The Harvest seed Latest entry

december 2016

CC Monthly Harvest Seed

For the last week or so I have had a few lines of a Christmas song running through my head. Maybe you know this little ditty by Johnny Mathis:

"Haul out the holly

Put up the tree before my spirit falls again

Fill up the stocking

I may be rushing things but deck the halls again now

 For we need a little Christmas right this very minute

Candles in the window, carols at the spinet

Yes, we need a little Christmas right this very minute

Hasn't snowed a single flurry, but Santa dear we're in a hurry

 For we need a little music, need a little laughter

Need a little singing ringing through the rafter

And we need a little snappy, happy ever after

Need a little Christmas now"

 When Jesus entered the world it was a time of incredible turmoil; life was hard for most people alive at that time. The world was in desperate need of a Savior and at just the right moment in HIStory Jesus was born. We needed Christmas! In the most unlikely of ways to human reasoning God sent His Son as a baby to bring peace. We know that this was prophesied but it is still amazing none the less. In the midst of great trouble and trials, enters the peaceful presence of a little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger.

 Our world is a lot like that today. We have just had one of the most contentious political seasons in the history of our nation. Tensions are high, friendships have been challenged and many people are dealing with sickness, financial decisions and honestly people are tired. We need some Christmas. We need to be reminded of the Joy and Peace that our Savior brings to our life and to the world. If we are not careful we will count on the Christmas season to be a numbing panacea for all our woes. It is not the season that sustains us but the very reason for our hope during every season- Jesus Christ, who is our Joy, Hope and Strength. 

 Someone said in a devotional I read, “If our expectations for Christmas are gifts and time with family, we have set our expectations too low. Those are enjoyable and things we are thankful for, but Christmas is the celebration of the coming of Christ and His redemption of mankind.” What Christ brings into our lives is so much deeper.

 It was in the midst of un-peace that Jesus was born to bring us peace. It is the same for us today. It is only when we see what a lack of true peace looks like that we understand the incredible heart assuring, securing peace of God that passes understanding.  Two verses stick out to me this Christmas season that remind me of Christ’s powerful intention over everything from death to our everyday living.

 Isaiah 9:6- For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given;And the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 Colossians 3:15- And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful

 So many of us work tirelessly to produce the right “atmosphere” of Christmas that we are disappointed when things don’t “feel” like Christmas. We all long for peace on earth and peace in our hearts. Heaven on earth will not happen because we put up the right decorations and play the happy music. True peace happens when Christ enters our world and reigns as the Prince of Peace. That’s what Jesus did when He was laid in manger and that is what Jesus does when He enters our heart as Savior and Lord.

 I wonder if when it “feels” less like Christmas that it might be the most like Christmas. When there is pain, when life is uncomfortable and nothing seems normal or familiar we are closer to experiencing the true purpose and Spirit of Christmas than we know.  Jesus was born to conquer sin and death, to heal our suffering and dis-eases. Jesus said-

 John 14:27-  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 From all of us at HCC have a very Merry and Peaceful Christmas Season

-- Pastor Marvin & Dawn

November 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

One of the first things we teach our children is a little prayer that starts off “God is Great, God is Good”.  It is a simple little prayer that was designed to teach a child the importance of prayer but also to instill some basic and powerful truths about the character of God.  So often we reflect on the greatness of our God that; He is all powerful, all knowing and always present. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  Somehow as we grow up, life gets more complicated and things don’t turn out quite the way we planned, we lose sight of the truth that God is good.

The profoundness of these three little words can be masked by their simplicity. Say this out loud- GOD IS GOOD.  How did you feel saying that?  Did you believe it? If you did, it filled you with hope and maybe even made you smile.  If you don’t believe that you had a hard time saying it out loud and probably had a few reasons in your mind that caused you to hesitate or stop.  I want to say it again. GOD IS GOOD.  From the very beginning Satan has tried to cause people to doubt the goodness of God. He doesn’t mind if you believe in God's greatness or power but if he can get us to doubt God’s goodness then we will never fully take God at His Word.  In the book of Hosea it is prophesied that in the last days there would be a fresh revelation of the Goodness of God. Hosea 3:5- But afterward the people will return and devote themselves to the Lord their God and to David’s descendant, their King. In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness. Can you remember the last time the goodness of God left you standing in awe?

