Remember Amalek

Deuteronomy 25:17 says, “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt.”

God commands Israel not to forget what Amalek did. The children of Israel were to keep close the memory of a day the enemy attacked the aged, the weary, and the children. As the people of God were leaving Egypt, which typifies a type of the world, they were attacked by Amalek, a type of the flesh. For this, it is written for all to see, “remember Amalek.”

The strategies of Satan have not changed much throughout decades of time. God didn’t want His people to forget how the enemy attacked them after they were delivered from Egypt, after they were set free from bondage. He wants them to remember that the enemy attacks the weak, the children, the aged. That he attacks at the hindmost, in other words, from the rear or from behind. God wants them to remember Amalek, and so it is with us, He wants us to remember Amalek (the flesh, the enemy) as well.

Remember, our enemy will attack us from the hindmost; when we least expect it. He will attack us when we are weak or weary. He will attack us when we have victory or deliverance; after a Bible study, ministry, or anything that glorifies God in our lives. Note: the instructions are not to stand on guard with your sword, though there is a time for battle, God is specific in this passage: only to “Remember!”

Thank God, for He has paved the way for us to know what we need for victory in this life! “… He hath given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him…” 2 Peter 1:3 Pastor

Phil Moreno

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?” I have asked this question many times over the years. 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.”

In the passage above, the Lord’s will for the disciples 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. Along with Jesus’ commands, He 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

Countering The Effects Of A False Gospel...

 “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” Galatians 5:15

Pure Life has been studying Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia for the last year or so. Over the course of that time we have seen that the principle issue that Paul is resisting is a perversion of the gospel of grace. Sometimes grace is perverted by legalism, where people think that human performance can somehow merit the good favor of God. Other times grace is perverted by lawlessness, where people think that “grace” means God is largely unconcerned with the moral quality of our lives. Both these errors fail to appreciate the reality of the gospel. The gospel means that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is totally sufficient to bring sinful human beings into the presence of God. And a true appreciation of the work of Christ overflows a saint’s heart with divine love that expresses itself in holy living.

One thing that Paul points out that I think we would do well to remember, are the consequences for us corporately if we fail to daily internalize this gospel of grace. Paul’s warning is vivid: a church that rejects grace is a church that consumes itself. Legalism causes people to spiritually assault others by scripture whipping them and condemning them. Lawlessness feeds selfish ambition and desire as we seek to use others for our own benefit. In both cases our energy is spent not on disseminating the gospel, but on abusing the body of Christ. What then is the remedy?

“…but through love serve one another” (Gal 5:13). This means that humility in love is the way in which we resist the pride of false gospels. Meditate on who you are apart from God’s grace and it will fill you with wonder and awe at the magnitude of your salvation. Let that divine love flow out of you in genuine sacrificial love towards others. In this way we will “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2), rather than making our brothers and sisters food for the enemy.

Pastor John Woolard

HAPPY RESURRECTION SUNDAY!

The Resurrection was only the beginning. His rising on the 3rd day proclaims, “He’s alive,” and much more. He was alive on the 4th and 5th day also. For 40 days before His ascension, He was teaching and preaching. He was alive at Pentecost as He poured out the Holy Spirit on the church. Jesus was alive when He knocked Paul from his horse. He’s still alive TODAY confronting sinners, saving those who repent, humbling the proud, making holy those who seek Him, and sharing the blessings of His resurrection with all who love Him. He is alive forever; for we, the church, are his incessant witnesses!

He stepped into history from the eternal world and the Word became flesh! He rose up and ascended to His eternal home - yet to us today, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever! He is risen to invite man to be “in Christ!” What a joy and hope to a world suffocating in its sins. Also, Christ in us, the hope of glory, will come again! For we shall be like Him and appear with Him in glory!

