Monday, December 30, 2013

Poor and Rich

When Christ is born, the birth of the Savior is announced to some humble shepherds nearby. Then the birth is also revealed to some wise men, or “kings,” a great distance away. So, the shepherds certainly wouldn’t have been wealthy men. Most wouldn’t have been highly educated. But we know that the distant wise men were educated and wealthy. And they came too, with a grip of gold and some expensive, smelly stuff. Both visited the Savior. Both worshiped the Savior. And the lesson is what? The lesson is that Christ came for all men. We can all come to Christ. We can all worship the Lord with whatever we have. In the case of the wise men, they came with some really expensive gifts. But the shepherds brought a gift as well, which was the Word the Lord had spoken to them. Both worshiped. Both are honored. We are to bring what we can to Christ, to worship and to recognize that Christ came for everyone. God revealed his son, Jesus Christ, to shepherds and to royalty, the poor and the rich. Really. Christ came for anyone who would choose to believe. Go to Him. Worship Him. And bring to Him the great things that you have been given.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, December 23, 2013

Treasure the Word

So, when Jesus is born, there are some dudes watching sheep in a field, and boom, suddenly angels are singing and telling them where to find the new born Savior of the world, Jesus. So they pop in at the manger scene, chat it up with Mary and Joseph, and worship the baby Jesus. Imagine Mary, having just given birth, and these shepherds are telling her this story about what all these angels just said. In Luke 2:19, we’re told that "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Now, this makes Mary a professionally-skilled "birther" of God's Word. Think about it… the Word actually became flesh. Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is the Word. Wow! How did she do it? Well, here we see that when the Word came, she treasured up these things. The word for “things” here is Rhema, which is the Word of God. So she treasured the Word of God that was spoken to those shepherds. If we want to produce God stuff in our lives, we have to begin to treasure the Word of God, the way Mary did. Jesus is the Word, and He is the treasure for all mankind. So there’s your Christmas gift. I just gave you a treasure. Merry Christmas!

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, December 16, 2013

For Everyone

In Luke 18, Jesus comes across a blind beggar. Jesus’ disciples try to keep the beggar away. They were like, “Jesus is too important for you.” But Jesus reaches out to the beggar and heals him. Then, in the very next story, Jesus calls a rich sinner out of a tree to have dinner with him. In this story, the people muttered against Jesus. "What are you doing, Jesus? He's a rich sinner." So, which kind of person did Jesus reach out to? Did He come for the poor and the beggars, or did He come for the rich, greedy sinners? Well, here He shows that it’s both. In these two examples, the people clearly rejected the very same people that Jesus accepted. Jesus came for anyone and everyone. Sometimes, people try to categorize whom Jesus will accept. It happened then, and it still happens. But don't let that discourage you; what really matters is that Jesus accepts you, and He came for you, no matter your lineage, education, social status, age, race, past, preferences, how you dress, sinner or saint. Hey, Jesus came for people. And it's a great example for all of us to learn from Christ, that we might also accept one another.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, December 9, 2013

Home

So, Jesus is 12 years old and his parents can't find him. For three days they search, and then they find him. Do you know where he was? He was at church. So, he says to them, “Why were you searching for me? Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?” Jesus is with you, and His spirit is already in you, but here in the scripture He gives us another insight. He wants us to come hang out with Him at His Father's house… church. When we receive Christ, we become children of God, and this makes our Father's house not just a house, but a home. Some people think of going to church as a chore, like going to the gym. But if you make church a chore, well you might not go. Church isn't a chore–it’s home. After a hard day, I want to go home. And after a week, I should want to go to church, which is also my home. Home is where I greet my family, eat some food, take a seat, and put up my feet. The food we eat is the Word of God. The other people are family. It's home. So, when you go to church, well… make yourself at home.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sanctuary

David writes in Psalm 73, "When I tried to understand I was deeply troubled, but when I entered the sanctuary, then I understood." Have you ever tried to understand something on your own? Sure you have… every day! Well, David finds that it leaves him upset. So, what do you do when you’re deeply troubled? David went to his favorite place. Remember that for David a day in the House of the Lord was better than 1,000 days anywhere else. Whatever you're searching for in life, you can find it 1,000 times faster in the sanctuary, including some peace and some understanding. A sanctuary is a retreat, a place of safety, security, somewhere you can find peace. Not only are you the temple of the Lord, complete with a sanctuary on the inside, but there are also physical sanctuaries for your physical body, where you can meet others like you, who are just trying to figure it all out. In the sanctuary awaits some rest and understanding, and freedom from being “deeply troubled.” My guess is that there is a sanctuary you are thinking about right now; maybe it’s just up the way. Pop on by, have a moment with the Lord, and experience what David was trying to tell us.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, November 25, 2013

Judge Not

In Matthew 7:1, Jesus says, "Do not judge or you too will be judged." It's a simple request that He makes of us Christians. Don't judge. Well, that’s easier said than done. It's kind of normal to judge what others are up to, how they act and what they say. It's normal in the media and in the world; it's even pretty normal to find it in the church. But Jesus said not to do it. Judging someone is to not accept them, based on what they've done or said or look like. So what's the opposite of judging? Well, it would mean accepting people, no matter what they've done, said or look like. Jesus doesn't want us to reject others, to talk bad about them or to look down on them. So then, the opposite is to have grace for others. God has given us grace. I mean, He accepts us no matter what we've done. Jesus died for us, while we were still sinners. And we certainly aren't perfect yet, but He still accepts us. So this is our model. Now, accepting someone doesn't mean you have to let them live in your house; it just means you aren't thinking and speaking badly of them. Whether it's your friend, relative, neighbor, church leader or politician, encourage one another, and speak positive about others.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, November 18, 2013

