Foolishness 

Foolishness 

While reading Galatians in your devotional life, have you wondered why the Apostle Paul would address the churches in Galatia: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:1-3 

Paul wanted to address the Christians as they listened to this letter to take heed as to what they were doing. He wanted them to examine themselves and go back to the where they began. When Paul visited this area, those who heard the simple gospel of grace received salvation by faith. Through this liberty, the Galatians were “set free.” “Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 

A change took place. Judaizers came with a different gospel of perversion to reinstitute the law in order to be saved, not only that, but a works-based perfection of the flesh (external works of religion) was initiated. What happened when it all began in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit? Well, man enters in to attempt to help God out through religion of works of the flesh. Paul gave the Galatians his personal testimony in Galatians 2:19-20. “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Paul has a personal relationship with Jesus. As believers we have a personal relationship with the Lord. Jesus in us is the hope of glory and we are in Christ. It is this union that makes us children of God. 

Finally, Paul wrote to the Ephesians in chapter 2:8-10, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer learned one thing: to be spontaneous in obedience to God’s will. We do not want to be foolish. May you enjoy the many blessings living for Christ. 

Jesus loves you - Pastor Roger Stahlhut 

 The Utter Holiness of God

 The Utter Holiness of God

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6

Job’s righteousness was unparalleled in his day, God himself declaring that Job was “a blameless and upright man.” (Job1:8). We often view such spiritual exemplars as having transcended the depravity that is common to us all. In fact, such an attitude is present today when believers who have been in the faith for many years forget that their lives are saturated with sinful depravity, a condition that needs to be brought before the Lord daily for forgiveness and renewal. To illustrate this, the LORD took the most righteous man on earth and exposed him to the utter and complete holiness of God. The trial that Job endured makes clear to us that God is sovereign and beyond our meager attempts to contain in human understanding. But, it also shows us the complete bankruptcy of human goodness as Job is stripped of his self-declared righteousness before a holy and awesome God. Coming face to face with his own fallenness and finitude, Job declares “I despise myself” since the only proper response to the unfiltered glory of God is to “repent in dust and ashes.” 

Friends, I am concerned that some of us have lost serving God in fear and wonder. The evidence is not in the overt and especially “bad” sins we commit such as drugs or sexual immortality, although these certainly would indicate it. Rather, I am concerned with how easy it seems for some to make space for “acceptable” sins: greed, jealousy, divisions, unforgiveness, selfish desire, and pride. Let us reacquaint ourselves with the majesty of the God we serve and bask in His love and mercy, knowing that we could never be worthy except for the blood of Jesus, and carry in our hearts the constant refrain of repenting in dust and ashes. 

Pastor John Woolard

Listen To His Voice


 “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29

I ask you today, my fellow brothers and sisters, how lost were you before Jesus rescued you? The answer, just in case you’ve forgotten, is absolutely lost!

You and I were dead in our sins until the Holy Spirit awakened us. We were completely separated from God and heaven. But, listen carefully to what Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me.” Jesus, by His grace, has called us and we, being His sheep, are to follow Him. 

I rejoice that He is our Shepherd and we are His sheep, for sheep are completely dependent upon the protection and security of the shepherd from birth until death.

Christians, don’t let anyone trouble you with words like, “Now that you are saved, you must do all that you can to keep yourself saved.” Such thinking doesn’t even make sense according to the gospel of grace and the work of Christ. Those who are in Christ know it. They grow under His care and blossom with confidence, becoming more eager to share His love with others.

Rejoice my brothers and sisters! It’s called eternal life and it’s what He gives to all those who call upon Him in faith.

Now, Go Serve Your King,

Pastor Joe Mendez

Give Thanks To The Lord!

Give Thanks To The Lord!

Daniel, during a time of testing, prayed and gave thanks to the Lord. (Daniel 6:10) David gave thanks. (Psalm 100:4) “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving…be thankful unto Him.” (Psalm 136) “Give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever!” Jesus at the first communion – “He took the cup and gave thanks.” (Matthew 26:27) Paul in (1 Corinthians 15:57) “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory!” Again in (II Corinthians 9:15) “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.” (Ephesians 5:20) Giving thanks always for all things! 