This morning is when all of Christianity proclaims new life in Christ. If you will only believe, you will receive a transformed life! As Jesus confronted Paul, he now confronts you. You might say as Paul, “I’m not persecuting you, Lord!” But maybe it’s that you’ve been ignoring Him.

“You do know me, don’t you? I’m Jesus, God man, Bread come down from heaven, Light of the world, I am the only Truth! Come unto me and I will give you rest . . . I am the Way out of the wilderness and wasteland of sin and death. I am the Resurrection and the Life.”

Because He lives!

Pastor Jeff

The Will Of The Lord

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

The point I would like to focus on is understanding the will of the Lord, because it is a crucial element to our walk with Jesus. We know that it is beneficial to our walk, yet so often we struggle to understand the will of the Lord. I would like to share with you five practical ways that have helped me come to a better understanding of the will of the Lord.

1. Depart from evil – When we know who the Lord is and what He has done, we see the need to depart from evil.

Job 28:28 - “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.’”

2. Do His commandments – As we grow deeper in our walk, we desire to keep His commandments.

Psalms 111:10 - “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”

3. Pursue wisdom and understanding – Understanding and wisdom are something to be searched for in the Lord.

Proverbs 2:2-5 - “So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”

4. Pray for understanding – We can pray for ourselves, as well as pray for others, to receive the knowledge of His will.

Colossians 1:9 - “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”

5. Fear of the Lord – This theme is threaded throughout these verses; it is the beginning of wisdom which leads to understanding. A healthy fear of the Lord is fundamental in developing an understanding of the will of the Lord in our lives, and a proper understanding will enable us to be more effective members in the body of Christ.

Pastor Jace Amperse

Choose Life

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

Notice brothers and sisters, all these fleshly works come from self-centeredness in a person’s life. When self is made priority then concern for others becomes secondary or even void altogether. When a person fulfills these selfish, self-centered works, the consequences are severe. Emptiness, loneliness, anxiety, fear, depression, frustration, stress, confusion, outer and inner turmoil, and instability in the soul are the results. It’s pure and utter chaos when the love and gratification for self turns into an extreme hatred for self.

Now I see why God has called us to “Walk in the Spirit,” so that we may not give into the selfcentered flesh. I realize that the Lord is looking out for us as He encourages us to walk in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22 & 23) The benefits of walking in the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, contentment, and true satisfaction in and of life. He wants us to live in the fullness of life, to be blessed, prosperous, healthy, sane, and sound. Then we not only benefiting ourselves, but others around us. True living and loving life is not in selfish living, but is unselfish living. The only way to accomplish that is to Walk in the Spirit. We must “choose this day whom we will serve.”

Pastor Isaac Moscoso

YOU CAN'T

These words can strike up all kinds of emotions and feelings and even get our defenses up! In Joshua 24, Joshua shares some final words with his fellow Israelites as he recounts how God brought them from bondage into the Promised Land. He challenges them in verse 15: “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” The people respond in verse 18: “We also will serve the LORD, for He is our God.” I believe Joshua then shocks them with his response in verse 19: “You cannot serve the LORD.” However, as you read the full passage, you get a glimpse into Joshua’s heart, which is to steer them to the LORD and away from hypocrisy. Verse 23: “Now therefore,” he said, “put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD God of Israel.” He is calling them to integrity and action. This also applies for us today. It may be easy in church to echo, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Yet in our day-to-day, are we still choosing to hold onto something (an idol) we know God has spoken to us about? Jesus says in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Are you trying to serve two masters, knowing that you can’t? Correction is not always the easiest thing to hear, but Proverbs has much to say about the wisdom of accepting it. (See Proverbs 9:8, 10:17, 13:1, 13:18, 15:5, 15:31-32) May we make Psalms 139:23-24 our prayer, allowing God to correct us so that we CAN serve Him in Spirit and in truth: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.“

In Christ, Pastor Dustin Linenberger

Resolution

Your Resolution

“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22

Around this time of year some of us make resolutions and we all have different ones. Some want to get fit, travel, save money, spend more time with family. These are all good things, but the Lord has a challenging resolution I believe for us all. The challenge is to be more like Him. In order to be more like our Lord, we must be in His Word allowing it to refine and define us. The Word of God cleanses and causes us to grow spiritually. However, our growth and wellness does not stop there. As we get into His word and allow it to do its work in our life it brings wellness to our flesh! We all want to be healthier. My encouragement to you is to get into the Word and get healthy. This will benefit us physically for today and spiritually for an eternity.

