The Foundation

The Foundation

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the concrete in the foundation of the Christian faith.

Reasons to believe Jesus really did rise from the dead:

#1 JESUS OWN PREDICTIONS OF HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION Luke 9:22

#2 THE PUBLIC CRUCIFIXION John 19:32-34

#3 THE EYE WITNESS TESTIMONIES 1 Corinthians 15:6

#4 THE EMPTY TOMB Mark 16:1

#5 THE TRANSFORMED LIVES OF THE DISCIPLES  Matthew 26:56, Acts 3:15, Acts 4:1-2

#6 THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH Acts 2:40-41

#7 THE TRANSFORMED LIVES OF CHRIST FOLLOWERS TODAY

How do these truths effect our lives today?

– WE ARE TRULY LOVED Armand 5:8
– BY FAITH OUR SINS CAN BE FORGIVEN Justified=declared righteous
– DEATH IS NOT THE END In death we fall asleep only be awakened to new life.
– HOW WE LIVE IS IMPORTANT How we live is proof of what we believe
– CHRIST DEMANDS AND DESERVES OUR FULL DEVOTION

Passion Week

Passion Week

The most important week of the most important person who ever lived

 

PALM SUNDAY – It is right for us to worship Him!
Matthew 21:1-17, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12:12-36

 

MALADY MONDAY – How we worship and serve Him matters to God.
Matthew 21:12-19, Mark 11:12-18, Luke 19:45-48

 

TEACHING TUESDAY – Loving God and loving others is the greatest commandment.
Matthew 21:20-25:46, Mark 11:20-13:37, Luke 20:1-21:36

 

SPY WEDNESDAY – In this world there will always be someone willing to tear down what God is working to build up.
Matthew 26:3-5, Mark 14:1-2, Luke 21:37-22:2

 

TABLE THURSDAY – We must always remember Jesus sacrifice by joining Him at His table.
Matthew 26:17-46, Mark 14:12-42, Luke 22:7-46, John 13:1-17:26

 

GOOD FRIDAY – Never loose hope. Never give up. Never, never never. Even on the darkest of days God has a plan.
Matthew 26:47-27:61, Mark 14:43-15:47, Luke 22:47-23:56, Jn 18:2-19:42

 

SILENT SATURDAY – Trust God in the silence. He is still working out His plan for your life.
Matthew 27:62-66

 

VICTORIOUS SUNDAY EASTER! – Death, the grave and hell have been defeated. He is Risen, indeed!
Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-43, John 20:1-23

Miracle of Christmas #1

Miracle of Christmas #1

The Miracle of the Moment

Galatians 4:4-7

A Miracle is a wonderful event caused by God that brings Him glory and demonstrates His purposes and plan.

  • Don’t miss the miracle of THAT moment.
  • Don’t miss the miracle of THIS moment.

#1 A MOMENT LIKE NONE OTHER.

When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:4-7 (HCSB)

 

#2 EMBRACING THE HUMANITY OF OUR SAVIOR.

For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.  Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)

#3 TRUSTING GOD WITH YOUR MOMENTS.

He tends his flock like a Shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)

Miracle Defined

Miracle Defined

Miracles happen in the ordinary and the extraordinary. Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.”

There are moments that God breaks through the ordinary for His glory.

A miracle is a wonderful event caused by God, that brings Him glory and demonstrates His purposes and plan.

Remembering the miracles of God in the ordinary moments of life and praising Him for the extraordinary events He preforms brings Him glory and praise.

Gratitude to God

Gratitude to God is a Heart ChangerScreen Shot 2015-11-19 at 2.59.07 PM

Luke 17:11-19

#1 GET UP! – Don’t Miss the Miracle. vv. 11-13

#2 STEP OUT! – Obey to see the miracle through. v. 14

#3 FALL DOWN! – Praise the Miracle Maker. v. 15

#4 GIVE THANKS! – Gratitude to God is a Heart Changer. vv. 15-19

LIVE IT OUT

  • Around the table
  • Invite someone to your table
  • Be creative this Thanksgiving

SCRIPTURES FOR THE THANKFUL

  • James 1:17
  • Colossians 3:15-17
  • 2 Corinthians 9:15
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • 1 Chronicles 16:34
  • Psalm 100:4
  • Psalm 107:1

 

Faith and Farming

Faith and Farming

In Dalhart, Texas, we are surrounded by thousands of acres of farmland. Some of these farms have great crops, while others fail. Two of the deciding factors in a successful farm are the condition of the soil and the amount of moisture.

We have a highly trained group of people called agronomists who help our farmers have great crops. Monitoring crops and helping make important agricultural decisions, this hard working group helps farmers produce fruitful and profitable crops. Sometimes, the agronomists’ advice is the difference of having a high yielding crop or loosing the crop altogether.

In the New Testament book of Luke, Jesus taught His followers a lesson about faith by using the parable of the soils. In Luke 8, He depicts four types of soil. Jesus describes three soils that each produced no crop and one soil that generated a great harvest. In this parable, Jesus is the sower, the Word of God is the seed, and the soil represents the condition of the heart. Will you allow Jesus to evaluate your heart and be your agronomist?

The first soil Jesus describes in Luke 8 is hard soil. He said, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.” Luke 8:5 (NIV) Common back in Jesus’ day, there were paths between fields that were repeatedly walked on and packed down. When the seed landed in these hard places, it was unable to take root resulting in becoming bird food. This soil represents someone who hears the Word of God and immediately allows the adversary the devil to snatch the seed away. This happens when the devil reminds you of your past and tries to convince you that you are unworthy of God’s love. He also reminds you of a hurtful church experience when someone said something uncaring or when a church missed an opportunity to minister to you or your family. As a pastor, let me apologize for your hurtful experience and plead with you to ignore the devil’s reminders. He is wrong about you. God loves you and has a plan for your life. You can trade the lies for the love of God.

