HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Psalm 118:28-29 (NLT) - You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you. 29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
I love Thanksgiving time. I love the food but even more I love the time with family.
I love the fact that people stop and take inventory of the goodness of God in their lives.
At this time of the year when we are especially reminded to stop and think about what we are thankful, grateful, and appreciative for, it would be good for us to consider whether we have been thankful, grateful, and appreciative all year round!
Even if we’ve been through hard times, those times could have been even harder, and we can think of much to be thankful, grateful, and appreciative for right now, while we’re still going through our difficult time or struggle.
The Bible commands us be thankful” and “in everything, give thanks.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 - In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(AMP) - In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Even if things seem to be going wrong all around us, we can still stop to count our blessings! We may be in need at the present moment, but the fact is, we each have many reasons to be thankful!
All three words — “thankfulness,” “gratitude,” and “appreciation” — are the expressions of a person who is thankful he has experienced some good event or blessing.
They depict someone who is grateful toward the person or people who treated him kindly and is appreciative of what has happened. These words also communicate the recognition of his thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation of his many blessings.
Thankfulness and Gratitude are not an attitude they are a condition of the heart.
The Bible tells us that Goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives.
I love that song… I will Sing of the Goodness of God. If we are going to sing someone’s praises it should be God’s. He has been so good to us.
Goodness of God
I love you, Lord
For your mercy never fails me
All my days, I've been held in your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God
All my life you have been faithful
All my life you have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God
I love your voice
You have led me through the fire
In the darkest night
You are close like no other
I've known you 79 as a Father
I've known you as a Friend
I have lived in the goodness of God
Your goodness is running after
It's running after me
Your goodness is running after
It's running after me
With my life laid down
I'm surrendered now
I give you everything
'Cause our goodness is running after
It's running after me
I think there is a profound reason why this song has resonated within the body of Christ. God has been faithful, kind and good to us. Truth be told- better than we deserve.
I love the line – All my life you have been faithful, All my life you have been so, so Good. – David Said – “I was young and now I am old yet I have NEVER seen the righteous forsaken or their seed begging for bread.” Now that I am in my 50’s I can say the same thing.
Psalm 34:3-9 - Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. 6 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 9 Oh, fear the Lord, you, His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. (NLT) for those who fear him will have all they need.
Those who know the Lord have tasted and seen that He is good.
I love how David lists the ways that the goodness of God has impacted his life. He says this is how God will bless all of those who have trusted Him.
I was looking at these verses and I was struck with how intertwined thankfulness is with trust.
Have you ever noticed that the people you are thankful for the most are the people that you trust the most? – This goes deep to the heart and often results in us praising those we trust.
Your wife, husband, children a true friend and of course our God.
Every blessing that we have comes from God.
He gave them to us.
The only way people or God know that we are grateful is if we tell them.
It is one thing to be thankful internally, it is a completely better thing to give thanks and tell someone.
To give thanks means that you don’t keep that gratitude to yourself.
Thanksgiving involves expression and intention.
Grateful people linger over life’s blessings.
The English word thank shares the same root as think.
Thankfulness is intimately connected to thoughtfulness.
We can’t be grateful without being mindful of the many benefits we enjoy in life and conscious of the rich blessings we have been given. Grateful people take time to rejoice, which literally means to experience repeated joy through the remembrance of the grace and goodness one has received.
We are blessed. It is important to count our blessings. The truth is that we have so many blessings that the prophet Ezekiel called them Showers of Blessing.
Ezekiel 34:26 -I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.
(AMP) I will make them and the places around My hill (Jerusalem, Zion) a blessing. And I will make showers come down in their season; there will be [abundant] showers of blessing (divine favor).
When God blesses, it is not just a trickle. Not a light drizzle but showers. There are many types of blessings He gives us.
This list is not in order, but if it were this would be the top. Salvation, deliverance, heaven forever, Jesus as our King, the abiding Holy Spirit, and the Father, the Source of all blessings. Every comfort, help and wisdom of the Spirit of God. All we can call these are "spiritual riches” for which we should never stop giving God glory.
The ability to walk, breathe, talk, lift, and a thousand other normal motions and actions is fantastic. We could be impaired in hundreds of different ways but God has given us strength, life, and vitality.
Don’t lose sight of all that you have and are for what you want and are not.
God has given me my wife for 34 years. I have three amazing children. I have grandchildren. I come from a great family.
Cars, clothes, food, furniture, beds, and literally hundreds of labor-saving devices (like the computer I am typing this on). I marvel at times at how much “stuff” we have accumulated and we have so many material blessings sometimes we get annoyed at how much we have. Millions of people worldwide have not a drop of clean water or a comfortable piece of clothing.
God has blessed us with many church family and friends.
Philippians 1:3-5 - I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,
Think about the people that God has brought into your life to be a blessing. Stop thinking about the ones that get under your skin and thank God for the ones that are a blessing to your life.
We should take a moment to think through the blessings in our life. Take inventory on what God has blessed you with and go into your life with a new perspective. Let’s give thanks.
God is doing a work in His people. It seems like the default setting in our culture is to find something to complain about. What sets the people of God apart from everyone else is that we are truly grateful for all that God has done and for the people that He has placed in our lives.
We find reasons to be grateful, thankful and appreciative.
