neglected the things that were most important to the Lord. They pushed sinners away instead of embracing them with hope. The church where Jesus is Lord will be known for its love, its mercy, its justice, and its faithfulness. It will be a church that engages instead of rejects.

Put your faith in Jesus. He loves you! He died for you. He paid your sin debt. He rose from the dead so we could live again. He wants us to live life abundantly, not religiously.

After all, Jesus said people would know we are His followers if we have love one for another (see John 13:35).

1505566236

 Remaining in Abundance 

I believe God became a man to identify with humans. He experienced every temptation and did not sin. He enjoyed laughter, feasting, and good parties. He also experienced deep sorrow because of the death of a close friend. He experienced profound sorrow when friends betrayed Him.

But Jesus never failed. How did He live an abundant life? How could He be living an abundant life when He said, "I have no place to lay my head"?

I believe Jesus lived and taught us how to live abundantly by living in love. The Bible says that God is love. So how do you live in love?

First we ask God to help us. You see, God the Holy Spirit is called the Helper. So He helps us in our weaknesses.

I ask God every day to help me love Him and people more each day. God has promised to answer that prayer, and day by day He changes my heart to be like His heart.

Love teaches and helps me to become more humble, more considerate, less inclined to anger, less religious, more interested in my neighbor's well-being than in their church attendance, more interested in engaging with people who think and act differently than separating from them, quicker to forgive. Basically as God teaches me how to love Him, He teaches me how to love people--unconditionally.

Certainly I have not arrived. (Just ask my wife.) But God is patient with me as I learn to live abundantly. I'm learning to trust Him more. He is a good, good Father. He loves me and is my Provider, Healer, Deliverer, and Savior.

Let's put our trust in Jesus as our Savior. Let's ask Him to help us love Him and people, more each day. That's living life in abundance.

Philippians 4:12-13

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

You're invited!

We meet at Camden NoMa Social Room located at 60 L St. NE, 20002.  Service times are Sundays at 9:30 & 11am.  All are welcome. We have amazing doughnuts and coffee. 

Please like and share our page @newlifenoma and FB /newlifenoma.   Our website is www.newlifenoma.com. Thanks

1505481201

 Abundant Life

One of the best attributes of God is being a good, good Father. Jesus teaches His disciples to pray to God by saying, "Our Father."

As a good Father, God wants you to live an abundant life. As a Father myself, I tell my children that I want my life's ceiling to be their floor. In other words, I want them to succeed in life much more than I. If I want my children to succeed, how much more does our Father in heaven want us to succeed?

Our potential is great because God, our Father, intended it that way. But the main obstacle to realized potential is unbelief.

God's desire is for us to believe in His Son, Jesus, and to believe in His substitutionary death on the cross for our sins. Believing in Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection begins the life of abundance and realized potential.

I pray you will put your faith in Jesus today. Tomorrow I will share about staying on the path of abundance and living to your potential.

John 10:10

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

We meet at Camden NoMa Social Room located at 60 L St. NE, 20002.  Service times are Sundays at 9:30 & 11am.  All are welcome. We have amazing doughnuts and coffee. 

Please like and share our page @newlifenoma and FB /newlifenoma.   Our website is www.newlifenoma.com. Thanks

1505396001

Limping

Jackie Pullinger says she never trusts anyone who doesn't walk with a limp. She's not talking about a physical handicap, but an emotional or spiritual battle that has permanently affected us.

The biblical patriarch Jacob wrestled with God and was left with a limp. He would not let go of God until he was blessed. God changed his name from Jacob, which means "deceiver," to Israel, which means "God fights." God wants to fight your battles. Will you let Him?

God will never waste a hurt. As we wrote yesterday, wounding is an inevitable part of life. It's how we react to the hurt that matters. If we respond by turning to God, forgiving, and trusting Him to make things right, the hurts will become a blessing. God loves you and will fight for you.

Genesis 32:25-26

When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."

But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

We meet at Camden NoMa Social Room located at 60 L St. NE, 20002.  Service times are Sundays at 9:30 & 11am.  All are welcome. We have amazing doughnuts and coffee. 

Please like and share our page @newlifenoma and FB /newlifenoma. Thanks

1505326543

 Wounded

Have you been lied to, cheated, slandered, and misunderstood? Me too. Sometimes we plot our defense and possibly revenge.