Life to the Dead

About 850 years BC, the Israelites were burying a dead guy, when suddenly they were attacked by some raiders. Well, they needed to free up their hands to fight, so they quickly chucked this man’s dead body into Elisha's tomb. Now, Elisha was a great prophet of God, back in the day. The Bible says, in 2 Kings 13:21, "When the body touched Elisha's bones the man came to life and stood up on his feet." Score! Elisha was dead, and they were just his dead bones, but God still used dead bones to bring life to someone else. You see, God works through people like you and me. Sometimes we think, “Oh, well who am I to bring life to someone else?” But even the dead bones in our lives, the areas in our lives that aren't perfect, God can still move through. God was showing us that He just needs a willing vessel. You see, when you received Christ, you received life, and now you are fully qualified to serve God and to lead others to the Lord. The enemy wants you to believe that you aren’t good enough to serve God, but you are. If you are waiting until you are perfect, well, that might happen, but remember this… you are ready, because Christ has made you holy.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, November 11, 2013

Don't Stop Believing

In Luke 9:41, Jesus says to the people, "Oh unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you and put up with you?" The awesome part is that Jesus stays with us forever when we receive Him. But whenever the people around him got stuck, He would say, "Oh you of little faith," or "Oh unbelieving people." Now, when the coach of a team sees a weakness in the team that is causing them to not win, the coach will address it over and over again. So here is our coach, who wants us to win, and He's harping on the same key that we need, over and over. The key is [drumroll, please] our faith and our believing. Do we believe? Believing was necessary to stop the winds and the waves, move the mountains, give sight to the blind and raise the dead. Faith equals believing. So, if I'm on the team, and I want to do better, one thing I need to be actively training is my faith. And I don't even need a lot of faith to win. Jesus tells us that if we have just a little faith and do not doubt, we will see a big win. Have faith in God. Don't walk by sight; walk by faith.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Place for Everyone

Let’s be honest. The world and Satan both want, and work very hard, to keep people out of church. Jesus assigned the disciples to build the church, which means it was important to Christ to set up the church. So, the world will try to convince you of a lot of lies about church. One lie is that the church is going to reject you. Jesus' entire message was for anyone who would believe. When you walk into church, lightning will not strike and the roof will not collapse; a more likely scenario is that someone will shake your hand—someone who is, or has been, in your shoes. Church is full of real people. You see, Jesus came for us, ALL of us. He came for the weak, the brokenhearted, the abandoned, the sinner, the addict, the greedy, the drunkard, the immoral, the perverse... He came for everyone. He didn't come to hang out with perfect people, because there is no such thing. He came for us; He took our pain and weakness to the cross so that, by believing in Him, we could have life. Then, He sent the Holy Spirit to lead us and give us strength to overcome our weaknesses. And we become the people at church who welcome, with open arms, everyone and anyone.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Good Flogging

Psalms 89:30 begins by saying, "If his sons forsake my law," and then continues with, "I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging." Okay, a good flogging for being a sinner seems fair. But before we leave this verse, let’s establish whose sons we’re talking about here. This is about King David. So it was David's sons. "If [David's] sons forsake my law, there will be a flogging." Now Jesus was called the Son of David, and He took a flogging at the cross. But here's the thing... He didn't forsake the law. Jesus was innocent. He was punished for the breaking of the LAW, even though no sin could be found in Him. You see, He took this punishment for others. There was a punishment to come, but when we receive Him, He calls us righteous—a righteousness that comes from God, to all who will believe in Him. And now, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God remind us to do what is right. Obeying the whole law is quite impossible for us, so God created another way. He sent His son, who did it all for us, and you can receive what He did for you by just believing in Him.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, September 30, 2013

This Means War

David says, in Psalm 27:3, "Though war break out against me, even then will I be confident." Are you going through tough times? Is the storm all around you? Has "war" broken out against you? David had firsthand experience in this—armies were seeking to destroy him, his city, his family and his nation. That’s serious business! Even with all of this going on around him, David knew that God was going to protect them. He went on to say in Psalm 27:13, "I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." He had total confidence that he would see God's goodness in this life, as well as beyond, and that God would indeed save them. He knew he didn’t need to be frightened, get antsy about what he needed to do in his own strength, or freeze in panic. Do you have that confidence today? Do you know Christ as your Savior? If you do, then you, too, need to have this confidence. God cares about you. He loves you. He will protect you. He will meet your needs, and you will see God's goodness in this life and beyond! The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it!

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, September 23, 2013

Keep the Faith, Even in Prison

In Matthew 11:2, John the Baptist is in prison, and he sends his disciples to go and ask Jesus whether he is the one that they've been waiting for. Now, just eight chapters ago, John the Baptist baptized Jesus and heard the voice of God from heaven saying, "This is my son..." So, John knew, firsthand, that Jesus was the one. And they were cousins!  But while in prison, he began to doubt his own faith in Christ. Prison can do that to us. When we get in a bad place in life, in a real storm or tragedy, the devil will come and try to get us to doubt what we believe. He wants us to doubt Jesus. He wants us to question God, God's love, God's intentions and even God's existence. But prison is a place we need to lean even stronger on our faith. Think of Joseph who, as a slave and then in prison, deepened his faith God. These are examples of those who have gone through trouble before us. Have you walked away from the Lord because of tragedy? God is calling you back today. I don’t expect trouble—I don't like it—but when it comes, and I persevere, God will bring a great victory.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, September 16, 2013

What's in a Title?

Titles in our culture keep disappearing. A generation ago we referred to elders by their titles, like Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., priest, bishop, elder, pastor. More and more, titles are disappearing. Okay, so what? I mean, do titles matter? Well, Jesus was given the title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So it must matter. And check this out. The leper in Matthew 8 didn't say, "Jesus, if you are willing, you can make me clean." Instead, he called Jesus "Kurios," which means Lord. And he was healed. In each case, as you follow along in Matthew, every person who addressed Jesus with a title of honor, such as Lord, received something. And those who used a common way of talking to Jesus were either sent away or were rebuked. Jesus didn’t give himself a title, but God did. And Jesus didn't force anyone to use his title, but those who did received more. So what am I saying? It would be weird if my six-year-old called me by my first name, instead of "Dad.”  In life, I deserve that honor.  If someone is deserving of honor in your life, you should address them with a title. They might not demand the title, but maybe you should use it anyway.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Friday, September 13, 2013