Believing in that God is good is one of the pillars of our faith. It is essential to all that we believe. It is this truth that fills us with hope and confidence, it helps us understand His love. Psalm 100:4-5- Enter His gates with thanksgiving;  go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good, His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation. Love is God’s active goodness. His goodness is expressed through kindness, grace, patience, gentleness and mercy. God does not just possess goodness, HE IS GOOD and the source of all goodness.
James 1:17- Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 

One of the reasons we get confused about God’s goodness is we try to measure it by the experiences we have had with people. I have met many nice people who, when you get to know them, really are not all that nifty. Proverbs 20:6- Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?   That is one of those verses in the Bible that makes you sit back and think “No kidding, ain’t that the truth”.  There is no perfect person but we do serve a perfect God. God is perfect in all of His ways; He is altogether pure, lovely, beautiful, and full of Glory, righteousness and truth. If God is not good then there can be no distinction between kindness and cruelty, compassion and justice; heaven can be hell and hell can be heaven.

God does not cease to be good because something bad happens to us or someone else. God is who He is. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Some people, including some Christians, find themselves in a place of uncertainty when they have no answer for a problem or a tragedy and they change their view of God and assign to Him character traits that are not Biblical. We must be careful of desiring answers so badly during times of hardship or tragedy that we sacrifice the truth about who God is on the altar of human reasoning.  As Christians we have a hope that those without the Lord have. Our hope is the assurance that no matter what happens, God will work things for our good because HE is good. Romans 8:28- And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

One of the great truths of our hope is that Goodness always overcomes evil. Good doesn’t just win; Good overcomes, it is the way we win. Romans 12:21- Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. God overcame sin and death with selfless sacrifice. The way we defeat evil in the world around us, the bad attitudes, lies and the works of wickedness we see, is with the goodness of God. Here is great news, God’s supply of goodness has no end, goodness is the Fruit of the Spirit.   As we abide in God, His goodness will not only flow to us, but through us to change the world.

My prayer is that you will overflow with praise and thanksgiving as you have a fresh revelation of the Goodness of God.

Have a great month and a Very Happy Thanksgiving.

Pastor Marvin & Dawn

october 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

There is a war raging around us. It is not a war of guns, bombs and bullets.  The results of this war are actually far more devastating and greater in scope than any land war between tribes and nations could ever be. As God was speaking to the prophet Zechariah He gave him a vision of the reality of Satan’s relentless assault against us. Zechariah 3:1- Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. It is almost hard to imagine the pure and unmitigated gall of Satan. Here he is standing before God verbally and intentionally tearing down one of God’s children to His face.  Satan’s express purpose is to kill, steal and destroy. Our battles in life are not financial, they are not military and they are not political, they are spiritual.  The battle does manifest itself in all of these arenas and God’s desire is to teach us how to be victorious.

Spiritual Warfare is a subject that usually get’s one of two responses out of Christians. The first is one of complete and utter ambivalence or disinterest. The second is a hyper approach that finds demons under every bookshelf and in every tube of toothpaste. Mature Christians recognize that we are involved in a struggle of life and death but know we serve a God who protects us, watches over us and has given us the great responsibility to watch, pray and engage the enemy by leading people to the freedom that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Books have been written about this epic battle. In the next few moments I want to share with you some brief truths about Spiritual Warfare that will help bring things into perspective.

The Enemy is Real  Satan is a real foe. His armies of demons are at work in the world today. We see his influence in every area of life; entertainment, poverty, man’s inhumanity to man, the list could be much more extensive but you get the idea. 1 Peter 5:8-9- Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.

The Bible is not a book about the devil   The Bible is a revelation of God to man. We need to be careful not to give the devil more attention than the Bible does.  Satan is not God’s equal; he started out as God’s creation. Our battle is not a struggle against a foe that is as formidable as our God. NO SIR, Our God is bigger, Stronger, Greater and Holy there is no comparison!

