OPEN HANDS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
" THE CHURCH WITH A CAUSE". Welcome to our website!!! We hope you will visit all our links and find that Open Hands is the church for you!! Open Hands is now at our new location 239 Holladay Street in Suffolk Va. We will be across from the DMV.
Our new start time is 10 am for Sunday School and 11am for Morning Worship. We will have a new twist to our Praise and Worship you won't want to miss. Our Intercessory Prayer begins at 11am.OUR ADDRESS IS 239 HOLLADAY STREET SUFFOLK VA. 23434. JOIN US THERE SUNDAYS AT 10AM AND TUESDAYS AT 7PM. We will be welcoming churches across the Hampton Roads area to join in our celebration of 7 YEARS IN THE GOSPEL MINISTRY!!!
The Advent Season is upon us and Open Hands will hear the Christmas Story through the voices of our 3 MINISTERS. Rev. Shannell Hunt will minister to us on December 3; Rev. Carl Hunt will preach December 10; Minister Nikki Davis will share the Word on December 17 and Pastor Leavell will be the messenger on December 24. Our church family will have it's annual fellowship meal for Christmas on December 17 following the morning service. we also will have a surprise guest musical group to sing December 17 during our morning service.
Open Hands is taking a journey through the Bible. We are covering the 66 Books of the Bible one session at a time. We currently are in Ezekiel. This series will continue with a new book each ministry session until we reach Revelation. The choir will be singing the latest contemporary Gospel songs spiced up with the Gospel songs from our forefathers. Come and worship with us and our growing and thriving congregation.
Here at OPEN HANDS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, we are committed to serving God and the needs of you and your family. Using universal principles of spirituality, we offer practical tools for leading a joyous, abundant and peaceful life.
Wherever you may be on your spiritual path, at OPEN HANDS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP you will find a supportive community with a wealth of opportunities for growth.
We aspire to strengthen each person's confidence and joy in Jesus Christ - at every point in their life, and encourage personal and spiritual growth through , and active service in our church and community.
We invite you to become a member of our congregation - allowing God into your life through our various ministries and community outreach efforts. Our focus always is teaching who the church belongs to. Jesus died for the church therefore the church belongs to HIM and we are the instruments and blocks used to build. Come and receive a word that will transform and build you up for greater blessings from God. Visit us also on Facebook OR openhandschristianfellowship.net. The start time for our worship celebration is 9:45 am each Sunday. Stay informed with our schedule through our websites and we hope to see you and your family soon. There's a place for you at our church where we will receive you with " Open Hands."
GIVE GOD YOUR BEST
Sunday August 25, 2013
The story of Cain and Abel recorded the first account of two things; the first act of giving gifts to God and the first murder. One led to the other. Looking at the act of giving, God wants our best. Examine our personal lives, we all want the best. We want the best home, car, clothes, food, families and the list goes on. Just as we want the best, God wants the best. The best of anything is relative: it varies with certain factors. When a millionaire gives their best monetary gift of a thousand dollars, is it really their best in comparison to a person with much less giving a thousand? Who really knows our best? Cain and Abel both acquired all they had from God as do we. Our best comes from God and if God gives the best then He knows when we give our best. Every good and perfect gift comes from God so he knows when we have given our best. The scriptures further declares through the parable of the talents that when we have given the best we can do, he'll understand and say well done. God knew Cain's best as well Abel's and He gave his grade to each as to what was acceptable as a gift. Likewise God has given us His best when He gave us Jesus. With Jesus living within us GOD KNOWS OUR BEST. Therefore you can't fool God. He knows when you are giving your best and when you are slacking.