Position Your Heart

Where you position something will determine how well it will function. If you put a lawn mower in the swimming pool, it will malfunction. It will be hard to operate, too, and there isn’t anything to mow in there. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:21 that “Where your treasure is, there also is your heart.” So our hearts follow our treasure. That’s interesting, because, in the world, we are taught to follow our heart. “What’s your heart telling you?” “Oh, just go with your heart…” But here, Jesus says it differently. He doesn’t say to follow your heart; he says to position your heart. Maybe a lot of the messes in life come from our hearts being in the wrong place? Our hearts weren’t designed to operate in this messed-up world. And maybe the wrong desires, or the problems we have, would disappear, if our hearts were positioned where they’re designed to work best, which is with God. When you bring a gift to the Lord at church, a gift from your treasure, then you begin to position your heart in the Lord’s house. Get your lawn mower out of the pool, be generous to the Lord’s house, and watch the grass in your life begin to flourish.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Add Value

Jesus lived the most epic life of any man in all history. Since his resurrection, what he did on this earth continues to grow. Was it because he was a famous pop singer? Or a famous athlete? Was it because he was a Roman emperor? Nope. When Jesus took the scene, he was just a dude from Nazareth. He wasn’t a leader in the temple or the community. Of course, he was also the son of God. But you have the same spirit in you. You can live an epic life, too. So what did he do every day? Well, every day he got up, and he went and sowed into people’s lives; he fed people and healed people. Every day he gave to people, taught people, corrected people, encourage people… he was always adding value to others. Every day he put more into people than he got in return. This is something any one of us can do, and we could all start right now. Add value to others. Believe in others. Give to others, tell them they can win, speak the word of God into their lives. Try to give more than you get into each and every relationship you have. It’s the secret to living an epic life.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale | Mesa | Ahwatukee

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Squeeze


Romans 8 starting with verse 35 tells us that in the midst of trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or the sword, we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Notice our 'more than conqueror' status isn't activated until we are vulnerable. You see you can't be a conqueror if there is no trouble. Without trouble your just some dude sitting on the couch, or a girl doin her nails. It's when things get tricky that we have the opportunity to show off what's in us. I call it the squeeze. When you get squeezed what comes out? That plastic bottle of ketchup in your fridge, you can tip it over, but nothing comes out until you squeeze it. According to this scripture God has placed "win" inside of us, and that win is supposed to come out when the squeeze comes. What many people do when the squeeze comes is they quit. But if you refuse to quit in the squeeze, then winning will come out. It may come out slower than you like, but it is in there. Persevere, don't give up, hold on, and let the squeeze bring out the conqueror of Christ that is in you.

Pastor Jason Anderson
Living Word Bible Church
Scottsdale * Mesa * Ahwatukee

Monday, August 19, 2013

Psalms 18:20 - The Lord Dealt with Me

Do you ever do something great, and then a reward is on its way… a trophy, a smile or a bonus? Did you know that God wants to reward you? It's true, and He loves to bless His children. Psalms 18:20 says, "The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me." We as Christians are often so quick to look to the bad stuff in our life and then wonder whether GOD is doing the bad stuff because WE did some bad stuff. So remember this… God is a rewarder! This scripture is about reward - a reward for doing something right. Get it through your head. God. Desires. To. Reward. You. Now, if God desires to reward me, how do I get in a position for reward? Well, I must be righteous. But WHO is righteous? How will any of us be good enough? Well, we’re allowed to operate in Christ's righteousness, if we choose. If you can believe it, you can operate in this world as a joint heir with Christ Jesus. You see, Jesus’ single act on the cross cleansed us from all unrighteousness. And if my reward from the Father is based on righteousness, then all I need is Jesus, because all of us struggle with sin. JESUS is my righteousness! If I believe it, then here comes my reward. I can rest in the works of HIS hands and receive the rewards of the Lord freely. So say it with me, “The Lord is rewarding me according to my righteousness, and I am righteous in Christ Jesus.”
Pastor Jason Anderson - The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, August 12, 2013

Jesus is Your Sword

Ephesians 6:17 tells us that we need to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. So you have a sword, but you need to get it in your hands and take it with you wherever you go. It's the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God, so your sword is Jesus. And one of the things Jesus does is clean up your temple—the inside of you. The sword of the Spirit is not only to help you overcome the enemy, but it's also to help you change your insides. Now changing, well, it’s not easy, so God gives you an awesome, sharp tool to help get rid of the junk. The Bible. The Word of God has information that you don't know, and as you learn it, it’s uprooting and cutting out the hurts, pains and wrong ideas that live in your heart, which makes you smarter. Now, if you’re going to let the Word of God change you, step one is to admit that Jesus knows more than you do. Step two, then, is to get into the Bible and find out what it knows that you don't. We spend time reading Google, or our school textbooks or Facebook, and this isn't creating a better you. But Jesus will; He knows exactly how He created you, and what you have to do to change. So take up that sword of the Spirit, turn it around and let it change you.
Pastor Jason Anderson - The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, July 29, 2013

Love Amortization Calculator

Romans 13:8 says, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another." Debt stinks. You ever notice how big and beautiful banks are? You walk into a magnificent bank and you're like, “Wow, must be nice.” And it's true. And we are building those kingdoms. Really, our debt. The average church attending Christian will give $600,000 to banks in interest expense over their lifetime. Now God is trying to warn us out of this system. He says, “Hey, no more debt.” Now I can do debt as well as anyone, and I am, but put your hands in the air if you're tired of debt. We should decide in our heart, no more debt, and then declare war on debt. Jesus gives us parables about renegotiating debt, and the Mosaic law included a plan for legal debt cancellation every 49 years. This tells us that debt is not a new problem. We love debt in that it gives us access to something that we can't afford, but then pay far more for it than we should. In the end it can mean less dollars for your future, and less dollars for the Lord's stuff, like your local church. So if you’re young, and not in debt yet, well take heed this wisdom. Trust God for your daily needs and your desires, not the bank. For those of us already in debt, well, develop an active plan to get out of debt. Pray, negotiate your debts, get lower interest rates, ask God to help. God will certainly honor your desire to get out of debt. Then when it's time to pay off your debts, well, the only debt you will owe is to love someone. And that's a payment that I'd like to make every single day. Love payments always reap dividends. Love is more like investing, it comes with a harvest.
Pastor Jason Anderson - The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Last Will Be Simply Awesomeness

