Compassion, We All Need More


compassion-lgWe need more compassion.  We are followers of Jesus Christ, who had a lot of compassion.  He loved sinners, tax collectors, the poor, suffering, the outcasts, the rejected, and so must we.

So why is it a lot of followers of  Christ lose their compassion?  We see, hear, and read, judgement, opinions, and not as much of the love and kindness of  Jesus.  We struggle inwardly with true and authentic care and love for people.  Why do we not move in greater compassion?  Why does a small segment of the Church, have the most compassion and others seem hard, or apathetic to the needs of those around us in our lives and ocmmunity?

  1. We tend to drift away from the heart of Jesus.  We must seek him and allow the Spirit of God to keep our hearts soft.
  2. We must refrain from judging and becoming legalistic.  Judgment makes one hard.
  3. The world can be an uncaring place, and we live in it, so it rubs off on us. The way we think and act.
  4. Let’s be honest, we all become about us and we all fight that battle.  It can be a challenge in these times to look beyond us, and to the needs of  others.
  5. We need more compassion.  There are people that are the victims of the sin of this world, that are suffering in many ways, that are lonely, hurting, tires, and feeling very alone.  True compassion acts.
  6. Public leaders, without compassion, lash out at each other in social media, on the news, and many feel permission to join in.  We are called higher.

Questions:

  • Who in your life, path, work, needs someone to care?  You are that someone?
  • When is the last time you served someone from love and compassion?
  • Do you need to ask the Lord to forgive you for lacking care and compassion for others?
  • How can you be more compassionate?  Do you need to ask the Lord to impart some compassion?

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.  Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”  Matthew 9:36–38 (NASB95)

 

 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  Colossians 3:12–14 (NASB95)

 You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me. Ps. 40.11

   Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, Philippians 2:1 (NASB95)

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Why Did Jesus Come to Earth?


“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17.3

I am on a journey. To know the Father. A moment of revelation was afforded me recently on why Jesus came to earth.  This revelation has reminded me of Truth and refreshed my soul.

  • He did come to destroy the works of the enemy.
  • He did come to cleanse sin, once and for all.
  • He came to “save” us as we say. (though many are unsure of what).
  • He came to give us eternal life.
  • Keep us from Satan (John 17.15).

It is true, all of these he came, but the one reason that bundles all of these together, that he came is that we would know the Father.  We can never know the Lord fully without being cleanses of sin, repenting and turning our lives around. We won’t ever know the Lord unless we live as an offering, and enact our faith, not just for the things in prayer we pray for, but to know our Father in Heaven.  Jesus wants you to know the Father.

  • Do you know about God? Or do you know God the Father?
  • Are you saved, but never pursued knowing Him more?
  • Choosing to sin in our lives, will make the waters of knowing Father murky?  Do you willingly and knowingly choose sin?  Do you grieve that you are forfeiting knowing the Father well?
  • Do you want to know the Father and be closer than ever before?

Begin to ask HIm to reveal Himself in every area of your life.  Search your heart and repent of sin, spiritual laziness, and any unforgiveness you have toward anyone.  Ask the Holy Spirit, who leads and guides us into all Truth, to lead and guide you. Read the Word with the goal to know the Father, not gain doctrinal or biblical knowledge.

Remember: “You are as close to the Father as you want to be.”

There is nothing on this earth greater than knowing the Father.

Do you agree? What steals our desire to know Father more?  Please respond below.

 

Our Compelled Community fills me with Gratefulness


I love our church. I love the heart of our people.  I love how we pursue the Lord and people.  I loved the Toledo Campus going door to door, and hosting a fall festival. I love our Children’s ministry and leaders,  and the annual chili cookout. So glad the Lord led Pastor Matt and Mandie to Compelled. I love Pastor Rick’s heart as we gathered for worship team training and he encouraged us. I love Pastor Dusty getting our students reaching out. I love filling shoeboxes for the Lord and operation Christmas Child.  I love that we are truly “Compelled by love.” I’m am grateful to be part of our Compelled Community.

At Compelled this weekend we stressed our Family Value of Relationships.  “People grow better in relationship than they do in isolation.” We had people stand and publicly  give testimony and thank those who encouraged them in the faith and brought them to Jesus.  This was moving, encouraging, and filled us with faith.  I loved it.  We heard powerful stories of people reaching out in friendship and love for Christ and lives were changed and of course eternities.

