Pastor Jason's Blog
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August 31, 2016, 12:00 AM

A Lamp Unto Your Feet



I bring you greetings in the strong name of Jesus Christ. I pray you are ever drawing closer our precious Heavenly Father. May His Word be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.

I would like to begin by asking a simple question: Are you faithfully studying God’s Word? One of the key responsibilities of a follower of Jesus is to be a student of the Word. It cannot be that the people of God should grow in grace unless they give themselves to the habit of faithfully reading the Word of God. A reading people will always be a knowing people. 

It is Scripture that is the reality-depth of our prayer life, for we speak to Him when we pray: we hear Him when we read and study the Scriptures. Indeed, the Apostle Paul challenged young Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV). The encouragement to “do your best” indicates that excellence in biblical literacy does not happen automatically, even for those who approach it with a heart for God. “Work hard,” the NLT reads; the NASB says, “Be diligent.” Further, Timothy is urged to “correctly handle” or “rightly divide” the word of truth. The Greek text paints a picture of one who drives a straight road through the truth and refuses to be lured down pleasant but irrelevant rabbit trails. Such distractions, as 2 Tim. 2:16 points out, lead to “godless chatter” and an ungodly life.

Richard Foster writes: Many Christians remain in bondage to fears and anxieties simply because they do not avail themselves of the Discipline of study. They may be faithful in church attendance and earnest in fulfilling their religious duties and still they are not changed . . . They may sing with gusto; pray in the Spirit, live as obediently as they know, even receive divine visions and revelations; and yet the tenor of their lives remains unchanged. Why? Because they have never taken up one of the central ways God uses to change us: study. Jesus made it unmistakably clear that it is the knowledge of the truth that will set us free.

If you’re not already in the habit of studying the Word, why not start today? Get into a study group, a quiz team, or an accountability group! I invite you to pray the following with me: O you who are the Source and Ground of all truth, guide me today, I beseech you, in my hours of reading. Let the Bible have proper place in my life; and grant that as I read I may be alive to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit in my soul. Amen. 

You are Loved!
Pastor Jason Stevens
 




August 24, 2016, 12:00 AM

I'll Pray For You



I bring you greetings in the strong name of Jesus Christ. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

As we march forward in Christ, may we continually stay focused on the call to make Christlike disciples! May we ever be a people of prayer! May we increasingly give ourselves in love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. For surely, if we do not remain vigilant, the enemy will steer us away from this righteous calling. Indeed, as the Apostle Paul urged young Timothy, “Guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.” Brother and sisters, instead of tearing down one another we must find ways to uplift, encourage, and pray for one another. As priests, we must find ways to be our brother and sister’s greatest support and champion before the throne of grace. 

Yet, often when we say, “I will pray for you,” we are making nothing more than an empty claim. Many times this remains nothing more than a well-meant expression of concern. O that this reality would not be so! There is no greater task we can embark upon today then to lift one another up in prayer – especially for the one that perhaps we cannot even stand to think upon. 

Consider the following: The more the Christian is truly filled with the Spirit of Christ, the more spontaneous will be his/her giving himself/herself up to the life of priestly intercession for their neighbor. Beloved fellow members and friends of APCN! God needs, greatly needs, priests (which you are called to be; 1 Peter 2:1-10) who will draw near to Him, who live in His presence, and by their intercession draw down the blessings of His grace on others. And the world needs, greatly needs, priests who will bear the burden of the perishing ones, and intercede on their behalf. Andrew Murray once rightly declared: Let us each find out what the work is, and who the souls are entrusted to our special prayers; let us make our intercession from them our life of fellowship with God, and we shall not only find the promises of power in prayer made true to us, but we shall then first begin to realize how our abiding in Christ and His abiding in us make us share in His own joy of blessing and saving men (from With Christ in the School of Prayer). APCN, will you embrace this task? In love will you give yourself to intercessory prayer. Will you pray for me, my wife and children that we might be all that God wants us to be?

You are Loved!
Pastor Jason Stevens
 




August 17, 2016, 12:00 AM

Life Together



I bring you greetings in the strong name of Jesus Christ! I trust you are having a blessed start to your week. Wasn’t that a tremendous service this past Sunday? Praise the Lord! I am truly excited about what God is already doing in our midst. In addition, Kiley and I continue to be blown away by your generosity and welcoming spirit as we get settled in to our new home. We constantly thank God for you and are lifting you up daily in our prayers. In fact, one of the great blessings and responsibilities of being part of the family of God is the call to intercede on behalf of each other. Yet, to be honest, all too often this call is neglected within the Body of Christ. This must not be so. Prayer – especially prayer for one another – must be at the heart of all that we do. This is especially so if we desire to be a holiness people.

Consider the following thoughts by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his timeless classic Life Together

"A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner. This is a happy discovery for the Christian who begins to pray for others. There is no dislike, no personal tension, no estrangement that cannot be overcome by intercession as far as our side of it is concerned. Intercessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual and the fellowship must enter every day. The struggle we undergo with our brother in intercession may be a hard one, but that struggle has the promise that it will gain its goal… To make intercession means to grant our brother the same right that we have received, namely, to stand before Christ and share in his mercy."

What a wonderfully, powerful and challenging thought! Intercession not only impacts the one for whom we pray, but our very selves. With this in mind, will you join me in making the Avon Parkside Church a House of Prayer filled full of a people who are committed to prayer – especially prayer for one another. May we be men, women, children, and teens who are constantly lifting one another up before the Throne of Grace.

You are Loved!
Pastor Jason Stevens
 




November 30, 1999, 12:00 AM





November 30, 1999, 12:00 AM



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