This little of mine, I’m gonna let it shine; let it shine, let it shine,
let it shine. That is one of the first songs I learned in Children’s
church. We would do the motions to parts like “Hide it under a bushel, no!”
and “Don’t let Satan blow it out…” Little did I know what profound meaning
that simple song had. We wrapped up our Impact series on Sunday talking
about speeding the light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever
follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”
(John 8:12). The light of life. These words hit me so hard as I was
delivering the message. I have read this verse many times over the years,
but it has never reverberated as loudly as now. Could it be that too many
believers have allowed their light to remain hidden, or worse, to have gone
out? God is calling for his church to shine once again. Are you “hiding it
under a bushel?” Jesus said, “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the
Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the
glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26). Why should we
ashamed or embarrassed about our faith? Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of
the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to
everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). In essence, this light of mine has
the power to bring salvation! The Living Word lives in me and is powerful.
Have you allowed Satan to “blow it out”? Solomon said, “The light of the
righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out”
(Proverbs 13:9). What sin is there in your life that has extinguished the
joy, strength, and victory in your walk? Come back in to the light! John
testifies to Jesus being the light when he said, “In him was life, and that
life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and
the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5). No matter how much darkness
you have allowed, once the light begins to shine, darkness will go away.
Darkness cannot overcome light. Invite or recommit to having Jesus (the
light) live in you. Allow his strength, wisdom, and words guide your life.
Jesus told his followers, “Let your light shine before others, that they
may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Are you
bringing glory to God by the light you are shining? You have the light of
life! Light shines brightest when there is nothing over it. Stop covering
up your life. Be proud of your Savior. He was proud to hang for you on the
cross. If the flicker has gone out, come back or commit your life to Jesus.
In Jesus there is life, and this life is the light of all mankind (John
1:4). As Paul encouraged the church of Ephesus, “For you were once
darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light”
(Ephesians 5:8) I encourage you to do the same. Let it shine, let it shine,
let it shine!
P.S. – Shout out to all of the Children’s ministry leaders out there. Thank
you for all of your hard work and dedication to children everywhere. They
are our future and we depend on you greatly! You are appreciated!!
Disclaimer: Pastors are people too. I hope this didn’t burst your bubble
too much that you stop reading. Pastors have feelings, emotions and
questions just like everyone else. Even the most beloved characters of the
Bible had challenging moments and didn’t make the wisest of decisions. In
my particular case it was the Harvest Festival. I wasn’t angry for myself
but on behalf of all the people that put their heart and soul into this
event. The entire week was beautiful, until the day of the event. The wind
was blowing hard and it was cold; I couldn’t believe it. Before long I let
my attitude start to impact my impact. When you let your attitude impact
your impact it can go one of two ways. Left unchecked it can make you
become bitter, angry, doubtful, etc. That is exactly what I was starting to
do. I was angry and I began to question God as to why he would allow this
to happen. Thankfully the Holy Spirit is patient with me and listened to my
pity party. But at the end of my rant I had a choice to make. I could
either wallow in pity or I can choose to celebrate what was about to happen
either way. I chose the latter. As soon as my attitude changed I began to
hear the Lord. The Lord is so good at making things simple, “Eliminate the
elements.” So with 30 minutes until it opened and with guests already
showing up, we grabbed all the games, tables and one ginormous inflatable
slide/boucehouse and brought it into the sanctuary. And everything from
that moment on went as God already foresaw it would, beautifully. Don’t let
your attitude negatively impact your impact. Whenever the moment arises
choose to do what’s right even when you don’t feel like it. God is with you
and ready to help you and give you whatever you need. Attitude is
everything so don’t do anything until you get it in check. If you need a
little encouragement here are some verses to help you out (Proverbs 3:5-6,
Isaiah 40:31, Isaiah 26:3, 2 Timothy 1:7, Matthew 6:33, Psalm 121:1-3,
If God is so loving and so powerful, why does he allow hurt and suffering?
We all have asked hard questions regarding God, to the point where we even
question if our faith is real. First of all, God is not angry or bothered
when we ask tough questions, in fact he welcomes them. He desires to show
himself strong to those who fear him (2 Chronicles 16:9). God even poses
the tough question himself: “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is
anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). We equate our faith with
happiness. God never promised us a happy life. Before you cry heresy, keep
reading. Jesus told his disciples that in this world you will have trouble
(John 16:33). He is letting them know ahead of time that because they
follow him they can expect suffering and hardship. But Jesus doesn’t leave
them hanging there. He also says, “I have told you these things, so that in
me you may have peace.” He finishes it up by reminding them to take heart
because he has overcome the world. Every disciple, except John and Judas,
was martyred for their faith. Do you know what that tells me? It tells me
that they were holding on to something greater, that they knew something
better was in store for them than anything this world has to offer. When
you experience that, it doesn’t matter what you go through, because you
know what awaits you on the other side. Paul the Apostle went through so
much (2 Corinthians 11:16-30) and yet he writes that what we are
experiencing now is light and momentary, but our eternal glory far
outweighs it all. He encourages us to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but
what is unseen (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). I can’t tell you all the reasons
why things happen. There are some pretty horrific things that unfortunately
happen that even the greatest reason wouldn’t be sufficient. But I can
point you to someone who understands you, Jesus. He was completely without
fault and was condemned to die a horrific death that he didn’t deserve. He
was nailed to a cross and suffered a common criminal’s death. He knew what
Paul knew. Something better awaited him. Because of the joy awaiting him,
he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place
of honor beside God’s throne (Hebrews 12:2). In the midst of your suffering
you can experience joy, not happiness but joy. There is a big difference.
