May 23, 2016

The Ultimate Purpose of God for All


“…and you will be my witnesses…”  Acts 1:8c

When a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, having realized the great judgment that awaits them for the guilt of their sin, their salvation results in a regeneration of the spirit within them, meaning it was once dead, but has now been brought to life.  And because the Holy Spirit lives within the believer and bears a witness to the truth of God and of Jesus Christ, every believer becomes a witness.

In a legal sense, the Christian becomes someone who is able to testify concerning the truth of an event, or person.  But in a moral, or ethical sense, as the Greek word for witness is martyr, it means that a Christian may suffer and die for their faith in Jesus Christ.

The President appoints ambassadors for the United States around the world and those ambassadors are representatives of the U.S., one in each country around the world.  But we, as Christians are not restricted as just a single person going as a witness for Christ.  We are not limited to the places we can serve as God’s ambassadors.  

We are all called, not to serve as a witness, but to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

Whom are you a witness for?  When was the last time you spoke to someone about Jesus?  When was the last time you gave someone a gospel tract?  What kind of witness are you?  Are you a faithful, or a fearful witness?  Do you worry too much about what to say, when you should be relying on the power of the Holy Spirit within you to help recall what you know from Scripture and the truth about Jesus Christ?

Why is this the ultimate purpose of God for all?  Because we get to be God’s ambassadors.  We get to be used by the King of kings and Lord of lords, to go and tell others about the goodness of God!

The only problem, which is a big problem really in the church, which is that many people aren’t really willing to be a witness for Christ anymore.  

It’s true when Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;” (Matthew 9:37).

We, the church, cannot remain content in our faith as Christians when every day there are thousands of people who are dying and entering into eternity in hell.  We cannot assume that someone else is going to bring the Gospel to them.  We must do it.

We have been given the Great Commission regarding the purpose of every believer and the will of God, which is also the Divine Commission that every believer has concerning the power that enables each Christian, to go and fulfill the Great Commission, in their local area of living, beyond that and even to a place somewhere around the world.

Are you willing to be sent, or even to help send someone in partnership with your financial support and prayers?  Will you share the Gospel with someone today, praying in hope that the person you speak to, will repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save them?

I want to encourage you to be a faithful witness for Christ and to rely upon His power that has been given to you, to go and fulfill the Great Commission, for His glory, to the ends of the earth.

It's the ultimate opportunity for the church to win souls, for the glory of God. Will you?  Do you want to?


Pastor Kurt


This is an excerpt of the sermon I preached on Sunday, May 15, 2016, titled, The Divine Commission.  The full audio of this sermon can be found at www.magnoliachurch.net.


Here’s the million-dollar question: Will you go to Heaven when you die? Let’s do a quick test: Have you ever told a lie? (Be honest.) Have you taken anything that belongs to someone else? Have you disobeyed your parents, or said, “Oh my G-d!” or used the name of Jesus to cuss? Have you been greedy, or hated someone? If you have done these wrong things, one day God will punish you in a terrible place called Hell. But He loves sinners so much that He made a way for them to be forgiven and go to Heaven instead. He sent His Son, Jesus, who took the punishment they deserve by dying on the cross for them: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Then He rose from the dead, defeating death. Today, turn away from sinful (bad) things and put your trust in Jesus. God will forgive you and give you everlasting life. Then read the Bible daily, and obey it (start with the Gospel of John).

May 5, 2016

My Prayer for the National Day of Prayer

A few weeks ago, my assistant informed me that I had been invited to be one of the guest ministers to pray at city hall, for the National Day of Prayer, which is held today, May 5th.

I was incredibly surprised and humbled that I was asked to participate in this event and gladly accepted the offer to join the other ministers of the city of Port Neches, to pray.

I was assigned the opportunity to pray for our government and made sure to include as many of the city officials in my prayer.  While it is important to pray for our national government leadership, I decided to focus on praying for our local government leadership.


The program for the National Day of Prayer at City Hall was the following:


  • Prayer for our Government - Reverend Kurt Michaelson
  • Prayer for our Military - Police Chief Paul Lemoine
  • Prayer for Media - Pastor Francis Schroeder
  • Prayer for Business - Judge Morris McCall
  • Prayer for Education - Dr. Marc Keith
  • Prayer for the Church - Dr. David Birdsong
  • Prayer for the Family - Pastor Donny Robbins
Our closing song was Amazing Grace.


I decided to write out my prayer, instead of just winging it and risk forgetting someone, or stumble in my words to just get something out of my mouth.  It's not my normal practice to write out a prayer and some might even think that I wasn't allowing myself to be used by the Holy Spirit, to pray freely and I disagree in this one simple regard.

The Word of God in the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16) and God's Word does not return void either (Isaiah 55:11).

After the introductory greeting, I was first to lead in prayer and began by reading Psalm 33:12-22 and then began my prayer for the government and my short manuscript follows below.

***********************
Psalm 33:12-22
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16 The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Almighty God and Father, Creator of heaven and earth.  You are the One true God (Gen 1:1; Jn 17:3).  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Ps 19:14). 

