All In The Attitude

Pastor Steve Shober taught that just as Jesus lived a life in humble service to mankind, our attitude toward others can reflect that level of unselfishness by putting others before ourselves.

-    “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above ourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.”  Phil 2:1-8

-    God changes our spirit but we choose whether or not to heed his guidance.  “He humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death on the cross.” Phil 2:8

-    “Anyone who wants to be first must be last, and the servant of all.”  Mark 9:35.  

-    “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God…” 1 Peter 5: 6 and James 4:10. 

-    “But whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first must be slave of all.  For the Son of Man came not be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:43-45.

-    “If any want to be my followers, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24.

VBS Testimonies: Both Services

A testimony is so much more than an inspiring story shared by a believer. Testimonies are an invitation to join with the storyteller in communion—in intimate connection—with each other and with the God Who made the testimony possible. (1 John 1:1-4) This weekend, more than a dozen VBS volunteers shared what God did in them, for them, and through them because they said “yes” to VBS. Whether you were able to participate or not, this weekend’s services are an invitation to share in the experiences with us “so that our joy may be made complete.”

The Spirit of Revelation

Evan teaches from Ephesians 1:13-14, that we are “are sealed by the Holy Spirit”. The enemy of our soul is wanting  to break that  seal, or at least convince us it is broken by reminding us of our sins and shortcomings.   But that is not how it works: we are sealed in Christ and nothing can break that. 

We as children receive an inheritance from God our Father: what we receive is super valuable. Evan challenges us to consider these questions: “Do I live my life knowing that I have a valuable gift from God our Father?”, “What do I  believe about the inheritance God has for me?”, and “Does God’s calling on my life  make me feel  hopeful, or is it more a  burden... and why?”  Part of our inheritance is revelation in our lives, watch now and  you may be reminded of the things God has shown or promised you in the past that have equipped you for today. 

Ephesians 1:13-14
Galatians 4:6-7
Ephesians 1: 17-19
Deuteronomy 29:29
 

Why Is Paul So Glad To Speak In Tongues

Pastor Daniel Brown taught on the benefits of speaking in our spiritual tongue/language (1 Corinthians 14: 1-31).  Pentecost was the first account of baptism of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church (Acts 2:1). When we pray in the Spirit we become connected to the Source who knows how to align with God.  To easier discern God’s will, it’s helpful if we are baptized in the Holy Spirit so that we can pray in the Spirit to God.  This feeds understanding, making us dynamic spiritual agents for God.  

Hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit gives us very specific guidance that we would not otherwise have access to.  Although we aren’t permitted to know the meaning of the words when we pray in the Spirit, we can know that God is dealing directly (2 Corinthians 12:4). We don’t need to understand the mysteries (1 Corinthians 14:2). The Spirit intercedes for us according to God’s will (Romans 8: 26-27).  

Before The Beginning Of The Modern Church

Pastor Evan Brown speaks on the topic, “How can we at Coastlands expand the Kingdom of God?”  After Christ’s resurrection, it was Jesus’ personal encounters with His Disciples that brought peace to calm their fears.  And as the Disciples spent time with Jesus and they grew in their understanding that Jesus was the living Christ, their love and desire to serve Him grew to the point of willingly giving up their lives to advance the Kingdom.  Yet Jesus did not leave His Disciples alone to do this work on their own strength.  He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to give them the power to carry on the work of the Kingdom.   In the same way today, we can grow in our effectiveness to advance the Kingdom when we take time to encounter the living Christ, grow in our understanding of His love and work for us on the cross, and we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Scripture references are from John 20 and Acts 1.

The Kingdom To Come

In a departure from a traditional teaching, Pastor Evan Brown closes his series on the Kingdom of God by inviting us to open our hearts and soak on four [mind-blowing] truths about the Kingdom—truths we may not be able to wrap our minds around without the help of the Holy Spirit.

