Praying with Jesus: Praying for the Lost

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” – Ephesians 1:18

Today was my son, Eli’s, baptism. I’ve always loved baptisms because of the promise God gives us that through baptism He will give us saving faith. It’s a victory over satan! God has brought another person into His kingdom!

The Scriptures tell us that faith is not something we achieve, but rather it is a gift, a work of the Holy Spirit. That’s one reason we baptism infants. Since the gift of faith is God’s act, He can give faith to a child just as well as an adult.

Interestingly, when thinking about evangelism and adults, we tend to forget that it’s God who creates the faith. We get all worked up about saying the right thing as though if we say this word instead of another, it will determine whether the person receives faith. Even in adults, it’s still all the work of the Holy Spirit which is why it makes perfect sense for us to start with prayer.

In this Ephesians passage, Paul is saying that he is praying that the “eyes of [their] heart[s] would be enlightened”. In other words, he is praying that they would received faith so that they would know the hope of Christ. Since it is God who gives faith, shouldn’t we pray for those who don’t know Him to receive faith? Absolutely!

This doesn’t mean that we don’t need to bother talking with the people about Jesus. After all, the Holy Spirit works through the hearing of the Word. However, we begin with praying for the people. Then we share the Gospel. Then we keep praying.

Who do you know that you could be praying for? I encourage you to pick 5 people who you know that do not believe in Jesus and start praying for them every day that God would open the eyes of their hearts to receive faith.

Heavenly Father,

You are our source of life and salvation. Thank you for the gift of faith. I know several people that do not believe in You. I pray that You would give them faith. I pray for these five people in particular…

Please give them faith and please give me the opportunity and boldness to share the Gospel with them.

Amen.

In Christ,
Pastor Kurt

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Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Friday, October 14

Don’t cook, pick up a delicious spaghetti dinner instead.

Spaghetti-650

On October 14 we are having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. The dinner includes spaghetti, meat sauce, bread, salad, and a dessert. We are accepting a free-will donation for each meal.

Click Here to Pre-Order Your Meal Today!

The order page is our online donations page. On that page, look at the last option of the list, “North Campus Spaghetti Dinner:” and enter the amount you would like to donate. Then in the box to the right, you family name and how many meals you are ordering. Then click “Continue” and complete the payment process. All donations will go towards the launch of our new North Campus in Wesley Chapel.

Your generosity will help us to reach thousands of people in the coming years with the Gospel!

Pick up of the meals with be from 3pm to 6pm on Friday, October 14, outside building 1 at the main campus on Bruce B. Downs.

If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Kurt.

Thank you and God bless!

Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Friday, August 19

 

Don’t cook, pick up a delicious spaghetti dinner instead.

 

Spaghetti-650

 

On August 19 we are having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. The dinner includes spaghetti, meat sauce, bread, salad, and a dessert. We are accepting a free-will donation for each meal.

Click Here to Pre-Order Your Meal Today!

 

The order page is our online donations page. On that page, look at the last option of the list, “North Campus Spaghetti Dinner:” and enter the amount you would like to donate. Then in the box to the right, you family name and how many meals you are ordering. Then click “Continue” and complete the payment process. All donations will go towards the launch of our new North Campus in Wesley Chapel.

Your generosity will help us to reach thousands of people in the coming years with the Gospel!

Pick up of the meals with be from 3pm to 6pm on Friday, August 19, outside building 1 at the main campus on Bruce B. Downs.

If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Kurt.

Thank you and God bless!

 

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You Are Sent – Sermon Follow-Up

john17_18“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”
-John 17:18

Yesterday we talked about how we have been made ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us (2 Cor 5:20).  At the North Campus we have a few songs at the beginning of our service and then one song at the end.  If you look closely at our bulletin, you’ll notice that the last song is called, the “Sending Song”.  I usually chose a song that has a theme of going into the world and telling others about Jesus.  Yesterday, it was Shout to the North.