O Lord, we, your people are gathered here in this city, to cry out to you, for Your mercy upon our country.  We have severely gone astray from obeying Your Word and have fallen deeply into rebellion and sin against You and Your judgment upon this land would be just because You are Just, Holy and Righteous.  We have continued to do what is evil in Your sight and have served our own gods, forgetting You, O God (Judges 2:7,12).

Father God, I ask You, on behalf of Your sons and daughters through faith in You, our great God and Savior Jesus Christ that You would strengthen Your church to boldly proclaim the truth of Your Word, calling all people throughout this land, to repent of their sins and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.  Help us, by the power and gift of Your Holy Spirit, to be faithfully obedient to Your Word, declaring the glorious Gospel of Your Son, Jesus Christ to all people, as You have commissioned us to do so, in accordance with Your Word (Matt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15).

Almighty God and our Father in heaven.  Your Word calls for us to pray, intercede for and give thanks for all people, for those who are in high positions (1 Tim 2:1-2).  Therefore, by the authority of Your Holy Word and in obedience, we pray, intercede and give thanks for Mayor Glenn Johnson of this city, for each of the members of the City Council - Chris McMahon, Adam Anders, John Davenport, Robert Arnold and Julie Gauthier.  Lord, we lift these people AND THEIR FAMILIES that you would watch over them with Your Divine Hand, to protect them, lead them and guide them, in the fulfillment of Your will for their lives.  We pray for leadership and righteousness in Christ that will exalt this city before Your throne.  We pray for wisdom and discernment and that they would come to You, as the perfect source of wisdom and truth that leads them.

Father God, we also pray, intercede and give thanks for the City Manager - André Wimer and the Asst. City Mgr. - David Miller, for the City Secretary - Jamie Mendoza and the Finance Officer - Amy Guidroz.  Lord, may they perform their duties faithfully and continue to be good stewards of all that is entrusted to them, in their leadership positions of this city. 

For the City Court Judge, Mr. Bruce Gregory and his family.  Father God, may Judge Gregory faithfully and fairly execute his duties according to the law.  May you continue to give him the wisdom and discernment to judge every case fairly, for the honor of his office and the honor of Your Name.

Lord, we also lift up to you the Fire Chief - Chief Paul Nelson and every firefighter who answers every call of distress to rescue those in need.  May You protect them and their families in their service to this city.  Help them to arrive speedily and safely as they respond to calls for help.  

Lord, we lift up to you the Police Chief, Chief Paul Lemoine and every officer that serves to protect the people of this beautiful city.  We pray that You Lord would protect them in their response to calls for help and that justice will prevail in their work, for they are Your servants for our good (Rom 13:4).  May You O God, be a shield before them and behind them.  

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God (Ps 20:7).

We pray this in Jesus' Name.

***********************

May we all continue to pray for our national government leadership, for the President of the United States and his administration.  May we pray for them not just once a year, or occasionally, but it is my hope that we, as a nation, will return to faithfully and diligently praying on a daily basis, for our nation and our leaders.

Did you participate in a prayer gathering for the National Day of Prayer?  If so, where did this take place?  How many attended the prayer gathering?

Are there any particular books on prayer that you've enjoyed reading and have helped you in your prayer life?  What are they?

Some of the books that I have on my bookshelf, or on my Kindle regarding prayer are:

  • Kneeling Christian by Unknown Christian
  • Prayer and Faith by R.A. Torrey
  • Praying Hyde, A Man of Prayer by Basil Miller
  • Prayer and Praying Men by E.M. Bounds (Kindle)
  • Praying for Sunday by Dr. Michael Fabarez (Kindle)
  • The Path of Prayer by Samuel Chadwick (Kindle, recently added)
  • Discovering the Power of Christ's Prayer Life by Charles Spurgeon (Kindle, recently added)
  • Alone with God: Rediscovering the Power and Passion of Prayer by John MacArthur (Kindle)
I look forward to reading your posted comments too.  Please remember to pray for your pastor, as he continues to prepare his sermon for this Sunday and the church whom he serves.

Shalom Y'all! 

Pastor Kurt

April 12, 2016

Hail - the sign of God's divine judgment

Yesterday, there was a terrible hail storm in North Texas where a lot of homes and vehicles were damaged by the hail.

My wife and I moved to southeast Texas at the end of October 2015, where I now pastor a new church and we had a storm here not too long ago where it did hail, but they were the size of a quarter, not the baseball size hail that had fallen in North Texas yesterday.

Wylie, Texas was the hardest hit area too.


The storm and the news reports got me to thinking about what the bible has to say concerning hail and what so many people don't know about it, since it is more than just a weather experience.  Hail has a very specific meaning in the bible and we should all pay attention to it.

When Moses came to Pharaoh to tell him to let God's people go, one of the plagues they experienced was hail (Exodus 9:13-34). 

In Isaiah 28 hail is described as a sign of God's judgment and in another Old Testament book of Haggai, in chapter 2, it is mentioned as divine judgment and sadly in this chapter, the people did not turn back to God after this happened.

In the last book of the New Testament, Revelation, hail is used as a sign of God's coming judgment. At the first trumpet, in Revelation 8:7, hail and fire, mixed with blood are cast upon the earth.