Your weeping may last for the night but joy will come (Psalm 30:5).
Whatever you have gone through or are going through, justice will come.
Even though it seems like bad people are getting away with things, there
will be a day where everyone will stand before God and give an account for
what they have done. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with
justice by the man (Jesus) he has appointed (Acts 17:31). So if you are
discouraged or have tough questions, don’t lose faith! Take heart!! Go to
the one person who completely understands and sympathizes with you, Jesus. He
has experienced every emotion/situation you are facing and you can come to
God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that you may receive mercy and
find grace to help in your time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
P.S. As First Assembly of God we believe in journeying with people and if
you need some encouragement, deliverance, or just someone to come along
side you, we have a ministry called Freedom Recovery on our Victorville,
Hesperia, and Apple Valley campuses. On our Littlerock campus it is called
The Most Excellent Way.
I have been reading the book called “The Grave Robber” by Mark Batterson, and we have been using it in our young adults class on Wednesday nights. One of the stories in this book was shared from John 2 were Jesus turns water into wine. This story was of Jesus’ first miracle. Wonderful story and great insight shared from the reading of the book, but something in this story stood out to me that I wanted to share.
In the miracle story of Jesus turning the water into wine, obviously some amazing things had to take place that were supernatural. As we read this story there was something very natural that jumped off the page for me. Mary the mother of Jesus came to him and let him know there was no more wine, and in their discussion Jesus had his response and Mary makes this statement to the servants at the wedding.
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
– John 2:5
There it is, the moment and phrase that jumps off in this story to me, “Do whatever he tells you.” Is this not the most difficult that most followers of Christ deal with, doing what he asks? Isn’t this the thing that most often finds us short on what the miracle side of things? Isn’t this what finds us most of the time missing destiny moments, divine appointments, growth, blessing, increase, etc., etc.,? This very simple but most of the time quite difficult principal, doing whatever he tells us, is the key to seeing him display his power in our lives. What if the servants would of ignored Mary, chalked it up as a mom who thinks her son is all that and didn’t listen? Would the miracle of the water turning into wine still be what we read today? Maybe it would have been more like the moment we read in scripture were Jesus couldn’t do anymore miracles in his own hometown due to lack of faith, and maybe lack of doing what he said. (Matthew 13:53-58)
So here is the take away, doing whatever he says releases him to do whatever he needs to do. Whatever he needs to do is most often what you can’t do yourself. Jesus is the one who has the power to preform the miracle and moment we need in our life, sometimes we unlock that by simply being obeying what he asks of us. What is the moment in you life right now that requires a, “Do whatever he tells you” response?
15260 Nisquali Rd
Victorville, Ca 92395
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32 NIV)
I heard this scripture the other day, so I caused me to look and read it for myself. This scripture was already speaking to me in the time from hearing it, to the time of reading it. The scripture says, that their hearts were burning while he was talking to them. What it is interesting here is that the disciples were walking with Jesus on the road and didn’t recognize that it was him until later in the story. When the disciples are sitting and having a meal with Jesus and he breaks bread, is when the scripture say there eyes were opened.
What gets me in this story is the powerful presence of Jesus in the midst of them, but they truly were not aware that it was him. The idea of their hearts burning within but not recognizing it was Jesus. I guess for me this scripture becomes a picture into the relationship and journey with Christ. Are our hearts burning within? Are we living our lives and going along with or without a sense of the burning that he brings into our inner person when he is close?
The Disciples recognized something, even though they didn’t know what it was till later. They sensed him, but were not completely sure. Jeremiah recognized the burning,
…” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones…
I want this scripture to be a reminder and a measurement of my own journey, is the voice of The Lord burning within my heart? Think of a fire, maybe a campfire or fireplace. I love a good campfire and on a cold night getting up close feels great, you can really feel the heat. It is also very clear that you can feel the heat dissipate the further you walk away from the flame. Once you walk away from the flame you can feel the cold chill creep back in. This idea of the campfire is what I think of in regards to this scripture, closer we are to Jesus we can feel the burning deep in our hearts, when we distance ourselves the heat of the flame begins to disappear. It is my desire that the burning always remains all the way to the end. It is my desire that my heart is always burning, because I am close enough to hear him speaking.
15260 Nisquali Rd
Victorville, Ca 92395
I can’t do it. It’s too hard. I’ll never. It’s not that bad. I’m too tired.