I thank God for you. May you find yourself rejoicing in all that God has and all that He has done for you. May we all find ourselves living in contentment, peace and joy.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Harvest.
Remember that YOU are loved and appreciated.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Daniel 2:20-22 - Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever. For wisdom and might are His. 21 And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him.
In the English language all proper names and places are to be capitalized no matter where they are at in a sentence.
The English capitalization rules require that the first letter of certain words is capitalized. Specifically, the pronoun I, the first word of a sentence, and proper nouns like names are capitalized.
The only time that a pronoun like the word he or him is capitalized is when we are referring to God. It is when we are referring to Him that His pronoun is to be capitalized. This is the only exception in the English language.
Whenever we call Him God, the G is always capitalized. Whenever an idol is referenced, they are called the gods, little g.
My wife and I were noticing something that is happening in the newer translations of the Bible. When referring to our God, the H in He and Him is being made in the lowercase h.
There are many people that think this is insignificant but it is not. As a matter of fact, it is having a profound effect on people.
First, our God is not receiving the honor and reverence that is reserved only for Him.
Secondly, It is having an effect in how people view God. For many He is becoming just a god among many other gods. Little g. To them He is just one way of many ways.
Jesus said in
John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
For many people, including some Christinas, their god is not our God. To them He is just a god. Little g.
To them their god is not Almighty, All-powerful or All knowing. Their god is not greater and not Lord of All.
I am convinced that in many ways many of us have grown to be a people that tolerate a God of the lower case in our lives. He is not Lord, Capital L, He is simple someone we say is lord, lowercase. Not Him but him, not He but He, not Father God but simply, a father of the lowercase type.
Instead of us being His creation made in His image, we have an image of God in our mind that looks like us, acts like us and has the same frailties and limitations that we do.
That is not the God of the Bible.
Daniel knew His God. Many of us stand in awe of the type of man that Daniel was in his day. We look around and we want to know where the Daniels of our day are. They are here, but they know their God. They don’t know Him as the God of the little g.
Daniel 11:32b…but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.
The Christians that are making a difference in our world know their God and they know Who He is.
I want to say this – There is no one like our God.
This is something that we are reminded of throughout the Word of God.
Psalm 113:5-6 - Who is like the Lord our God, Who dwells on high,
6 Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?
(NLT) Who can be compared with the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high? 6 He stoops to look down on heaven and on earth.
Psalm 89:6 (NLT) - For who in all of heaven can compare with the Lord? What mightiest angel is anything like the Lord?
Psalm 71:19 (AMP) - Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the [height of the] heavens,
You who have done great things; O God, who is like You, [who is Your equal]?
The answer of course is simple – there is no one like our God!
We must understand that He is all powerful.
One of the names of God in Hebrew is El Shaddai - Literally, this name means “God Almighty,” and it is among the most frequently appearing names for God in the Bible.
A better foundational meaning of El Shaddai may be “the Overpowerer,” which emphasizes God’s power to achieve all His purposes.
He is not just Almighty God He is God Almighty. Might is not just what He has, it is who He is.
He is the Creator – the Maker of Heaven and Earth.
Psalm 91:1-2 - Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
Revelation 1:8 - “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
Psalm 145:3 - Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.
1 Chronicles 29:11-13 - Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. 13 “Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name.
Too often we don’t credit God with the strength that He has.
Our God is bigger, better, stronger, greater than anything or anyone. He is the God of the Big G.
He is not like us or the gods of this world. He will never disappoint us.
You have heard of the strong arm of the law. Let me tell you of the Strong Arm of our God.
As God Almighty He has both the power and Authority to do what needs done. He doesn’t need permission and He doesn’t need more strength – He has it all.
1 Timothy 1:17 - Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
He is the God of the Possible.
Too often we say that He is the God of the impossible. He is not - with Him all things are possible.
There are many things that are not possible for us. They are possible for God.
There are a few things that God cannot do. Those things are limited simply because of who God is.
God cannot lie. It is not possible for Him to be tempted; therefore, He will never tempt us with evil. Our God cannot be unfaithful because of who He is. Even when we are faithless, He is always faithful because He cannot deny Himself.
Too often we limit God to the scope of our abilities and our inabilities.
Luke 18:27 (AMP) - But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”
Jeremiah 32:17 - Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.
He is the healer, the creator, and the God of the possible.
With God the only limitations He has concern who He is.
Why do we limit God? It is because of our unbelief and because of our fear.
Even then our unbelief and fear do not limit who God is. It only limits what He does.
He is a rewarder of those who believe that He is AND THAT – HE IS a Rewarded of those who seek Him.
There is nothing too hard for Him. He is not the God of the little g.
I love how Elijah taunts the 450 prophets of Baal. They dance and cut themselves but their god does nothing.
Elijah pours gallons of water on the sacrifice and simply prays and fire comes from heaven and consumes the sacrifice.
Elijah knew his God.
Do you? DO you serve the God of the Big G or the g?
There is so much more to this that I am looking forward to sharing with you.
I am excited by what God is doing through us as a church.
May the abundant blessing of God rest on you and your family. Remember that you are loved and appreciated.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Deuteronomy 34:4 - Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”
Can you imagine Moses getting to see the promised land? Getting to see how good it was. Getting to see the promises that God gave to the Children of Israel that they had held onto for generations and then being told that you would not get to enter into it.
