He is risen, He is risen indeed! Our Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert led us in remembering and celebrating the power of Resurrection Sunday by looking at the journey of Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. Even in the midst of Peter’s greatest failures, Jesus invited him to draw close. Jesus became THE sacrifice in order for Peter, and the world, to be restored. We are just like Peter, and we have that same access to a relationship with God through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert continued our Anchored In series, honing in on 2 Chronicles 7:11-14. No matter the trial or what form it comes in, we know through this passage that our response is to humble ourselves, pray and seek God’s face and repent, knowing that in turn, He promises to hear us, forgive our sins and heal our land. The time is now to posture ourselves humbly before God as He draws near to us.
Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert continued our Anchored In series. The reality is that this pandemic will eventually pass, but the question to answer is, “What will be said of us of how we lived in the in-between?” Even with everything going on around us today, this is not the time to sit back. Through faith in God and patience, we believe it is time to inherit the promises and move forward as a church.
Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert kick-started our new series, Anchored In. Even in all of the chaos of this time, we believe that this is still the year of the open hand: one reaching up to heaven as we grow in our relationship with God and the other hand reaching out to others in compassion and outreach. God has called us to make Him our fixed point, to love Him with all of our hearts, love our neighbors as ourselves and love those in need.
Our Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert kicked off our new series, Anchored In. As the world around us is rapidly changing, he called us to remain committed to three areas:
- We are called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
- We are called to walk in community and to carry one another’s burdens – not to isolate ourselves out of fear.
- We are called to extend Grace for All who are hopeless, hurting and apart from God.
Before we even look to extend grace to others, we have to be able to receive the grace of God for ourselves. Check out this great resource, Alone With God, that dives into spending time with God to anchor us in His presence. Whether you have spent time with God for years or this is a brand new to you, this packet will give you new ideas and insight, communicating not just the why but also the how. Also, check out a Spotify playlist our worship staff made to help keep our minds centered on Jesus.
Be sure to check out the following resources:
Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert gave vision for 2020, continuing from 2019: the time is now! We are living in a unique time where God’s timing is intersecting with our lives. What if this year, more than ever before, we lived with one hand reaching up to God as we grow in our relationship with Him and our other hand reaching out to those around us who need to encounter God? The time is now.
Be sure to tune in next week as we continue our series.
This past Sunday, we officially wrapped up our 40 Days of Breakthrough series. Whether you were with us the whole time or jumped in partway through, this was a rich series that we encourage you to revisit in the months to come! As Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert said, breakthrough is not an experience. It is a lifestyle that we daily choose and live.
Here is a quick recap from the areas of breakthrough we covered each week.
WEEK 1: Relationship with God
“The God of the breakthrough has a name, and His name is Jesus. He is the answer to everything, and He loves us.
More than anything else, our relationships with God takes first priority. This shouldn’t be a surprise to us. Whether we choose to acknowledge Him or not or place Him first in our lives, Jesus is central. If this is not anchored in us – the importance of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection – we are cutting ourselves off from the relationship God has given us access to. This relationship is not only the most important but also should take first place above anything else. Even good things, like spouses, kids, or calling, cannot replace a relationship with God. Like Jimmy said, breakthrough has a name, and His name is Jesus. Are you pursuing the breakthrough? Or the one who gives the breakthrough? Does He have your first love?
WEEK 2: Sin
“I no longer identify as a slave, but I identify as a son. Therefore, I have victory over sin.”
It can be easy for us to believe, especially if we have been caught in habitual sin, that our lot in life currently is our lot in life permanently. We know that is a lie however, because Jesus came to give us life and life to the fullest (John 10:10). Freedom from sin is not a formula, but there are steps we can take to placing ourselves before God and others to find the breakthrough we are looking for. One way to do this is to realize that desperation trumps information. When you read the Gospels, Jesus is always inviting people to draw near and listen if they are hungry. Are you desperate enough that you are willing to press in even in the midst of your sin? And if you really want to get free, you need to stop hiding. We think that keeping things in the dark protect ourselves and protect those around us. In reality, it is protecting the very sin we want to get free from. Another challenge is to take one radical step of obedience. Too often, we get stuck thinking about getting free instead of taking a radical step. What one step do you know you need to take?
