Serving an Audience of One

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Galatians 1-10

Good morning, this is Michael De Rosa and I want to share with you Galatians 1:10.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Pleasing others is stressful and leaves people drained because they have not learned to develop healthy boundaries.

On the flip side, to be a servant of Christ demands utter devotion and strength of character to stand up to others in order to declare Christian convictions for decisions made.

The similarity between these two is that both require hard work.

The difference, though, is that on one hand, people can live with regrets because they are allowing others to dictate our day; or, on the other hand -even in the midst of struggles, people can remain calm and centered because they   have sought to only please an Audience of One, namely God Himself

If you want to be more earnest in your devotion for Christ, here is a suggestion:

Look over the last couple of days to see who influenced your decisions?  Did you seek more to please God or man in the choices you made

Praying that is Powerful

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Good Morning, this is Michael De Rosa. Let’s look at a portion of James 5:16

The fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much

I grew up Catholic and I was still searching for peace when I got to college. That very night of my conversion, while not feeling any type of profound peace from this, I started to talk with God about the unfairness of good people not getting to heaven simply because of their lack of faith.
About midway into my talking to God, I suddenly was aware that what I was actually doing was praying. While I had learned the prayers of the church, this type of praying was different, and refreshing as I, at that moment became aware of God’s presence…and…then my acceptance that God was just and loving regardless of my dilemma.

One thing that we all can continually learn is that as we submit to His care, we do not loose focus on our concerns. Rather, that focus become infinitely drawled in light of an inner yearning for God to address the situation as He sees fitting and proper.

When was the last time that we fervently prayed.?

Drawing Near to God

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James 4:8

Good Morning friends, this is Michael De Rosa from the Mountainside Community Church in North Newport.  My text is James 4:8

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Strange as this may seem to some, as each day passes for me, I am becoming increasingly aware of the wrongs that I have inflicted upon others, and the wrongs that I have incurred from others and the reason for this awareness has been my desire to know God more

Let me explain.   When I was a younger Christian, I had inadvertently presumed that while the Christian life would not always be without pain, that any sufferings I went through would be minor and easily and quickly dealt with.  Some are.

And others have been excruciating.

Yet what I find is that by drawing near to God is exposing my own shortcomings and in light of His lovingkindness, I am rejoicing in His grace and mercy for me as I turn all these hurts over to Him.

While the wisdom of some would be to try to be as good as you can be BEFORE coming to God; I dare say, from both experience and Biblical Truth, that we don’t need to clean up when we need a Saviour

Anxiety has met its Match

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1 Peter 5:6-7Good Morning, this is Michael De Rosa from the Mountainside Community Church in North Newport, where Pastor Mike Greenwood, has been leading us since we assembled together to worship for the first time.

Today I want us to look at 1 Peter 5:6-7

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you

Depending upon our belief system, we can either work through anxiety with relative composure or become completely tied into knots

For instance, while you may believe in the importance of casting your anxiety upon God there can still be a strain of self reliance in you, which will hold back your being able to receive God’s care.

In order to experience God’s sovereign care, you must first understand that when His word tells us to cast ALL of anxiety it does not allow us to have any stone unturned in our life.  That self reliance WILL be exposed eventually!

And while this may take more time than you would like, consider how much time you will be saving from experiencing needless stress from being tied into knots

 

Blessings on your Journey

-Michael

Discovering God’s Glory

 

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Psalm 19:1-2

Good Morning, friends.  This is Michael De Rosa and I hope you had occasion to view the recent eclipse several weeks ago !  And in light of that I want to reference Psalm 19:1-2:

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;

And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

Day to day pours forth speech,

And night to night reveals knowledge.

The splendor of what took place in the heavens had large groups of people mesmerized.

And while the Eclipse caused us to be amazed for a moment, its splendor is completely dwarfed by the glory of God.

God who created the heavens and earth and all that they contain is far more glorious than the greatest piece of his creation.  And the Psalmist expands on this by referencing the the continual display of God’s glory with these words:  day to day pours forth speech and night to night reveals knowledge.

So, why are we not mesmerized by Him as much as the Psalmist has states?

Could it be that we are too entrenched in our daily routines?

Could it be that we need to purposely interrupt our day -like when we watched the Eclipse- in order to see the wonder of His Glory?

