HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Mark 9:20-23 - They brought the boy to Him. When the [demonic] spirit saw Him, immediately it threw the boy into a convulsion, and falling to the ground he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth.  Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he answered, “Since childhood.  The demon has often thrown him both into fire and into water, intending to kill him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”  Jesus said to him, “[You say to Me,] ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes and trusts [in Me]!”

All things are possible to him who believes.”

That is faith.

~ Faith is not about how much you believe. Faith is about believing that the one you believe in is…believable.

1Thessalonians 5:24 - He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

Every family, every home, every church has an atmosphere about it.

The Atmosphere is a culture of beliefs, values, attitudes, behaviors, and principles. They can be spoken or unspoken but everyone can feel them and most people over time understand them.

An atmosphere of faith is something that you develop and live by intentionally.

Strategic faith is an atmosphere of trusting in God for everything.

It is a position of expectancy that the believes God will do awesome and mighty things. That He is a God who loves us and answers our prayers.

Strategic Faith expects God to do what He said He would do. It expects to see God move in power and to do supernatural things as the ordinary course of life.

Strategic faith is hope and confidence in God.

Strategic faith responds to life and approaches life with optimism because it believes that God is working all things out for our Good.

~ Helen Keller (A Christians who was both deaf and blind) – Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Someone said that faith is like electricity. You can’t see it but you can definitely feel it and you know the light and power that it is able to produce.

~ C.S. Lewis – Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods.

Strategic faith is an atmosphere that desires to please God above all else to such an extent that it results is a lifestyle of radical obedience.

Strategic faith means that you have made trusting God an intentional, deliberate and necessary first part of your life.

Strategic is a choice and a plan.

Our faith is only as great as the God that we believe in.

This means that we intentionally live in such a way that we know God is great and we believe that God is Good.

How big is your God?

~ A little boy was asked, “How many gods are there in the world? “One God,” he replied. “How do you know that?” said the skeptic. “Because there is only room for One. Since heaven and earth can’t contain Him, how can anyone else fit?”

You can trust a big God!

Choosing the strategy of trusting a God who is over all and the creator of all and who is the most powerful of all creates an atmosphere of victorious living.

I love the saying that we are living From a position of victory, not for a victory!

God has already won! WE are already victorious! – Because of this fear doesn’t stand a chance!

Because of this we don’t view ourselves as underdogs or victims – We know that we are Overcomers and MORE than Conquers in Christ Jesus.

People and churches that knows this live a life that believes the Word of God.

They Know…

I can do all things through Christ!

If God is for us, who can be against us!

Nothing, Absolutely nothing – is impossible with God! – With God all things are Possible!

An atmosphere of faith has moved past questioning those things and intentionally moved into the realm of living those truths.

The early church had this type of atmosphere.

When they gathered to pray the Holy Spirit showed up in power. They expected and saw that people were saved. Miracles happened – they were not out of the ordinary occurrences they were everyday experiences.

Restoration happened in people’s lives. – Forgiveness abounded and God restored people’s health and peace. There were many that went jumping and leaping and praising God. Even enemies of the church had dramatic encounters with God that transformed them. – The Apostle Paul is just one story.

There was an abundant supply. – There was such unity among the people of God that when there were needs everyone contributed so that those needs were met. These things don’t just happen they are a strategic choice to let God be God!

We are in our year of Koinonia. When we have FELLOWSHSHIP with the Holy Spirit an atmosphere of faith is inevitable.

When we choose to trust God for everything, we know that anything and all things are possible. There will be times God says – “NO”. There will be times that He tells us to wait. There will be times that He changes our plans. While those things shake people. It will not rattle those who have strategically chosen faith as their default position in life. A life that desires to completely live a life that is pleasing to God and a life the radically trusts Him in everything.

This month we are looking at living life strategically. Intentionally. May the Lord bless you and your family.

Know that you are deeply loved. -
Pastor Marvin and Dawn

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HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

John 19:28-30 - After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”  Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.  So, when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

It is important that we remember that without the crucifixion there is no Resurrection.

Because He lives, we can now live in relationship to God and free from the curse of sin and death. – He is the resurrection and the life.

What took place on the cross was bloody, violent, and repulsive.

If we had been there to watch it, we would not have only been uncomfortable, it would have left us traumatized for life. It was something that most people couldn’t even watch let alone do to another human being.

The prophet Isaiah described what the crucifixion would look like.

Isaiah 53:3-5 - He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  Surely, He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

(NLT) - He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.  He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrowsthat weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole.  He was whipped so we could be healed.

You cannot read or hear these words as a child of God and not be moved.

While we know that the crucifixion had to happen, we love the Resurrection because the ordeal is over.

While we all love Christmas, we love the Resurrection even more. At Christmas the work still laid ahead. At the Resurrection we are reminded that the work had been done.

The truth is that resurrection helps us understand an important truth – that the end of something is better than the beginning.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 - The end of a thing is better than its beginning; (NLT) - Finishing is better than starting.

It is exciting to start a project, it is much better to know that it has been seen through to completion.  (A house, building it – remodeling)

The Resurrection reminds us that Jesus finished what He started.

When Jesus was hanging on the Cross Just before He died, He said three of the most important words ever declared in History – “It is finished”.

Those words “it is finished” is a translation of the Greek word tetelestai, a word that means to end, to bring to completion, to bring to a conclusion, to complete, to accomplish, to fulfill, or to finish.

When it comes to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross that word tetelestai holds a wealth of meaning. This word is a word full of nuance that actually speaks to many things that Jesus finished on the cross.

