THIS IS YOUR YEAR!!!
Are you going to step forth and receive it?
As you start the New Year and set your resolutions I’d like you to think about God’s Word and what He has promised you. Although I’ve only listed a few below, the Bible contains thousands of God’s promises waiting for you to claim in faith.
When relationships become strained,
when illness robs your days,
when your stomach churns from the stresses of life,
when the unexpected happens…
Do you crumble alone,
or do you turn to Him to find strength and hope?
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good
and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. — Jeremiah 29:11
Sometimes in life we just need a partner—
we need someone who can be strong when we are weak,
someone who will always believe in us.
Guess what? God is that someone!
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10
Every now and then we need a safe place to take refuge.
Jesus accepts us even in our darkest hour.
He takes us in when we are downhearted and worn.
He surrounds us in His peace.
He sees us as we are and comforts us in His kindness and mercy.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed;
but my kindness shall not depart from thee,
neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed,
saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. — Isaiah 54:10
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. — Matthew 11:28-29
Joy, peace and hope are being offered to you by God!
These are not just promises to “get by” or survive,
they are promises of overflowing hope,
of being filled with joy and peace!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13
THIS IS YOUR YEAR!!! Are you going to step forth and take it? It is my prayer that your faith and trust in our Heavenly Father will be increased as you seek Him to supply your every need this year. May you be abundantly blessed this year and all those to follow.
Everyone is welcome,
Pastor Tony Hoult
Reaching Out – One Idea at a Time
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:17-18
As the new year begins, GFIC Jesus prepares for another year of reaching out to the community, both locally as well as internationally. The team leaders get together monthly and share the many great ideas they hear from the congregation. We encourage everyone who has an idea to bring it forward, so we can determine if we can make it happen.
Would you like to share some of your ideas? What would you do to reach out and help someone? Please come join our congregation and share your ideas and your love for our beloved Lord and Savior! Everyone is welcome!
A “Thanksgiving” Story
You may not think of stories as a basic survival need, but our brains require them to give structure and meaning to our lives. The stories we tell ourselves about our lives don’t just shape our personalities—they are our personalities, and this plays a large role in who we were in the past, who we are in the present and most importantly, who we can become in the future.
A life story is written in chalk, not ink, and it can be changed. You are both the narrator and the main character of the story—not just simply living it out, but actually in charge of writing
Is your story a thankful one?
Thankfulness is a prominent Bible theme. First Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Did you catch that? Give thanks in all circumstances. Thankfulness should be a way of life for us, naturally flowing from our hearts and mouths.
When we are thankful, our focus moves off of the pain of our current circumstances, and helps us remember that God is in control. Using thankfulness as the base for writing your own story is not only fitting, it’s actually healthy and beneficial to your mind, body and spirit. Utilizing thanksgiving in our everyday lives, in every situation, reminds us of the bigger picture, that we belong to God, and that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing, and truly, we have an abundant life.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17
Is your story one of redemption?
A redemption story starts off negative but ends positively. This means that no matter what life throws at you, no matter what sins you have committed, no matter the tribulations you’ve endured—you have found (or rewritten) new meaning and redemption in all circumstances.
And through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him. – Colossians 1:20-22
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are given a clean slate. For some this comes as a great relief, but many more are still haunted by their past. If you are still living in shame or blame, I urge you to let go. God forgave you―long before you asked, and He is ALWAYS going to love and accept you no matter what! Glorify Him by making your life’s story a redemptive and thankful one.
Your story belongs to you, from beginning to end. It is still evolving. Your past can be retold. And the rest…is still waiting to be written.
Everyone is welcome,
Pastor Tony Hoult
Purpose and Destiny: Part I
Receiving the Righteous Plan God has for You
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
– Romans 8:28 (NIV)
If you didn’t get a chance to read last month’s post on how to start living the life God intended you to have, I encourage you to click on the link above because this is an important step, really the foundation of opening yourself up to God’s plan for you.
Many of us wonder through life searching for our place in the world. We often find ourselves on the wrong path or feel like we’re not living out our true destiny. Have you ever felt that little “tickle” inside, like an uncomfortable scratch that you just can’t reach?
You know God has a righteous plan for you, but no matter how hard you try, it always seems like you come up short.
Does the above statement ring true? Read it one more time… but no matter how hard you try, it always seems like you come up short.
The destiny God has planned for you is bigger and better than anything you could possibly imagine. You just have to stop trying! Listen, this is His plan, and no one knows how to execute a plan better than the creator, and so (take a big sigh of relief) this is out of your hands. The Creator of all things has chosen you, not according to good or bad works, not according to your circumstances, not according to where you are in life right now, but according to His own purpose.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
– Proverbs 3:5-6
I know you’ve heard the old saying, let go and let God… Are you ready to let go and receive the righteous plan God has for you?
If you’re ready, please join me in the following prayer:
Father of Glory, I ask for the spirit of wisdom. Enlighten the eyes of my understanding that I may receive the revelation of Your calling. I understand that this is a lifelong journey, and I surrender my will to You and commit to doing whatever it is You desire of me. Grant me with the assurance and clarity of Your purpose, and the riches of my destiny as Jesus’ inheritance; and the exceeding greatness of Your power. I praise you Lord, for giving me whatever graces, patience, and stamina it takes to live out Your righteous plan for me. Amen!
This is where we started, but definitely not where we’re stopping! Keep your eye out for next month’s Purpose and Destiny: Part II, The Power of I Am
God Goes Out of His Way to Love You
Yes, Even You….
God’s love for us is so great, that while we were yet sinners, He went out of His way and sent His only Son to save us.
There’s not much to debate when it comes to the underlying message of God’s Word. The Greek word Agape is used in the Bible to express the love that God has for us. It is the ultimate and most self-sacrificing love that there is. Agape is what was displayed on the cross by Jesus Christ. In John 3:16 it is written that “God so loved (agapao) the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” You see, God sent Jesus, not to condemn you for your sin, but to save you—His beloved and precious child.
When Jesus came to us, He sought out all people. Good or bad, He went out to all places and never turned anyone away. When He walked this earth, He did so with everyday people. Sinners, the helpless, the harassed and the rejected all found comfort in the compassion of Christ.
Jesus came to earth and lived in a human body just like you do. He understands you. He knows the pressure, the pain and the temptations you face everyday. He hears your cries and pities and every one of your groans. Even in the midst of despair, God is with you. Even when the world isn’t loving you, Jesus is still loving you!
You don’t have to clean up your life before seeking out the Lord. He wants to meet you where you’re at. Our Father goes out of His way to pick you up, (regardless of where you’re at) and guide you to the life He intended you to have. If you’re waiting for acceptance, forgiveness and understanding – you’re waiting for something you already have. He’s already died for your sins. He loved you before, He loves you now and forever. But it’s up to you to let Him in!
Once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are a new creation in Christ! Jesus has given those who believe in Him the Holy Spirit, who enables us to be constantly changing into His image. Who cares who accepts you or rejects you if it’s not Jesus? Stop putting your faith in people, and begin putting it into the One who loved you first. Remember what He is doing in you – cleansing you, refining you, healing you, and above all, loving you.