Month: December 2014

Radical?

radical

A phrase has developed in recent years describing Christianity that in actuality is misleading. The phrase is radical Christianity. A strange name for what should be normal. But “normal” Christianity is radical when compared to world norms. The way we think, act, respond and treat others should be against the norm…or radical. We respond to hate…with love. We respond to violence…with peace. We respond to greed…with generosity. We respond radically.

Not only do we respond differently, in the Christian faith there are some givens…those things that we should know to practice in our lives. We don’t need to ask God if we should, He has already told us in His Word that we should. We don’t need to ask if we should love others…God has already told us that we should. We don’t need to ask if we are our brother’s keeper…He has already told us that we are.

Matthew records in his Gospel what I like to call the “three givens”. Jesus speaks of three things that are expected of believers. Not “ifs”, rather “whens”.

Note what Jesus says:

First: Jesus reminds us we are to be givers…

Matthew 6:2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Secondly: We are to be a praying people…

Matthew 6:5 When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Third: We are to fast…

Matthew 6:16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Do we really expect a breakthrough with God without the spiritual discipline of fasting? We do okay with the first two…we give and we pray. How do we choose to skip the third?

This New Year’s Eve we will begin our year with a time of prayer at City Church. And as we do this, I am also encouraging those of us who can, to begin a 21 Day Daniel Fast (a Daniel fast is basically fruits, vegetables and water). If you think that may be too much for you, let me encourage you to commit to 21 days of a limited time of prayer and fasting: fast from certain things during that time…fast for 12 hours one day a week. Anything to remind yourself during these 21 days, that we are waiting to hear from God. We all begin somewhere, so let this be a start of some discipline in our lives.

And also, during these 21 Days, let me encourage each of us to read Matthew 6:1-18 every day for 21 Days.

Looking forward to hearing what God is doing in your lives during these upcoming 21 Days!

Dr. Robert McCarver
Directional Pastor

who?

who

Recently Bono the lead singer from the band U2 was interviewed on the BBC about his beliefs, here is an excerpt.

“I think a defining question for a Christian is: Who was Christ? And I don’t think you’re let off easily by saying a great thinker or a great philosopher, because actually he went around saying he was the Messiah. That’s why he was crucified. He was crucified because he said he was the Son of God. So, he either, in my view, was the Son of God, or he was … nuts. Forget rock ‘n roll messianic complexes, this is like Charlie Manson type delirium. And, I find it hard to accept that a whole millions and millions of lives, half the earth, for two thousand years have been touched, have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter.”

Who was Christ? That’s the biggest question any of us will ever have to answer. It’s something we all have to decide for ourselves. But we need to remember that God told us exactly who Jesus is before He arrived! Remember? Lets look at Luke 2:8-15 and see what happened.

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!”13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors. ”15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Did you see it? Look at verse 11. The gift that had arrived was the “Savior, Messiah, and Lord.’

Let me tell you what those words are in the Greek so we can look at their meaning to the people who hear it…

The Savior (greek: so-tare’ Definition: a deliverer,)—yes, the Messiah, (greek: khris-tos’ Definition: anointed, i.e. the Messiah,)—the Lord (greek: koo’-ree-os Definition: supremacy); supreme in authority, GOD)——has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! 

So this is what the shepherds heard:

The Deliverer—yes, the Christ, GOD—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!

God told us in the Old Testament it was going to happen, angels told us when it happened. Jesus told us when He was here and that He would come back.

Who was Jesus? I personally like Peter’s reply when asked by Jesus “Who do YOU say that I AM?” His reply?
“Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16

It’s Christmas time. When we remember this gift that GOD gave us. Have you accepted Him or are you still deciding who Jesus is?

Bono has it right. How about you?

We wish you all a joyous season of celebrating Gods gift to us all!

Jim Turley
Associate Pastor
City Church Texarkana

It Is Christmas Time!

Nativity

This is always a joyous and busy time of year…filled with the excitement of time off, seeing family, friends and lots of food. We at City Church rejoice with you and pray that you have a great end of year and a New Year filled with the Glory of God.

Keep in mind some of the following as you schedule your Christmas Season:

  • Parents Night Out, December 12, 2104 @ 5:30 – 8:30 pm. Birth- 6th $5.00 per child…all proceeds donated to our World Vision Christmas Project.
  • Christmas Eve Communion Service @ 5:30 pm
  • End of year giving must be in the church office by December 31, 2014. Someone will be here all day.
  • New Year’s Eve Midnight Madness. Bring your favorite finger foods for City Church Fellowship beginning @ 10 pm. Prayer in Worship Center @ 11:30 pm. Come and pray for God’s blessings in 2015.

See you this weekend at City Church as we continue our Christmas Series from Matthew 2:1-9. Our subject this week is “Look Expectantly”. I believe the reason many see God move in their lives because they are looking to see God.

Always exciting!

Thank You for Your Support and Service to Our Lord

Robert