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—
Dis-appointment in life can quickly be changed by altering our attitude and one letter.
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
Hebrews11:1-6 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken, he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Our faith is the foundation of all that we believe.
Hebrews chapter 11 is often described as “God’s hall of faith”.
These are people that we can look to as an example of what it is to serve God, love God and to make a difference in this world for God.
Faith is at the heart of all that a true Christian is. Christians LIVE -By Faith. Every aspect of our life is lived – By Faith.
2 Corinthians 5:7 - For we walk by faith, not by sight.
True Christians live by faith and not by what they see. They trust God and His Word. Faith is not wishing, it is not positive thinking, it is not manipulating things and circumstances. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Our faith has substance to it. And it is the substance of faith that gives substance to our lives.
This year our theme is – By Faith. We will be learning to live our lives by faith. To walk BY FAITH and not by Sight.
Today many Christians are living by what they know and see. This year is a call to Biblical living. Faithful living and faith-filled living.
What many consider faith is something that has been humanized. Today much of what is taught about faith is corrupted faith. It is rooted in personal gain or to meet self needs and desires. The faith that is taught is urging believers to ask God to bless them, prosper them and to give them their dreams and desires.
True faith that walks in obedience to God’s Word already understands that they are blessed and walk in favor with God because it stems from a relationship with God.
True faith is born out of intimacy with God.
If the faith we have doesn’t come out of intimacy with God, it really isn’t faith in His sight. True faith comes out of the SUBSTANCE of our intimacy and relationship with God.
It is out of this intimacy that the blessings of faith come.
Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
People want to know the secret of having great faith. – There are no shortcuts, no secret formulas. God is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek HIM. People of great faith are people of prayer. Those who spend time in the presence of God.
The presence of God is not a mystical cloud that appears – to be in the presence of God means that we are PRESENT where HE is.
Presence is not a feeling, it is not an anointing, it is PROXIMITY.
James 4:8a - Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
You only truly get to know someone the closer you get to them. First in physical nearness then in emotional and spiritual nearness.
The reason people of faith are able to walk by faith and see the results of faith are because they stay close to God. –
A life that is lived by faith is a life that is lived near and close to God. Daniel 11:32b - but the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.
It is impossible to have faith that pleases God without sharing intimacy with Him.
True faith comes as we desire to know and please the Lord above everything else in our lives.
A life lived by faith is not a life that is lived alone it is lived in relationship with God. It is a bond of faith, a communion that is like a marriage.
A life lived by faith is a life lived together with God. All of it.
Each year we start out on a fresh journey. I am excited about what God is going to do in our lives individually and through us as a church as we truly learn to live – By Faith.
May you and your family be blessed in this New Year. Remember it is a New Year but the Same God! You are Loved-
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Proverbs 10:12 - Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.
~ Martin Luther King JR. – Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
1 John 3:15 - Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
1 John 4:19-20 - We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
For many people what is shocking, and disheartening is the rudeness, lack of courtesy, violence, general disinterests in kindness and basic morality and a lack of civility in our conversations.
It should not come as a surprise that a nation that has killed over 63 million babies through abortion since 1973 is now seeing people walk into schools and shopping malls and murdering our children. Many of these shootings are done by other children and teenagers or those in their early 20’s.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT) - You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
What a list!
This describes people today. What sticks out to me the most is that people are self-absorbed, prideful, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God and they consider NOTHING sacred or holy.
The last days will be marked by people who love things, ideas, and certain ideologies but they do not really care for people, especially those who are different than them or who do not agree with them.
We see this in the world among people who do not know Jesus.
Unfortunately, we are seeing this even among the people of God.
As Christians we are going to have to deal with hate and understand what the Bible says about hate.
The Bible tells us that hate stirs up all kinds of trouble and problems. – We see this all around us.
It also tells us that you can’t claim to love God and hate other people. You can dislike people and what they do but we are not to hate them.
Hate is not a new thing that we are dealing with.
Jesus spoke about love to a religious world that valued rules more than it valued relationships.
When Jesus confronted the religious people of His day about their hypocrisy, they hated Him for it and tried to kill Him. They eventually had Him crucified.
Today we are told that we are to hate sin and to love the sinner, yet very few of us get this correct. Much of the time we wind up hating the person instead of helping a person deal with their sin in love.