Cain offered to God the fruit of the ground and Abel offered an animal sacrifice. God accepted Abel but rejected Cain. The rejection caused a negative response from Cain but God from His heart of mercy gave Cain a second chance to get it right. God gives us second chances. God's grace was shown when He clearly showed Cain what he had to do to be accepted. He also told Cain what would be the consequences if he failed to do what was right: sin would be lying at his door and would serve him in any way he desired just like our pet dog lying at the door of our homes to do our every command. Like our pet dog, sin acts like our best friend. God said to Cain sin would do whatever Cain wanted him to do. In this case it is clear Cain was not ruling sin but sin was ruling him. Sin does the same to us. It rules our lives when we treat it like our family pet. The grace and mercy of God gives us a chance to change. The tragic end to this story Cain took an innocent life in his brother and then declared " Am I my brother's keeper?". Our society today has watched as the human life has become so devalued that taking another's life is done with little or no thought given. Mass murders in Syria and Egypt and here in our nation, violent deaths fills the headlines daily. The concerns now are the same as then, do we give/do our best? God is in the best of everything in this world. He is in you and me. We give God the greatest glory when we give our best in everything we do. The song writer wrote when we give the best of our service, " He'll understand and say well done".
( This is an excerpt from the message given on Sunday August 25, 2013)
" WHAT DOES YOUR SEED NEED TO GROW? " MATT. 13:9-17
Sunday February 3, 2013
Our recent studies has centered on the God given promise from John 14:12. Jesus promised we would do greater works than even himself. That is a great promise and a truly big promise also. Our journey has led us to examine the parable of the sower. We realize one way we will perform greater works is through reaping a greater harvest. The greater harvest begins with a seed being sown. The ability of the seed to reproduce to the maximum potential is dependent upon the soil it is sown into. The natural quality of the soil is directly related to the spiritual quality of our heart. Matthew 13:9-17 gives four soils seeds were sown into. The end result is only one of the four soils used in the parable by Jesus experienced the increase. Paul explained to the church at Corinth when there was a dispute among the believers about who was greater Apollos or himself that one planted, another watered but God gave the increase. Given that analogy directly from the word of God ( I Cor. 3:6-7), we are assured if we do our part, God will do His. Therefore the only question is, how do we get good soil ?
CONTINUED ON PAGE " ABOUT THE PASTOR AND CHURCH...
" WHY THE CHURCH IS NEEDED ON EARTH " NOVEMBER 2012
Jesus proclaimed to Peter in the Gospel of Matthew HE will build HIS CHURCH and the GATES OF HELL will not prevail over her. The world is actually living in the period where many prophetic words of Jesus are being revealed right before our very eyes. Wars and rumors of war are everywhere, natural disasters, the complete reconstructing of the family, the acceptance of marriage between any couple and not just one man and one woman and the list goes on. A well renowned Tele-Evangelist gave a position on why it is not the government duty to take care of the needy of America, saying it is the church assignment by God to do so. In my estimation that statement is part true. The part that I beleive is left out is recorded in the book of Acts is when the church first began ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY SOLD ALL THEY HAD AND BROUGHT IT TO THE CHURCH AND ALL THINGS WERE COMMON OR MADE AVAILABLE TO ALL. This is not the process of today's church because all do not bring their all to the church. However there are problems in the world, too many to express at this time but there are some important reasons why the Church Is Needed On Earth.
Each Sunday millions go to the church of their choice to receive "Instruction". At the age of twelve Jesus was in the temple teaching the Elders of the community and when questioned by his parents why he stayed behind when he was to be with the caravan with his parents, he replied he was doing his father's business. The scriptures conclude that passage by saying Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. If Jesus had to grow so do we. We will continue to grow in our christian journey until the day we die. We grow by receiving and then applying instruction from the Word of God. I Peter 4: 17-19 details how judgement begins at the house of God. Judgement from God does not come without revelation from God as to what He requires us to do. The Word of God " Instructs " us from the new birth experience until the day we meet Him in glory. God has always given instruction to His people before judgement. Adam, Noah, Moses, Jonah and David are a few examples of those receiving instruction before getting the penalty of their failure to follow the instruction given by God. Imagine going to a football game with no officials. How could the game ever be played and end with a result that rightfully decalres a victor? Can a basketball player take the ball and run like a football player to score a basket without some rules being broken? Can Lance Armstrong expect the cycling industry to declare him right if there are instructions others followed and he didn't? Neither can we expect God to look the other way if He gave us His Word for instruction and we refused to follow it ? A popular acronym for the bible is Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. God's word is everything we need to know how to have life and have it more abundantly. How do we get the instruction we need to know how to live for God? Read the bible. The resources available today are everywhere. The internet along with 24 hour television provides instruction to build the believer. However the best and most effective way to receive instruction on living for God and having abundant life is uniting with the local church where you can learn the Word of God from one anointed to teach the Word of God. In the local church all can learn the instruction from God which will bless, prosper and build your faith to lean and depend on God to meet and supply your every need and to provide you with abundant life which can give you an overflow blessing great enough to bless others. John The Revelator wrote in Revelation the warning given to the church and specificially the "Angel" of the church. The "Angel" is the "messenger" or modern day Pastor of the local church. God warns the church about impending judgement if they do not follow the "instruction" given to the church. We are blessed to be forewarned of what to do to please God and receice the best of God's blessings.