Talk about disappointment. One preacher called Mount Nebo – The Mountain of Disappointment. The truth is all of us have been on that mountain in our life at one point or another. There are times when life just does not go our way or the way we were hoping for. Disappointment is that let down feeling when our emotions bottom out and our faith and trust in God is tested.
It is never easy to deal with disappointment. Let’s just be honest about that. It is not easy to live through. It is real and it will visit us from time to time. Learning to live and work through disappointment will save us from a life of bitterness, sadness and resentment. To understand disappointment, we just need to look at the word. – It implies that we believed that we had an appointment. When we got to the appointment, the place, or a certain thing that was supposed to happen – didn’t happen. The appointment with destiny that you thought you had wasobliterated by the reality of the day. You have been dis-appointed.
Anytime that our hopes are not realized or our expectations or our desires are not fulfilled we can feel disappointment.
Disappointment can be a passing emotion over a temporary loss, or it may impact us powerfully when something permanently changes our lives.
It is important to understand that disappointment is not a sin.
Many of God’s people experience disappointment. Joseph when he was sold into slavery. The disciples were devastated when Jesus was hung on the cross. Hannah was disappointed that she could not have a child. So much so that she went to the temple and cried out to God. Job was certainly disappointed, we read all about his conversations with God. Jobs wife was so disappointed that she told her husband to curse God and die. How we handle disappointments is important.
Disappointments can bring us to a crossroads where we have two options;
All of us have known people who have chosen the road of despair. These men and women have wounds and hurts that are so deep that they are no longer able to accept hope from God’s word or comfort from people who truly love and care for them. They became so wrapped up in frustration and sadness that they no longer trusted what anyone said to them, not even in the Bible.
Disappointment is a trap set by our enemy that is meant to erode our confidence in God and in people. If we are not careful it is easy to grow skeptical of people and cynical about everything. This is when we get in the dangerous position of blaming God for our troubles. Grumbling and complaining. Our prayers become whiny and powerless.
When we get this way, we will never trust people or risk allowing them to get close.
Disappointment often times leads to disobedience to the ways of God. We begin to take things into our own hands and plan our own ways. Never allow disappointment to become disobedience.
When we do this, we no longer are walking in the blessing of God but in His displeasure. We must make sure that we never allow OUR disappointment to become HIS displeasure.
To combat disappointment, we must refuse to doubt.
Disappointment is the first seed of doubt that intrudes on our faith.
It can be the tip of the wedge that will hinder our spiritual growth and make us bitter and defeated.
If doubt festers in us it turns to discouragement, discouragement becomes disillusionment and that leads us to depression and eventually we resign ourselves to defeat.
Keep believing and trusting in God.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 - We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
Change dis-appointment to HIS- appointment.
To overcome disappointment, you must allow yourself to grieve.
Grieving is to loss what healing is to sickness.
Grieving is a process. – It is not only ok, but it is necessary to process disappointment.
Never say to a wounded person – “Hey, you shouldn’t be disappointed, snap out of it”.
You don’t just “Get over” disappointment, you work though it with God.
Work through the bitterness, anger, loss, disbelief, and awe that this is happening with God.
Disappointment brings confusion and disorientation. It is good to find your balance and gain your footing.
~ Someone said – Don’t just get over it or it will have the ability to get back on top of you.
Hannah was so disappointed that she couldn’t have children that she cried out to God. She went to the house of God and poured out her heart. She was angry, hurt and confused but she took all of that to God to work on it.
Because she did God blessed her with Samuel AND other sons and daughters.
Naomi lost her husband and her sons. She was so overcome with grief that it changed her so profoundly that she changed her name to Bitter. It is ok to grieve our disappointment, but we must not allow it to change our identity.
All of us at some point in our lives experience disappointment.
My prayer is that for all of us we will learn to trust God and grow through our experiences.
My Friend God desires for us to be better and stronger in all that we have experienced in life. May God heal, restore and refresh you this month.
Remember that you are loved.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Revelation 2:10 - Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
'Forewarned is forearmed', means that if one knows about a problem or situation in advance, one will be able to deal with it when one needs to. Don't put it off or you may have to pay for it.
Proverbs 22:3 - A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.
prudent • \PROO-dunt\ • adjective. 1: marked by wisdom or judiciousness 2: shrewd in the management of practical affairs 3: cautious, discreet 4: thrifty, frugal acting with or showing care and thought for the future.
While many today live by the motto—"throw caution to the wind.” God calls those who are His to live thoughtfully, insightfully and prudently. It is important to live life looking far enough ahead that you can avoid mistakes, traps, hazards and real danger. As both a car and motorcycle driver it is important to look ahead by several car lengths and to make sure I am seeing everything going on around me. Many times, this has made the difference in life or death or at least an accident. Because I was driving prudently and not recklessly or just “enjoying” the ride and not paying attention I was able to see danger and make the adjustments I needed to and avoid it.
Many people today are just living their life with no thought for the future or with no awareness of what is going on around them. I believe in living in the moment, but we are not living FOR the moment; we are living FOR the Lord. God has clearly stated that He has a hope and a future for us. This means that we should live today with an eye on tomorrow, knowing that what we do today will impact our tomorrow.
