2017: A Year Without Boundaries

Going where we’ve not yet gone & seeing what we’ve not yet seen! 

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him”. – 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT

As we step out of 2016 and into 2017, I just want to take a minute to encourage you to take all of the limits off of what you can experience and accomplish in this new year. Remember, you are “in this world but you are not of this world”, so don’t let your past experiences, or the world around you, to define who you are or where you’re going. You are a child of the most high God! Let your Heavenly Father set the parameters of your life and your future. Let His unlimited promises be the lens through which you see 2017.

This will be a special year for those of us in the Kingdom of God who are following the voice of our Good Shepherd. The Lord, who sees the future clearer than we see the past, is calling us out from where we have been into the great days that He has prepared for us to walk in. I sincerely believe that it’s time for you and I to go where we’ve never gone before and to see what we’ve never seen before in God’s plans and purposes for our lives. I believe that it’s our time to go beyond our previous boundaries, limitations, walls and borders! It’s time to dream big dreams and to believe for great things. It’s time to walk in the fulfillment of our God-given destinies and to experience the full power and provision that our Heavenly Father has made ready for us in this hour.

Let’s decide now to go beyond the boundaries of the past and to believe in our God, with Whom all things are possible. Let’s allow the bigness of His plan for this new year to fill our hearts and our minds and then let’s follow Him out in faith to the places He has prepared for us!

Know that you are precious to us. We are praying that you and your family will have a blessed and peaceful New Year!

Grace & Peace,

Pastors Jordan & Melissa

www.oswegofamilychurch.com

 

3 Things to Consider this Christmas

Pastor Jordan Gash – December 24, 2016

This past week, I had the opportunity to speak at my daughter’s school during their chapel time and I shared with the students three things that we can learn from what happened in Bethlehem on the night that Jesus was born. While there are many more than three things that we can learn, these three stood out to me and I would like to share them with you.

1. GOD BRINGS GREATNESS OUT OF SMALL PLACES
In Micah 5:2, it says “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”  Out of all of the places on earth that Jesus could have been born, He came to the small city of Bethlehem. Not Rome or Athens or Jerusalem, but Bethlehem. God brought His greatness into that small unlikely place and then He brought His greatness out from that place. You might feel small or where you are at in life might seem to be insignificant, but remember, God hasn’t changed. He is the one who makes the seeds in the earth to grow and who multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the multitudes. He can bring His greatness into your life and, by His grace, out from you can come extraordinary things!

2. GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES
Mary’s husband, Joseph, had a dream and in that dream an angel of the Lord said “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”  In the garden of Eden, immediately after Adam sinned, God promised that a Redeemer would come to bring restoration and, throughout the Scriptures, the Lord continued to make promises about the One who would come. Isaiah and Micah prophesied of Jesus birth 700 years before He arrived in Bethlehem that night! Jesus, our Savior, came to us just like God said and that same faithful God has given us His Word and all of His promises are now ours in Christ. No matter how long it’s been or how impossible things might look, put your full trust in His Word and rest assured knowing that your Heavenly Father always keeps His promises!

3. GOD LOVES TO THE POINT OF GIVING AND SO SHOULD WE
Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.” Why did God give us His Son? John 3:16 says that it was because God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”  What happened in Bethlehem that night shows us that God is for us and that He really does love us, so much so, that He gave us His Son. As I shared with the children earlier this week, let’s love like our Heavenly Father taught us. Instead of focussing on what others could do or should do for us, let’s consider how we can give to others. Blessing people materially is great but this kind of giving shouldn’t be limited to money or expensive presents. Now that God’s love is in our hearts, we can give the gifts of patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, friendship, mercy, grace and forgiveness. These are precious gifts that come from the heart just like God’s greatest gift that He gave to us in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago!

www.oswegofamilychurch.com

There’s Abundance in Your Future

jordangash.com

 3 Things You Need to Know to See it

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:31-33 NASB

#1. You Have a Father

The moment that you put faith in Jesus, confessing Him as your Lord, the Bible teaches that you were born of God. Think of that for a moment. The One who made the sky, the sea and everything that you can see has become your Father! He loves you and He has a plan for your life. He wants you to know today that before you were ever born He knew exactly what you would need and He has already made provision for you in His plan.

