Impacting Eternity

Pastor Joyce Roth 

IMPACTING ETERNITY

  I think we all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

  As followers of Jesus, we know what that is– it’s the cause of Christ–it’s the Great Commission.

 

Matthew 28:19–20 (ESV)

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you..”

But what does it look like? We’re not all pastors, teachers or evangelists and yet these verses are written to all of us and there is something in us that wants to “Go and make disciples”. We want to make a difference in our world.

Like Jesus with the Samaritan woman in John 4. His interaction with her impacted the city where she lived! Or Saul’s missionary journey with Barnabas in Acts 13.  An incredible journey that impacted a large part of the known world of that time and ultimately had worldwide influence and results. These men went out and preached a gospel that revolutionized man’s relationship with   God. They shared a message that transformed men’s thinking and therefore transformed lives! Was it easy? No, they faced opposition and persecution. Yet they continued on. They invaded the godless world of their time with the Good News of Jesus Christ and they made disciples everywhere they went! They impacted their world for eternity.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about this, speak about it and even write about it now; something stirs on the inside of me. I want to impact the world around me for eternity. I want to do more than I’m doing now! I wish I knew exactly what it looked like, but I don’t. Maybe you feel the same way. What should we do?

Here are a few things that I know to work on so that I won’t miss any opportunities to impact the people around me for eternity:

1. SURRENDER to God

The song “Control” by Tenth Avenue North talks about how in understanding God’s incredible, everlasting love for us we can relax and surrender our lives to Him. We can trust Him with our lives. Then our focus is on Him, we spend time in His presence and we hear His voice directing us. Showing us what we can do to impact eternity.

2. Let God GROW Me

Growth comes through change, and change comes through pressure. How many of us do everything in our power to avoid pressure situations?

Yet James 1:2-4 TLB says,

“Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.”

That’s pretty straightforward! We need to be a people who allow God to grow us. Trusting again in His great love for us and the promises in His Word.

3. Take a RISK

What do I mean by that? Obedience. Bill Johnson says, “God doesn’t expect us to be qualified for what He asks us to do. He uses the weak and simply asks us to obey…” So it’s not about waiting until we think we’re qualified, but rather stepping out in faith and acting on what we believe God is telling us to do: make that phone call, visit that neighbor, pay for the person’s groceries or haircut. Start there and see where it takes you.

We CAN impact eternity. It’s really not that difficult. When we surrender to God, let Him grow us and take a risk or 2, we’ll be amazed at the impact we’ll have in the world around us AND we may be surprised at how large our world will get!

5 Truths about God’s Incredible Love For You!

Do you ever get lazy in what you believe? As I evaluate my life I can see where I’ve taken the reality of God’s incredible love for me, for granted. I can see where I’ve let the thinking and ways of society around me erode and undermine this fact. When that happens, I lose my zeal and ultimately my effectiveness as a witness to this truth. And that is simply not acceptable. The fact is God’s incredible love for you and me never changes, never dies down, never loses its power! It’s just as real and strong as it ever was! Psalms 136 states numerous times, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases”.

Here are 5 truths about God’s incredible love seen in Saul’s encounter with God on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:

1. God’s grace is there for even the “worst” sinner:
Saul was a murderer and persecutor of the church, but God had a different plan for him. Saul didn’t deserve it but God’s grace, His unmerited favor, won the day. Don’t believe the lie that you’ve stepped over a line and God can’t or won’t forgive you. His grace is there for you too!
2. It is a sign of Divine favor when God stops us from doing evil:
What amazing love, that would not only stop Saul from continuing down his evil path, but them send him off in the opposite direction!
3. God will show Himself to us…He is near:
I’m not exactly sure what Saul saw, but He knew it was God. God was just that near and real! He is that near to us too! Believe it today!
4. An encounter with God reveals the truth of our own spiritual state:
For 3 days in the presence of the God of love, Saul went over his life. I can only imagine the pain, grief and remorse he suffered as he began to understand the truth of what he had done and who he was really dealing with. Yet he came out of this a better man! A man totally surrendered to the will and ways of the true God. All because of love!
5. God will direct the humble sinner:
As Saul yielded himself to God, God showed him what he was to do with the rest of his life. Saul got up and did it!
Can you see God’s incredible love? It’s just hard to fathom sometimes, but that doesn’t change it’s reality! Today will you choose to believe it and repent of getting lazy in your beliefs? I know I will. Let’s decide now to stand firm and keep the truth of God’s incredible love real in our lives by spending regular time in His presence and guarding our hearts and minds against the pull of the world around us and the lies of the enemy! God loves each of us with an incredible love!!