WEEK 3: Emotions
“The people who have the greatest ministry on the earth are those who have been the most broken because they have found Jesus to be faithful in the middle of their brokenness and proclaimed His goodness in the midst of their pain and it sets captives free.”
Think of a time when your emotions were very high and maybe even got the best of you. It could be a while ago or perhaps very recent. If we are honest with ourselves, our emotions can get us into trouble, and then we shape our theology around that in order to explain it. However, that was never the way that it was supposed to go. First, you need to resolve your theology, what you think about God, His goodness, faithfulness, etc. Then when we encounter trouble, it does not shatter us because we have already resolved the character of God, and so while our emotions may be impacted, they no longer are the driving force. God is the one meant to lead us, not our emotions.
WEEK 4: Relationships
“Your ability to see the flow of the river of God in life and relationship is directly blocked if you will not forgive and bless people in your life.”
If you are harboring unforgiveness and offense towards the people in your life, you may think that you are justified or in the right, but in truth, you are blocking the flow of God and what He wants to pour out in your life. Is that something that you really want to do? Letting go of unforgiveness and offense starts with prayer. Daily prayer, because we are hurt and offended daily, and if we are not faithful to attend to little wounds, they very quickly can become big. As you pray, receive and hold onto the promises of God and know that they are not just true for you but also for the person who hurt or offended you. Forgiveness is not just for us to receive, it is also meant to be given, and as we fill ourselves with the Word of God, we no longer live by the words of the world. While this transformative work is going on inside of us, we need to continue to engage with people. People are not the problem; sin is. Even as hurt happens and there needs to be forgiveness, remember that we are given a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). If we are isolating ourselves from people or withholding forgiveness, we are not allowing ourselves or others to receive reconciliation. Who do you need to extend forgiveness to today? Are you spending time in the Word of God to allow it to transform you from the inside out?
WEEK 5: Finances
“It is not about having money or not. It is who is God over your life.”
Who do you spend more time thinking about? God? Or money? What you think about becomes your focus, and what you focus on can become what you serve. To keep it short, live simply, work diligently and give generously. You weren’t put on this earth to make money; you are uniquely made and placed in this time to bring glory to God. By remembering to live simply, you remove yourself from trying to keep up with the Jones’s, not allowing comparison, competition and jealousy into your heart. Can you live with an attitude of gratitude? As you work diligently, this is not about performance. It is partnership with God even as we trust Him to provide. One test to see how tightly you are holding your money is to see how hard it is for you when you give it away. Are you giving out of obedience or because it is a joy for you to give? By giving generously, we are inviting God into our finances as we relinquish control and remember not just to believe that everything is God’s but to live like it.
WEEK 6: Calling
“We all have assignments, but we have one calling. That is to be a surrendered people to the living God and to do all for the glory of God.”
Calling is more than assignments or vocation. It is about trusting God with all of our lives, from the big picture to every small moment. Do you genuinely believe that you can trust God with your life? If not, it may take revisiting other breakthrough areas such as finances or relationships because if we can’t trust God in those “smaller” areas, can we trust Him with the entirety of our life calling? Trust is essential. And as we trust God, we realize that it is not about us. We are created by the Creator; we know we are invaluable to Him because of the price Jesus was willing to pay, and we are nothing short of miraculous. But still, our calling is not about us. It is about glorifying God, living surrendered lives and giving ourselves fully to whatever assignment God has for us in the present. It is about living Proverbs 3:5-6, trusting God with all of our hearts, not trusting our own understanding and trusting and acknowledging Him. When you read that verse, are you able to live each component? What area can you revisit to continue to build your trust in God as you surrender your calling?
Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert wrapped up our 40 Days of Breakthrough series. He recapped each week and the different breakthrough areas that were covered. We ended with a challenge to view breakthrough not as an experience but rather a lifestyle, believing that there are still areas where God wants to breakthrough in our lives.
