So many churches, so many options to choose from such as location, name, size, and more; going to a new church can be intimidating. At City Light Church, we are looking for families that have personal questions about God, life, purpose, and destiny. We want to walk with you as you strive to find answers and solutions to life's multiple complexities. We believe in the importance of community which to us means friendship and authenticity.
Starting off a Christian lifestyle is an experience which can make us a bit frightful. A Sunday church visit is not the get quick answer we need. We need a heart and life transformation. It is a start, but community plays an active role. It is important to have the right people around you who support you in this process. For more thoughts and ideas on how to begin this new journey feel free to write us your thoughts and questions at email@example.com
1 Sam. 3:1-4 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. And word from the Lord was rare in those days, visions were infrequent. 2 It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), and the lamp of God had not yet gone out?, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was, that the Lord called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” NLT
The passage says the word of the Lord was rare in those days. The book of Judges can be used as a backdrop reference. After the leadership of Moses and Joshua, the Lord began to raise up judges for the people of Israel. The judges would lead the people as military conquerors and in other circumstance render justice in judicial affairs.
The people of Israel after conquering and establishing the promised land lost sight of their vision, their life purpose, and values as taught by the Lord. The LORD was no longer needed, no longer their number one. Soon they would succumb to detestable practices, ways of life they were taught to refrain from. Therefore, the Lord would not protect them as a hedge and subsequently, armies attacked them. These armies would come from other lands to attack, subdue, and take Israel's produce and possessions. Then the Israelites would remember the Lord and cry for help. There the judge would step in and lead them into battle and overcome the enemy. So this little circumstance became commonplace:
- The people of Israel would forget the Lord
- They would allow detestable practices into their lifestyle
- The Lord would not protect them due to their choices
- An army would conquer their lands and subdue them, taking resources from them
- The people would cry out to God for help
- The Lord would raise up a Judge
- The judge would fight for and rescue the people
As we consider the passage in 1 Samuel, it is easy to comprehend why the word of the Lord was rare in those days. The passage mentions the lamp of the Lord had not yet gone out. The position of priest in the Old Testament was filled with responsibility beyond measure. In this small phrase, we can consider that the duties of the priest were in decline. The Old Testament specifically mentions in certain passages the importance to burn incense and keep the lamp continually burning (Leviticus 24.2-4). If we consider the Biblical narrative, void of electricity and other technologies, the importance of light is insurmountably significant.
Consider this day our grand influence as believers in Christ. We are called by Jesus to be a double influence as salt and light to the world. This 1 Samuel passage refers to the priestly role of communion and intercession before the Lord in the holy place within the tabernacle, but if we ponder the profound symbolism of light we should be astounded. Many Christians don't keep their lamps burning. They are not as wise as the righteous bridesmaids found in Matthew 25. Instead, they are as guilty as the people of Israel during the time of Judges. Sure, they have established their kingdoms by way of land, possessions, and family, but so much is lacking in their lives. It begins with the fact that there is no need for the Lord, no cry for help or desire for communion. Sadly, the passage narrates our current state like a bad omen, the word of the Lord is rare, visions are not frequent....and the lamp has been snuffed out.
There is no greater time than now for us to turn to God and repent of our indifference and lost focus, our iniquity. God must be number one in our lives! Time is too short for us to misinterpret the Bible and be found guilty.
If we are too busy to look to the Lord as our number one, if we are too proud to cry out to him for help, if we are too indifferent to care about moving his heart it is a good indication that our lamps are off! If we believe our lifestyle is intact, there is no need for repentance, look briefly to the Decalogue.
An example is, "Do not commit adultery." If we are free from having failed in this grievous sin, Jesus extended it to, "anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5.28 NLT). It doesn't take much for us to recognize that we are guilty. The promise of salvation is accompanied by the command REPENT and BELIEVE. Rectifying our lives before the Lord requires a different lifestyle along with a believing heart. There is no greater time than now for us to turn to God and repent of our all our iniquities. The word of the Lord will once again be heard, visions will be frequent but we must keep our lamps burning.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This was taken from a message that was shared at our Luminous service at City Light Church in Chandler, Arizona.