Part of living in this world means learning to submit to authority. I Samuel 3:1, "The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli." Samuel would become an amazing prophet, who anointed David King. But for now he's working for Eli. Under Eli is when God talks to him for the first time. Eli wasn't the perfect boss, he made some mistakes, and got in trouble with God too. Still, it was important for Samuel to learn to serve under Eli. You may sometimes be in a position to serve under someone that isn't perfect. Well, big surprise. But can you serve with honor, can you serve well? How well you serve under authority will certainly help determine how well others will do what you say when you're the boss. It's all learning. Remember too that Daniel worked hard for an ungodly king. But when the king outlawed praying, well then Daniel obeyed the higher authority, and he prayed anyway. God's law is above man’s, and if man’s authority disagrees with God's authority, well, then you always go with God. Again, it's a process of learning authority and being great at serving. The greater the servant you can become, the greater the leader you will be. Or as Jesus put it.... “The last will become first.”
Pastor Jason Anderson - The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Pretty Good Sacrifice

So Nehemiah rebuilds the wall in Jerusalem, then he puts together a church service. How many know we need to have church? Nehemiah 12:43 "And on that day they offered great sacrifices." Now it wasn't just a sacrifice, it was a great sacrifice. Not a bad one, not one like Cain gave, or not just a good one, but it was a great sacrifice. It was so impressive that God decided it was worth talking about in the Bible for all future generations to have access to this story. It was a great sacrifice. I like the word "sacrifice" because it is not just a gift, but a giving that really means something to you. When you go to church, that is, come together with other people to hear the word of God and worship Him, then Hook him up. You know. Bring a sacrifice to the House of the Lord. The scripture goes on to say "Rejoicing because God had given them great joy." It is in our sacrifices that we have the opportunity to let the joy that is in us bubble up to the surface, come out, and get on some other people. Do you need some more joy on your face? The idea of a sacrifice is reminding money that it is not your boss, because you are giving it in exchange for nothing tangible, and yet, it will bring you multiplication of things both tangible and intangible. Like more seed in your store, but also more joy on your face.
Pastor Jason Anderson - The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, July 8, 2013

Force Field

Okay, so sometimes the world is spinning a little too fast and can seem out of control. Watch the news for one minute and you can get afraid, or at least uneasy. But as a child of God, we are commanded to not fear. Don't be afraid. Stop that. Many people might be afraid, but not us. We then become the strength in the world, and in the room, the one who is not worried in the conversations of worry. Isaiah 52:12 says "The Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard." Now back in the day when a king or priest would travel, they would have a guard in front and behind. God has called us a royal priesthood. And He is your guard! He is in front, and He is behind. So that's God all around you. One of the great safety's that are built into future space ships, like Star Trek or Star Wars, is the force field. See the ship is safe from the Klingon Photons as long as our force field is still holding. And you don't have to wait to own a space ship to have a force field. You just need to realize that God has already stepped in as your shield, and your response must be this. This one response is what God is asking for, and that response is to not be afraid, to not worry, because you trust that your God is an impenetrable force of life and strength. Just ask God to raise the shields.
Pastor Jason Anderson - The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, July 1, 2013

For Just 50 Cents More You Can Get the Large

II Corinthians 9:10 tells us that when we give to the Lord that He will, and I quote, “enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” When you go out to eat someone is always asking you if you’d like the bigger portion. For just 50 cents more you can get the large, right? Here when we give, God enlarges the harvest of my righteousness. What is that? If my harvest is getting bigger, I should know what it is. Righteousness gives you access to the promises of God, the inheritance, the Promised Land. Here’s just a sample when God says in Deuteronomy 28 that you will be blessed in the city, and blessed in the country, blessed coming in, and blessed coming out. Now anyone who receives Christ has access to this harvest through the righteousness in Christ. Christ obeyed every command, and in Him we are righteous because of Him. Everyone who believes has access. Now, when you choose to be a giver, that harvest gets bigger. God enlarges it. He supersizes your harvest. He says, “I will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” And it comes with free refills. So the next time you’re in church and you have an opportunity to give, God is asking you, for just 50 cents more you can get the large. Give and it will be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together and running over (Luke 6:38).
Pastor Jason Anderson - The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, June 24, 2013

Power and Wisdom

So a guy goes camping for the first time in his life. He leaves his box of food open and at night a bear comes into camp and eats his food. Now what does this camper need? Well first of all, he needs the wisdom to know that he must seal up his food so bears don't come in looking. But when the bear gets there, well, bears are pretty big, so he might need something powerful to defeat the bear, or fast running shoes. I Corinthians 1:24 says "Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God." You see, God thinks of everything. Sometimes in this life we need power, sometimes we need wisdom. Most times we need both. And when you received Jesus, He became both of these to you. Jesus is your power, and Jesus is your wisdom. If you have wisdom you make better decisions and then you won't need a miracle in life to save you. But sometimes you need a miracle, and Jesus is that miracle for you. Now some people just go for the miracle, and ignore the wisdom, others go for the wisdom, but never believe for the miracle. But Jesus showed us as He walked the earth a tremendous amount of both power and wisdom. So don't let the bears eat your food. Be strong and smart in the Lord.
Pastor Jason Anderson - The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, June 17, 2013

Peace of Jesus

John 16:33 (NIV): "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world." Now Jesus is going to be crucified shortly after saying this, so these are kind of like His parting words to His disciples. Of all the things He wanted them to hear, it was peace. It’s like Jesus was saying, “Alright, sometimes things get crazy in this world, but you can have My peace.” He didn't just give us some peace, but His peace. Jesus is your peace. When life gets crazy it usually means we need more of something. We run out of money, we need more money, or less bills. Someone is sick, we need more health. So Jesus might say, “When the trouble comes, what you really need is more Me. I'll be your peace.” It doesn't mean the storm magically disappears, it means you aren't stressed out about the storm. You have peace. You are trusting that Jesus has overcome the world back at the cross. And He has. Are you nervous, anxious, scared or worried? Forget about it. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, you just need more Jesus.
Pastor Jason Anderson - The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, June 10, 2013

