Posts Tagged ‘heart’

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July Letter from the Pastor

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Welsh Faith Family,

I have a new challenge for you. This one doesn’t require you to spend any money or do anything that takes you out of your “comfort zone.” It simply requires a little time, discipline, and love.

I’d like for us to begin a new prayer initiative. If we truly love God, we will love the things God loves. And if we truly love what God loves, then we must love the broken and hurting people that God loves.

The Initiative: Pray and ask God to send us broken, hurting people to whom we can proclaim the gospel.

Loving broken, hurting people will not be easy. In fact, it will surely be messy and even exhausting; but if we love God, we must love those whom He loves. What they need more than anything (just as much as we continually need it) is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It won’t be easy, but it will be beautiful; and most of all, God will love it. Pastor Matt Chandler describes what it looks like to love broken, hurting people:

A key piece to anyone recovering from a broken and sinful world is an understanding of what the problem is. Everyone knows there is something wrong with the world, but what you think the problem is will determine how you try and solve it. Unfortunately, most people spend all their efforts on symptoms rather than the disease that’s causing those symptoms.

“Grace-Driven Effort” goes after the heart. I am always amazed at how so many people have separated their actions from their hearts. There is a reason you have a crummy marriage, lack patience, are always angry and addicted to ________________.

There is a reason you have to tear down other women constantly and why you feel led to point out their flaws and failures. The reason is you have a wicked, idolatrous heart. If you simply try to handle the symptoms without addressing your heart as the source of those symptoms you’ll never see sin mortified in you.

The only truly redemptive cure for hurting, broken people is the gospel of Jesus. Only Jesus’ work on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and the power of God in His Spirit can bring true healing and redemption. Only God can renew and replace a “wicked, idolatrous heart.”

This is why we must begin to pray for God to send us broken, hurting people to whom we can proclaim the gospel.

Without the gospel of Jesus, these hurting, broken people will spend their lives trying to alleviate their pain and brokenness in their own power only to fail over and over again just like we have done time and time again.

They (and we) need Jesus and they (and we) need Him now, and not just so He can cure the disease and heal the brokenness (again part of the symptoms), but so that He can replace their (and our) wicked, idolatrous hearts with a new heart that longs for intimacy with God.

Will you join me in this prayer initiative? All it takes is some time and a heart for the people God loves. If we are the people of God we say we are, it won’t even be a burden. It will be our pleasure.

Prayerfully yours and His,
Pastor Thomas

THE CORE: Worship (Hebrews 13:15-17)

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Our latest sermon series is based on our Core Values. Each week we will be covering one of our church’s five core values. This week we are talking about worship. Unlike what most people think when they hear the word worship, it is not simply what we do when we sing songs about God. We are born worshipping. We are either worshipping someone or something or we are worshipping our Creator. This week we are going to try and understand what worship is and how we can align our hearts and minds to make sure we worship the only one who deserves to be worshipped…our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Here’s a short outline with a link to the sermon below, or if you have iTunes, you can go to our page there and subscribe to our podcast.

THE CORE: Worship
Hebrews 13:15-17

I. We Are Created Worshipping

1. Worship is honoring someone or something: glory.
2. Worship is something we do: sacrifice.
Our lives are about not doing some things so we can find time or money to do things more important to us.

II. We Have a Worship Problem

1. Sin is making something else more central to your significance, purpose, and happiness than your relationship with God.
2. Whatever we base our identity and value on becomes deified.
3. The root of the problem is always that you are worshipping something or someone over God.
4. We must constantly seek and smash our idols!

III. The Essentials of Biblical Worship

1. Praise
2. Proclamation: lips that confess Jesus’ name
3. Service: doing good as a demonstration of the gospel
4. Participation: sharing with others as a demonstration of grace
5. Sacrifice: giving of time, talent, and treasure
6. Submission: respecting godly authority placed over us

To listen to the Podcast, CLICK HERE. To subscribe to our podcast, CLICK HERE.