I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. Proverbs 24.30-34 ESV
Wealth is not the only form of prosperity. Some people are supremely blessed on Earth with finance but impoverished in other areas.
Such areas of prosperity are health, peace, joy, long-life, good reputation, honor, children, success, good relationships, influence, giving to others, and most certainly wealth.
God desires that we have everything we need and that we even obtain our desires. So the question, How can I Prosper, can be answered by applying the lesson found in the teaching of Proverbs 24:30-34, the vineyard of a lazy person.
The first step requires that we assess the garden of our life, our heart as symbolized through a vineyard. After honestly observing our predicament, clean up must begin. In order for fruit to grow, we must cultivate, till, and remove whatever keeps roots from growing deep. If we have a relationship with the Lord, that requires us getting honest with our situation and getting gritty in terms of character, relationships, thoughts, actions, and emotions We are available to answer questions to anyone who desires support during this process, especially if this is a new step for you.
We clean up our garden because, in all honesty, we permit areas in our life that are not apt to honor God and promote growth and prosperity. One man recently approached me and said, "I need to get right with God, I know it’s a long road but it starts with me getting married to my girlfriend. I need God’s help more than ever."
A good example of cleaning up our garden can be seen in our interpersonal relationships. Relationships around us are like a trail that demonstrates our character. When we have a heart that is healed, it is a product of a repented heart, and a broken heart. A hard and calloused heart shows signs of harbored hurt, pain, and unforgivingness. We know who we have hurt and who have hurt us. As Christians who live what we believe, we forgive those who harm us and ask forgiveness to those whom we have hurt. This is possible when we have been healed in our heart and emotions, but very difficult to fake with a tough indifferent ego. We must make an effort at the relationship even if we fail time and time again. We keep going and thus keep our garden clean of obstacles.
The last step requires sowing good seeds in our freshly readied soil.A major key to being a Christian who prospers is not keeping from evil alone, but also DOING GOOD constantly. In doing good, we plant seeds that will eventually grow. If you can count the good deeds you have done, then it is not enough. If we clean up our garden, and only plant a few seeds, harvest time will come and our field will be filled with weeds once again. We must continue to keep our garden clean and plant seeds. Once we forget about the good we have done and stop reminding God and others, somehow that seed grows and we are prospered in a moment. There is a wonderful promise to those who are willing to clean up their garden, keep it clean, and plant seeds of righteousness. I pray that you prosper in every sense of the word and as the passage says, that times of refreshing come!
Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. Acts 3.19-20 ESV
How blessed were the days when we could sit down with our children from infancy, to toddlerhood, up to kids, bigger and so on until they were beyond us in size, strength, and trust.
What a beautiful experience it was, to give instruction on shoe tying, outfit choosing, hand washing, teeth brushing, and more. How happily we remember moments we sowed important principles such as truth versus lying, love versus hate, organization, and cleanliness. How tenderly we remember to sit, to watch, to talk, to be silly, to love, to laugh and to be goofy again… Somehow, life got too complicated, and it is not as pure and beautiful as when it began.
If you are a believer in God, Christ, and the purpose of life, beloved, parenthood has just begun. Sure, our children don’t need us like they used to, but they need us nonetheless, even if they swear they don't.
This father’s day, let us celebrate men who stick around through each life stage, from building to watching and to resting.
This father’s day, let us celebrate men who stick around through each life stage, from building to watching and to resting. Let us encourage men who don’t have children but raise them. Let us remember to honor today, men who don’t have girlfriends but who are husbands and hold their family together.
If we have not had the experience to grow up in such a home or place, may God give us the grace and passion to do everything that seemed unreachable to us at our youth. There is no reason to repeat what has called us harm, rather learn and create what we have always wanted.
God Bless you Fathers and future men who are paving the way for a new world, a new chapter, a new experience that is attainable if we ask the Lord for help and hold on to the beautiful and unforgettable journey of life. Happy Father’s Day Real Men!
We are a relevant light that attracts mankind to know Christ.
We train and prepare believers to be an attractive influence that transforms society.
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