How often do we run to things to make life easier, more comfortable and convenient? Though things of the world may distract you from the issues of life, it never brings comfort to the soul. It leaves us broken and without hope. We often sing a song that says, “There’s nothing to broken that You can’t fix it, nothing to torn down that You can’t rebuild it, nothing to lost now that Love can’t find it, You make all things new.” Jesus says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” We see that by pursuing the Lord in the Spirit, we are able to live a life of abundance and boldness.
In Pastor Greg’s sermon Sunday, we are introduced to the Person of the Holy Spirit. Just as we can know someone in the natural, we can also walk in relationship with Holy Spirit. Who is He? He is the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus told His disciples to terry in Jerusalem, until they were endued with power from on high. He is our Helper, Comforter, Teacher and Guide. He is the third aspect of Godhead that desires to help us as we journey through life in Christ. As we read the book of Acts we can see that the apostles, after being filled with the Spirit, minister with a boldness and with greater impact on all that they encounter.
It is easy to desire only to see the manifestations of the Holy Spirit but it is even more important to know Him. He is faithful, eternal, always the teacher never the student, the Adviser never an adviser, the Comforter that never brings condemnation, the Spirit of Truth, and so much more. With Him we can live a life of power over sin and death. With Him we can truly live the life of abundance that Jesus desires we have. He is simply awaiting the invitation to come and be who He is, in your life.
- Pastor Matt Ward
Yesterday we celebrated a very important birthday at The Well Family Worship Center. The birth-day of the church!! God's church! Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is the fiftieth day from Passover, which has been celebrated by a feast and crowds of people visiting Jerusalem for centuries. In the first chapter of the book of Acts Jesus instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Promise of the Father.... "For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." He also told them that they would receive POWER when the Holy Spirit came. That word power is "dunamis" which is like dynamite. It is miraculous power, strength, might, energy, and ability. That is the gift God gave to birth the church!!!
We were posed with a question Sunday morning just as Paul asked the church of Galatia in Galatians 3:3 "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the spirit, are you now being made perfect in the flesh?" This actually seems to be an ongoing problem in the church world as a whole. The church that was born of/from the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost has gradually become a church with not much power, not much influence, not much "Spirit" and way too much flesh and doing things in the strength of man.
This "promise" was not just for the disciples in the bible. We have heard people say, "All of that (spirit stuff) went out with the apostles." NO! NO! NO! In Acts 2:39 Peter said this, "For the promise is to you, your children, and to all that are afar off, to as many as the Lord our God will call." It is for all of us!!
If we believe all the scripture as true and that Jesus saves us, then we should also believe that He baptizes in the Holy Spirit and fire. (Luke 3:16) We have been given a great gift that has not just benefits but purpose. The Spirit gives us the power to overcome sin, it makes us a witness, it comforts us, and the list could go on and on. Today we focused on the power... over addiction, over fear, over anything that has a hold on us. We will be expounding more in depth in the next few weeks on the Spirit and His purpose in and through us.
One last point is this. Pastor Greg explained that to be baptized is to be submerged or "dipped." He started talking about chocolate dipped strawberries and how they are only 3/4 dipped most of the time. What is up with that?? That is, sadly, a picture of our lives and the church sometimes. We need to be fully dipped, completely submerged with the Holy Spirit. He gave it and all we need to do is receive it!!!
- Pastor Gretchen DeVries
Pastor Spencer charged us to activate the truth, power, and life contained in God's word. Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edge sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." The word is able to get into the very inner being and DNA of who we are, therefore it has the power to change us, from faith to faith and glory to glory.
Psalm 119 is the longest book in the Bible, and it's theme is the Bible! There is 176 verse in Psalm 119 , and in almost every verse, the word of God is mentioned. King David, in the Old Testament , along with the Apostle Paul in the New Testament understood the significance of the word of God. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete , throughly equipped for every good work."
This message should challenge us to ask ourselves this question: Are we utilizing God's Word the way He intended for us to? I truly believe that when we start each day in God's word, we are equipping ourselves with the armor we need on an everyday basis. In fact, in Ephesians 6, the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. The word is also a defense to the world and the things thereof. In Matthew 4, Jesus used these words to every temptation of the devil- "IT IS WRITTEN." We can speak the word over our lives, over our families , over our jobs , and even over the temptations of this world.
God desires us to walk victoriously in our lives, Let's allow His Word on a daily basis to influence and empower us to walk in the Light and be Victorious! Amen!
-Pastor Wally Whitmore
Yes you were – Pastor Greg DeVries
Often times, we are reminded of the person we once were, but simply put, this is not who we
are. Since, it is from the abundance of the heart that our mouth speaks, the enemy of our soul
seeks to keep us believing lies. However, we know ll Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone
is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become
new.” Being that God through Christ Jesus has given us all things pertaining to life and
godliness, we can now proclaim boldly and with confidence that we are the redeemed of the
Lord. Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the
hand of the enemy.” We must declare our Redemption!