Hate is what happens when there is a vacuum of love.
What starts out as righteous indignation turns into judgment that causes us to be the jury and the executioner.
Hate feeds off itself. – It will eat you alive. It will begin to consume every thought, action and words.
Someone who was once positive, loving understanding and compassionate about the lost is now angry, suspicious of everyone and everything and poisons even good relationships and conversations.
Hate is nothing new. Cain grew Jealous of Able and hated him. This led to the first murder.
The Bible says that whoever hates a brother, or a sister is a murderer.
That is a powerful statement. Hate at its highest point will lead to physical murder. But hate truly believes that the world would be a better place without certain kinds of people in it.
Now understand the Bible does recommend the death penalty for crimes like rape, incest, and murder. – This is not what we are talking about. That is a cry for justice.
Hate – To despise, intense dislike, to detest, loathe, abhor, to shrink back in horror. To find nothing good in. It is placing no value at all in someone or something.
I find it necessary to remind people that the opposite of love is not hate it is selfishness.
The opposite of hate is worship. –
To worship - is to adore, cherish, be drawn to, to honor and reverence. It is devotion, commitment and loyalty. It is to put someone in the highest place in our life.
The reality is that we live in a world where we must coexist with evil.
People believe and do unspeakably evil and wicked things.
We will be called to speak the truth.
We are called to compassionately help those impacted by this evil.
We are to be light in the darkness.
When we are confronted with hatred, we must continue to do good and to speak the truth in love.
Romans 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.
We are to overflow with Good words, good fruit and good deeds.
Many Christians are being overcome with the same spirit that is in the world.
We must remember that – GREATER is HE that is in us than he that is in the world.
As Christians we are overcomers. We are not to be overcome and overwhelmed with hate. We are called to overwhelm hate with Good.
By responding and living like Christ we don’t add to the problems, we disarm principalities and powers. This includes Satan’s weapon of hate. To win the world to Jesus we can’t fight battles the same way they do with the same weapons and think we will win.
Our weapons to defeat hatred are not carnal fleshly, feel-good things, they are mighty for pulling down the strongholds in people and in society.
Hear me – Hatred is a stronghold. – Make no mistake about it. But it is only a stronghold where it is permitted.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 - For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
I love this… We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
Teaching happens through our words AND our example.
You can’t do that if you try to fight hate with hate. - You do that with truth, love and compassion and an unyielding commitment to holiness both – personal holiness and holiness in thought and belief.
We must respond to hate by making sure we do not give more attention to the hate than we do the harvest.
Ultimately it is God’s job to take care of the evil in the world.
Matthew 13:24-30 - Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
In the process of trying to tear up what is bad many well-meaning Christians have uprooted and hurt many good people. That looked like weeds but were actually full of Good fruit.
Sometimes wheat and weeds look a lot alike in the early and developing stages.
I want to remind you that the majority of our time is not to be spent dealing with the weeds but to be nourishing the seeds and cultivating a harvest of good things.
The enemy is all about destruction and he wants to get us in on the process. God is all about life.
I love the response – let them grow and we will sort it all out at the end.
This is great wisdom. Dealing with Hate.
Know that You are dearly loved,
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 - And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
~ A.W. Tozer – It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.
It is necessary that God takes anyone who wants to know Him, serve Him and be mightily used by Him through seasons of pain, trials and hardships that break you, OF YOU, but won’t leave you wounded and broken.
We watch God take people in the Bible through this. David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Job, Peter and Paul. Every one of them were broken to the point where they truly wondered if they were broken beyond repair. They doubted themselves and wondered how they could ever be useful to God. Some wondered if they had wasted their life. Others just wanted their life to end.
It was in their greatest moments of despair, failure, betrayal, dismay, depression and pain that God developed them into the mighty instruments of God that they became.
Brokenness is painful, but it develops humility and dependance on God that very few experience.
In the same way that olives are crushed to produce oil, in the same way that grapes are crushed to make a fine wine and in the same way that flowers are crushed to make perfume, we must be humbled before we can be mightily used by God.
