Restoring Your Compassion & Reaching The Lost

How many of you would agree with this statement: The older we get, the more we like our habits.

In other words, the older we get, the more “comfortable” we become with our routines. The more we like the way we do things. The more we’re close-minded to changing our ways.

But is this how God wants us to live? No, God wants to make new things. He loves to make new things! It pleases him to restore the old and completely revitalize it with newness. He also wants to take you to a new level of life. And doing so might mean changing (most likely it does). It might also mean getting outside of our comfort zone in order to grow. Read More

A Healthy Church is Made of a Passionate Body (Members)

Good Morning Church Family. I hope you are having a great week so far.

Today I want to declare over Harvest Church that we are a healthy church: a living, growing body that is full of passion!

On Sunday I mentioned that George Barna did a survey of 13,000 people in 130 countries of people who used to go to church but no longer do. And when asked, “What would need to happen for you to return to church?” the number one answer was “to see passion in the lives of the members and leaders.” Read More

7 Actions to Restore Your Spirit

Good morning!

What’s that white stuff???…yup, I refuse to say that four-letter word! No worries though! God is still so good!

So this morning, I want to lay out all of the points again on the “how to’s” from Sunday’s message: The Great Restoration. Read More

Make His Word Your Focus

holybibleGood Morning,

First of all, Djuana and I want to say thank you for honoring us on Sunday. It is truly an honor to serve Christ at Harvest Church.

The Great Restoration has really been getting into my heart and I hope yours also. On Sunday, we touched on the how to renew the spirit of our mind: Through a consistent walk with God.

For restoration and breakthrough to happen in any area of our life, we must be consistent. If we want a good marriage, be good parents, to be healthy and fit; consistency is required. It is no different spiritually. Read More

Renew The Spirit of Your Mind

blog_post_header

Hello Church Family,

I hope that you are amazing today and you are rising up to new levels and embracing the new things from your Father!

A thought from Sunday’s message: If every one of us overcame those things that have been holding us back, we would be more effective as Christians. Read More

Setting Our Attitudes Right and Developing Loving Relationships

Good Morning Church Family,

I hope you all are having a RENEWED and blessed week so far.  It was great to see all of you that made it to church on Sunday.  I hope you are taking what the Holy Spirit shared and renewing your heart to it this week.

If you’re having a hard time remembering or if you were not able to make it this week…let me reiterate a few thoughts.  Eph. 4:23 says, “and be RENEWED in the spirit of your mind.” Read More

Today I am…

Good Morning Church Family, I have a favor of you.  Complete this sentence:

TODAY I AM_________.

Maybe your word is tired or fatigued or even grumpy. But I encourage you to change that mindset into one of being renewed and re-created.

2 Corinthians 4:16 says, Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.


Read More

The Great Restoration: Part I “Newness of Life”

This week Pastor Charlie kicked off a new series called “The Great Restoration,” which focuses on this parable told by Jesus:

“No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. (Luke 5:36-38 NIV)

Although many of us carry scars from the past – whether they be from things that happened to us, such as abuse or neglect; addictions we have faced; or bad decisions we have made, we all have the opportunity to experience complete and full forgiveness in the eyes of the Lord. Read More

Finish Strong! (our race as Christians)

This week Pastor Charlie begin his sermon by saying: “No matter what the start of your life, you can finish strong.” Even when we have made mistakes, lived for our flesh, turned against God, or pretty much felt like we “ruined our chances” with God, He still loves us and wants us to finish strong as Christians, to turn things around and let Him be our guide, not to be ruled by the world or held prisoner by our past.

From the moment we confess our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness, we are forgiven.

But there’s more to being a Christian than making mistakes and asking for forgiveness. There’s a deeper spiritual level of living out there – one that requires us to dig into His word and learn more about how to live like Jesus. One that releases the shame and guilt we feel about our mistakes. One that prepares us to show others the way and love whole-heartedly. It’s the life that God desires for all of us – a life of love, with our hearts on fire for Jesus. Read More

The Role of a Christian

This week Harvest Church heard a powerful message by Pastor Charlie that asked us the question: what do you measure you by? It matters greatly. You see, if you are just measuring yourself in relation to others, then you’re most likely finding yourself in an average life, doing average work, making average choices for yourself and those around you.

As Christians, we should be compelled to be above average. The world isn’t looking to thrive; most people are merely surviving. We should never be okay with just surviving. That’s average. And the truth is, we don’t have to. Everyday we have the opportunity to live for God, to be shepherds for His people, guiding them to His love, grace and promises. Do you have any idea what you’ve got and how many other people desperately need it? Jesus isn’t here on Earth anymore: it’s just us – sent here to do His work.

Faith by itself isn’t enough. (James 2:17 NLT) 

We need to be action-oriented. Jesus didn’t just call His disciples together to “hang out.” He called them to go out among the people and do God’s work.

1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:1-2 NIV)

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27 NIV)

Jesus didn’t shy away from those in a lower class or circumstance, He actually went out of His way to “hang out” with the sick, the suffering and the sinners; the widows, the orphans and the lost. In our modern day society, think of how many people could use the love of God! That means we have to do something. It might make us feel uncomfortable, and it might make us feel awkward or even afraid. But when God saved us, He didn’t just want us to be saved, He wanted us to be witnesses to others.

There a two powerful parables that illustrate this:

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:3-10 NIV)

Think of the joy and spiritual growth it would bring you to know you’ve helped even just one person commit her life to God. To re-set the coordinates of one man’s path towards eternal life in heaven.

3 Things Needed to Reach the Lost

1. Reaching the lost takes Compassion

You can’t start a witness without compassion, without seeing all people as needing the love of God, and feeling that love in your heart as well. Most people don’t realize that “welcomed” in the verse shared above (Luke 15:1-2 NIV) is translated in Greek as “received as friend.” Jesus not only sat and ate with sinners, He received them as friends. The parable of the good Samaritan also demonstrates the compassion we should have for the suffering:

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:30-37 NIV)

2. Reaching the lost takes Effort

We won’t win the lost by sitting in church waiting for them to come to us. We have to reach out and be the voice. How?

  • Pray for them
  • Reach out through the church (outreach events, ministry opportunities, and service)
  • Financially support missions to reach the lost

41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. (Matthew 5:41 NIV)

3. Reaching the lost takes Persistence

There’s greater joy in reaching people than any other joy in the world. But it doesn’t come easily, and it doesn’t’ come without consistent and persistent work. Remember the woman who lost the coin, and searched and searched until she located it? It’s with that fervor that we are called to seek out and find the lost. What we’re helping people find is too valuable to lose!

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (James 2:14-17 NLT)

At Harvest Church, we are a body of believers striving to go beyond the four walls of our building and into the community. We invite all members, guests, friends, families, neighbors and most importantly – sinners, orphans, widows, and the lost and the suffering, to come with us to grow in the spirit of God, and to reach out to bring others to His love too. We do it with joyful hearts and compassion, effort and persistence.