One of man’s greatest sins is in Romans 1:21… “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful!” 

This thanksgiving is a reminder to us all to put on the mind of Christ and in everything to give thanks… for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you! (I Thessalonians 5:18) Thank God there is much to be thankful for! Have a great thanksgiving! 

Thanks Lord, 

Jeff and Karyn 

A Call to Worship and Obedience

A Call to Worship and Obedience

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving and let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth and the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me; they tried Me, though they saw My work. For forty years I was grieved with that generation and said, it is a people who go astray in their hearts, and they do not know My ways. So, I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.” Psalms 95:1-11

Psalms 95 is a picture of the annual Feast of Tabernacles, a joyful event as the people looked back on their wilderness wandering and the bountiful harvest. For us, we need to come and worship, bow down before Him, fully surrendered in obedience, listening to this call. Do not allow unbelief to be the thief of our hearts as in the past.

Let’s have this mindset as we celebrate Thanksgiving, looking back at all God has done for us. Remembering the little things and large things that He has accomplished in our lives.

Thankful for His goodness,

Pastor Rudy Cardenas 

Will All Christians Experience Heaven The Same Way?

Will All Christians Experience Heaven The Same Way?


For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

I think most Christians believe that when they die they will all go to heaven with other believers and experience the same heaven in the same way. However, that doesn’t seem to be what the Bible teaches. In 2 Corinthians 5 we are told that every believer will appear before the judgment seat of Christ and Christ will examine our lives. This is not to determine entrance into heaven, that is taken care of when we place our faith in Christ. This judgment seems to be one that evaluates what we have done after we place our faith in Christ, whether what we did was good or bad (worthless). From the many places this event is mentioned in Scripture, such as Matthew 25 and Luke 19, it would appear that what we do and our motives for doing those things will determine how we experience eternity. It seems that all believers are going to the same heaven, but we will all experience it differently. The more we do for God’s glory, out of love for Him in this life, deepens our capacity to experience and enjoy heaven for eternity! Think of that for a moment. How you choose to spend the next few years of your life, will determine how you experience the next trillion years of your existence! 

Pastor Jason Norton 

Men, Be A Man!

Men, Be A Man!

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Throughout this book of 1 Corinthians, Paul the Apostle reveals the problems and the struggles of a pagan church such as lawsuits, immorality, questionable practices, abusing the Lord’s supper & spiritual gifts just to name a few. But here at the end of the book Paul is exhorting every Christian man in Corinth to “be watchful” regarding danger from the inside as well as the outside. “Be on the alert” is what Paul is telling them, also with the anticipation of the Lord’s coming again. Then Paul says, “stand fast in the faith men.” In other words, stand firm in their trusting God for all things, to stand on their commitment to His word and will, not a half-hearted commitment, but a whole-hearted commitment!

Rather than acting like immature children, the Christian man should be strong in the Lord, rather than weak in the faith. A wobbling believer is a Christian not giving much time to prayer, to the Word of God or the effort of doing it.

Paul says, “be brave” (andrizomai) in the Greek, and it literally means “to act like a man.” Also, Paul says Christian men are to “be strong” just as he said in Ephesians 6:10 – “be strong in the Lord & the power of His might!” Finally, Paul writes to do all that we do with a loving attitude and motive, this will keep us “others centered” not self-centered.

Men, we live in an age where we need to step it up in the Word of God and praying with our wives and children, but most of all setting that example of standing fast, being brave, being strong, doing all that we do in love and pleasing our great God in the process - I’m praying for you men!