The word tetelestai for one of its meanings is a business term.

It is used to signify the full payment of a debt. – Nothing sounds as good as hearing the words – “Paid in Full”. It is good to purchase a car but there is nothing like knowing all the payments are finished.

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When a debt had been fully paid off, the parchment on which the debt was recorded was stamped with tetelestai, which meant the debt had been paid in full.

This means that once a person calls Jesus the Lord of his or her life and personally accepts His sacrifice, no debt of sin exists for that person any longer.

The debt is wiped out because Jesus paid the price for sin that no sinner could ever pay.

Jesus took our place. He paid the debt we owed for our sin. And when we, by faith, repent and receive Him as Lord, we are set free!

Romans 6:10 (AMP) - For the death that He died, He died to sin [ending its power and paying the sinner’s debt] once and for all; and the life that He lives, He lives to [glorify] God [in unbroken fellowship with Him].

1 Peter 1:18-19 (NLT) - For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

When Jesus uttered those words “It is finished!” it was His declaration that the debt was fully satisfied, fulfilled, and complete. His blood utterly and completely cleansed us forever.

Glory to God!

We used to sing a song. – He paid a debt He did not owe; I owed a debt I could not pay, I needed someone to wash my sins away.

And now I sing a brand-new song amazing Grace. Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.

The cry “it is finished” was also a military term. A battle cry of victory!

While Jesus was making a statement of obedience to the Father it was also a declaration of victory!

A true champion doesn’t shout in the face of their enemy. They lower their voice and they make a statement that makes their enemies blood run cold.

There is no greater champion than Jesus.

1 John 3:8 - He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

When Jesus said “It is Finished” He was saying that He had defeated death Hell and the grave.

Jesus hadn’t resurrected yet but He was declaring His intentions.

He was saying to the devil you didn’t win.

Someone needs to hear this, Jesus isn’t going to defeat the devil, the devil is already defeated.

We aren’t going TO a place of victory; We are already IN a place of victory.

In the name of Jesus, WE HAVE THE VICTORY. 

Lastly the word Tetelestai is used to depict a turning point.

It is finished means that one season is over and a new season is beginning.

It declares that we are now in a different time, a different epoch.

When Jesus exclaimed, “It is finished,” it was a turning point in the entire history of mankind, for at that moment, the Old Testament (Covenant) came to an end — it was finished and closed — and the New Testament (Covenant) began.

The Cross was “the Great Divide” in human history. When Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” He was shouting that the Old Covenant had ended and the New Covenant had begun!

Remember HIS-Story is divided into BC and AD. Before Christ and After death.

Just like Jesus literal life, OUR lives are divided into two parts.

Before Christ and after we accept Christ and die to ourselves.

The Old has gone, the New has come. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus.  This is amazing!

We are in an entirely new season of life.

Three powerful and life transforming words… “It is Finished”.

May the Lord bless you and your family this Resurrection Season.

Remember that you are dearly Loved,
Pastor Marvin & Dawn

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HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Philippians 3:10 – that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

(AMP) - And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did];

This year our focus is on Koinonia. The Fellowship that we have with each other and the Fellowship that we have with the Holy Spirit.

One of the ways that we grow in the Holy Spirit and in our relationship with God is to Fellowship with His Sufferings.

We don’t like to talk much about suffering in the church.

For many it is an uncomfortable thing although all of us experience.

Suffering for Christ and with Christ is talked about often in the Word of God.

~ Dallas Holm – One of today’s great worship leaders and song writers said –

Here in America (and elsewhere) we have so-called ministers and ministries that unashamedly proclaim that Christians should never suffer…anytime, anywhere! Their theology (or lack thereof) is illustrative of their complete ignorance of sound biblical teaching, and their insensitivity to suffering saints. I believe it also evidences a kind of elitist spiritual arrogance that is truly breathtaking! Scripture simply calls them “false teachers.”

 Fellowship and suffering? Sounds like oil and water…incompatible…opposites, unable to be together in any meaningful way.

Yet, Paul in a profound (Holy Spirit inspirited) way is able to wrap words around this sacred place of intimacy and aloneness, love and fear, peace and conflict, healing and pain…fellowship and suffering. When we walk with Jesus, We will suffer through life’s trials, but in the process of our pain we have the opportunity to fellowship with our friend, Jesus.

His sufferings become our sufferings and our sufferings become His.

- Fellowship is the union of friends sharing similar interests or problems. To suffer is to feel pain or distress.

Precious fellowship with our Savior is where we learn of Him, grow in Him and become like Him.

Webster’s definition of fellowship: companionship, a mutual association on friendly terms, a partnership or joint interest, as a fellowship of pain.

Someone said that - Our partnership of pain with Christ is an equally yoked venture with the owner of all you have—He is for you. In pain the Spirit takes you to intimate places you have never been, so you can take others to intimate places they have never been.

Suffering comes in all sizes and shapes, for many different reasons and in many different seasons.

