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2014 Theme

(Philippians 3:12)

A Growing Relationship...    

    A Growing Fellowship...

        Growing Partnerships... 

Make a Greater Footprint for Jesus!

Let's Go... Where God is Taking Us... and Take... What God is Giving Us!

 

Theme of 2014The Year of Taking Ownership!

 

Just a note to officially welcome you to 2014! As an integral part of the fellowship, we want each and everyone to share in the hope and joy of this fresh start. 

The first Sunday of the new year, 2014, is a critically important opportunity for us. As a body, there is a prophetic course that God sets as we commit the "first of the first" to Him trusting that He can and will "bless the rest" (first day, first of finances, first in our hearts)! The result is a clear sense of direction and focus for us collectively and individually. 

With that introduction, let me remind you of our love, support, encouragement, and prayers for you today. Your presence is so valuable and cannot be replaced... which is why we miss each one when they are absent and have genuine concern for your well-being and faith. (We missed you on the First Sunday of 2014)

Our theme for 2014 is a challenge and loving call to make necessary changes! Too many of our own are becoming marginalized and ineffective in the Kingdom of God... too many are casualties of war in this present culture of convenience, comfort, and tolerance. To stand the ever-growing tide, there are some real issues that we must address going forward or else lose our identity, purpose, and destiny God has in mind for us. 

Taking Ownership begins with a Biblical Self-view and Worldview... How do we see ourselves, or more importantly, how does God view us? Agreement is the prerequisite to fellowship and faith. 

(Read Joshua 1:1-9) God wants to take us "all" somewhere new and deeper and rewarding! We must prepare and preserve our destiny by trust in and adherence to God's Word... We are not walking alone, He is going ahead of us and He enables us to take the "unclaimed territory" of His purpose and kingdom!

Yes, friend, there is much territory that God has given to us... we are yet to experience! This is the very reason He chose us, loves us, and redeemed us by His power... to give us more! More of Himself! 

There are 3 things necessary to Take Possession:

1) Access (read Heb. 10:19-21)

2) Authority (Mt. 28:18)

3) Assistance (Eph. 4:11-16) 

You can't possess what you have no access to... you have no access without given proper authority... and without the assistance that God ordains, possession of much is limited and short-lived. 

So, why did God redeem us? To live in the chains of Egypt's bondage? To wander around in a wilderness? Or to take possession of a land of promise? (Hope you know the answer)

Some may believe what many may suggest, "Haven't you claimed enough? You should relax and protect what you have..." Problem for us is..."there is much land to be possessed" (Joshua 13:1). God has "more" in mind!

Question is, "Are we settlers or pioneers?" 

Full Disclosure is necessary at this moment... Possession Engages the Enemy meaning you are entering a Conquest that includes conflict. The first step towards the New Territory God had given to Joshua was Jericho. God won the battle, as His children followed Him in obedience, love, and faith. 

So, where do we start? (us modern day people who are so much more advanced) (Phil. 3:12) The answer is simple... R-E-L-A-T-I-O-N-S-H-I-P! The challenge remains to Take Ownership of a Relationship with God! 

Consider the differences between Leasing and Owning... 

Leasing means to enjoy all the rights and privileges without bearing certain responsibilities...

Ownership is enjoying all the rights and privileges while assuming all the associated responsibilities... Taxes, maintenance, liability, etc... 

When leasing a person will normally purchase insurance to protect from possible losses... 

Is it remotely possible that many in our post-modern Christian world live like they are Leasing a relationship with God and not Owning one? Claiming all the introductory rights, benefits, and privilege of becoming a Christian while rejecting the call for responsibility, living above accountability, and opting out on what is inconvenient, uncomfortable, or unpopular? 

A growing relationship means Rights come with associated Responsibilities that we must assume...

1) The Right to Companionship comes with the Responsibility to Maintain Fellowship

2) The Right to Intimacy... Offering of Self

3) The Right to Access... Devotion

4) The Right to Affection... Obedience

5) The Right to Ownership... Submission and Care (yield control and treat Holy Spirit gently)

Joshua closes his conquest with the Call to Choose... (Josh. 24:14-15) "choose this day whom you will serve"

Every day begins with a Choice... to serve God or self? Taking Ownership of a Relationship with God will ask you to have courage, to walk in faith, to trust in God's leading and presence, and to carefully obey Him in love!

Where is your relationship with God? Are you growing or are you holding out? 

I will end with a pastor's warning... You must make a choice. You will be confronted in 2014. Are you ready? Will your relationship with God grow or will you fade into the multitude of the ineffective and unchallenged? 

You Choose...

Please, consider how to Take Ownership of a Growing Relationship to God... Start by giving priority to your  Access, go forward in His Authority, and gain Assistance by a regular, encouraging Fellowship. 

Make your relationship to God top in priority and commodity!

Hope to meet with you this 2nd week of 2014!

 

Possessing Christ, Pastor Stephen