“There is great peace found in the foundational understanding that we are invited into intimacy with a person, not a principle.” Jimmy Seibert //
In all the areas of your life that need a breakthrough, whether it’s in relationships, emotions, or finances, you can boil everything down to one major problem: trust in God. It is why we bury bitterness deep in our hearts and why our fists are gripped tightly around our money. Why do we find ourselves refusing to relinquish control to God yet beg Him for vision when it comes to the purpose of our lives? We won’t surrender our marriages to Him and would instead figure out how to make ends meet on our own. But when it comes to making a decision, we ask God for a supernatural sign to point us in the right direction, and then casually carry on. It’s a reality we’ve normalized in our relationship with God, asking for guidance only when necessary. We logically know we should trust God, but truthfully, most of the time, we don’t. It leaves us feeling lonely to a seemingly distant God.
How do we expect to hear God directing us in our decisions if we can’t trust Him with our money or relationships? How do we go from making one-time decisions with God to a lifetime of listening to God’s plan for us?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” Proverbs 3:5-6.
Finding your purpose with God starts with understanding that it is not about you. We live in a world where we think we don’t really need Jesus; we think we are good enough and can manage ourselves. Or, we feel we have out-sinned Jesus and are too far gone. Both are arrogant, selfish and both miss the heart of God’s desire to partner with us. We are created beings, made to glorify the Creator; we are invaluable to our Father and nothing short of miraculous. We are not the point but are invited into the point—relationship with God. When we understand this crucial point, we will remove ourselves as the point and humbly come into a right relationship as creation.
Trust With All Your Heart
God doesn’t ask for a piece of our heart—He wants all of it. A shared heart isn’t full surrender or full affection for a God who has wholly and fully proven His love for us. We live in a world that romances our hearts and takes pieces of it—social media, porn, sex, food—anything can claim our affection, but these will all prove to be empty and dissatisfying. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
God doesn’t just say He loves us – He has proven the depths of His love for us and pursued us while we were still sinners. God aches and desires relationship with us more than we ever will with Him, and He proved it by sending His only son to die in our place. When we understand the depth of His love for us, our affections are stirred and pour out in overflow for Him. Giving Him our full heart is no longer a chore but is through weeping reverence.
Trust Not in Your Own Understanding
When trying to understand our purpose and where to go next, we need to turn to God. We can trust His judgment and His good advice. “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17). Seeking first the opinion of God isn’t just out of obedience, but out of love and affection for Him. Just like any relationship, when we spend time talking with God, our hearts are filled with more of Him and His plans for us are further revealed, even if it’s just the next step. This furthers our understanding that we are fully dependent on God and not ourselves.
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). With a million voices and noises competing for our attention, honing in on the voice of God and the counsel of godly people can make all the difference. When pressure hits and you need advice, who is it that you call? We can’t confide in bitter, foolish friends expecting righteous advice. Surround yourself with godly people and find comfort knowing the lens they view the world is through God.
Trust and Acknowledge Him
It’s key to remember that as believers, we aren’t following a principle, moral system or laws. We walk with and follow a person. It is less about what we do but the fact we get to do it with God. We are privileged to walk with Jesus through every circumstance, trusting that in everything we do, it is for a grand purpose and to glorify a grand King. “The steps of a man are established by the Lord when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24). We are told our steps are determined by a God who delights to walk it with us. There is great peace found in the foundational understanding that we are invited into intimacy with a person, not a principle.
Trust is foundational to our relationship with God and our relationship with everything and everyone else. When we remove ourselves, our anxieties and misunderstanding, we can step into sweet intimacy with Jesus, trusting Him and His will for our lives.
Senior Pastor Jimmy Seibert finished our 40 Days of Breakthrough series with a message on calling. We dove into Proverbs 3:5-6, looking at the importance of trust. When we are faced with a decision about our calling, Jimmy challenged us to trust in the Lord, trust from the bottom of our hearts and trust that we do not have to figure out everything on our own.