God loves us so much that if we will listen, to His Spirit, He will forewarn and prepare you for things to come. When Paul Revere made his famous ride through the night to warn that the British or the “Red Coats” were coming it enabled the colonists to arm themselves and to position themselves to resist. God prepares us before hand for encounters with the enemy. He tells us to “Resist the Devil standing steadfast in the Faith.” Then He arms us with the Armor of God and tells us how to use it. – Forewarned is Forearmed.
Remember when God was going to pour out His judgement on the earth, He warned Noah. Because of this Noah had enough time to prepare for what was coming. He did exactly what God told Him to do, and he built the ark.
This will surprise many people. Just because God warns you about something does not mean that He is necessarily giving you what you need to avoid going through the situation but rather, to give you what you need precisely because you are going to go through the situation.
There are somethings that it is prudent to avoid and other things that require prudence to prepare. For over 100 years Noah prudently prepared for the flood. When it came, he was ready, and he saved mankind and his own family.
Sometimes the preparation lasts longer than the actual trial. Boxers train months for a 12 - round fight. Football players practice all week for a 60 min. Game.
When God spoke to the church in Smyrna, who was already suffering persecution, He was forewarning them so that they would be prepared by knowing that some of them were going to be put into prison and tried. Rather than letting them be caught by surprise, Christ wanted them to know in advance. He prepared them for what the future held.
When Jesus predicted how He would die, Peter rebuked him, and Jesus said to Peter “Get behind me Satan.”
When Agabus prophesied what would happen to Paul he wept and begged him not to go. Paul had to instruct them that he was ready (Prepared- mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) to go to prison and even die for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Sometimes God’s plan for our lives involves testing and trials.
No one wants to go through them and no one who really cares about people wants them to go through things. Peter meant well, so did Paul’s friends. The Bible warns the last days church that some will go to prison and some even die for their faith.
Jesus tells the end-times church to be faithful until the END and He will give them the crown of life.
Anyone can be faithful when things are good. It is when you are actually tried that what you believe is put to the test. You will have to answer the question is this really what I believe or will you just cast aside your faith for the sake of convenience, comfort and safety.
1 Peter 1:6-9 - In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
Here me now and let me say it loud for the people in the back – Satan will try the genuineness of your faith. Faith is not simply a declaration of what you believe. It is not sitting in church and, every once in a while, dropping a twenty in the offering plate, so you feel good about yourself.
Faith is believing in God, becoming obedient to His Word, it is desiring to please God with all that you are and in every area of your life. It is living for Him no matter what the cost or the criticism. It is loving God with all of your heart with all of your soul and all of your mind and with all of your strength.
Trials and testing real show what we believe. Is Jesus still the Lord and authority of our life when we go through trouble or do, we take the reigns back when we don’t like where following Him leads us.
I was noticing when I was writing this that the Word “Reign” that is used for the rulership of a king is the same spelling used for the reigns that are used to steer a horse. Testing will determine whether we will continue to allow Jesus to reign over our life or if we will take the REIGNS in to our own hands and reign over and make the choices for ourselves.
Today we spend more time telling people how to get out of stressful times how to avoid pressure situations instead of preparing them for them. For many Christians times of trials and tribulations catch them by surprise. Jesus told the last days church what to expect so they can be spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepared for the experience. He wants us to be ready for it and able to endure it,
I believe that God is warning the Church of today of what is coming. His divine warnings are intended to prepare us for the challenges and hardships that are coming. He is making sure that our faith is genuine, that we are strong in the Lord and in His mighty power – that we have prepared ourselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally to endure until the end.
You may ask - the end of what? Well either the end of the trial, faithful until he returns in the rapture or faithful until death. Either way He desires us to be prepared to be faithful until the end,
May you and your family be blessed. Remember that you are Loved.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Every one of us have had bad days. Every one of us goes through seasons that are difficult and hard. Sometimes they feel like they will not end. All of us go through life’s ups and downs.
There are other times that are like the others. You know something is unusual about what you are going through.
There is a sinisterness about what is happening that you cannot put your finger on. You know that this is not like it was before and it seems like something is orchestrating the circumstances in a way that is not just making your life hard but is determined to either change you, ruin you or kill you.
In the past you didn’t necessarily like the difficult but you knew that life is not easy and so you were able to roll with the punches.
But this is different there is a spiritual component to it. Sometimes it feels so subtle yet so intense you can’t ignore it, but something keeps whispering in your ear that you are just imagining things.
The truth is you are not imaging things you are under a spiritual attack.
These attacks can come when you are at the top of your life, and everything is going ok. Job had it all when Satan went after everything. Job had success in finances, business, family and health and Satan went after all of it.
A spiritual attack can come when you are at the bottom and working your way up, Joseph had been sold into slavery. Finally, he is working for his master, running the house having favor and Potiphar’s wife puts the moves on him. He refuses to give into her advances, and she gets angry and lies about him and he winds up in prison. – Satan has no problem kicking you when you are down. The Bible says that we are to be alert and self-controlled because we are not ignorant of the Devils schemes.
I want to mention that word self-controlled -- You see God gives us understanding, skills and information and then it is up to us to implement His strategies against the enemy’s schemes. With the power of God to help us and our willingness to live a self-controlled life we can overcome every attack of the enemy.
Spiritual warfare is more common than we think or than we like to acknowledge. We are made to think that demonic attack or oppression is a wild and crazy thing that happens. The reality is that it is something that will happen with regular occurrence in our lives.
This month we are going to look at a few specific signs that you are under a spiritual attack. I want to look at two those right here.
