Impact Church

Passionately serving God and His people

Tag: charismatic

A Note of Gratitude

Just a brief note of gratitude to all the planned festivities of Impact Church this weekend. Beyond the realm of common effort, the honor bestowed on our Impact men was NT authentic and heartfelt; and more importantly, reflective of its deep desire to exalt Christ in every featured event. No greater thing could be said of service than that it was spiritual- faithfully prepared and flawlessly executed!

The plenary meals, special gifts, physical activities, profound words of honor, tears of gratitude and truckloads of affection took center stage in all three services of our two campus church. Of course, the air was festive at times and sober at others, and that was intentional; but the blending of humor and honor brought an incredible tenor to the well-attended and prayerful occasion. Without question, a weekend of such genuine appreciation and awareness of our church fathers elevates this Father’s Day weekend to a new high water mark!

So from Impact Church leadership, we simply wanted to recognize the continued Christ-like effort of so many in making our churches a beacon of diversity, unity, humility and fervent love. The prayer as our men gathered on Saturday morning was that we be godly influencers in home, church, community and the world. Join with us in this endeavor! Somehow, somewhere and someone will carry His life, His love, His words and His power! And we’ve now consented and concluded that that assignment is given to us! It is with joy then that we enter these summer months with a renewed Holy Spirit gusto! Filled with love, filled with grace and filled with faith, we anticipate the gospel being preached and lives changed in this beautiful season of the tangible presence of our God! Blessings to all of Impact Church!

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A Heart for Jesus, A Heart for Each Other And a Heart for Others

If we can summarize the greatest motivations for living the Christian life, we could conclude that the regeneration and new life we have with Jesus is the starting place. When we believed in Jesus’ death for our sins and the resurrection of His body and our life (1 Corinthians 15), God credited us with Jesus’ righteousness and we have peace of God (Romans 5:1). That is the beginning of a new life: living in the light of God’s Revelation; In the light of Jesus’ life in us and His Word.

The Bible is God’s revealed truth for His people. It is pure and trustworthy, providing us with knowledge, wisdom and encouragement so that we can please the Lord (2 Tim. 3:16). It instructs, rebukes and admonishes His people to love God through Jesus Christ and to love others. That love of others comes in two relationships: inside the Church and with those outside.

The Church of the Resurrected Jesus is the most important institution in the world. Paul told Timothy that it is “the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). It is the Bride of Christ for which He died and He will present her as pure and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27). Jesus takes His relationship to the Church as directly reflective of Him – to attack the Church is to attack Him (Acts 9:5). Our attitude and involvement with the church establishes the most important relationships we have with other people. The warnings and cautions of 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 and James 2:1-9 involve not thinking about other members of the body of Jesus in unseemly or lowly ways. Being a member of the Body of Jesus is a cherished relationship and is protected by Jesus’ love. He is the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep.

A worshipping church is a church that will supernaturally love the other members and collectively love those outside. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Worry,…Rest in Him!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Philippians 4:6

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:41-42

It’s official,… More Americans are taking prescription drugs than ever before. Among the most-prescribed and best-selling Rx are piles of pills aimed at anxiety, depression and a range of emotional and psychotic disorders. While we in a fallen world acknowledge the existence of physiological imbalances that may require medical attention, it is readily apparent that people today are anxious,…worried,…fearful.

Do you sense it?

Maybe there is good reason for the culture to experience a collective state of gloom and despair. A teetering economy standing on the edge of financial collapse. Recent racial unrest in Ferguson, MO and other places. A spiraling national debt that continues to collect speed like a runaway train. Violence at home and abroad. Make no mistake,…the world can be a seemingly hopeless place right now.

For the Body of Christ, however, these are exciting days! Impact Church and all true believers should lift up our heads, for our redemption surely draws nigh! (Luke 21:28) And we have more opportunity than ever before to be the light in a dark culture.

Long before Pastor Jason started the current “One Essential Thing” series and as the final pages of 2014 was slipping through our fingers, our spirit was drawn to the idea of rest. No anxiety, no worry, no fear entering 2015,…just rest and assurance in our great God.

It’s so easy to become a Martha in church work, isn’t it? We can become so stressed about doing this and going there and giving this and making that – Read the rest of this entry »

Hope Is Born

Luke 1: 28…The angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 38 Then Mary said, Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.

Intelligence and skilled hands may make a useful product and an artist or architect may transfer conceivings to canvas or contractor, but the very concept of birth is unquestioned genius. And we may with excellence promote the passing of ideas, mannerisms, words and knowledge through teaching and association, but this birth idea speaks of another realm. It’s one thing to transfer how-to, style and ideas to another, but imparting the very essence of one’s mind, heart and ability, well… that belongs to the wisdom of another One. And the Wisdom that created all that is seen or ever will be has life created and contingent on the intimacy of two.

