Aligning Joys

When we think of joy there is probably an easily identified list of things that bring us joy. For all parents, early moments of their children smiling at them, as the join and expand the family. For children it may be more of the simple pleasures, like ice cream while being pool side. There are plenty of things that bring us joy during every week or even almost every day. As believers we must get to place of aligning our joy with God’s joy. The apostle John exemplifies this alignment in his writings to a dear friend and fellow leader of the faith. In verse three and four of the third letter of John, he wrote this: “3For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” The greatest joy we can have as believers is when we share the gospel with others and we continue to hear of how their life clings to follow the truth of the gospel of Jesus as they experience and allow the Holy Spirit to transform their life for the gospel.

Having this joy is what drives our vision at Oasis to reach other people for God, and together, take next steps with Christ. We will obtain a deeper meaning to sharing the gospel of Jesus rather than just to see who will believe it and who won’t. This joy will strengthen the actions of the body of Christ as we interact with the world around us. Just think, Jesus shook the world with a core group of twelve individuals, what could he do with churches who were full of this joy to see people living for the gospel, and not just converting people to the belief of the gospel.

Click here to watch Pastor Bradley message Ladders of Hope-2 on why we need take steps with others.
Click here for the passages from Pastor message Ladders of Hope 2.

Spirit

The Spirit of God has been argued as being under taught as a subject and un-relied on by believers. Both of these perspectives lead to major issues, in life and the expression of belief, because as a believer we claim to rely on the power of God to give us a life, as Jesus expressed, “to have it abundantly” (John 10:10). This life is only achieved by the acceptance and belief of there being one Spirit given by one God (Ephesians 4:4-7). As the Spirit is sent from God we should know, that through the Spirit is the only way to experience God.
There are many elements of following the Spirit, that we all must do in order to continue to experience an abundant life. Although these elements can be uniquely played out in our lives, we all start and continue with the same perpetual steps. The first being that we humble ourselves and see God as the the source and maintainer of all creation (2 Chronicles 7:14). As we receive the Spirit, we should know that we are to listen to the Spirit in all facets of our life, from that moment forward. I believe this to be an initial point of confusion for most, because a lot of us ask this question in some form “Is this what God wants me to do?” As we ask that question we should know that the Spirit does not give a recall of God’s word, if we don’t first know and make God’s word a lamp to our path of life (Psalm 119:105; John 14:26; John 16:13). The Spirit cannot guide us with God’s word if we are not in God’s word.
The second step is that we simply to follow the Spirit’s prompting. This step of following the Spirit is when things can start to get unique for everyone proclaiming to be a believer. But regardless of where that step will lead us, we should reflect the characteristics that make the fruit of the Spirit so we draw people to conclusion of God being love and the only source of receiving true love (Galatians 5:22-23, Colossians 3:17).

God Swap

When you read the first chapter of Jeremiah, you see a bold statement of God desiring to call out to people and wanting to use people in order to do it. In His statement, God makes it very clear that he does not work from a position of problem solving, but from a designed blue print plan (Jeremiah 1:5-8). 

From our perspective we should not just assume everything we think, say and do is to be a part of God’s call on our life. Maybe more often than not, we commit actions that do not reflect submission to His message or the expression of His love that comes from His message. That is when the god swap happens. 

Jesus explains that we will either be devoted to God or to the pursuit of what we hold as treasure (Luke 16:10-13).  So rather than our desire being that follow God’s word with our life we neglect His call and change who our God is (Jeremiah 2:11-12; Jeremiah 2:27-28). 

With this swap, is a lack of fear of who God is, our Creator God, who sustains us (Jeremiah 3:3-5). When we arrive to this conclusion we make it very easy for us to get confused on how God works and rather than returning to Him we blame Him for our circumstances because our desires are not fulfilled. During this time He desires for us to return to Him (Jeremiah 3:22). 

Marriage

I believe marriage to be the best relationship someone can have while living on this earth. The trust, support and experience that comes from a marriage is truly intoxicating. Some people may say and think all roads lead to Rome, when it comes to defining and experiencing a successful marriage but that is simply not the case. For a marriage to have intoxicating trust, support and overall experience there is one path for the husband and another path for the wife that must be followed (Genesis 2:23-24). Each of these paths can be discovered and followed by one unique question for a wife and a husband, along with knowing that all things come from God.  

