I want to thank Kwame for taking the time to prepare and preach a sermon centered on our motivation to worship. He preached while CrossPointe was with us for Mission Meals and while I was away, taking part in the joint-service with Rock and Grace. His sermon can be found under our sermon page.
Tomorrow, we will all be back together. We will plan to go through our next installment in our series on "Worry, Worship and The Word of God: Not Being Enough." We will also be before in the Lord, in corporate worship and prayer.
I look forward to seeing you and what the Lord has for us all.
I love you all so much.
The joint-effort of Rock, Grace and Highland ministering to our children was such a joyous success! Thank you to all who took part in helping love our little ones, in honor of our Lord.
This Sunday, Carrie, myself and all families who took part in this VBS Camp will be part of a joint service. That service will be held at Rock, at 11am. A lunch will follow.
At Highland, Billy will lead worship and CrossPointe will be with us for Mission Meals. Kwame, from CrossPointe, will be taking the pulpit at Highland. Thanks, Kwame - and CrossPointe!
Seeing the church work hand in hand is so exciting! When we’re unified, God is glorified.
I love you.
This is how I am praying for you today.
May this be what defines us:
"Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6 HCSB).
As we set our minds and affections upon Jesus throughout this season of fasting, this is my hope for us - that we are defined by our longing for Christ-given righteousness. In that longing, I am asking that we confidently and expectantly look to be filled.
May this be the result:
"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness" (Romans 6:12-13 HCSB).
It is in that filling that, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we abhor sin in our lives. Then, we find our delight in the righteousness that is ours, in Christ Jesus. The result is that our lives (our decisions, our desires, etc...) would then be chracterized by our submission to the counsel of the Holy Spirit and in our delighting to obey God's Word.
In summation: God's glory; our good.
I love you.
"I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the wall; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am approved. Then the Lord answered me and said, 'Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay." Habakkuk 2:1-3
Highland family, today is our first day of joining together and declaring as a church that we are not satisfied with the status quo. We will fast and pray until we see the vision God has given us for our neighborhood come to fruition. Let us together use the words found in Habakkuk as our framework for praying together today.
1) "Record the vision". What is the vision God has given us as a church? It is Ezekiel 36:33-36, with our focus at the moment being on the first line..."On the day that I cleanse you, I will l rebuild the waste places." 12 years ago we recorded that vision and today we come together as a church to remind God of His promise and ask that He bring it to fulfillment. We ask Him to prove Himself trustworthy by fulfilling His promise and bringing a spiritual cleansing to our neighborhood and then rebuilding us on His Word and His Spirit.
2)" I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the wall." In ancient times this was the first line of defense for armies. They would station soldiers high on the wall in order to keep watch over the land so that if they saw the enemy approaching they could let the army and people of the city know before the enemy reached their walls. Highland family, we are those soldiers that God has positioned on the wall. We are the soldiers on guard over the community of North Highland. He has set our feet on "high places" so that we can see the approach of the Enemy. What are the enemies of North Highland? Our enemies are a spirit of destruction and a spirit of deafness (Matthew 17).
Today we take the words of Jesus in Matthew 17, "but this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting" and we will rise to the challenge. We will take HIs words and use them as our weapons to destroy the spirits and strongholds in our community. Today we join together as a church to declare that we want a powerful move of God's Spirit more than we want food! This is our only hope as a church and this is the only hope for North Highland.
Pray and fast in confidence today as you remember how God ends His promise in Ezekiel, "I, the Lord, have spoken and I will do it.".
As I realize that I did not get to the sermon I intended to preach today, I would like to acknowledge that the Lord is doing something new in our midst. He is stirring our affections corporately into a season of prayer, asking that He would move in all power. Let us continue to approach his throne with boldness. Let us hunger and thirst for righteousness. As the Word of God continues to become more precious to us than even the bread we eat, let us remain attuned to the leading of the Holy Spirit, together.
Here is the direction for the church regarding our corporate prayer:
- Ask for God to start cleansing our community, starting with Highland Community Church.
- Ask God to make our lives “Gardens of Eden” - places of unbroken fellowship & intimacy with the Lord.
- Ask God to cleanse our community of a spirit of destruction and a spirit of deafness (Matthew 17).
Let's also move in obedience regarding the challenge for us to fast, as a church. When the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to cast out the demon in Matthew 17, His response to them was 1) "because of your little faith" and 2) "But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting." Highland Family, the world needs to see the power of God working in and through the church. The world needs to see churches who live by the verse, "not by might, not by power, but by My spirit, says the Lord!". By engaging corporately in a season of prayer and fasting we are asking that the Lord use Highland Community Church as a way to display His power and glory as He fulfills His promise to both cleanse us and rebuild us (Ezekiel 36:33-36). Here are the motivations for our fast:
- Fasting gives us a heightened sense of the work and power of the Holy Spirit in our life and in the life of others.
- Fasting is our soul crying out, “This I want more than food!”.
- Fasting is for those not satisfied with the status quo and who feel truly desperate for God to intervene.
- Fasting is our soul longing for the promises of heaven to be made known on earth. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Highland, let us seek first the Kingdom of God. I ask each one of you to fast and pray along with us every Wednesday afternoon beginning this week. Every Wednesday we will allow our hunger and thirst for righteousness to overcome our hunger for food. We will not relent in our pursuit of the Lord until we see Him "perform with His hand what He has spoken with His mouth" (2 Chronicles 6:15).
Now that we have finished covering fearing finances, we will be tackling: "Not Being Enough" tomorrow. While only some submitted this concern, I am confident that this is one we have all been tempted by at some point during our lives.
We also welcome Pierce Chapel over our way for Mission Meals. Thanks, Pierce Chapel!
I love you. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
Blessings and love,
Jellont Walker has been devoted to preparing our Chicken & Rice, for which we are grateful. Thanks, Jellont.
Wynnbrook, we really appreciate your loving support! These supplies mean so much. By way of your care, we will be able to love our neighbor, in honor of our Lord for such a long time! We are so grateful for you!