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Pastor Kurt Steinbrueck

Blessings!  Our mission is to intentionally go into our community to connect with and love people with the Gospel that they may be transformed into fully devoted followers of Christ by the grace of God.  We would love for you to be a part of our family.

 

 

Contact Pastor Kurt

Kurt@FamilyofChristTampa.com
813-326-5255

Pastor Kurt’s Blog

Youth Program Information Meeting

Sunday, April 9th after the late service we will hold an informational meeting for both Middle School and High School Youth.

  • Learn about upcoming activities and events
  • Share what you would like to see in the youth program
  • Discover how you can get involved

Youth, parents, and adult volunteers are encouraged to come.

Pastor Kurt

“Growing our faith and friendships and putting that faith into action.”

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Praying With Jesus: Help! I’m Tempted

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” – Matthew 26-41a

We pray to God when we need things, when we are scared, even when we are happy, but what about when we are tempted? Sometimes that can be a difficult time to pray.

First, though, we should identify what temptation is. Temptation isn’t a sin, itself, it is that push to sin. It might be a thought that nags you or it might be a person who is leading you down the wrong path. We haven’t sinned…yet, but we’re thinking about it or being pushed towards it. That’s just when we need to be praying.

So, why don’t we?

Guilt:
Sometimes we already feel guilty for even having considered…or even thought about a sin. Surely God is already mad at me. How can I go to Him now? Yet, God not only bids is to pray in times of temptation, but even forgives us if we do sin. So, if you feel guilty, remember that God loves to forgive the guilty who turn to Him.

I Don’t Really Want To:
This one is tougher to admit, but let’s be honest. Sometimes we don’t want to be stopped from sinning. Sometimes we push God away in times of temptation because we want to do the sin. I’ve been there. It’s at those times I find praying extremely honestly very helpful. I’ll tell God plainly not only that I’m being tempted, but that I want to sin. However, then I’ll ask Him to change my heart so that I don’t want to sin anymore.

It’s amazing! He does it!

Though, we really shouldn’t be surprised. It’s exactly what He promised He would do:

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

That promise is for you today and everyday. Praise the Lord!

Heavenly Father,

Temptation bombards me everyday, trying to pull me away from You. Please help me. When I face temptation, show me the way out. When I want to fall into temptation, change my heart. When I do fall into temptation, please forgive me and restore me.

Amen.

In Christ,
Pastor Kurt

Praying with Jesus: Short and Sweet

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” – Matthew 6-7

One thing I’ve learned writing blogs is that you have to be short and sweet. If the blog post is too long, people don’t make it all the way through…or they don’t read it at all. Hopefully, I’ve done a decent job of keeping these posts short.

In this passage from Jesus about prayer, Jesus is telling us that we don’t have to be long-winded when we pray. We don’t have to concoct elaborate prayers with fancy words to be heard by God.

Why?

God already knows what you need and what is on your heart. In fact, you don’t have to even say a word and God knows.

This can free us. We can feel more comfortable praying when we know that God isn’t concerned with us using the right words or being eloquent. He simply wants us to come to Him and come to Him often. Let’s do that now.

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being a God who listens. Sometimes I feel like I don’t pray well. Remind me in those times that it isn’t about the words I say as much as it is my heart. Draw me to You in prayer throughout the day.

Amen.

In Christ,
Pastor Kurt

Praying with Jesus: Pray for Your Enemies

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” – Matthew 5:44

It’s easy to pray for my wife and kids. It’s easy to pray for my friends. Even those people I don’t know aren’t too hard to pray for, but what about those who actively seek to hurt me? That’s not so easy.

Yet, that is who Jesus is saying we need to pray for. Love your enemies. He didn’t say, put up with your enemies or ignore them. Love them!

He also said, “Pray for those who persecute you.” Often times my first thought when considering this is, “Sure. I’ll pray for them. I pray they will get a flat tire on the way to work.” But that’s not loving, is it?

