If you ever consider the evidence regarding the birth of Jesus Christ, the history and events that led up to that unique event, and the dark, evil, and ugly conditions for which the events that would bring us light, hope, and joy all occurred, it is overwhelmingly impressive and phenomenal. For example, the prophesied Messiah, talked about throughout the books of the Old Testament was born from the line of King David through a group of "nobodies." That is why an angel from the Lord had to appear to intervene in the lives of Mary and Joseph, and inform them of their purpose. Wise men would counsel kings, and had exceptional knowledge, education, and discernment skills that would make their advice valued. They read the signs and traveled accordingly to the very place that led them to the Christ child. And there are many more thought provoking components to consider, that Pastor Troy will share in this message.
Pastor Troy Billow discusses the significance of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and why it is so distinctly important. God set in motion a plan for the world that its proclaimed through a series of prophecies which begins in Genesis, and ends in Revelation. Throughout history, the promise of a Messiah who will rule and reign on earth was sent to us through God himself, angels, and prophets all throughout history. Jesus's birth is explained in the historical record, and is tied in with the lineage of King David of Israel, Abraham who God made a covenant with, and Adam, the first man created. At a time when the concept of the virgin birth is under attack, it is important to know why God chose this means to distinctly define who His son is, so there's no mistake about it.
We are made in God's image and likeness. That said, there are certain characteristics that we have that God has. Since the fall of man through sin, we have been bogged down with the influences of the fallen world around us, our own carnal, fleshly nature, and the spirit and influence of Satan, who wants nothing more than to sift all of humanity like wheat. However, God's gift to the world did an extraordinary thing. Because of Christ's birth, death, resurrection, and sending of the Holy Spirit, when we choose to receive Him into our hearts and lives, He does an amazing thing in us. He places His Spirit in us so He can see inside of us. He sees our old self, the one we start out with, sees our potential, and when we trust Him and allow Him to take the reigns on our lives, He brings us to our future self, the one that is becoming more like Jesus, and that opens the door to so much more.
Coming right out of Thanksgiving and into the first week of Advent, the people of Living Faith Community Church assemble for a special service of prayer and praise. This is something that ancient Israel did quite often... sometimes all day. They would get together, read scripture, praise the Lord for His goodness, faithfulness, and mercy, and pray. In that spirit, we devote the entire hour, with our dynamic music and praise group "As One" to pay homage in a similar fashion.
Our Special Guest, U.S. Navy Seal Commander (Ret.) Michael Imhof, delivers a bold and critical message to the church of today. While a significant storm is gathering momentum in the world, our lives, our culture, our environment, and in our politics, the church of Jesus Christ needs to know that it carries something valuable to not only weather it, but to overcome it in victory; and that is delegated authority granted to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. Michael Imhof offers key points given to us from God's Word as to how to apply this Kingdom Authority. Michael Imhof used the promises of scripture in his career as a Navy Seal (and is the subject of his book "Stand Up for God: Biblical Principles Learned in a Military Career) and teaches us how to use the "you are Him here" approach, as ambassadors of Christ, to be prepared to engage and act in a world that is racked with pain, evil, and in that, is becoming more hostile to Christ and the good things that He stands for.
In the 2nd message in a series on stewardship, Pastor Troy Billow explains the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with God, who strengthens and enables us to produce fruit, and keeps us productive in advancing the Kingdom of God. This affects everything we do in Jesus's name. If we're not "plugged in" with the Lord, then we wither and dry up. The danger then comes in the pruning. If we stay "plugged in" we radiate life, hope, and fruit. Why this matters greatly in the life of a believer will be thoroughly explained.
In the first in a series on stewardship, Pastor Troy Billow explains the parable Jesus spoke of regarding the talents (which was a large sum of money - nearly a lifetime's worth for the average man in the first century) and from it, explains the importance of a follower of Christ sharing their faith. Pirates bury their treasure hoping that nobody ever finds it out, and this message is a plea to Christians saying "don't be a pirate" that Christ instills within you.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ was sent to the Jews first. From Moses, all the way down through the prophets, in every epoch of history where God reached out to the children of Israel, the efforts God made and everything He did to reach out to them was centered on the Kingdom of God coming to their hearts. That was ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. But the Jews rejected Him and thus the Gospel message. So after experiencing the full force of that rejection, Paul focused the rest of his energy, efforts, and priorities on bringing the Kingdom of God and the Hope that comes with it, to the Gentiles. It is because of this reason, our churches exist today. It is because of Paul's faith and focus that we have the hope, the life, the power, and the energy to keep this message alive and moving, transforming lives for the better, for eternity. That is the power of God in motion through Jesus Christ.
If you stopped and looked at all that Paul had been through, and consider all of the encounters he had with people, and the reactions that they had towards him, it would stand to reason that they had misplaced faith. Think about it; Paul proclaimed Christ to the Jews first, but they rejected Him, placing their faith in their "self-righteousness". The crew that was supposed to transport Paul to Rome had their faith placed in the twin gods Castor and Pollux, whose images were carved into bow of their Alexandrian ship (and who was supposed to "protect them", placing their faith in Greek mythology), but the ship barely made it in one piece. It took Christ's intervention, and Paul's holding to what Christ had promised to sustain not only him, but all who encountered him. Paul finally arrives in Rome, and is allowed to live by himself, though chained to a soldier to guard him.