Finally, in Revelation 16:21, John writes, "And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe."


Now, I am not implying in any way that the residents of North Texas are under any sort of judgment by God. These hailstones were not 100 lbs. in weight, but the size of a baseball. However, imagine if all of the United States experienced hail such as this, what would everyone think God was saying to us? Is that what is needed for God to get our attention?


This, along with other events that will occur in our lifetime, especially from Matthew 24:6-7, they are the beginning of the birth pains the world will experience before the Lord returns. 


And if this is a sign that return of Christ is imminent and more importantly unknown, it would behoove any person, to repent of their sins that Jesus Christ suffered the penalty of death for, which He did not commit, where His death on the cross is the satisfying atonement to God, to forgive you of your sins and by putting your trust exclusively in Jesus Christ to save you, you will escape God's condemnation of sending you to hell and be given the promise of eternal life with Him in his kingdom (John 3:16-18; 36).

November 30, 2015

Don't Waste Your Cancer & Our Youth

Recently, I had learned that one of the members of the congregation where I pastor has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and it was quite disheartening to learn this too.

In the parsonage where my family and I live, there is evidence of Dennis Reeves' handiwork throughout the house because he and his wife Linda helped to lay the flooring down throughout the house.  Not just in the parsonage, but in the homes of other people too.

His handiwork goes even further because Dennis has been passionately serving the Lord Jesus Christ, teaching a Sunday School class here at the church and he's also done what he and Linda could, to the best of their ability, to help others get out of the rut they've been in and turn their lives over the Lord and live for Him as they have.

About 2 weeks ago, Dennis was asked to lead in prayer before our senior adult Sunday School class Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner and his prayer was so deeply heartfelt.  He said how thankful he was for so much of his life and how God has used him for His glory and now he just wanted to be used even more by Him in his current circumstance.  He said that he just wanted to know Him more now, more than ever before too.

That following Sunday, during our worship service we had a time for prayer and he and his wife walked up to the front and had 2 of our other members to pray for them.

Within in a matter of a few seconds there were a number of others who surrounded them, to lift them both up to the Lord, for strength, comfort and for the will of God to be done in their lives.  

Are we praying for a miracle for him to be healed?  You bet we are.  Will we be disappointed if God doesn't heal him, but allows the cancer to run its course and bring him home?  Sure.  But God's will is more of what we want for both of them and either way, God will be glorified and praised.

Yesterday though, Dennis came to church using crutches because the cancer has begun to affect his lower torso making it very uncomfortable to walk.

During the service yesterday morning for a time of prayer, Dennis and Linda walked up again to the front, to have people pray for them.  What happened next completely astounded me.

November 24, 2015

GOD'S NOT DONE WITH YOU YET

Well, it certainly has been a long while since I last shared a post here.

There's quite a bit to catch up on too.

In one of my past posts, I shared with you that my family and I had arrived in Arlington, Texas where I was going to serve as the pastor of a small church, but unfortunately, a year later, that didn't quite work out so well and I had to resign.

But 11 months later, after beginning a new work experience in Financial Services with a MassMutual in Ft. Worth, I had a scheduled meeting with one of my clients and little did I know how encouraging that appointment would be for me.  It was and I'm grateful even more, for how God used Steve Farrar, to let me know that God was still going to use me.  Neither of us knew where or when, but Steve wanted to encourage me and to have faith that He would.

So, on August 7th, I was in Flower Mound visiting with a client of mine and he says hello to this guy and introduces me to him and it's Steve Farrar.

His name isn't popular, as a pastor, but he's written several books for men and as I shook his hand, I said to him with embarrassment that it was nice to meet him and haven't read ANY of his books, but I will, eventually. He jokingly said they probably weren't any good and I shook my head in disagreement knowing they are, based on others who've commented about them.

Steve was informed that I served as a pastor and was working in the insurance/financial services field and after I gave him a 30 second summary of what happened and he told me that he had to resign too and that he became depressed for 3 years after that. 3 years! 

Then Steve said to me, "God's not done with you yet. He'll use you again.", and he then said think about all the people in the bible whom God used greatly, after they had something happen to them where they felt they couldn't be used by God anymore.

The first person that came to my mind was the Apostle Peter, who said he would die for Jesus, denied knowing him 3 times and he was the first person whom Jesus said to tell him that He had risen from the grave. Steve then just said to me again, "God's not done with you yet. He'll use you again."

Then my client, after Steve said goodbye and left, began to choke up with tears filling in his eyes and he tried to calmly convey the real reason I met with him and he said, "Your appointment wasn't with me. It was with him."


Just about 3 months later, after a series of unexpected phone calls and preaching visits to a church in Port Neches, Texas, I've been called to serve as the pastor of Magnolia Church and what a blessing being here has been, too!

While I had wondered if God would ever use me again, looking back at that meeting on that day was just another example of God showing me that He did have plans that will be fulfilled in His timing and it makes me love Him all the more, when I haven't been as loving and faithful to Him as I should be, but I'm working on it.

God's not done with you yet. He'll use you again.


Have a blessed day, everyone.  I'll be writing another post soon.  I PROMISE!


Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, 
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1