Midweek Reflections

Power In the Name Of Jesus

Read: 1 Samuel 17:33-54
What battles have you been facing lately? Do some of your troubles look like giants standing in front of you that seem impossible to overcome? So often we look at our troubles or problems and can’t see how we ourselves can solve them. The truth is we often don’t have the power to overcome difficulties on our own.
This story of David and Goliath is a wonderful reminder that we need to face our own “giants” in the name of the Lord. It also reminds us that God gives us the gifts and talents to help us overcome the difficulties we face. David began by putting on Saul’s armor, helmet and sword to face Goliath but soon realized that this wasn’t what he was accustomed to. At that point in his life, he was more talented with a sling and stone rather than a sword and armor. So, he faced this giant with the gifts God had given him. David also new that he needed more than just his talents, he needed the power of the Lord as well. David says in verse 45, “You come against me with sword and spear, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty”. He called upon the name of the Lord for his success.
Make It Personal
How are you facing your Giants? The next time you see one, start by coming against it in the name of the Lord. Ask God to reveal the gifts he has given you to get you through the battle. Remember, there is power in His name.
~written by Lamar Miller

Ask, Seek, Knock

Read: Matthew 7:7-11

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Have you become disillusioned with prayer? Have you been asking, seeking and knocking, but God hasn’t answered your request? If that’s the case, you may be wondering why so many Christians speak about the power of prayer when it seems ineffective in your life.

Verses 9-11 of this Matthew passage help us understand the big picture. Jesus makes a comparison between earthly Fathers and our heavenly Father. Even though a human father is flawed and limited, he can give good things to his children. So it stands to reason that the heavenly Father, who is all-powerful and all-knowing, will give what’s beneficial to His children.

Sometimes we’re like spiritual toddlers in our limited understanding. We may not realize that our requests aren’t always what God deems best for us. Prayer teaches us humility, dependence, submission, and trust. The power of prayer is not that we can receive something, but that we’re able to relate to the One who supplies all our needs.

Make it personal:
Prayer helps us find direction, gives us strength to avoid temptation, and aligns our will with God’s will. The purpose of prayer is not necessarily to tell God how you want Him to do things; rather, it’s to better understand Him and His ways, and to bring us into alignment with His will.  C.S. Lewis said, “Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes us.” As you pray this week, be conscious of a change in your spiritual life. If you’re continuously communicating with God, you should feel closer to Him. Truly, there is power in prayer and it can change us in many ways. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s power to change your life!

~ written by Lynn Marner

Roman’s Road

Read:  Romans 3:10, 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10, 10:13, 5:1-2, 8:1

Do you recognize the above verses? Why are there so many of them? What truths are they sharing? These verses in Romans are often called the Romans Road to Salvation. They contain the essential truths of the Christian faith.  Let’s look in a little more detail to these verses:

1)   The Human Problem (3:10, 3:23, 6:23a)  Our call is to live a glorious, righteous life with God, yet sin (wrongdoing) has entered the world and unfortunately lives in each of our hearts.  Have you sinned?  6:23a says in order to pay for sin and to abolish it, death is what must be paid.

2)   Is there any Hope to be Restored if Death is required? (6:23b, 5:8).  These scriptures tell us that we see God’s love demonstrated by Christ’s action to die on the cross while we are still affected by the sin nature.   He chose to figure out a way for us to have hope.

3)   What is our Response to this Hope?  (10:9-10, 10:13) Salvation comes to us when we confess with our mouths Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead.  This is available to all people and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

4)   Result of Salvation (5:1-2, 8:1)  Two of the (many) promised results of salvation are peace and no further condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

This is a long path to walk in such a few short paragraphs.  If you have read these verses and wish to talk to someone about any piece of this, please reach out to the office, or the Ministry team, or your closest friend who is a Christian to discuss this further.

God, Thank you for the Roman’s Road message.  Let us not read it and forget it, but let it help us to come to faith, to encourage others to respond to you, and to give us assurance in our discipleship

~ written by Jenni Marner

June 8, 2022 Midweek Reflection

Read: Galatians 6:10

We just experienced the time of year when graduates were celebrated. At graduation ceremonies much advice is handed out. Barbara Bush gave a speech to graduates and she said, “Cherish your human connections…your relationships with family and friends…the human connections with spouse, children and friends are the most important investment you can make. At the end of your life you will never regret not passing one more test, winning one more verdict or closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.” It is human nature to want purpose. We would all like to think people’s lives are better because we were  here. How can we in AMC make a difference?

