Calvary Assembly of God

Come see why so many people around here say, "I ♥ My Church!"

Mar-30-15

In The Shadow Of The Cross

posted by Craig T. Owens

As we continued our series on the old rugged Cross, Pastor Craig shared with us a mentality that Christians are prone to fall into. Here is how he recapped his message on his blog

The Shadow Of The Old Rugged CrossSome people really know how to find the deals when they’re shopping. They know where to shop, when to shop, where to find the coupons, and how to find the rebates.

Rebates have always amazed me. I wondered how companies could give away money and still make a profit. Then I read that often up to 70 percent of rebates go unclaimed. Some people say it’s too much work to fill out all the correct forms, others say it takes too long to get their rebate, and still others think the amount they get back isn’t worth the effort.

I’m concerned about Christians who slip into a rebate mentality with God. It seems some Christians believe that they need to “fill out the right forms” in order to claim all that God has for them. They seem to think that salvation isn’t enough, and that they have to add church attendance, offerings, good works, Bible reading and other activities to make sure they don’t miss out.

Not that there’s anything wrong with those activities, but there is something wrong with thinking we have to do something to keep our salvation at its full effectiveness. 

If we have placed our faith in Christ’s work on an old rugged Cross, then all of our sins have been forgiven (see Psalm 103:1-510-12 and Jeremiah 33:8). This is a gift that is available to everyone (Acts 10:43).

But here’s when I think satan steps in to deceive us―when we feel convicted by the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit is constantly refining us to make Christ’s image visible in us. But satan wants to twist and pervert this conviction into condemnation.

It’s only in the shadow of the old rugged Cross that I can see my sin correctly:

(1) The Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin tells me that He desires for me to be more like Jesus―John 14:25-27.

(2) Sin isn’t my master any longer―Romans 6:1-28-11.

(3) My sin never diminishes God’s love for me―1 John 1:8-2:2.

(4) Sin cannot condemn me―Romans 8:1-2.

As we remember and celebrate what Jesus did on Calvary for us, let’s also remember to stay in the shadow of the Cross. It’s there we can see from Heaven’s point of view.

If you are in the area and don’t have a church home, we would love for you to celebrate Resurrection Sunday with us! We’ll continue our look at what happened on the old rugged Cross.

Tags:
Mar-26-15

Fight The New Drug

posted by Craig T. Owens

Fight The New DrugPornography is ripping off our culture.

It’s robbing youth of their innocence. It’s robbing women and children of their dignity. It’s robbing married couple of intimacy in their relationship. It’s fueling the sex trafficking industry.

Porn is a drug that is addicting, and its destroying lives!

Fight The New Drug is confronting this addiction head-on.

Science shows that the same parts of the human brain “light up” when someone views porn, as if they were taking drugs. This is what not only gives pornography its addictive nature, but then something even worse begins to happen: the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

The law of diminishing returns says that in order to get the same “high” someone has to take stronger drugs, or take them more frequently. So porn users have to look at harder and harder material, or they have to view it more and more often.

Fight The New Drug is coming to Cedar Springs. Local youth pastor Chris Anton has helped coordinate this much needed event to make students, teachers and parents aware of the drug-like dangers of pornography. The En Gedi Youth Center is making this event available on Friday, May 8, at 3:30pm in the Cedar Springs High School auditorium.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Pray for open hearts and minds at this event.
  • Give financially to help cover the expenses for this event.
  • Tell the teenagers, parents and teachers that you know about this event.
  • Attend this event with your teens.

Let’s help save our culture from the ravages of the destructive drug of pornography.

Tags:
Mar-23-15

The Ministry Of Reconciliation

posted by Craig T. Owens

As we continued our look at The Old Rugged Cross, Pastor Craig shared with us about the ministry God has given to every Christian. Here is the recap of that message he posted on his blog

Ministry of reconciliationWhen couples are divorcing, their most common complaint is summed up in two words: irreconcilable differences. The couple is saying that things have gotten so bad―and the distance between them has gotten so vast―that there is no hope at all of ever patching things up.

Sometimes we might be able to say that both husband and wife shared some of the blame. But this isn’t true in a spiritual divorce. When we are separated from God, it’s all on us. Paul describes us as powerless sinners, unholy enemies of God (see Romans 5:6, 8, 10). We did the leaving; we are the problem.

But in the desire to bring reconciliation, God puts it all on Himself―more specifically, on the death of His Son Jesus on an old rugged Cross. In Romans 5 Paul says our reconciliation was through Christ five times in just three verses (vv. 9-11).

