Five years ago we set out on an endeavor to plant another location of Compelled Church. God gave us an amazing site pastor, worship leader, and key volunteers that have stuck in out, worked hard, never quit, and today we are expanding a growing church with life-changing ministries and relationships. Continue reading “Five Year Anniversary for Compelled Multi-site Launch”
We had such a powerful time in Welch W. VA serving the wonderful people there. I am humbled by all the love I see there, which is the Spirit of the Risen Christ. Everyone moves with such compassion. I am so blessed by everyone that went. The churches that partnered, Sister Cora, and our Students that work so hard and never complain, never quit, never tire. Thank you all.
As we opened the doors on that cold Saturday morning, two little boys came in with their parents. They had no coats. They had on their dad’s flannel shirts which hung down to the ground, covering their legs and unfitting shoes. They were so excited to get some candy, face painted, animal balloons. Little Jon Jon, asked his mom if he could have chili and said “ma ma is it free?” I retreated to the bathroom stall to compose myself as I was so deeply moved I could not control my emotions. I thanked God we were here, and knew every dollar, every mile, every sacrifice was worth it. Jon Jon and his brother would be special today, get food, toys, coats, and most importantly see Christ.
A lady was holding this baby, Marcus. It was her sister’s son. She had 3 kids and was trying to carry boxes for her family and the baby because her mom, jumped in and started helping us. I held little Marcus for her, as she took care of her family, while her mom worked and helped her friends. I prayed over his life. I asked God to protect him from the enemy and to provide for him. I held him, like the Lord wants to hold us all, and His people in McDowell County.
Yes, we need to go to the Appalachian Mountains, to Welch. We need to serve. We need to love. We need to see the world, and the poorest county in America. We need to have the Lord move us to gratitude, generosity, and a level of love, we may have never experienced before.
Thank you all that made this happen. Many gave, many sent, many worked, many went, and many know that in their struggle, a God has not forgotten them, and loves their little Jon Jon, who now has a coat, a meal, and some toys to open at Christmas.
As we start a six-week teaching on purpose, I am gripped with passion, conviction, and compassion. I believe the purpose of our life is to glorify the Lord in all we do and how we do things. I believe we are called the glorify the Lord in who we are. Here are some quotes from week one of the series.
- “We have to stay grounded on Scripture, dedicated to God’s ways. The world will not function in God’s ways. This world is determined not to glorify God, but to glorify man, embracing all sin, rejecting any moral voice, and pushing the philosophy of pluralism and secular humanism forward, at the expense of all reason and purity.”
- “Since time began the deception from the enemy has been to NOT glorify God, but glorify yourself, you become the god.”
- “You can be a saved person, and not a very spiritual person. We are good at siloing our lives, and separating our faith from daily living.
- “Whenever man wants glory and honor, ahead of the Lord, or in place of the Lord, destruction in some form, awaits.”
- “Too many of us live with ‘flimsy faith’. Faith that is so shallow, so much about us. Flimsy faith says my faith is exercised so God can do what I want, not I live the life He wants. My will is more important than His.”
“Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. “
1 Cor. 10.31
Staying interested and engaged in the things of God takes discipline and tenacity. It is God’s will for us. It is His desire we grow in our relationship with him. It is easy to get out of the habits and disciplines that cause our spiritual interest and hunger to stay on Christ. It is too easy to drift and to move back to the things of this world that have nothing to offer us spiritually and add nothing positive to our life. Our old ways can creep back. Here are some practical ways to keep engaged in the Lord.
- Have a Bible reading and Bible study plan. If not, you will most likely just skip around and neglect the Word of God altogether. Reading the Word is communing with the Spirit of God.
- Serve in the Kingdom. Do something for others and for the Lord. Get out of just thinking of your life, your schedule, your finances, your health and do something for God and serve others.
- Talk to the Lord more. Pray daily. Make it a habit this year to pray before meals, at bed, in the morn, while you drive, just talk to the Lord more.
- Become a worshiper. Learn to go deeper in expressing your love to the Lord. Decide you are not going to care what anyone thinks, and worship.
- Access your life and habits. Is there anything quenching your desire for Christ? Any sin you are not being honest about? Shows and website you should not be viewing? Missing going to church a lot and you no longer think anything of it? Temper, swearing, anger, too common and needs to go?
- Do generous things. The Holy Spirit moves in us when we are generous for the Lord is so generous to us in so many ways.
- Make it a goal to grow in Christ with others. Get in a small group, host one, or lead one. Growing in life and community with others is God’s way. We were created for relationship.
- Enjoy Jesus– He is awesome. Fellowship with His Spirit is amazing. His love is great and His friendship priceless. If you are not enjoying a relationship with the living God, you may not know Him that well. Start to enjoy the Lord and His presence in your life.
Anything else you would add?