1.       Let Your Kingdom Come on earth (Matthew 6:9-13). When we pray this in The Lord’s Prayer, we are calling upon the Kingdom of Heaven to intersect and infiltrate the darkness. We are those intersection points—representatives of that kingdom, sent to tell people the time has come to repent and believe (2 Corinthians 5:20; Matthew 10:7; Mark 1:15).
2.       Hope and Anticipation of His return (Acts 1:9-11). He will return; we don’t know when, but we must be patient and ready no matter when He shows up (Mark 13:33-37; James 5:7, 8; Matthew 25:1-13). Are you living in anticipation?
3.       He will claim His own (John 14:1-3, 18). He has gone to prepare a place for us; He will come back for those who are His own. Jesus will claim this world and surrender it again to the Father (1 Peter 2:9, 10; 1 Corinthians 15:22-28).
4.       The kingdom of the world is Yours (Revelation 11:15, 16). In the end, the world becomes the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ. In love, Jesus died for us, He released us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests. He wants all of us with him, for eternity (Revelation 5:9b, 10; Revelation 1:5, 6; 2 Peter 3:8, 9). The world will be His again, for eternity. What does that suggest to you about the way you should live?

Tools for Kingdom Breakthrough

Pastor Evan Brown expanded on last week’s teaching on the subject of pressing into God as we face the believer’s inevitable oppositions.  Jesus provided us with the tools to endure and break through the most difficult situations when He gave us the gift of His Holy Spirit.  Walking in obedience to Him means being a part of re-establishing God’s rule on earth.  And when, through obedience, we break through obstacles, we make it easier for those around us to break through theirs.  By using the tools He provided, such as Faith, (1Tim 1:3-4), Prayer, (Matt 6:8) and Serving, (Mark 10:41-43), we will be for Him, the ambassadors He has called upon us to be.

Pressing In By Faith

Pastor Evan Brown shares a personal story to illustrate the truth that we will face trouble and resistance in life when we press into the things of God. Yet we can have hope during difficult times knowing we will gain strength, and reap great spiritual blessing, when we break through and press in against any resistance to submit to God.  Sometimes the barriers are great, and we are tempted to shrink back.  Yet through faith we can rely on the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth of the scriptures to confidently come into the presence of God during difficult times and experience the life He has intended for us to live.   Scripture readings are from Hebrews 10:19-11:1.

Unless You Become Like a Child

When the disciples asked Jesus, “Who, then, is the greatest in the Kingdom?” Jesus’ response was to call over a little child and explain that unless we become like little children, we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What does it mean to become like a child? Pastor Josh Engelhardt explains the childlike qualities Jesus is looking for in our hearts. Can we still be humble, trusting, playful, eager, imaginative, and utterly dependent on the God who invites us to call Him Abba, “Daddy”? 

Kingdom Birth, Kingdom Living

Evan continues his series on the Kingdom of God,  by examining the story of Nicodemus in the first 15 verses of John chapter 3, which lead up to perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16. 

Just as Nicodemus could not comprehend ‘being born again’ or ‘where the wind comes from’, our natural thinking does not easily recognize the opportunities that come our way to actually enter the Kingdom of God.  Evan illustrates  these  points and invites us to consider  the difference between a 2-dimensional and  a 3-dimensional  Christian life — and how a citizen of the Kingdom of God will first ask, “God, what do You think about that?”, to help see beyond the 2-dimensional natural situation and challenge, that may actually be a 3-dimensional opportunity from the Lord to enter His Kingdom.
 

What is the Kingdom and Why Does it Matter?

What is the Kingdom of God but God’s sovereign rule over all His creation? Today we segued from the topic of Kingdoms of men, to the Kingdom of God.  Pastor Evan Brown, referencing God’s creation of earth and mankind, noted that God desired relationship with us, and chose us to partner with Him in having dominion over earth.  But in the fall of man, he forfeited that collaboration by instead choosing to partner with God’s and man’s enemy.  However, God had always had a plan.  In Mark 1: vs 14-15, Jesus tells the Galileans to proclaim the good news; “The kingdom of God has come near.  Repent and believe the good news!” God once again made it possible for man to choose to partner with Him through belief in His gift of reconciliation
to us.  His death and resurrection paved the way for us to give away our own lives and live for Jesus in His kingdom as His ambassadors, to bring God’s salvation to others. 

When we submit to God’s principles, as His agents, we experience abundant life within His kingdom.  