In this passage of Scripture, Jesus is teaching us an entirely new way of thinking and living. After the fall of Adam, sin entered the world and death by sin and man began to approach life with a fallen mindset. Men and women began to look to and depend on the creation instead of acknowledging and trusting in the Creator. They sought after and loved things rather than seeking after and loving the God that made them. In other words, the One who created them and gave them life was no longer a part of their picture. They approached life on their own and as they lost sight of the Father, they lost sight of their true purpose.

#2. He Knows What You Need

Jesus brought us life and restored our relationship with God. Now, through Jesus, we know God as our Father and He, the Creator of all things, calls us His very own children. As a child of God, you are not the only one who is aware of the things that you need. Jesus said that the Father also knows the things that you need. So, instead of being fearful and worried about things, He said look to the One who is now your Father. Seek Him, His kingdom and His righteousness and all of these things will be added to you. This is an entirely new way of thinking and living with an entirely new set of priorities. Instead of seeking things, our goal now is to know and walk with the One who made EVERYTHING. He has a plan for our lives and He has provision for us to receive.

#3. You Can Rest in His Faithfulness

Don’t allow the fear of not having enough to control you or make you anxious and discontented. You are not on your own… you have a Father! Live your life with a new awareness of His unlimited supply and see yourself as His beloved child who is ready to receive. The gentiles, those who are outside of a covenant relationship with God, spend their lives seeking things and in so doing miss what life is really all about. We, who are children of God, seek our Father, His will, His kingdom and His ways and ALL that we need and more is added to us! So don’t let fear, anxiety and worry to fill your thoughts. Instead, look to your Father. He is calling you forward into His blessed plan for your life. Trust in Him, rest in His faithfulness and fearlessly do the things He is leading you to do. As you do, you will fulfill your purpose in life and you will experience His grace, peace and abundant provision!

www.oswegofamilychurch.com

Relentlessly Loved

jordangash.com

“God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love.” 1 John 4:8 MSG

Have you ever had a wrong impression of someone?  A time when maybe you thought something about a person but then after you met them you realized they were not at all what you had expected?  I have definitely had those experiences!  Sometimes people can have the wrong idea about who you really are.  Their impression of you could be based on what they have heard others say or on misinformation.  In those instances, don’t you want people to know the truth about who you really are?

Similarly, there are many people today who have the wrong impression of God, where their view of Him has been based on what they have heard others say or on misinformation.  I believe that His desire is that people discover the truth regarding who He really is.  So, how can we find out what’s true about God in order to set the record straight?  Jesus said in the Gospel of John that the Scriptures found in the Bible reveal truth unto us.  In other words, they show us what’s actually real about God!

We see in the Bible that when a person believes in Jesus, their relationship with God changes forever.  They become His child and become the recipient of His love, grace, mercy and goodness.  Sadly, there are many who believe in Jesus but still see God the same way that they used to and, as a result of their wrong impressions, they are not enjoying the amazing new relationship they now have with their Heavenly Father.  Let’s look together at the way God is described in the following verse.

“O God, God of Israel, there is no God like you in the skies above or on the earth below who unswervingly keeps covenant with his servants and relentlessly loves them as they sincerely live in obedience to your way. You kept your word to David my father, your personal word. You did exactly what you promised—every detail.” – 1 Kings 8:23-24 (MSG)

I want to encourage you to allow the Bible to completely redefine your view of who God is.  Now, because of Jesus, He loves you faithfully and relentlessly and He has a good plan for your future.  He has not forgotten about you!  The truth is that His love is an unrelenting force that has been pursuing you.  Let’s decide today to lay aside every wrong impression of God and to get to know Him in a deeper way… according to who He truly is — Love Himself, the God of all grace and the Father of mercies who is relentless in His love for us!

www.oswegofamilychurch.com

Inspired by Love

jordangash.com

“We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”  1 John 4:16

The love that God has for you is real.  He wants you to discover this love that He has for you and He wants you to believe in it.  As you do, it grows into a motivating force that will inspire you to live life differently and on a higher level.  Notice the following verse.

