Tag: antioch salt lake city

Surviving and Thriving in Your Time with Jesus

Spending time with Jesus is as essential to your every day as food. Our bodies don’t function properly or grow when we are malnourished. We are not able to build muscle, concentrate, stay awake or do anything at a normal speed when we don’t eat.

Your body was made to take in food, just like your soul was made for relationship with your Creator. We were made to thrive with Jesus and we do that by being in His presence. It is essential for believers to value time with Jesus in the same way we value food: to survive and thrive.

There is not one formula for spending time with Jesus, just like there is not one type of food or diet. But I do want to give some handrails for what spending time with Jesus looks like for me and what it could look like for you.

1. WAKE UP EARLY

  • Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” – Mark 1:35
  • Yep. This is a big deal and the biggest hurdle for me on a daily basis.
  • Find a quiet place to spend time with Jesus.
  • “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” – Proverbs 3:9
  • It matters that we give God the first of all our resources, including our time! He promises to fill us when we do.

2. WORSHIP

  • “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” – Psalm 100:4
  • Starting my time worshiping Jesus (with worship music on my iPhone) stirs thankfulness in my heart and puts me in a place of gratitude that spills into the rest of my time with God and the rest of my day.
  • Who doesn’t love a person who is grateful?

3. READ

  • “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • Depending on what is going on in my life, this part could look different from day to day. I have had seasons of reading through the entire Bible, where I chose to read one chapter in the Old Testament, one chapter in Psalms and one chapter in the New Testament. Sometimes my goal is to understand a certain book in the Bible, so I read a chapter a day of just that book (i.e. John).

4. PRAY

  • “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 your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
  • This is where I ask God how to apply what I just read to my day-to-day life. I will wait to hear something (sense something in my heart that is in line with the character of God and Scripture) and then pray into what He has spoken.
  • Then I have a list of people and circumstances I pray for. For me, this looks like praying in detail for my wife, daughter, friends, family and our city.

It matters that we spend time with Jesus because in His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) and we have access to that. Let’s get to know Jesus in a deeper, more personal way; we can’t lose with Him!

And once again, this is not about being more religious. Just like our need and desire for food, it’s about surviving and thriving in our relationship with Jesus.

Check out the original post and other posts from Antioch Salt Lake City here

By Noland Gilmore – Antioch Salt Lake City Worship and Young Adult Pastor

Conversations With God: The Why and How Behind Prayer

The root of any spiritual discipline is relationship. God doesn’t need your religious behavior. He desires your heart. Prayer is no different. It is a very mysterious thing but a very powerful thing! Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not worry, but pray about everything.” Learning to have this kind of dialogue and intimacy with Jesus is learned over a lifetime. No one has “praying about everything,” down but it shows you how vital prayer is.

At its basic level, prayer is a conversation with God.

We all know that in any healthy relationship communication is important. And there is good news: it’s a conversation with the least offended person on the planet! You don’t have to filter or tailor your prayers so God will understand you. God doesn’t need to be pastored. Isn’t that amazing?

Recently, I was in my time with God asking Him for some impossible things, and I started self-editing. He clearly said, “I don’t need pastoring.” Another reason to pray you guys – God has a sense of humor and He will download things into your heart because you showed up. He is the one that examines your heart, meaning He understands and gets you.

So why do we pray?

Because God desires to speak to us and He wants our hearts. He wants open communication and connection. At the core of everything God does is His heart to “take you back to the garden.”

One aspect of prayer is a conversation with God and another part of prayer is the ability to affect history across the earth.

Prayer is POWERFUL; it should be our first response. Did you know the Church is God’s plan A to change the world? And I believe prayer is the most powerful tool we have. It gets glossed over, maybe because prayer takes stillness, or maybe it just seems “too easy,” or maybe you have never been real with God and you are scared.

Here is your chance to bail you guys because it’s about to get real. My husband JR and I have had a three-year journey trying to have a family and we have lost two pregnancies in the midst of it. Our first loss happened October 4, 2014, and I was so broken and had zero clue how to handle this grief with God. So I started fake it until you make it praying, and I was absolutely gutted.

Because I wasn’t honest in my prayers, I started to withdraw from God and things were fractured between us. Then I remember one day, He said, “You can be mad at Me, but just be mad WITH Me.” That changed my life. I started to learn that God wasn’t scared of my grief, my undoneness or my rage. For about nine months my prayers sounded more like a fight than anything else.

It wasn’t pretty; I offered God snot, tears and ashes for two years. In return, He has brought deeper truth of His character as the Author of Life, helped me battle insecurity, comparison, jealousy and beyond. Jesus has shown me what it means to be thankful again, and He has shown me that He really is ENOUGH. That would have never happened on my own accord, but because God gave me permission, I felt safe to have honest conversations. He changed me because I showed up. I was a willing vessel, but Jesus was the one that was ABLE!

There is also an aspect of perseverance in prayer because God’s timing is not always our timing.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, God reminds us there is a “season for everything” — pits will come and parades will come. That is a part of every person’s life, whether you believe in Jesus or not. You have to stick around, be honest, be BOLD and be willing to ask God for the impossible.