 

Blessings on your Journey!

 

-Michael

The Cure for a Critical Spirit

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Romans 14-8

Good Morning,  this is Michael De Rosa.  My text today is Romans 14:8

for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

The Lord, God is our one and only Judge. Yet, some of our fellow Christians think that God needs some help as seen from their sharing their critical opinions with those who are weak in faith.

While it is hard to stop judging our brother or sister’s actions, we are warned of the consequences we fill face as we persist for His Holy Scripture clearly state that the Lord alone will be not only their judge but ours as well.

So, how does one stop such destructive behavior.  Firstly, you will not do it effectively when you simply refrain; but, as it was the Holy Spirit that changed our heart from sinful to righteous and not our own efforts to make this happen; we need the Holy Spirit to change our judgmental heart.

So, I want to encourage you to pray  in order for God forgiveness to embrace your broken heart. And then, as you begin to see how this change is coming about, praise God.

He is not finished with us yet, my friend

Lending a helping hand

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Good Morning, this is Michael De Rosa and today I want to talk about bearing burdens.  Let’s turn to Galatians 6:2

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6-2Helping others will interrupt our schedules.  And that can be difficult IF we are solely operating on our own strength of good works.

When we don’t take into account the vertical dimension of helping others, namely God’s command for us to help,  we can quickly run out of physical, emotional and spiritual strength as we lend helping hands.

The law of Christ is not legalistic, but it has been orchestrated in and through His jealous love for us, namely He knows what we need to live with complete contentment and will spare nothing to help us embrace that Good News.

And one huge item in God’s master plan for us is to help others so that they too can know God through Jesus.  

So the next time you are inclined to help someone ask yourself:  Why am I doing this?  And if it is for any other reason that to fulfill His law, then please reconsider how your time can be more wisely used.

Overcoming Worry

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Matthew 13-22Good Morning, this is Michael De Rosa, and today I want to talk with you about worry.  My text will be Matthew 13:22

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful

Worries come about because we want to control a situation that we can’t.   And even though we are created in God’s image, we have been birthed in Original Sin, which continually tries to get us to consider our own interests above any one else.

So, while we may have developed the worry habit, we simply can not effectively address it by modifying our behaviors.

It is a spiritual problem at its core. And, unless we allow God to overcome our Original Sin, and then -on a daily basis- the continual effects of sin in our lives, we will always succumb to worry.

My friends, if you have time to worry, then use this time instead to Pray.  And see what God will do.

Full House

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Luke 14-23Good Morning, This Michael De Rosa, and two weeks ago, I volunteered at Joni and Friends Family Retreat, a camp that serves families of those affected by disabilities.

And I want to talk about that today.

My Scripture is Luke 14:23

And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and 

compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. 

In order to fill the church, we can’t just increase our numbers of people who have disabilities.

We need to have welcoming attitudes towards them.  And here is one way to develop this:

By growing in our realization that we really do NEED to learn from them.

What I mean is that instead of being put off by an annoying behavior, or a repulsive sight,  I have discovered that that thing which bothers us is a symptom of an inner conflict that we have yet to resolve and which we can confront in God’s mercy and grace

Basically, I am telling us that we don’t have all the answers to life’s questions, and only when we can authentically connect with people who are differently abled will we be moving towards a collective knowledge and wisdom that will help us grow, intrapersonally, interpersonally, and numerically.

 

Blessings on your Journey

 

-Michael

Wrong Motives Paralyze Praying

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James 4:3Good morning, friends, this is Michael De Rosa, and today I want to look at James 4:3, which addresses our prayer life

You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 

For some Christians, wrong motives are the reason for unanswered prayers,  And wrong motives may not be purposely planned.  While they are the reason for one’s actions and thoughts, they can arise from deeply engrained habits

Let’s explore this.  OK?

First consider that maturing in the Christian faith means that our old self is being transformed.

And submitting our old self to our Lord’s authority can be difficult because that carnal nature struggles for control.  And, when we don’t address this inner conflict, it can inadvertently become a poor foundation from which we pray.

And thus, we can subconsciously be comparing any response we get to our prayers with what that foundation deems good and acceptable.

Spend time to allow God to press into those areas in your life and be amazed at what He will do.