Hark! // When God Whispers

“We like it when things are loud and clear. This is how we like God to communicate with us, and although He does sometimes, He does not all of the time.” Vincent Carpenter //

This Christmas season, we are centering our attention on listening to God. There is so much noise, both external and internal. Not only are there all of the festive sounds of the holiday season, but marketing and ad campaigns are coming at us from every angle, trying to get us to believe that we need to buy more to be happier. There are the voices of extended family and potentially strained relationships. And on top of that, it is so easy to start the comparison game and allow negative voices to captivate our attention just by watching everyone’s highlight reel on social media.

That is why it is so vital that you pause and take time to listen. Give God space to speak into your life, and recognize His voice. Sometimes this can be through a loud and bold declaration like the shepherds experienced when they were told of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:9). However, we also need to pay attention to the soft and subtle suggestions from God, as demonstrated in Elijah’s story (1 Kings 19:12).

“And He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.” 1 Kings 19:11-13

God can definitely be in the wind, the earthquake, the fire, but He chose in that moment to speak in a still, small voice. If we are expecting Him to be loud, then we may miss the very whispers that are supposed to draw us in. When I am close, there is less need to shout.

Right now, take time to ask yourself, who are you listening to today? In this season? What is the primary voice you are hearing? Is it your own voice, telling yourself all that you need to get done? Is it something else, like fear? Or is it the voice of your loving heavenly Father? The easiest path would be for us to assume that we are hearing from God or believe that He is silent when really we may be listening to something we shouldn’t, and He actually is speaking but it may be in a whisper.

It is important to remember that when God whispers, it’s not only for us but for those around us who will be impacted by what we have heard. As you remember to focus on God’s whispers in this season, who is someone around you that could receive encouragement? Listen again, asking the Holy Spirit to put someone on your heart, bringing them to your mind to text or call and share the love that you have just received. Because when God whispers, we want to listen and respond.

Hark! // When God Whispers

Family Pastor Vincent Carpenter continued our Christmas series, Hark! As seen throughout the Bible, sometimes when God speaks it is through a bold declaration and other times in a still, small voice. Through the story of Elijah, Vincent highlighted key times when God whispers and how we can respond.

Be sure to tune in next week as we continue our series this Christmas season.

Family Matters // Part Three

“… to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel … according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.  To me … this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 3:6-10 //

This week Vincent Carpenter shared part three of our series, Family Matters. Throughout the series, we are diving into the book of Ephesians and learning about what it means to be part of God’s family. Because we are part of God’s family, the way we live matters. As we read Ephesians three, we see that as children of God we have access to a spiritual inheritance.

WE ARE ALL IN THE PROCESS OF RECEIVING OUR SPIRITUAL INHERITANCE.

If we think that we have nothing to give, we are not receiving the inheritance God has for us. Before we can give something away, we first have to receive. This inheritance is available to everyone. In Kingdom of Heaven the more you give away, the more you receive. The same revelation through the Holy Spirit that Paul describes in in Ephesians 3:4-6, is part of the spiritual inheritance that Jesus made a way for all of us to receive.

WE SHOULD USE OUR SPIRITUAL INHERITANCE TO DEVELOP UNITY.

Paul had a revelation and stewarded it to form a bridge between the Jews and the Gentiles. In the same way, the revelation we receive as children of God is not just for us to know, but to steward wisely to create unity. We also can be bridge builders, unifying others and ourselves in Jesus. When we are unified, the world gets its inheritance by being introduced to the life and hope found in Jesus.

IN RESPONSE //

If we are going to receive our inheritance, we need to have a relationship with the One we are receiving from. When we spend time with God, we create space to continue receiving greater revelation. This week, take time to press pause and spend time in Word, worship and prayer.

  • Word // Throughout our series, we will be reading through the book of Ephesians. Follow along with summer reading plan and spend time reflecting on the truth of God every day.
  • Worship // Whether in your car, at work or in your home, we want to create an atmosphere of continual worship. In that place of worship, we create space for the reality of heaven to come to earth.
  • Prayer // Have a conversation with God, and pray into the things you’re believing for.

Reflect //

  • Who can you be cultivating unity with this week? This person could be someone in your world who is different from you. Pray, ask for revelation and choose to think the best about the person. Extend the inheritance you receive, and act on it to create unity.