Jesus My Advocate

1 John 2:1 says, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Ok, so the goal here is to not sin, but hey, sometimes you might sin. And it doesn't say "But if anyone does sin, well you're gonna burrrrn." Instead it says, hey, I'm hoping you don't sin, but if you do, you have an advocate. An advocate is someone who comes to your aid, helps you, and pleads your case before a judge. Now Jesus is your advocate, and one thing you may notice about Jesus, He's really good at everything. So you have the best advocate ever, and He'll never send you a bill. He's absolutely free. Sometimes we get the idea that Christianity is about don't sin or you're gonna burn. But really Christ was about forgiveness. He says, well, you might sin, but I won't and then I'll take your sin, even the ones you haven't committed yet, and I'll nail them to the cross with Me. I'll even take them to the grave. And then He stands before the Lord, and when you sin, He's your advocate, and He says, I already paid the price for this sin. I died for it. Yeah, Jesus is your advocate. Like that.
Pastor Jason Anderson - The Living Word Bible Church

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - Temptation.. Run Away


In Matthew 5 Jesus is teaching his disciples about prayer (yes, it’s a running theme with me this last month) and he points out different things we should be bringing to God.  In one case he says that we should ask God to "Lead us not into temptation."  Now the early church started teaching that God sometimes tempts us, and maybe they got the idea from this, but James 1:13 clears it all up by saying God does not tempt anyone.  In the Greek language they mix up the words different for reasons like emphasis, but another way of saying this would be to say “LEAD US away from temptation.”  So really what I'm praying is "God, lead me away from temptation."  You see, it's me that goes to temptation.  Or sometimes temptation is stalking me.  (I’m using the word stalking, because temptation is a tricky little guy.  It’s lurking in the strangest of places.)  So the real trick to overcoming temptation is to stay away from it.  Like with Joseph.  When Potiphar’s wife started hitting on him, Joseph took off running.  See Joseph recognized that his human side might do something stupid if he stuck around.  He was being led away from temptation.  Jesus had to be tempted on our behalf; he took temptation for us and beat it.  Now when He had been tempted three times he sent Satan away from him.  “Away from me.”

When it comes to temptation, well, usually we don't include God at all when we are being tempted.  Like Eve, she could've called on God when Satan was tempting her, but she didn't.  How would things have been different if she would have included God?  So in this prayer, we are including God, were asking him to help.  Hey, I see some temptation, Father God, steer me out of here.  You see God's strength is made perfect in your weakness, but you should ask Him for that help.  James said, "we have not because we ask not."  Want to overcome temptation, well pray about it, ask God to get you away from it.  Now that sounds like something He would definitely help with.
The Living Word Bible Church - Jason Anderson

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - Daily Loaf of Wisdom


Well you’re reading this, so that’s like manna, and today I’m talking about prayer.  When Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, one of the things he told them to say was "Give us this day our daily bread."  Well you might be thinking, hey, bread is carbs, that's to many carbs.  But when Jesus talks about bread he's talking about God's word.  He tells the devil that "man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."  You see daily bread is like the manna the Israelites got every day.  And Jesus said, “I am the bread of life”, and of course Jesus is the Word of God.  So it wasn't about carbs, it was about God's word, the Bible, Jesus.  

Do you need a little Jesus every day?  Well, we want a lot of Jesus.  In fact, we want all of Him.  Including in our prayer life the prayer for daily bread reminds us to that we need to be in the word searching for the wisdom of God.  We need not only some oatmeal and brown sugar, we also need A bible buffet.  A scripture soufflĂ©.  He was telling us to pray, “Lord teach me something new today.”  When we pray we ask for all sorts of stuff, and God is our father, so we can.  But one of the greatest things we can ask for is Wisdom.  And where are we going to get some wisdom?  Well, God's word of course.  And God also put in to place a system where both faith and the wisdom of God is heard when we go to church.  Seriously.  I’m not just saying this because I’m a preacher, but check this out:  Eph 3:10 "His intent was that through the church the manifold wisdom of God is made known"  Remember from Malachi 3 – “that there might be food in my house….”  You see, the food is at church.  Uh huh.  Daily bread.  Bible.  Church.  Eat up.
The Living Word Bible Church - Jason Anderson

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - Pray to the FATHER


When Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray in Luke 11, he starts out by saying "Our father."  This was the Lord's prayer he spoke.  When Jesus prayed in public, he didn't recite the Lord's prayer, but He did address the Lord as Father.  And I like how He uses the term “Our father”.  We know that God is His father, but here he includes us, saying hey, we're brothers, He's our Father.  And this was new information.  Before Christ when men and women of the Lord prayed, they didn't address God as "Father."  Abraham, or Moses, or Jacob, or Joshua, or Nehemiah, and so on.  They prayed lots of times, but never saying “Father.”  So when Jesus uses the term father, it is new information.  This was Jesus making a point to make a huge change in approaching God.  We should really meditate on this.

A father is not some far away God that is unapproachable, but instead, we can ask our father to do things that we would not just ask anyone.  It's a much closer relationship, it's family, and He's totally approachable.  And whether you had the worst dad in the world or the best, Father God is infinitely more loving than an earthly dad, He is perfect, and He has wonderful gifts in mind for you.  Jesus points this out when He says “what father, even though he is evil, gives his child a bad gift when he asks?  How much more then will Father God give us good gifts.”  Yeah, your daddy has got you.  So approach God Jesus style, as “Father”.  Or like Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsamane, “Abba Father”.  I think when we say it out loud it does something on the inside of us.

The Living Word Bible Church - Jason Anderson

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - A New Arrow in Your Quiver


In Luke 11 Jesus disciples ask him to teach them how to pray.  This makes sense, since when Jesus prayed they had noticed two things.  First, when Jesus prayed, it sounded different than everyone else.  Second, when Jesus prayed, stuff happened.  Is it any different now?  Should we also be taught how to pray?  I would say the answer is yes.  Jesus, teach us how to pray.  

