To live in a kingdom culture, we need to know what values and practices define the Kingdom of God. It would help us to define the characteristics of the kingdom of God if we could find those places in the Bible where the Kingdom of God is being practiced perfectly – where we can say … Continue reading Living a Kingdom Culture
Mark shares from his series on the Life of Jesus. Listen here. Read Matthew 9:9-13 Within this little story is hidden the central difference between Christianity and all other religions. This is the first time that Jesus begins to differ from his Jewish faith. In this story he begins to set forth the fundamental message … Continue reading The Calling of Matthew
God's supernatural power flows through our connection and closeness with Him. This sermon was recorded in Guadalajara, Mexico where we saw many lives touched by God's love and power. Man started out as children of God in the Garden of Eden [the garden of pleasure]. Through stepping away from God as Lord and Father man … Continue reading What is Our Identity?
Between the promise and the fulfillment comes the desert. This is the way it always has been and the way it is today. Why? “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have … Continue reading The Test of Time
https://youtu.be/GmzpcELgCRI Is there a biblical pattern to promises and their fulfillment in the life of a Christian? Abraham is given a promise of fathering a great nation. More than 50 years pass before he has a child. He is 100 before the promise is fulfilled. As a young man Joseph has a dream from God … Continue reading How to Wait Well
Through the voice of the Holy Spirit “speaking” directly to your mind. [Again, we call this revelation] Again, this is a little different. In this type of speaking the Holy Spirit does not use scripture, He speaks His thoughts directly from His mind to ours. He causes a thought from Him to appear in your … Continue reading How Can I Hear God – Part 2
Through the voice of the Holy Spirit “speaking” directly to your mind. [Again, we call this revelation] Again, this is a little different. In this type of speaking the Holy Spirit does not use scripture, He speaks His thoughts directly from His mind to ours. He causes a thought from Him to appear in your mind. What makes this kind of communication so helpful is that it can happen anywhere at any time. For me it usually happens during my daily quiet time with God, but it does not come through the Bible. But what He says is always consistent with what He says in His word. This is the test to apply to determine whether or not to believe what you are hearing. When He speaks this way, it has the same power to create faith as when He speaks through scripture. For me it is more effective than going through the bible hunting for a scripture to claim. I am ashamed to say I am quite the cynic. Often when I try to claim a promise from the Old Testament for myself, I end up thinking, “That promise was made more than 3000 years ago to King David. He was a very important guy, I am not. What gives me the right to take his promise and call it my own?” This is my struggle to believe, so it is really wonderful when God speaks to me directly with a promise – mind to mind so to speak. No pun intended! For the last 6 months I have been going through a very hard time, lots of fear and uncertainty about the future. About a month ago God told me during my daily quiet time to go back over my prayer journal from the last 18 months and write down everything He said to me. I thought I would end up with 10-12 things. I ended up with 58 and as of today there are many more. I have discovered that I am having an ongoing conversation with God! My faith for what He has promised for me is huge now! It is big enough to drive the fear and worry away [as long as I read His promises regularly]. For me this is a huge breakthrough! I have been a very fear based Christian. This is changing fast! Here are a few of the things He has said to me that created faith in me: “You are only looking at the negative. Look at the future possibilities with the eyes of faith. Trust me with your future, I’ve got it in my hands. You are not going to make a mistake! I am guiding you, you just haven’t seen it yet”. “You have been using your imagination to analyze all the things that could go wrong in your future. Stop doing that. Use your imagination to see all the things that I have promised you”. “Persevere in faith! Not just in obedience, but in continuing to choose to believe my promises to you. Don’t lose your eternal perspective. This time of uncertainty will end soon. You are entering a new season of fruitfulness – just trust me!” “I am teaching you Trust, Patience, Faithfulness, and Perseverance. Make these your goals and continue to listen for my voice. I don’t intend for you to ever live without hearing my voice. I will continue to speak.” “Turn your fear into praise. Use your praise as a weapon!” And on and on… Sounds like the Bible doesn’t it? That’s why I believe it is coming from Him. Because I believe it is coming from Him, my faith is growing. Because my faith is growing my trust is growing and because my trust is growing, my experience of His peace is growing… and that’s all I need! Here is my point. To grow in faith, we need to be hearing Him. To hear Him we need to be listening. We need to make listening to Him a habit. To do this we need to create a protected time of stillness and listening. The more we practice listening for His voice the better we get at it. Too many people start trying to hear His voice when they are in trouble. It is hard to do when you are up to your waste in alligators. If we learn to hear his voice habitually, when the alligators come, we will be ready. So, start now with a quiet place, your bible, a pen and journal. Pour out your heart to Him and then ask Him what He wants to say to you. Wait and write down whatever comes to your mind. Don’t worry about whether its Him or not. Wait a few weeks and go back and read what you think He might have said. You will be surprised!
Continuing from last post Graph #1 represents our normal human life experience. Above the line are experiences which are pleasant, fulfilling and satisfying. What we like to call “blessings”. There are several high points we love to think about. Thinking about them brings a sense of happiness and self-acceptance. Below the line are experiences that … Continue reading Getting Real Part 2
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FGatheringPlaceChurchSD%2Fvideos%2F335194077066661%2F&show_text=0&width=560 Today we would use the words “transparency”, “vulnerability” and “honesty” to describe deep friendship. Transparency, vulnerability, and honesty are the foundations of any true Christian friendship. Loving relationships require honesty. Here’s a thought: you cannot love someone you do…
“I was an evangelical intellectual. My Christian formation after making Jesus my Lord at the age of 28 was through the influence of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, an intellectual lot in the best sense of the word. I had no interest in, or understanding of, the Holy Spirit, beyond that He was the spooky part of … Continue reading Mark’s shares his experience