If You Only Knew

By Rev. Kevin Litchfield

A Few weeks ago on our Cleveland Mission Trip, I was drawn to a​  passage in John 4 where Jesus challenges all social and religious norms and taboos by having a conversation with a Samaritan woman. In the course of the conversation Jesus opens up his reply with 4 words: “IF YOU ONLY KNEW.”

In verse 10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

I wonder how many times Jesus responds to us “IF YOU ONLY KNEW.” If you only knew: How close you were to falling or failing? How you quit praying when God just begins to answer? How you worry and fret and yet peace and deliverance is just beyond the horizon? How you forget this world is not your true home and the best is yet to come?

​As a network of Churches called the Santee Baptist Association, may we look with passion and enthusiasm to the future for we never know what lies ahead.​

IF YOU ONLY KNEW!!!!

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Stories I want to share…

I love my job, for lots of reasons.  One of the reasons is I get to hear people’s stories and how Jesus is changing their lives.  I want to share some of those stories with you:

  • A woman from another country told her LIFE Group during a Christmas party: ““You all don’t see nationality; you accept me as one of you.  I have never felt more loved, more part of a group than I do today.”

I love LIFE Groups being places of grace!

  • David, our worship pastor, struck up a conversation in a doctor’s waiting room with an older woman.  She said her husband disliked church because he had been burned by several churches in the past.   But they had heard that Alice Drive wasn’t like other churches.  She was waiting for someone to invite them to come – so David told her, “You’re invited!”

People are literally waiting for an invitation!

  • A young man who felt like he didn’t fit in anywhere started attending our Monday night service.  He attended off and on for a few months.  Todd, our Education Pastor, had a conversation with him recently, and he told Todd he accepted Jesus two months ago and was ready to be baptized!

Could we have reached this young man if we didn’t do Monday night service for people who won’t or can’t come on Sunday?

  • Nineteen months ago a man walked into Jock’s office and told him, “I’m an alcoholic and I am killing myself.”  Jock helped that man come to Jesus.  He got involved in Celebrate Recovery and is now stepping up to serve God in a way He never thought possible.

Everyone matters to God, even people who are wrecking their lives.  No one is beyond the love and light of Jesus.

  • One of the joys of being pastor of one church for a long time is seeing a teenager you thought was pretty hopeless turn into a great servant of Jesus. This past weekend, I watched this now young adult help someone learn to serve Jesus.

God has a purpose for everyone; even when we can’t see it!

There are a thousand great stories at Alice Drive of how people are taking a next step toward Jesus.  If you stop and think about it, I’ll bet you have story of how you are taking a next step toward Him.  Here’s what I know for sure: Someone needs to hear that story!

 

Grace,

Clay

 

PS:  If you have a great story of how you are taking a next step toward Jesus, share it with me, would you?  Send it to wcsmith@adbc.org

City On The Hill

I love what Mark Hall, the lead singer for Casting Crowns says about the meaning of “City On The Hill.” Basically, he is saying that God can only work unity in our city if we allow Him to do it with each one of us individually regardless of our differences, including differences in personalities. It is a TEST as we learn to work through our differences while displaying the fruit of the Spirit and exercising the gifts of the Spirit.

Casting Crowns: Behind the Song “City On The Hill”

“Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all… speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:3-6; 15 – 16, NKJV).

The body of Christ grows because every part does its share. When each does its share it causes growth; not just numerically, but spiritually. Every part does its share and every joint supplies! What’s a joint? A joint is where two parts come together. Listen very, very carefully. The best way you could help the body of Christ is not do your own thing, but join with someone else (partnership) and let a joint form, and the joint then nourishes the body. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

The greater our unity the greater our impact.

15 Minute Breakthrough

by Pastor Robert Morris, Gateway Church, Southlake, TX

If I told you that you could experience miracles by doing something for 15 minutes a day, would you do it? I’m talking about having a daily quiet time. You might cringe when they hear those two words because so many of us have had bad experiences in this area. We’ve tried to have a quiet time, but it wasn’t very good. When we hear other people talking about their quiet time, it seems like Moses, Elijah and Jesus show up—but some of us just don’t have quiet times like that. We might even fall asleep during our quiet time. And eventually, we just give up on it. I used to be the same way too, so I want to help you by disproving three common quiet time myths.

Myth #1—You can only have a quiet time from 4:00 am to 6:00 am.

Have you ever heard someone talk about having an amazing quiet time with God at 5:00 am? It sounds so spiritual, doesn’t it? I want you to understand this: If you show up later than 7:00 am, God’s not going to say, “We’re closed.” You can have a quiet time whenever you want. I suggest doing it at the start of your day, but it’s important to realize that you can have it anytime.