Distractions keep us from the real purpose of Satan’s attack   Every magician uses sleight of hand to keep us looking away from the trick he is doing. I call this, "hocus pocus lose your focus."  During WW 2, as General Eisenhower was planning D-Day, he had General George Patton building a pretend Army of plywood cutouts and balloons that made the Germans believe that this is where the main thrust of the allies' attack would come from. All the while we were amassing the greatest invasion force ever assembled in the history of the world several hundred miles away. When we went ashore, we faced resistance but we could not be stopped because of the deception.  Satan will keep us busy with things that don’t matter.  Even in this election season, Christians are divided over political issues. We must refuse to be distracted by political double talk on both sides. The issues we must focus on are the spiritual ones; abortion, homosexuality, good stewardship of finances. The Bible says righteousness exalts a nation but sin is reproach to any people. If Satan can cause us to live in way that brings the judgment of God he achieves his goals without having to work as hard. We must be smarter than his distractions.

Prayer is not part of the Battle it is where we wage the battle  The victory that overcomes the world is our faith. It is important that we learn the lesson the disciples did.  They tried to cast out some demons and nothing happened.  Jesus reminded them the importance of prayer and fasting. Prayer is where we receive the strength, strategies and peace to effectively fight, resist and overcome.

We already have the victory   We do not fight FOR our victory but from a place OF victory. You see the battle is not ours it is the Lord’s. They say that history is written by the victors. Well that is true. THE BOOK has already been written. HIS-story declares that God not only wins but that HE has already won. The Bible is a finished work. We are on His side or better yet HE is on ours.

The battle being waged is a fierce one. As Christians we do not sit on the sidelines. Life is intense, souls hang in the balance, many are those we are pulling to safety and freedom.  It is a pleasure to serve side by side with you as we see Satan defeated.

Know you are dearly Loved- Pastor Marvin & Dawn

sEPTEMBER 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

God is looking for loyal committed people that He can show Himself strong to. 2 Chronicles 16:9a- For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

When you serve God you are always in miracle territory. For many Christians miracles are a rarity that happen only occasionally throughout their lifetime; for God miracles are a daily occurrence. The Christian who walks with God miracle territory is familiar territory not just an infrequent adventure.  Miracles are needed when natural means will never work.  All of us face times in life when we need a miracle and we will certainly minister to people who need a miracle. God has called us to be people who walk in the supernatural. God has a plan so significant for our church and so significant for your life that it will require supernatural intervention from the hand of God.

 In 2 Kings chapter four we are told of a widow who was out of money, out of options and was in desperate need of a touch from God. She came to the prophet, Elisha, who helped her discover that she had some oil in the house. She gathered as many containers as she could, went into her home shut the door and with the little oil she had began to fill all the empty containers.  She then was able to take that oil and sell it, pay off her bills and comfortably live off of the rest.  I believe this story sets a wonderful example of how we can begin to live in the miraculous in our individual lives and to see the miraculous happen in the life of HCC.

 Know where to go when you do not know what to do. Where we place our expectation determines whether we receive a miracle. The major battles of life are spiritual, so there must be a spiritual resource if there is going to be a turn around. Psalm 121:1- I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.  We need to stop looking for supernatural solutions in worldly places.

To live in miracle territory we- Need to find out what is in our house.
 2 Kings 4:2- So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Have you noticed that when we have a need we focus on what we do not have? When we do, we miss the possibilities in what we already have. We need to stop looking at what we do not have and see what is already there no matter how insignificant it seems. The seed for the miracle is already in the house. God’s solution starts with what you have. 2 Cor. 9:10-  Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.  Elisha did not point out what she was lacking, he pointed out what she had. We need a renewed vision of what we DO have. Jesus looks at things differently. When God created the world He did so out of nothing. Jesus creates miracles out of that which is already there. He took water and turned it into wine. He took the lunch of loaves and fishes and turned it to a meal for the masses. He took the little oil this lady had and multiplied it to meet and exceed her need.