It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Sound familiar? We make
a lot of excuses. I heard a pastor once say, “Excuses are like armpits;
everyone has them and everyone’s stinks.” Nothing good comes from making
excuses. All excuses do is put a stop to the blessings of God. When we make
an excuse we directly contradict what the word of God has to say. No wonder
we don’t have the victory! Listen to what you are speaking into your life!
Now listen to what God has to say: I can do all things through Christ which
strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). All things! Insert whatever you are
going through or struggling with. You can do ________________ through
Christ! Whatever your excuse is, substitute it with a Scripture. That is
what you need to be speaking and what you need to hear. Be careful about
who or what you are letting speak into your life. Society is speaking
louder than ever. What used to be taboo or discouraged is now worshipped.
Churches have even become susceptible and fallen away from the truth.
Whenever you hear something, go to the word of God and ask yourself one
question: does this line up with Scripture? If it doesn’t, then don’t
receive it. The Bible is the final authority in regards to any situation.
Life is too short and God is too good to let excuses get in the way. With
God, all things are possible!
Philippians 3:8 (NIV)
 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
— it seems so much of life is me pursuing the “things” of life. I am reminded that truly everything is a loss when it is compared to knowing Jesus. It’s not that those things aren’t important or even biblical. It’s the comparison. Nothing can compare when it comes to gaining Christ. Lord help me to change my focus and priorities amidst the comings and goings of life.
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My wife is away visiting her family. That leaves the household
responsibilities to me when she is gone. My wife does an incredible job of
keeping our home clean, to the point of obsession. Me, not so much. But
there even comes a point to where I say enough is enough. The great news
about God is that no matter how messy our lives get, he can clean it up.
The enemy will lie to you and make you feel like he can’t or you’re beyond
help. The truth is he gave us the cleansing (Jesus) before we gave him the
mess. Jesus did the greatest cleansing when he shed his blood on the cross.
Because of the cross John says Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us and
cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But we must confess, come to him and
admit our slobbish tendencies. The cleansing of the heart can only be done
by the Lord. He stands willing and able to heal, forgive, cleanse, restore,
deliver, etc. What do you need to clean up today? Whether it is a little or
you’re at the point of enough is enough, Jesus can take care of it all. But
when he does, don’t go back to your messy ways. I appreciate my wife’s high
standards. That means I need to raise mine. Raise your standards and commit
to following Christ. Now go get cleaned up!
Limit the turnovers
Turnovers are costly. I know because I watch it on a weekly basis with
my Chicago Bears. We have a talented quarterback but he has a nasty
habit of giving the ball to the other team at the most in opportune
times. The other team converts points off the turnovers and we find
ourselves trying to catch up or falling short of a victory. It’s a lot
like life, however, life is not a game and the consequences are much
greater. When you fumble in life, you give an advantage to the enemy.
That is why it is so important that we know the playbook (Bible) and
execute the play correctly. Don’t get on the field of life without
listening to the coach (God) and getting the play from him. If you
find yourself creating turnovers take an internal examination: Are you
listening when God is giving you direction? Are you taking time to
read His word to find the answer? Are you lining up on the path he has
set for you? It is when we decide not to listen, not take time in the
Word, or go our own way that we make mistakes. God has a game plan for
your life and it is his desire for you to be victorious. If your game
plan hasn’t been working go back to the drawing board. Talk it over
with God and let him give you a fresh vision of what your ___________
can be. If you are committing turnovers, go to God and own up to it.
Confess it and ask him to forgive you. But stop committing the same
turnovers. There is nothing more frustrating to a fan then seeing the
same mistake over and over. Don’t give the enemy an advantage. Become
a champion in Christ. Just as the consequences are greater, the
victories are so much sweeter.
Romans 8:31, Romans 8:37, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 3:12-14, 1 John 1:9
Happy Labor Day! In honor of this holiday I pose a question: Are you too busy? Chances are you are. We are a society that encourages busyness. There are so many things available that pull us in different directions i.e. apps, Facebook, hobbies, sports, television, etc. Too many people are getting beat up (mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually) simply because they are not taking the time to rest. Even God saw the value of rest when he finished creating everything. What is even a greater danger is the fact that God is becoming less of a priority. We make our “stuff” more important than the things of God. We don’t have time to read or pray, or we are too tired to go to church. In doing so, we open ourselves up to wrong attitudes, poor choices, deception, and ultimately destruction. In Isaiah 40:31 he writes that those who wait on the Lord will have their strength renewed. He uses the illustration of an eagle soaring and rising up. Jesus invites us to come to him if we are weary and burdened and he will give us to rest (Matthew 11:28). We have to choose to give God first place in our lives and when we do everything else will begin to fall into place (Matthew 6:33). So take some time to evaluate everything in your life. Is God getting the best or the leftovers? Make a list and look at some things you can eliminate. Get everyone involved. If you are married or have kids, ask them what they think. You may be amazed at what they think is important versus what you think. Time is too valuable to waste. Remember that the most important thing you can do with your time is honor God with it. Don’t waste another minute!
Pastor Paul Rose
Hesperia Campus Pastor
Achiever, Belief, Futuristic, Discipline, Positivity