Lord bless,
Pastor Jack Jimenez

Fear Not

Fear Not

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

When we look back at the various seasons of our lives, we sometimes overlook something very crucial to our faith. At first glance we might see the problems we’ve had, the difficult times, the trials and sorrowful moments. The memory or scars left behind by such significant events have the tendency to take precedence in our minds. These thoughts often dictate how we conduct ourselves in the present or possibly in our future. But, if we take a closer look we will see Isaiah 41:10.

Yes, in this world we have tribulation... but when you look closely, past the difficulties, you will find God. You will see that you did have strength, the simple fact that you’re still standing today is proof that you were given a strength beyond your own. You will see that you did have help. Although it might have been a difficult year, you kept going and are still going. And lastly, you were carried through it, held by the righteous hand of God. How do you know this? Because today your able to smile, love, experience joy and peace.

So, God says to you and me, “Fear not!” Because when you look back and see Him in the midst of your most difficult season, you can find confidence that He will continue to be there in your future. The record of His testimony was, is, and will continue to remain in our lives... Fear not about today or tomorrow and when you feel as if you fear, remember what He has done already, even when you didn’t know it at the time.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Does our doubt change who God is? Absolutely NOT!

Pastor Phil Moreno

Do Not Become Complacent

Do Not Become Complacent

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7

Salvation is not the completion of our walk with Jesus, but rather the beginning of it. Walking in Christ is a daily endeavor. We must root ourselves in the knowledge of the Lord so that we might be built up in our walk with Him. Get into your Bible and allow the Word to influence your life; seek God in prayer, that our roots might grow deep in our relationship with Him. Persistently seek Christ in your life, for it is by Him that we have received the riches of God’s grace. Do not forsake your walk for contentment or false ideologies but be diligent to press on for a fuller understanding of God.

As we seek a deeper knowledge of Christ, we ourselves will be established in Him, and when we are established, we can be used for His glorious will.

Pastor Jace Amperse

Validation

Validation

“And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. So, he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists,[f] but they attempted to kill him. When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.” Acts 9:26-30

Saul, the terrible, had persecuted the church beyond measure. The name Saul struck fear in many hearts. However, earlier in Acts 9, we read that Saul had been transformed by the grace of God. God then directs Saul to Jerusalem for validation to the saints.

In verse 26 we see that he was rejected by many because of who he used to be. Many had the right not to receive his testimony, however God was working behind the scenes to establish Saul as not only a true Christian, but to prepare and establish his apostleship to the church.

God’s method of validating Saul to the church was through him being threatened, persecuted, and even let down in a basket for his life’s sake (Acts 9:25). God’s method of trials, tribulations and persecutions are not popular from the human perspective, but it is a sure way of validation in God’s eyes and to the believers.

So, beloved saints, remember that persecution, tribulation, hardship and trials always establishes who we are in and to the body of Christ. So, continue to be all that God has called you to be, no matter what circumstances may come because it is God who is and will establish you through His grace.

Pastor Isaac Moscoso

Nature Change

Nature Change

“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.” 2Peter 2: 20

Have you ever read Aesop’s fable about the frog and the scorpion? A scorpion and a frog met on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asked the frog to carry him across the stream on its back. The frog asked, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion replied, “Because if I do, I will die too.” The frog, being satisfied, set out with the scorpion across the stream. But, midstream the scorpion stung the frog. As the frog felt the onset of paralysis and started to sink, knowing they both will drown, had just enough time to gasp, “why!?” The scorpion replied: “It is my nature….”

Peter gives us a warning with a simple declaration: there are some in the church who have never had a change of nature. These people received, understood, and applied the truth of God’s Word to their lives; they found out that living according to biblical principles helped them overcome their sinful habits for a time. But, this was only mere religion. It was merely religion because their Christian walk was only outward, and they never surrendered their lives to Jesus. Thus, as time goes by they are eventually drawn back to their old sins and are worse than before. Just like the scorpion in Aesop’s fable, they want to do good, but eventually their fallen nature takes control, bringing destruction. It says in 2 Peter 2:22 “But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.’”

