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Marc Black - July 12, 2020

God Still Moves!

God is not dead! Prayer still works. God still moves.

From Series: "Dangerous Prayers"

If a recording of my prayers were replayed for me, what would they reveal about me and my faith in God? • Am I bored with my prayers? Is God bored? • Do my prayers reveal a self-centered Christianity? Often we pray very SAFE, easy, benign, expected prayers: Be with me, protect me, and/or bless me. Dangerous prayers are challenging to say. They have potential to redirect our lives. Why? Following Jesus is never safe! Dangerous prayers: Search me, Break Me, and Make Me Bold We are called to a life of faith not a life of comfort! (This series is inspired by the book and messages "Dangerous Prayers" by pastor Craig Groeschel.)

More From "Dangerous Prayers"

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The Holy Spirit is for Me

As Christians, we have the promises of God to trustingly hold tightly. One promise Jesus makes is that he will always be with us: Matthew 28:20b “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [Notice context: Our mission—make lifetime followers of Jesus.] Not only is Jesus with us but he promises to help us. John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” [Notice context: Jesus preparing place for us. Jesus only way to Father. Jesus coming back for us. While he is away, we need to be busy fulfilling his mission. And he is sending us help! We are not alone in the mission.]

  • The Holy Spirit is for me! For me; not just someone else! I want all God has for me!
  • The Holy Spirit is for me! On my side; to help me! I want God to have all of me!
  • The Holy Spirit is for me for a purpose! I want all God has for me and I want God to have all of me so that His plan happens, and heaven is filled with changed lives!

Fuel the Feud

Family Feuds. Church ugliness. Workplace battles. Neighbor wars. What causes feuds?

James 4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

The spark that ignites a feud is SELFISHNESS:

  • “I want what I want. I’m going to get my way. I’m not going to be flexible. I don’t care about your needs, desires, or experiences. I want what you possess, and I’ll find a way to take it from you. I don’t want you to have what I cannot have. I will never forget what you did to me. I am not going to talk about. I am more important than you.”
  • It is ALL about ME!

Relational tensions leading to a feud:

  • Different perceptions or experiences
  • Different needs and desires
  • Unmet expectations
  • Misinterpreted conversations or actions

Fuel the Feud: Kill the Relationship

  • Be selfish: It’s all about me
  • Keep secrets: It’s MY business and you have no say, so you don’t need to know about it
  • Be fake: You’ll never know the real me and this tension will not be resolved by me
  • Be jealous or envious: I want what you have and I am going to take it or destroy it
  • Refuse to let it go: I will keep replaying the offense in my mind and will never forget what you did
  • Make assumptions: I don’t have all the details, so I imagined your motives and reasons
  • Exaggerate your innocence: I have been 100% wronged. I can learn or correct nothing.
  • Refuse to forgive: You will never be able to make things right and I’ll make you pay for the wrong
  • Stir things up: I’m going to keep TELLING you or others how I feel and I’m not going to listen
  • Build an army: I don’t like that person so you should not like that person either
  • Avoid the situation [Cold War]: I’m never going to be around you

Enriching Prayer

Enrich your prayer life:

  1. Pray WORSHIPFULLY: Express your adoration for God
  2. Pray BIG: God’s plans to be accomplished!
  3. Pray SMALL: God’s provision in my daily life.
  4. Pray RELATIONALLY: Walk right with God and restore broken connection with God. Love and treat people the way God loves and treats me. Right relationships with people.
  5. Pray DEVOTEDLY: Pray about anything that might SEPARATE me from God. Flee temptation.


Saturate your life with worship and prayer. Remember that even as we walk closely with God, we will face difficulties.

  • Life can be hard. Things don’t go our way.
  • People are against us or for themselves at our expense.
  • Or people are against Christ and take it out on us.

I’m praying and things seem to get worse, not better! What do I do? I’m having a prayertastrophe!

Message: Healthy Church

Matthew ends with Jesus sharing the Great Commission: go and make disciples of all the nations…. Acts begins with God empowering his followers to fulfill that commission: the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about Jesus everywhere in the world. If you were to encapsulate our PURPOSE as a church in one sentence: Create lifetime followers of Jesus! We want to see lost and broken people have an encounter with Jesus that changes their lives forever!

As the early church engaged in Christ’s mission, it grew quickly. As Luke wrote Acts for his friend Theophilus, he included a summary statement of what that new church was like as it developed. In Acts 2:42-47 we see a snapshot of a biblically healthy community. These are simple truths that become foundational elements as we move forward. They are helpful guardrails to keep in the back of our minds as we interact with one another and invite others to grow with us. God created the church so our goal should be to become the church God wants us to be!

[Many of these ideas are taken from Rod Loy who leads a thriving church in North Little Rock, AR.]

A healthy church is a LEARNING church.

A healthy church is a LOVING church.

A healthy church is a PRAYING church.

A healthy church is HUMBLE.

A healthy church is SUPERNATURAL.

A healthy church is UNIFIED.

A healthy church is GENEROUS.

A healthy church is COMMITED.

A healthy church is FUN.

A healthy church is a WORSHIPPING church.

A healthy church is INFLUENTIAL.

A healthy church is OUTWARD FOCUSED.

Message: Great Joy

What brings you joy? A very glad feeling; happiness; great pleasure; delight.

Pay attention to what God is saying!

  • Pray. Study the Bible. Listen!
  • Pay attention to what God is doing around you

Be where God is working!

  • Where God is working is where the “good stuff” is taking place…
  • If we are not careful, we can miss opportunities God has prepared for us to do because we have not spiritually, emotionally, or physically placed ourselves where God is working!

Celebrate what God is doing!

  • Be grateful
  • Cheer each other on
  • Worship God
  • Proclaim what you have “seen and heard” (Acts 4:20)

You matter to God!

Worship with us on Sundays at 10:30 AM
Pray with us on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM