-- In His Strength: November 2008 www.superfluousbanter.org

In His Strength

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength --- Philippians 4:13

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Beginnings - Pastor Phillips

The Making of Great Faith - Mathew 15

Little faith, weak faith, strong faith, dead faith, bold faith, common faith
Great faith – MEGA faith (Greek)
Mtt. 15:21, 22
Great faith - a matter of the heart

1. Great faith has the right object (focus)
The woman puts her faith in the right person
“I believe my God is able and He will see me through”
Wishful thinking is not faith nor is hoping it’s all going to work out in the end
Matthew 15:22 – “she came to Him” (Jesus)
God has to be the focus, not putting faith in the one praying for you. We can go to God for the answers

2. Great faith is repentant
Great faith is twofold – turning from sin to God
“Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (“I am here, even though I don’t deserve anything”)
Great faith approaches God in brokenness

3. Great faith is reverent
Vs. 22 – Lord, (worship, reverence) Son of David (she recognized his lineage – exaltation)
Mark 7: - she fell at His feet
Matt 15:25
Matt. 6:9 – Lord’s Prayer

4. Great faith is relentless (“I am not going to let go until I have an answer!”)
Vs. 23 – it’s almost as if Jesus deliberately puts some barriers (obstacles) in her way
She never gives up; she never stops asking Jesus even when it seems He is not paying attention
We’ve had times where we’ve prayed and haven’t felt, seen anything
We’re wondering if God is even paying attention
A lot of times we give up – we take matters into our own hands
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel” - Your not Jewish so sorry, can’t do anything.
Silence, theological put off

Vs. 26 – Jesus is working on the woman’s heart. He has something He wants to accomplish in her heart. He wants to draw her to a place of deeper devotion and a greater depth (understanding) of who He is
He delays the answer so to draw us to a greater dependency upon Him.

Abraham waited 25 years for God’s promise
Romans 4:20
What in our eyes often looks like a delay is God working/strengthening and answering

Vs. 27
Believe and trust God in your situation (He is developing greater faith in you)

“Woman, you have great faith and your request is granted”

Boy with Epilepsy (demonic possession)
“If you can …all things are possible for those who believe"
"I do believe! Help my unbelief!”

Luke 18:1 – 8
Always pray and not give up

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

CH 5: A Prophetic Glimpse

God deosnt revel hi splan for your life all at one time. If He did, you'd probably run from it or simply not believe it. However, if you're seeking after God and you are open to His voice, sometimes He'll give oyu a propheti glimpse of the plans He has for you in the future.

I couldn't wait to see what God was going to do with it.

I knew she would come along one day and when she did, I didnt wnt to be used up like a pair of old, worn out , smelly hi-tops

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CH 4: Graduation Surprise

Sometimes what "seems" in the natural to be a setback, is actually God working out an opportunity for us and our gift to shine.

...causes our confidence in our gift to grow as well.

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CH 3: The Missing Ingredient

I wanted so badly to excel at something. I needed something to set me apart from everybody else, something to make me special.

I had a gift to pray

The more I prayed...the more my faith began to buildin excercising my gift.

I gained more onfidence every time I opened my mouth and prayed to God.

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CH: 2 The Call

When I returned form camp that year, I made a decision to completely give my life over to God for whatever He had planned for me.

John 4:4 - Greter is He that is in me, than he who is in the world
I realized htat God has placed a dream in every persons heart, a desire that when fulfilled makes life worth living.

All I knew was to be real with God and make sure He knew I was available.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Book: A Latino and God, by Rick Reyna

I heard Rick Reyna speak at a 'Rally for Jesus' that a friend put together one evening a few weeks ago. A couple of singers were there too that I had never heeard of before, but that were good, especially Richard Andrew Experiment. In fact, I hadnt really expected to come home with muh, maybe one CD of hte artist I most liked, or a book by the speaker. Two of the artists gave me their CD's RAE included. I only had to pay for the book. RAE had a few CD's out and so I contemplated which one to get. But was given them both. I fully would have paid for them.
Funny, but partway through the concert and it was RAE that said something toward me. ( I was moving to the music and not even realized it. I have listened to their CD every day, even added them on Myspace, of whith the lead singer has replied a few times. We even chatted a bit after the concert (He and Alehe hit it off real well).

CH: 1 No Mister Rogers Neighborhood

The only things I saw were the limitations that were on their lives, holdiing them back from any potential good things. Their exuses usually hinged on the fact that they were Mexican.

Even friends told me to go ahead and dream about living the good life, but that's all it would ever be...a dream.

