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Signs amid the affliction: a Palm Sunday devotion

Posted by A.Totire on May 1, 2020 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Sunday service April 5, 2020.  "Signs amid the affliction" Matthew 21:1-11; 42.  Palm Sunday online service.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3h25vhneGA

Disruptions and comfort March 29 2020 message

Posted by A.Totire on May 1, 2020 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Disruptions and comfort.  March 29 message from 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuobn3EEQ2E" target="_blank">http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuobn3EEQ2E

"Your unfolding story" excerpts.

Posted by A.Totire on June 1, 2019 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Excerpt from PAstor Alan's message on May 26: "Your unfolding story."

https://youtu.be/Gx_3Poo2LCQ" target="_blank">http://https://youtu.be/Gx_3Poo2LCQ

Devotion on new creation

Posted by A.Totire on May 8, 2019 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

This is a devotion based on 2 Cor. 5:17. "New creation."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRvfuN_wKLw


Devotion based on the theme "The Shelter."

Posted by A.Totire on March 29, 2019 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

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Rumors of revival part 2 (based on sermon from Mar. 17)

Posted by A.Totire on March 22, 2019 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Gal 5:16 (ESV)

The Apostle Paul planted many churches, two of which are the church in Galatia, and he church in corinth.  Both had their problems, but from Pauls first letter to the Corinthian church, he says this:

1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

1 Cor 3:1-3 (ESV)

Here, he states that they are still in the flesh.  "Flesh" here is juxtaposed with "Spirit."  They are still following the spirit and the wisdom of the world.  The ironic thing is that, while chapter 12 and 14 reveal that the gifts of the Spirit are in operation in this church, the Corinthians are still in the flesh.  It appears that a person can practice a gift of the Holy Spirit, but not be walking in the Spirit!  It has often been said that Satan can duplicate the gifts, but not the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).  This is so, since according to I Cor. 3, the fruit of jealousy, envy and strife are evident in a church where the gifts of the Spirit are in operation.  

As one studies the theology of the Spirit, especially from Paul's letters, it is evident that being "spiritual" is the work of the Holy Spirit.  It has little to do with "acting spiritual"... from a secular perspective.  For example, it is not popular to say that one is religious, but it is good to say that one is spiritual.  So, a spiritual person can practice certain things, such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, etc., which are considered spiritual disciplines.  However, unless they are from the Holy Spirit, then the Apostle Paul would say that these practices are still "of the flesh."  They depend on worldly wisdom.  This results is confusion, where people think that an increase in spiritual disciplines demonstrates a revival is taking place.  Actually, unless it is accompanied by the fruit of the Spirit, it may be a deception.


It is the Holy Spirit who not only fills our lives with God's love, but mediates the knowledge of God to us.

9 But, as it is written,

 

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,

nor the heart of man imagined,

what God has prepared for those who love him”—

 

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

1 Cor 2:9-10 (ESV)

It is therefore vital that we walk, or keep in step with the spirit.  He is like the conductor of the orchestra, who makes sure that everyone follows the conductors lead and rhythm.  

As the musician follows the rhythm of the conductor; the true believer follows the rhythm of the Spirit.


Rumors of Revival part 1 (based on sermon from Mar. 10)

Posted by A.Totire on March 22, 2019 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)



Psalm 80:14-19 (NLT)

 

14 Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Look down from heaven and see our plight. Take care of this grapevine15 that you yourself have planted, this son you have raised for yourself.16 For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies. May they perish at the sight of your frown.17 Strengthen the man you love, the son of your choice.18 Then we will never abandon you again. Revive us so we can call on your name once more.

19 Turn us again to yourself, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.

The writer of Psalm 80 undersatnds that Israel had fallen away from God, and needs to be revived.  It is not enough just to resume their religious worship to God:  Their very relationship with God needs to be revived.  In other words, Israel needs to come to Yahweh with true heart affections and love for Him.

In recent history, England, America, and other parts of the world have experienced revivals, also called "The Great Awakening."  These revivals were preceded by intense time of people praying, fasting, and confessing sins.  I also want to say that such meetings often were not called "in order get a revival started", but to call people to repenatnce and to return to a saving relationship wiht God.  Many of our current Pentecostal churches came from revivals that began in Wales, India, and at Azusa Street in Los Angeles.


True revival will always be a revival of  the heart, with the heart's affections turned towards God and his glory.  True revival will always be accompanied by a desire for holiness, a repentance of sin, as well as a renewed sense and urgency of God's mission.  Often, the result of a revival includes a changed society, an increase in foreign missions, greater church attendance, and greater love for one another.

Today, however, many people use the word "revival" in ways that tend to water down the original meaning.  For example, many churches utilize contemporary worship songs with lights, fog machines, and a clever worship set that is desinged to induce a certain psychological effect on its listeners.  Others tend to emphasize the spiritual gifts, such as prophecy, where people are taught that anyone can prophesy.  While good music and spiritual igfts are good things, there is an assumption that dependency on these things will cause people to fall in love with God more.  This is not the case, in fact, these things tend to displace the work of the Holy Spirit in people's lives.  The Spirit does not need such enticements. 

I am concerned that people are being inoculated against the real work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Let us seek the Lord and repent of worldly enticements.


Psalms 63:1 (ESV)

 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.




 


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