September 25, 2017 | If you’ll make yourself available, God will use you.
 
Sunday we closed out our sermon series entitled “(Un)Qualified”. I’ve had so much fun reminding my Church family that “you’re never too broken to be used by God; in fact, God wants to do big things through you.” I hope you’re believing that God can and will use your past, your experiences, your talents, and even your mistakes to reap eternal gain in His people’s lives.
 
You’re never beyond God’s ability to use you to transform someone else’s life. That’s an encouraging truth. And while that feels good to hear, it’s imperative that you trust God enough to let it impact the way you live if you’re going to see it happen in your own life.
 
I’m all too familiar with the excuses that we tend to come up with that keep us from doing what God might want us to do. Just like you, I don’t enjoy being inconvenienced. I avoid discomfort. And I’ll excuse my way out of stepping out of my comfort zone.
 
I’ve come to learn the reason why I make excuses that keep me from obeying God is because I’m selfish. Maybe that’s why the Apostle Paul wrote these words in 1 Thessalonians 5:14 — “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
 
The Scripture says, “we urge you, warn those who are idle…” Church is not a place where we come to be listen and be entertained — you can by a ticket to a concert for that. Church isn’t a place you go to be served and fed — you can go to a restaurant for that. The Church is a group of people who believe in God and serve together for one another’s benefit and for God’s glory. In the Church, everyone is a minister.
 
So if you find that you’re coming to Church just to listen or to be served, let me urge you to get involved. If you have an excuse that’s keeping you from serving, pray about finding a place to serve. Ask a friend in the church to give you some input on a way you would serve well. As we discovered from Sunday’s Ministry Fair, there are opportunities to serve for everyone — whether you’re a new believer or you’ve been a Christian for several decades. If you’ll make yourself available, God will use you.
 
Serving with you,
 
Ashton

 

September 18, 2017 | You must walk by faith if you are going to follow Jesus.
 
Have you ever experienced a moment that caused you to reflect upon something from the past? Some call it deja vu. In certain circumstances, I like to think they are divine reminders; for, every once in a while, the Lord uses a moment like this to remind me of His faithfulness. This Sunday was one of those moments.
 
While we were worshipping, one of the songs we sang led me to remember a season of my life about a year ago when I was struggling to discern whether God was calling my family to move on from our current ministry in Missouri. I had been praying for God to make clear His plan for our lives. I did not want to make a choice that God was not leading. As I was praying for clarity, I remember hearing the lyrics to the song, “Oceans” by Hillsong United. And as I sang the words, the Lord ministered to me and reassured me that His presence would lead my family as we walked by faith.
These words from the song echoed that memory this Sunday,
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”
 
You must walk by faith If you are going to follow Jesus. This is one of the ways that the Lord tests our allegiance in Him. If I truly believe Him to be the God of my life, then He expects total trust in His plan for our lives. Christians today prefer safety over faith. We want to believe in a God who can do impossible miracles; and yet, we don’t want to risk anything to trust God to do those miracles. Living by faith is not always comfortable. But when we live by faith, God is always faithful.
 
I’ve always been intrigued by God’s calling to Abraham. In Genesis 12:1, The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” Can you believe what the Lord told Abraham to do? Leave everything you know…walk away from everything you’ve ever known…and go. Don’t ask where you’re going to go; for, I will show you where you are to go as you are going. To us, this sounds irresponsible. Perhaps it’s not very good stewardship to go somewhere without having a plan. This is as risky as it gets. This is faith.
The New Testament describes Abraham’s faith in Hebrews 11:8, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
 
Let me ask you a blunt question: Are you living by faith? Beyond believing in a God that you cannot see…more than praying to a God that you cannot hear. Are you believing God is in control to the extent that you are taking a risk and obeying His Word? Are you stepping into the uncomfortable and doing ministry that perhaps you never saw yourself doing all so that others can discover God’s love? Are you playing it safe, or are you living by faith?
 
The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God…” Remove the box that you’ve tried to keep God in. Do something that seems a bit audacious for God. Trust that even though you can’t see the end result, that God is leading you. When you’re living life daily in the presence of God, you can know for certain that God will always remain faithful.
 
In Christ,
 
Ashton

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One Response to “Beyond Sunday”

  1. Nancy perry says:

    Thank you. It’s a pleasure to go to church now.You not only preach from the Bible but also from your heart. If I didn’t know any difference I would think you were Dr Stanley son. I watch him 3 times each week. Keep up the great work and I will be their every Sunday if Lords willing
    God Bless you and your family.

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