Priorities

Haggai 1:1-2:23

Pressures, demands, expectations, and tasks push in from all sides and assault our schedule. Sometimes it feels as though we don’t have time to eat breakfast in the morning. Do this! Be there! Call them! Finish this! It seems as though everyone wants a piece of our time – family, friends, employer, school, church. Soon there is little left to give as we run out of energy and time. We find ourselves rushing through life, attending to the necessary, the imidiate, and the urgent. The important is all too often left in the dust. So many times I find myself dozing off during my quiet time with the Lord, not giving much care to whether or not I give Him my best. Our problem is not the volume of demands or lack of scheduling skills, but values -what is truly important to us.
Our values and priorities are reflected in how we use our resources – time, money, strength, talent. Often our actions don’t match our words. We say God is number one, but then relegate him to a lesser number on our “to do” lists.
Twenty-five centuries ago, a voice was heard, calling men and women to the rigth priorities. Haggai was a prophet of the Lord who knew what needed to be done, and challenged God’s people to respond.
The armies of babylon had destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem- God’s house and symbol of His presence. About 50 years after the Temple was destroyed the Jews returned to jerusalem and began rebuilding the Temple. But soon they forgot their purpose and lost their priorities, as opposition and apathy brought the work to a standstill. The people were more concerned with their own needs than with doing God’s will, and, as a result, they suffered. Haggai delivered a message, calling them back to God’s values. His message became a catalyst for finishing the work on the Temple.
Read the book of Haggai and listen to the Lord urging you to reorder your priorities in accordance with His will. What has God told you to do?? Put all else aside and obey Him!!

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Random

The past few weeks at the River we’ve been experiencing some spiritual attacks – The worship leader went home sick before the night of worship even began, the powerpoint screen didn’t work right, the pastor couldn’t find his notes – the whole thing was a disaster! The Lord spoke to me and said due to the lack of prayer cover over the River, the enemy was able to infiltrate and manipulate our worship service. This really awakened my spirit about the importance of diligently and faithfully seeking the Lord in prayer before leading people into an atmosphere of worship. If a service is not blanketed in fervent prayer, the power immediately shifts to the enemy.
This week we made it our goal to get into the prayer room a half hour early and soak up the presence of the Lord, begging Him to show up and transform hearts. Because if Jesus is not in atmosphere of the worship and the teaching and the fellowship and small groups, then there is really no point in showing up ourselves.
God is so amazing!! This week we had an awesome time in worship. There was a deep, rich aroma of the presence of the Lord. Jared decided to skip out on the message he had planned for the night and just listen to the Lord speak to our hearts. Again, Jesus spoke these words to me from Zephaniah 3:11-12

11 I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you.
There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain.
12 Those who are left will be the lowly and humble,
for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.

At Church at the gate, our pastor has spent the past few weeks pounding the fact that the United States of America has quickly shifted to the United States of Accumulation. Everywhere you look you see selfish, greedy, proud, ego-centric Americans falling for the lie that accumulation & consumerism will bring them true joy. The stuff that was going on in Zephaniah’s day is the same thing we see today in the U.S. We’ve been living in a delusional lie that we are untouchable & indestructible. Zephaniah’s prophetic word to the people of Jerusalem reminded me to check myself. To get rid of all moral filth, PRIDE, LUST, INSECURITIES, FEAR, and SELFISHNESS. We’ve gone too long simply ignoring the Lord! We get so caught up in our “stuff” that we no longer care about spending time with the One who created us.
I know this posting is probably ADD-like, I’m kinda all over the place. But the point I want to make clear is that God loves us and he desires to be in relationship with us. When we choose to put other things before God we will continue to see struggles and hardships come our way. Just like Zephaniah saw in his day, and just like we have seen here at the River.

God’s Outrageous Love for you!!!

II Corinthians 5:14a – “whatever we do, it’s because Christ’s love controls!”

This verse awakened my spirit as I read it this morning. If people haven’t encountered the Love of God, then they haven’t experienced a true transformation. It’s the Love of God that drives us to repentance and compels us to change. God’s amazing casts out all fear so there becomes no desire to seek the praise of man, but our hearts cry is to be completly saturated in His perfect Love.

Only Love can reach out a hand to the poor and the beggar. Only Love can stand as a defender of the orphan and the widow. Only Love has enough boldness and courage to cast out demons and lay hands on the sick. It’s only Love that drove one man to the cross, where he suffered and died so that ALL might live.