God instructs us because He loves us. When we do not as he says He chastises us. But we can be comforted in His Word for God says " Whom the Lord loves He chastises". Follow God's instruction from His Word and be blessed.
"DON'T GIVE UP" APRIL 22, 2012
" I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" Phil 3:14
As the late Jim Valvano of North Carolina State University was speaking for the last time publicly at the now nationally supported cancer charity dinner "Coaches For Cancer", the now famous quote " Don't give up, don't you ever give up" still inspires people. He was referencing his fight to live life to the fullest despite challenges, even death. His life and role as a coach and mentor to college basketball players was filled with doing the improbable or dare the impossible. His 1983 team was the least talented team in the NCAA tourney and yet he led his team against all odds to win the National Championship. Today in his memory coaches coach in sneakers and suits during Coaches For Cancer Week continuing even after his death to inspire people to never give up.
Today people across the world are trying to find reason to hold on during a world wide economic downturn. The hardships faced by the world is causing people to give up on their dreams. The jobless are giving up on looking for a job. The ill are giving up on seeking healing. Parents are giving up on trying to raise their children. Communities are giving up on ridding their area of crime. People are giving up on expecting justice. And the list goes on. Even the church seems to be giving up on trying to reach the lost. With so many struggles facing the world the scale of hopelessness is out weighing the scale of hope.
Paul reminds us inspite of all, don't give up; keep pressing on. What are you facing today that seems to be more than you can handle? To press you must first be willing to: STAND !! Pastor Donnie McClurkin wrote the gospel classic inspiring us to just stand after you've done all you can; just stand!! Secondly remember where God has brought you from. The late Rev. James Cleveland says: I don't feel no ways tired; I don't believe He brought me this far to leave me. Thirdly, believe God by faith you already have the victory because the battle is not yours but the Lord's. Paul would say it like this: We are more than conquerors through Him ( Jesus ) who loves us.
Our hope lies in trusting God to deliver us no matter what the trial Paul says neither death, life, height, depth or anything will separate us from God who is our very present help in a time of trouble. The most difficult thing we face is death. All other trials are designed to make us strong. The weaker we are in our own strength the stronger we are in our spirit. God says His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Therefore we take Jesus, our hope, our peace, our strength and our joy in heaven at His word. He will never leave or forsake us. We can go on despite our hardships because He rose from the grave showing He can lift us to victory regardless of what we are going through. It is that faith which inspired Jim Valvano to press on while cancer was killing his body. We can trust God by faith to press on through our problems by living by these words based on the Word of God "Don't give up; don't you ever give up". May God bless you, Pastor Leavell
An excerpt from the message
"YOUR SEASON WILL COME IN TIME" JANUARY 29, 2012
Your watch has very valuable info. The value of your watch is not because it is a Tag Hauer or Rolex but because it has the potential of revealing destiny. Your watch tells you of your chronological time or your hour to hour existence or Kirious time the calendar date your day to day time. Both are valuable because we must know how to maximize our time each day and also how to use the time each day to get the most during each season. The plan of God for our lives carries us through seasons but God carries us through them one day at a time. Joseph was a dreamer ( Genesis 37 ) but his dreams caused him to go through some difficult and long seasons one day at a time. His faith and perseverance was invaluable because the season he went through lasted years before seeing his dreams realized. His confidence rested in God and he was faithful and saw his faithfulness rewarded for God rewards those who dilligently seek him.