~ Charles Spurgeon - God’s people have their trials. It was never designed by God, when he chose his people, that they should be an untried people. They were chosen in the furnace of affliction; they were never chosen to worldly peace and earthly joy. Freedom from sickness and the pains of mortality was never promised them; but when their Lord drew up the charter of privileges, he included chastisements amongst the things to which they should inevitably be heirs. Trials are a part of our lot; they were predestinated for us in Christ’s last legacy. So surely as the stars are fashioned by his hands, and their orbits fixed by him, so surely are our trials allotted to us: He has ordained their season and their place, their intensity, and the effect they shall have upon us. Good men must never expect to escape troubles; if they do, they will be disappointed, for none of their predecessors have been without them. Mark the patience of Job; remember Abraham, for he had his trials, and by his faith under them, he became the “Father of the faithful.” Note well the biographies of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and you shall discover none of those whom God made vessels of mercy, who were not made to pass through the fire of affliction. It is ordained of old that the cross of trouble should be engraved on every vessel of mercy, as the royal mark whereby the King’s vessels of honor are distinguished. But although tribulation is thus the path of God’s children, they have the comfort of knowing that their Master has traversed it before them; they have his presence and sympathy to cheer them, his grace to support them, and his example to teach them how to endure; and when they reach “the kingdom,” it will more than make amends for the “much tribulation” through which they passed to enter it. – (Morning and Evening-March 8, Charles Spurgeon)

Soon after Paul's conversion, Ananias delivered a word from the Lord to him.

Acts 9:16 - For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

It was to be more than the personal distress of shame, rejection, persecution, and hardships. He would suffer through shipwreck, stonings, beatings, and afflictions of body and soul. He would joyfully suffer the loss of all things. In triumph over all these personal sufferings he would proclaim,

Romans 8:18 - For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

There is a glory that God wants to reveal in all of us. There are some things that we only learn, gain, and grow in only through suffering.

It is through suffering that we really learn to know Christ.

God helps us prepare for suffering by teaching us and showing us that through suffering we are meant to go deeper in our relationship with Christ.

You get to know him better when you share his pain. The people who write most deeply and sweetly about the preciousness of Christ are people who have suffered with him deeply.

It is amazing how quickly our suffering draws us to a greater intimacy with Jesus.

Think about the times you have shared with your spouse through times of suffering. This is when you really got to know one another. To understand one another.

It is a time where you drew from each other more deeply than you thought possible.

It is when you learned to be tender to each other in ways that deeply affect you.

Suffering was part of the calling of Jesus. – He came to be a living sacrifice. The same is true of us.

Philippians 3:10a - that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,

Suffering is God’s way of drawing us close to Himself.

Our pain and our struggles help us to know Jesus in all His ways.

Isaiah 53:3 - He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

You really don’t know Jesus until you are familiar with the man that knew sorrow and was acquainted with grief.  – Jesus was familiar with pain. In all of its forms.

Job was a man of great faith who served God. God had a lot of very good things to say about Job. It was in all of the trials that Job faced that He really got to know God. It was through the painful times that job entered into a greater intimacy and understanding of God.

Job 42:5 - “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.

When you realize that God really sees you is the moment that you really begin to see God for who He is.

Stephen was faithful in His stand for the faith and it was in the middle of his suffering that all of heaven began to open.

Acts 7:55 - But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,

1 Peter 4:14 - If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part, He is glorified.

God reserves a special coming and resting of His Spirit and His glory on His children who suffer for his name.

One of the purposes for suffering is that our relationship with God might become less formal and less artificial and less distant and become more personal and more real and more intimate and close and deep.

Suffering is personal, intimate, painful and powerful. The effect that it has on our lives for His glory and for our benefit is almost impossible to quantify.

In our year of Koinonia I am confident that we are going to grow deeper in our relationship and understanding of the Holy Spirit. Get ready…. It will be worth it all.

Remember that you are loved,
Pastor Marvin & Dawn

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HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Luke 2:8-14 – Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Merry Christmas to you and your family. During this festive and busy time of the year. I pray that you will know the goodness and the presence of God in your life in a very precious and unique way.  I am excited to share this message with you.

Dona Nobis Pacem – is Latin for – Give us peace or grant us peace.

This is part of the Latin mass from the text of Agnus Dei. Agnus Dei – means Lamb of God.

I was introduced to this beautiful short song when watching the show MASH. It is a favorite of our family to watch at Christmas time.  In the middle of a war, in the middle of the battles and trials of life is the reminder that God came to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

Ralph Vaughan Williams composed the Dona Nobis Pacem three years before the outbreak of World War Two. In that moment the world needed that prayer – “Give us peace.”

Our world and people individually need to know the hope of Peace that is offered to us by God. Peace is the opposite of fear, it is also the opposite of war.  The angel’s message to the shepherds was – “Do not be afraid”. Peace calms the soul and settles the chaos and confusion that rages within us.

Christmas time reminds us in a very special way that one of the most precious gifts that Jesus gives us is the gift of peace.

John 14:27 - Peace, I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

(NLT) “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

We live in a world that is troubled and afraid on many fronts.

God invites us into his peace. His peace is unlike the world’s way of peace. The world is temporary, situational, and dependent on many variables.  The gift that Jesus gives us is the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He will never leave us or forsake us.

We need Christmas peace. When Jesus entered the world, it was a time of incredible turmoil; life was hard for most people alive at the time. The world was in desperate need of a Savior and at just the right time is history, (HIS-story), Christ was born.  WE NEEDED CHRISTMAS. On that first Christmas. HIS -Story was about to become OUR story.

In the Bible there is a word for peace that is used over four hundred times.   In the Hebrew it is the word Shalom, in English it is peace.  Shalom is a word that speaks of more than the absence of strife, it speaks of quiet and wholeness to every part of who we are, spirit, soul, and body.  Peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility.

Biblical scholars tell us that shalom signifies a number of things, including salvation, wholeness, integrity, soundness, community, connectedness (to others and to God's creation), righteousness, justice, and well-being (physical, psychological, spiritual).