We must be those people that are the encourager now.  As we have received, now let’s give.  Make a difference in someone’s life.  Start a small group.  Call someone you have been missing. Write out a prayer for a struggling friend and mail it.  Send a text, buy a coffee, open your home and your heart and see what God will do.

Keep being missional Compelled Church!  We are making a difference.

(NOTE:  All the gatherings were awesome but the 11 am worship was amazing.  The place was packed and so many people were pursuing the heart of God.  It was so powerful.)

Family Values


family-valuesWe all have values. We have personal values, marriage values, and family values.  These are the things that navigate our decisions and behaviors.  Like, I choose not to do much to my yard, because I do not value a perfect lawn. It means nothing to me, as some men spend hundreds of dollars to have a nice lawn and work on it all the time. I am not one of those guys.

What are your values?  Do you value honesty, people, family, time?  Churches have values.  The things we deems as important. The things we must emphasize as our mandate in the Bible. I am excited to speak on them the next 2 months. We will talk about the values of Compelled Church, and why we value them.

As the staff and I talked and investigated these things my heart was full.  My heart was full with thankfulness at our values.  My heart was full because I know our values are the values of the Lord.  this week we will share our greatest and foundational value. Jesus Christ! He is all.

The Baby Birds are Gone, God is Not


I was at the church this morning, doing some things and getting ready for the weekend gatherings. I noticed the little birds that were up underneath the car port  were now gone.  They got strong enough to fly away.  I then thought of Rick’s message on gratefulness.  I thought of how many people over the last 20 years have been nurtured, made strong, and have “flown away”.  Some of our young people have entered into full time ministry , and mission fields. I thought of many of them, and I was thankful.  I saw some other things on my walk.

  • I saw the empty quiet building which a few days ago was full of children every morning learning the Word of God, and trust in Jesus.  I walked to the front and remember dozens asking Jesus into their heart on Thursday.  My heart is so thankful for all the volunteers, leaders, and Pastor Matt and Mandie Reinhart. I pray these children will follow the Lord, and their parents will help and lead the way.
  • I walked on our new floors and remembered how many hands made it possible, so thankful for servant hearts.
  • I watered our beautiful flowers, thankful for Deb and Harry Welch, planting and caring for them. I prayed for her healing as I know she has been sick, and am thankful for their life, that God brought them to Compelled.
  • I put up the building plans for the Toledo Campus build out on the wall. So thankful for a church that is missional, and for what the Lord is going to do as we will have 3000 more sq. ft. for children’s ministry, and for Jennifer Perkins who has agreed to be the Children’s Ministry Director there! Praise God. Thankful for Pastor Tim and Amanda’s leadership, and for the faithfulness of Curtis and Iris Klotz and so many others! God is moving in so many lives there.
  • I put up a certificate on our Global Outreach Missions board that we were 371st in the nation for Assembly of God churches in missions giving. That is out of 12,000 churches!  Wow!
  • I looked out the window at the playground God provided. I believed for years for one for the children and young families, he gave it to us. He took care of us…..again.
  • I stepped into my office and looked at the pics of my family that line my walls. I am so proud of my children and thankful to God for who they are, and who they are becoming. Grateful for Justin, that God put in our lives. Said a simple pray for continued guidance, and protection from the enemy on their lives. another prayer of gratitude flowed without words from my heart.
  • I watched Jeremy Whitmill, fixing the drain and door on his Saturday morning off, he made time for the Lord’s work to help his church. I am grateful that we really love, love, and serve.So many  like him, make ministry here fun, enjoyable, and a blessing. We truly value serving.  Our Father sees it all.
  • I got something off my wife’s desk. I thought of our 29 years of marriage and ministry. I thought of all she does for Compelled, quietly, behind the scenes, unnoticed by most everyone, except the one who has His eye on the sparrow. What he sees in secret will one day be rewarded.   I thought back on the sacrifices she made so we could plant Compelled, and the church could be strengthened. I thought of her ministry to our children, who are now young adults that love the Lord. I am thankful for her beauty,  love, patience, and joy in which she lives out every day. I am grateful to have her by my side in life, as best friends, parents, and ministry partners.
  • I went out and washed off my brother Steve’s memorial stone. I stood choked up as I thanked God for His life and his persistence in helping my life, and showing me Jesus. I am honored and humbled to have his fingerprints on my life and ministry.  I pledged to “be about the Father’s business” on this earth, as he would encourage me.  I relish the day we can eat some blueberry pancakes, have a rasberry mocha together, catch upon the years we missed with Pat, and live in eternity with Christ.
  • I thought of God’s goodness to me, of his great mercy on my life. I am so undeserving to spiritually lead, be adopted into His family, and to have Him live in my life.  I bowed my head in humility and thankfulness for Jesus, whose death and resurrection brought me forgiveness of my sins, the guilt of my sin, the punishment, consequences, and the deliverance from the ways of this world and self-destruction without Him.  What a wonderful Savior I know.