When we put these two ideas together, loving our enemies and praying for them, we are left with one option. To activity pray for the benefit of those who are trying to hurt us. It isn’t always easy, but it is exactly what Jesus did for us and He did so much more. Romans 5:8 puts it this way:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

We were enemies of God and Jesus died for us. He prays for us. He seeks to forgive us and save us. We can do the same for those who hurt us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Hopefully, they will see Christ’s love in us and come to know His saving grace as well as find forgiveness and healing for our relationship with them.

Heavenly Father,

Please forgive me for holding a grudge against those who have hurt me. Help me, instead, to love them as You have loved me. I pray that You would bless them and watch over them. I pray that they might turn from their hurtful ways and that I would extend them grace and forgiveness.

(If you have any one in particular you need to pray for. Do it now.)

Amen.

In Christ,
Pastor Kurt

Praying with Jesus: Be Alert!

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

“I’ll be praying for you.”

I’ve heard that phrase a lot and say it myself. You hear about something difficult someone is going through and you promise to pray for them. How wonderful!

Here we are encouraged to not just pray for each other, but be alert. We should be looking for opportunities to pray for each other. Sometimes it may be obvious, like when a friend tells us about something difficult they are going through.

Sometimes, however, people don’t share their struggles. Have you ever seen a someone you knew and they said everything was fine, but you could tell something wasn’t quite right. That’s being alert.

The passage also talks about praying in the Spirit. Pastor Dave talked about that in his blog post from Day 12 and that can be another way to be alert for how to pray for others. To be quiet in your prayer and ask God to direct your prayers and be alert for who God leads you to pray for.

So, let’s be praying for each other.

Heavenly Father,

Please make me alert to the needs of others and encourage me to pray for them. When I do not know about the needs of others, guide me in my prayers to pray for them. Today, I want to pray for these people specifically…

Amen.

In Christ,
Pastor Kurt

Praying With Jesus: Prayer is Worship

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.”

This is something Jesus said to the woman at the well. She had asked where she should worship and Jesus’ response is that it’s not about the place you worship, but worshiping in spirit and in truth.

Prayer is part of our worship. Like Jesus said about worship, there is no one place that we should pray. There aren’t places where prayers are stronger or more powerful because prayer isn’t about the place we are, but the God who hears them…and He hears them no matter where you are. If you’re in the car, at home, at church, in nature, or in school before a test, God hears your prayer.

So, where are you now? God hears your prayers here, too. So, why not pray now?

Heavenly Father,

You are the God of all creation. You hear me no matter where I am or what is happening around me. Today, I lift my praises and concerns to you and ask that You be with me. Protect me and guide me. My I glorify You in all that I do. Amen

 

In Christ’s Service, Pastor Kurt

 

Praying With Jesus: Spirit and Truth

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Do you ever struggle to know what to say when you pray or feel that your prayers have gotten into a rut, of sorts; praying the same basic thing time after time? One of the great ways we can pray is to pray God’s Word itself. Praying in the Spirit and speaking His Words of truth. Praying the Scriptures not only can add to our ideas of what we can pray, but it can help us take the focus off ourselves and focus us on God. These are His words and His promises.

There are many prayers in the Scriptures which we can pray, the Psalms, in particular, are full of prayers:

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” – Psalm 51:1-2

However, you don’t have to be limited to only praying the prayers in Scripture. You can use pretty much any Scripture to guide your prayers. I’ll close this blog post with an example:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

Heavenly Father,

You are the God joy and peace. Please help me to trust in You in all circumstances. Fill me with Your Spirit that I may overflow with the hope only found in You. And may Your hope fill me with all joy and peace.

Amen

 
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Kurt

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Praying with Jesus: God Acts

Pastor’s Blog Day 14
March 14, 2017

God Acts

When you pray…

…do you really believe God is listening?

…do you really believe God cares?

…do you really believe God will act?

