GCT Weekly Newsletter

When Jesus says “Woe”, He means Woe – Luke 11:37-53

Hello Church Family: What makes Jesus perturbed? Angry? Upset? What do you think? This week in Luke 11, we get to see Jesus being angry and not sinning. What is making Jesus angry? He really does not like works-righteousness! He never hesitated to offend religious people who thought of themselves as self-righteous on account of their own petty works. Jesus always took the opportunity to confront those who considered themselves holy and acceptable to God because of their great ability to keep man-made rules. Jesus was not going to let self-righteous people be pridefully happy in their false sense of security through endless man-made rule keeping. This is the very reason the Son of God came to earth. He came to make us acceptable to God through His perfect righteousness. Jesus was not going to let spiritual hypocrisy just slide on by in the lives of these pseudo-holy people that flaunted their rule-keeping and led others in the same burdensome works salvation. These pseudo-holy leaders were keeping people from the truth of the Gospel. Jesus was not going to let that happen. So, what did He do? He sat down and had a meal with them and dropped some heavy Gospel truth on their plate about their absolute hypocrisy (Luke 11:37). I am sure that these occasions made for some great mealtime conversations.

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Are you still seeking a sign?

Hello Church Family: Have you ever found yourself seeking for a sign from God so that you can determine if He really is real? Do you ask God, show me a sign that Jesus really is Your Son? God, give me a sign that Jesus really is the sacrifice for my sins and the power of eternal life? God, how can I be guaranteed peace with You? God, can I really be assured of salvation because of the life of Jesus Christ?
 

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A Life “Swept and Put in Order” Without Christ is a Life to be Dominated by Spiritual Attacks

Hello Church: Do you struggle with a bad habit that does not please the Lord and impacts your life and relationships? Have you ever been dominated by an active, habitual, life-dominating sin? Do you want to escape these habits and sins? Our culture provides and encourages many opportunities for us to engage in to escape the pain and destruction of those habits. There are support groups, therapies, new friendships, clubs, sports, self-help books, classes at church and countless other opportunities to help overcome bad habits, bad thinking and other life-dominating sins. And yes, many of these opportunities work for millions of people. But are they all the same? Jesus Himself reminds us that if we neglect the root problem of these destructive sin habits we will end up worse off than before our lives were swept and put in order.

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Scorpions, Eggs and Shameless Audacious Prayer

Hello Church Family: Have you ever asked God for things that you have never received? Are you mad that you have never received what you have asked of Him? Have you ever said, “I asked God for this or that and I did not get it so I stopped asking.”
 
Jesus wants us to clearly understand from Luke 11, that to pray the way our Heavenly Father wants us to pray is to pray with shameless persistence! Jesus teaches that to be a person of prayer is to be one who perseveres in asking, perseveres in seeking and perseveres in knocking. We must accept that the Bible teaches that often God gives us what we need only after a long season of shameless persistent prayer. This does not mean that He is uncaring or insensitive to our wants, needs or desires. Instead, we know that whenever He decides to give us whatever we have been asking from Him it is because He loves us and His desire is always to give us good gifts at the best time for us to have them. We can be certain that our loving Heavenly Father only gives His children what is good for us and many times what is good for us is the time spent in shameless, persistent asking, seeking and knocking. God does respond to shameless, persisting prayer. In fact, Scripture is clear that many times we have not received this or that is because we did not persist in prayer like He calls us to do so (Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8).

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Temptation Contingency Plan – Do you have one?

“Contingency plan,” government and businesses all seem to have one today. A contingency plan is a plan devised during times of crisis and are often developed to explore and prepare for any event that, though unlikely, would have catastrophic consequences. I believe that as followers of Christ we are called to have a contingency plan against temptation and evil. Submitting to temptation and evil brings catastrophic consequences into our lives and relationships. We need a contingency plan for temptation and evil as it wages war against us. Life is a battle! It is a war! We are at war against our own sinful flesh, Satan, and the world is trying to pull us down. The Bible is clear. The Devil and demons are real and these invisible enemies want to destroy our lives as followers of the King. Sin and temptation are the evil kingly rulers desiring to de-throne the King of Kings from our hearts. Sin does not want to play a minor role in our lives, it wants to become the king of our hearts. Our mere willpower will leave us defeated and destroyed by these enemies. We cannot rest on any past success against certain sins. Daily we are tempted to do things that brings out the worst in us. Do you have a temptation contingency plan to do battle against these adversaries?

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God’s Mercy is Always Greater Than the Sin That We Bring Him

Hey Church Family: Do you struggle with sin? As believers we will continue to struggle with sin until the day we leave this earth which means that we are people who live in the need of forgiveness every moment of every day. We cannot go one day without needing God to forgive us and at the same time us needing to forgive someone or seeking to ask for forgiveness from those whom we have transgressed. We cannot make it in this world without giving and getting forgiveness. Our salvation is about forgiveness. For calls all of us as the family of God to display the exact proportion of forgiveness that has been distributed to us from our Heavenly Father. That is extreme forgiveness, radical forgiveness. There is not room for malice, bitterness, hostility or resentment.

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