The fulfillment of our season is unique. That's why one may be born to an identical twin and yet watch their sibling rise to heights unparalled. It is unexplainable except God has a plan and it is He who delivers us to our season. Three oranges can come from the same tree, be picked the same day and kept a month before eating. The day they are ready for eating one may be just as fresh as the day it was picked. Another may be more worn but still edible. The third one may be so aged it is spoiled. They were identical in age and in care but they all went through their season differently. If they are placed in a bag together the spoiled one will cause the others to follow their influence and impact their season. The same goes for we who were created in God's image. Our season is created by God and His plan for our lives requires us to follow His plan. The trials Joseph faced was all a part of God's plan for his success. Each day was part of the journey designed to cause Joseph to arrive at his season.
Be ever mindful of your watch and how it has the potential of helping you get the most of each hour of each day. Observe the date on your watch because it will tell you when you are near your season.
"LIVING IN A WORLD WITH NO STANDARDS"
"WHEN THE ENEMY SHALL COME IN LIKE A FLOOD, THE LORD SHALL LIFT UP A STANDARD AGAINST HIM." ISAIAH 59: 19b
' '' The Disaster Preparedness Kit For Christians''
The recent visit by hurricane Irene caused a frenzy for all who lived on the East Coast and especially Tidewater. Around the clock weather reports warned us of the danger of the storm. The hurricane was to bring high winds and power outages. However the greatest problem was the threat of severe flooding. We had been reminded for several days to prepare for possible disaster by storing the supplies necessary for several days of living without the usual comforts of life. However our best efforts still left us with needs. The best way to prepare was to do things BEFORE the hurricane season arrive. Many areas that usually flood did not flood this time because precautions were made during the summer. The widening of the ditches where the water was to flow allowed the abundance of water to continue to flow and not back up and cause areas to flood.
The word declares the enemy shall come in like a flood. The flood is a result of water needing a wider area to flow. This is one area where the standard needs to be lifted up or made higher. If the area where the water flows is made deeper or wider the less of a chance for a flood. The believer will face threats by the enemy who will try to overwhelm christians by " roaring like a lion ". It is then we need to go deeper in Christ. Draw from within by recalling where God has brought us from. Praising Him for how He has kept us.Going to that secret place where He hides us from all dangers. Expanding your faith making your faith wider and better able to handle the flood the enemy tries to drown you with. The major problems with hurricanes is rivers overflowing and yet rivers have the means to bless us also. John 7:38 tells us out of our belly shall be rivers of living water. The ability to use rivers of waters for a blessing shows us that with God we can handle the attempts by satan to use rivers to destroy us. Colossians 2:15 reminds us Jesus has triumphed over all principalities and power openly. Therefore when Satan rushes in like a flood we speak to him he is already defeated. Be mindful about our role of walking in victory. Repent of our sins. Sin is the thing that clutters our lives. When our lives are cluttered the power of God is less able to flow. That living water of John 7:38 is less able to flow when our lives are cluttered with sin. The more unconfessed sin in our lives the easier for satan to flood our lives with the continued build-up of sins we commit. The danger of floods is loss of life and posessions. God's word reminds us in John 10:10 the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy but Jesus came to give us life abundant.
Prepare now for the flood that is coming in the future. Go deeper in the word of God. Clean out your drainage so there won't be a chance for a water build-up that can turn into a flood. Lastly if you are a sinner and the flood is imminent, evacuate. Run to higher ground. Run to Jesus and let Him take you to higher ground where you will be safe for all eternity.
Join us for the next few Sunday's as we continue the series " Living In A World With No Standards" as we explore through the word of God how He will lift up a standard to save us from the flood of the enemy. Be Blessed. Pastor Charles Leavell
"THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE MIND AND THE HEART". ( Excerpt from June 5,2011)
Proverb 23:7a declares " as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". This scripture somewhat defies natural thinking because thinking is normally associated with the "mind" and not the "heart". This provokes the question, what is God trying to say. Is God actually trying to tell us there is a difference in our results when we think with our head than when we think with our heart? How do we think with our head; our heart?