When prophesying about the coming Savior Isaiah puts peace at the core of His purpose.  Isaiah 9:6- For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

When I was preparing my heart for this message, I kept hearing the Lord speak to me the words – Prince of Peace. The Peace That Christ Brings is something far deeper and far different than what many experience.

Christmas peace is far deeper than one silent night bathed in the glow of a fire and Christmas lights. Moments of tranquility will never sustain us for a lifetime.

Someone said in a devotional- “IF our expectations for Christmas are gifts and time with family, we have set our expectations too low.”

No Christmas carol can fix a broken heart. No amount of decorations can beautify the results of an ugly relationship and no amount of presents can replace what has been lost.

All of those things are enjoyable and have their place.

We are thankful for them. Christmas is so much deeper. It is the celebration of the coming of Christ and His redemption of mankind.

Many people look at the world today and wonder where is this promised peace?   Jesus made it clear that He would bring peace on earth but before He ushers in worldwide global peace, He had a higher agenda.   The day is coming to this world when there will be no more wars and no more sin and death, when the lion will lay down with the lamb.

The peace of Jesus transcends our situations. It surpasses our bank accounts, our sickness or the fulfillment or lack of fulfillment of our plans and dreams. 

He promises a peace that passes understanding. In the middle of circumstances that should unnerve us, our faith and trust in God releases a peace that our emotions and senses can’t understand.  We are not victims but victors. We are not helpless but have the help and hope of God Himself.

Our God is Jehovah Shalom – God our peace.

Philippians 4:6 -7 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Anxiety and anxiousness are just other words for fear.

It is worry that has moved past concern and into the realm of believing that our problem or problems are bigger than God, or that God is not really interested in them.

Worry is not just us having a problem, it is us having a problem that is bigger than us and thinking that it is up to us to solve it.

Christmas is all about us having a problem that is bigger than we are and that we had no hope of fixing on our own.  We could not fix our sin problem or the results of our sin. Physical and spiritual death. God took care of all of that. The answer to our worries and fears is the same answer for our sins.  We need to take them to God.

Someone needs to hear this today – God is not worried about anything.

When we give our fears and anxieties to Him, He gives us His peace. His peace becomes our peace. We exchange our fear, for His calm, His hope and His answers. The Bible promises us a peace that passes understanding.

Many people have a temporary peace on Christmas day. They allow the holiday to allow them to forget for a day. Yet there is a lingering thought that everything will still be there tomorrow.

God’s peace surpasses understanding. It overrides our thinking and reasoning and gives us a sense that all is well even when the problems are still there.

God promises a peace that will guard our heart and mind. – It will protect our thinking and how we think about things. It will guard our inner man and all that matters to us. He is the God of our peace and our Prince of Peace. The peace of God doesn’t just sustain us it propels us forward in His plan for our lives.

Christmas is all about the gift of His son.  Jesus is the master gift giver. He is the gift that keeps on giving.

He is full of surprises.

Matthew 7:11- If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

This Christmas may you be blessed with the wonderful gift of God’s peace.  God is full of surprises. Don’t let them startle you.  May they thrill your heart and calm your spirit and inspire you with faith.

I would like to leave you with a Christmas blessing found in the book of Romans.

Romans 15:13- Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Dona Nobis Pacem – Give us Peace.

Merry Christmas!
Pastor Marvin and Dawn

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HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

2 Timothy 3:13 - But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

The Bible tells us that Satan is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:44–45 (AMP) - You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me [and continue in your unbelief].

Satan is the exact opposite of Jesus.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Right now, we all have a sense that we are being lied to about everything.

It is hard to trust almost anything that anyone says.

You and I are being lied to on a regular basis. In fact, our entire culture is riddled with deception.

We have governmental agencies like the (Food and Drug Administration) to oversee the ridiculous claims made by advertisers and retailers.

We have social media claiming to “monitor the truth” in our news so that we are not lied to as they manipulate what they want us to see and hear.

Our Government opened and closed what it called an office of truth that was so close to the Nazi’s ministry of truth that it could not hold up to the back lash it was so obviously wrong.

The Bible tells us that in the last days people lying and deceiving will grow worse and worse. That people will be deceiving others and being deceived themselves.

We are in those times.

The Bible tells us that in the last days even the very elect or God’s Chosen ones will be deceived if it is possible.

Matthew 24:24 - For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

That is a powerful statement. If possible. – The truth is that those who are walking in the Holy Spirit will have discernment. Most of God’s elect won’t be fooled. They will be lied to but will be able to see through the lies.

But some who are not paying attention and some who just don’t really want to know will be deceived.

Satan uses every sort of duplicity to lead people away from Truth and into the tangled and confusing realm of Deception. Truth has been outrageously violated in every area of society.

Deception is when you are lied to and you believe it.

Some other words that describe it – Misinformation, disinformation exaggeration, subterfuge, sleight of hand, fake news, distraction, counterfeit, camouflage.

2 Corinthians 11:14 - And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

The word deception could be defined as communication or behavior that is meant to leave others with a false impression. 

Here are some ways that deception is being sown in our culture today:

• Disinformation: deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda.”

• Doublespeak: evasive, ambiguous language that is intended to deceive or confuse.

 • Duplicity: deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter; double-dealing.

• Fabrication: to make up a story or facts for the purpose of deception.

 • Falsehood: Contrary to fact or truth.

 • Fraud: deceit [or] trickery… perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.

 • Half-truth: a statement that fails to divulge the whole truth… or using a portion of truthful information to make a lie seem more trustworthy.