Life, Hope & Fulfillment

EXPERIENCE LIFE, HOPE & FULFILLMENT TODAY!

Isn’t that the cry of your heart, to experience life, hope and fulfillment? Not only is this Jesus’ desire for each of us but only He can make it happen for us. In John 17 Jesus prays for His disciples, for us. We know that Jesus always prays according to God’s will, therefore His prayers are answered! I believe it’s in the answers to His prayers that we experience the life, hope and fulfillment our hearts yearn for.

Look what Jesus prays for us:

  1. Keep them safe by the power of Your Name (vs 11)
  2. Give them the same joy I have (vs 13)
  3. Protect them from the evil one (vs 15)
  4. Use the truth to make them holy (vs 17)
  5. Give them the same unity that the you, the Father, & I have (vs 21)

Can you sense the deep compassion and love that Jesus has for us, His disciples?  When we chose to follow Jesus with our whole heart, we can be sure that He is keeping us safe; that our joy is real and based in truth. We can know that we’re being protected from the evil one and that we’re being made holy because we know and believe the truth. Our unity with Jesus and fellow believers becomes a standard that sets us apart. It’s the same unity that He and the Father have.

As this understanding becomes real in our lives, courage and boldness increase. Our actions and speech change. Our priorities change. Just as the first disciples experienced life, hope & fulfillment through their relationship with Jesus, so do we!

This transformation attracted attention then and it does today! True unity and love draw attention. They cause God’s glory to be seen on us and people are drawn to the glory. They won’t necessarily recognize it for what it is, and not everyone will appreciate it. But many will change the way they think and act and chose to follow Jesus.

That’s what we’re all about! That’s what Jesus was all about – winning as many as possible for His Kingdom. Causing everyone to experience life, hope and fulfillment!

It’s really pretty incredible; almost overwhelming to think of the difference we can make just by believing in Jesus prayers on our behalf.  I’m inspired and encouraged by the reality of this truth. What about you?

Victory Church of Red Deer

The Power of Faith

The Power of Faith!

Just reading in Psalms this morning and amazed at the power of faith. David’s faith was powerful! How often does he start off listing the things that are going wrong around him and even questioning God’s presence? But each time he ends declaring God’s faithfulness, goodness or mercy and praising God with a song. Pretty incredible. David’s faith in and relationship with God was so strong that he could be perfectly honest with God. He could tell God exactly what was he was thinking because of what was happening around and to him. And then with the power that only comes from faith, he would turn his heart to praise!

 

How do we get to that place? I think we need to make it a priority to believe in the God of the Bible no matter what we see, think, and feel. Our challenge is to continually renew our minds according to His Word(Rom 12:2) and to commit to a deep “hunger and thirst after righteousness”(Matt 5:6). As we do our spiritual eyes will be opened to the reality of God’s incredible love for us, His perfect plan on our behalf, His mercy towards us, etc! That’s when we realize that all our striving is pointless, and we will raise our hands in surrender to and worship of our all-powerful God! Our faith will become evident and powerful. We’ll choose to turn from our despair, despondency and depression to an enthusiastic trust in God that will show itself in praise, renewed hope and joy! Have our circumstances changed? Probably not, but that’s not our worry nor our focus. The Bible says:

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 62:8

No matter what the situation or circumstance we find ourselves in we’ll know that his heart is for us! He is with us!! We’ll understand that His ways are higher than ours. That it’s okay to not always understand His answers to our circumstances but we’ll have the power of faith to rest in His promise, His presence, His love!

 

David understood this. He poured out his heart to God and then He stood in faith, speaking life to his soul by declaring his trust in God’s mercy and his joy in God’s salvation. Then he sang songs of praise to his good God! That’s the power of faith. It can take us from the depths of despair to the heights of spiritual confidence and joy in a short time!

 

Let’s walk together in the power of faith so that the hopeless, desperate and discouraged people around us will notice and ask how they can experience this power too!

Victory Church of Red Deer