As I sit here in a McDonald’s in Welch, W. VA after a day of amazing ministry, my heart is warmed and filled with the presence of God. My favorite playlist is blaring in my earphones as I review for the message in the morning, but I wanted to jot some thoughts.
- I need Welch more than Welch needs me. Little things in life can seem so big, and my heart can grow away from God’s heart. I can forget the love He has for His creation. Serving this community, softens my hard and calloused heart that is prone to wonder from the compassionate zenith of Christ.
- I quickly realize many are suffering. I can insulate myself from the unpleasant feelings and exposure to poverty, health care crisis, the heroin epidemic, and the hopelessness many experience daily. I realize only Jesus can end suffering, and give the hope that the pain of this world will not last forever. Jesus is the answer.
- I am in awe at the heart of so many wonderful people. Three churches of different denominations combine to help a saint named Sister Cora Goldman fulfill a vision God has given her for McDowell County. Many sacrificed to come, worked very hard, love harder, and drove into the night so tired, yet we are so alive in Christ.
- We must keep giving and working to meet the physical needs on this earth. This is the heart of Christ. Read the teachings of Christ. I am thankful for a church, Compelled Church, that makes this happen every year. What a missional community of believers I have the honor of leading for Christ.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “
Yes, I need Welch so much more than Welch needs me.
In Christ, Nate
- New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 25:34–36). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
The Lord’s prayer that Christ taught the disciples has this line for us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6.9-13).
I have heard teaching on the mostly as a proof text that God wants to heal everyone for there is no sickness in Heaven. So on this earth we should all be healed and in perfect health ( I do not believe the Scriptures teach healing this way, but I do believe in divine healing). I believe the intention of what our Lord was teaching is a little deeper. Remember, usually our theology slants toward our comfort. The Kingdom of God is more than physical healing so we can just avoid suffering in this life. It is about Jesus Christ. His Kingdom wants to reign in us. In you. But there is a problem. For that to happen, you must allow your “kingdom” to be dissolved. To live in His kingdom we must not have our own kingdom. We must get off the throne of our life and kingdom and let Christ and his will reign, and we must live in His Kingdom.
He wants to be here in our lives, on this earth, in us. He has to violate our kingdoms for His Kingdom to come in us. Simply His Kingdom is His will. What Jesus has say over. Our Kingdom is our will, it’s what we have say over. So how much of our lives are living in Him, His will, His desires, His Words, His ways, and His goals? Do we look to what he says, before we decide and have say over?
- Is your time His Kingdom or your domain?
- Is your money under your authority? Or in His Kingdom?
- How selfish or selfless do you live for Christ.
The benefits to living in the Kingdom are awesome! His will gets done in your life, not yours. Our will is always janked up with selfishness, but his will is glorious. Your time and efforts will produce heavenly fruit, not earthly results which are always so disappointing. A great marriage is a Kingdom of Jesus marriage. Greatness is in the Kingdom. Perceived greatness, is our kingdom, and in reality, it’s self worship.\Pray the Lord’s prayer differently maybe. With divine intentions, that may have more to do with discomfort, than your comfort on this earth. In Him, regardless, is the greatest comfort and joy.
Thy Kingdom come (in me and overtake my Kingdom) Thy will be done (I relinquish my say and want yours) on earth (in my heart, my mind, my words, my life, my marriage, my time, my money, my talents) as it is in Heaven (in your amazing presence!)
Here are the 7 convictions I shared this weekend for Compelled Church.
Conviction #1 God’s goal for mankind is a missionary goal as God is a Missionary God.
Conviction #2 All People Matter to God
Conviction #3 God has called the church to sacrifice to take the Gospel to the World.
Conviction #4 We want the name of the Lord to be known and praised by all People, languages, skin color, and nations.
Conviction #5 God blesses the church that blesses the lost.
Conviction #6 We all are called, but we all can’t go to foreign nations, so we are responsible to send.
Conviction #7 God has called, will call, and is calling our people to world missions.
It’s time for gut check people. If you could have more of anything what would it be? Most people would immediatley say more money, or more sex, or more time off. How many of us would say more of Jesus in our lives? We need more of him. We need more of His Spirit, more faith, more obedience, more committment, more standards, more self-control, more love. What ever we need in spirit, in character, in behavior, we all need more of Jesus. How do you get more of Jesus? It is a decision, then it’s an action. You stop doing anything that is not of Jesus. You make room in your life for Jesus’ stuff. Stop making excuses and neglecting your soul. Gut check your life, evaluate your life, commitment levels and priorities. Be honest with the Lord and have a good gut-check. Some would call a quest for more of God in our lives a revival, or spiritual awakening. I say, call it whatever you like, but I am compelled to lead Compelled on a quest to check our guts and make sure that we are on fire for more of God, filled with the Spirit, walking in obedience, and serving this world the Gospel. There is too much at stake to live without “more”.
Do you want to come with me? The Quest starts with a gut check.