The Woman's Path
I would like to preference this question with the statement that Pastor Brad made in his message (June 5, 2016). Women have independent thoughts and feelings and are fully competent. Applying the biblical structure of marriage does not negate the expression of these thoughts and feelings. When a woman follows God's Word in her marriage, she does not lose those independent attributes, she merely filters they she communicates them to her husband, in order to be supportive. The question that leads to a wife's path in marriage is how do wives submit to their husbands? 

God has set up the structure of marriage and given women the role of being the only compatible helpmate for a man to have. Although a woman's position in God's plan is not the primary position of the house, it is their position that highlights the man's role. I would say without women there would not be much if anything to highlight. I know from my own marriage experience my wife's encouragement plays the role of reassurance. She pulls and pushes me to be better, especially when I let her to what is going on. 

The Man's Path
The man's path is can feel overwhelming at times, but regardless of all the things that a man may deal with, his question comes down to a simple concept. Which is, how have you loved you wife? As men we can fall into the trap that equates the amount of money we earn, to how much love we can show our families, although it is a part of how we love it is not the way of how we love. As we expressed in a recent blog entry as well as from scripture, your giving is tied directly to what you love, but it's the focus of where you give and reflect that shares your feeling of love. 

Do you give attention to your wife to show that you love her, or do you just share time with your wife doing things that you love. Maybe she cooked your favorite dish or watches the style of movies you like to watch every time you go to the theater. That is not the foundation in which you love her. As a husband I am to love wife for who she is, not what she does. 

There is plenty more to be said about these questions, and Pastor Bradley did a great job communicating this topic. 

Click here for Pastor Bradley's video and audio messages. 

Click here for the passages that Pastor Bradley used for this message. 

Submit

This blog is inspired and a focus from the series Peace by Piece by Pastor Bradley Speer. Click below this entry to watch & listen to his last message and read the select passages.

Submission seems to be a concept that is denied or rejected in our culture. We tend to associate weakness, out of any other characteristic, to the act of submitting. When the truth is we all need submission inside of our life. When we don't submit as child you would of been labeled a problem-child, because without submission we can't follow the simplest of instructions. 

So what do you submit to?  

If we were to take a full look at things we submit to, we would find out two things, what we love and what we gave. 

Pastor Brad expressed the action and definition of submission as, one who is willing to give up their rights. This act is based off of giving. But not so much of the simple act of giving but the value you have on something or someone and the willingness to sacrifice or give up something or someone else. The value of an items and relationships that, are set very quickly when it comes to what we give up for them. Take the thought of life as an example. Everyone who has a job, will submit to that job in order to sustain their life with food and shelter, and whatever else we deem important. Submitting is unavoidable, so why do we reject it so much. 

Seeing that submission leads to giving, it easy to bring love into the picture and make an inseparable accord between submission, giving and love. The connection of love, is identifying you can not love something or someone without giving. So many people verbally express love based off what they have received, and yes it true that love is involved when they receive something, but that love is not from them, it's given towards them. Their amount of love is yet to be determined until their act of giving is accounted for. 

The first couple words in the most famous verse in the Bible express God's example of love with these words, "God so loved the world that He gave..." (John 3:16).   

So the next time you need to discern your willingness to submit, ask yourself if it aligns your life and faith to love God and to give Him what He has asked of us. 

Click Here for the passages from Pastor Brad's message. 
Click Here for the message. 

The Path

This blog is inspired and a focus from the series Peace by Piece by Pastor Bradley Speer. Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

There are a lot of paths available to be chosen in life. In the month of May, we all probably have a spread of graduation celebrations from college to high school bombarding our social feeds. These individuals are at the initiating point of picking a path, of where their life will continue. We can probably all recall a moment in time, when we had a decision to make, that would change the path of our life. But there is one question that we can ask, in order to keep Jesus at our focus so we can experience His peace. The question is, "can I choose this path and be in Christ, and still be blameless and glorify His name?"

