HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

By Faith

Hebrews11:1-6 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken, he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Our faith is the foundation of all that we believe.

Hebrews chapter 11 is often described as “God’s hall of faith”.

These are people that we can look to as an example of what it is to serve God, love God and to make a difference in this world for God.

Faith is at the heart of all that a true Christian is. Christians LIVE -By Faith.  Every aspect of our life is lived – By Faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7 - For we walk by faith, not by sight.

True Christians live by faith and not by what they see. They trust God and His Word. Faith is not wishing, it is not positive thinking, it is not manipulating things and circumstances. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Our faith has substance to it. And it is the substance of faith that gives substance to our lives.

This year our theme is – By Faith. We will be learning to live our lives by faith. To walk BY FAITH and not by Sight.

Today many Christians are living by what they know and see. This year is a call to Biblical living. Faithful living and faith-filled living.

What many consider faith is something that has been humanized. Today much of what is taught about faith is corrupted faith. It is rooted in personal gain or to meet self needs and desires. The faith that is taught is urging believers to ask God to bless them, prosper them and to give them their dreams and desires.

True faith that walks in obedience to God’s Word already understands that they are blessed and walk in favor with God because it stems from a relationship with God.

True faith is born out of intimacy with God.

If the faith we have doesn’t come out of intimacy with God, it really isn’t faith in His sight. True faith comes out of the SUBSTANCE of our intimacy and relationship with God.

It is out of this intimacy that the blessings of faith come.

Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

People want to know the secret of having great faith. – There are no shortcuts, no secret formulas. God is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek HIM. People of great faith are people of prayer. Those who spend time in the presence of God.

The presence of God is not a mystical cloud that appears – to be in the presence of God means that we are PRESENT where HE is.

Presence is not a feeling, it is not an anointing, it is PROXIMITY.

James 4:8a - Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

You only truly get to know someone the closer you get to them. First in physical nearness then in emotional and spiritual nearness.

The reason people of faith are able to walk by faith and see the results of faith are because they stay close to God. –

A life that is lived by faith is a life that is lived near and close to God.  Daniel 11:32b - but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.

It is impossible to have faith that pleases God without sharing intimacy with Him.

True faith comes as we desire to know and please the Lord above everything else in our lives.

A life lived by faith is not a life that is lived alone it is lived in relationship with God. It is a bond of faith, a communion that is like a marriage.

 A life lived by faith is a life lived together with God. All of it.

Each year we start out on a fresh journey. I am excited about what God is going to do in our lives individually and through us as a church as we truly learn to live – By Faith.

May you and your family be blessed in this New Year. Remember it is a New Year but the Same God! You are Loved-

Pastor Marvin & Dawn

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Happy December and Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:25-29 (NLT) - At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So, when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.

One of the most untold stories of Christmas is what happened forty days after the birth of Jesus. This was when Joseph and Mary went to the Temple with Jesus for the ceremony of purification and dedication and had an encounter with Simeon.

The Christmas story is about real people living real life who are serving a very real God.  The stories we read in the Bible are perfect for life today because these people were living everyday life just as we are.

temple when he did.

I don’t want you to miss this. – Simeon was able to walk into a very precious moment with God, simply because he lived each day led by the Spirit of God. –

Don’t miss this. – It is when we walk everyday with the Spirit of God that we are led into extraordinary moments with God.

I want you to notice I said walk not stumble. Those who walk with God don’t stumble into things accidentally they are led there intentionally by the Spirit.

One of the Great Lessons we learn from this story is that being Led by the Holy Spirit isn’t really all that difficult.

Notice that everyone in this story was where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there.

Mary and Joseph- They came to Jerusalem 40 days after the birth of Jesus to dedicate him.

Luke 2:21-24 -And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Simeon

Luke 2:27 - So he came by the Spirit into the temple.

Simeon was led at just the perfect moment by the Spirit of God into the Temple.

All of them were just doing what they should be doing.

Being in the will of God is not a matter of luck it is a matter of obedience.

Everyone was doing what God called them to be doing at that point in their lives. This obedience brought everyone together in the same place at the same time.

We get so afraid sometimes about missing the promises of God. Listen the Holy Spirit will lead you right into it.

When you don’t know what you should be doing just do what you should be doing.

I love the saying “If you aren’t doing what you should be doing then you are going to get the very things you don’t want”. 

Encounters with the Holy Spirt are commonplace when you learn how to listen and are led by the Spirit of God.

Those who are filled with the Spirit of God are being led even when they don’t realize THAT they are being led.

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Someone needs to get this – If we are not leaning on our own understanding then that means that we are going to be led in ways that we don’t make sense to us.  What we are doing is taking each step, in faith knowing that God knows what He is doing.

When you are Spirit led you will never suffer from FOMO.

FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.

I want you to hear me - if you will be filled with the Spirit, you will be led by the Spirit. If you are led by the Spirit, you will not miss God and you will not miss out on His promises.

Over the years I have met people that are afraid that somehow, they will miss out on what God has for them.

