A Spirit-filled, multi-cltural church in Boca Raton, Florida.
In our first message of the Advent message series Pastor Carl taught from Mark 13:24-37. Jesus was warning His disciples that things were going to get bad, but with the help of godly wisdom, they were going to flourish in the trial
We can navigate through tough times by remembering that God is love, and that His plans for us are good. We may heave struggles, but our struggles don’t define who God is or what our life will become. Those things are settled in God’s mind.
Jesus is focused on the bigger picture and if we keep our faith in Him, we can weather any storm of life.
In this Advent season, follow along with our daily devotion you can download here.
The Supernatural Wellspring of Joy : Heb 1
This week Pastor Carl talked about the radical notion that God desires people to live a life of joy. Teaching from Hebrews 12:1-2 we learned that there is a joy that God provides that empowers us for every situation in life. Our joy begins with how God loves his good creation, and it ends with humanity being redeemed and seeing the face of God. We live our lives in the middle of these two realities. We were created in God’s image as objects for his love, and one day we will see him face to face and enjoy his glory. Between those two realities we live lives that line up with those two way points.
Happiness may be based on a feeling, but joy is 1/3 of the Kingdom. The Father, Son, and Spirit interact joyfully, and the overflow is creation. In the Westminster shorter catechism, they state in physically, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”
To live a life of joy we must connect to God’s wellspring of joy. Paul was able to do this while he was imprisoned yet still writing to the church in Philippi to rejoice always and to not be anxious for anything.
Throughout Scripture, we are taught time and again that God is to be our source of life including joy. Jesus used the illustration of a vine and branches stating that he is the life giving vine and all we are are branches bearing fruit. Branches that don’t bear fruit are cut off. But Jesus said that he spoke these things so that his joy may be in us and that our joy may be made full (John 15:11).
When we focus on what Jesus has done for us and the glory that is waiting for us we are able to share that joy with the world. Being joyful in South Florida is countercultural missional work. Choosing a life of peace, joy, and thankfulness will change the trajectory of our families and our friends.
This week, set aside time to do as our church mothers and fathers did, and meditate on God’s creation, his joy, his peace, and see yourself in the midst of it.
Choose a stressful situation that may not be going the way you want. Make a decision that you are going to tap into God’s wellspring of joy in the midst of that situation.
Thank God for everything he’s going to do in your life through the trial you’re currently going through.
How to Get Peace Working : Psalm 36
In this weeks message, Pastor Carl continued the “Flip the Script” message series by focusing on how to obtain peace in this world. Throughout history, the greatest minds came up with two general schools of though on how to flourish. The first was Hedonic. In this belief system, hedonism rules with its unabated consumption of vices to bring pleasure. The thought leaders of the day saw how destructive this was to both the person and society.
They moved into a Eudaimonic philosophy where the subjective goal of feeling well was replaced with the objective goal of doing well. While this brought progress, it still comes short of true human flourishing. Both definitions of flourishing are grounded in the self.
To truly actualize our real potential, we need to find flourishing in the God who made us. We can only have peace with ourselves once we have peace with God, and that only comes through a living relationship with Jesus Christ.
Teaching from Psalm 63, Pastor Carl showed how David was able to put God at the forefront of his life and walk in peace through troubling times. By encountering the God of peace, we can learn to make peace work for us.
This week as you meditate on this message, break hustle culture mentality by creating space for spending time with God. Make effort each day this week to make contact with Jesus and see the peace He lives in. Ask God in prayer to help you live in His peace. In response, share a word of encouragement with someone in my life each day.
Attracting the Blessing: Matt 6
This past Sunday we continued in the “Flip the Script” message series by learning how to attract the blessing. In Matthew 6 Jesus told his disciples not to be consumed with worry because God cares.
God is trying to teach the people of Revival Life Church to be containers that can hold His blessings. We start by being thankful for what God has given us. Then we set our minds on the things of God, not our problems.
Jesus pointed out that worrying never extended a person’s life a single day. Being consumed with worry does not fix anything. Jesus contrasted this type of fixation on worrying with walking in faith. He didn’t say that people who worry don’t have faith, He told them they were living like people who don’t have a promise from God. They are more like the outsiders than they were the covenant people of God.