 So what do you think is involved in that kind of path?

The path should make us alive.

The path should also bring us together with others in Christ, whether they know Him or come to accept Him.  (Accepted, holy, redemption) 

Relationships

This blog is inspired and a focus from the series Peace by Piece by Pastor Bradley Speer. Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

 

Thinking about my mom’s influence on my life, brings a flood of memories. Some of them being her taking me to church hours before youth group started so she could go to choir practice, and others of her taking me to practice and sitting in the stands at my sport games. These interactions might not be as interactive as other moments, but they sure do reflect the build up from other moments of my mom always being willing to be around and be close and involved. 

As a new father, I find myself constantly in forward thought of being aware of my relationship with my son, and asking myself where will he need and want me to be a part of his life. There’s so much I want to be able to teach him, but what am I teaching him if I don’t allow myself to be a part of his life. 

What proof do you have that will express you are cultivating relationships with others that equate into teachable moments?

Read Deuteronomy 6

We may not be in the blood line of Israel but we can pullout the faithfulness of God to His word. He has also given us statues to follow so that we are blessed by Him in order to share His blessings. 

Where could you better identify moments to teach or encourage those who have a well connected relationship with you?

Christian Response to Culture

This blog is inspired and a focus of a message
 by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

Living a life that is worthy of the gospel and acceptable to God is not an easy task, but we are called to do it. In Romans twelve, Paul said we are to “present our bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  In that same passage Paul explained that achieving this lifestyle, will come by transforming your mind. A solid place to start this transformation, would be to understand that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  

Do your thoughts and opinions reflect that you believe God created everything? Or do you have some thoughts and opinions that contradict?

By accepting this truth from Scripture, we should come to grips with two concepts. First, we should trust God’s word to instruct our life. Secondly, we should live through His purpose for our life. 

Read Genesis 2:15-17

The fall man hinged on Adam and Eve not focusing on the work that God gave them to do, and stepped outside the perimeters that God gave in His instructions. When we trust God, the purpose of life will come freely and abundantly. Continue in Genesis two and identify the simple structure God gave us to follow, which our culture seems to have the hardest time accepting. 

Read Genesis 2:21-25

As you think about your current life, remember that your purpose should be built on you thinking of others and not just yourself (Philippians 2:4). 

With Philippians 2:4 in mind, why do you work?

This short little question has massive repercussions. If providing for your family is not driving your decision to work, than your ability to think of the interest of others is utterly small. If you want to some up the calling of following Jesus, it is to ”love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  

With this understanding and lifestyle, you will be able to engage culture and communicate your belief of trusting God with your life. 

Click here for the passages used from Pastor Brad's message. 

Jesus Interrupted 5

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Series Jesus Interrupted by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

An interruption to us is an inconvenience, but an interruption with God is an opportunity. 

Justifying your own way will never lead to God’s way. God’s way is more simplified than we tend to think. There are two prime elements that can impact our movements and interactions every day.    

  • Loving God comes by yielding your way. 
  • Loving people comes by yielding your way.

Through these two types of love, comes a life focused on loving and worshiping God. 

What decisions do you struggle to justify? (How are you spending your time & money?)

The definition of loving God and people is found in Matthew 6:33 (“seek first the kingdom of God”). Our faith is being used as we focus on loving God and people while simultaneously trusting that our treasure, vision of life and needed physical possessions will be added to us by God. 

Read all of Matthew 6

The teachings of Jesus that are found in Matthew six, display the focus of people who do things that appear to be for God and others, but are truly for themselves. Their reasoning was not settled on the simple instructions that God has given us to pray to Him and to help those in need, but that of looking good to all rather than to just God, who sees and hears in secret.  

So what is your process of justifying decisions? (How is your time allocated? How do you pay for things? When do you help others?) 

Think of it this way, do you give your time and treasure to God first, to reflect that you desire Him or do you wait until there is a low point in time and needs.  