Yes, I had quite a morning of revelation, and my heart is full of God’s Spirit. Yes, the birds are gone, but the ministry here is not, and neither is the power and presence of the Lord.     I heed the word of Samuel the prophet to Israel in 1 Chronicles 12.24

“Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.”

Selah……………………….Pastor Nate

 

 

Just a personal post


Bicep Tear—Just a personal update.  Since Christmas and the ripping of my bicep in a racquetball accident. I really don’t feel like I have been myself completely.  I had a surgery to reattach it, but it was cut short because of my blood pressure and heart rate dropping for a few minutes. After a trip to Toledo Hospital in an ambulance, and 2 days of tests, it was determined my heart is in great shape and they have no clue why this happened. On January 18th, the surgery was successful and my bicep was reattached. I have been recovering since then and today I am free from the immablizing brace I was wearing. I feel like that ordeal is finally over. I am so thankful for all my wife’s help. Wendy has been an angel and servant to me. She is such a blessing. I can now get back to exercising, woodcarving, and leading spiritually, which is my mantle.

Wrestling– We have been busy supporting our boys and being part of the wrestling family of Bedford High SChool. What a joy. Levi won the League JV championship and is backing up some varsity guys. Gabe has had an amazing 3 weeks. He won the League Championship, the District Championship, and last weekend won the regional Championship at 189.  He will wrestle at States at the Palace Marcy 4-6.  Gabe and Levi do more than wrestle. They are leaders in the youth group, are preparing for Fine Arts, Gabe leads worship and the band for our youth ministry, and they are active in the things of God. I am so proud of them.

I am missing Abby and Justin, as she is finishing her sr. year. They attend Northpoint Bible College in Grand Rapids.  We miss them and look forward to seeing them soon. They have some tough classes this semester. They work hard and I am so proud of them both. On top of school, they shoot and video weddings, work at the college and are involved in ministry.

Daily, I have my scehdule with Compelled Church, check in on my father, whom I moved over here from Morenci in October. He is adjusting but misses his home of 50 years, as I can imagine. I know he misses the house and Morenci.

Wendy and I are coming off a nasty virus or something that hit hard. I am so glad to feel normal again. Man that, took the wind out of my sails for sure.

The next couple months will prove busy. We have our Compelled Business meeting Sunday at 5 pm. We are building out with 3000 more square feet at the Toledo Campus, redoing our lobbies at the Bedford Campus, Easter is coming, and our Missions month.  I am also leading a team to Mexico to build 2 churches.  We will return to help with our Vacation Bible SChool here at Compelled. Around 400 children attend that.  I am looking forward to connecting with my family at Spring Break.

Through all of this, I sense the presence of the Lord. He is everywhere, reminding me of everything I read this morning in Psalms 111. I am grateful to serve Him and desire to remain faithful to my God in everything I say and do.

How to Help Guests Feel Welcome at Compelled Church . Ten things we all must do.