We all can identify with the scripture that says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of
God” (Romans 3:23). It’s true. We all have a past, but when we are born again, we no longer
bear the guilt and shame of that past. Who I was no longer defines who I am. “And such were
some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name
of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” l Cor. 6:11
It is the Lord’s desire that we walk in absolute freedom. Yet, “you can never walk in freedom if
you are walking defeated”. Today, we must proclaim: “I am redeemed! I am not rejected, I am
not refused, and I am not forgotten!” It is the truth that will make us free by destroying the lies
of the enemy that have been looming in our lives. Let us remember and declare that we were
washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of God!
-Pastor Matthew Ward
Pastor Greg preached an Amazing message Easter Sunday!
His message pointed towards 3 factors:
1. Why I believe
2. What I believe
3. How we can believe.
Most Christians would agree on the fact that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again, you may have even heard this as death, burial, and resurrection. We would have no hope if this was not true. Some people would say that they believe this because that is the way their family has always believed, where ultimately a true relationship with Jesus Christ must be through personal experience and personal revelation. Do you believe because of a personal experience and relationship with Jesus Christ?
Pastor Greg gave some key take always on how to develope a healthy consistent relationship with Jesus Christ:
1. We should respect the word of God
2. We should respect our prayer life
3. When we truly believe, we will build a place for Jesus. ( Isiah 66: 1 - Heaven is my throne,
And the earth is My footstool Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the
place of My rest? )
4.Make preperations in seeking the Lord and in your relationship with the Lord.
Just as Jesus follower wrestled with their faith, we sometimes wrestle with ours. If we will do what we can do, He will do what we cannot do!
Good, better, best.
I truly believe that it is God's heart for every single person to live the best life that they can while in this earth. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord. Thoughts to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and an expected end." Many times in our lives we choose the easy route and become content to settle for the average or mundane, but Jesus didn't suffer the gruesome death of the cross so that we could just muddle through life. The finished work of the cross made a way for us to live above what we previously thought possible.
One of the greatest keys to living your best life is humility. Jesus said in Matthew 20:26, "If you desire to be great (your best), in the kingdom of God you MUST learn to be a servant of all." Being your best isn't rooted in a selfish desire for everyone to see how great you are. Our desire to be our best should stem from a heart that wants to please God and empower others. I want to be my best so that I can give God my best. I want to be my best so that my wife had the best husband that I can possibly be. I want to be my best for my children, co-workers and even strangers that I get to meet. You have influence, how are you using it?
You can never be the best you if you're trying to be the best someone else. God created you intentionally. He didn't make a mistake. And when you look in the mirror, God doesn't see you the way that you may see you. He sees a child that He paid to redeem. He sees potential. If you will give Him your best, He WILL take care of the rest. He is called faithful and true, and I know this, He wants the best for His children. Don't settle for good or better when God is offering you His best!
Pastor Greg challenged us yesterday morning to be diligent, to go to another level, to
come up higher into ALL that God has for us.
PLEASE LISTEN TO THE PODCAST IF YOU MISSED IT!! SO POWERFUL!
I walked away from the morning services feeling charged to “move quickly,” to
“elevate the better over the good,” and to use this key that unlocks the blessings of
God in and over my life.
GOD DESERVES OUR BEST, NOT JUST BETTER!
All throughout scripture we find that diligence is a forerunner that results in many
great things coming our way. Let’s look at a few of these to recap:
Application: verse 1- If you diligently obey God’s commands…
Results: verses 3-13- All these blessings will come upon you and overtake
you…What blessings? Check out verses 3-13
Application: Diligently seek Him
Results: Get rewarded by the Rewarder (One who pays wages, rewards)
2 Peter 1:5-8
Application: Give all diligence to add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to
knowledge self control, to self control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to
godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
Results: For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren or
unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:10
Application: Be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure
Results: You will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you
abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I’ll sum all this up by saying… Seek God first! Give your best! Go beyond! Step out!
Spring up! Stretch farther! Move quicker! Reach higher! ALL by FAITH!! (Hebrews
11:6) Then trust God with the results and watch Him pour abundant blessings on
Sunday we were blessed to have Pastor Jonny Johnson and his wife Debbie with us. Pastor Jonny is the pastor of Gadsden Christian Fellowship and one of the board members of The Well Family Worship Center. His sermon was entitled " Living in the Fear of the Lord". Often times people associate the fear of the Lord as being something terrible,when in reality the fear of the Lord produces wisdom and safety in ones life. In Proverbs 1:7 scripture records that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
When we live in the fear of the Lord, we are living in reverence of who He is, for in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). When there is an absence of the fear of the Lord in our lives, or lack thereof, we can find ourselves in danger and in harms way. Pastor Jonny shared how his trip to the Grand Canyon opened his eyes to a healthy fear and how some people " live on the edge". While he and his wife were there some of the people would get very close to the edge to take a picture or look at the amazing view below, when ultimately they were in grave danger. He even shared that in the past some people had gotten to close to the edge and accidentally fallen off and died. In our lives is there something that is causing us to live too close to the edge to where we could fall?