Prayer is a new arrow in our quiver, it's something we didn't have when we didn't know the Lord.  When we were lost, if wanted something to change, well, all we could do was try harder, using our mind and our own strength.  And when something seemed impossible, well, then it was, and you would just have to give up.  But now that you know Jesus, when things are impossible, you can pray.  It's when God works best, since nothing is impossible with God.  And when Jesus teaches us to pray, he's reminding us that there is a right way to do it; a more effective way of praying. In the sermon on the mount Jesus tells us how not to pray, like telling us to NOT pray like a show off - that we are oh so spiritual.  And James points out that we have not because we ask not, or we ask with wrong intentions.  So there is something to work on here.  We can work on our praying.  Not only should we pray, we should look to the word of God to find out how to be more effective in praying.  

So get out your bible today, and say to the Lord, Holy Spirit, teach me how to pray.  then get ready.
The Living Word Bible Church - Jason Anderson

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - Don't Stay Angry....


Anger is a normal part of our life, both culturally, and individually.  Anger untamed can bite us.  We can end up bitter, or spiteful, or vindictive and full of revenge if we leave anger unattended.  So how long should we stay angry?  Say you’re in a battle with your spouse, and then they apologize; well it’s hard just to turn off the hurt feelings, and the words.  So how long can I stay angry? Or what if someone never apologizes?  Or maybe I just hit my thumb with a hammer.  What is the statute of limitations on anger, at least, according to God?

The answers are of course, in the Bible.  Like in Matthew chapter 5 when Jesus tells us not to be angry with our brothers.  The key word here is the word "be".  Don't "be" angry.  You see, it's an on going anger. You may get angry sometimes, but do you stay angry?  Jesus got angry sometimes.  Like when they turned the temple into a swap meet, yeah he was angry.  And he gave it to Peter once calling him Satan.  Sure, Jesus got angry.  But he didn't stay angry.  He wasn't still mad a Peter a few weeks later, telling Thomas, "Remember what Peter did a couple of weeks ago? Ugh! He just makes me so mad."  Jesus addressed the situations in a healthy manner, and then He let it go.

So don't stay angry.  Anger itself is not a sin, it's an emotion.  But what you do with it, well that part can mess you up.  So here Jesus says don't stay angry.  Don't let the sun go down on your anger.  Imagine how different life would be if everyone let go of their anger.  Violence would cease, married couples would always wake up in love, and wars would disappear.  Sure we get mad, and we might express that, but do we stay mad. And if you aren't mad, well then there is just more room for you to be happy.  Nice.
The Living Word Bible Church - Jason Anderson

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - All You Gotta Do is Love


     I John 2:10 says “Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.”  I like that it refers to a brother.  Any believer is your brother and sister, but you know, if you have a real brother, then you probably have had some real brother fights.  Proverbs 17:17 tells us that a brother is born for a bunch of fun and enjoyment.. no wait, that’s not what it says, it says that brothers are born for adversity.  This means they battle a bit; you know, iron sharpening iron.  So loving a brother isn’t always the easy thing to do.  But it is the godly thing to do.  And loving your brother and sister is a benefit to you.  That love places you in the light.  Now when the lights go out during an electrical outage, what is the first thing you do?  Ah yes, look for light.  “Hey, where’s the matches?”  So it is the same in life.  When the lights go out in life, and you stumble over the couch or trip on a box, well, all you gotta do is love.  In the dark we start feeling around carefully so we don’t trip, and we end up getting even more intimate with the stumbling blocks.  The real solution is to love, love the other believers in Christ, and this turns the light back on.   Woola, (not sure that is a word) you don’t have to feel around for the obstacles, now you can keep jamming through life.  Love isn’t always the easy road, and yet, it always makes the road easier.
The Living Word Bible Church
www.livingwordonline.com

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - Not So Fair


I Peter 2:19 “For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.”  What?  What is this unjust suffering?  (using my best professor voice) Good exegetical analysis starts with understanding the topic of what Peter was writing.  This way we can accurately define what kind of suffering we are considering.  This section of teaching is referring to submitting to man made authorities.  Now since man imposed authorities have men in them, then God knows that some men will be unjust, mean, or wrong.  This can effect you if you let it.  For instance, say you got unfairly passed over for a promotion, or your professor unjustly gave you a bad grade.  Well this whole passage is talking about that kind of unjust suffering.  The verse just prior to this one says “Servants, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”
So lets say you work somewhere and the authority is just plain wrong and unfair.  Well you should get angry right?  Or give that boss a piece of your mind?  No.  What this scripture is telling us is that we should work hard and respectfully no matter who is in authority.  I put it like this.  I will never let someone else determine how hard I work.  So if another employee is getting away with being lazy, I’m not going to be lazy, it’s just not who I want to be.  Or if authority is so unfair that it makes me want to quit, well, I’m not going to quit, because no one gets to determine how I feel.  I work hard and honor leadership because God told me to, and nothing will distract me from that.  Now none of us are perfect at that.  On some level we are defeated here.  Still, let us give our best effort.  The scripture here told you to “bear up” under this suffering, which indicates that you should continue to produce in an upward manner with your head held high.  Remember that when you are treated unfairly but you just keep on working hard with an honoring heart, well, then, God himself will reward you.  And God rewards a lot better than people do.
www.livingwordonline.org
The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - Set Aside Your String Beans

Galatians 2:21 starts out with "I do not set aside the grace of God."  So there is stuff that we do set aside right?  We set aside our string beans when we are eating, or we set aside some money that we aren't spending.  But grace isn't to be set aside.  When you set something aside you are benching it, taking it out of the game.  Giving it a rest.  You inactivate it, or make it stand still.  It’s like having a phone that is turned off.  It is designed to help connect you with people, but off, it will do nothing.  Anything set aside is serving no current and active purpose.  Those beans are doing  nothing for no one set aside on your plate.  (I give my string beans to the dog.) 

So Paul is not keeping grace in the fridge, or in his pocket, but he is always keeping grace in motion, in all that he does he runs it through grace.  So what does it mean to go through your day with grace operating?  It means you aren't in judgement of others, or criticizing others.  It means you think good of others and yourself, and aren't expecting anyone to uphold some sort of Christian standard that you yourself have set.  It means that in all you do you can operate in the authority of Jesus Christ and expect mountains to move, storms to calm and sickness to leave.  That authority is afforded to you because you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  Grace.  It means no weapon formed against you and your family can prosper, and that you accept no calamity as well deserved since Christ has died and paid the penalty in full for all sin for all time.  It means that when you fail you are actively forgiving yourself, or if others let you down, you actively forgive them.  You keep that grace in motion, you meditate upon it, and you allow that grace to teach you godly living.  It is God's grace who forgives you. It is a gift that frees us to be happy.

