Easter at Living Water 2014

Easter at Living Water 2014

“I always thought Easter was all about the bunny and eggs.  Now that I know Jesus, I can’t wait to celebrate His resurrection on Easter!”  Those were the words spoken to me by a brother that radically met Jesus not long ago.  If this is your first Easter as a Jesus follower, it’s not hard to be excited for what we celebrate!

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most pivotal moment in all of human history, all of the Christian faith rests on its veracity.  Consider these words as we prepare to celebrate the risen Jesus, Savior of the world.

“Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.”
― N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
“The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s kingdom. . . . It is the decisive event demonstrating thet God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven.”"The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.”
― N.T. Wright
“The resurrection is the revelation to chosen witnesses of the fact that Jesus who died on the cross is indeed king – conqueror of death and sin, Lord and Savior of all. The resurrection is not the reversal of a defeat but the proclamation of a victory. The King reigns from the tree. The reign of God has indeed come upon us, and its sign is not a golden throne but a wooden cross.”
― Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture

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You know where you start?  With the next thing that God tells you to do.  You know where we start?  The last thing that he told you to do that’s not done.  You know where we start?  Just one step, one act of obedience, because you never know when you are one act of obedience away from unlocking supernatural revival.  You never know!  God’s compassion is persistent, his power to change a heart is unlimited.

And God’s choice of messengers is purposeful. Don’t underestimate the significance of your life wherever you’re living it out; wherever you derive a paycheck from, wherever you call home, wherever you buy coffee or tea or hot chocolate. Don’t underestimate even simple things, like the route that you take which causes you to drive by that one person on the side of the road. See, don’t ever underestimate, because when God whispers to your heart, when God begins to open your eyes to the world around us, that he didn’t speak to you accidentally.    Continue Reading…

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They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:10-11

You may be in the midst of the painful rather than pleasant, but if you look to Jesus today, point your life in his direction, then you can be assured that there’s a “but later” coming for your life as well. “Later” yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. That is God’s heart for you. Consider Jonah, captive in the belly of the whale, in the depths, in despair. That’s what God was teaching Jonah. He was slowly using this great, big fish to swim Jonah back from his place of rebellion to a place where he can have a second chance at what God called him to do the first time. That’s the heart of God for you. Continue Reading…

A Jonah lurks in every Christian heart, whimpering his insidious message of smug prejudice, empty traditionalism, and exclusive solidarity. He that has ears to hear, let him hear and allow the saving love of God which has been outpoured in his own heart to remold his thinking and social orientation. Allen, Leslie C. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament.

Are You Running?

Pastor Jon —  March 28, 2014 — Leave a comment

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There can come a time in anyone’s life, whether you’re a Christian for days, months, or years where we are more concerned that God is blessing what we’re doing than passionate to be doing what God’s blessing. Wouldn’t it be great if we could actually call the shots?  Whether we recognize it or not, many of us probably, at least some of the time, conduct life this way – or wish we could.   Continue Reading…

Are You Sleeping?

Pastor Jon —  March 19, 2014 — Leave a comment

So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.” – Jonah 1:6

We see several things as we look at this text.  One of the things that we see is this idea that Jonah was asleep in the bottom of the boat when this great storm was raging all around him, and you have to stop and think about that for just a minute.  Because if these seasoned mariners, these guys that sailed the sea all of the time, were scared to death, to where they were jettisoning cargo, thinking, “This is our last shot,” the sea was raging.  And yet in the midst of that reality, Jonah was asleep in the bottom of the ship, to the point where the captain comes down and says, “Dude, what’s your problem?”  And isn’t it interesting that the captain says the very same thing that God had said to Jonah?  “Jonah, get up – arise.” Continue Reading…

Money and Significance

Pastor Jon —  March 5, 2014 — 1 Comment

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Man must have an idol and the amassing of wealth is one of the worst species of idolatry! No idol is more debasing than the worship of money! Whatever I engage in I must push inordinately; therefore should I be careful to choose that life which will be the most elevating in its character. To continue much longer overwhelmed by business cares and with most of my thoughts wholly upon the way to make more money in the shortest time, must degrade me beyond hope of permanent recovery.”  - Andrew Carnegie

What he’s describing is a life of worship. Worship is what we invest our self into; it’s what we serve, it’s what we love, it’s what we trust. Andrew Carnegie’s right in saying every man must have an object of worship – the question is what’s yours? Continue Reading…

Control

Pastor Jon —  February 19, 2014 — Leave a comment

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Let’s understand what idols really are. To understand what idols are is to understand what it means to put Jesus in the center of our life, and to be able to reckon with those things that creep into our hearts, and subtly and yet very intentionally, edge Jesus to the perimeter. These are the things take the place of worship that only God deserves. You see, the ungodly belief is “I can control my present to ensure the outcome of my future.” The gospel says, when Jesus is at the center of your life, your belief and practice will be,  “I surrender my present to entrust the outcome of my future to Jesus.” The reality is many of us, many people who call ourselves Christians today, if we examine our hearts and lives closely will see that we have entrusted our eternity to Jesus, but we haven’t really entrusted our present. Continue Reading…

Bound Together by Faith

Pastor Jon —  February 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

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It is not the experience of Christian brotherhood, but solid and certain faith in brotherhood that holds us together. That God has acted and wants to act upon us all, this we see in faith as God’s greatest gift, this makes us glad and happy, but it also makes us ready to forego all such experiences when God at times does not grant them. We are bound together by faith, not by experience.

Continue Reading…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bmhkim/I don’t like to be interrupted.  Do you?

When I am reading a book, watching a show or engaged in conversation I prefer to not be distracted.  Over 15 years ago I married Fawn and we enjoyed many hours of silence, together, uninterrupted – magnificent! Then we had children.  From that day onward interruption became the new status quo.  (Am I the only one who hides in the bathroom in order to Continue Reading…