God doesn’t want to just change your behavior; He wants to transform your nature by the power of the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, those who have put their faith in Christ not only receive a new nature, but also become partakers of the very nature of God. It is God the Holy Spirit in us who gives us the power to continue to live God’s word out in our life. Are you trying to live the Christian life in your old nature to no avail? Surrender your life completely to Jesus and He will give you His nature to live in victory!

“His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:3-4

Serving Him together

Pastor Hector Gonzales

Choosing to Worship

Choosing to Worship

The wise men went to great lengths to worship Jesus. It was an intentional journey to give of themselves to Him: “…they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their gifts ..” Matt. 2:11 Paul and Silas chose to worship God in extremely dark times while imprisoned: “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.” Acts 16:25 Jesus even worshiped with His disciples just before His sorrowful time in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.” Matt. 26:30

On the other hand, Pharaoh refused to allow the Israelites to worship the true God: “I commanded you, ‘Let my son go, so he can worship me.’ But… you have refused…” Ex.4:23 Satan is also like Pharaoh, trying to keep us from worshiping God and wanting us to worship him instead. Satan even tempted Jesus (unsuccessfully) to worship him in the desert: “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” Matt. 4:9

Choosing to worship God (to devote our lives to Him and serve Him) is not always easy, there are obstacles, opposition, and competition. But, He is always worthy of our worship, and since we were created to worship Him, nothing else can fill that void. As Jesus said to the woman at the well: “But the time is coming indeed it’s here now when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24

The battle for our worship is real! May we choose to worship God alone, and encourage others to do so as well: ”speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Eph. 5:19 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.“ Col 3:16

In Christ,

Pastor Dustin Linenberger

Pray for Us

Pray for Us

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior.” 1 Timothy 2:1-3

Paul is writing to the church to encourage them to pray for the leaders who were over them. At times we can forget that our pastors/ leaders are not only shepherds, but they are sheep themselves. We are desperately dependent upon the Lord and need Him more and more in our life as much as everyone else. God has given us pastors the awesome reasonability to feed His flock, to tend to His flock, to pray and minister to His flock. Many nights and days we pray for you and I can say with great certainty that the pastors at Calvary Downey love and care for each and every one of you. We want Gods best for you and desire that you grow in the grace and knowledge of our amazing God and Savior Jesus Christ.

With this responsibility comes serious warfare. The enemy is relentless. He is very good and very crafty and wants to devour and destroy your leaders/pastors. Research shows that 250+ pastors leave the ministry every month, that’s 3,000 pastors a year! 70% of pastors battle depression. I don’t want to shock any one with these stats, but what I do want to do is ask you to please keep us in your prayers. We are not perfect, but we are being renewed every day. We are weak and Christ is strong, we need prayer we need your prayers.

Three ways to pray for us:

1. For our personal walks with Jesus. That we will continue to seek Him above all else.

2. For our family life. That we will continue to love our wives as Christ loves the church and that we will raise our children according to the Word of God. That the Lord may shield our families.

3. For our ministry life. That we will continue to labor in love dividing rightfully the word of God that we will continue to give out sound doctrine.

We covet your prayers and appreciate them so much. We are saved by grace through faith and we are beggars leading others to bread. We are Pastors we are not perfect, but we continue to look up to the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus.

Pastor Chris Lopez

Punching Through

Punching Through

“Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.” 1 Corinthians 9:26

About 8 years ago I purchased some boxing gloves for my then 9-year old son Luke. I wanted to teach him how to box. He was very happy and eager as he put the gloves on and began to punch everything in sight, including his little brother, who not so surprisingly enjoyed it. After I was able to calm my little pugilist down I placed him in front of a small heavy bag and taught him how to punch in combinations. He practiced for several minutes as I watched on. I noticed that he was only punching to make contact with the target and not really hitting it with force. I told him that he needed to punch through the target and not just at it. He began to punch the bag with strength and conviction and it was great to watch each blow thrash his target and tossing it around like a rag doll. As he finished, totally exhausted, he looked up at me with such a satisfied grin.