Love & Worship God  

  1. With reason. Ephesians 5:17 & 4:12-16
  2. With knowledge. James 1:2-4
  3. With memory. Joshua 4:1-7
  4. With imagination. Ephesians 3:20-21
  5. With strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-6 (What do your hands do?  What do you see?  what do you hear?  where do you go?  What do you say?)  

Jesus Interrupted 2

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Series Jesus Interrupted by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

We tend to come to Jesus for a lot, maybe even while interrupting instructions that he has already been given. One thing that we have already seen from Jesus being interrupted, is that it’s never to late. In chapter eight of the gospel of Luke we see Jesus being interrupted during another interruption.  During this interaction with Jesus, Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, came to Jesus to implore Him to come and heal his daughter. Before Jesus gets much further a woman with a twelve year long run of a discharge of blood, touches the hem of his cloak. Jesus stops to identify who it was who touch him. This second interruption, which was dealt with first, only happened because the woman believed that if I can just touch the his garment He can heal me of my problem. 

We have to think about the process here, Jesus is known for healing people and speaking about the Kingdom of God, and all she wanted to do was touch him, because of what He already done. 

So I want to raise the question. When have you seen some else be blessed because of Jesus? And thought maybe if I just read His Bible a little bit more or go to church consistently, then maybe He’ll come through. I just want to point out, this process is birthed from a small seed of faith and belief. It’s like you’re telling yourself you want to believe more or start believing. 

The first interruption by Jairus, which is dealt with second, has increased to panic, since a messenger has come up to him to tell him, his daughter is dead. The circumstances of this situation brings out God’s aged old battle with people to just believe and trust. Jesus actually says to Him “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” Through out the Old Testament we read people imploring God to remember His promises and actions to His previous servants (Exodus 32:13).  This is not God going back on His word, but people expressing their belief, the belief if God can do it then He can do it now. 

Read Luke 8:49-50

One verse that all believer should know is Romans 8:28. 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Two things need to be identified about this promise. First, it is focused at “those who love God”. Before we go off blaming and questioning God if He is holding up His end we might first examine if we loving Him. And secondly, we need to remember that all this life is for His purpose. Knowing and having His purpose in front everything, is probably the hardest things to keep in front of us. This element is the focus of today and every day that we have.

Click Here for the passages used for Pastor Bradley's message. 

Jesus Interrupted 1

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Series Jesus Interrupted by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

 

When someone of importance and power gets interrupted, we tend to hold on to our seats to see the reaction. We all expect a flex of power in some way and deep down we want to see power used that we wish we had. If you don’t believe it, then think about the last time you had a thought or an idea that started with “if I was in charge” and ended with a totally different idea, or maybe the idea was great to begin with and you just wanted to feel the positive energy of being able to lead successfully.  When we see Jesus being interrupted or requested to interrupt His schedule to some save a life, we are refusing to relinquish all power and leadership over to Him.

 

Read John 11:21

Are you allowing Jesus to show His power to you on His terms or yours?

 

If we pull anything from the interaction of Jesus and His interruption with Judas in the garden, it can be summed up with these three statements that Pastor Brad expressed on Sunday. First Jesus has time for your interruption. The time that Jesus gives up for you is never wasted. We can know this is true not just because of the words of Paul that express “that for those who love God all things work together for good”, but also with the actions of Jesus that follow the betrayal of Judas which leads to the second statement. Jesus desires to use your interruption. Only Jesus can take an impossible situation and turn the outcome to what looks improbable. The last part of Paul’s statement expressing all things working together for good is “for those who are called according to his purpose.”  This is understood when we accept that all of creation was made for His glory and nothing else and everything we go through is leading us to the fact that there is no interruption that is too big for Jesus. So then understand, Jesus can overcome your interruption.

 

So what are you trying to interrupt Jesus with, and how has He responded to you with His word?

Click Here for the passages of Pastor Brad's message

Mis-Titled

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Come to Church with Me by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

The full picture of Passion Week is an intriguing path of celebration that transitions into a trial and crucifixion. The people of Jerusalem cheer and celebrate Jesus with honor as He enters the city on a colt and is allowed to ride over palm branches that were cut to honor Him as they chant “Hosanna”. Interestingly enough Hosanna translates “save me” which gives total acknowledgment of a need for a Savior.  This proclamation only expresses a thought process of the people believing they have mis-tilting Jesus as the week proceeds to play out. They do everything that reflects a placement of honor and trust to Jesus as Lord, and then call for His life as a criminal, to re-cant their prior claim of Jesus being the Savior. 