As if it weren’t amazing enough that Christ’s death on the Cross saved us, justified us, and reconciled us, giving us a brand new start (2 Corinthians 5:16-17), God then gave us the same ministry that He undertook through Jesus: the ministry of reconciliation (vv. 18-19)!

What Jesus purchased for us on an old rugged Cross allows us to “become the righteousness of Christ” (v. 21). Not reflect His righteousness, not talk about His righteousness, but actually become His righteousness!

We have the supreme privilege of being able to bring the message of reconciliation to others who used to be where we were: powerless sinners, unholy enemies of God!

We have the awesome joy of being God’s righteousness to people who think their irreconcilable differences will keep them from God!

The greatest act of serving you could ever do for anyone is telling them that they can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ’s work on an old rugged Cross!

Absolutely amazing!

We’ll continue our look at the Old Rugged Cross next Sunday, and we’d love to have you join us!

Tags:
Mar-18-15

En Gedi Youth Center Auction

posted by Craig T. Owens
(l-r) Carley, Bailey and Heather would love your support at this year's auction

(l-r) Carley, Bailey and Heather would love your support at this year’s auction

We are HUGE fans of the En Gedi Youth Center. This outstanding, Christ-centered program is providing invaluable mentoring opportunities to the youth in Cedar Springs.

Instead of making constant appeals for finances, En Gedi only asks for donations once each year, at their annual fundraising auction. This year’s auction will be held this Friday, March 20, at 6pm in the Cedar Springs High School cafeteria. 

Admission is only $10. There will be desserts, beverages, silent auctions, and a live auction, as well as plenty of opportunities to learn more about En Gedi. Please come support this very worthwhile ministry!

UPDATE #2: CS Manufacturing increased the level of their matching sponsorship, so the total funds raised at this auction now stands at $45.000! We are so grateful!

UPDATE: The generous folks of Cedar Springs (including the matching sponsorship of CS Manufacturing) gave nearly $35,000 to support this ministry!!

Tags:
Mar-16-15

Attitude Check

posted by Craig T. Owens

Pastor Craig continued our series on The Old Rugged Cross with a reminder to check our attitude. Here’s the recap of Sunday’s message which he posted on his blog

Attitude checkWhen we realize that nothing can thwart God’s plan, and that you and I are a part of that plan, I think there could be a couple of attitudes that might pop up: (1) Confidence―not in my abilities, but in God’s; or (2) Humility―not thinking less of myself, but thinking of myself less.

Confidence without humility leads to self-destructive pride, and humility without confidence leads to self-destructive fear. We need confidence with humility, just like Jesus demonstrated in going to the old rugged Cross.

We can see the confidence in Jesus when He claims to be the “I AM” (John 8:54-59). But we can also see the humility of Jesus when He said He would lay His life down (John 10:1115:13).

These two attitudes converge powerfully in John 13:1-17 when we read that Jesus knew that God had put all authority under His command (vv. 1, 3), and then He used His confident authority to serve His friends by washing their feet.

Confidence without humility won’t serve because it thinks others must serve them. Humility without confidence won’t serve because it thinks others will take advantage of them. But Jesus was confidently humble (or humbly confident) so He could serve. It’s the only time Jesus said “I have set you an example” (v. 15). Our attitude is to mirror His, and we are to confidently and humbly serve.

A humbly-confident / confidently-humble servant is known by his or her:

  • Heart―E.G.O. (edging God out) or E.G.O. (exalting God only) [*]
  • Head―having his/her thoughts aligned with the Word of God
  • Hands―serving God and others (Matthew 20:25-28)

If you were to honestly reflect on this, where do you rate yourself?

  • Are you confident that God loves you and has a plan for your life, a plan that cannot be thwarted?
  • Are you humble enough to serve others? To give up your own agenda so that God is glorified?
  • Can you honestly say you have the right E.G.O.?
  • Are your thoughts becoming more and more aligned and shaped by God’s Word?

We’ll be continuing our series on The Old Rugged Cross next Sunday, and we would love to have you join us.

[*] My thanks to Kenneth Blanchard for his insightful description of E.G.O. in his book Lead Like Jesus

Tags:
Mar-12-15

Are You Inviting?

posted by Craig T. Owens

1 one 12 stat2

What are you doing about this?

1:(one):12

 

Tags:
Mar-9-15

No Plan B

posted by Craig T. Owens

As we began our new series which will take us up to Easter, Pastor Craig shared a message with us called “No Plan B.” Here’s the recap he posted on his blog

The Old Rugged CrossIn my family, what starts off as Plan A at the beginning of the day is highly likely to end up as Plan K-13 by the end of the day! We just try to be flexible and roll with the changes.