In my opinion, the greatest man to ever walk the earth was Jesus Christ. He only went about doing good--feeding the poor, healing the sick, delivering people from evil.

Yet He was falsely accused and was sentenced to die on a horrible Roman cross. He died and rose again to bring justice to the world.

So now, when things go bad, I turn to Jesus for help. In amazing ways He makes things right, usually not according to my timing, but according to His amazing grace. Give Jesus a chance. He will amaze you.

1 Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

We meet at Camden NoMa Social Room located at 60 L St. NE, 20002.  Service times are Sundays at 9:30 & 11am.  All are welcome. We have amazing doughnuts and coffee. 

Please like and share our page @newlifenoma and FB /newlifenoma. Thanks

1503061849

Where's The Peace?

Today it seems the world is spiraling downward evidenced by violent hate. Hateful pride manifesting as racial and religious superiority is literally killing people and causing divisions in countries, all the way down into families, to increase. 


What the world needs now is love. The Bible says God is love. So we need to turn to God in this perilous time now. Let's seek the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. He calms the storms of life. He brings light into darkness. He brings love. 


You and I can do something about this. We can pray. So together let's pray the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:


"Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."


God wills peace. Jesus said that if we ask anything according to God's will that He hears us and He answers that prayer.  Now is the time to believe and pray.

1502971825

What's Holding You Back?

(Pastor Rick Warren)

When Christian leaders become ambitious, things get tough. Often other people will mistake our ambition for pride or presumption. But Jesus was ambitious about building his church. Paul was ambitious about pressing toward the prize. Joshua was ambitious about taking the promised land. The fact is, God responds to bold, audacious vision and ambition in a leader.

So what could be holding your ambition back?


We tend to confuse humility with fear.

Humility is not denying your strengths. Humility is being honest about your weaknesses. All of us are a bundle of both great strengths and great weaknesses; humility is being able to be honest about both. Paul was able say, “Follow me as I follow Christ,” because he was honest about his weaknesses. In addition he said, “I’m the chief among sinners.” So he writes down both his strengths and his weaknesses.


God wants you to be humble, but he does not want you to be fearful. And to not accomplish anything is not humility, but fear. Don’t worry about God humbling you. He has plenty ways to do that. Worry that you might not be all that he wants you to be because of fear.


We tend to confuse contentment with laziness.

In Philippians 4:12, Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (NIV). But that does not mean I don’t have any ambition or that I never set any goals for myself or my church. Paul was not saying, “I don’t have any desires about tomorrow. I don’t hope for the future. I don’t have any ambitions.” What he’s saying is, “I’ve learned to fully enjoy today, this moment, even though my goals may not be reached yet.”


As a pastor, you need to learn to be happy while your church is where it is right now. If you’re not happy with the place God has placed you right now, you won’t be happy as it continues to grow because you’ll always fall into the trap of “when and then” thinking – “When I get such and such, then I’ll be happy.” If everybody used contentment as an excuse for laziness, who would build the churches that reach the people? Who would care about world hunger? Who would fight for justice and equality? Who would even go out and get an education? The third-grader who says, “I’ve learned to be content with whatever stage I’m at,” never goes on to the fourth grade. We cannot confuse contentment and laziness.


We tend to confuse little thinking with spirituality.

Satan is an expert at getting us to think small. There’s the old myth that says quality is the opposite of quantity. Actually, they’re both important. In a ministry, you want to reach as many people for Christ as possible and you want them to grow as deeply as they can. But if quality was judged by size, then the church of one person would be the highest quality church. Don’t confuse little thinking with spirituality.


I encourage you in your prayer life to start saying, “God, enlarge my influence.” That’s a biblical prayer. You need a great expectation from God. It’s not only okay, it’s imperative that church leaders cultivate an ambitious heart.


Article written by Pastor Rick Warren

1502799082

Overcome Evil With Good

Evil men crucified Jesus who did only good His entire life. Yet He forgave them. If something good is to come from the evil demonstrated in Charlottesville, we must operate from a pure heart that forgives. Then we will have the wisdom and knowledge of God to replace hate with love. 

Consider the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr:

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Consider the words of Jesus found in Matthew 5:43-47:

"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?"

#Charlottesville

- 1 - - 2 - - 3 -

Created by Make Ministries