I could have agreed with the people who told me I was never going to amount to anything or do anything significant because I was Mexican....lived with a 'victim' mentality and a chip on my shoulder. But something in me would not let me do that. Deep down in my heart I knew there had to be something better out there for me....pulling at me, causing me to see myself headed in a different diretion and a better place.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008


Daniel 6
How to Navigate Life

So far...
Daniel was displaced out of his family, his country and his religious system
wicked education system yet he excelled
under king Nebuchanezzar
65 years under three kings
approx 81 yrs

King threw Daniel in the lions den
God shut the mouths of the lions
Daniels accusers were thrown in the lions den when he was released, they devoured them before they hit the ground
I wanna make it out of the lions den, how do I do that?
It doesn't happen overnight
God builds and directs
Each one of us has potential and promise that God has placed in us
through preparation (life) God brings that potential and promise out
If we want to make it out of the lions den we have to develop Godly habits
God has given each one of us a measure of faith, talent (Rom 12)
Dan 6:1-4
*(Daniel posessed an extraordinary spirit,and so the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom)
Daniel, excelling at what was placed in front of Him
key to life - God, what is this thing You have placed in front of me that I can live for?, how you've wired me, my interests, what has affected me,
I can live for God
Our strength often increases in proportion to the obstacles imposed upon it
Daniel had some obstacles he was facingwe have obstacles we are facing - that is how we become stronger
We want out of the lions den, but do we want to do the things which
take us through the lions den?

How to Face Opposition
1. Go to God (first response)
2. Stay at your task
3. Determine the right response (are there things I need to adjust?)
4. Let your life patterns and character speak for itself
"Your friends don't need an explanation, and your enemies won't take one."

Life's victories are found in Godly patterns.

Christopher Columbus - in his journals, he was not motivated primarily by discovery, but by bringing the Gospel to non-believers.
"We sailed on".

vs. 10,16,20
Faithfulness(Godly patterns we create today our future tomorrow)
we are dismantling our past
Prayer - vs 11
The greatest vitory to the enemy of our lives would be that he would have us be prayerless
Prayer should be the FIRST thing we do, not the LAST.
Petition-kneeling in submission before God saying "I need help in navigating life".
The strongest at of humanity is getting on our knees before God.
Supplication - coming from the position of weakness
Call for protection "here I am Lord, I am pleading for help".
Giving Thanks - (gratefulness) genuine
Be thankful for where your at
DO NOT compare your race, path, position gifts with anyone else's.
Comparison can kill.
vs. 16,19
Develop service to God
The way God wired us is to get His name out to others
Jesus came as a servant, Daniel exampled this
vs. 21,22 - Integrity
"I've done nothing wrong". GOD shut the mouths of the lions
Even if you don't see results, KEEP PRAYING
vs. 23 - Trust in God
(Pastor Hicks and his friends in the play - even when no one shows up inside, they trusted God was doing something outside)
Godly habits will get you out of the lions den
vs. 24
25 - 27

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Monday, November 17, 2008

CH 7: Acts 13 Breakthrough

God has rebuked me for my doubts
...God met me and began to pour thoughts into my mind as to how the goal could be achieved
There is a a very high return rate of Missionaries from the
field...and many more reasons.
Average term...ten years.
...traditional view of what missionaries do can distort our thinking about the numbers needed
Keep in mind that our first burden is not to concentrate on numbers, but to complete the task - to obey the Lord
...an unbalanced view of money is playing to big a role in the thinking of some Christian leaders and organizations
Every believer and church must be ready to give, passionately and cheerfully, a higher percentage of all money for world missions and especially for the cause of reaching the unreached.
-involvement on the field is crucial to a local church's vision of God's heart for the whole world
We need a greater renewal and reality in the churches - from a superficial walk with God to accepting the challenges that God puts before us today
Grace awakening - renewed emphasis on the 1Corinthians type of love
for one another
Greater discipline in prayer, studying the Word of God and giving
Be aware of allowing negative thinking to kill our creativity or vision. God is working in the midst of what looks to us like a mess. Often what we think is casualty, is not casualty to God.
God often achieves tremendous things through the most unlikely people.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

CH 6: Finance for the Work

We are ALL suppose to live by faith, trusting God for our needs regardless of the way He supplies. (SSI, mom and dad, etc.)
Luke 18:1 - 5 "Persistence in prayer".
As we pray, we will begin to encounter awkward and difficult situations to test the sincerity of our goals.
...motives (what are the motives for the things that I do?)
...God glorifying goals in mind
He often withholds...He is concerned about our wrong view of Him
The Book of Job - Not putting God in a box
God does not want to destroy our goals, but refine us as we move toward them.
Prayer is work
Along with prayer, there needs to be action (what is the action I need to take regarding my prayers)
...because they love people, saw a need and wanted to give. (why do I give?)
***2Cor 8: 1-7...they gave as much as they were able...they gave first to the Lord
God urges us to excel in the grace of giving
Many Christians fail to realize that without their money, things won't happen. They have a feeling that someone else will take care of it.
God wants things to happen, but He makes US responsible; so it is WE who decide whether it happens or not
May we grasp more fully why we should have a passion and a grace for giving;
...the lack of finance is a major factor in holding up the work of God
The resources are available if only God's people would release them.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

CH 5: Future Missionaries - From Where?

