Dependence Upon God Assures Us of His Guidance in Life.

By Grant Kaul, Senior Pastor

“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 make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Dependence upon God assures us of His guidance in life.

If we are following Jesus, we truly want His leadership in our life.  However, the question we face is, “How does the unseen God direct the lives of His people?”  How can believers in Christ truly have confidence in His divine guidance?

Proverbs 3:5-6 presents to us this timeless principle:  Dependence upon God assures us of His guidance in life.

I have found the following practices to be of great value in seeking to be actively dependent upon God, and I pass it on to you so that you may do the same with others: 

Dependence upon God is

  • Learning to have my way of life daily shaped by the Word of God.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Letting go of my will by yielding to God’s will.  (Luke 22:42)
  • Looking to God as I pray during the day.  (Colossians 4:2) 
  • Listening to wise counsel before making big decisions.  (Proverbs 13:10)
  • Living by faith in Christ, as one being filled with His Spirit.  (Ephesians 5:18-21)
  • Leaving the results to God as I move forward by faith.  (1 Cor. 3:6-7)

Though we cannot see God, we can experience His leading as we follow His precepts and are filled with His presence.  He will lead. The question is, are we willing to follow by faith?     

There is Power in the Name of Jesus

By Grant Kaul, Senior Pastor

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Ok.  I will admit it.  When we made our appearances at the hospital for the delivery of each of our children, we didn’t have any of the babies’ names picked out.  We just showed up with a list of possibilities.  In fact, when our fourth child was born, it was hours before we settled on a name.  I am not sure what we were thinking; or even if we were thinking. After all, names are pretty important – like they usually last for a long time!

But with the apex of history arriving with the promised coming of Christ, the unveiling of His human name came before the Eternal Son of God entered into humanity.  Even before He was supernaturally conceived in His mother Mary’s womb, God the Father revealed the name by which He was and is to be called.  His name would be above all other names (Phil. 2:9-10).  This would be a name that would speak to His eternal mission even prior to His earthly incarnation.  God precisely named His Son Jesus, which is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua (Yeshua), which means “Yahweh saves” or “God is salvation.” 

Jesus’ human name spoke of His divine mission of rescuing people from the penalty of their sin and securing salvation for those who will believe in Him.  One of the ways God demonstrated to Joseph, and all of the rest of humanity, that Mary’s pregnancy was a divine act, was that He had an angel independently tell both Joseph and his future wife, Mary, that the child’s name was to be Jesus (see Matt. 1:21 and Luke 1:31)

Jesus is not to be just a familiar name, but the continual focus of our faith.  Our relationship with God begins and matures as we grow in knowing the depth of who Jesus is and the life that we have in His name.  There is something about the Messiah’s name that calms our troubled hearts, gives us courage in the face of our fears, and warms our hearts to the greatness of His salvation.  This Christmas let the name of Jesus be on your tongue and rejoice in His presence in your life.  After all, there is power in the name of Jesus for, “There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).       

Gratitude is the Gift That Keeps on Giving

By Grant Kaul, Senior Pastor

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving.

Have you considered just how great a difference gratitude makes in a person’s life?  The evidence is impressive.  A growing body of research has tied an attitude of gratitude with a number of positive emotional and physical health benefits.  A November 23, 2010 article in The Wall Street Journal summarized the research:

“Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy, or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly, and have greater resistance to viral infections.”

“Now, researchers are finding that gratitude brings similar benefits in children and adolescents. Studies also show that kids who feel and act grateful tend to be less materialistic, get better grades, set higher goals, complain of fewer headaches and stomach aches, and feel more satisfied with their friends, families, and schools than those who don’t.”

The researchers concluded, “A lot of these findings are things we learned in kindergarten or our grandmothers told us, but now we have scientific evidence to prove them …. The key is not to leave it on the Thanksgiving table.”

Gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving.  As we learn to give thanks in everything, God’s will is accomplished, people are appreciated, God is glorified, and we are blessed in far greater ways than we may have imagined.  Christ is the Author and Perfecter of our faith and gratitude helps us savor His grace in the story of our lives.  His work in us and through us continues as we grow to express gratitude.  The best way to prepare for Thanksgiving is to practice it each day along the way.       

Where We Look Determines How We Live

By Grant Kaul, Senior Pastor

“O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

Where we look determines how we live.

Difficulties have a way of demoralizing us.  All of us have first-hand experience with hurt and hardships.  Try as we might, trials, and even tragedy, are unavoidable.  We are fallen people living in a failing world.  Job nailed it when he declared, “For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7).

So how do we live when life is crumbling all around us?  Must we simply endure the pain of our problems?  Where is the high road when we feel so low?

When the weights of the world seem to be crushing us down, it is only by looking up to the God of heaven that we will find the help we so desperately need.  Do not wait for favorable feelings.  They may be few and far between when difficulties lead to despair.  Rather, direct your heart back to trusting God and ask Him to change your desire when your flesh is resistant to the idea. 

2 Chronicles 20 gives a picture of living by faith in the face of immense difficulties.  Follow in these footsteps and find yourself rising above your painful circumstances by: 1) recalling God’s character (20:6); 2) remembering God’s faithfulness (20:7-9); and 3) refocusing on God’s presence (20:12).

We need not fear or be dismayed.  God will accomplish His purposes and win our battles – both the ones in our world and in our hearts (2 Chron. 20:15, 20-30).  No matter what we are facing, we must learn to rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 3:1; 4:4).  Where we look determines how we live.  We live by faith in Christ.  He is the One who loves us and will never leave us.  Look up.   

 If you are looking for a place to seek and worship God, join us on Sunday mornings at 9:00am and 10:45am or check out past messages on our Vimeo site. We also have several care ministries designed to help you seek God in times of trouble.