Our minds begin to take shape upon birth. The shaping comes from our senses as our 5 senses gather information from the world and use the knowledge to direct our thoughts. This is the invisible influence of Satan operating in our lives from childbirth through the world we live in. This influence is opposing the instruction given from God through parents and other believers in Jesus. However our 5 senses will forever absorb the information given from the "world" by virtue of our living and operating daily in the "world". This is how everyone born into this planet gets a continuous reinforcement of sinful knowledge to fortify the sin nature inherent through birth. That is why we need a "new birth". Being born again by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior gives us access to a new life. The information needed to enhance and develop this new birth is given to us through our "heart". The statement is made when we come to Jesus is " we give our heart to Jesus" or "we confess with our mouth and believe in our HEART". The living a blessed and successful life comes now from the instruction of God's word. It seems complex but the simplicity is read the word of God, pray, seek His face and believe by faith that God will come through. This statement is supported by Prov 3:5,6 " Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path". God did not say trust in Him with all your mind because your mind is led by your senses which is led by the world. Your heart is directed by the Spirit of God through His WORD. This causes a reverse in the normal process: your heart is directing your mind and not vice versa. When the heart directs the mind God is leading. When the mind leads the heart the world is leading you. This bears witness to a connection between the mind and the heart therefore when the bible says as a man thinketh in his heart so is he, we have to ensure we have the right things in our hearts. Every disciple who committed to Jesus was given one simple instruction; follow me. For life everlasting, follow me. For abundant life, follow me. For strength in weakness, follow me. To be able to do all things through Christ who strengthens you, follow me.
In a nutshell, your best thinking and most successful thinking will come as you listen to your heart and let your heart direct your way. Following your mind is equal to following the world. It may give you temporary pleasure but the end will be disappointment.
Join us Sundays at 9am for more spirit led teachings at 909 W. Washington St. Suffolk Va. God bless and we hope to see you soon.
Pastor Charles Leavell.
August 14, 2011
August 14, 2011
" The Good Old Days"
T. D. Jakes gave us a movie this year which provides a platform for this message: " Jumping The Broom".
At the heart of the movie is a wedding between a man and a woman who comes from two very diverse backgrounds; wealthy and middle-class. The unique differences shined brightly at the rehearsal dinner when one family said the wedding definitely needed the " Electric Slide" while the other family said it was not appropiate. This disagreement led to some name calling and some division of family the day before the wedding. The sociological thread that still dwells among us today reveals there is an everchanging standard among people today. This even ocurrs in the church and Isaiah 59 gives insight to the roots to the changing standard existing during his time. Think of the ' Good Old Days' when crime was not the norm but the exception; when teenagers had reverence for adults; when the President of the United States was spoken in public with respect and not called a 'liar' or a 'tar baby' in front of the world.
Remember when no one knew what kind of underwear you wore; when your music was played with respect to others instead of shaking the walls of homes in the neighborhood. Now it is expected for women to walk around almost naked and men to wear their pants at their knees. The louder your music the more 'street cred' you get even if your music is filled with profanity and negative words about women.
Isaiah reminds us the enemy WILL come in like a flood. Beware because the flood is preceeded by rain. A flood is the result of a lot of rain with no where to flow to. Areas that are prone to flood or heavy rains that can produce floods normally cause people to put up preventative measures; sand bags, levees and dams. Come and join us as we receive revelation from God on how He will "lift up a standard" to keep His children from being swept away by Satan's attempt to flood our lives to devastation.
"LIVING IN A WORLD WITH NO STANDARDS" IS THE NEW SERIES OF MESSAGES FROM PASTOR LEAVELL BEGINNING ON AUGUST 14, 2011. STOCK MARKETS ARE UNRELIABLE. UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH. RIOTS ARE OCURRING ALL OVER THE WORLD. STARVATION IS GROWING. GOD HAS FORETOLD OF THESE EVENTS BUT HE HAS ALSO GIVEN US AN ANSWER. JOIN US AS GOD GIVES US THE PLAN FOR VICTORY THROUGH HIS WORD FROM ISAIAH 59.