You know you are under attack when you feel physical fatigue and unexplainable tiredness.
After Elijah’s great victory with fire coming down from heaven Elijah was physically and emotionally exhausted because he came under attack by Ahab and Jezebel.
There are times we just feel drained we have no motivation and no energy. Our get up and go got up and left and we don’t know if it’s ever coming back.
I cannot emphasis enough how real this kind of thing can be. This is a kind of tired that is deep. You have heard of bone tired. This is soul weary. You are not in sin. You have been faithful. You have done what God has asked. You have even seen some cool things and you think you would be on top of the world. But you are tired.
God’s answer was to feed Elijah and have him sleep.
1 Kings 19:5-8 - Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So, he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.
Do you realize that sometimes the most spiritual act of self-control that can do when you are under attack is to eat well and get a lot of sleep.? God still had a long way for Elijah to go. He had a great deal for Him to do. Elijah was so tired that he couldn’t go on. He was so tired that he just laid down under a tree in the middle of nowhere. He was so tired nowhere, was good. Your nowhere is somewhere to God! He will make you comfortable enough there in nowhere, so He can get you rest and filled again. You just have to do what He says. Satan will try to wear you down so that even your greatest victories feel like a defeat or not even worth the effort. Satan counter attacks after our greatest victories so we do not get to enjoy the fruits and the thrill of victory. Sometimes we get weary. But God will bring refreshing, we just need to take the time to rest and eat.
You know you are under spiritual attack when you begin to question God’s goodness. You know you are under attack when you begin to question the God you have trusted. When you start getting angry and even believe that God is letting you down. Satan is whispering in your ear that God is a liar.
How can you ever heal if the one who is supposed to be good let this happen to me? Satan will tell you that the good God is not really all that good and all that holy and all that caring. If that is true, then He really is not all that powerful.
If Satan can cause us to doubt the character of God, then everything else that God does is meaningless.
Our trust stems from the goodness of God. When Satan tells us things that contradict the character of God, we need to discipline ourselves to remember what we know about God.
Psalm 27:13-14 - I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
There are times we need to have the self-control to remember what we believe and then wait for the character of God to show up. Wait on God. David said I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. The land of the living is now, not when we are dead and go to heaven. God will allow us to see His goodness in our lifetime. Don’t sit there tapping your fingers in impatience –
look at the Devil and say “I am waiting on God…. just you wait.”
2 Timothy 1:12 - For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
We can trust God with our everything. Many times, the most spiritual thing we can do is wait and trust in the goodness of God. When we do, we resist all of Satan’s lies. Do you realize that waiting patiently on God is one of the ways to make Satan flee? Just because Satan gets impatient doesn’t mean we should get impatient with God. Resist by being patient and watch as God brings victory and Satan flees.
There is so much more to this. Remember He who the Son sets free is free indeed.
You are loved. Have a Great July
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Proverbs 4:26-27 - Ponder the path of your feet and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.
Psalm 119:105-106 - Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed That I will keep Your righteous judgments.
Feet matter to God! We know that because the Bible has a great deal to say about feet. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they care for their feet and by the shoes that they wear.
In most cities and in most businesses, people make sure that their shoes are both comfortable, practical and shined. In Florida flip- flops and sandals are appropriate foot wear for church and fine dining. In the military, foot care is taught as one of the most important duties of a soldier.
Some people have small feet, others have long flippers that arrive a full five seconds before the rest of the person. Most teenagers have a period of awkward adjustment while they grow into their feet. All of us know some people who have feet, that have to put it mildly, a not so pleasant fragrance and have the ability to clear a room. If your feet hurt, your whole-body hurts. If your feet are cold, you are cold all over. If your feet are dirty, you can’t feel clean until your wash your feet.
Feet represent the whole body - Whether you know it or not, your feet represent all of you. After all, wherever your feet go, the rest of you must follow. The Bible promises that if we trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding and in all our ways that we acknowledge Him and seek His will He will direct our paths. When God directs our paths, we are able to stay in His ways and in HIS will. When we do this, we will be stable, safe and secure in everything.
The truth is that very few people really walk the narrow road that God has laid out. They do wind up turning to the left and to the right and get off track.
Matthew 7:13-14 - “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Many people have their eyes set on the broad way. It is no coincidence that one of the centers of entertainment in America is called Broadway. The NLT calls it the highway to hell.
Listen, the broad-way is easy anyone can do it. The Lord’s way is narrow and difficult to travel. It requires effort, skill and attention; but it leads to life. The mantra of the world is - follow your heart, follow your dreams. Jeremiah 17:9 - “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? There is probably no worse advice that we could give somebody than to follow your heart.
We are not called by God to follow our heart we are called to follow Jesus. We are not called in the Bible to be the best version of ourselves. We are called to die to ourselves and to follow Jesus.
Feet are a vital part of the Great Commission.
Isaiah 52:7 - How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Most people would not describe feet as beautiful. When your feet are on the mountains you are on top of the world. You are declaring good news, good things and salvation. The mountains were where the high places were. They are where the idols were, where people place false hope. Someone has to go to the false places that people trust in and declare it is our God who reigns.
The first word of the Great Commission is GO. We are to GO into all the world and preach the Gospel. What world --- our world. Not everyone is called to go to the entire world but into the known world. Your world.