...they have stayed on too long in the particular church they were planting
Missionaries, like anyone else, can get comfortable.
We still have a large number of Westerners wanting to go to countries where missionaries are not really needed
Manila - children sleeping in the streets; how to mobilise the church for reaching and caring for these children
You will have to be different than those who went twenty years ago
...there has been a misuse of human resources within missions and a low value placed on peoples time; some missionaries, in whom there has been a huge investment in training, and placing, are doing really trivial tasks.
Missions...exported with the gospel and alien culture...in bondage to that culture rather than to scripture.
...convinced that in certain countries some people are gathering up workers, who have no call from God, by paying them a small salary to do Christian work. They simply need a job, there is massive unemployment, and so they queue up to do Christian work.
We cared enough to surrender our comfort and way of life to share God's love with others.
The Great Commission not only calls us to send money, but ourselves

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

4-Being a Missions Mobiliser

A Christian who not only wants to get involved in evangelism and missions work, but who wants to get other people involved as well
Marketplace ministry - very ordinary jobs
If your hearts cry is for the whole world, if you can't seem to hear God directing you to go to one specific people or area, if you are gifted naturally and spiritually in communicating and encouraging, perhaps your strategic miche is that of mobiliser. You can encourage, exhort, prod, lure, handhold, cajole, and pray whole churches into a sharper vision of their part in God's global purpose.
If the pursuit of God's glory is not above the pursuit of man's good, in the affections of the heart and the priorities of the church, then man will not be well served and God will not be duly honored.
Missions mobilisation...starts on our knees
...as Christians, often our goals and aims are too low.
What we need are a combination of tasks that are both possible and impossible
We want to be filled with faith, but we want to be realistic.
(Lord, take hold of and stretch my imagination!)
Ownership of World Missions - improve our knowledge of them. We can do this by reading, watching videos, and listening to audio cassettes
Can you imagine the Apostle Paul, having a mobile phone, or a computer at his fingertips? God has given these things as tools.
Adopt a People Movement
...short-term work...You don't have to have a special call for this
God leads different people in different ways
disappointment...God's appointment
We have to stand against the fiery dart of discouragement.
Be aware of the subtleties of putting yourself down in an unbiblical way
the point of mobilisation? To release millions of hours of prayer and finances and workers into the harvest force.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CH. 3: Taking the Lead

...it is the Spirit who is the director of all Christian work.
there needs to be a greater consciousness of the Holy Spirit and His work in believers
This fullness is not only to do with the emotions and inner work in our spiritual life, it is also to do with the quiet reality of how we live our lives from day to day, and with the making of plans and development of strategy in our Christian work
A constant daily filling but not a restless search for new 'experiences'.
Many people feel they need a fresh touch in their lives, and they go from conference to conference seeking something new.
God may be calling you to 'rise and build' (Neh. 2:18)
Some important balances:
time alone and time with others
time with family and time with non-family
between work and rest
between work and play
prayer and bible study
witnessing to non-believers and helping believers
What He (God) is today we shall find Him tomorrow, and the next day and next year.
He is quick to mark every simple effort to please Him
We please Him most ...by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections and believing He understands everything and loves us still.
Different character types are needed for leadership because different types of leaders are needed
As leaders we should be: people of prayer, encourager's of people, a reader (God's Word as well as Christian books).

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CH 2-Out of the Comfort Zone

2: We Are His Witnesses
Introduce people to Christ by his or her life, attitudes, actions and words
Acts 1:8 - But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.....
...we should start out as witnesses now, regardless of the geography of our situation.
the Book of Acts and the history of the Church shows that to be a witness is also to speak out boldly about Jesus Christ.
they understand that they should be witnesses within their locality, where their home or their job happens to be, living Godly lives and speaking to others about Jesus.
Some people and groups have become distracted by the idea that only narrowly-defined, so-called 'high quality' people are needed on the mission field, when in fact people of all kinds are needed to fill a huge range of jobs.
The Power to Witness (God Given)
God fills and uses different kinds of people, many of whom may not look very promising by 'normal' standards
...determination to get up and go on after discouragement
We have to accept that as we go on with missions, there will be mistakes, failures, and sins. ....use them as springboard to launch us into greater things for God. (Failure: The back door to success)
...not to take yourself too seriously. Learn how to laugh at yourself while keeping on
Once again, by God's grace, in the midst of failure, something great was born that was to explode spiritually across the world.
Romans 8:28 - We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and who are called according to His good purpose.
Plan B or C can be just as good as plan A
We have a tendency to think, but not to act. And to feel, but not to act. If we go on feeling and thinking, but not acting, soon we'll be unable to act.
Are you waiting for some kind of call before you move out to find your strategic niche in God's global plan?
Look to God to guide us as to what our particular part in it (mission) will be
To put your life, future and career on the altar for the Lord of Glory is no small thing. Your heart will be broken many times and you will face many disappointments.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Book: Out of the Comfort Zone by George Verwer

Our Chi Alpha group had a guest speaker one evening.
I don't really know why I picked up this book exactly, I mean, there were only five copies on the table and I thought of leaving them for those who were more seriously-minded about missions. But something compelled me to pick one up. Maybe it had to do with the title?

1: A Grace-Awakened approach to Missions
Missions do need highly qualified people, but they also need good people who may not have high academic or professional qualifications.

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