The reason I chose to call this last song the “Sending Song” instead of the “Closing Song” is because rather than having the message that worship is closing and we’re done, I wanted to give the message that Christ gives us.  We are sent.  The corporate worship service may be done for the week, but the worship of our lives continues as we go into the world, showing people the love of Jesus with our actions and telling others about what Jesus has done.  Next time, when you are finishing up the worship service for the week, think to yourself, “Now, Jesus is sending me into the world to tell others about Him.”

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for sending Your Son to die for us.  Thank You for sending Your Spirit to go with us.  Thank You for sending us into the world.  Help us to share Your love with everyone we meet.

Amen

You can watch the full sermon from the North Campus here:

 

Devotion – July 2, 2015 – May Our Country Hear His Word

jeremiah22_29O land, land, land, hear the Word of the LORD.
—Jeremiah 22:29

Our country has been going through some big changes over the past several years, even these past few weeks.  However, one thing hasn’t changed.  The people of our country need to hear the Word of the Lord. [Read more…]

Devotion – June 26, 2015 – The Seed

mark4_26-27And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
-Mark 4:26-29

How does the Kingdom of God grow?  We often feel responsible for growing the Kingdom of God, but Jesus is telling us that we don’t do the growing, that’s His job.  After all, it is “God’s” kingdom, not ours.  We can surely spread the seed of the Gospel, but it is God who works through His Word to create faith and grow His Kingdom. [Read more…]

Devotion – June 16, 2015 – Compassion on the Lost

mark6_34When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
—Mark 6:34

These people were like sheep without a shepherd.  They did not know the Messiah.  When Jesus saw them, how did he respond?  This was in Israel, His chosen people.  Was He angry at His chosen people who didn’t recognize their messiah.  No.  He had compassion on them and began to teach them. [Read more…]

78% of Pasco Residents are Churchless. What Will You Do?

7965817778_c424a4a5e3_kDrive around your neighborhood this afternoon and count the houses.  Only about 1 in 5 of those homes has people living in it who claim a church home.  That’s what the U.S. census tells us.  According to the Association of Religious Data Archives (ARDA) in the 2010 U.S. census 78.2% of people in Pasco County have no church affiliation (source).  That means 4 out of 5 people in your neighborhood have no church home.

You Know Them
These are your friends, coworkers, and golf buddies.  These are the kids your children go to school with and play soccer with.  You may even be a part of the 78%.  Some may be Christians who haven’t found a church home and many others are people who do not know Jesus.

Be a Part of the Family
If you are one of the people who haven’t found a church home, I’d like to invite you to come be a part of a new group of believers in Wesley Chapel, Family of Christ North.  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 seek to have a loving relationship with each other, serve those in need, and share the Gospel with the people in Wesley Chapel and the surrounding areas.

You can be a part of reaching Wesley Chapel with the Gospel!

info-meetingOn Sunday, August 16th, we’ll be having an Mission and Vision meeting at the Meadow Pointe II Clubhouse starting at 6:30pm.  I’d like to invite you to come on out to meet some people and learn more about the church.  You can find more details about the event on our Facebook event page here.  Please go to the event page and click the “join” button.

We look forward to seeing you Sunday, August 16th!!

God bless!

In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Kurt

Devotion – June 5, 2015 – Faith Comes by Hearing

romans10_14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
—Romans 10:14

Paul asks the obvious question.  How are people supposed to believe the Gospel if they have never heard it?  For “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17).  What a wonderful day it was when you heard the message that Jesus died to save you and that just as He rose again, you too shall rise to eternal life with Him.  We have this wonderful message, this treasure, and we get to share that message with others so they, too, can hear and believe!  What a great privilege! [Read more…]

Telling the Gospel – Cleansed of Our Sins

sins-washed-awayThis is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
– 1 John 1:5-7

I remember watching one of the TV crime dramas (like CSI) a while back.  A person had been killed and the killer had scoured the crime scene.  To the naked eye, the place looked spotless, but the investigators brought in a special spray and some black lights and when they turned on the black lights everything looked different.  Every drop of blood that had been spilled was suddenly lit up and plain for all to see. [Read more…]

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