Are you ready for a revolution of thought, faith, and future? All people of college age (approximately 18-25 years old) are welcome in this ministry. You do not have to be in college or a member of White River Christian Church.
Engage meets every Sunday at 5:00pm for worship, study of the Bible and how to apply it to your life. We can help you find direction for your life. We meet in The Eddy--enter Door #3 on the east side of the building.
02/19/2012 11:19 pm
The Ten Commandments are a fascinating study. We can look at them through many different lenses. One lens may be that of condemnation. A person can feel that God is trying to keep them from having some fun in life. Others view the commandments as a way in which man has controlled societies over the ages. Furthermore, some look upon these laws as a measurement of their spiritual progress.
While all of these opinions have merit, it is important to explore the heart behind the law. What is the purpose of God’s commands? Are they meant to manipulate mankind into some sort of guilt trip? Or is there more to it? I believe that God wants to bring life through His commands. He desires that you trust Him, have faith that what He says He means.
If you believe God created you, then the next logical connection would be to assume He knows exactly what is best for His creation. The God that created us then communicated His commands to His people (Exodus 20).
It was a dramatic moment. Picture the people of God watching as Moses went up to meet with God.
“18 When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.
19 And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”
20 “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”
21 As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.” (Exodus 20:18-21)
See the contrast? The people were afraid that God was going to “get them”. God, according to Moses, was trying to protect them. The supreme being of all existence cared for His people enough, that He brought forth commands to keep them protected. Protected from themselves, and others. He desired, and still does, that His people are blessed and at peace.
Jesus was then sent to save us from all of our transgressions against God’s law. However, Jesus himself said “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose” (Matthew 5:17). The purpose was to PROTECT us and SAVE us from sin; to keep guard. Jesus accomplished God’s redemptive plan.
Now, we all have a choice. Do we accept God’s plan or do we keep pursuing our plan?
God also gives us “freedom” to disobey Him. Jeremiah offers this take on pushing God’s commands away…
17 “Therefore, this is what the LORD says: Since you have not obeyed me by setting your countrymen free, I will set you free to be destroyed by war, disease, and famine. You will be an object of horror to all the nations of the earth. 18 Because you have broken the terms of our covenant, I will cut you apart just as you cut apart the calf when you walked between its halves to solemnize your vows.” Jeremiah 34:17-18. God made a command earlier in this chapter. He wanted slaves freed. What an age old problem mankind has! The rulers listened to God and set the slaves free. But then, they went back on God’s command and decided to take back the slaves. God said (paraphrase) “Ok, since you won’t obey my commands, go do what you want. You won’t have my protection anymore.” (once again, my paraphrase). He said “I will set you free to be destroyed by war, disease, and famine”.
When we walk outside of God’s commands, we tell God “hey, I don’t need your protection anymore. I’ve got it from here.” And God, in all His graciousness, let’s us walk away. He allows us to choose.
So who do you choose? God’s commands and His grace or your opinion?
“14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[e]15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[f]16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21)
God desires more for you than you can even imagine for yourself. He sees the vessel that He created. The One that created EVERYTHING, loves you!! Never forget that.
The choice is yours…a life of fulfillment or more of the same frustration, anxiety, worry and fear.
The choice is yours…
12/15/2011 11:43 pm
People are looking for love…and there is nothing wrong with that. But, in our desire to find love, we can end up pursing what we have defined as love. Love to some people is simply a physical desire to be with another person. Others it can be the exciting feeling that there is a person who is pursing them. Furthermore, some people simply want to be taken care of financially. They show a form of love for their significant other in order to enjoy a certain lifestyle. There are so many ways that we view love.
As a Christian, we have to find out what God says about love; how He defines it.
1 John 4:8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (NIV).
In this verse, God Himself is defined as love. He is the very essence of love. Many people, over the course of history, have tried to make love simply a romantic expression. But I believe love is deeper than that. Romance, passion, and desires are emotional outputs of a deep longing to be with another person. Yet, why does that never satisfy us completely?
If God is love, where does that leave us when we push God away? What if we simply chose to believe that God is not real?
Love then becomes lust. It turns into desires of our body, instead of desires of our heart. Why do young people start looking at porn at the average age of 11? Why do Americans spend over $2.84 billion dollars a year on pornography? Because we a born with a desire to be loved. When we do not have an understanding of true love, we have to fill that void with substitutes.
If we pursue God, with the same passion and drive that most of us have pursued human relationships, He will fill us with His true love. The closer we get to the source, the stronger the love gets. This is when the characteristics of love start to shine out of our lives.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Cor 13: 4-8(a).
Guys, are you patient with others? Are you willing to wait, restraining yourself for the woman God created to be by your side in life? Are you willing to surrender your physical desires in order to let God’s love shine out of you?
Women, are you willing to be patient and not allow emotions to sweep you away into a relationship where God is not honored? If he won’t honor your commitment to God now, he won’t honor it later.
09/28/2011 12:35 pm
Podcast 9/25/11 - Coexist? series Atheism week 2 “Faith”
09/27/2011 10:58 pm
Faith is an interesting word. It is something that brings about a lot of questions, debate, and even anxiety. Faith is thrown around in the Christian community in ways that make some people wonder if they even have “faith”. I’ve heard well meaning ministers state to those that are sick, “if you have more faith, you will be healed!”. Also, I have been told by others “faith is for ignorant, uneducated people. It is a fairy tale, and someone has sold you a lie.” Maybe you are somewhere in the middle, in a place where faith comes and goes. Sometimes you feel like God is speaking to you, using you in mighty ways. Then you may feel that this is the mountain top experience of faith. Other times, you feel like everything is sinking around you and you have lost your faith.
The Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God:
Hebrews 11: 6 “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
So, what is faith? Hebrews 11:1 gives a great definition. ” Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
I believe the core essence of the Christian faith is believing in something that we cannot prove. The very concept of God is something that we all have wrestled with at some point in life. Is God real? If so, why can’t I see him?
The questions could go on and on. Although faith does not answer every question we can come up with, the very essence of faith says “I choose to believe, even though I cannot see. I cannot taste, touch, smell, but I just know that God is real.”
A serious storm was brewing and Peter was aboard a boat that was going to sink. He saw Jesus standing out in the waters. Jesus told Peter to come to Him. Peter started walking towards Jesus. He was walking on water!! When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, Peter began to sink into the water. Faith kept him from sinking in the storm. Lack of faith caused him to begin to drown. This all happened in a matter of moments. We all struggle with faith at times. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, faith is brought alive. When we focus on ourselves, our feelings, emotions, external pressures, etc… then we begin to sink in our faith.
Faith means that when you are sick, you believe God can heal you…even if He doesn’t.
Faith means that your check book doesn’t dictate your mood.
Faith means that you can share your faith, and not worry what others think/say about you.
Faith keeps us going.
Where is your faith today?
The best is yet to come!
09/22/2011 11:57 am
Podcast 9/18/11 - Coexist? series Atheism week 1