Gift of Joy

Gift of Joy

Life’s not easy.  We face uncertainties and unexpected challenge all the time.  But God has given a gift to us to carry us through these times.  That gift is joy, which increases our love, strengthens our faith, and helps us to reach the world around with God’s hope.   In the first chapter of Philippians we learn that the church at Philippi brought Paul tons of joy, even though facing potential death, imprisoned in Rome.  This joy came from the fellowship they shared in the world’s most important mission—the gospel, and in their sharing a common Savior, Jesus.  How is it with you? Do you know that God has built into the fabric of our Christian experience joy?  It comes in waves of affection from our fellow believers, given by His Holy Spirit, right when we need it.  And this joy is backed up by a promise:  He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the end.  We are going to make it & we’ll pass with flying colors! Our God said so. And so we rejoice.

You can click on link below if you’d like to listen to the audio sermon from yesterday’s message to Faith Community Church at Camp Kinser, Okinawa.

–Much love to friends and family across the miles.  You are missed and so precious to me and Damaris.

Rare Christianity: One, John 17.20-26

Rare Christianity: One, John 17.20-26

God is awesome.  Trying to understanding who He is, is tough, but worth the effort. Trusting in the reality of His triune nature: Father, Son, & Spirit, is the biggest confidence booster a Christian can receive as he approaches the Lord and seeks to understand Him more.  Historically when those seeking God lose sight of His triune nature: 3 co-equal, co-eternal persons with different functions but one being,  multitudes are led astray.  If Christ Jesus is believed to be less than fully God (and fully man), the opportunity for forgiveness of sins, the grace of his resurrection power, and the hope of His glory fades and false religions take hold.  Come walk through the Scriptural foundation for understanding God as “trinity.” Look at a key creedal affirmation of the Early Church;  learn the different works of God: Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier; and briefly consider analogies to help us understand how 3 can be 1.  As you listen, may you gain a more rooted faith, deeper trust , confidence to approach Him, and confidence to share His salvation to all those around. Such confidence in the One is rare Christianity.

Click on link below to listen:

Rare Christianity: Gifts, Romans 12:3-8, Kristian Carlson, Faith Community Church, Oct 06, 2013

Rare Christianity: Gifts, Romans 12:3-8, Kristian Carlson, Faith Community Church, Oct 06, 2013

Believers who know their spiritual gifts and use them in unified teamwork change the world. But Christians often neglect to use their gifts. They belittle them, fear to step out in them, or do not recognize them. At times they are over confident in them. When it comes to gifts offer yourself to God. Develop your gifts. Study the gifts lists in the New Testament and read books like “Networking” by Bruce Bugbee. The best spiritual gift is the one needed right at the moment in the church. We need leaders, but more so we need “chairstackers” who glory in doing what needs done and following the lead of pastors and elders. God distributes spiritual gifts to build up Christ’s body that it would effectively bring Jesus’ hope to a hardened, lost world.