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May 26, 2017, 9:25 AM

7 churches, 7 callings, 1 Lord and Savior

Church Family,

Have you spent time with God today? How do you know what you should or shouldn't do today? Are you doing things and hoping that God will bless it or is God blessing you to go and do things?

This week I began reading in Revelation. In Seminary I took a class on the book of Revelation. A great tool to use when studying it is to write down 20 observations or questions for each chapter. I promise this will help you tremendously. In chapters 2 and 3 we see letters to 7 churches. Here is one of the many observations that you can get from reading those chapters. Every church has the same savior, but every church has a specific calling. 

What is your calling? What is our church's calling? 

Revelation 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Revelation 3:22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

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May 24, 2017, 9:43 AM

Why some churches die

Church Family,

During my devotions today I read something very troubling.

Revelation 2:4-5 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

They abandoned evangelism. They knew how to do church and tell others how to live, but did not share the gospel. Their knowledge of God did not draw them to the lost who needed the gospel. They used their knowledge to falsely justify not going to the lost with the gospel.

Repent or I (Jesus) will remove your lampstand. 

Revelation 1:20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Without their repentance, Jesus is going to remove this church. Why? They will not evangelize. I pray that no church becomes like this, but sadly most would rather see souls go to Hell, their children included, rather than make evangelism a priority.



Comments

05-24-2017 at 5:53 PM
Don Purvis
Totally agree.
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May 22, 2017, 10:28 AM

Samson

Church Family,

This will be the 2nd time that I've prewritten the devotion part of this email. I normally like to share what has happened on the day of my devotions, but I knew I wouldn't have time to share this in the sermon yesterday. (My devotions were the beginning of Revelation)

Judges 14:16-17 And Samson’s wife wept over him and said, “You only hate me; you do not love me. You have put a riddle to my people, and you have not told me what it is.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?” 17She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted, and on the seventh day he told her, because she pressed him hard. Then she told the riddle to her people

Judges 16:15-16 And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death.

The temptation is to ask where do you compromise or cave in? Yet, that doesn't really help you that much. The Real truth is to ask, Do you know your purpose in this life?

Samson was told from birth what his purpose was, but his failure to let that shape his life led to poor decisions in his spiritual, personal, and community life. Are you distracted from your purpose in this life? Are you compromising your purpose for your preferences?

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May 19, 2017, 8:04 AM

No longer ineffective or unfruitful

Church Family,

Do you cherish getting to know God? Is your goal today to make it to tonight or tomorrow's activities or is it to know God?

2 Peter 1:3-9 are such an encouragement to me. I want encourage you to read them today. It's hard to pick 1 verse that sticks out, but today I want to focus on 2 Peter 1:8

2 Peter 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

1st God grants to us all that we need for life and godliness

2nd How we live by Faith matters. The qualities are explain in the previous verses.

3rd When God's divine power leads to us becoming like Jesus(His divine nature), they keep us from being ineffective or unfruitful. I love the focus of the end of this passage. It's on the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe God said it best through Paul in

Philippians 3:8-11 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Are you striving to know more of Jesus today? Do you value the worth of KNOWING Christ? Think about this: God is basically saying that the day in, day out life with Him leads to us knowing more about Jesus. The temptation is to think you need mountain top experiences or to run a sprint, but the truth is that the marathon is where you learn more about God.

I believe that our Church's purpose is to glorify God by knowing Him(salvation) and making Him known(making disciples). Learn to love the daily walk with Jesus.

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn

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May 17, 2017, 8:17 AM

When Satan demands

Church Family,

I am currently reading a wonderful book by Johnny Hunt called Demolishing Strongholds. In a recent passage he mentions Luke 22:31-33 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 

Hunt points out that when you sift wheat you throw it in the air. The heavier part, the wheat, will fall and the chaff will blow away. What I loved that he points out is that Satan draws our attention to the chaff, the worthless part. Satan discourages us by showing us the worthless parts of our life. He tells us that all we are chaff. Whereas God points to the kernel of wheat. God points to Jesus in us. God allows Satan to sift us, because it focuses our life on Jesus and removes what's not fruitful. 

As a child of God, Satan can not touch you without permission. (31)

Jesus is interceding own our behalf in prayer (32)

Our flesh may fail us, but not our faith (32)

Once restored we are to strengthen others (32)

Even though God Himself warned Peter, he would not listen. Our pride leads us to trust in our flesh and forsake faith (33)

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn

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