• Hypocrisy: a concealment of one’s real character or motives… a deceitful show of a good character, in morals or religion; a counterfeiting of religion.” Actor – To pretend to be something or someone that you are not.

 • Lie: a falsehood uttered for the purpose of deception; an intentional violation of truth.

 • Scam: a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.

 • Subterfuge: a cleverly disguised way or strategy used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something. Deceit used in order to achieve one's goal.

Deception has become a part of our culture.

2 Timothy 3:7 - always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Lying has become so common place that we almost expect it and are shocked when people are actually honest.

Lying has become ubiquitous in our culture. We expect that every time a politician opens their mouth that they are lying.

When news is dispensed, we are confident that it is no longer being reported accurately but with the slant and stats manipulated to make them say what they want us to hear so that we will believe what they think is best.

Law has become so nuanced that no one really understands what a lawyer is saying except other lawyers.
The disciples asked Jesus what would be the sign of His coming and the end of the world and the first thing He told them was deception.

Matthew 24:3-5 - Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives youFor many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Jesus gave many signs, but the first sign Jesus told them about contained a clear warning of a wide-scale deception that would emerge in the last part of the last days — and the need for people to prepare and guard against it. Jesus said, “…Take heed that no man deceives you.”

Take Heed – Pay attention, Live with your eyes wide open, have your Spirit in step with the Spirit of God. – Be decerning.

The word “deceive” is used to depict this period when it will look as if delusion is taking over the world.

It is the Greek word which means to lead astray or to wander off course. This word “deceive” could depict a single individual who has wandered far off course, or it could describe a whole nation or nations that have morally veered from the position once held to be true.

That describes today. – In many ways our world is delusional.

~ Someone said – “Human beings are willing to believe anything, as long as it caters to what they want.”

Satan understands this and has developed philosophies, religions and belief systems that sound so reasonable that they keep us from God because they tell us exactly what we want to hear.

2 Timothy 4:3 (AMP) - For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold,

We often think this just means religious teachers and pastors. This goes far beyond that. This includes actual educators (Children and Collegiate), entertainers and so-called experts.

~ Rick Renner – People in the last days will become supernaturally hoodwinked — that is, they will be ensnared by an unparalleled period of deception on every front. This period of deceitfulness will be so intense that people will believe what is false over what is obviously true, even denying facts and truths that are common sense and that nature itself teaches. It will mark a time when wrong belief and delusion will pervade every realm of society. This is the clear teaching of prophetic Scripture about developments that will occur at the conclusion of this age.

I believe that Christians should be the most discerning, wise and aware people in the world.

Why? Because we are people of the Word and people of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Wisdom and discernment.

If anyone can spot and know the difference between the truth and a lie it will be a Christian who walks in the Spirit and who lives by Faith.

This month we are going to unpack this in a big way.

Continue to walk and live in the Truth. You will be of those who know the difference and do not walk in description, Spiritual or otherwise.

Remember you are dearly Loved,
Pastor Marvin and Dawn

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Proverbs 25:11 - A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.

All of us like a pat on the back. An Atta – Boy

How many are thankful for those words that come at just the right time?

Encouragement is one of the gifts that God has given to believers to pass on to other people.

 How many have ever gotten an unexpected word of encouragement and been thoroughly blessed by it at just the right time?

 It’s wonderful.  You know what that feels like and understand the difference that it makes in your life and the difference that it can make in others’ lives. 

~ Mother Theresa said that - “being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat”.

Everybody needs encouragement.  It doesn’t matter the level of success you’ve had or haven’t had; it doesn’t matter how well off you are or how well off you’re not. 

The truth is everybody needs encouragement no matter how old you are or what you’ve accomplished.  Everyone gets tired sometimes, feels lonely and has disappointments.  Everybody at some point has failed and everyone has had a really blue day.  Sometimes you just wake up and you’re not feeling good at all.

~ Ken Blanchard, one of the great ministers of our time, said, “Encouragement feeds people’s souls”. 

Anytime you speak into someone’s life, something that blesses them or builds them up, it’s like feeding a hungry soul.  Encouragement is a real gift to the one who has that gift of giving encouragement - and to the one who is receiving it. 

The Bible says that encouragement is actually a ministry gift.  It’s a gift that God has given to certain people and is also a tool that God has put into the life of every believer so that they can impact people at any time and at any moment. 

Romans 12:8 (NLT) - If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

At any moment you and I can talk to someone or do something for somebody that builds them up.  You may think you’re not the most talented person in the world but you have a mouth and all it takes is a kind word or a bit of inspiration that can change someone’s entire day.

Depending on your version of Romans 12:8, it’s called the gift of encouragement or the gift of exhortation.  Literally, it’s speaking into someone’s life.  Some people are better at this gift than others but the truth is all of us can work at being an encourager. 

Those who are encouragers will make a name for themselves.

Acts 4:36 (NLT) - For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus.

 If you become an encourager, you will make a name for yourself that you won’t be able to shake.  You will be known as someone who pours into others’ lives. 

Barnabas was a priest; that’s what it means when it says he was a Levite.

 He came from the tribe of Levi and was a priest that ministered to the nation.  Mostly he did it with the sacraments and the sacrifices but there was something that stood out about this man. 

Not only did he serve God and do the priestly duties that he was assigned, but there was also something about the Spirit of God that was on his life when he came into contact with other people; they were better for having been around him. 

They called him the son of encouragement because whenever he was around people they were blessed.  I believe every Christian wants to be that way with others.

Those who encourage others have unleashed a power that can change someone’s life.