God specializes in using the ordinary to do the extraordinary. He will use seemingly insignificant things, situations and people to do significant things. He uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. The miracle will always be in proportion to our faith. The oil only stopped when she ran out of containers. The miracle ceased when there was no longer a need for a miracle.  Do you know why many churches stop growing? They stop looking for empty vessels to fill. The more you are spilled the more you are filled. God calls us to be a river not a reservoir. John 7:38-  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will Flow Rivers of living water.”  Remember, miracles indicate that there are still needs and challenges that require God’s help, power, provision and blessing.

Church - Get ready church we have been seeking God for His supernatural presence and His supernatural work. Miracles are becoming a common thing for us. That means we will always be facing challenges and needs. As we do, we will see God’s overwhelming power at work among us.

 It is a pleasure to serve side by side with you at such a time as this. Thank you for your faithfulness to prayer, serving and giving here at HCC. You are greatly loved and appreciated.

 Pastor Marvin & Dawn.

 

August 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Have you ever started a project only to realize five months later that you still hadn’t gotten around to completing it? All of us have watched a friend get excited about a diet or a new life goal; they start out with great gusto only to get distracted and four or five weeks (or days) in they get bored and then drop it altogether. How many of us have started books and now we look around at  piles of great reads or information just waiting for our attention?

Being a finisher is important. Anyone can start something but not everyone has the stick-to-it-ness to see things through.  One of the things that set Jesus apart from everyone else was that He was and is a finisher. Have you ever thought about the times that finisher was a word used to describe Jesus.  Hebrews 12:2- looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Notice Jesus didn’t sit down until the work at hand was complete. John 19:30-  So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit  "It is finished" are three of the most powerful words in the entire Bible.

There is nothing like coming to the end of a project and standing back and being able to admire a job well done. When we get to the end of our life our goal is to leave everything, as they say in football, "on the field". Philippians 2:17- But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. The apostle Paul squeezed every part of living that he could out of his life. He was confident that he had been obedient and did everything God had planned for him. 2 Timothy 4:7-8- I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. Paul was a finisher.

Over the last couple years there have been many ministers and people that have loved and served God that have fallen in some fashion. For true Christians this is not a cause for finger pointing or gossip, it is a cause of tremendous sadness. There are many people that have started out with great intentions for God but somewhere along the way the cares of life and the desire for success sent them off course. The good news is Jesus isn’t finished yet. As a matter of fact whenever we sin and loose our way if we return to Jesus our best days are ahead. The reason we know this is that Jesus is a finisher. Philippians 1:6- being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ

Part of being a finisher is making sure that we take care of our spiritual life in a way that ensures we are able to go the distance. It is possible to spend so much time demonstrating the life of Christ to others that something happens to us along the way.  1 Cor. 9:24-27- Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air 7 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. Being a finisher takes discipline, endurance and determination. It is a willingness to pay the price to finish.

In carpentry there is something called finish work. The finish is the part you see and it brings out all the details that make something unique. The finish will only bring out and enhance what is already there. As a matter of fact finish work will enhance all the imperfections.  Finish work also adds the little touches. That is what Christ is doing in us every day.  There is finishing and then there is finishing well. Have you ever watched a marathon runner split the tape and just collapse to the ground? They finished the race but it sure wasn’t pretty. Then there is the one who trained well and disciplined themselves, they split the tape and still have the energy to enjoy the win.  When Jesus is working on our life He is working on all the details that give us the strength to finish and the polish to make us look good while we do it.

God is doing a special work here at Harvest this summer. That is not surprising, it is what we have been praying for. We are still in the race and we are on pace to win. In order to do so we must be committed to finish the work that God has for us. It is a pleasure serving on the same team with you- Pastor Marvin & Dawn

JULY 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

If you have been around Christians for any amount of time you have probably discovered that we can be wordy people.  We like to talk, communicate and interact with others. All of us have a story that we can tell and all of us have a story that is being written as we live our lives. Stories are written with words. Hebrews 121b-13a let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith… Over and over again in the Word of God we see Jesus referred to as the “Author”, Our story is His story. Without getting into rabbit trails and without trying to be cleaver, I want to get to the point. Author’s, out of necessity, use words. If our life is to belong to Jesus then we are to be People of the Word. Whose word, you might ask? God’s Word. Everything starts and ends with The Word. For the Christian, how we live must start and end with the Word of God.