Matthew 19:26 says, “with God all things are possible.” Ask Jesus to restore years of damage in your marriage, ask Him to breathe hope in the refugee crisis, ask Him for the $400 you need to pay the bills, ask Him for babies, and you guys, ask Him to breathe revival in your heart.

The time is now; God wants to do big things in and through each of you.

He wants a partnership, not a puppet. He desires that deep relationship with you.

By Brittany Baker – Lead Pastor Antioch Salt Lake City

It is Written: The Why and How Behind Memorizing Scripture

When I was in college, I had a dear friend and mentor challenge me to memorize Scripture with her. As I was walking through a hard season of my life, she and I began to memorize and pray God’s Word together. I remember her quoting Isaiah 55, telling me that the Word of God never returns void. These were not just words we were memorizing and praying together. They were promises.

That season of Scripture memory changed my life and my walk with Jesus forever —

so much so that eight years later, I’m still doing it. This practice of writing Scripture on my heart wasn’t just good advice from a trusted friend; it’s a biblical command.

Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is alive and active, sharper than a double edged sword. Ephesians 6:17 calls the Word of God “the sword of the Spirit” — our weapon against the schemes of the enemy!

I’ve never carried an actual weapon before, but if I did, I would want to know how to use it before I just started walking around with a holster on my belt. You get where I’m going with this?

Our Bibles are not just an accessory to carry on Sundays.

The Word of God is a powerful weapon, and He has equipped us with everything we need to use it effectively.

My favorite Biblical example of the power of God’s Word is when Jesus is tempted by the devil in the wilderness in Matthew 4. Over and over, Satan tries to twist the Word of God to tempt Jesus, and every time, Jesus’s response begins with three words: it is written.

He looks the enemy in the face and He says, “It is written, [insert Biblical truth]” and do you know what the end result is? It says in Matthew 4:11 that the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him.

So the progression went like this: Satan tries to deceive Jesus. Jesus fights back with the Word of God. Satan leaves. Angels replace him.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be attended to by angels instead of deceived by the darkness of our world!

So what does this look like practically?

Here are 4 Practical Ways to Memorize Scripture:
  • 1. Identify the lies I’ve been believing or the places in my thought life that need to be “rid of the devil and replaced by angels.”
  • 2. Identify truth in Scripture that directly combats the lie! Example: I’ve recently struggled with a lot of fear and anxiety. So I’ve been memorizing Psalm 91, a passage of Scripture about God being our refuge and our fortress; our shield and defender.
  • 3. Do whatever it takes to write this truth on your heart and in your mind!
    •  Keep a small spiral of note cards in your purse, your car, your desk at work, etc. with Scriptures you’re memorizing written in it.
    •  Write it on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker.
    • Pray it out loud during your time with God in the mornings.
    • Write it down daily until you can write it from memory.
  • 4. Start with a little. Don’t try to memorize a whole passage at once. Pick one verse that you want to be written on your heart, and when you have that down, go for more.

I remember being amazed when I first started memorizing God’s Word at how easily it all of a sudden started rolling right off my tongue in prayer. My prayer life changed because I was speaking forth the promises of God instead of the pleas of man!

Friends, if Jesus needed the Word of God written on His heart in order to resist the devil, how much more do we need it? I have found more freedom from sin and darkness in memorizing Scripture than anything else in my walk with God.

You’re armed with everything you need! Open up that double-edged sword of yours and let’s start waging some war on the darkness. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. That’s a promise (Isaiah 54:17).

By Sara Gilmore – Antioch Salt Lake City Pastoral Staff

sara gilmore

What God’s doing in SLC

With a major state school of more than 30,000 students right here in our city, one of the things we are believing God for is revival on the campus of the University of Utah. Our team has been here only a few months but we’ve already seen major life transformation in the life of one of our college guys. This is an answer to prayer and a huge victory for the building of the Kingdom of God on the campus of the U.

Our college pastor, Codi Wasion, met Drew playing basketball with a group of students at the U. Drew had just finished his freshman year, far from his hometown, on a scholarship to play golf for the Utes. He told Codi he had spent the year trying out every church in the valley, and he just couldn’t find one where he fit in.

Drew was thinking about transferring closer to home after a hard first year of college — until he got connected to our team. Codi started inviting him to hang out, he started getting discipled by one of the guys on our team, and over the course of the summer something began to shift in Drew’s heart. He was falling in love with Jesus.

He knew he wanted something more than the typical college party scene, and when he started to learn how to spend time with God and began to develop a deeper friendship with Him, he had a pivotal moment with Jesus. One night as he worshiped by himself, Drew said he had a realization that he wanted to give everything to Jesus and really follow him.

A few weeks ago, Drew told Codi, “When I met you I hated this city and the U, and was planning on leaving. You took me in and got me connected and now I can agree with our church’s motto and say that I love this city. I can’t wait to tell everyone I know at the U about church.”

Drew is back home now for a few weeks before classes start, is continuing to spend time with God and is “learning how to really worship.”

We are so encouraged by Drew’s hunger and thirst to see the gospel come to his campus, and we can’t wait to watch him grow in his relationship with Jesus as he begins his sophomore year!

Your prayers play a key role in our team reaching more people like Drew. We invite you to join us in praying for revival in Salt Lake City and for our church to love Jesus, love each other and love this city in such a way that people want to know Jesus.

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