It is your feet that carry you to places. They are what God gave you and me to have mobility.
Romans 10:14-15 - How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
I love the saying that you have to put feet to your faith. You do. How do you do that –GO!
Someone needs to hear this. Satan is under your feet. Romans 16:20 - And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Satan can’t get anything over on you if you understand that He is under you. When you and I came under attack we need to remember that Satan is under our feet.
When you have an enemy under your feet you have the strategic advantage, you have the leverage and in battle you are to keep kicking until the enemy stops moving.
Luke 10:19 (AMP) - Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you.
You and I need to understand the power and authority that Jesus has given us as His disciples.
Never forget — the only place that rightfully belongs to the devil is the small space of ground right under your feet!
I believe that the summer ahead of us is a summer of victory! Each year we take time to have some R&R during the summer but each year we have watched as God does great things as our church continues to advance. Get ready for what God is going to do. Keep praying, believing and moving your feet!
Know that you are Loved, Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Luke 12:6-8 - “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.
I think one of the greatest moments in the life of any Christian is the deep realization of how incredibly they are loved by God as an individual and a person. God not only SO loved the world…. God loves you and me. We are valuable to Him and He knows us so well that He even knows the numbers of the hairs on our head. He knows us that well and cares that deeply.
Everyone is wounded or has been wounded in some way or another. No one goes through life unscathed. No one. All of us have been hurt in some form or fashion. Many Christians have come to Christ. They are saved; They have even been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but they still suffer from an orphan’s heart.
In their head they know that they are a child of God, but internally, they don’t feel like they are family, and they find it difficult to safely relate to God as their Father. Somehow they still feel rejected by others because they reject certain things about themselves.
I believe God desires to heal some deep wounds to fix broken hearts, and to release you into the realization that He is your Father.
Psalm 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
One of the names of the Holy Spirit is Counselor. One who heals the physical needs – is a Physician. God is the Great Physician, God knew in His infinite wisdom that we would also need inner healing, that is why He is a Wonderful Counselor. Wonderful describes who HE is but it also describes how we feel after we have encountered our supernatural Counselor. It is possible to be changed and saved but not yet healed.
A key step to healing is admitting, accepting and recognizing that we are damaged and broken. When we are able to admit how our hurts have affected our lives and our decisions it gives us a starting point to allow God to work in us. Part of the process of healing is realizing that our wounds do not describe us or identify who we are. You and I are Children of God. We are not what was done to us or what we did to ourselves.
There are some things that only a Father can heal. It is in family that we find our true Identity.
When the prodigal son came home. He was defeated, ruined, embarrassed, humiliated and poor. He was the guy who thought he could take on the world, and the world beat him down. He was the guy who failed so badly that he was stealing food from the pigs.
When he came home the Father embraced him and affirmed him instead of embarrassing him. Only a Father can treat you as a son or a daughter. That is what God wants to do for you.
Romans 8:14-15 - 14 For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!”
Abba is the Hebrew way of saying Dad.
It is the more familiar form of father. Abba is a term of affection. It is not the cuttsie way of saying daddy like a little girl. Abba can be used by both men and women – not just boys or girls. People who have a deep appreciation for the love, provision, acceptance and care they have received from a father use “Abba.” Some people have tried to trivialize this term as saying, “Daddy God”. That has always struck a nerve of immaturity in me. Abba is an intimate honorable way of saying father. Abba is something that is used by adult children that find their identity in God.
Only our Father can turn our wounds into weapons and our hurts into helps. Only our Father can help us to realize that His grace is made perfect in our weakness, and that when we are weak, then we are strong.
Romans 8:28 (AMP) - And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.
Things that were meant to hurt us and that have caused us pain will eventually be used for some good purpose. All things work together for our good.
We really can’t say that we have been healed until we see how God can take our brokenness and make it a tool in our lives. Instead of us being under the thumb of our pain it becomes something that we put to work in our lives.
Nothing that we have experienced – nothing that we have been through – is wasted in Jesus. He makes all things work for Good.
Scars are a testimony of healing. Tender scars are a reminder that we are still healing, and a work in progress.
God desires for you to move from broken and woundedness to healing today.
I look forward to hearing all about the healing God is accomplishing in each of our lives.
Know that you are loved.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Most Christians are familiar with the idea of Baptism. Some Christians sprinkle the heads of infants when they are born.
The Biblical model of Baptism is a choice that someone who is of full age and understanding makes when they are fully immersed in water as they make a decision to follow Christ as their Lord and Savior. This baptism can be done by any Christian to another. It is a part of the Great Commission, and we are to do it in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
This is the Baptism that is understood by most Bible believing Christians.
John the Baptist introduced us to this basic obedience when He baptized Jesus. As we go into the water it is a sign of dying to our old life of sin and our old ways. Coming out of the water is a symbol of rising out of the grave and living our new life in Christ. The old has gone. The new has come.
There are two types of Baptisms mentioned in the Bible.
There is baptism in water, and Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
In Pentecostal circles we understand both to a point. The Second one, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, we understand as a filling with Power that results in Speaking in other tongues and seeing signs and wonders following our ministry for Jesus.
It is so much more than that.
There are two words in the Greek that give us the words Baptism, and both have entirely different meanings.
The first is the word-
Bapto – which means to wash or dip, it is a quick in and out. This is the idea behind being baptized in water. It is a baptism unto repentance. It makes us clean and free from sin.