I want to ask you if you do that. Do you live your life according to the Word of God? Can you imagine if every Bible believing and scripture confessing disciple of Jesus Christ actually based how they lived and every decision they made on what the Word of God says and nothing else? We have a conviction that we have articulated in the Assemblies of God that is a part of our Foundations of Faith, it says this: “The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct”. In easy to understand terms, we believe that the Word of God is entirely correct, has been spoken by God, that it reveals His will for our life and as such it is His Word that is THE WORD on everything we do.

Here is a revelation for you: everything that was created was done so by the WORD of God. John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. We were created to be People of the Word because we are made by the Word of God. Anytime we do not live by the Word we are actually going against the way we are not just designed but created. See the Word is in our DNA. The Bible actually says that we cannot live without the Word of God. Matthew 4:4 “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

If you and I are to truly live effective, fruitful, obedient and productive lives we must put a high priority on being People of the Word.  Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Proverbs 7:2-3 Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Deciding to be a Person of the Word is a choice to live by faith. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. As Christians our whole purpose is to live a life full of faith, obedient and pleasing to God. It is not possible to live a life of faith that is pleasing to God without us knowing and walking in the Word of God.  James 1:21 (AMP)  So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls.

Colossians 3:16- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,

We all know Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Did you ever stop to think what the substance of our faith is?  It is the Word. The Word of God is the seed or the substance of our faith. The only way we live a life of dynamic faith, the only way we live a faith filled and faithful life is to be filled with the substance and seed of the Word of God.

There must be an urgency to know and apply God’s Word to our life. You see Jesus is obligated only to His word. God’s love is unconditional but the promises of His word are very conditional. His promise is this; if we obey His Word we will have the promises of His Word. Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. Here is what that means; He has laid His reputation and glory on the line; all the promises of His Word are backed by the honor of His Name.  If God has staked everything He is on His Word then so can we. Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

This summer God is challenging us to be People of the Word. Can you imagine what your life, what our church, what our town would look like if we are truly People of the Word?

Be blessed and encouraged-Pastor Marvin &Dawn


JUNE 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed 

People are collectors. We hold onto a lot of things.  Some people like baseball cards, some collect tools others just have stuff they can’t let go of. Our houses are full of things we decided for one reason or another to tuck away with the reasoning that we may need it another day. It is amazing the things we have stashed inside our homes. It is revealing how much we have spiritually refused to release from our lives.

One of the things people seem to be collecting in our day is offenses. People are taking offense at everything. Matthew 24:10-12- And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  Offense is one of the signs of the End Times. This offense is happening on many levels.

First of all people are increasingly offended at the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As our culture moves further and further from the truth of God and His Word it should not surprise us that His way, plans and standard of right and wrong clash with those around us. Jesus purposefully places the Gospel in people’s paths so it will “trip them up” and grab their attention. 1 Peter 2:7-8-   Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. Jesus knows that this Gospel that trips people up is the only thing that will save their life.

The second way offense comes is when we refuse to let go of the things people have done and said about us. An offense is a hurt or a wrong, a crime or an oversight or a slight that has been intentionally or unintentionally done to us. Offense is one of the tools Satan uses to keep us trapped in our life. Luke 17:1- Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come. Did you catch that? Offense is a part of life you cannot avoid it. But you and I must choose if we are going to eat the poison that comes with offense. The word "offense" in the Greek is the word "skandalon"- it means trap stick or the part of a trap that holds the bait and when taken slams the trap shut thus imprisoning the taker. You see, Satan knows that hurting offended people are his prisoner. When we hold on to offense, hurt moves to anger and from there is produces all kinds of wicked fruit; resentment, fear, strife, jealousy, bitterness, Unforgiveness and hatred are just a few.

