Watch Weekend Sermon - Entries from September 2010
RECAPPING THE FAMILY CHAT!
continue to be exciting times for our church and this past weekend we
had a family chat in our services because we are just that......a
Here's a rundown of what we discussed:
1. A warm welcome to our visitors
We are pleased to
have so many new faces among us and we desire for these people to be
welcomed and greeted warmly. As we often say we are not trying to
"sell" you on Harvest Oakville, rather we want you to be led by the Lord
as to where He wants you to attend.
2. Making Harvest My Home
At Harvest Oakville we are
trying to make "plugging in" as simple as possible, while at the same
time giving clear process and guidelines as to how this works. Please
see our "Assimilation Funnel" below to know what step is next for you.
We do this to help you become a solid part of this church family, because those who are family are those who will stay for the long-term.
3. BE STRONG pledges due October 10th
The first round or
short-term pledges for our new property campaign are due on October
10th. We expect to close on our new property by the end of October and
therefore all initial pledges will need to be received by October 10th.
We believe that God is picking up the pace regarding our new building
so be faith-filled and expectant for what is to follow. There should
continue to be exciting updates in the weeks and months to come.
4. Four Services! November 6/7th
The plan right now is to
launch our fourth service on the Nov. 6/7th weekend. The fourth service
will be held on Saturday night. Therefore, our weekend services will
be on Sat. at 5pm & 7pm and Sunday morning at 9am and 11:15am. This
is a big step for our church....again! So we are asking that at least 100 people move from Sunday morning to attend Saturday night.
There will be more to come, but it's another call for our people to see
the vision of more lives being changed for Christ and you can help see
this happen by simply choosing to attend a different service.
5. Blakelock Parking
We are pleased with the number of people
choosing to park at Blakelock High School, however we still need people
to choose to do this on Sunday morning. Again, it simply allows our
guests and newer visitors to find a place to park. Bless you for
serving your God in this way.
6. New Elder Candidate Brian McGrath
The elders are very
pleased to put forward to our people Brian McGrath as an elder candidate
at Harvest Oakville. Brian and his wife Grace have been very faithful
in their attendance and service at Harvest Oakville. The elders believe
Brian to be qualified according to scripture and called to this task.
However, we desire to make sure that there are no outstanding issues
that either need to be resolved or that we need to know about. If you
have any questions/concerns please speak to one of our elders at any
time. Brian will be put before our church family for one month in this
7. Canadian Harvest Bible Chapels
It is exciting to announce
the launching of Harvest Bible Chapel Durham and Harvest Bible Chapel
Calgary. You can find all the details and excitement at harvestdurham.ca and harvestcalgary.ca
8. Harvest Family Thanksgiving Dinner October 10th
be our 2nd annual Family Thanksgiving Dinner. There is no charge and if
you don't have any plans yet then please sign up online so we know that
Again, there is a lot going on, but we're desiring to be a
church of "One thing" and not to become distracted away from what is
best. So with all the good let's continue to encourage one another with:
"But one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I
press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in
Christ Jesus." Phil. 3:13-14
DESTROYING THE IDOLS OF MY HEART
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about idolatry. God’s Word is very clear in both the Old
and New Testaments with prohibitions from idolatry. In Exodus 20:3-4 God tells us, “You
shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or
any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that in the earth beneath, or that is in
the water under the earth”. And in 1 Corinthians 10:7 we’re told to “flee from idolatry”.
The problem is that, if you’re anything like me, when you hear the word ‘idol’, your mind
goes one of two directions. You think either about a popular reality television show, or you
think about an image or figure from some indigenous tribe in another corner of the world.
And since I don’t watch that TV show, and since I live in southern Ontario, my tendency is to
start thinking that these verses don’t really apply to me. Or do they?
Tim Keller in his book Counterfeit Gods gives an interesting definition of what an idol
actually is. He writes, “[An idol] is anything more important to you than God, anything that
absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what
only God can give”. In light of that, it sounds like we can’t really skirt around the issue of
idolatry, can we? This truly is important to us here and now.
So what are the “idols” that might exist in your life and in mine? What are the things that
can quickly become more important to us that God, the things that absorb our hearts and
minds more than Him, the things we might seek to give us only that which God can provide?
Here are just a few off the top of my head…my children, my spouse, my job, fitness,
sports, money, technology (Smart Phones, television, social networking), sexual pleasure,
food, home improvement, the pursuit of position and power, seeking the approval
of others…I could go on and on. And let’s be honest, even our ministry to Christ can
quickly become an idol, when it starts to become more important than even God Himself.