I began to think of how this applies to us spiritually. We sometimes see the target or goal that we desire to meet as a child of God and only set out to just merely make contact with it. We stand in front of the target and just tap it as if we are afraid to really make contact with it and see what can be done. Afraid to see what kind of power God has truly given us. We cannot run with uncer-tainty or fight as if we are fighting the air. We need to focus on that target and punch through it, punching through each fear and obstacle that is front of us with certainty and conviction. By do-ing this we will not just achieve the goals God has given us, but we leave a lasting impact that will be felt all around us. Then we can move onto bigger and better targets.

Pastor Chad Naaktgeboren

Rest In God’s Work

Rest In God’s Work

“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3

The Old Testament is filled with types and shadows of Christ and one of the first ones is found right here in Genesis 2. God finished His work; the creation of everything was completed on the seventh day. And God did three things; He rested, He blessed and He sanctified the seventh day. The awesome truth is that all three of these things that God did points us to Jesus Christ.

1. God rested – God invites us into His rest by trusting in His finished work, putting our faith in what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. You can’t rest until you’ve worked, but in this case, it is God who did the work for us. Our works can’t deal with our sin. Only the work of Christ on Calvary can bring rest to our souls because it is God’s way of dealing with our sins.

2. God blessed – God blessed all the living creatures (1:22) and God blessed Adam & Eve (1:28). Then He blessed the seventh day. God blessed to reveal that He desires for us to be fruitful. Where God is blessing, there is great fruit and we know that fruit is only possible in Jesus Christ. If you want to be blessed, you want your life to bear much fruit. Fruit in your marriage, fruit in your relationship with your children, then you need Jesus Christ. You need His power. We can’t bear fruit in our own strength, once again, it’s a work of God, a work of His Holy Spirit.

3. God sanctified (made holy) – God elevated the seventh day above the other days of creation to point us to His Son. For the Hebrew people, the Sabbath was a time of celebration and worship of God as Creator and God as Redeemer, but it was all a shadow of Christ to come and now every day is a holy day in Christ. Christ is Creator and our Redeemer and we are made holy by trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

This is what the world needs to hear today… from the very beginning, God invites us to enter into His rest, to experience His blessing, and to be made holy by the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. God worked so we could rest! That is great news… tell the whole world!

Pastor Danny Gamez

The Lord’s Will Be Done

The Lord’s Will Be Done

“So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through accompanying signs.” Mark 16:19-20 Amen

Have you ever asked the Lord, “what is Your will for my life?” Over the years I have asked this question many times. Then one day while reading the book, “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby, the same question arose again. The Lord spoke to me in my reading with the answer to the question - when you pray just ask the Lord, “what is Your will?” It will be done. I just needed to remove the selfish part in my question, “for my life.”

The Lord’s will to be done here in Mark’s gospel was to go and do as the Lord had commanded, and so they did. In Matthew 28 the Lord Jesus spoke to His disciples (followers of the Lord) to go and make disciples of all nations. With the commands, Jesus also gives us the promise of the Holy Spirit. “We shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon us and we shall be witnesses for Him everywhere we go.” Acts 1:8

Accompanying signs will follow us all the days of our lives as we serve the Lord. Certainly, a contrast to those who look after signs and wonders. Our lives are surrounded with “divine appointments” every day. May we seek ways to get Jesus in our conversations throughout our journey.

Finally, 2 Timothy 4:5 says it all. “Be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

Be blessed as His will is being done.

Jesus loves you!

Pastor Roger Stahlhut

“...that we may share His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10b

“...that we may share His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10b

In this section of Hebrews we learn two truths that are worth meditating upon. First, as children of God we should expect to receive His discipline, or in the Greek, His paideia. Paideia is the loving education and formation that children receive through correction and instruction. Paideia is difficult because it presupposes that we have made mistakes and are thus subject to the painful process of reforming bad habits or overcoming sins. The Father loves us so much that he takes us to the woodshed in order to continually kill the flesh. Yes, the discipline of the Lord is painful while in process, but this brings us to the second point worth reflecting upon. God disciplines us in order that we may share in His holiness.