Myth #2—Your quiet time must last at least one hour.

There’s nothing in the Bible about a one-hour-minimum requirement on spending time with God. I know there are those who think that “spiritual” people need to spend at least an hour each day having a quiet time, but I’m a pastor and I don’t do that. The reason why is I’m a bottom-line kind of person. I’m not a long-winded preacher and my prayers are that way too.

Myth #3—Your prayer journal must sound like the Bible.

Have you ever had someone read to you from their prayer journal and it’s unbelievably awesome? I was with a group of ministers once when one of the guys said, “I want to read something to you that the Lord spoke to me this past Tuesday.” As he read, I thought, “I’ve never heard anything like that in my life.” There was such poetry to it! Wondering what God spoke to me on that Tuesday, I looked in my journal and this is what I’d written: “Try not to be a jerk today.” That’s what the Lord had spoken to me! It wasn’t eloquent or poetic. But it was real.

God doesn’t want to burden you with “rules” about quiet time that other people have set. He just wants to spend time with you. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to go down a checklist when we’re trying to spend time with God? Now that we’ve cleared the air, I want to show you four things that have helped me tremendously in my quiet time because I believe 15 minutes with the Lord each day can change your life.

1. Quiet your mind.
The first thing you should do is clear your mind. A quiet time isn’t a time to be busy; it’s a time to slow down. Psalm 62:5 says, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.” In this passage, David tells his soul to be quiet before God, and we need to do the same.

2. Focus your mind on God.
When I go to meet with the Lord and quiet my mind, God always puts a song in my heart. For the rest of the day, that song is my key into God’s presence, and if you’ll just listen, He’ll give you a song, too. Singing to the Lord turns your focus toward God, and it can be your key into His presence.

3. Pray what’s on your mind.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” So basically, talk to God like you talk to anyone else, and pray about whatever concerns you. You don’t have to pray for world peace unless that’s on your heart. Simply pray about whatever God’s put on your heart and mind.

4. Renew your mind.
Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If you’ll renew your mind, it will transform every area of your life. It’s simple: read God’s Word every day. It’s like lifting weights. Sometimes it feels good and sometimes it doesn’t. But if you persevere and do it consistently, you’re going to see results over time.

On September 16, 1999, I had my quiet time like any other day, but something special happened as I met with God. After I prayed, I asked the Lord, “God, where do you want me to read?” Very clearly, I heard Him say, “Genesis 35 and Deuteronomy 11.” So I opened up to Genesis 35 and read: “Move to Bethel and build an altar for Me there.” As soon as I read that, the Holy Spirit immediately spoke to me and said: “Move to Southlake and start a church.” As I kept reading, God began unfolding His plan for Gateway Church. Where Gateway is today all came out of that little quiet time several years ago!

Here’s what I’m going to ask you: “What’s five years down the road for you? What’s 10 years down the road?” God knows. Are you giving Him an opportunity to tell you? Please don’t miss it because you’re too busy. All it takes is 15 minutes.


Excerpt taken from “The 15-Minute Breakthrough” in the devotional Conversations with God.

Source: The 15-minute Breakthrough

The Beautiful Mind of Christ

“The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD, and He will delight in the fear of the Lord.” Is. 11:2-3

  • The Seven Fold Spirit of God giving us The Mind of Christ (Isaiah 11:2)
  • Spirit of the Lord is the supernatural power source that creates God’s thoughts in our hearts
  • Spirit of Wisdom is all of God’s supernatural thoughts themselves
  • Spirit of Understanding is God’s personal illumination of those thoughts
  • Spirit of Counsel is God’s personal instructions for Godly choices.
  • Spirit of Might (Strength) is God’s supernatural ability to perform those thoughts in our lives
  • Spirit of Knowledge is seeing God’s thoughts manifested in our life actions.
  • Fear of the Lord is walking in God’s Love and Truth, fleeing anything that would quench His Spirit.

“The Mind of Christ is a divine seven-fold process that begins with the Spirit of the Lord, who desires to impart to us not only all of God’s thoughts (His Wisdom); but also understanding of those thoughts” (Nancy Missler).

Unity of the Spirit

“Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all… speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:3-6; 15 – 16, NKJV).

The body of Christ grows because every part does its share. Ask yourself, “Am I doing my share?” When each does its share it causes growth; not just numerically, but spiritually. Every part does its share and every joint supplies. What’s a joint? A joint is where two parts come together. Listen very, very carefully. The best way you could help the body of Christ is not do your own thing, but join with someone else (partnership) and let a joint form, and the joint then nourishes the body

“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).