As Mary’s virtuous body was selected by the Holy Spirit to bring the Son of God into the world, subject also to that unorthodox assignment was her heart and mind. And it was from her humbled submission in body and soul to the angel’s declaration that Hope was given entrance into our hopeless world! (And how strangely, preposterously, far out is that!) Yet when the weak are willing to trust the only One worthy of trust, then do we see and experience the unexpectedly impossible. What the world itself for ages had been unable to restore through exhaustive rehab strivings of men (whether legal, moral, social or religious); the Grace of God birthed its Restorer through the faith-opened heart of a young, unknown woman! Say what you will… to see common trust unite with divine Grace to offer the world an otherwise unattainable forgiveness of sins, eternal life and a bodily resurrection too! To ignore that miracle of Grace is to miss the grandest of all invitations to believe!

God chose one frail human frame to birth the Redeemer into the world in order to offer the entire world, every single human being ever formed or will be, the joy of His indwelling Presence by faith! And now that He’s come, He’s come to stay! Not to be with us so much as be in us! Not hold our hands so much as guide our hearts! Not see Him so much with our eyes as know Him with our hearts! Not wonder if He’ll leave us as much as know He can’t! He didn’t come to simply help us, heal us, comfort us or even forgive us, as if He were only another friend, doctor or sacrificial lamb; Read the rest of this entry »

Do Believers Have to Struggle with Sin?

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2 

In the 2,000-year history of the Church, nothing has divided the Body of Christ more than her views of sin. Whether defined as “an act of disobedience to divine law,” “missing the mark” or simple “lawlessness,” that little three-letter word has spawned a deluge of denominational distinctions and has created chaos and confusion for centuries.

Even today, nearly two millennia after Christ’s death and resurrection atoned for our sinful nature inherited when Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden, the Church at large continues to give emphasis and breathe life into a defeated foe. That’s right,…sin has no power or authority in a born-again believer’s life! Consider the Apostle Paul’s question in Romans 6:2… “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

Thank God for TableTalk on Wednesday evenings at Impact Church Greensboro! For the last several weeks, we have opened Paul’s life-changing epistle and studied it section-by-section, verse-by-verse, acknowledging that all the world stands guilty before a holy God. Condemned by sin and its ugly nature, that is, UNTIL we accept and identify with the once-for-all sacrificial death of the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, who bore our just punishment on the cross of Calvary!

Once we repent and believe the Gospel, we are supernaturally reborn Read the rest of this entry »

God Can Be Pleased

When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Matthew 8:10

In a culture obsessed with “look mom, no hands” to validate one’s significant ability, and “selfies” as the pic-trendy commercial for individualism, it’s no shock few live out their potential. Place and value are the vacuous dark holes of the soul, and energies expended to fill those voids leave most bankrupt. For the cost of searching them out is as prohibitive as the false assurance we hope to find in the search. And though means thru which common men will seek acceptance is noble, the sandcastles on the seashore of life are the ignoble labors of the unwise. There remains however, a better method of satisfying both human significance and value!

Humanity’s need for special attention is rooted in its insecure fellowship with the Creator. The peace Adam experienced with the Father’s presence in the cool of the day had no ostentatious purpose. No image projection was hoped for, nor was some subliminal message intended. God’s presence satisfied man’s significance and in that environment, community became the ultimate belonging. Regardless of alienated societies, divisive rhetoric and impersonal lifestyles, a renewal of that basic need of community is nearer than we think! And though the path is hidden by a demand of the spectacular, a moment of Grace reveals simplicity.

It’s beyond most to think we could do or say anything God could admire. But that’s a premise we’ve bought into from our fallen insecurities. From the beginning, God desired fellowship with man thru faith, so that a simple trust in His Word and power would bring peace to man and pleasure to Him! Furthermore, that virtuous combination would have heaven as a byproduct! The disbelief exercised in man, from Genesis to now, has been the single ingredient making human existence toxic and intolerable. And that includes both man-caused tribulation and God’s divine judgment. Our unbelief is the creator of the world’s crisis. But God can be pleased…and created beings have power thru faith to walk under, and with, divine favor!

Jesus was visibly moved and verbally inspired to recognize the Roman centurion’s grasp of a basic tenet of faith. A man of authority, he concludes, could speak here and have work done over there! Wow! Jesus marvels at the barbaric soldier’s approach to divine things! So you just speak the word, Jesus and my servant, miles away, will be healed! And with his own family unconvinced of His Messiahship, a rough untaught man of violence and war was getting what the ones who should trust couldn’t! The Creator of the world, the Origin of all wisdom, the Caretaker of the universe was in awe of the simplest of man’s ability! And we think we have to dunk well, run the mile in 4, or have a perfect SAT score to succeed and play a significant role! No way! Jesus marveled and stood amazed, simply at the Roman soldier’s willingness to believe!

There’s no one with more clout than the name of Jesus! Agreed!  So when His eyes have caught our faith, when our heart opens to trust and when our focus rivets on His ability, the Creator rises to revel in that exchange! And if the God of all glory is the spectator in the stands of our faith, who else’s admiration would we ever seek? It’s certain the vacuum of value and significance is forever satisfied when a high-fiving Jesus comes down and applauds you before the whole world! We seek His face thru believing His Word and His presence is the reward of our effort! If the Father affirms, no other affirmation really matters!