There’s a story of a teacher who was always speaking positively to this one boy who struggled tremendously in her class.

 He wasn’t the brightest in the class, didn’t have any learning disabilities but wasn’t one of those people who could make straight A’s and not study.  He was one of those people who had to work for even the ‘C’ that he got.  One day when he was handing in his work, the teacher said, “You know, you’re doing a great job.  What are you planning to do when you go to college?”  He looked at her and said, “I never really thought about going to college because I have to work so hard to do this, I’m just not smart enough and could never go to the next level”.  She looked at him and said, “Son, I want to tell you something, not only are you smart, but when you don’t understand things, you work hard to do it and I believe in you.  If you apply yourself, you’re going to go farther than you ever dreamed possible”.

 From that time on, that young man’s whole thought began to change.  His grades began to come up, he graduated and went on to college.  He wound up getting a good job and having a good family.  One day he said, “I credit that teacher for turning my life around because she encouraged me that I could and she challenged me to do my best.  Because she did, I believed I could and I did”. 

Every one of us need someone just like that teacher in our life.

There are people around you right now that no one will speak into their life; people who have been given up on, that no one wants to talk to.  But you and I can be life changers.

 Sometimes we think that being a Christian who makes the difference means that everywhere we go we have to see the miracles of God follow.

 Although his Word says that these signs will follow those who believe, sometimes the simplest thing we can do is just be an encouragement to those who are near us. 

That in itself can feel miraculous to the one being encouraged. Encouragement breaths life into a soul.

~ William Arthur Ward, one of the great poets said, - “Flatter me and I may not believe you; Criticize me and I may not like you; Ignore me and I may not forgive you; Encourage me and I will not forget you”.

As we come to the end of summer lets commit to being a “Barnabas” to others. Let’s all be encouragers.

Remember you are precious to God and to us.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn

Image by RachH from Pixabay

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Romans 1:22-25 - Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For some time now I have been hearing God call me to preach a strong prophetic message concerning our days.

The truth is it seems like the entire world has gone mad.  Today what was once evil is now good. What once was considered good is now considered evil, outdated, small minded and scoffed at.

People believe that male is female, and female is male and anything else that you want it to be.

Today it is clear that people have exchanged the truth of God’s Word for the lies offered by the devil.

Romans chapter one shows us what a society without God will look like.

Today we are watching the collapse of society all around us. While we stand here in awe and unbelief at what we see going on - it has all happened before. Once mighty empires that people thought would never collapse have. The Romans, the Incas, the Aztecs, the Persians, the Babylonians. All of these were once mighty places that believed the lies of the devil and they are no more. They are no longer with us.

America and many places in the world have allowed the lies of the devil to become their truth. It is causing confusion, crime, and the perversion of so many things that it is leaving the heads of even the unsaved spinning. It is obvious that the world is not in a good place.

There are some things that we need to understand about lies.

These lies are what the devil tells us about God – Like he did with Adam and Eve.

It could be lies that we believe about ourselves. Either how good we think we are, which is pride, or how bad that we think we are. We now live defeated, depressed, and dejected.

We must remember that Satan is the Father of lies and that lies are his native language.

John 8:43-45 (NLT) - Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! 44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me!

Satan thrives on deception by presenting misinformation to promote a hidden agenda. His plan has been to control people through misdirection, deception, and intimidation.

The problem with deceiving is that it …. Does in fact deceive.

The Bible warns us that in the last days people will not put up with truth and sound doctrine but will gather teachers and preachers around them that will tell them lies and what they want to hear. They will scratch any itch that they want to believe.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 - For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.

Deception is a huge problem because people who are deceived are absolutely sure that they are correct, that they are accurate and on the side of truth.

In reality they are not correct. They are living and assuming a false reality. This is why deception is so scary and so effective.

It begins by not staying committed to truly Biblical teaching and believing.

The Bible says that people are drawn away by their own desires and they will turn from the truth and embrace fables. Another word for fable is myth… a widely held but false belief or idea. What gives power to the lie is that there are many people who believe it or…. want to believe it… so they do.

The Bible tells us that many in our day will gravitate toward doctrine that is “Culturally” Acceptable. Even if it does not align with God’s Word. This is called selective hearing.

People with selective hearing drift from the truth and gravitate towards those who tell them what they want to hear. This in turn reinforces what they want to believe which governs the way that they live.   This leads to a life of true confusion. They actually believe that good is evil and that evil is good. That light is darkness, and that darkness is light; and that male and female are interchangeable or redefinable.

It is important to understand that deception leads to confusion and confusion leads to delusion which is believing that the truth is a lie and that the lie is the truth. In these days, the Bible speaks about God allowing people to fall into a strong delusion.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-11- The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 

11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,

I hear people ask today when they see the lies that people are believing – “Don’t these people know that they are delusional?”  No, they do not because they are deceived.

The Apostle Paul delt with that in his day.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 - But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

This is something that concerns me as a pastor in our day. People are embracing and putting up with another gospel.

The same deception that deceived Eve is deceiving people today. It has crept into the church and has been cleverly packaged to appeal to the desires of the flesh.

If we leave this problem unaddressed it will continue to weaken the church and allow Satan unfettered control of the world.

We cannot remain silent and we need to grasp the severity of this issue.

We need the discernment of God that will keep us from becoming confused and deceived.

Silence is not an option. We must declare the truth and declare it often so that it counteracts the lies and propaganda that are being told.

Silence communicates agreement and agreement grants permission. We enable deception when we refuse to confront lies.