Waking up every day we need to take our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).
How do you, achieve this process?

Give Him a Title/ Using Words

Accepting the call of Jesus as Hosanna (Savior), allows us to see God working to draw people to Him. God draws people through a process of witnessing and scattering. The key element of witnessing is only achieved by people testifying of what they know. They must know God’s word and most of all know and experience the joy that comes from God when you title Jesus the only Lord and Savior of the world. 

 Acts 8:26-40

God’s power spreads through out the world as witnesses simply scatter to proclaim who God is. When you think of the word scatter, you might think of random placement or being placed in an unknown location, but to God there it is not random and He will always know exactly where you are. 

Read Acts 8:4. What can you gather as the focus of the people mentioned in this verse? 

The definition of a missionary has been encapsulated to someone leaving home for gospel, but it is truly someone living where they are and on mission for the gospel. It has been said that we are to proclaim the gospel and when necessary use words. But the gospel always needs words to come along those actions of you living the gospel. 

 Read the words of Paul that describe someone coming to Christ and living on mission because they have come to Christ. 

Romans 10:9-17

Click Here for this week’s passages.

Pray God would strengthen your witness of you know and experience, so you may be scattered to share it. 

Concept of Heaven

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Solution of Life by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

A lot of people tend to be curious about heaven, or an after life and if there even is one. Many people want to go off human intelligence as the bases of their belief, but we need to remember everything about heaven should be based on what God and Jesus proclaim about it in Scripture. Pastor Brad pulls out three concepts about heaven from the Bible. These concepts will impact how you live your life. 

The first concept is that there will not be any extra room in heaven. In other words, no one will be there that God does not expect. The foreknowledge of God encompasses that He will know who will be there, but we can not forget that the gospel is an invitation that must be accepted.

“But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” 
 John 1:12

Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you. Have you ever asked yourself how you get there?
 

The second concept is that heaven is not a union to keep benefits for yourself. God is long-suffering as He waits for people to accept His call of love by giving of His Son. 

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness,
but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

 2 Peter 3:9

 

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
 1 Peter 3:18

 

To go along with the previous concept, the last concept is that heaven is made for everyone, but don’t let this concept deceive you, not everyone will go. 

who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:4

This passage is a description of God’s character. If we miss this part about God, we will not live a life that expresses the gospel. A young adult pastor shared this with his church in relation to the gospel, “sharing is up to you, saving is up to God.” (Jonathan Pokluda Watermark Community Church, Porch Pastor). As we share our life and belief with others, we will be amazed at what God will do when we allow Him to use us as an example. 

To read the rest of the passages used in Pastor Brad's message click here

Forgiveness

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Decades 1990's by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

Forgiveness has always been a touchy situation between individuals, but God has always wanted to give it and will never hesitate to do so. In Psalm 86:5, it says that “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” Many times when we live off the assumption of forgiveness. We all know the famous saying, that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. Probably more times than not, we already know the answer to the question we are asking. 

Read Genesis 4:1-8.

God asked Cain questions He already knew the answers to; but I believe God does that so we will realize the truth of the circumstance or situation. 

  • What answers do you need to come to grips with, that will allow you to rule over outcomes in your life?

Cain interacted with his brother while still having bitterness in his heart, and the outcome was life altering. It’s been said, that bitterness is poison you drink with the hope of it hurting someone else. The reality is that it hurts more than just that one person. The damage of bitterness will reach anyone you share it with. 

The book of Philippians directs our focus to think of others higher than ourselves, and that focus is built off of our submission to edify God’s people. 

Read Ephesians 4:32.

  • What amount of forgiveness is holding you back from releasing bitterness, so you can experience life with Christ to the fullest?