I heard a stat that 40% of every church turns over every 5 years.  The church in America is in plateau and decline.  Only 10% of churches in the country reported growth next year.  People need Jesus. They need a faith community of believer’s. As they are searching for God, they visit churches, and also those that love the Lord but are in transition, or haven’t gone to church in years, visit churches.  How can we, who are part of a church, receive guests in Christ’s name so they will continue their spiritual journey?  Here are some practical ways:

  1. Don’t go to a service only thinking about you.  Church is also a place for ministry from you. Remember, people are there that are guests for the first time. Your kindness and conversation, might be the one thing they remember and keeps them coming back.  It’s more than just about you.
  2. Sit in the front–park in the back. Make room for guests.  First timers will always sit in the back. leave the chairs for them, leave the best parking spots for them. We could all use a little more exercise anyhow.
  3. Don’t ask the pastor questions you can ask them on the phone or email before the service times.  Save their time to connect with guests.  Communicate business some other time.
  4. During the greeting, greet those no one is talking to. Don’t just run to your closest friends, make relationships with those who don’t know yet.
  5. Brag about your church with guests. Invite them to the “Next Step” class on Wednesdays and the next ” Pizza with the pastors”.
  6. Remember their names!  Write it down. Don’t be lazy and say “I’m no good with names so I won’t remember you.” Worst thing you can say to a guest EVER! Please  introduce them to others you know and also the pastors, use their names.
  7. Ask them questions about their family. If you don’t know if they are new ask,”How long have you been coming to Compelled?”
  8. Invite them to lunch. 
  9. Ask them if they have any questions and if they need a Bible or guest packet. Get them a mug. Tell them they can bring the coffee into the worship center. If you don’t know the answer to their questions go to the Welcome center, find their answer, and get back to them. Get them a guest packet from Nate, Tim, or the Welcome Center.
  10. If they have children, help them, and walk them back to the check in stations in our Children’s Ministry. 

Every person that attends a church, should consider themselves apart of the hospitality team. Please oh please, appoint yourself so, and let the love of Christ flow from your heart.  It will make a world of a difference in a person or a whole family’s life!  Make new friends for Christ’s sake. When a guest comes to Compelled, there is a reason. God is doing something in their lives. They have a need. They are searching. Be apart of that process!!!!  Thank you! “Compelled by Christ’s Love.”

Do you have more ways? Please add them here by replying.

Treasure


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Words of Jesus

As I read this I ask myself what a treasure in Heaven is?  May I offer my definition?  A Treasure in Heaven that we are to be storing up is “anything you do for Christ, because of Christ, and in Christ.”  We have decided and the church has taught that we must be reading, praying, in church, or winning the lost, and those would be considered “treasures in Heaven.”  Based on my definition “anything we do for Christ, because of Christ, and in Christ.” let me offer other suggestions.

  • Reading to your children, making them laugh, telling them you love them.
  • Honoring your marriage vows by loving your wife, and respecting your husband in every way.  Growing closer together and serving them as Christ has served us.
  • Going to work, knowing that Christ has provided.
  • Making your needs and wants last, and other’s first.
  • Spending time listening to the stories of a sr. adult.
  • Eating a meal and breaking bread with others, knowing Christ has provided.
  • Worshipping with a heart of thankfulness and gratitude.
  • Enjoying time off, leisure, without guilt, taking a “sabbath” and being in Christ.
  • Serving anywhere, anyone, because Christ is our servant.
  • Giving of time, your money, and your gifts, as you serve honor Christ.
  • Yes, reading the Word of God, and letting the “words” of God penetrate our cerebral and rest to live in our hearts.
  • Good friendships.
  • Letting go of the pain and hurt of the past and releasing others in forgiveness.
  • Sharing your faith, your journey with others, to enlighten them and draw them to the light of Chris.
  • Being creative, using your hobby, art, interests that allow us to  experience the Spirit of God, and to glorify him.
  • How we talk and communicate with others.
  • How we extend grace, as we received it….freely.

So the world says “Hoard stuff, hoard money, make yourself first!” That would be “treasures on earth.” So treasure the “Jesus” things, participate in them, live in Him, and you will store up the treasures in heaven because Jesus is where your heart is!  Keep serving Him with love and thanksgiving, joy and peace.     Nate
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 6:19–21). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

FIVE Reasons why we still need a lifestyle that includes repentance.


Many times the word “repentance” brings up a negative connotation or an intense revival-type situation.  But may I encourage you to have a daily lifestyle of repentance?  I believe it is healthy, and will cause you to grow in Christ deeper, and quicker.

Repentance means to have a response of sorrow that lead to a changed mind, life, and direction.

So when the Lord, by His Spirit reveals to us that we are  “off course” in honoring God, or that we are in need of change, in attitude, heart, or behavior, we need to engage in this spiritual discipline called “repentance”

This would include a chat with Jesus that would include 3 components.