Hear me – If you are living for God – you will not.

Being filled with the Spirit is not just about walking in His power but it is also about walking in His timing. He will lead you where you need to be at the very moment you need to be there.

To many times we over think things. Our obedience and God’s timing will always intersect when it should. This is the essence of being Spirit Led.

Simeon allowed the Holy Spirit to work in His life and because he did God allowed him to be a part of something truly amazing.

Simeon reminds us that we can wait with expectancy when God gives us a promise.

Scripture says that Simeon was eagerly waiting for the consolation of Israel.

It does not say that he was impatiently waiting but that as he went about his days, he did it with hope and expectancy, looking to see when God would keep his promise.

He wasn’t anxious about God’s promise, his impatience didn’t leave him weighed down a heaviness.

Expectancy – The act or action of living with the knowledge that something will happen. Hope that is certain and steadfast. The feeling that something exciting and positive is going to happen. Anticipation that comes with a promise. It is knowing that God is good and will always keep His Word and promises. An eagerness to see God proved true.

God had promised Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah or the consolation of Israel. God’s peace and comfort for the Nation of Israel and for all mankind.

Christmas reminds us that God is a promise keeper.

Christmas reminds us that if God will fulfill the promise of that first Christmas that He will fulfil every promise that He has given us in His Word.

2 Corinthians 1:20 - For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

The fact that Jesus came the first time gives us the hope that He is coming the second time.

The story of Simeon reminds us that God gave a promise of Salvation to all people, and He fulfilled that promise.

My Prayer this month is that you will have a renewed expectancy in the promises of God.

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Pastor Marvin & Dawn

Image by svklimkin from Pixabay

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

2 Timothy 3:1 - But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:

(AMP) But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear].

(NIV) But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.

While God promises us peace and safety; the Bible also warns us that in the last days dangerous, difficult, and even terrible times will come.

While there are many people that condemned the Apostle Paul from warning the early Christians that they were going to have hard and even dangerous times, he never shied away from preaching the truth.

Today the world is much the same way; people want to be told how beautiful and perfect everything will be. Instead of preparing believers for the difficult times that are ahead we are teaching them to live their best life.  We have surrounded ourselves with peddlers of a painless Christianity instead of prophets and pastors who will warn of the consequences of sin and the difficulties in society and the world that will precede the coming of the Lord.

In many parts of Christianity, we are raising up soft believers who know nothing of living by faith and trusting God.

Understand - because of the sin that is in the world we are reaping a harvest of violence, selfishness, corruption, and wickedness. We have seen this before in the world. Remember there is nothing new under the sun. 

The wickedness of Noah’s day and in the days of lot are very similar to our time. The danger and persecution that the early Christians faced under the Romans is very similar to what many believers are facing in China, Iran, North Korea, and India now.

The Bible warns us that in the last days Dangerous, terrible times will come.

The danger zone is a place that separates the men from the boys and the women of God from the little girls.

There are some different ways that people respond to the danger zone.

In the movie Top Gun, they talked about the danger zone, but they talk about the rush of combat the almost passing out from the G-forces at work as they fly in combat. There are those that love the adrenaline rush of all of it. They live for that moment, it’s all that they can think about. These types of people are adrenalin junkies that are a danger to themselves and to others in the times of danger because they are all about the thrill. As a matter of fact, they are destructive in their personal lives because they are bored without the speed, pace, danger and need for quick and immediate decisions.

Then there are those that thrive in the danger zone.

These are those who in the dangerous times are mature. They are able to deal with the rush, the emotions, the fear, and the thrill so that they are able to make good decisions that help others and preserve themselves. In the middle of the danger, they are able to discern God’s will and fight the enemy and win.

Hebrews 5:13-14 - For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

While it is true that difficult and terrible times are coming, I believe that God is raising up people who are skillful, equipped, and ready for those times.

To be ready for those times we must be fueled up by feeding our spirit.

2 Timothy 3:14-15 - But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

In times of trouble, we must keep the main thing. The main thing.

Our source of strength never changes. It is from the well of the Word of God that we will continue to derive our strength in difficult times. 

Paul said to Timothy you have learned and studied the scriptures since Childhood. Your daily devotions, what you have been doing for years you must continue to do.

If we can’t do regular life on empty, we certainly can’t do difficult times on empty.

Listen in order to thrive in the danger zone we need to be filled.

Psalm 119:92 - Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.

When pilots are in the danger zone, they can get all messed up. They can start to believe that up is down and down is up. – This is when they must depend on their gages and understand certain laws that are pressing on their life and working either against them or for them.

This is why continually being in His Word is vital it helps us to know what’s going on and what to do next and what to do about it.

Those who thrive in the danger zone are skilled in the Word.

It seems like life right now is making massive withdrawals. It is asking more of us then we really have to give.

You and I were never designed to run on empty.

My Friend, I know you are looking at the world and can see it is a dangerous place. I want to remind you that the Bible says that in this world you will have trouble but TAKE heart I HAVE overcome the world.  THERE is HOPE!

