Is God Your Father?

We reason and we act in accordance to the realm and the dominion to which we belong…

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When we live apart from Christ, our hearts are inclined away from the things of God, the ways of God, the Son of God…We sin. We move against God and away from God. We cling to and justify our selfish nature. We strive to be our own God. And in so doing, we look just like the father of rebellion against God, Satan.

When we belong to Christ, our hearts, though not perfect in this life, are inclined towards God, toward His ways, toward His Son. By His grace and through His Spirit, God is slowly but surely conforming us to the image of His Son. The desires and aspirations of our hearts grow less and less about us and more and more about Christ. We sin, but sin increasingly bothers us. Instead of striving to be our own God, we find our fulfillment and life in striving to glorify God and magnify Christ. And in so doing, we begin to look more and more like our Father, God Almighty.

Wil Owens, Teaching Pastor

Are you unsure if you are a child of God? What does being a child of God really mean? What does it look like in person’s life?

Pastor Wil Owens approaches this topic with clarity and precision. Join him as he reviews Christ’s interchange with the spiritual elite of His day in John 8. Pastor Wil or any elder from our church would be happy to speak to you if you have further questions about becoming a child of God. Contact information is located on our website, clovisevfree.org.

Cyber Book Club Week 11–Hitler Moves to Take Over the Church

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It’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?

—ADOLF HITLER

Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (p. 165). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Hitler must be called a Nietzschean,.. For Hitler, ruthlessness was a great virtue, and mercy , a great sin. This was Christianity’s chief difficulty, that it advocated meekness. Nietzsche called Christianity “the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion . . . the one immortal blemish of mankind.” He despised the Christian idea of virtue, considering it despicable and weak: “Society has never regarded virtue as anything else than as a means to strength, power and order.” And of course, Nietzsche exalted the idea of strength personified in the Superman, or Übermensch, a cruel and ruthless champion of unbridled power—“ the magnificent blond brute, avidly rampant for spoil and victory.”

Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (p. 168). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Hitler is now securely in power. His next target is the German church in order to silence the conscience of a nation. Some of his more ruthless cohorts want a speedy takeover.

“Martin Bormann and Heinrich Himmler were the most passionately anti-Christian members of Hitler’s inner circle, and they didn’t believe the churches should adapt or could. They wanted the clergy crushed and the churches abolished, and they encouraged Hitler along these lines whenever possible. They hoped to accelerate the timetable for open warfare with the church…”

Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (pp. 166-167). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to see the growing shadow of your own government begin to envelope not only secular life but church life as well. This is a great chapter, though a sobering one.

Questions for Discussion:

How safe are American churches from governmental controls?

What preserves our freedoms?

How can we work to keep these freedoms intact?

Are we prepared to resist pressure from the state to change our beliefs?

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Walking Towards Sunday: Thinking the Best of One Another

Church family life. You gotta love it. You don’t get to choose your family but you do get to love them! A church family is where we can experience the joy of being known and accepted and yet it is also the crucible where we are challenged to practice forgiveness, patience, and loyalty in situations we most likely would otherwise flee. Being in a church family is perhaps the single most sanctifying and yet most blessed place to be. So how do we stick it out? How do we keep from bouncing from family to family looking for that elusive group of individuals who agree with us and are always kind and (just so you don’t get too excited) don’t  exist? You could write a tome on this subject but perhaps one of the best tactics for keeping offenses from running wild with us is to challenge ourselves to see our brothers and sisters in Christ the way God sees them. Precious treasures to Him, each different in form and content, made for different purposes and each utterly unique.

gemstones

In fact, that’s really not the best picture. There should be stones of all different sizes and shapes and in the process of being cut into gemstones. After all, we are all in different stages of uncut-ness! (I just made up that word.)

None among us is perfect. The longer we spend together the more we are sure to discover our friends’ strengths and weaknesses. It’s good to acknowledge whatever these are but anger and bitterness rise when we are tempted to nurse a grudge. This leads to the joy-killing tendency to focus on the uncut portion of our friends’ lives and to refuse to see the parts that sparkle and shine and reflect the glory of God. In fact, when we are dwelling on our neighbors’ faults we might as well be focusing on the underside of the setting of a beautiful ring. The gemstone and the plan of the jeweler is not displayed from the bottom but on the top. The great challenge of our lives is to continually rotate our mental picture of each other until we see the qualities that make them precious and unique.

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Rotating our view of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is to have the mind of Christ. It is to take every thought captive and to see them as the redeemed, beloved, beautiful works in progress that they are. (2 Cor. 10:5) To miss it robs us of the chance to see God’s glory at work in front of us. It robs us of the chance to encourage them and to be part of the work God is doing in their life.

So spin that ring around and see your church family for a more complete view of who they really are, co-heirs with you in Christ…gorgeous, priceless works of God’s hands.

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Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.  Hebrews 13:8-9

Elizabeth Hiett