April Newsletter Article from the Pastor

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

I’m not sure I’ve ever appreciated the dawning of Spring like I am beginning to appreciate it this year. After such a long, dark winter, it’s as if a fresh breath of air has rolled into the waking town of Frostburg. As you watch the people around town, it seems as if the pace is picking up each day. I’m sure everyone is just as excited as we are to be able to spend some time outside without having to layer up to stay warm. As the pace quickens, it’s easy to see how quickly our lives become busy with lots to do and not enough time to get it all done. It seems as if that never changes.

For this month’s entry I’d like to take a moment and ask you all to stop what you’re doing and take the next few moments to settle your hearts and minds on the one thing that should be the center of our lives all year long. Too often it’s relegated to the back of our minds until we approach this season of the year when Easter rolls around and we once again remember the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For many of us, this story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (the gospel) has become simply that…a story. It is a story that most of us are able to recite, but it isn’t for us what it is intended to be for those of us who call ourselves Christians.

What I’m trying to say is that a large number of us have come to a place in our lives where the gospel is something that we say is very important, but for most of us, we have relegated it’s importance to the people who have yet to “be saved.” We know it is important, but many of us believe it is important because it is what someone needs if they have never come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If this is where you are, then let me first say you are right…it is important for a lost person and it is
the only way a lost person can ever come to know Jesus as their Savior, but the gospel is much more than this. It is not just a pathway to salvation. It is much, much more!

The gospel of Jesus is the heart of the matter for His followers. It is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the Christian life. Yes, we come to know Jesus through the Holy Spirit’s enlightening us to the gospel, but it is also meant to be the central theme of our lives from then on until the return of Christ. We can never move beyond the gospel for then we would enter into a life of moralistic living where it is our good deeds that we rely upon for our sanctification. This type of thought is not only wrong, but it is anti-Christ. We, as followers of Jesus, must constantly place ourselves at the foot of the cross of Christ in humble submission to the gospel as our only means to salvation and relationship with God through Jesus. We can never move beyond the gospel in our Christian lives because to do so would be to move beyond Jesus himself. This is impossible for a follower of Jesus because the purpose for our lives is to become more like Jesus everyday and everything that Jesus is and was is encapsulated in the gospel! It is the air we breathe. It is the living water we drink. It is the food that nourishes our soul daily.

Let us as a church look upon the cross this Easter in a new way, not just in remembrance of what God has done for us in Christ, but let’s also see it as a call to remind us that the gospel of Christ is to be the central theme, the central motif of our lives every day. It’s not just for us to look into the past, but it is meant for us to carry it into the future as we live gospel-centered lives here in Frostburg, our lives purposed to reflect the glory and mercies of God in Jesus. Let’s make this Easter the beginning of the rest of our lives…the beginning of our church’s return to the gospel as the heart and soul of everything we are and do.

For Jesus’ fame,
Thomas

The Mission of Jesus: A Concern for the City (Luke 19:41-44)

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Our latest series of sermons is based on the mission of Jesus. Our responsibility as Christians is to become more like Jesus every day. This means we are to learn and understand the mission of Jesus so that we can live on mission with him. This week’s sermon reveals that being on mission with Jesus means we have to be concerned for the city like He was. When we recognize Jesus’ concern for the city, it drives us to become like him in our living lives sacrificially for those within our own city. After you look at your city through eyes of Jesus, you’ll never see it the same again. Here’s a short outline with a link to the sermon below, or if you have iTunes, you can go to our page there and subscribe to our podcast.

I. Three Parts to a Healthy Heart

1. A concern for the glory of God.
2. A concern for the sanctification of the church.
3. A concern for the salvation of the lost.

II. Your Desire Drives Your Direction

1. Who is the greatest beneficiary of my time?
2. Who is the greatest beneficiary of my resources?
3. Whomever benefits the most from my actions, that is the one upon whom I’ve set my affections.

III. Your Direction, Not Your Intentions, Determines Your Destination

1. Jesus must become the object of our affection.
2. The gospel is the light that directs our path.
3. Our actions determine our impact for the kingdom.

To listen to the Podcast, CLICK HERE. To subscribe to our podcast, CLICK HERE.