I am looking forward to sharing this important message with you.

Be encouraged and expectant. Remember, be thankful this November for all of the blessings and promises we have in the Lord.

May you and your Family have a very Happy Thanksgiving month.

Pastor Marvin & Dawn

Image by Pfüderi from Pixabay

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Proverbs 10:12 - Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

~ Martin Luther King JR. – Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

1 John 3:15 - Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

1 John 4:19-20 - We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

For many people what is shocking, and disheartening is the rudeness, lack of courtesy, violence, general disinterests in kindness and basic morality and a lack of civility in our conversations.

It should not come as a surprise that a nation that has killed over 63 million babies through abortion since 1973 is now seeing people walk into schools and shopping malls and murdering our children. Many of these shootings are done by other children and teenagers or those in their early 20’s.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT) - You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 

They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

What a list!

This describes people today.  What sticks out to me the most is that people are self-absorbed, prideful, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God and they consider NOTHING sacred or holy.

The last days will be marked by people who love things, ideas, and certain ideologies but they do not really care for people, especially those who are different than them or who do not agree with them.

We see this in the world among people who do not know Jesus.

Unfortunately, we are seeing this even among the people of God.

As Christians we are going to have to deal with hate and understand what the Bible says about hate.

The Bible tells us that hate stirs up all kinds of trouble and problems.  – We see this all around us.

It also tells us that you can’t claim to love God and hate other people. You can dislike people and what they do but we are not to hate them.

Hate is not a new thing that we are dealing with.

Jesus spoke about love to a religious world that valued rules more than it valued relationships.

When Jesus confronted the religious people of His day about their hypocrisy, they hated Him for it and tried to kill Him. They eventually had Him crucified.

Today we are told that we are to hate sin and to love the sinner, yet very few of us get this correct.  Much of the time we wind up hating the person instead of helping a person deal with their sin in love.

Hate is what happens when there is a vacuum of love.

What starts out as righteous indignation turns into judgment that causes us to be the jury and the executioner.

Hate feeds off itself. – It will eat you alive.  It will begin to consume every thought, action and words.

Someone who was once positive, loving understanding and compassionate about the lost is now angry, suspicious of everyone and everything and poisons even good relationships and conversations.

Hate is nothing new. Cain grew Jealous of Able and hated him. This led to the first murder.

The Bible says that whoever hates a brother, or a sister is a murderer. 

That is a powerful statement. Hate at its highest point will lead to physical murder. But hate truly believes that the world would be a better place without certain kinds of people in it.

Now understand the Bible does recommend the death penalty for crimes like rape, incest, and murder. – This is not what we are talking about. That is a cry for justice.

Hate – To despise, intense dislike, to detest, loathe, abhor, to shrink back in horror. To find nothing good in. It is placing no value at all in someone or something.

I find it necessary to remind people that the opposite of love is not hate it is selfishness.

The opposite of hate is worship. –

To worship - is to adore, cherish, be drawn to, to honor and reverence. It is devotion, commitment and loyalty. It is to put someone in the highest place in our life.

The reality is that we live in a world where we must coexist with evil.

People believe and do unspeakably evil and wicked things.

We will be called to speak the truth.

We are called to compassionately help those impacted by this evil.

We are to be light in the darkness.

When we are confronted with hatred, we must continue to do good and to speak the truth in love.

Romans 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

We are to overflow with Good words, good fruit and good deeds.

Many Christians are being overcome with the same spirit that is in the world.

We must remember that – GREATER is HE that is in us than he that is in the world.

As Christians we are overcomers. We are not to be overcome and overwhelmed with hate. We are called to overwhelm hate with Good.

By responding and living like Christ we don’t add to the problems, we disarm principalities and powers. This includes Satan’s weapon of hate. To win the world to Jesus we can’t fight battles the same way they do with the same weapons and think we will win.

Our weapons to defeat hatred are not carnal fleshly, feel-good things, they are mighty for pulling down the strongholds in people and in society.

Hear me – Hatred is a stronghold. – Make no mistake about it. But it is only a stronghold where it is permitted.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 - For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

I love this… We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Teaching happens through our words AND our example.

You can’t do that if you try to fight hate with hate.  - You do that with truth, love and compassion and an unyielding commitment to holiness both – personal holiness and holiness in thought and belief.

We must respond to hate by making sure we do not give more attention to the hate than we do the harvest.

Ultimately it is God’s job to take care of the evil in the world.

Matthew 13:24-30 - Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 

29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

In the process of trying to tear up what is bad many well-meaning Christians have uprooted and hurt many good people. That looked like weeds but were actually full of Good fruit.

Sometimes wheat and weeds look a lot alike in the early and developing stages.

I want to remind you that the majority of our time is not to be spent dealing with the weeds but to be nourishing the seeds and cultivating a harvest of good things.

The enemy is all about destruction and he wants to get us in on the process. God is all about life.

I love the response – let them grow and we will sort it all out at the end.

This is great wisdom. Dealing with Hate.

Know that You are dearly loved,
Pastor Marvin & Dawn

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

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