If you don’t already have a time set aside to get a word from the Lord every day, make this your resolution. Not only for 2018, but for life. You want life in abundance? Well, it’s found in His Word. God’s Word gives life.

My last encouragement is not to let anything get in the way of your goal to be like Jesus. Don’t get sidetracked.

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27

Pastor Chris Lopez

Faith

Faith

Have you ever been confronted with “Do you have enough faith?” I am not sure if any of us really have enough faith, but the Bible says, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) Years ago, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. A woman in the church came to me and said, “You don’t have enough faith or God would heal you.” I put off getting surgery for quite a while to see if God would heal me. However, when healing did not come, I had surgery. I share this because sometime people can throw a guilt trip on those who have physical issues. But, God chooses various ways to heal us. It is important for us to have faith and realize that God’s ways are not our ways! They are higher! In my case, both the doctor and the nurse got to hear the Gospel.

Here are a few thoughts that may be helpful for you this day:
1. We are never ready or have enough faith to do all that the Lord directs us to do. We can always find an excuse for not being ready to exercise faith and miss the blessing.
2. The definition of faith comes from Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evident of things not seen.” Things hoped for; if we are not sure of what we hope for, it certainly becomes the opposite of faith.
3. To increase in faith is like the exercising of a muscle – Romans 8:17, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
4. Each one of us has been given a certain “measure of faith,” Romans 12:3.
5. Faith is also “the gift of God,” Ephesians 2:8b.
6. Lastly, “the just shall live by faith,” Romans 1:17, Galatians 2:20, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38.

So, the conclusion is this – please the Lord by walking by faith, trusting in Him and being blessed in your journey.

Jesus loves you, Pastor Roger Stahlhut

"Nevertheless, I have this against you" Revelation 2:4

These were the words of Jesus to the church at Ephesus. Verses 2-4 describe a very healthy church. They worked hard in the name of Jesus. They were patient and did not tolerate evil people or false doctrine. However, somewhere along the line they lost focus of Jesus. They were busy about things in Jesus’ name, but they were done without Jesus in mind. When they first got saved they started doing all these things out of love and gratitude, now they did them out of routine and religion. They did them because it just became who they were. We can fall into the same rut. We can come to church, read our bibles and even serve in ministry in the name of Jesus, but without Jesus in mind. The good news is, the solution is simple. Jesus, in verse 5, tells them to remember and repent. Remember how they used to forget about life, just sit with Jesus and spend time together. After they remembered they were to repent and do these things again.

At the beginning of the year, this is a good time to allow the Lord to examine us. Why do we do what we do? Is it out of routine and religion? Have I just become a “good person” or am I still close and passionate about Jesus? Spending time together every day and doing everything out of love and gratitude for the Lord

Pastor Jason Norton

A New Heart for Jesus

Here we are, the beginning of 2018. We can enter the new year with greater passion for Jesus and a deeper walk with Him or stay the same. We all need to examine ourselves in where we stand with Jesus. If we are to make a difference in this world let us seek to heed what Joel 2:12-13 says: “Now therefore,” says the Lord “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping and with mourning.” So, rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.”

Heart-rending is divinely worked and solemnly felt. It’s a soul-moving work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of each believer. The text commands us to rend our hearts, but how can this be done? We must take them to Calvary where our Savior paid the price for our sin. As we hear the death cries of our Savior Jesus, our hearts will be rent and sin will be purged by the blood of the Lamb.