The Bible says that in the last days because people will not retain God in their knowledge that He will give them over to a debased mind. Different versions say God gave them over to a debased mind, a reprobate mind or foolish thinking. If you're not familiar with the term reprobate, the literal definition in the Greek is failing to pass the test, unapproved, counterfeit.

People today aren’t crazy they are debased. They do not think straight, correctly or in truth. This is rampant in our society at all levels of education and financial spectrums.

The Good news is that we are not crazy either. We are walking in the light of God’s truth.

So, in light of this what are we to do?

Understand the times we are living in. Refuse to compromise ourselves and stay IN the TRUTH. We must refuse to be silent – we must preach and Declare the truth. We must call people individually and our communities and nation – corporately to repentance. If we are in sin We must turn from our wicked ways.

 – We must pray and stand in the gap for our nation.

There will be a lot more to unpack when I preach this message. Listen, God is still on the throne. We are still saved and He is coming back soon. In all the turmoil of the World one thing has remained constant. God is still the same – Yesterday, Today and Forever! -  You are dearly Loved.

Pastor Marvin and Dawn

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Matthew 6:25-34 - “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

I love the opening verse do not worry about your life. What part? Any of it.

Health, finances, relationships, jobs, family and children and grandchildren. God cares about it all.

All of us deal with worry at different times throughout our life.

Worry is part of the arsenal of our enemy. It is designed to steal from us. Harm us. Wear us out. It is used to cause us to deal with things in our mind when we may never ever have to deal with them at all.

Worry is designed to control our thoughts and emotions.  It is the dread that convinces us of things that aren’t real.  It is designed to come across as fact and is the evidence of a deep fear that things won’t turn out well, that there will not be enough, and that the worst will happen.

It causes us to internally live the worst possible outcomes when God is calling us to trust Him for the best that He has for us. It causes us to experience trauma that most of the time never materializes. How many people suffer from PTSD because they entertained vain imaginations that never became a reality?

Worry can be impossible to turn off on our own. It can affect hours and days of our lives. It is a disruptive force. It will affect our sleep, our attentions span, and our creativity.  Worry will affect our relationships. Putting us on edge, causing us to smother those that we love or preventing us from getting close to anyone.

It will rob you of your joy and your confidence. It will make you suspicious of people. Worry is at the root of many health problems.  It is a thief.

The goal of worry is o cause us to distrust God, His word, His goodness and His faithfulness.  One of the significant results of worry is a profound lack of peace.

Worry is just another word for fear.

Fear has many names, Worry and Anxiety are just two of them. I looked it up and Worry comes in so many flavors that it has 118 synonyms or other words that help to describe the way we express worry. Worry can range from simple concern to an overriding preoccupation that paralyzes your life.

We need to understand that worry is something that we learn to do. Because worry is something that we learn to do it is something that we can unlearn.

Worry is our response many times to life and the things that we can’t control when they don’t go our way.  Worry is something we learn to do from experience. Someone once said that “Worry is really our personal irritation with God” because he didn’t do something when we thought he should do it and the way he would do it.  This is why worry often leads to anger and frustration. Not just with people but with God.

Matthew 6:27 (AMP) - And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life?

Worry doesn’t add one hour to our day and can’t make us change our stature. As a matter of fact, What Jesus is saying is that worry doesn’t change what is. Worry is actually proven to make people look smaller and worry causes us to waste the precious time we have. Worry doesn’t lighten the load of life it actually increases the weight. This is why they call it being – “Weighted down with Worry”.

There are two quotes that I love about worry.

~ Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.

~ Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it gets you nowhere.

One of the things that this verse teaches us is that – Control is an illusion.

We don’t have control. To think that we do is to fool ourselves.

It takes a great deal of faith to live this life.  God is in control! This is our hope!

One of the great truths of the Bible is that God invites us to exchange our fear and worry for His peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Fear is the opposite of peace. The opposite of chaos is calm.

John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

Jesus is offering us HIS peace. This is a marvelous exchange.

He says – “Let not your heart be troubled.” This means that we allow either trouble or HIS peace into our life.

My prayer this month is that we will enter into a deeper understanding and reality of living in His Peace.  May God bless you and your family this summer.

Remember that you are loved.
Pastor Marvin and Dawn

Image by NoName_13 from Pixabay

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT) - “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The issue of forgiveness is at the forefront of all that the Bible teaches.

The entire reason that Jesus came was so that the forgiveness of sins is possible.

Forgiveness, according to the Bible, is understood as God's promise not to count our sins against us. Biblical forgiveness requires repentance on our part (turning away from our old life of sin) and faith in Jesus Christ.

Forgiveness is defined - as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. To release someone from a debt that they owe you. To lay down anger and hatred and refuse to hold the wrong and hurt that someone caused you against them.

It is a difficult thing many times to forgive those that have wronged us. The truth is that many people have been hurt deeply by others. Many have had abusive parents or an abusive spouse.

People have had unspeakable and unthinkable things done to them and yet Jesus still calls us to forgive.

Matthew 5:44 - But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

This past month there was a story circulated on the internet about a pastor who had a heart attack and went to hell. He was shocked at how horrible everything was. But most of all he was angry at God that He was there.

Here is what happened. - "I rose up out of hell and God spoke to me. He said, 'You were secretly angry with people who harmed you and you hoped I would punish them. These are not your people. They are My people. I just want you to focus on the task I have given you.' "A man who cannot forgive is a man who forgot that He was forgiven,"

Forgiveness does not come easily or naturally to any of us. It is not supposed to.