So what do we do about all this then? How do we go about dealing with the idols of our
heart? Here are four steps to take:
1. Believe that idols exist in your life. Perhaps you’re reading this and you still don’t believe
that the issue of idolatry applies to you. It does. Believe it. And if you don’t, pray and
ask God to give you the faith to believe that so you can take the next step….
2. Ask God to reveal them to you. Maybe one of the things I mentioned stood out to you
in your own life. Or maybe there is something else that is functioning as an idol in
your life. Ask God to reveal that to you. I’m certain He’s going to answer that prayer!
3. Repent and start destroying the idols in your life. Repentance is about change. It’s about
changing our minds and then changing our behaviour. So if technology has become an
idol to you, get rid of your television, or take a break from Facebook. If money functions
as a god, then start giving a lot more of it away to others. Destroy the idols in your life.
4. Pray for a greater love for Jesus Christ. This is really the ONE THING that we’re talking
about this year, a passionate pursuit of an awesome God. So get on your knees and start
praying fervently that Jesus Christ would be your one consuming passion, the One who
absorbs your heart and mind above all else.
THE ONE THING
Here are the 7 responses I closed the sermon with that will change your life so that you can start living for The One Thing! These aren't new things at all, but that's the whole point. These are the old things that never get old!
Where do I start living this One Thing?
1. EAT the WORD: As you feed on Gods' Word, as you consistently seek the Lord's heart, to hear Him and grow in Him, it will go from duty, to desire, to delight.
2. PRAY for Life Change: God will not resist this prayer!
3. DESTROY Your Idols: Ask the Lord to tell you the idols of your heart. Ask close ones to tell you the idols they see in your life. Then destroy and smash the idols!
4. FOLLOW Strong Examples: Who you follow is who you become. Follow Christ! Paul said, follow me as I follow Christ.
5. UTILIZE Your Trials: One of God's greatest tools in transforming us is trial. Surrender and stop fighting what God is doing.
6. SHARE the One Thing: Evangelize--share the gospel of Jesus Christ, the only thing that matters.
7. PREPARE to Worship: Take 1 hour before every time you come to church to prepare your heart. Ask God to change your life, your family, your heart. And show up on time. Show the Lord the One Thing you are living for, the One Thing you are after, that you value time gathering together with His people to worship Him. Believe that God will change your life!
WHAT'S UP WITH HARVEST HOUSE?
..let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:18 ESV
It’s with this verse that we seek to move forward and show the love of Christ practically and make disciples in our community.
When it was first announced that we had found a location for our Compassion Centre, there was an overwhelming enthusiasm from the congregation. That enthusiasm translated into many hands and feet engaging in the renovation of our new space in preparation for ministry. Following the renovation, we had a standing room only prayer meeting at Harvest House, as we collectively sought the Lord for His clear leading and guiding in the ministry of Harvest House - that was an awesome night!
Our first priority from the beginning was to see our Compassion Centre situated in a local place of need and to conduct ministry that will meet those needs and do it in such a way that God gets the glory... after all it’s all about Him!
As we transition some existing ministries to Harvest House and prepare to launch new ones in the coming months, please be in prayer that these ministries would be fruitful as God empowers them. Would you prayerfully consider how you could play a role at Harvest House?
Here’s a brief summary of ministries that have either begun or will start shortly at Harvest House...
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
With this as the theme verse, the ministry of Harvest Recovery has been used by the Lord to bring many struggling with various addictions to places of victory. We have re-located this ministry to Harvest House and are now looking to advertise this ministry in local media to see who the Lord would bring to our door. We are trusting that the Lord would bring those that are in despair and suffering from addiction, to a place of freedom and victory, as they encounter the living God.
Christianity Explored - We’ll be launching this class in another month or so and we’re seeking to engage unbelievers with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have run this in previous years at the church and are now looking to take this beyond the church to engage those that may never enter a church.
Discipleship 101 - This class is geared towards those new in Christ or “almost” new. By God’s grace we have already seen salvation through these classes. This class focuses on the basics of Christianity and our Assurance in Him.
Discipleship 201 - This will start in October and pick up where D101 finishes. With a focus on Christian Living it’s our prayer that the Lord will use these classes to build conviction into those new in Christ to live wholeheartedly for Him!
Check out our website for more details on these classes and more.
Look for a future blog detailing our discipleship model for 2010-2011 at Harvest Oakville and why we’re excited about it!