Let’s start with a new heart for a new work and directions and adventures in these crucial days. Focus on Jesus! It’s all about Him.

“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all who call upon You.” Psalm 86:5

Pastor Rudy Cardenas

Happy New Year!

As we prepare for a new year, God’s Word of encouragement to us is found in Jeremiah 29:11; “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, sayeth the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Tonight, we’ll bring in the new year of 2018 and reflect on all that God has done this year!  God has used our continued desire to reach out and share the Gospel.  Through various Bible studies, church ministries, our Regional Leadership and Missions Conferences and outreaches such as Toasty Christmas, Back Pack Outreach and Alternative Night, we have seen many come to know Him.  Lives have been transformed and hearts have been healed.

We experienced an awesome water baptism this summer, and then to see many come to the prayer room to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit - what a year of victory! Our cup runneth over!  I believe this next year in 2018 we need to put on our seat belts. It’s going to be another great ride as we see many come to the Lord right before His return!

My wife and I would like to thank all of you for your faithfulness this past year in your ministries, in your    giving, in your love, in your prayers for Calvary Chapel Downey, and your prayers for me and my family. This has truly been a year of salvation, restoration, and rebuilding!

Looking forward to what He’s going to do in the days ahead! “Look up for our redemption draws near!”

In anticipation, Maranatha!

Agape, 

Jeff and Karyn                 

Taming The Tongue

Taming The Tongue

For every kind of beast and bird, of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:7-8

This passage reminds us that lions, elephants, monkeys, reptiles and sea life can be tamed and subdued by man, but our tongue cannot! All of us can call to mind, the irreversible harm done by someone’s tongue, an unkind mean-spirited word whether in person, social media, or gossip.

Solomon wrote: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11
With the tongue, relationships can be strengthened or destroyed. With the tongue, a child can be made

to feel loved and wanted or he can be made to feel rejected and worthless. With the tongue, we can bless and worship our God, and with it, we can curse men who have been made in the likeness of God.

There may be times when you spoke without thinking or confronted without praying or posted without considering, and the words you said ended up being the words you regretted. “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.James 1:19-20

The tongue can be used for the highest calling and it can be used for the lowest evil. As believers, it should not be said that out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.

James is talking about subduing our sinful speech by our own power. Human beings on their own, don’t have the ability to keep their tongues in check. But, if you know Christ personally, God’s power through the Holy Spirit’s presence can transform your heart and take control of your tongue. Jesus said; “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.Matthew 19:26

Lord bless,
Pastor Jack Jimenez

BUT GOD.....

David was now afraid of the Lord, and he asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark of the Lord back into my care?” So, David decided not to move the Ark of the Lord into the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom of Gath. The Ark of the Lord remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and his entire household.
2 Samuel 6:9-11

Have you ever made a mistake that hurt someone and discouraged you? One time I asked a friend if she was pregnant? Well, she wasn’t. Needless to say I felt very dumb and I’m sure she didn’t feel good either. I will never ask that question again. Lol..

Here in 2 Samuel 6 David has a desire to bring the Ark of God out from Abinidab’s house to Jerusalem where it belongs. He decided to build a cart and place the ark on it which was being pulled by a stinky animal. The Ark was supposed to be carried by the priest and not pulled on a cart behind an animal. Along the way, Uzzah who was Abinidab’s son, tried to keep the Ark from falling off the cart and as a result died. You can only imagine how David must have felt?

BUT GOD.... I love that phrase! When we make a mistake God can redeem it, no matter how bad you think it is. You see, David had the Ark placed in Obed-Edom’s house for three months and he stopped the process of bringing it to Jerusalem because he was discouraged. Listen, in life we will make mistakes BUT GOD.. will always redeem them somehow for His glory.