If God is breaking you, although it is challenging, painful and emotionally draining, you can rejoice knowing that God thinks that you are worth the refining process. God will take all of us through trying times to refine us, heal us, break us from things that hold us back and draw out what is valuable inside of us.
The truth is that many of us will go through several of these times during our lifetime and in our walk with God.
Broken times come in many forms and in many ways. Some of them are unique to just you and others are things that we all must experience. These times leave us weak, questioning ourselves, God and our choices. They leave us with a keen awareness of our own weaknesses, sins and shortcomings.
Brokenness is an absolutely adequate word to describe how we feel. Utterly at the end of ourselves and over almost everything.
You need to hear this. – Just because you are going through a season of brokenness does not mean you are broken. It may feel like it.
What is happening is you are being refined. Stop asking the questions – What is wrong with me? Why am I such a failure?
Ask instead. What is God doing in all of this? How can I cooperate with Him?
There is a great shaking going on among the body of Christ. Those who want to know God and be used mightily are being broken and those who are arrogant are being revealed.
Before David could be King, he had to go tend sheep.
He defeated giants; He was anointed but he was not released to lead until he learned how to tend.
David had to learn to be a keeper before he could be King.
Moses spent forty years in the desert before he could spend forty years leading Israel through the wilderness. You must have been there before you can take people where God needs them to be.
The Anointing that comes from brokenness will cost you.
Deep heart-searching change is painful and labor intensive as well as emotionally and physically exhausting. – Isaiah compared these times to childbirth. Isaiah 26:17 - As a woman with child Is in pain and cries out in her pangs, when she draws near the time of her delivery, so have we been in Your sight, O Lord.
Someone said – There is always travail before you prevail.
It is human nature to pride ourselves in our ability to be unbroken. The British call it “having a stiff upper lip”. In America we revel in the idea of never allowing anyone to see you sweat. We become hard so no one can ever hurt us or our heart. We put on the façade of having it – “All together” – sometimes so well that we believe it ourselves. We spend much of our time trying not to appear cracked, hurt or weak. We are told to always project strength.
Half of what is taught in churches today is all about how to keep ourselves strong, intact and to be the best version of ourselves.
We come to God crying out to be whole when we would do just as well to say with all sincerity “Lord, wound me, break me, mold me, shape me, fill me and make me like you.
All of us struggle with pride on some level.
I can assure you if we do not allow God to break us of pride then pride will ruin us. Today with all the talk about achieving our dreams, on becoming self-reliant, self-sufficient and the best version of ourselves and living our best life all we have done is become self-righteous. We talk about becoming leaders, and influencers and less about becoming the servant of all.
We are so busy trying to be great that we have lost our ability to relate. We are so busy focusing on impact that we have lost the common touch that was able to transform hearts.
Humility is a lifelong struggle for all of us. All of us struggle with pride, image, accomplishment and capability. God values humility and brokenness over ability and giftedness.
It takes brokenness to rid us of pride. The sooner we realize that we are flawed, broken and utterly dependent upon God the sooner we will experience true joy and freedom.
In God’s economy it is only when we are weak, it is only when we lose our self-reliance that we are truly strong. We self-righteously try to talk ourselves right out of weakness.
I have a revelation for you. It was when Jesus was literally broken, His body whipped, physically weak. He was forsaken by God -emotionally abandoned and alone. It was when he was hanging naked on display for all to see – humiliated and dishonored –that He broke the power of sin and death.
Modern Christianity wants nothing to do with this weakness and humility stuff and we have never been weaker.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul said when I am weak then I am strong.
Someone needs to hear this – you have been asking to minister in the power of God, but you want to feel strong, you want to feel on top of the world, you want to feel invincible.
My friend that is where pride comes in that will destroy you.
God is bringing us to the point where we realize that we don’t need to be great. We don’t need to be strong in ourselves, He is bringing us to the point where we are STRONG IN THE LORD AND IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT.
Not our own. That is where God works best.
I am excited about what God is doing in the life of those who love Him. There is a precious, powerful work that is happening in the body of Christ. It is not easy; it is not comfortable, and it certainly is not fashionable. IT IS necessary in these last days.
Know that you are loved and not alone. This work of brokenness of complete dependance on God. This thing that is completely different than the way the world works – is God doing His perfect work in us.
May it be our cry today – Lord break me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
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