Throughout history as recorded in the Bible God has promises and blessings reserved for the righteous. These blessings are found in God. Jesus said we have peace in Him and we have righteousness, peace, and joy in His Spirit. Instead of focusing on the areas of lack, we are to focus on God and His promises. That way we fulfill the promise in Proverbs 10:6, “Blessings are on the head of the righteous.”
South Florida promises people the safety and security we long for but they are no more than the works of the flesh. They don’t last and won’t satisfy. Jesus promised that if we seek Him and His righteousness we would have blessings stick to our lives in ways that fulfill and satisfy.
This week, continue to thank God for everything that comes your way. Look for the blessings God is setting you up for.
Ask God how you can cooperate with Him to increase in righteousness and be better positioned to receive your blessing.
Flip the Script on the Enemy
This Sunday Pastor Carl laid out the where God is taking Revival Life Church. On September 17, we participated in the new season God has invited us into. After that, we talked for eight weeks about battling the three pronged axis of evil the devil, the flesh, and the world.
This week we started a two week series entitled “Flip the Script” where we are not only pushing back the attack of the enemy, we are watching our tests turn to testimonies.
How we react to the attacks of the enemy determines our character. We can either lean into those attacks, giving our giftings, calling and anointing to the use of the enemy, or we can stand on truth and allow our faith to grow.
Just like mental health experts have discovered that combatting cognitive distortions brings us into better mental health, combatting spiritual distortions will bring us into right relationship with God.
Jesus said the in the world there would be many hard times, be He came so that we could have peace in Him. It is in Jesus that we can have peace in a troubled world. And it is the ability to remain in Jesus that we will learn to live in peace.
The greatest way to correct the lies of the enemy is to spiritually reframe his lies with the truth of God’s goodness and one of the key ways to do what is through thankfulness.
Being thankful in every situation empowers us to increase in grace in every season. It puts Jesus back on the throne of our lives instead of the problems of this life. When we are in a struggle, we need to become more aware of the God who has solutions than the problems that have come to engulf us.
Whatever we are thankful to God for is sanctified, set apart as holy. This steals its demonic power and empowers God to turn our trial for our benefit. When Jesus was preparing for His death, He gathered His disciples and thanked God for the coming breaking of His body and the spilling of His blood thus sanctifying it for all mankind.
This week, begin the spiritual discipline of thanking God for all things, good and bad. Ask God to help you see how He might be using your trials for your benefit. Look for God in your trials and ask God to help you to be hopeful for his soon intervention.
Saving Your Life : Matt 16
Pastor Carl ended the “Talking Back” message series by sharing the difference between choosing life with Jesus or a life of slavery to the flesh.
Teaching from Matthew 16, Pastor Carl quoted Jesus in telling his disciples that if they want to follow him they have to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. In our society today we are bombarded with plans that run counter to the plans of Jesus. We are told this is wisdom or the smart thing to do, but Jesus called this the satanic, a false order that does not bow to the knowledge of God.
In South Florida, we are bombarded with value systems that run contrary to the way Jesus taught us to live. The easiest example is the unfettered pursuit of wealth. But it manifests so many other ways. We are convinced that nobody or nothing should stand in the way of us getting what we want. To teach the opposite is considered oppression. But Jesus did not tell us to follow our heart, he told us to take up our cross and follow Him.
In Matthew 16 Jesus tells us that if we deny ourselves and follow God we will save our lives, but if we deny Jesus and follow ourselves we lose access to eternal life.
Denying Jesus and following self produces in unsatisfied life, a lack of peace, a life run by desire, and in slavery to want. Jesus called this losing our lives. But if we deny ourselves and follow Jesus were promised a life that is satisfying, containing the shalom of God, motivated by love, and thankful. Jesus called this saving our lives.
In the message, there is a detailed teaching on each aspect of these and we encourage you if you miss the message to listen or watch online.
In whatever we do in this life, we won’t get far until we make the decision to follow Jesus. This was so important that it was quoted in all four Gospels with Luke saying that we should take up our cross daily. Paul echoed this sentiment in Galatians 2 when he wrote that he had been crucified with Christ.
This week, check in with Jesus, a trusted friend, impossibly a spiritual advisor. Talk about where you are going with God and how he is challenging you to grow. Make sure you check your spiritual map to ensure that your heading in the direction you want to spend eternity.