Easter 2018

On this Easter Sunday morning, we see a thought-provoking, beautiful, and dramatic presentation that allows us to reflect on our lives. We are entangled in the brokenness and darkness of this world, and we are engulfed in our own sin.  Yet we have hope, and we celebrate, because Jesus offers light and promise of new life.  Jesus cuts through all darkness, and he brings us from death to life.  As our lives intersect with the light of God, we become light in the darkness, bringing hope and life to a broken world.

It Is For Discipline That We Endure

From Hebrews 12, Pastor Evan Brown explores the significance of the word "endure/endurance".  Endurance is not just making it through and surviving difficult circumstances; the greater purpose is about learning how to walk straight forwardly on the paths the Lord has shown us and keeping our eyes on Jesus.  Enduring is the vehicle by which the Lord heals what is lame (not working) in our lives, and through which we end up with "the peaceful fruit of righteousness".  What a great promise!

VBS 2018 Kick-Off!

Hilary Millikan, director of VBS (Vacation Bible School)  shares her heart for this year’s VBS called, “Saddle Up”.  For the kids that already know God, for the kids that have yet to know God, and the adults who volunteer to make this all possible, God has something amazing for all of us. When you find yourself in a “desert place”, and God tells you that He has a way, do you tell him, “Yes”, “No” or “Yo”? ( a combination of yes and no) .

 She invited us to bring whatever we have to the Lord and watch not only what He does with it, but how He returns back to us more than we had to give. If you have an hour or all week to participate in VBS ( June 18-22), God can do something with whatever you bring to Him! Saddle Up!

What's Getting in the Way of Giving it Away

Josh Engelhardt taught that serving can be perceived as frightening and time consuming. We often struggle with fear factors that might tempt us to draw away from serving. Fear of giving up family time; lengthy job demands; the pull of worldly pursuits or the fear of adding the responsibility of service to already full schedules. However, Christ taught that by setting our hearts in a place where we trust that the more we give ourselves to Him, the more He will give
 

Conflict of Kings, Part 22: The Conflict of Man

When the last king of Judah had been taken to Babylon, the remnant left in Jerusalem went to ask the prophet Jeremiah for a word from the Lord. His word was very clear: stay in Jerusalem and I will protect you; run to Egypt and the calamities you are running from will overtake you. In fear, the people fled to Egypt. The conflict of kings—whether to follow God’s ways and live as we were meant to live, or run from God and suffer the consequences—is still our conflict today. But we can invoke the power of Jesus’ victory over hopelessness and fear.

Conflict of Kings, Part 20: Hezekiah's Prayer Life

Pastor Evan Brown teaches that by aligning ourselves with God, like King Hezekiah in 2 Kings:19,  lives that have gone astray can be set straight again.   When our spiritual enemy comes against us, this can trigger a falling away from the things of God.  We can easily be discouraged not trusting that God is still paying attention.  When life is going smoothly, things can happen to derail us, causing confusion and doubt.  When Hezekiah experienced this, he cried out to God pleading for God’s rescue.  God’s reply was, “Because you have prayed, I have heard you.” (2 Kings:20).  Prayer as our go-to pattern, when we’re tempted to try to work things out on our own, should produce an ease of faith for times when difficulties arise again. We can look back on how God demonstrated His presence in ways we couldn’t have imagined at the time. The importance and power of our own prayers as well as those of others to whom we entrust our vulnerabilities, is incalculable.

Conflict of Kings, Part 19: Hezekiah's Spiritual Warfare

Through the life of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18 and 2 Chronicles 32), Pastor Evan Brown teaches how to recognize the tactics of our spiritual enemy, Satan who is the accuser of our soul. Our enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy the life that God wants to give us. God has the power to rescue and restore us in whatever trouble may come our way. Yet even when we get off-track, God calls us back to Him.  If we return to God and take root in His ways, He has the power to heal, bless, and restore us to a life that bears great fruit no matter what our circumstances.

Conflict of Kings, Part 18: Hezekiah's Messy Return

The story of King Hezekiah of Judah is the story of the Father heart of God, who wants to see His kids again. When Hezekiah became king, he had the priests and Levites remove all the objects of idol worship from the Temple, so they could resume sacrificing to the Lord in the ways Moses commanded.