To read the rest of the passages used in Pastor Brad's message click here

The Rich & Famous

 

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Next Steps by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

One the biggest things of following Jesus, is to encourage others in faith. In many areas of our life, especially financially, we look up to people who are better and stronger than us as a standard or a goal to reach. God uses that to an advantage. 

"...by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'it is more blessed to give than to receive' (Acts 20:35) 

What do you identify as giving to help someone weaker than you? 

What has been your experience in giving?

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer, another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24)

By giving we approach an opportunity to point back to God and express his fame and glory. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Know that your giving to the church is merely an overflow of your generosity to God. He would rather have your daily obedience than your big promises of when you achieve your goals. 

"Do not lay up for yourself treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal... But seek first the kingdom of God where and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:19, 33) 



 

Gain For The Gospel

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Next Steps by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

As the church of God grows there are a lot elements that are effected, but the driving force which is to gain brothers and sisters in Christ is the reason and goal. Paul expresses his deep desire to bring people to the gospel. He said “I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.” The word used for win could be exchanged with gain, like gaining or earning wages for work. That is the perspective he approached the call of spreading the gospel. I think it would beneficial for us to start contemplating how we approach the gospel. Do share it when it’s convent, or we have the right amount of knowledge or physical support of others around us? Or do we trust the promise of God to always be with us and never forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)?  If you can't bring yourself to present it you probably need to discern if you even believe it. 

How do you currently help spread the gospel?

How could you help the spread of the gospel to grow?

Click here for this week’s passages. 

Next Steps

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Next Steps by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

Our next steps in following Christ, should lead us to our goal of being fulfilled in Christ. This presents the grand question of what does that look like to be fulfilled in Christ? 

Fulfilled in Christ
To be fully satisfied with Christ is hard work and is a continual path to follow.  In Paul’s letter the Philippian church, he expresses his focus to press on through his thirty plus years of following Jesus. He presses on with a desire to make Christ his own, because Christ has already made him his own. 

Philippians 3:12; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23 

Discerning Steps
Do you understand that you are a servant to something or someone in this life, regardless of your position on this earth? 

To lead a life that is satisfied in Christ, is to press on with the drive to leave what lies behind. The things that were left behind never glorified Christ, because we never had the mind of Christ to live through. 

Philippians 3:14-15; Romans 12:2
By renewing your mind you will be able to discern a life that follows Christ and will be welcoming to others who accept His will.  If Jesus is Lord than your next steps should mirror actions of Jesus. Jesus had community, Jesus served and Jesus taught individuals about the kingdom of God. 

Be Better
A key element to pressing on for Christ, is to remember that your next steps will never be complete until that great day that Jesus separates us from this earth to brings us into His glory. Which means as we press on to live a life that causes us to be better for Jesus today than we were yesterday, and prepares us to be better tomorrow than we are today. This is a perpetual cycle of continuity, we continue to be stronger in our faith that we have in Jesus Christ.

Responsibility

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Responsibility
 by Chuck Ward.

We all have responsibilities, but do we make the connection that we have responsibilities because of the things that we have accepted. We can accept contracts, relationships and most of all beliefs. As Christians “we are ambassadors for Christ” and His appeal to call the world to be reconciled with Him (2 Corinthians 5:20).   This reconciliation can only be constituted through prayer and obedience. 

Prayer is the initiating step in which we start a relationship and express repentance and turn to God for strength and salvation. In Acts chapter 4 we see the disciples praying to God and receiving God’s strength to go and be ambassadors of Christ. 

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. 

After they prayed they received the Holy Spirit and started to conduct themselves with boldness. This boldness reflects a foundation of responsibility we all should be aware of. Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians that Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak”. The Spirit of God builds up a desire for us to speak and act with boldness. The biggest measure of faith comes when we act through actions that reflect our faith. 

  • Who do you have to pray with? 

The steps that we take to reflect our faith should show our obedience to Jesus, from the last words that he spoke to His disciples, which were “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” The power we receive is not for our own benefit, but that we would be successful in our appeal for people to b reconciled with God. Our effort to do that should be through a desire to help others, give for God’s work to continue and to be a witness. 