  1. An acknowledgement of sin (confession) with asking forgiveness.
  2. Praise and thanksgiving for God’s mercy, grace, and total forgiveness.
  3. Asking the Lord for the power and strength to overcome and not repeat the sin, but to continue to be like Christ.

A growing Christian is sensitive to the voice of God that lets us know when we need some “repentance”

Let me give you FIVE reasons we need repentance as part of our lifestyle.

  1. We become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s voice and direction
  2. We become more sensitive to since, thus we get more victory.
  3. We grow closer to Jesus and the relationship become more intimate.
  4. You become more like Christ as unChrist-like behavior, speech, and attitudes are weeded out of your life.
  5. You experience a few things, joy, peace, contentment, and the mercy and love of Christ.

Would you consider, if you are not, making “repentance” part of your lifestyle? You will never be the same,  you will never stop growing, and you will never regret what Christ can do for a heart that always wants to be totally right with him, and sin free.

The Sickness of Self


We live in a world where self is god, and our feelings are first.  At times, it seems everyone is consumed with self. Their health, appearance, clothes, hair, and so on.  People mostly resist correction, spiritual direction, and no one likes it when it is pointed out that they are wrong.  Crossing someone’s will can bring deep conflict.  We are honestly a people that appears to be consumed with self. It is accepted and it is normal.

Lately it seems the Lord is reminding me of a verse I learned in College at North Central.   “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and raised himself for me.”  Galatians 2.20

Here is the problem and sickness I deal with. It is the sickness of self.  It is the opposite of dying for Christ and letting your flesh stay in the grave, and being risen in newness of Jesus.  Denying self is not necessary in our society because everyone seems to be so narcissistic, being intoxicated with self is the norm. But it is very, very necessary to truly know God, and to have Christ seen through you. The Lord is showing me deeply, and painfully, this basic truth and the reality of the power there is in denying self, along with the joy that this alligns me with my creator, which brings me close to the Lord.

How do you know if you have this sickness? I offer these pointed symptoms.

  1. You are currently breathing.
  2. You talk about how you feel a lot like Aches, pains, tiredness, hunger, etc.
  3. Comfort is king and we find ourselves thinking of ways and purchases that make us more comfortable.
  4. You are distracted by your appearance.
  5. You insist on your way.
  6. You must always be correct.
  7. Your opinion must be known to all.
  8. You avoid the uncomfortable things in being a follower of Christ. Things that push against self.
  9. You must control your kids, your marriage, your finances, and anything else you actually believe you are in control of.
  10. Worry about what people think of you. This consumes a lot of your thoughts.
  11. You put yourself ahead of your family, and your time is yours and you deserve _____________.
  12. You struggle with giving things away and giving money to the Lord and to missionaries.
  13. You covet your stuff, and you want more, updated, and bigger.

I think  you get the idea. When these kinds of thoughts and behaviors rule us there are effects in the Kingdom of God, and to our character, attitude, personality, and of course relationships.

  1. We can’t submit to the Word of God (self is first).
  2. We are unable to see other needs, as our needs are at the front of the line.
  3. No one dare disagree with us, our opinion and will must be first.
  4. The voice of God, becomes distant…then gone, we hear our voice in our head, putting us first.
  5. We actually cannot truly see Christ unless we die to self.
  6. We have a lot of conflict with spouse, friends, and family.  We get offended and hurt a lot it seems.
  7. We become shackled with self, and miss the freedom of only glorifying Christ, not us.
  8. The “Lord” is always moving us to different churches, or we just don’t even go anymore.
  9. Many don’t become saved and born again, they can’t break away from the god of self, and let Jesus be Lord.

How do I know these things? I am like everyone else. I wrestle and struggle with self.  I find myself, needing to be heard, needing to be right, needing to be selfish, BUT I really need to “die” to self, and let the life of Christ shine through me, and so do you.  This morning I again knelt before the Lord and crucified my flesh and repented of my selfishness and thoughts of me, and not of Him.  I love the freedom that living for Christ and dying to self brings to my heart and spirit.  Take some time with Jesus and ask him if you have this sickness, and let him heal you.

Luke 9.23  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.