But we must be careful about giving the characteristic of “flexibility” to God—He doesn’t need to be flexible and modify His plans. He has no Plan B; everything is His Plan A.

Jesus is described as being the sacrificial Lamb from before the dawn of Creation (1 Peter 1:18-20). And in Heaven Jesus is still known as the Lamb that was slain (Revelation 13:8 and 5:5-6). Jesus coming to earth to die on an old rugged Cross was always God’s Plan A. The whole time Jesus Christ was on earth, He knew what was happening.

Here are 5 things Jesus knew. He knew…

  1. …when the His time had come, and that all things were about to be fulfilled through His crucifixion—John 13:1, 3
  2. …the exact sequence of events leading up to His death on Calvary—Matthew 20:17-19
  3. …the immutability of the Scriptures—Matthew 26:53-56
  4. …the infallibility of the Scriptures—Luke 24:25-27
  5. …that God would be glorified in fulfilling His Plan A—John 12:27-28

With this in mind, here are 5 things we should know. We should know…

  1. …that all my days were written down before the dawn of Creation—Psalm 139:16
  2. …God loves me more than I can fathom—Psalm 139:17
  3. …my life was always intended to be a part of God’s Plan A—Ephesians 2:10
  4. …no weapon formed against God’s Plan A for me will succeed—Isaiah 54:17
  5. …that God will be glorified in fulfilling His Plan A in my life—Romans 8:28

The old rugged Cross reminds us that God’s Plan A was always for Christ’s death to make it possible for our lives to make sense!

As Andrew Murray wrote: “God fully relied on His Son to see to it that His honor was respected. And in Jesus we too may bravely enter this covenant without fear that we will not be able to fulfill it. We can rely upon Jesus to see to it that He will bring everything to completion. Jesus has not only discharged our old debt but also undertaken the responsibility for whatever else may be required.”

We’ll be continuing our series on The Old Rugged Cross this Sunday, and we hope you can join us.

Tags:
Mar-5-15

The Old Rugged Cross

posted by Craig T. Owens

The Old Rugged CrossThe Apostle Paul traveled the known world preaching and teaching. Luke preserves some of his sermons for us in the Book of Acts, and Paul’s letters reveal the depth of and breadth of his Spirit-inspired thoughts. But of all the doctrines which this eminent apostle taught, there was one truth that stood out as the foundation for all others—

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).

The work that Jesus Christ did on an old rugged Cross is absolutely the most central message of all others. Without the Cross, no other doctrine makes sense.

Sadly, we spend far too little time looking at the Cross.

Join us this Sunday as we take a long look at the Cross and the Lamb of God Who was sacrificed on it. Our series is simply called The Old Rugged Cross.

Tags:
Jan-15-15

Shop To Support Calvary

posted by Craig T. Owens

Amazonsmile

Do you shop on Amazon.com? Here’s a great way to shop and support the ministries of Calvary Assembly of God at the same time: Shop with a “smile.”

Amazon.com has launched a program that gives 0.5% of your purchase to the charity you choose to support. Simply go to smile.amazon.com, add your purchases to your chart, and check-out. That’s it! Then Amazon will send a donation to the church each quarter.

Thanks for helping support the ministries of our church!

Tags:
Dec-1-14

Setting The Example For Us

posted by Craig T. Owens

FundraiserThis is from our Pastor’s blog

When Paul was writing to his young protege Timothy he said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). I was so proud of a couple of young people who did this for us at Calvary Assembly of God yesterday!

Savannah has been raising money for childhood cancer research. She shared with us how this is the least-funded form of cancer research, and that every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. “That is unacceptable,” Savannah said. So in an amazing example-setting move for all of us, Savannah and two of her coworkers worked to bring in over $3000 in donations for childhood cancer research, and they shaved their heads as a sign of solidarity with the children undergoing cancer treatments. By the way, you can still donate to this noble cause by clicking here.

Then Josh brought us a challenging message entitled Are You Growing? Taking his text from 1 Corinthians 3:6, Josh reminded us that God makes things grow, but we can put ourselves in a place for Him to do that. Just as with a plant, our spiritual growth requires:

  • Sunshine—basking in God’s presence.
  • Water—soaking up God’s Word.
  • Nutrients—surrounding ourselves with the people and things that encourage growth.
  • Time—the dedication and investment in God’s process.

I am so proud of Josh and Savannah for setting an example for us to follow!

Tags:

Videos, Slideshows and Podcasts by Cincopa Wordpress Plugin