Obed-Edom’s house was blessed because the presence of God was in his home for three months. Today, if you’re discouraged, bring the very presence of God into your life, your home and your circumstances through the Word, worship, prayer and fellowship. Then watch Him restore your joy. David’s joy was restored and his desire to bring the Ark back was renewed, yours will be too.

Grace & Peace, Pastor Fish ><))>

The Storm of Letting Go

I was very encouraged recently through a Bible study by Pastor Damian Kyle. He was addressing Paul the apostle and his shipwreck experience mentioned in Acts chapter 27. His focus was on verse 20, “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.”

All hope was then taken away...

What does it mean, all hope was taken away? Paul was the man who had incredible faith. He had been in a couple shipwrecks prior to this one. How was this any different? Paul was given direct promises by God that he would make it to Rome, but for some reason, in this storm he had lost all hope like the rest of the men on the boat.

For me, it is encouraging to know that there are some storms we will face that can have this effect on us. Even when we have experienced trials and victories and have God’s Word and His promises. There will be storms that cause us to lose all hope. These storms are brought and controlled by God. They are severe life changing storms. They can impact us mentally, physically, and spiritually. The purpose of these storms is to cause us to learn one very important lesson. It will not be by our means, resources, ideas, or attempts that we will find salvation from the storm. Our deliverance is solely because of God and God alone. His saving grip on you and me is because of His hand, not ours. It is not because of our faith in the promises of God that will deliver us, but because of His faithfulness to His promise. It is only through a storm that causes us to lose all hope, that we see His power and faithfulness.

Remember the poem, “ footprints in the sand?” During the most tempest trials of life there is only one set of footprints, because it was at those times we think He abandoned and left us that we discover He was in fact carrying us.

Letting go...

Pastor Phil Moreno

Spirit and Life

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63

Jesus shared this with His disciples after He laid down some heavy spiritual truth. Many of them had a hard time receiving what was said and they were offended. Those who took offense were more than likely following Him for carnal reasons rather than spiritual. John 6:26 says, “Jesus answered them, most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.”

Many here followed for the wrong reasons. Their concern was focused on their earthly, temporal need rather than the spiritual and eternal need for God and salvation. Jesus knew this, so after He shared John 6:41-51 they became annoyed and uneasy. Those who truly sought something more than just their fleshly need would be drawn deeper to Him.

Our Lord says, “It is the Spirit who gives life,” meaning the most important thing that gives life and eternity are given by the Spirit. It is the Spiritual things that one should seek after, not the temporal fleshly things which have no spiritual value whatsoever.

Take note of what Jesus said, that the words that come from His mouth are Spirit and they are Life. So now I say to you, are you desiring more? If you are, just read and listen to the words of our Savior and He will speak Spirit and Life into you.

Pastor Isaac Moscoso 

Believe!!

“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:12-13

The nation of Israel had the faith to be set free from the bondage of Egypt and walk through the waters of the Red Sea, but did not have the faith to enter the promised land. The writer of the book of Hebrews will set them before us as a warning.

Instead of entering into and living in the blessing of God, their continuous unbelief caused their hearts to be hardened against the Lord. The consequence of this was that they spent the rest of their lives meandering through the wilderness, never experiencing the fullness of life God had for them. This example was given to the first century Jewish believers who, because of persecution, were turning away from Christ and turning back to their old religious system. Like the Israelites who perished in the wilderness, their hardship caused them to take their eyes off the Lord and allow unbelief to keep them from entering into the fullness of God’s promises.

There are many Christians today who have the faith for salvation, but have allowed the hardships of life to cause them to take their eyes off the Lord. Like the Israelites, the trials and fear of what the future may hold causes them to desire to go back to how they used to live prior to following the Lord. This produces unbelief in their hearts and opens them up to the deceitfulness of sin. If we allow unbelief to harden our hearts, it will keep us from all the victory, power, and blessing that God has for us as we continue to walk with Him.