September 18, 2011
The Hampton Roads, Tidewater area is known for it's lovely beaches and is famous for having the largest Naval Base in the nation. We are also known nationwide for being a prime target for hurricanes. Almost as devastating are the "mini hurricanes" called "nor'easters" which bring damages almost as bad as hurricanes. The greatest threat from either of the two weather systems is the possibility of floods for the region. Because of this threat the area has to have an evacuation plan and an evacuation route. Likewise as we think on Isaiah 59:19 (b) The enemy coming in like a flood warns us to plan and prepare for evacuation if we are threatened with extinction.
The bible gives us an example of one family who took heed to a " weather alert " and planned accordingly to evacuate. Noah and his family had 120 years to build an evacuation plan and route. The key to a succesful evacuation is for us to take heed to the warnings and act accordingly. Today we have weather forecasters who use the technology to inform us of "coming attractions" in the weather. That information is designed to give us information to make a decision for our good. People in the pathway of the oncoming storm now can prepare to get to a safe place to avoid the flood. Noah had a forecast and immediately prepared to evacuate. We have been told over the years to take a stand against the devil and if we resist him " he will flee". However the bible also has taught us there are times to evacuate. David had to flee from Saul by the command of God because evacuation would save his life. Lot was commanded to leave Sodom and Gomorrah to save his life. Therefore there are times when God tells us to flee and times he tells us to stay. You will only know when you hear the voice of God. Just as Noah had to prepare so do we. The people in the greatest danger are the ones living in low lying areas. Those are the areas that face the greatest danger because the waters rush there first and leave there last. Are you living in a low lying area? I'm talking about your life. Are you living in a low lying area? What are the issues of life you are struggling with that has dragged you down to lower level? Is your money funny? Are your finances dragging you down? Is your job pulling you down ? Are your relationships in a low lying area ? These are examples we have and when we face these " storms " the potential for floods are imminent. Furthermore, after the flood comes the cleanup. Hurricane Katrina still has a mark in New Orleans because there are still places in the low lying areas uninhabital because of the "mess " left from the flood. Your lack of money not only can hurt you today but long after the fact. Your broken relationship hurts you now but the leftover from the flood of the breaking up has left a cleanup that can take years for someone to cleanup. For this reason we have to look at Noah. I am not able to address everything in this blog but I will share this one concept: we need a remnant to carry us until the storm passes over. Noah took a remnant of every animal known to man so he could start over again. When we are given the info from the weather a hurricane is coming we are advised to go to the ATM and get a "remnant" of our money from our account to keep us in case the power is out for a long time. It's supposed to hold us until the " mess " is cleaned up and things get back to normal. When we prepare for the storm we not only prepare for the aftermath, we have to get ready to evacuate. Our route is planned by God. To be able to go to higher ground we need an ark. Noah had an ark and it saved his life. Our ark is Jesus. When we place our life in Him He covers us and protects us. He saves us from drowning in the flood while taking the remnant we have to hold us over until things get better and He multiplies it like He did for the widow of Zarephath and her oil and meal. Like He did for the 5000 he fed with a few fish and bread. He is our refuge and a very present help in times of trouble. All God requires is for us to follow the evacuation route: look to the hills from whence cometh our help. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. His standard is high and lifted up and when the enemy comes in like a flood look to Jesus. He is our standard.
Be Blessed. Pastor Charles Leavell. See you soon at 909 West Washington Street Suffolk Va. 23434. We meet at 9am.
Sunday July 31, 2011
John 1: 43-50.....Vs. 46... and Nathanael said unto him, can any good thing come out of Nazareth ? Phillip saith unto him, come and see.
IS GOD ON FACEBOOK WITH YOU ?
Facebook has become the cornerstone of communication across the planet. It is defined as a website for social networking. It is odd because you are required to sign up before accessing any site but you can be on Facebook and not even know it. You can be known before you know. The simple concept of Facebook is to put a "Face" with a "Book". Your face gives you identification and the book is the profile or information you provide of yourself. In the world of "Google" and the information highway called the internet, it is easy to know everything about everybody and everything. This is where we find Nathanael in the middle of a conversation with Phillip regarding a man named Jesus. Phillip met Jesus and committed to follow Him and immediately went to find his friend Nathanael to persuade him to follow Jesus also. Phillip gave full details of the "profile" given to Jesus by Moses and the prophets basically revealing the bio of Jesus Facebook page. Nathanael responded by informing Phillip he looked at a "Facebook" page of Nazareth and after researching concluded " there was no good thing coming out of Nazareth". It is amazing how people will define you without even knowing you. Is there any good thing in Norfolk? Virginia Beach? Miami? Durham? Japan? Africa ? U.S.? Nathanael defined Jesus by where he came from. If you come from the wrong side of the tracks, does that define you? If you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth, does that mean you are born with good character and integrity? Which would be the killer or addict from the two aforementioned? The way to know is to know the person and Jesus reveals himself to Nathanael.
