Jesus’ Refueling Station

Howdy SNC Friends and Family,
This is our weekly 2nd look!

As we talked on Sunday about the importance of us having personal prayer time with God, I knew I was addressing a specific question that might arise for some of us.

Ok Pastor Ryan, you are saying that we need to be in prayer, that this is something Jesus prioritized and we really must as well; but how do I do this? I’m not very good at this prayer thing…”

That’s a great question. Let me give you a few quick suggestions.

1) Prayer is conversation with God.

This is plain and simple. You talk. You listen. You share your heart. You listen for God to share His. You enjoy time with God, and He enjoys time with you.

Throughout my life, I’ve often felt as if I was missing a grand secret about prayer; or that I was simply not trying hard enough. Jesus made prayer very simple for his disciples. I think He did this because He didn’t want them to be confused, and because God approaches prayer very simply. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, or high and mighty- or theologians. He wants us to be ourselves; to approach him authentically; honestly; and simply. I truly believe God is happy when we simply show up to prayer. If you have had trouble with prayer; feeling like you stink at this and wishing you were anywhere else but in prayer; please know that we all stink at it. God is so perfect, so amazingly brilliantly holy; that anything we bring to him is dirty and soiled compared to his glory. But his great love for us moves beyond all that. Be at peace my friend. He’s happy you are here! Prayer is first and foremost a conversation with God. What does that conversation look like?

2) Jesus teaches us to pray.

In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus teaches us how to pray. We get so used to reciting it. Many Christians have read and re-read this prayer so often that we may lose the gravity of what is really here. THIS IS JESUS TEACHING US HOW TO PRAY! If you ever wonder if you are doing this thing wrong- you don’t know how to pray- then simply follow what Jesus teaches us. Let me break it down for you quickly:

  • Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
  • Start your prayer acknowledging God’s greatness. Basically we start praying by lifting God up in praise. Praise him for His awesome power- His incredible love- His inspiring goodness- His never-ending grace- His powerful provision- His infinite wisdom. Thank Him for how good he has been to you. These are some examples of how to start prayer through praising him.

 

  • Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
  • We plead with God that his kingdom would come. When we begin prayer acknowledging God’s greatness, it seems only natural that out of that we would understand that it is best for everyone in this world that God’s kingdom would come and His will be done. This part of the prayer is an earnest pleading for God’s kingdom to come. We are truly asking God’s will to be done in our lives and in the lives of our church and community. We want to see God’s kingdom infiltrate our hearts and the hearts of those around us. There is nothing more needed or essential than this. God’s kingdom is the greatest of them all. Do we believe that? Jesus calls us to prayer for this to happen.

 

  • Give us this day our daily bread
  • We pray for God to meet our needs. The purpose of this section of prayer has a couple different facets to it. First, it is us asking God to meet our needs. We come to God honestly and ask for him to be the great provider we know He is. I love the fact that we have been encouraged multiple times to pray and ask God for things. We are encouraged by Paul to let our requests be made known. We are encouraged by Peter to cast our cares upon Him for he cares for us. Jesus taught us that God would meet our needs because He is a good father and we can rest in this truth. Jesus calls us to ask God to meet our needs. A 2nd facet of this is that we need to be reminded that God is capable and faithful to meet our needs- but he’s not always required to meet our desires. Sometimes our desires are not truly what we need. This is a prayer of request but also a prayer of submission. Oh lord I think I need this- but in the end I’m trusting you to know better than I what I truly need. Oh father, give me this day, what I need.

 

  • And forgive us our debts as we forgive those who are indebted to us
  • Confession is major part of prayer. We often view confession as us bringing some hidden secret to light before God that he didn’t already know. God knows all the junk in our trunk. He knows it all. Confession is us acknowledging that we sin. It’s us admitting we aren’t perfect before God and we desperately need him. I still need the cleansing blood of Jesus today even though I’ve been a Christian for nearly 30 years. I’m still a messed up guy who is in a battle with sin in my life. I need to confess this. It can be wonderfully healing to bring our brokenness before God and lay it as his feet once again. Also important though is the second half of this verse. We need to be regularly searching to see if we are harboring grudges or bitterness against someone else. We the forgiven are to be forgivers: and this not just for those who hurt or wronged us but also for ourselves.

 

  • Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
  • This is a prayer for protection. Jesus is telling the disciples to pray for God’s empowering and leading when we are tempted or put in trials. Some may say Jesus is also telling the disciples to ask for God to not permit this trial or temptation. We know from James that God cannot and does not lead us into temptation; but he may permit it for our own deepening. We can ask God to strengthen us and deliver us from this evil. What’s interesting is how this verse is followed up with a further teaching Jesus makes on forgiveness. One could possibly see a connection with the temptation and evil Jesus is asking God to deliver us from the temptation to be bitter and do evil to another person. In either case, Jesus is asking God to deliver us strengthen us and even go out of his way to prevent this temptation.

 

As you look at these things, you can pray along these lines. In your own words you can pray these different areas and you would go a long way towards developing a wonderful and powerful life of prayer. Take some time this week and pray through this- over time this prayer will bless you.

Have a great week everybody!!!

Pastor Ryan



Jesus the Healer

Hi everyone,

I want to give you a simple question to consider this week:

“What do I really think about the kingdom of God?”

Some of us don’t think about it at all. Some of us are aware that the kingdom of God is here but we really don’t grasp what it is. Some of us believe the kingdom of God is powerfully present in us and yet we don’t really live as if this truth touches our lives.

“What do I really think about the kingdom of God?”