Family Matters // Part Three

This week Vincent Carpenter shared part three of our series, Family Matters. Throughout this series we are diving into the book of Ephesians and learning about what it means to be a part of God’s family. Because we are part of God’s family, the way we live matters. As we read Ephesians three, we see that as children of God we have access to a spiritual inheritance. This inheritance is not just for ourselves, but is meant to create unity.

Standing in the Storm

This week adult pastor Vincent Carpenter shared a message on persevering through the storms of life. Challenges tempt us to take our focus off of what God is doing. But God is faithful to meet us in the midst of our storms, and makes a way for us to make it to the other side.

The Gifts We Give //
Part Four – The Gift of A Sign

This week Vincent Carpenter concluded our series, The Gifts We Give, with a message on the gift of a sign. Just as God gave the Wise Men the star as a sign that led them to Jesus, God gives us signs to lead us. At times, the signs may seem hard to discern, but we can be confident that God is always wanting to lead us into greater life.

The Gifts We Give //
Part Three – The Gift of Humanity

During the holidays many of us feel lonely, isolated or rejected. But we all want to be loved, honored and valued. That is part of our humanity. Today adult pastor Vincent Carpenter continued our series, The Gifts We Give, with a powerful call to reclaim our humanity through Jesus, and in turn, give it to others.

The Gifts We Give //
Part Three – The Gift of Humanity

During the holidays many of us feel lonely, isolated or rejected. But we all want to be loved, honored and valued. That is part of our humanity. Today adult pastor Vincent Carpenter continued our series, The Gifts We Give, with a powerful call to reclaim our humanity through Jesus, and in turn, give it to others.

OUR HUMANITY IS A GIFT FROM GOD, NOT A PRODUCT OF SOCIETY.

God created mankind, and He is the originator of our humanity. When sin entered into the world, our humanity was distorted. Our distorted view of humanity can lead us to try to find our ourselves outside of God, which ultimately leads to hurting others in order to find self. God sent Jesus to restore mankind to Himself and reestablish a right understanding of humanity. In Christ, we are not only loved, honored and valued, we are also included in the family of God. We have a newfound identity as sons and daughters of God.

WE UNDERSTAND OUR OWN HUMANITY THROUGH THE GLORY OF GOD.

In Luke 2, the shepherds got a divine visitation that frightens them and awakens them to their part in God’s bigger plan. As some of the most lonely, isolated and rejected people in the world, God chose to reveal His glory to the shepherds as a way to show us that even the lowest among us are invited in. After the shepherds were invited into God’s bigger plan, they shared all that they had seen and heard with others, and “all who heard it were amazed” (Luke 2:17-18). In order to share the humanity they had been given, they first had to receive it through the glory of God.

HUMANITY LEADS US TO THE PEACE OF GOD.

Peace is not a state of mind. We can all be deceived into believing that we can find peace in economic status, achievements, relationships or power, but this is a false peace. Peace is a person, and Jesus wants us to experience the kind of peace that the world cannot give or take away. Jesus gives us peace, but we maintain peace by making peace with others. Our true humanity is our ability to accept the peace and favor of God, and turn and give it to someone else.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Start your day by declaring your restored humanity in Christ. Open up your hands to the Lord as a sign of submission as you declare, “In Christ I have peace with God. In Christ I have peace with others.”
  • Christ gave us the gift of humanity and empowers us to give it to others so that we can walk in His peace. Pray for those in your life that you need to extend peace to.
  • Make space in your life to invite others to share their part in God’s bigger plan with you.

The Gifts We Give //
Part One – The Gift of Silence

This week adult pastor Vincent Carpenter kicked off our Christmas series, The Gifts We Give. Throughout the Christmas season, we will be unpacking various gifts that lead us to celebrating the ultimate gift of Jesus. The season is more than the material gifts we give one another. This week we took a look at Zechariah and the unexpected gift he was given.

All in All Part Six //
Generosity

This week, Vincent Carpenter continued our All in All series with a message centered around 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. Throughout this passage, Paul admonishes the church in Corinth to express generosity. The same admonition is for us today. When we give someone what we have, it makes a significant impact in both their lives and in our own. Before we can learn to give, we need to learn how to fully receive from God.