Spanish Small Groups
As we see a growing population of Spanish speaking believers come to our church the need for intentional discipleship has also grown. This group allows those whose first language is Spanish to engage in Bible Study, Accountability, and Fellowship in their native language, to encourage deeper discussion and to spur greater growth. We’re also seeking unbelievers to engage in this group as we pray for salvation.
Food and Clothing distribution
We’re looking to launch a program soon that would see food and clothing go to those in need in the Bronte community. This is in the preliminary stages as we look to determine the best way to combine community awareness, distribution process, true ministry and engage the people of Harvest to serve in this ministry. If you’d like to get involved in these early stages, please email us. Also, you can donate food and clothing into the large cardboard bins in the church foyer.
Here’s a practical way to equip our church body with skills in evangelizing. Please click here for more details and to sign up for these classes.
Both our Biblical Counseling ministry and lay counseling ministry have been relocated to Harvest House.
We’re just getting started and excited to see what the Lord will do.
We’re exploring the possibility of a Pregnancy Ministry at Harvest House which could include:
If you have a passion and heart or skill that could be used in this ministry please let us
- Pregnancy Crisis Counseling
- Prenatal Classes
- Post Delivery Support
- Baby Clothing
ESL is also on our hearts to engage those new to the area with the practical skill of language development coupled with the love of Christ.
Thanks for taking the time to read this... where will you serve?
DID I JUST SHARE THE GOSPEL?
St. Francis of Assisi once said this: "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words."
I remember that when I heard this for the first time I thought it was a
profound comment. "Deep, man," said I. However, the more I thought
about it, and the more I looked in God's Word the more I didn't like
it. I get what Francis meant - that we are to live our lives in a
manner worthy of our calling and that our actions speak loudly of our
faith - I understand what he's saying. But unfortunately even though I
understand him...I'm pretty certain that Francis was wrong.
To live our lives as though we believe the gospel is another matter entirely from actually sharing it. Romans 10:14
gives to us the foundation of this thinking: "And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" Translation: Words
are important. If we don't say something, people don't hear anything,
and when people don't hear anything, they can't believe the gospel.
Here's the deal, each and every
time we share Christ with others around us, we need to be asking
ourselves if there were some critical elements present when we spoke.
Without these, the good news of Jesus Christ has not been shared, we
haven't done what we've been asked to do, and Romans 10:14 sits before
our eyes unfulfilled. Here's a list of the critical elements:
1. Statement of the Facts – You and I are serious trouble
- Sin is a universal condition and it's terminal resulting in death and condemnation (Romans 3:23; 6:23)
- Grace through faith in Jesus is the only answer (Ephesians 2:8,9)
- We are NOT okay
- God is simply NOT just a God of love.
- It’s NOT that Jesus simply wants to be our friend
2. Response – You and I need to move
- The answer to the sin is faith in Jesus Christ and repentance from you sin. (Mark 1:15)
- It’s NOT enough to live good lives
3. Promise – You and I can find what we’re looking for in Jesus alone
- With Jesus, we enjoy an eternity with him apart from judgment and punishment (John 5:24)
So ask yourself these questions
next time you've shared Christ with someone: Were the facts given?
Was a response called for? Was the promise promised?
If so, the gospel was preached in a much truer way than with just actions. Sorry Francis.
THE BIBLE IS LIKE...
Here is the great reminder on the Bible from the Bible I promised to post. It's taken from Norm Geisler's Systematic Theology.
The Bible Is Like a Seed That Saves Us (1 Peter 1:23)
The Bible Is Like Milk That Nourishes Us (1 Peter 2:2)
The Bible Is Like Meat (Solid Food) That Satisfies Us (Hebrews 5:14)
The Bible Is Like Water That Washes Us (Psalm 119:9; Ephesians 5:25-26)
The Bible Is Like a Fire That Cleanses Us (Jeremiah 23:29)
The Bible Is Like a Hammer That Shatters Us (Jeremiah 23:29)
The Bible Is Like a Sword That Cuts Deeply Into Us (Hebrews 4:13)
The Bible Is Like Medicine to Keep Us From the Sickness of Sin (Psalm 119:11)
The Bible Is Like a Mirror to Reflect Ourselves to Us (James 1:23-25)
The Bible Is Like a Lamp to Our Feet (Psalm 119:105)
The Bible Is Like a Counselor That Comforts Us (Romans 15:4)
The Bible Is Like a Forecaster That Never Fails Us (2 Peter 1:19)
You are loved!