Romans 6:4 - Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Baptizo – means to be submerged for a significant amount of time until what has been submerged becomes something entirely different than it was.
A very, very long time ago, a Greek poet and physician named Nicander, wrote a recipe for making pickles. This Greek writer used both words that can be understood as baptism, and in the context, we are able to see the two different meanings. Nicander said that in making pickles, one must bapto the vegetable (dip it) into boiling water, and then baptizo the vegetable (baptize it) in a vinegar solution.
We all know that dipping a cucumber in water doesn’t do much to change it; that action will rinse off some of the outside dirt and give you a pretty clean cucumber to munch on, but it won’t change the cucumber into a something else. Baptizing a cucumber, however, produces permanent change to the vegetable. Out of these two words, baptizo is the word we find in the Bible, and it’s the one that’s meaningful for us.
Submerging a cucumber in vinegar (baptizing a cucumber) results in a permanent change in the vegetable. It no longer looks the same, tastes the same, or smells the same as a cucumber. In fact, it’s identified by an entirely different name. It’s now a pickle! And pickles are used for entirely different meals than cucumbers.
A Disciple is - A fully devoted, committed, obedient follower of Jesus Christ.
Today we have many people who identify themselves as a Christian, but not as a disciple.
I believe the reason for this is that if they have been baptized, they have only been baptized into the baptism of repentance. This is good, but they have not been fully immersed in the Holy Spirit. They have not been pickled.
The two baptisms are necessary for every believer and follower of Christ.
The first Baptism is what makes us clean. It is the second baptism. The Baptizo – That truly changes us. It is a baptism of transformation. When a cucumber is placed in the pickling brine it is still just a cucumber in a pickling solution. Over time as the cucumber is fully immersed in the brine the cucumber changes because it soon becomes saturated with the pickling solution, and what was once on the outside is now fully on the inside, and everything about the cucumber is changed.
It no longer looks like a cucumber, tastes like a cucumber or smells like a cucumber. It is an entirely new thing - it is a pickle.
It is one thing for us to be IN the Spirit. It is a totally different thing when we allow the Holy Spirit INSIDE of us - so much so that we are totally transformed.
The reason so many Christians look and sound more like the world instead of more like Jesus is they are content to get the Holy Spirit on them, but they have yet to let the Holy Spirit to so saturate their life that they are something completely new.
Do you consider yourself a disciple or do you just identify with Christianity? This is an important question in our day and a vital distinction to make. We live in a time where people believe that they can self-identify with whatever they want. Just because you identify as something doesn’t make it so. All sorts of people have used false identities for ages for all sorts of reasons.
Jesus called us to make disciples. We are to call people to repentance, but also to a life of change. We are to make pickles and the Holy Spirit is the solution.
Know that you are loved. – Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
I was talking to someone the other day and they were telling me how they wonder sometimes about certain people’s walk with the Lord. They told me that they know these people love Jesus and have given their life to the Lord, but they have not seen any perceptible growth in their lives for decades. I thought that was pretty insightful because it was not judgmental in anyway.
Hebrews 5:12-14 - (AMP) – For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who lives on milk is [doctrinally inexperienced and] unskilled in the word of righteousness since he is a spiritual infant. 14 But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.
Our theme for the year is Deeper, Higher, Wider, Further.
Maturity covers a lot of ground, There is Spiritual Maturity, there is Emotional Maturity, Relational Maturity and then there is walking in wisdom.
No one really holds a child at fault when a two- year- old has a fit when someone takes a toy or gets unreasonable when they need a nap. We realize that they are discovering and figuring life out. Children need the guidance of adults to help figure out well…. everything about life.
If a twenty-two-- year -old throws a fit when they do not get their way everyone cringes and loses respect because they know they should act more mature.
When a fifty-two- year -old loses their temper when someone doesn’t do what they want or because they are having a bad day, we know they have a major problem.
Spiritual maturity isn’t about age.
We all know somebody who is wise beyond their years. We also know people that look put together on the outside, but as we get to know them, we are trying to figure out how they get out of bed in the morning and tie their own shoes.
Those who are mature set an example for those who are not. They do so in the way they speak, in the way they act, in the way that they love, in spirit or in their attitude, in their faith and trust in God and in their moral purity.
As we grow and go deeper in our walk with God it will be reflected in our maturity.
Hebrews 6:1a (AMP) - Therefore let us get past the elementary stage in the teachings about the Christ, advancing on to maturity and perfection and spiritual completeness,
Colossians 1:28 (AMP) - We proclaim Him, warning and instructing everyone in all wisdom [that is, with comprehensive insight into the word and purposes of God], so that we may present every person complete in Christ [mature, fully trained, and perfect in Him—the Anointed].
An evidence of someone who is Spiritually Mature is that they live a disciplined life. The spiritually immature are not consistent in the disciplines that make you spiritually mature. Not everyone can hit home runs in the world series, but everyone can be a homerun Christian.
The difference in athletes who excel and those who don’t are their commitment to the fundamentals and to practicing and perfecting the things that keep them at the top of their game.
Those who are mature in Christ stay spiritually fit and in shape. They spend time in the Word, and they spend time with the Father.
1 Corinthians 9:27 - But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service].
It is easy to spot mature believers by the disciple they show in their lives. Disciplined people rarely have to be disciplined by others.