He also shared how the enemy can deceive us into fearing man or other things to keep us from our destiny. Sometimes when the Lord calls or leads us to do something we allow fear to set in and don't realize that God is for us and not against us. The only way we can accomplish what He has called us to do is to know that through Him we can do all things, for without Him we can do nothing.
Here are 4 "take always" from Sunday's message that I found very powerful.
1. Living in the fear of the Lord brings safety and blessings, but living on the edge brings trouble and destruction.
2. Fear the Lord not people (Proverbs says the fear of man is a snare)
3. Fear the Lord not Failure
4. Fear the Lord not the unknown.
Do you ever feel that you are facing resistance or things seem to not be fitting together like you think they should? Sunday, Pastor Greg spoke a powerful message titled “Humility and More Grace”. In this message he unlocks 7 benefits to walking in humility and the power of the grace of God. Pastor Greg mentioned the elementary nature of the topic of humility and grace. Yet quickly pointed out that we need not allow anything of God to become common in our lives. I am grateful that Jesus didn’t count it as robbery for Him to lower Himself from His seat of glory. For it is in Christ that we find the perfect example of what it is to live a life submitted to God.
The Take Away for this Sunday’s message is that we need to have the same mind as Jesus. If you are like me you might be asking the question: How can I think like Jesus if His thoughts and ways are higher than mine? As we rid our lives of pride and position ourselves in the posture of humility, the grace of God begins to flow, giving us victory over sin. Scripture says, "God resist the proud but gives grace to the humble." Therefore, just as I need to remember to put on my shoes before I leave the house, I need to remember to put on humility just like Jesus.
Yes, Jesus says, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me”, but scripture also says “that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” So as we humbly come before the Lord, may the grace of God use these 7 things to benefit our lives.
- He will exalt us in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)
- So that we may learn (Matthew 11:29)
- to be accepted by God (Psalms 51:17)
- to receive more grace (James 4:6)
- to enter his presence (Isaiah 57:15)
- to be saved and enter the Kingdom (Matthew 18:3-4)
- That our prayers may be heard (Psalms 9:12)
Yesterday I loved how often Pastor Greg spoke on the topic of faith. As he spoke on the faith of the four men who let the paralyzed man down into the house where Jesus sat and taught, I began to wonder… What have I done with my faith to impact others? How can I use what God has given me for the benefit of others? Where can I put my faith into action? I encourage you this week to live with that thought in mind.
As Christians we should live with high expectations. Believing that God will do what He has promised that he will do. I’ve noticed that many times we don’t doubt the ability of God, but there are times where we doubt His willingness. We doubt that He would do for us what we have read in the scripture, or what we have heard from others. I love the story in Matthew 8 where a man with leprosy comes to Jesus and says “Lord, if You are willing you can make me clean.” Jesus reply is so powerful, He says, “I am willing, be cleansed.”. Jesus is not only able to heal you, deliver you, save you, provide for you… He is willing to do all of that and more!
My take away from yesterday was what a great gift we have in the word of God. Everything we need is found in that awesome and powerful book. Wisdom, encouragement, conviction, love, and so much more. His words are eternal and full of life. I want to live life completely submitted to His word. When we submit to His word, we’re actually submitting to Him, because according to John 1:1, He is the word! May our lives be committed to living by faith and completely submitted to His word.
Dead yet alive was a powerful sermon that challenged each of us to take a closer look at baptism…our baptism. One of our “takeaways” was that our baptism has GREAT SIGNIFICANCE in our life which, when actually realized, will cause us to "remember our baptism" (which was takeaway #2). First of all I would like to emphasize the word re-member. We need to put back together and re-acquaint ourselves with the parts of power, forgiveness, redemption, death to sin, victory, etc. etc. etc. (there are so many parts) that come with baptism that we have forgotten or diminished.
Baptism has such a spiritual work/depth that is revealed through the physical act of it. Romans 6:1-14 tells us that we are baptized INTO HIM (Jesus), into His death and raised up to the newness of life in Him.
I would like to point just a few things that really made an impact on me.
-Baptism is an association-
Baptism associates us with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection
-Baptism is an identification-
Baptism gives us a totally new identification! No longer sinner, but saint. No longer broken, but whole. No longer wavering, but steadfast. Clean and now identified with Christ and not the enemy.
-Baptism is an initiation-
In Matthew 3:16-17 we find Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist. Three important things happened and were "initiated" after He came out of the water:
1. An opening- He experienced an open heaven over Him. I long for an open heaven over me!
2. An abiding- He experienced the Holy Spirit coming on him and remaining (abiding) on Him. We need the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit!
3. An establishing- He experienced the voice ofHis Father establishing Sonship. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Wow!! This is so important in our lives as a believer to know and understand that we are a son/daughter of God.