Watch the Oasis message from Chuck Ward, our Manna Worldwide representative.

Vision

Oasis desires to Reach people for God and Together take Next Steps with Christ. In order for people to take their next steps with Christ, there is a very significant element that a community of believers must do, and that is to reproduce themselves. This element requires a believer to acknowledge four other perspectives, the guest, the infant, the child and the adolescent. All four of these perspectives require uniqueresponses, but come from one goal. 

The guest is someone involved in your life, that for whatever reason they do not know or believe in Jesus. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus told the disciples to go and make disciples, which involves us, who believe in Jesus, to introduce people and welcome them to accept God’s love that He gives through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The next three seats at the table rely on someone who will continuously teach them the commandments of God. 

Infants need constant attention from someone who is willing to raise them up. This takes patience and endurance to continue to pour into someone’s life, and guide them through the words of Jesus. Remember, infants need someone to bring them to the table. They are truly dependent for survival. 

The child has experienced some growth, they at least know where to go for food and strength, and they can come on the their own will, but need to still be encouraged of when and where to go. 

The adolescents chair is someone who understands the basics of faith, and will still struggle to keep their life reflecting their love and devotion to Jesus. They also are trying to find their place where they feel needed and appreciated.  

The parent, or mature believer, at the table has one key element that allows them to focus on the goal which is to make disciples out of the other positions represented. It is their ability to realize the immaturity in those around them and want to challenge and teach them to be mature in Christ. This process and focus of making disciples keeps us from just getting upset and expressing anger and disapproval of action. It truly acts as a check and balance for us as we conduct our life around those whom God has placed around us, for His glory. 

Remember that all of life and creation has always had the purpose ofshowing His glory.

TOGETHER

This blog is inspired and a focus of the message
Together by Pastor Bradley Speer. 
Click here to watch & listen to his last message.

When people hear the word together, they probably shoreside the meaning. The Bible uses nearly 200 descriptions of the word together. Some of those meanings are to receive, struggle with or to be made alive with. Regardless of the supplemental action of being together, key elements to remember are harmony and the success that are achieved by being together. Without those two elements, all you are left with is proximity. 

Harmony
This musical picture brings out the fluid flow of a combination. If you know anything about music you know that harmony is never achieved if voices and instruments are not in the same key. In fact it does the complete opposite, and is realized rather quickly. We love our children but when they first start to learn an instrument, we fight through those recitals and hours of practice so they can become better and in sync with the accompaniment around them. The same is true about our faith with God. If we truly believe He is our God then we have to work together with Him. 

Are you agreeing with God?
(Do you read His word and accept and act off the convictions that come out of being together with His Word & Spirit?) 

Communication and understanding go hand in hand. 

Read Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 2:1-8 and Psalm 133:1
The goal of agreeing is to agree on how to do something, and not just what to do. 

Success
To have success in harmony is to work off the desire of wanting to be together (Hebrews 10:24-25). There will never be any success, without acknowledging this characteristic. One of the best pictures of harmony is the human body. Paul describes the church with the same imagery. Our abilities are different and represent different parts of the body. Every church needs members that will show the love of Christ to all those they come in contact with, regardless of who someone is. These actions represent the hands and feet of the body of Christ, to go where people need help and provide the help that is needed. 

Have you thought of how you can make the church better? 

This question should never be satisfied, for we are all sinful and faulty. Since this is true of us all, we should never strive to seek after churches that we think are perfect.  Charles Spurgeon said this about perfect churches, “if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect Church after I had become a member of it.” The chase of what we think is the perfect church, will give us the risk of being around people who think exactly like us, and we will have no one to share the gospel with. Instead let us join a church in order to make it better, and allow it, to make us better through the Spirit. Paul encourages this in Galatians 6:1-5. As you read this passage think of the difference between a load and burden. A load is what we have to do in order to be successful and a burden is something that will distract us from our goal. 

Together
Together: 1: Loving each other no matter what. 2: Being present and Consistently in someone’s life. 3: Benefitting each other in a mutual way. 

Is there any one that you are helping carry their burden?

Is anyone carrying yours?

Click here for the passages for this message