The Living Word Bible Church
www.livingwordonline.com

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - Stone Throw Away


     Here's a big lesson in a short breath.  Galations 4 describes two types of people as portrayed by two sons of Abraham.  One was Ishmael, born from Hagar whose name represents Sinai, the mountain where God gave Moses the law.  Sinai represents sin.  This is because the law came to amplify sin, to prove to man that he couldn’t not earn righteousness through his own efforts.  So Ishmael represents those who are trying to do enough good to be blameless before God.  The second son of Abraham was Isaac, born from Sarah as the result of God’s promise.   This son was given the inheritance, not because he was a better son, but because he was born of promise.  He represents those who receive the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ.
   
  Now the church in Galatia had been living under the law again, that is, trying to be good enough to have a relationship with God and receive blessing of God.  But Jesus paid the price in full.  So are we more like the son of the slave or of the promise?  Am I truly free by the grace of God, or in my mind am I still trying to be good enough before I approach God?  This is a question we all must ask ourselves, and often.  When we live under legalism or by the law, then we make Christ of no effect (Galations 5:4).  How do I know which one I’m most acting like?  The answer is right here in Galatians 4:29 "At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now."  I love that it says “It is the same now.”  This is an ongoing persecution that will continue as long as this earth endures.  One of the symptoms that I'm acting under the law, that is, in the footsteps of Ishmael and not under grace is this:  I persecute other believers.  When I throw stones at other Christians I'm acting under the law, a persecuter.  If you read in Genesis 16 you will find that this type of believer “will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”  Notice that they are “brothers”, indicating they are fellow believers in Christ.
The Galatians were believers but were beginning to add back in justification through works.  The path of self-righteousness always includes looking at others in contempt, wondering why they aren’t as good at not sinning.  This brings about the stone throwing.  We should not throw stones at other believers, it only causes division and imprisons those who are divided from the body.  Ishmael in Genesis 21:9 is mocking Isaac.  Still this happens today.  Believers mocking believers.  So which side of persecution I stand on will determine God’s commendation for my life.  I am commended and blessed when I am persecuted.  That is God’s protection for the persecuted, so that those who are persecuted need not defend themselves or return insult for insult.  Receive your blessing with a smile.  But I am making Christ of no effect when I’m the persecuter.  Now I don't do it on purpose, and like the entire church of Galatia, it's easy to fall into. As believers and family let's walk in grace for each other, no stone throwing at other believers, but instead when you come across anothers weakness or failure whether perceived or real, let your reaction be to pray for, encourage, and build one another up.  Be children of the promise, and never forget where you would be if it were not for the work of Christ.

www.livingwordonline.com The Living Word Bible Church

Monday, February 11, 2013

Knowing the Will of God



Okay, God has a plan for your life, and you may be asking, well, “what is that plan?”  Well, there is a great key in Romans 12:2 – it says “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  So you may have heard this scripture before.  But there also may be more in here we haven’t seen. 

If we aren’t sure of God’s will for our lives, it may be because we have some more renewing of the mind to do.  We are in need of a bit more transformation.  We are still conforming to some patterns of this world.  “God, what would you have me do?”  Well, if it isn’t clear, then what He has you doing is more renewing.  Any new project will probably require some new skill, knowledge, and effort.  Therefore for there to be a new level in my life, a new transformation must begin in me.  Sounds easy right?  Well, transforming can be tough since this world is very loud.  The world is quite good at unnewing our mind.  (I made that word up).  Unnewing is decaying your mind, and as a result, it decays your world.  The world is yelling for us to conform, from the TV we watch to the people we talk to, and the things we read. We are surrounded by it, inundated constantly by the worlds message.  The world has a system for marriage, relationships, money, dating, eating, living, but have you noticed that the worlds system is broken.  It isn’t working.  But God’s system still works and it leads to life. 

Transformation comes through meditation.  If I can focus my thoughts on one subject for a great deal of time it will bring transformation.  We sometimes think that transformation comes from making a choice.  Really, the choice is only the beginning.  If I choose to start working out, well, I probably will only stay disciplined to that work out for a few weeks.  But if I were to meditate daily on working out, study, plan, envision, and devise, for a long period of time, then I would become the type of person who works out as a normal routine.  Now I’m not trying to get you to work out.  I’m saying that if you can have focused thought about a scripture, and truly meditate on it daily (and nightly), it will begin to transform you.  Your mind will be made new concerning that scriptures unique wisdom.  Don’t be so surrounded with the world’s message, but instead, surround your brain with the bible.  To renew our mind and fight the decay that attacks us we are best armed with the word of God.  When I get the word of God in my mind and spend time thinking about it, my mind is renewed.  It remembers to love, to have hope, and to do what is right.  And a bunch of renewing has me transforming, and a bunch of transforming has me clearly knowing God’s will.
www.livingwordonline.com
Living Word Bible Church, Mesa, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee

Monday, February 4, 2013

Your Rep


Ecc 7:1 “A good name is better than precious ointment”.  Well I’ll admit I don’t use a lot of ointment, but I see here that God wants you to have a good name.  A good name, that’s what we might call your reputation.  Why should God’s children have a good rep?  Well, think about it, how are you supposed to lead someone if no one is following you?  And how can you be the voice of hope, or faith, or doing the right thing, if no one is listening to you?  If you look and smell like the sinners of the world, then the world will not know you belong to Christ.  When the sinner embarks on the journey to find God, they won’t know to come see you for directions. 
Proverbs 22:1 says “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”  It is common practice to believe that it doesn’t matter what others think, only what God thinks.  In context of who we should be set to please, well this rings nicely.  But according to the scripture, it matters what others think too.  It’s both God and man that matter.  We love God and others.  God wants our name to be good.  Like great riches.  God even promised to make your name great. 
Okay, so how you can have a good name?  The good name is the reflection of the character and integrity with in you.  Even if that name were falsely accused or lied about, just as Jesus and Paul were lied about, your life of integrity and character will win out in the end.  John Maxwell says “If a good reputation is like gold, then having integrity is like owning the mine.”  DL Moody wrote, “If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Good Cry


In John 11:35 Jesus comes to see his good friend Lazarus, who is dead.  Now Jesus is not surprised by this, cuz, well, he’s Jesus.  Still, when he gets to the grave it says in John 11:35, Jesus wept.  Not just cried, he wept.  Sometimes as a Christian we think everything is supposed to be always perfect, and we have to appear like everything is wonderful. You know, squeaky clean Christian with no problems.  If something goes wrong in your life then you just don’t have enough faith.  This isn’t true at all.  Paul had plenty of faith, and we might perceive that much of his life was spent in persecution. 