Forgiveness is something that is to be chosen and it is to be learned.

Truly forgiving someone who has hurt, wronged, shamed or used us is a process that we work through with God.

It is a choice and a decision, but it is not a light or trivial thing and it is not supposed to be.

Forgiveness causes us to look at what someone has done to us and honestly and intelligently deal with the fact of how it has affected our life. You can’t effectively heal unless you address the places of woundedness.

It is remarkable how unforgiveness can turn an otherwise nice, kind and caring person into a bitter, angry and fearful individual.

Hebrews 12:15 (NIV) - See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

(AMP) - See to it that no one falls short of God’s grace; that no root of resentment springs up and causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

The word resentment comes from two Latin words that mean to “cut again and again”.

Every time we rehearse a hurt or injustice, or the devil brings up pain or we dwell on our anger and frustration about what was done to us, we are getting cut and reinjured all over again.

This is why the devil loves his tool of unforgiveness. It allows the hurt and pain to feel fresh and new all the time. –

Unforgiveness is not justice, it is torture. It is also murder because each time we feel the pain it reminds us of how we would like the person who hurt us to suffer.

This is why Jesus honestly reminds Peter that forgiveness is not a onetime event.  Forgiveness is a process that we must work through until the hurt and pain no longer have an effect on us.

Matthew 18:21-22 - Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Our job is to forgive. It is Jesus’ job to do the healing in our lives.

So, every time we feel the hurt, pain and woundedness return we must make a conscious effort to forgive. For some of us, depending on our personality and the level of the hurt it may take a while. It may take 490 times a day for a little while until the work of forgiveness is complete.

Someone needs to hear this – forgiveness is not effortless. Just remember that the effort is not pointless, it will be rewarded.

This month as we celebrate the Resurrection let’s take time to remember how God has forgiven us.  Let’s also take the time to forgive those that have hurt us. Let’s release them from their sin and place them into the hands of God. Take time to allow God to heal any areas of your life that have been affected by hurt. The Bible that “He who the Son set’s free is free indeed.

I believe this is going to be a powerful month of forgiveness, healing and redemption.

Remember You are dearly loved.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn

Image by Alexa from Pixabay

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Matthew 8:5-10 - Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!

~ Smith Wigglesworth – Often called the Apostle of faith – “Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.”

All faith starts out small and then it grows. Just like a seed.

All of us have been given a measure of faith in our lives.

That measure is enough to cause us to be able to receive the Word of God and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:3 - For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Each of us have been given enough grace (God’s unearned and undeserved favor) to have enough faith to be saved and begin our journey with God humbly.

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Throughout the Bible and in Jesus teaching we discover that there is a progression of faith.

It goes like this… Little faith, Mustard Seed Faith, More Faith, Much Faith, and Great Faith.

We are not going to spend time on all of these, but the level of our faith is important.

Luke 9:29 - Then He (Jesus) touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”

One moment Peter was getting out of the boat and walking on water and the next he took his eyes off of Jesus and was sinking.

One moment Peter was full of boldness cutting off the ear of a servant and within hours was denying Christ.

There are people and places that do not see God do many miracles because their unbelief is stronger than the willingness to receive the Word that is given to them.

Matthew 13:58 (AMP) - And He did not do many miracles there [in Nazareth] because of their unbelief.

A little bit of faith is the substance of big things. This is the entire concept behind Mustard Seed Faith.

Luke 17:6 - So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

The opposite of faith is not fear, it is unbelief.

A little bit of unbelief in God and His Word is a big hinderance.

A little bit of faith in God and His Word and nothing will be impossible for us.

All you need is a little Word, and you have the substance of big things.  It is interesting that Jesus often told people that they had little faith.

This means that they didn’t even have enough of His Word in them to contain the substance of a mustard seed. 

Before we can know what Great Faith looks life we need to understand – “Little Faith”.

Little faith is faith that is LESS THAN a mustard seed.

Little faith does not understand the basic concept that God loves us and that because He loves us, He will take care of us. Little faith does not understand the concept of covenant love.

Matthew 6:30-34 - Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Peter started out with great faith. He took Jesus up on His Word to “Come”. Then doubt crept in. The reality was in the midst of the storm he walked on water but then Peter looked at the other part of reality and doubt came in.

Doubt is different than unbelief. It believes but it doesn’t believe. It becomes unsure.  Little faith is faith that wavers.

There are only two places in the Bible that talks about great faith.

Twice Jesus commends people for their Great Faith. One is a man, and one is a woman.

The interesting thing is that neither of them were Jewish nor Christians.

The first one:

Matthew 8:5-10 - Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 

Great faith takes Christ at his word. – The centurion said only speak the word and my servant will be healed. – Just say the word.  Your word is good enough for me. I don’t need anything else.

Those with Great faith understand the authority of Jesus.

For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.

The centurion understood how authority works. He was a man under authority. He was submitted to authority himself. When he was given orders, he obeyed.

 And He was a man of authority. He understood that when a command was given by him, he expected it to be carried out.

Matthew 28:18 (AMP) - Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.

When Jesus spoke – worlds were created from nothing.  That’s authority.

At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.

Those who have great faith don’t walk around giving orders to God. They understand that Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Earth, and His will is done.

Those who walk by faith understand the authority of Jesus.

This month we are going to unpack what it means to have great faith. In this months Harvest Seed we have only looked at a few of the many things that God has revealed to us in His Word concerning the levels of faith.

I am excited about where God is leading us this year as we live – By Faith!

You are loved by God and you have a place here at HCC!
Pastor Marvin & Dawn

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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