God is cultivating His divine nature within you, forming you into the image of the Son of God, and radiating His glory and perfection through your life. This moral quality of goodness manifests in a kind of transcendent living where we constantly die to the old nature and walk in newness of life. This holiness is not intrinsic but is given to us from God and “without which no one will see the Lord.” (Heb 12:14b)

My encouragement for you today is not to shy away from how the Lord might be cultivating His nature within you. Nothing pleases the Father more than the brilliance of the perfection and love of the Son, and the Spirit is at work within you to cultivate these same attributes. The purifying and sanctifying fire of discipline is meant to drive you close to the Fathers heart, produce His holiness within you, and is meant for good “to those who have been trained by it.” (Heb 12:11)

It’s easy to grow bitter at the chisel God uses, the pruning hooks He has chosen, or the grinding wheel He deploys. But, such discipline is evidence of the Father’s love and intimacy in your life. “Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees.” (Heb 12:12) Fully receive all that God brings to you and however God chooses to form you, since He has promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb 13:5b)

Pastor John Woolard

Crossing Your Jordan River

Crossing Your Jordan River

“Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan.” Joshua 3:11

In this life we are put into the position of situations that are hard to cross. Surely, for the second generation of Israel since the wilderness, this was a very difficult challenge before them. First, Israel at this juncture of their lives must learn to trust Joshua as their new leader. Second, the Jordan River was a roaring rapid, but their confidence was in the God of the Bible. Israel was fearful and intimidated; the Bible says they had never been this way before. However, this passage is a reassurance of a major promise from their past, the Ark of the covenant of the Lord is going before them. As believers in Christ we are assured of the same promise that when we cross our “rapids in life” we have God’s direction through His Word. It is “a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path.” We are the “temple of the living God,” so His presence is always with us as believers in Christ.

This great venture of faith recorded in Joshua would go on to show us that as the priests carried the ark of the covenant and all of Israel followed, their confidence was in God’s Word and His presence. Instead of being “carried away” by the rapids, God cut off the water 19 miles upstream. This was one of many steps of faith that Israel would take on their way to the promise land and it seems so long ago however, the same God who delivered Israel then will continue to deliver His people now!

Lord bless

Pastor Jack Jimenez

The Gospel Can’t Lose

The Gospel Can’t Lose

“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Philippians 1:12-14

While the Apostle Paul was enduring imprisonment, distress and tribulation; the reality of the revelation of the gospel being furthered, ministered to Paul as well as all those who heard of his ordeal. Despite his dire circumstances the power of the gospel pushed through, so that even the unbelievers were touched….

Be encouraged church. This gospel that we carry in our lives cannot be stopped, no matter what trial, affliction, or tribulation we may be facing. Take note that this gospel is made even more magnificent and effective when under unsurmountable odds and opposition.

The funny thing here is that this affliction in Paul’s life is being used as a tool in God’s hand to strengthen, encourage, and minister the gospel in a more effective way. I have seen God use my own weaknesses, infirmities, afflictions, and tribulations to push the gospel further. This is a very powerful thing to see and all I can say is this must be the grace that the Lord has spoken to us about.

Pastor Isaac Moscoso

The Wall Is Gone

The Wall Is Gone

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.” Ephesians 2:14

Jesus is our peace, He bonds the body together in peace and unity. It does not matter where we come from or what we have done, if we have accepted Jesus.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

The body of Christ is such a diverse group of people. We are people who would not in any other circumstance interact, but can be as close as family. Why? Because He has torn down that wall of separation. In Jesus we have a new life and we are a new creation. Yet, so often we allow division to creep into our lives which causes strife in the body of Christ. What an effective way for Satan to immobilize the church. It is time to set aside our flesh and allow His Spirit to rule in our lives. Only then will we experience His peace in a way like never before.

Pastor Jace Amperse