Sunday, November 25, 2007

November 25th House Church

Today we read and discussed Philippians 1:21-29

We can serve Jesus with expectant hope of His return.
This hope in service is a purifying influence in our walk. 1 John 3:1-3

Jesus attitude in service is shown in Phil 2:5-8 We deny our desires and look to Jesus for guidance.

Standing firm with:
One spirit
One mind
Striving together

Remember Paul is writing this from prison. But we are to remember those in prison as if in prison with them.

Many teachers talk of the blessings that we get from being Christians but few talk of the cost. Some even deny the cost of following Christ. The Bible talks of those who deny the cross and contrast that with their fleshly appetites. But we are to seek to serve Christ. It makes sense that if you want to play tennis you must give up golf if you are playing that at the same time. In the same way if we are going to follow Christ other things must be given up.

Jude 3 also talks of this striving.

v28 is interesting passage. Our confidence in God in the midst of persecution is a sign to the lost of our salvation and their destruction. The peace Jesus gives is not as the world gives. It is a different kind of peace that is founded on the rock. It is a peace in the midst of trouble, not the lack of it.

Prayed for Uzbekistan in the Operation World book.

Also prayed for our personal needs.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pattern for Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13 Pattern for Prayer

1 Our Father who art in heaven - Be still and know that God is God.
2 Hollowed be Thy Name - Offer God praise
3 Thy Kingdom come - Pray for God's kingdom to come. World Evangelism & Government leaders
4 Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. - Pray for the specific things God is leading you.
5 Give us this day our daily bread. Our daily needs, Physical spiritual
6 And forgive us our trespasses as we have forgiven those who trespass against us, Repentance/forgiveness
7 And lead us not into temptation - God's protection in spiritual war
8 but deliver us from evil. - Healing, freedom, deliverance Bind the strong man
9 For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. - Worship & Thankfulness
10 Amen.- This is the faith of the prayer. Confidence in God.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

November 18th House Church

Philippians 1:7-21 Areas we discussed.

v7 "... both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me."
Confirmation of the gospel is doing the work of the gospel. It is the response to the gospel.

v8 For God is my witness how I long for you. To minister effectively one needs to long to reach out to those who he ministers to.
with the affection of Christ Jesus. Our ability to love comes from Christ. We don't have the ability to love and care for others apart from Christ.

v9 "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,"
Love is active and the knowledge allows us to encourage. One job of the preacher is to explain the Bible and its promises for us. Another part of the preacher is to encourage others to hope in the promises that God has spoken to us.

v11 "having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."
The fruit of righteousness is talked about in James 3:13-18
It does not come from bitter jealousy, selfish ambition.
Wisdom from above is: pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy. The seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

We need to be at peace with ourselves and God and others. Turmoil within hinders the bearing of fruit.

We then went to Acts 16 and read the account of how the Philippine church started. Paul was thrown in jail for casting out an evil spirit. He found people that were interested by going to the place of prayer and sharing the gospel there. While in jail there was an earthquake, and the peace Paul and Silas showed during their imprisonment and not running when there was an earthquake brought the jailer to the Lord.

v14-21 People were preaching the gospel. Some from pure motives and others from impure motives. Paul decided that he would praise the Lord that the gospel was being preached no mater what.

Paul knew that weather he lived or died that Christ would be exalted. That was his purpose to serve Christ. Our ability to serve in trying circumstances depends on our trust in Christ and not relying on our own ability or protecting ourselves.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Praise God When Prayers Unanswered

Did you know that unanswered prayer is a call for praise? When we have prayed and there is no answer its time to get out the guitar. Its time to open up the hymn book and give God praise.

That's what the Bible says. Psalm 22:2,3 "O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest. Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel."

That's right, when no answer comes start praising. God is enthroned on our praise. He rules when we praise. Praise is not only celebration but is also creates a highway of holiness.

God looks with favor on those who have faith. Faith is only possible when there is need. When there is unanswered prayer we have a need to praise God. This praise maintains our hope, which gives faith substance.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

November 11th House Church

Today's gathering discussed Philippians 1:1-7

Paul and Timothy were bond-servants of Christ. A bond-servant serves voluntarily. Christ's bond-servants will believe in Him. John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father."

We will do the works of Jesus as we believe in Jesus. Part of believing in Jesus is keeping His commands John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." Jesus commanded us to love one another in John 13:34,35

In Jesus Name signifies being under Jesus' authority. 2 Cor 5:20 We represent Christ as ambassadors. Teaching others, (Christians especially because the book of 2 Corinthians was written to the church), to be reconciled to God. Christians are already reconciled to God but many times we don't live like it or think of ourselves that way.

We then talked about praying for each other in verses 3,4
It is important to keep alert in prayer with thanksgiving. There is a prayer of complaint and a prayer of thanksgiving. Faith grows with thanksgiving but usually doesn't with complaint. God answers prayers of faith so we want to stay alert by being thankful.

v5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
my NAS Bible has a note with participation = or sharing in the preaching of the gospel.
As we work together for the gospel prayer builds us up even more.
Amplified = fellowship, sympathetic co-operation and contributions and partnership - in advancing the good news . . .

v6 God will continue to build us up. Eph 2:10 talks of our purpose that we were made for.

v7 Paul not only prays but has the Philippians in his heart. This gets back to obeying the commands of Jesus to love one another. We can't help others if we don't love them. Paul served with love. Paul prayed with love. Paul lived with love.