Vs. 47 and 48 finds Jesus not telling who he himself is but who Nathanael is. Jesus went on "Facebook" and pulled the info He Himself knew about Nathanael. Jesus was not speaking as a prophet or as someone getting "second hand info". He was speaking as the Son of God who knew Nathanael before he was in the womb. The revelation of Nathanael to himself by Jesus convinced him to surrender to Jesus.
In conclusion, Facebook allows you to provide a picture of yourself and a biography to reveal a snapshot of who you are. As you continue to add info about your daily life people get to know more about you every day. If Jesus is to be known on Facebook, whose face would He use? We have the bible allowing us to know everything about Him from Genesis to Revelation but what does He look like? The truth is the only way anyone will ever see the image of Jesus is when you live according to His word. It is then Jesus has a face, hands, arms, legs, a voice and a heart. When you put God on Facebook with you, make Him look good.
Peace, Pastor Leavell
SUNDAY JUNE 19, 2011
JOHN 14: 10-14 . Verse 11: Believe me I am in the Father and the Father is in me.
FROM CHILDHOOD TO FATHERHOOD
As I looked in a mirror with my young son behind me looking through the same mirror we both saw an amazing thing; our past and our future at once. I saw who I am and who I used to be and he saw who he is and who he would become. In him I saw the slim, atheletic and full head of hair I used to have. In me he saw the full sized, less atheletic and thin haired man he could become. My father only had a 6th grade education but he was a business man three times over as well as a sharecropper. He passed on those traits to me as I passed them on to my sons. This is symbolic of how God revealed Himself through His son. I am in my father and my father is in me. God let us see Him through the Word, His son. We were invited by Jesus to have fellowship with the Father through the Son. To know God is something the mind can't comprehend alone for " as a man thinketh in his heart so is he". God always intended for us to know Him through the Spirit or our heart. " God knows your heart" and other sayings confirm our belief that our mind was not the medium God spoke to his children through. God gave us a spirit to use as a contact to talk to Him. When my Father is in me, I have joy that is unspeakable, indescribable. I have peace in the midst of the storm. I have victory before the battle is fought. I have a shelter to cover me. When my father is in me, I have power over the devil. My power over him puts him under my feet. I can speak life to my life and call those things that are not as though they were.
When I am in my Father, I praise Him with the sacrifice of praise. I lift him up with the fruit of my lips.
Have you ever had a feeling in your heart a problem you were dealing with was going to work out right but your mind was telling you the very opposite? Your faith is being challenged much like the man talking to Jesus who asked him to" help my unbelief ". The solution to the problem you had came and in your praise of victory you realize the gut feeling you had was the Spirit of God speaking to you. From the beginning of our lives God has spoken to us through His spirit. He has allowed us to develope our personal and individual relationship with him. As we come to know Him for ourselves, we no longer depend totally on the testimonies of parents, family or friends to tell us who God is. Until this time God has only been as big as described by someone else but when YOU know what He has done for you God becomes bigger. God is as big or as small as you see Him and He has given you the chance through a personal relationship for you to make Him as awesome as you need Him to be. Put no limits on God and He will put no limits on you. Be blessed.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY
( This was an excerpt from the message on 6-19-2011 )
I WILL BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES AND HIS PRAISES WILL CONTINUALLY BE IN MY MOUTH. MEET US SUNDAYS AT 10AM AND MAGNIFY THE LORD WITH US. OPEN HANDS CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP WELCOMES YOU. BRING YOUR CHILDREN AND LET THEM HAVE FUN WHILE LEARNING GOD'S WORD IN OUR CHILDREN'S CHURCH.