A journalist asked the late Mother Teresa if it weren’t discouraging to work with so many poor people who never seemed to improve their lot in life. She responded, “Sir I wasn’t called to be successful – I was called to be faithful.” We are called to be faithful wherever God has placed us.  God asked Moses what was in his hand. It was a shepherd’s staff, but God used that to change history. What is in your hand? Is it a wooden spoon? That could turn out a cake or cookies that would show God’s love to neighbors or to a college student who just needs to know he’s not forgotten. The pen you hold could produce a note of encouragement or a thank you to someone who needs to know they’re appreciated. The book on your lap could make a special moment with a child. If you have money in your hand it could buy some groceries for a needy family. Sometimes we think we need special gifts to serve God but he desires that we trust Him and give Him what we already hold in our hands. 

Galatians 6:10 tells us that as we have opportunity let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of God. Look around at how you can love others and thus fulfill the love of Christ. Use what you have in your hand. I read that the holiest moment in any church service is when God’s people go out the doors and into the world. God wants us to be dispensers like a Windex bottle squirting life, light and love. If my bottle is empty because I’ve been self centered and plugged up with all the hurts of life my water is not fresh and refreshing. Life is not made up of big moments, but in being faithful in all the small things that come our way.

Make it personal: As you go out this week notice the people God is placing in your path. Be a dispenser of life and love. Use what you have in your hand to make a difference for someone else.

~ written by Gloria Yoder

Rejoice & Mourn

Read: Romans 12:9-21

Recently I have had the opportunity to celebrate with those who have received good news and mourn with those who have received bad news or have lost a loved one here on earth.  As a pastor I have these opportunities often but in Roman 12 we are reminded that this is something that all believers should do for one another, and often.

How easy is it for you to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn?”  We often feel sympathy and extend sympathy to those who are going through difficult times or have lost a family member or friend, but how good are we at celebrating with those who rejoice even though we may not be blessed or as fortunate as they are.

In my Bible this section of scripture in Romans is titled “Love in Action.”  As fellow believers we need to support each other and love each other in all courses of life.  We are not to be jealous of others successes or ignore the plight of the needy.  We are even encouraged in these verses to bless those who persecute us instead of cursing them.  May the Lord help us all to be the people of God we are called to be.  To rejoice, mourn, bless, and love others in the ups and downs of life.  We ourselves will be blessed if we do so.

Make It Personal:  Think of someone you know who has been especially blessed with good news recently.  Now think of someone who is going through a very rough time in their life.  Find ways this week to rejoice with the one who is blessed and come close to the one who is stressed.

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes

Your Burning Bush

Read: Exodus 3:1-12

The account of Moses and the burning bush in Exodus 3 is one that always intrigues.  While the details are very clear it often leaves us wondering what a burning bush that never burns up might look like.  The physical attributes are really not the most important part of this story though, God is speaking to Moses and this was how he chose to get his attention.  How does that work for us today?

We often hear people talk about getting in touch with God or feeling close to the Lord through prayer, reading the Bible, meditating on scripture, being silent and listening, nature, and other means, but how do we know if what we are hearing is a clear guidance or directive from God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?  The first step is to offer yourself to God.  Moses did that by saying, “Here I am.”  Then the Lord spoke.

The next step is to test the word to see if it lines up with God’s word and the life of Jesus.  Prayer, talking with other believers, and asking God for more details can often be a way to distinguish between God’s directive or that of a false prophet or false directive.  Moses questioned his call to lead the Isrealites out of Egypt and didn’t think he had what it would take, but God always had the answer to his questions.  God was calling and God would provide.  How might the Lord be speaking to you these days and in what way is God speaking?  What is your response going to be? 

Make It Personal:  Make sure you are seeking the Lord and asking for his guidance with some of the big decisions in your life.  Always be listening because sometimes the Lord will speak into your life even if you are not asking for it.  My prayer is that we will always respond to God’s leading and trust that the Lord will be with us and provide for us.  Here I am Lord!

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes

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