Is Christ love controlling you???

Is your veil removed?

II Corinthians 3:14

14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.

Some many today are stuck in the “religion” mode instead of living free in the Spirit. “The Bible is too boring,” I often hear people say, or “I try to read the Bible but I don’t get anything out of it.” So many people struggle to understand anything they read from the Bible because they’re reading it through veiled eyes. It’s the Holy Spirit who reveals Truth and brings wisdom and understanding. Reading the Bible without asking the Lord to reveal new principles IS tedious and boring.

But when we seek the Lord and invite Him to remove the veil from our stained eyes, He brings Freedom, Truth, and Life more abundantly. The apostle Paul says once the veil has been removed, we become mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord.

Next time you open the word, rather than just flipping through the pages and randomly selecting a passage that your finger falls on, try this:
Take a minute to ask God what He wants to reveal to you. You’ll be amazed at how much more scripture you’ll retain and apply to your life. Once the veil is removed, it’s pretty fun to see God go to work and infuse people with his life giving word.

Father we desire to know you and become more and more like you. Teach us your ways oh Lord, so we can better reflect your glory!!

Always Enough

I Corinthians 13:3
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
The Lord’s been pounding me hard with the importance of simply loving others. Last night at the River I sensed this overwhelming desire to reach out in love to each person that walked through the doors. The entire night there was a deep sense of community as the Presence of the Lord touched hearts. As a group we corporately prayed against the spirit of death and suicide and then broke off into groups and commanded waves of healing to rush over each person who was struggling to take each thought captive to the Lord. It was incredible operating in the gift of prayer and prophecy over others. Love and jubuliant joy completely saturated the entire night. Praise God for the breakthough in the River!!
I’m reading a book called Always Enough by Heidi and Rolland Baker – a missionary couple serving in Mozambique Africa. After serving in Mozambique myself for over a month, my heart leaps as I read of what the Lord is doing among the poorest children on earth. This family truly embodies and models what it means to love and care for those that nobody wants. Many of these children found by Heidi and her husband spend their entire childhood running the streets, stealing food, and prostituting themselves just to stay alive. Some children come from backgrounds where witchcraft is practiced seriously, and have been thrown out of their homes for coming to Jesus. But it’s amazing to read the testimonies of how the Lord can take a broken little soul, infuse it with power and healing, and bring complete restoration to these poor children. And as he visits them, they change; they become radically serious about serving Him with their lives and about cleansing impurities out of their hearts.
As I read this book there is one resounding Truth that echoes throughout the book; When we Love and Trust in God there is Always Enough!!

I ve been sorting through some stuff relating to my earthly/ heavenly father. For me i know that my heavenly father loves me more than i can ever imagine. It is just really hard to wrap my head around. alot of times i feel that alot of people including myself give like half of our issues to got and then try to use our little brains to figure it out. we need to give it all to GOD…it needs to be a heart issue and not a mind issue.

so i starting think about who i am in christ. and God started to pour out his love in my quiet time. Then i found this band THE GLORIOUS UNSEEN! they have some freaking sweet songs. The song close to your heart really just spoke to me about GODS LOVE FOR ME! How he sees me as his son. This might not make any sense to you…i hope it does.
BLESSINGS
AC

MATHEW 3-17
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

You are not your own…You’ve been bought with a high Price

 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Paul spent most of this chapter devoted to the importance of fleeing from sexual immorality – a sin which is violent destroying young people all over the world. So many people believe they can do whatever they want with their body because it’s their own. Satan has tricked young people into defiling their bodies for a fleeting moment of pleasure and self-satisfaction. Young people have become ignorant to the fact that they have been bought by a high price – that price is the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Listen to these words of Nate Saint written over 50 years ago:

                             ” If God didn’t hold back His only Son, but gave Him up to pay the price for our sin and failure, then how can we Christians hold back our lives – the lives he really owns??”

The world is dying for a Savior, yet so many Christians go about living “business as usual” lives, never walking in the High calling of the Lord Almighty. It’s time the Western Church begins to live out it’s destiny and step into the reality that when suffering and persecution increases – sinning decreases! The world can do nothing to a Christian who has no fear of man. Jesus never said it would be easy!

Jesus…my life for you!

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