“Let everything you do be done in love, true love to God and man as inspired by God’s love for us.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14 (AMP)

We see in this verse of scripture that when a person focuses on God’s love for them it inspires something within them… true love for God and for people.  Our love for God is to be a response to His love for us.  The Bible states in 1 John 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.”  Notice, He loved us first!  Let’s think about that for a moment.  Before you were born, while you were in your mother’s womb, then as a child and throughout every day of your life since, including today, He has been loving you!  Sadly, many are oblivious to the reality of this love. They may have heard about religious concepts and traditions, but unless they have come to know for themselves this amazing love, their lives will lack the necessary power and inspiration to truly flourish.

So, how do we know that God loves us? Is there any evidence? The answers to those questions are found when an individual discovers the reality of what Jesus has accomplished. In other words, we don’t have to be unsure as to whether or not God truly loves us because He has clearly proven it!

“God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (AMP)

“In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. Beloved, if God loved us so very much, we also ought to love one another. No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us!” – 1 John 4:9-12 (AMP)

This relentless love that has marked your life forever is to be your inspiration for living.  I want to encourage you today that the same God, who created the universe and everything that we can see, knows you and He wants you to know and to be reminded that He loves you right now in this moment.  As you receive His unconditional love today, you will be inspired to live life on a higher level, to walk closer with Him than you ever have before and to love others with the love that you are loved with!

www.oswegofamilychurch.com

Marked By Love

Did you know that you have been marked?  If you believe in Jesus, then what’s true about you now is that your life has been marked by God.  In what way?  He has marked you with His love!  He wants you to see yourself that way.  Don’t go on in life seeing yourself as one who is forgotten or unloved.  Instead, see what’s real.  You are a person who is marked by the Father’s love!  It is important to note that the Bible reveals God’s love to us, not as a philosophical thought, but as a life transforming force.  This love has been released towards us in a powerful way, it has redefined us and it has accomplished great things in our lives.  This amazing love, when it came to us, carried with it dynamic power to forever affect who we are and what we would become.  It truly is a living force that distinguishes our lives!

Jesus was marked by this love.  In Matthew 3:17, God called Jesus His “beloved Son”.  The Message paraphrase says it this way,

“This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”

Stop for just a moment and think of the way that the Father loves Jesus.  What a perfect picture!  My friend, that is the way that the Father loves you.  The truth is, you have not received a lesser kind of love.  No, you have been marked by the very same love.  Look at what Jesus said to the Father in John 17:23, “I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.”  In Romans 1:7, you and I who are believers in Jesus are called the “beloved of God”.  I want to encourage you to see yourself this way more than ever before.  See yourself, right now in this moment, as a person greatly loved by the One who created the universe.  Allow it to affect you.  Seeing the love He has for you dispels fear and anxiety and it causes confidence, peace and hope to rise in your heart.

I can remember when my wife, Melissa, and I first started dating nearly 17 years ago.  I will never forget the first time she said to me those three amazing words, “I love you”.  To say the least, it affected me in a powerful way (and hasn’t stopped!).  Why?  Because I discovered that day how she really felt about me.  At that moment, I became aware of what was in her heart.  Infinitely beyond that picture, hear what your Heavenly Father is saying to you today.  By His Word and by His Spirit, He is saying, “I LOVE YOU”.  This is what is truly in His heart!  This is His disposition towards you!  He wants you to know it.  He wants you to believe it.  He wants you to allow it to affect you.  He wants you to live in the conscious reality of it.  If you will, I promise you that your life will never be the same!  You will live as one who has been changed… as one who has been marked by love.

www.oswegofamilychurch.com