The weapon against unbelief is to continue to exhort one another in the reality of who Jesus is and to remind ourselves that we are partakers with Him. We share in all the benefits and responsibilities of who He is because we are one with Him as we continue in our foundational faith until the end. It is in Christ that we have everything that pertains to life and godliness which opens us to receive every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer. So, what mountainous trial is trying to cause fear and unbelief in your heart today? Remember that we are one with the All-Powerful Creator and Sustainer of all existence, who loves us so much that He was willing to come and die for our sin. If God is for us than who or what can stand against us. Believe!!! (Hebrews 3:14)

Serving Him together, Pastor Hector Gonzales

 

Rejoice When the Lost Are Found and Embrace Them!

In Luke 15, Jesus addresses the Pharisees’ complaint of Jesus receiving and eating with sinners. He responds with three parables. First, Jesus shares the parable of a man leaving his ninety-nine sheep to find the one that is lost, and who rejoices greatly when it is found (Luke 15:1-7). His second parable tells of a woman who invites her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her when she finds her lost coin (Luke 15:8-10). Lastly, Jesus shares the parable frequently called, “The Prodigal or lost son”, where we see the heart of the Father revealed. He runs to re-embrace his son, clothes him with his own clothes, and invites everyone to be merry with him, for his son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. Then comes the older son, who had always been with the Father; all that the Father had was his. Yet, this older son does not even acknowledge the younger son as his own brother, but instead calls him “your son” (to his Father).

Are we ever guilty of acting like this older son or the Pharisees? Let’s examine ourselves: when is the last time we truly rejoiced with someone who was lost when they come home to the Father, even someone who has personally hurt us? Are we working in God’s business without God’s heart?
The Father kept looking on the horizon for his son.

Brothers and sisters, we must not get so busy working in the fields that we forget God’s heart for His family. Let’s be looking and praying for the lost to be found!

In Christ, 

Pastor Dustin Linenberger

Love is the Goal

Let love be your highest goal! 1 Corinthians 14:1

When I was a kid I had goals. I wanted to play baseball professionally, I wanted to have a wife and two kids, I wanted to live in Baltimore and I wanted to own a farm with lots of animals. Through the years my goals often changed. I am now 31 and I have different goals, aspirations and dreams. Now they all involve my wife and my two beautiful kids. It’s good to have goals and dreams and to pursue them, but our highest goal as believers should be the goal to love. This goal should never change, it should always be our priority to love. We need to try and achieve this goal at all costs with everything that we are. May we be immovable in the pursuit of love.

Jesus would say in the gospel of Matthew 22:37-40, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” The passion of Jesus was not only to love, it was also His purpose, His goal, His reason.

In the world where it seems that hatred and selfishness abound, may love be the ultimate aim in our hearts, in our lives and in our homes. Love the Lord and love thy neighbor. Make Love your highest goal.

Pastor Chris Lopez

Trusting God Over Our Circumstances (A CCCS Testimony)

I recently received a letter from a family who attends our church. They always had the desire for their children to attend our school, however they were not able to afford the tuition.

One of their children started experiencing peer pressure at his school that continued to get worse. So, the parents decided to sell their house and move to another town where they thought the schools were better.

As they were preparing to put their house up for sale, they started questioning what they were doing. They were taking matters into their own hands and realized they hadn’t asked God for wisdom about this situation. They began to pray and seek Him. While they were praying, CCCS made an announcement asking parents to consider enrolling their children in our school and if finances were the only thing preventing them from bringing their kids, we would work with them. CCCS helped this family with financial aid and the tuition was reduced to an amount they could now afford.

This family learned a valuable lesson that many Christians never do. They chose to not rely on their human understanding and strive to make some things happen in their own ability. Instead they went to the Lord in prayer, surrendered to Him what seemed to be an impossible situation and put their trust in a God that’s bigger than anything we are confronted with in our lives!

Today their children are attending our school all because their parents made the decision to trust a BIG GOD!

Pastor Jeff