Matthew 7:7-11 tell you:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

I think one of the reasons we don’t always pray as much as we could is because we don’t really think God is listening and working. After all, God doesn’t typically speak back to us audibly, we don’t see instant results, and sometimes the way God works isn’t the way we wanted.

But Jesus says the Father is listening. He cares like a good father. He helps and provides better than we earthly fathers ever could. Sure, sometimes that means He doesn’t give us exactly what we want. I don’t give my daughter exactly what she wants all the time either. But He does act. He gives good gifts. He gives what we really need. And most importantly, He draws us closer to Him as He acts on us.

Heavenly Father,

I know that You hear me because You promise so in Your Word. I know that You love me because You sent Jesus to save me. Help me to come to You in prayer and trust that You will act…like a good Father would.

Amen.

Praying with Jesus: Praying Together

[Jesus] took Peter, John and James with Him and went up onto a mountain to pray. – Luke 9:28

 

The Christian faith is interesting. It is both personal and social. We talk about a personal walk with Christ, about personal devotions, etc., but Christianity is also inherently social. Our faith was never intended to be lived out in isolation. Even God is Trinity and the three persons of the God-head communicate with each other.

Prayer, as well, has both personal and social aspects. Sometimes we can and should pray by ourselves (I encourage daily personal devotions), but prayer is also to be done together. However, many of us feel uncomfortable praying with others. We may be OK praying a pre-written prayer, like the Lord’s Prayer, with others, but to pray from the heart can be a little scary. The good thing is God doesn’t judge our prayers by our eloquence. He promises to listen and answer even the most stumbled through prayer.

Just as Jesus prayed with others, we should pray with each other. In some cases that may be praying with our family or sometimes we may pray with a friend in need. If you are one who typically doesn’t pray with others, I want to encourage you to try it out this week. Whether it’s family, friends, or anyone else, find a time to pray with someone…something beyond our church service, Feel free to have a pre-written prayer or just say what’s on your mind. My family likes to combine both in our family devotions. We start by praying whatever is on our hearts and then we finish by praying the Lord’s Prayer or Luther’s Evening Prayer.

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for promising to listen to and answer our prayers. Please remind me of the wonderful blessing that prayer is and help me to share that blessing with others by praying with them.

Amen.

In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Kurt

Praying with Jesus: God Wants to Forgive Us

“Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” – Luke 11:4


This passage is probably very familiar to you. It’s the part of the Lord’s prayer that deals with forgiveness. I find it amazing that this is part of the prayer Jesus taught. It shows us that Jesus wants us to confess our sins and that He WANTS to forgive us. It’s not that we have to convince Jesus to forgive us, he wants to do it.

Sin separates us from God. Sometimes, when we sin, we may feel afraid to pray about it. Like Adam and Eve, after we sin, we try to hide from God. We may think that we’ve really blown it this time and gone too far. Or we’ve done the same sin too many times and we figure Jesus is only going to forgive us so many times. But that’s a lie. Jesus wants to forgive us.

Sometimes, however, it’s not guilt or fear that keep us from confessing our sin, it’s that we don’t really want to let go of the sin. Truth be told, we kinda like the sin and we know that if we come before God in prayer, we’re going to be faced with our sin and will need to confess it and turn from the sin. But we need to confess it and we need to turn from it. Amazingly, even in those moments, Jesus wants us to come to Him. Sometimes our confession needs to go something like,

“Lord, I know I’ve sinned and should be sorry for it, but I don’t really feel sorry and even want to keep doing it. Please change my heart, that I would turn from my sin. Please forgive me.”

Whatever your situation might be, Jesus encourages us to come to the Father in prayer, confess our sins, and receive His forgiveness. Let’s do that right now.

Heavenly Father,

I am forever amazed that You would be willing to forgive me. I know I don’t deserve it, but I trust in your promise to forgive me. Today, I confess the following sins:

(confess your sins)

Please forgive me for the sake of Jesus Christ who died for me.

Amen.

In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Kurt

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