One offended person can hurt many. Someone said: "Hurt people, hurt people, wounded people, wound people, broken people, break people, bound people bind people, damaged people, damage people." This is why Jesus anoints us to serve people. WHOLE people are able to HELP people through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Satan uses offense to divide and conquer. America is great because we are the United States; families thrive because the  two become one, the Holy Spirit moved mightily in the lives of the disciples because they were in the Upper Room in one accord.  If we are hurting and offended with one another we won’t work in cooperation with one another and much is lost. As Christians we must not fall prey to the trap that is laid out there for us.

Allow me to ask you a few questions. Are you holding onto a hurt? Is there a grudge you have been nursing and refuse to release? Is there someone or a group of someone’s that you have said you would never forgive?  If so you are caught in the trap of offense. Today you can be free of all bitterness, shame, guilt and anger if you will spit out the bait. How do you do that?  First of all take your hurt to Jesus and ask for healing. Second, forgive those who have hurt you. Of course they don’t deserve it, neither did we when Christ forgave us on the cross. Third, allow God to renew His love for others in your life. For a while now things have been all about you and your pain. Now it is about helping others be free and whole.

May you and your family have a truly delightful summer. Take time to rest and refresh but remember to stay faithful to the house of God and the work of the kingdom. We have a great deal going on during the next few months. Camps, Prayer Stations, Leadership meetings, Connect Groups and even a movie night. Let’s make sure we stay connected, win souls to Christ and grow as a church in maturity and in number.

Your are loved, Pastor Marvin & Dawn

 

 

 

May 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

 Matthew 20:26-28- Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

 

Most people I know want to make sure that their life makes a difference. We live in a world that is driven by the idea of greatness. We are reminded that we have a destiny and that we are to leave our mark and make an impression. Everyone is clamoring for power, position, prominence and possessions. This sense of success has crept into the modern church like a cancer. Thinking like this does not share or embrace the reason that Jesus came. As Christians we want our life to matter and to count for something but the motive is so important. Jesus did not come to be served but to be a servant and to give His life to that cause. 

 

Greatness in the Kingdom of God is obtained only through service. In order to go up we must be willing to go down. At HCC one of our six main purposes is Servanthood. “We believe that every Disciple is a minister. Each Christian is equipped with certain gifts and talents that are meant to be shared with the local church and the world. To be great in God’s Kingdom we are to be a servant of all. We are to humble ourselves in ministry by selflessly sharing and giving our life in strategic service.” God determines our greatness in terms of how many people we serve not how many people serve us.

 

Jesus was into towels not titles. Right before He went to the cross Jesus set the example of servanthood by washing the disciple’s feet. John 13:13-16- You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. Jesus' attitude was that there was nothing that was beneath Him to do. Having a servant’s heart is all about the heart of the servant.  Servanthood requires the death of pride and the presence of humility. It is the heart to do your best even with those that people consider the least. Washing of feet was a job for the lowest servant. Remember streets back then were like an open sewer for animal and human waste.  Feet were dirty. Today we serve people if it is convenient and doesn’t require much from us. We choose where we attend church based on what it does for us rather than an opportunity to serve the body of Christ and the world. Service means getting into the nitty gritty with people. Feet are personal and sensitive. To help someone clean up requires us to be discreet, careful, gentle and thorough.  A servant does not have the luxury of choosing what they will do.  They GET to serve. Nothing is beneath them.

 

One of the most interesting things about serving is the timing. Jesus washed all of the disciple’s feet; even Judas who He knew was going to betray Him only hours after the lesson on servanthood. Judas committed the ultimate act of betrayal with clean feet.  True greatness serves those who we know will never appreciate our sacrifice.

 

Today everyone is looking for a trophy and recognition that they are doing something worthwhile. A servant isn’t doing what they do for recognition or a pat on the back. A servant does what is expected to the best of their abilities because that is what is expected of a servant. Luke 17:9-10- Does he (The Master) thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not!
 

So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”

Be assured those who are faithful servants will get more than a trophy in Heaven. They will receive a crown of Righteousness.

May we all at HCC Descend into Greatness by becoming a servant of all. God’s richest blessings for you this month.

Pastor Marvin & Dawn