The second soil is shallow soil. “Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.” Luke 8:6 (NIV) In the panhandle of Texas, we know all about lack of moisture. Shallow soil describes the person that hears the Word of God and begins to respond, but when his faith is tested falls way. Why?  There is no root. For one to avoid the shallow heart, trusting God with the details of life is essential. When fear and worry replace faith, the heart will be shallow. Is there something blocking the work of God in your heart that you need to trust Him for? He is willing to replace fear and worry with peace and confidence. All you have to do is trust God and place your faith in Him through everything.

The third soil Jesus depicts is crowded soil. “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.” Luke 8:7 (NIV) Weeds in our life hinder the harvest. We live in a culture full of distractions. We crowd our hearts with the the things we see and hear. The books we read, movies and TV we watch, websites we go to on the internet, and the music we listen to influences the condition of our heart.  Whatever you allow into your heart through your eyes and ears effects the state of your heart to the work of God’s Word. If your heart is crowded and full of weeds today, God is willing to cultivate your heart to produce a harvest, if you will let Him.

The last soil Jesus used to describe the condition of the heart was good soil that produced a great crop. “Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” Luke 8:8 (NIV) There is nothing better for a farmer than when the great harvest comes up, and all the work has been worth while. To produce a fruitful harvest in your life, you must soften your heart to the Word of God and refuse to listen to lies of the devil. You also must allow God to work deep in your life beyond the fears and worries of this world. Weed out anything that would choke out the work of God in your life.

As spring approaches and farmers prepare to plant their crops, let’s pray for a bountiful harvest. Likewise, as Jesus plants the Word of God in our lives, let’s cultivate the soil of our hearts for a great harvest of spiritual fruit.

This article originally appeared in the Dalhart Texan and was written by Sean Vickers.

Christian Soldier Field Manual

Christian Soldier Field Manual

Believers in Christ are in a battle for their lives, families, churches, and nation. God has given believers, Christian Soldiers, everything they need for victory. I hope this short Christian Soldier Field Manual is challenging and encourages you to fight the good fight of the faith.

  •  Commit yourself to the battle.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV)

  •   Get ready to fight.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

  •  Know your enemy.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

  •   Fight spiritual battles with the spiritual weapons.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.  Ephesians 6: 13-18 (NIV)

  •  Don’t fight alone.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 (NIV)

  •   Don’t ever give up!

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

Biblical Repentance

Biblical Repentance

Biblical repentance is godly sorrow for one’s sin together with a resolution to turn from it.*  Repentance is necessary for salvation and necessary for godly living. Daily repentance should be present in the daily life of every believer. There is a faulty idea about repentance that it is for salvation only. The process of conviction, confession and repentance is not only the path to God in salvation it is the path back to God as we deal with sin every day. Through Christ we can have peace with God and forgiveness of every sin.

Biblical Repentance

But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Luke 13:3 (NIV)

Conviction

When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: John 16:8 (HCSB)

Confession

If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 (HCSB)

Repentance

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, Acts 3:19 (NIV)

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

James 4:8-10 (NLT)

* Definition of repentance from Christian Theology by Millard J. Erickson

Thankful Story Tellers

Thankful Story Tellers

This is the season that we focus on the things we are thankful for. Sometimes it is hard to be thankful. Perhaps you have lost your job in our lagging economy. Or maybe your health is not what it used to be or you recently lost someone you love. Even the everyday pressures of life can test our thankfulness. While it is sometimes hard to be thankful it is essential that we find ways to be thankful. It can even make a difference in the lives of those around us.

King David, from the Old Testament, wrote, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—” Psalm 107 (NIV) In this passage from the Bible, David gives us reasons to have the attitude of gratitude.

There is a very popular saying among Christians of all denominations today. One believer will say, “God is Good” and the other responds, “All the time.” This powerful saying is a reminder of exactly what King David is saying in this Psalm. We can be thankful because the Creator of the Universe is a Good God. No matter your current circumstance you can be thankful this season because of the Goodness of God.

(Thank you for getting to this part of the article. Some people do not read beyond the title of most articles, so I appreciate you staying with me to this point and I have some great news.) These verses also describe the love of God. When we deserve judgment, God give us love. This passage says, “His love endures forever.” Think about this truth. There will never be a time that God does not love you. His love endures forever!

This love of God is a powerful force for change. God’s love is not a passive type of love, it is an active love. The Apostle Paul described God’s love when he wrote, “But God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinner, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV) Of all the things we have to be thankful for, we should be thankful for a God that loved us so much that He would sacrifice His Son so that we could be forgiven and become children of God. I am thankful for my Savior. He has changed my life! Have you allowed Christ to change your life? He has a life of forgiveness, freedom, liberty, purpose and joy for you.

This passage of scripture also addresses the child of God when it says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” Imagine the impact you could have in the lives of those around you if you told them your story. God wants to use you as an ambassador of His love to everyone you influence.

My prayer for you is that you will take time to be thankful this season and tell your story to everyone that will listen. You will be amazed at what God will do. (Thanks for making it to the end of this article. You are a finisher and I am thankful!)

This article originally appeared in the Dalhart Texan and was written by Sean Vickers.