Sunday 01-13-13

Jesus Heals with shadow-site



And He Healed them all: Did they not Hear?.mp3 

Key Text:

James 1:5-7

Rom. 9:30-33

Rom. 10:1-21



We began to look at how real faith comes.

Remember that faith is not “worked up” it isn’t “conjured up” – it comes!

All genuine faith results from an encounter with the author of Faith – Jesus Christ! NOT just through initial salvation, but concerning the specific area of life we need Him to reveal Himself to us about today! He is Jehovah Rapha – but that fact does you NO GOOD until He reveals Himself to YOU as YOUR, Jehovah – Rapha!

We often look at the patriarchs of old and want what they received in their relationship with God – without doing what they did!

We see Daniel seeking God for the restoration of his nation, seeking God for a word of revelation for Israel and so we go and quote that account back to God as though somehow that magically rubs the “walking out” that Daniel did, onto our problem and thus fixing it. This is ABSOLUTELY WRONG!!! We need to DO what Daniel did – seek God and hear from Him!

It is those types of encounters with God which fill the pages of the Bible with stories of victory through relational reliance upon Him. They had entered into LIFE!

“And this is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent-Jesus Christ.”  ~ John 17:3

“You search the Scriptures, because you suppose that in them you will find the Life of the Ages; and it is those Scriptures that yield testimony concerning me; and yet you are unwilling to come to me that you may have Life.”John 5:39-40

Remember, it was this basic yet fundamental difference which separated the Moses’, Joshuas & Calebs in Israel from the rest…

“He revealed His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel.” ~ Psa. 103:7

“That’s why the Holy Spirit says, Today, please listen; don’t turn a deaf ear as in “the bitter uprising,” that time of wilderness testing! Even though they watched me at work for forty years, your ancestors refused to let me do it my way; over and over they tried my patience. And I was provoked, oh, so provoked! I said, “They’ll never keep their minds on God; they refuse to walk down my road.” Exasperated, I vowed, “They’ll never get where they’re going, never be able to sit down and rest.” So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God.” ~ Heb 3:7-12

Throughout the rest of this time we walked our way through Rom. 9:30- 10:21.

If you haven’t I encourage you to listen to the recording in order to walk through these verses with us!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!