Take some time this week and simply let yourself sit with this question. Let it be a matter of prayer for you. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:20: “for the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” It was clear to Paul that the kingdom was something much more than fuzzy, happy words; a very real, very present powerful thing.

“What do I really think about the kingdom of God?”

May God grant you peace this week as you wrestle with this question!

Pastor Ryan



What Jesus Was Tempted By

Hi folks! Welcome to the 2nd look for this week. I’d like to invite you to take some time to read Matthew 4:1-11 this week. This passage is a more in depth look at the showdown in the desert between Satan and the forces of evil and chaos and Jesus and the kingdom of God. From this point- Jesus will speak and move with unmatched authority. Take some time to look at and think about the temptation story. Each of these temptations are very common to us all.

Have a great week everybody
and may God’s peace be with you!

Pastor Ryan 


A Father’s Blessing

Hello my fellow beloved of God!
 
I invite you this week to listen to this song. At the heart of this song is a simple truth- that we are blessed by God and in his love ALREADY!
 
I pray this song will bless you this week.

May God’s peace be with you

Pastor Ryan
 
 

Here’s the link to the song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrumDkRTKrg



A Most Unlikely Prophecy

2nd Look

 

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s 2nd look!

I want to invite you to watch this youtube link this week.

This is a song we will be doing quite often this year it’s called: “Jesus, son of God”.

This song is a simple and wonderful reminder of the amazing greatness of Jesus and his incredible love for us. We need to have both truths be firmly in our minds.

 

Please enjoy this song as much as you can. Have a wonderful week!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj_s9_45QpI

 

Pastor Ryan



A Call to Prepare

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s 2nd look.

For this week I’d like to invite you to read the story of Mary in Luke 1:26-38. Try to read it several times this week. Close your eyes and picture the scene in your mind, or even try to put yourself in Mary’s shoes. What thoughts, emotions do you feel in this passage? What things to do notice or observe. On Sunday we will get into this story and my hope is for you to spend some time with it this week!

I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season!!!!

Pastor Ryan


Worship is Forever

2nd Look- 11.28.16

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s second look.

For these next few weeks I will be shifting gears a little bit and doing more specifically Advent themed second looks.

For this week I’d like to invite you to read the story of Zechariah in Luke 5:1-25. Maybe try to read it several times this week. Try to close your eyes and picture the scene in your mind, or even try to put yourself in Zechariah’s shoes. What thoughts, emotions do you feel in this passage? What things do you notice or observe? On Sunday we will get into this story and my hope is for you to spend some time with it this week!

Also if you want more information about Advent; here’s a link that helps explain it.

http://www.christianity.com/christian-life/christmas/what-is-advent.html

The article explains that Advent is intended to be a time of fasting and this fasting aligns us with being expectant and even mourning over the state of our world- waiting for the return of our Savior. Have you ever fasted?

Fasted is the intentional giving up of something in order to turn towards prayer. What I’ve done during the advent season is to fast something and every time I desire that thing I’m fasting, I turn towards God in prayer remembering that we are in a season of waiting. Perhaps you might consider fasting something.

Anyway, let’s have a wonderful week and enjoy this season of looking forward to that time when we will see our Savior face to face; and also look forward to that time where we can celebrate his birth!

 

Have a great week!

Pastor Ryan



Hinderances to Worship

2nd Look

Nov. 21, 2016

Hello Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week I’d like to invite you to consider this verse:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Hebrews 12:1

 

DeRon spoke on Sunday about the things that hinder us in our journey of worship. I have to say I absolutely loved the direction he went with this sermon. The 5 hindrances he talked about are so true and very profound. If you didn’t get a chance to hear the sermon- please feel free to go on our website. You will find his sermon loaded there.

 

One thing DeRon focused on was our need to have an attitude of gratitude. As I listened to him I thought of this Hebrews verse and how we need to strip off the things that so easily hinder us and way us down. My invitation to you this week- is to not let anything hinder you in being grateful. Take time each day to consider what you have to be grateful for!

 

Have a wonderful holiday everyone. You are loved by our Heavenly Father; and by me. See you Sunday!

 

Pastor Ryan

 



Tithing As Worship

2nd Look 11.15.16

 

Hi folks,

Welcome to this week’s second look.

For this week I’d simply like to invite you to take time each day to read and reflect on 2 Corinthians 9:1-15. As the week progresses what seems to emerge to you from this passage? This passage has been a great comfort and encouragement to me this past week as I was preparing for Sunday’s sermon. I truly hope it will encourage you as well.

 

Have a great week everyone and may the peace of God be upon you all!

Pastor Ryan



Worshipping Together

2nd Look 11.08.16

Hi folks and welcome to the 2nd Look for this week.

 

I want to simply invite you to consider this question this week:

Who is spurring me on towards love and good deeds?

Who am I spurring on?

These are 2 great questions for us to wrestle with? My hope is that each of us would be able to answer this question when asked because I truly believe this will enrich your life with God. We are meant to worship Him with our lives and we are meant to do that with others!

Take some time this week and consider these simple questions. You may want to write down the names that come to mind. If you cannot think of someone, take some time to pray about this and ask God whom He might want you to move towards; so that this can be a part of your life.

I truly believe one of the greatest gifts God gives us, is actually the relationships we have with each other. It’s not always easy- sometimes it just flat out goes haywire- but the potential involved in this may actually be worth the risk. I can look back over my life and it is relationships that were and are deeply significant to me that have changed my life for the better. I pray they will do the same for you!

May God remind you of his love for you this week!

Pastor Ryan