Jesus here shows us a glimpse into his humanity, that is, he felt pain.  Jesus wept.  Wept isn’t like He got a bit misty.  I can think of just a few times in my life where I truly wept.  That sobbing kind of release that comes from deep with in your soul.  Listen, if Jesus is allowed to cry, well then, so are you.  Our ability to weep is a gift from God, to express and let out the sadness.  If we hold sadness in, it can get all messed up.  So Jesus let it out.  He wept.  Wept, right in front of everyone too.  “But people might think there is something wrong with me?”  Yeah, or maybe, and they will stand with you, cause they remember a time when they also wept.   

Now God has commanded us to rejoice in all things, and His command is true.  So follow Christ on this path now…He didn’t stay all weeping forever.  It doesn’t say he wept, and then a few verses later, he was still weeping, and then at the last supper, he broke down and cried about Lazarus…So go ahead, and have a good cry, let it all out, have at some weeping.   Not everything is always rice crispie treats and milk.  Remember that God is the author of the answer, the Holy Spirit is your comforter, and that you are human.  Weep.  And then stop weeping.  Be healed, and get back to the Joy of the Lord.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cut to the Chase


I like the end of a great book, when something outstanding is suddenly revealed.  Something we’ve been building to through the entire work.  Paul gives us one of these in Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:19 “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in His mighty power.”  Whoop there it is.  Okay, let’s take a closer look.  There are two places to be strong here.  First, be strong “In the Lord”, and second, “Be strong” in His power.  Some times we get the idea that being a Christian means being weak or wimpy.  The world even says that God is just a crutch for the weak.  But God has a different take on this, he says to be strong.  He wants you to be strong.  Why do we need strength?  Well, cuz it’s a crazy world with a real enemy, and people around you whose sin sometimes gets on you… AND sometimes you feel weak.  Temptation comes along and you fall.  God wants you to be tough!  God wants you to win today, in your business, your projects, your family, your ministry, your life. Not only does he want you to win, he gives you the tools you need to win.  Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  His mighty power overcame death and sin, and it raised Christ from the dead.  That same power dwells in you.  Expect the unexpected.  Believe the supernatural.  Walk in the magnificent glorious unending power of God, stand firm in Him.  Keep at it!  All of this strength enables you to be strong enough to overcome temptation, trial, or that unloveable teasing person in your life that God wants you to love anyways.  J Be strong.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dr. Destiny


I like to talk about direction and destiny.  Have you noticed this?  J  I also enjoy classic rice crispie treats, but now is neither the time and place.  As for destiny, vision, purpose, it is often in my meditation.  I’m quite inspired in my study today thinking about how the strong winds of life sometimes blow us off course.  Calamity has us adjusting our rutter and lowering our sails to catch our bearings.  This is normal, but now that the winds have died down, what do we do?  On the other end of a  life changing event… well, what now?   

After Jesus dies and resurrects he finds some of his disciples fishing.  Come on fellas.  Jesus death was a life altering event.  Even though he told them straight up it was going to happen, that it needed to happen, and what would happen afterwards, they had gone a bit off course.  Well if the men who spent years next to Jesus got off course, you might too.  But what now?  Jesus sits down with Peter by the fire for a fish breakfast, and he asks Peter..”Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”  Now Peter’s original name was Simon, and Jesus changed it to Peter.  Simon has kind of become the guy he used to be, not the guy Jesus had called him to be.  So calling him Simon was a message all by itself.  Jesus was saying, “Hey, where’s that guy I’ve been training, because you’ve gone back to the comfortable who you were, not who you are.” 

Peter answers Jesus, “yes Lord, you know that I love you.”  So Jesus says, “Feed my lambs.”  Now this same question happens three times.  Jesus wasn’t worried about his farm here, the lambs he meant are the children of God.  The food here is the word of God.  The point is that Jesus wants Peter doing what he’s called him to do, to serve God, and Jesus was saying if you love me… do this.  So your boat got a bit off course, so what?  It happens.  But now it’s time to get them sails back out, get out your map, (the bible), and hit the open seas for Jesus.  You ready?  Your purpose beckons.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - "Getting our Hopes Up"

Okay, so it's been awhile, but I finished a new devotional.  (the positive side)  Ready for some more hope?  Well, here we are at another New Year, and our minds are all clicking along at light speed thinking about what this year holds.  So with that in mind I wanted to take a moment to encourage you to get your hopes nice and high. 

Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.”  (NIV)

The inner sanctuary behind the curtain is where God’s spirit dwelled in the Mosaic Tabernacle.  Now this all takes place in our heart, as God has made us His dwelling place.  So in our hearts it is our hopes that lead the way in to see God.   It makes sense, I go in to worship and pray as I stir up the hope for God’s mighty hand to move in my life.  The scripture also says that hope is an anchor for our soul. Sometimes our soul could use a little anchoring.  If my soul is like a boat, sometimes my emotions try and get me off course.  Sometimes fear or doubt could have us wondering where God is in our lives.  When a storm hits, an anchor is just what the boat needs to keep it steady.  I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I do know that the Hope of Jesus, the hope he brings, well that hope has us trusting in God, relaxing in the inner sanctuary… now listen to Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful!”  So for 2013, if your hope is a cup of coffee, make it a venti.  Take hold of that hope!  Put all of your hope in God.  Get your hope big and hopping.