Patient With Them All

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. (2 Thessalonians 5:14)

I love the practicality and simplicity of this exhortation from the Apostle Paul to the church and leaders at Thessalonica.  There were many new converts from paganism in the Thessalonian church and the Apostle understood the necessity of instructing and equipping the local assembly to shepherd and direct the early stages of their growth and development.  The seeking and saving of those who are lost is the passionate purpose and resolve of Jesus and of His Church. However, the saving of the lost is costly and carries much responsibility and even joyful consequence. Paul’s sincere and straightforward appeal is filled with applicability for our lives as we minister, care for, and serve one another.

Warn Those who are Unruly:  The word here rendered “idle”, or “disorderly” was originally a military term expressing the character of those soldiers who would not keep their ranks – out of the ranks. Different modes of treatment should be adapted to people in different situations; the unruly are to be brotherly and graciously warned.

Comfort the Fainthearted:  By “feeble-minded” the writer means the despondent or faint-hearted; those who were disheartened by the fate of their deceased loved ones and friends, or those who despaired of the grace of God because of the extent and depth of their sins. These were not to be reprimanded or rebuked, but comforted and encouraged. Read the rest of this entry »

Believe,…Receive,…Drink,…Gush!

If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me,as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. (NKJV) John 7:37-38

Let’s just start with this premise,… Followers of Jesus Christ are to be the most life-filled and life-giving people on the planet! Rather than enduring an existence of severe self-denial and asceticism, Christians should be exuberant with joy as we squeeze life out of every day!

John, who is rightly known as the “disciple of love” because of the emphasis of his writings, could also be labeled the “apostle of life.” His gospel contains more references to life than the other three gospels combined; when his three short epistles and the Revelation are included, he mentions life more than the Apostle Paul does in over half the New Testament.

In Jesus’ life-changing encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) and in the verses mentioned above, John captures the heart of the Master as he refers to the abundant, everlasting life offered by Christ as “living water.” Isn’t it just like Jesus to equate His mind-blowing, never-before-experienced essence of life to something as common, plentiful and unstoppable as rushing water?!?

John in 7:39 let us in on the fact that the “rivers of living water” refers to the Holy Spirit who would be given in abundant measure after the Messiah’s death and resurrection. Bible students without a doubt reflect back to Moses striking the rock at Horeb, precipitating the miracle of millions of gallons of water gushing forth in the wilderness. Paul recognized that our spiritual Rock was Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 10:4). The smiting of that Rock on the cross and His ultimate resurrection and ascension to Heaven opened the way for the miracle of Pentecost as the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit was made available to all believers!

If the Holy Spirit lives in and through a Christian – and He does – then we are designed (reborn) to be a wellspring of life-giving joy and peace and hope to those around us. Did you notice Jesus’ word “rivers”? Read the rest of this entry »

Leave the Big Stuff to the Big Guy

2 Kings 5:9-14

One of the great hindrances to deliverance, whether spiritual, physical or otherwise, oft lies in the absence of an expected complex answer. It’s commonly held that humanity’s method of solving problems has a corresponding price tag. The greater degree of difficulty we ascribe to our issues, the more complex and expensive we assume the remedy requires. Thus, in almost everything, we assign compensation and wage scales relative to the tasks required.

For example, though both babysitter and pediatrician have vested and common interests in a child’s care, the pay scale for the two child care services are miles apart. The differing compensation packages are based primarily on the child’s needs. To expertly change a messy diaper is one thing, to expertly change a sickly child’s diet or medication carries a far greater responsibility! A mistake from one is corrected by warm water and another Huggie; an error from the other could be life threatening. The deeper the possible consequences, the greater we expect to pay for alleviating them.

Return to the scripture for a moment with Naaman’s leprosy and Elisha’s simplistic command to dip in the Jordan seven times for his cleansing. With the usual pomp and sophistication of a Syrian commander and with an eloquent appeal to the rigorous and intellectual framework from which true professionals operate, Naaman staked his reputation Read the rest of this entry »

Mind the Gap

There is none who does good, no, not one.

Romans 3:12

“Mind the gap!”

Anyone who has traveled by rail abroad, particularly in the UK, has probably heard those words and read them on signs more times than they can remember. For the uninitiated, the friendly warning posted at train stations and repeated verbally at every stop is the equivalent of American signs cautioning travelers to “watch your step!” The “gap” is the narrow, deep opening between a train and the concrete platform several feet above the tracks.

So a man known only as “Andy” created quite a stir last week by getting his leg stuck in the gap in Perth, Australia. What made bigger news – and subsequently went viral on a video viewed by millions around the world – was that Andy was rescued when scores of fellow travelers used their collective weight and strength to tilt the train enough to pull him out to safety.

It was a “feel-good” story with a happy ending, for sure, but the prevailing media reaction was one of overwhelming back-patting of mankind.… “Humans are awesome!” shouted one headline.… “Proves good people still exist!” declared another. Read the rest of this entry »