It is easy to spot someone who is familiar with God by the kind of prayers that they pray and the way that they pray.
Those who are mature are not timid about coming to God with needs. They are so filled with love for people that they are eager to take them to the answer for everything. Hebrews tells us that we are to come boldly before the throne of grace so that we can find mercy and help in our time of need.
Mature believers go before the Father with an expectation of a little child, never losing the thrill of seeing God do something in people’s lives.
You know someone’s maturity by the way that they speak.
1 Corinthians 13:11 – (AMP) When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
This is one of my favorite verses.
Here is a basic fact of life itself and a basic fact of life in the Spirit - The mature and the immature do not speak the same because they do not think the same or do life the same.
It is clear where you are in your walk with God by how you speak.
What is in our heart will be on our lips. You can only act and talk for so long until your lips will reveal what is really inside. Maturity and immaturity will always come out of us.
Mature people keep their word. Their yes is yes, and their no is no. The mature have learned to speak well. Their words are pure, truthful, honorable, tactful and most of the time insightful.
The mature understand that it is both what we say and how we say it that makes a difference.
Words matter, foul language, off color jokes even cutting sarcasm are things that the mature don’t just avoid it is not a part of their character.
I believe people when they say I could not help it I just had to say it. I’ve been there we all have. The difference is that the mature allow God to strengthen them and redeem the words so that what they say has value instead of being worthless and destructive.
Immature people regret a lot of what they say. The mature don’t.
Proverbs 20:11 (NLT) - Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right. Even Children are known by the way that they act.
I have found this new thing happening, where immature people have gotten in the habit of not doing the right things and when it is pointed out or corrected, they say – “don’t you judge me”.
Listen if we can tell, even when a child is young, which ones are not real swift, which ones are undisciplined and those who are a little slow on the learning scale, we will certainly notice it in adults.
Mature people get up, show up, put up, shut up (Don’t whine & complain), Speak up (When people need to hear), man up and glorify God in what it is they are doing.
As I talk with people one of the topics of conversation that I am finding more frequent is the lack of maturity in our culture. While it is certainly noticeable in our society in many ways this same trend has not escaped the church. It is interesting that the Apostle Paul had to address this same thing in His day. He was speaking to men and women that should have been filled with wisdom. They should be the leaders and teachers of their day, but they were still needing to be feed spiritual milk and cookies. Everyone loves milk and cookies. The mature understand that they are meant to be desert and not the main course.
I believe in our year of going Deeper, Higher, Wider and Further that God is challenging us to go deeper in maturity. Let’s dive in together.
Remember you are loved.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
John 15:8 - By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Psalm 92:12-14 - The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
It is important that we differentiate between producing fruit and bearing fruit. You see, God calls us to bear fruit not to produce fruit.
Producing – The result of our effort, work and artificial stimulation.
Bearing – The result of relationship and abiding in the vine.
Producing happens unnaturally and bearing happens naturally simply because we are abiding in the vine. Fruit is the outward evidence of an internal relationship. Fruit bearing is not about techniques, amounts and effort…
The yield of the harvest is all about yielding to His influence and allowing His life to flow through ours. The Bible says that out of our very belly, or the core of our being, would flow rivers of living water. God is looking for this kind of breakthrough understanding in our lives. It transforms everything.
The goal of our growth process as Christians is to bear fruit.
God is not as interested in what we do for Him as He is in our lives bearing spiritual fruit. Matthew 3:8 - Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.
Colossians 1:10 (AMP) - that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [displaying admirable character, moral courage, and personal integrity], to [fully] please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing in the knowledge of God [with deeper faith, clearer insight and fervent love for His precepts];
A true Christian will live in a way naturally that bears fruit worthy of the repentance and the salvation they have received.
Fruit is our moral character, deeds and actions, our behavior, courage and a deep faith that grows with our knowledge of God. It is not just about the work we do but how we go about doing everything we do. For a long time, the church has put such an emphasis on doing and production that it wore people out. Now the pendulum has swung in the other direction and we tell people that a lack of fruit in their life is not a big deal. Just say you are a Christian - but there is no evidence of spiritual growth or fruit.
God expects fruit bearing. Just as any good parent expects their children to grow up and be moral, loving, caring people who actually do something worth-while with their life. This is not undue pressure it is the result of being a grown-up person and growing up should be a natural progression especially for a Christian who is abiding in Christ and for those filled with the Holy Spirit.
The secret to fruit bearing is to understand how the kingdom of God works. We spend a great deal of time talking about ‘Mustard Seed’ faith. All we need is the faith the size of a mustard seed.
Sometimes we spend so much time on the size of the seed that we miss the entire point being- the POTENTIAL in the seed.
The mustard seed is a small seed but out of it comes one of the largest yields. Small faith is the starting point, but that seed is going to grow into greater faith. While that seed is small it produces not just a bush but a tree. That tree produces more fruit and more seed and out of that seed comes more trees and more fruit and more seed.
The beauty of remaining and abiding in Christ is that our life and the lives of those we touch and reach with the gospel naturally have a perpetual harvest. Out of our abiding in Christ comes a constant, consistent flow of life and blessing. We don’t have to force it, produce it or “make it happen”. Fruit is the natural output of a life found in Christ.
God is doing a special work here at HCC. I am excited at what He will do in us and through us throughout the rest of the year.