Spark Notes (5/20)

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Taking Our Place in the Story

On 5/20, Justin Vande Water shared with us about local missions.

Vision of God:
- "To make His name know and worshipped in the earth by all nations" Psalm 86:9
-- "To fill the earth with His glory like the waters cover the sea" Habakkuk 2:14

Mission of God: 
- "Be fruitful and multiply" Genesis 1:26-28
- "make disciples of the nations" Matthew 28:18-20
- Who I am determines what I do...I am a missionary! John 20:21

Strategy: How did Jesus carry out the mission of God? (Boots on the ground)
- Prayer. Luke 10:2
- Seek the Lost. Luke 19:10
- Bring the presence, the power and the proclamations of the Kingdom. Luke 4:18, Isaiah 61:1-2
- Depend on the Holy Spirit for growth/development. John 14:12 + 1 Corinthians 3:6
- Gather the Harvest. Acts 2:44
- Empower the ordinary men to continue the task. 2 Timothy 2:2
- Illustrated in Mark 4:26-29 "The Parable of the Seed Growing" : 4 Fields of the Kingdom Growth.
"The Kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he know not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blad, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." 


It's all about the person and the work of the Holy Spirit:
- "and when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement." John 16:8
-"He saved us, not by works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit" Titus 3:5-6
-"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth." John 16:13-15/1 Corinthians 2:13
-"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses." -Acts 1:8

Partnering with the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Great Commission:
-Matthew 28:18-20: "I am with you always..."
-Mark 16:20: "The Lord worked with them..."
-Luke 24:49: "I am sending the promise of my Father upon you..."
-John 20:21: "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. He breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit."
-Acts 1:8: "And you will receive power with the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses..."

Prayer (resting in God, depending on His Spirit) is the beginning and fuel of mission. 
-Our prayer lives are a litmus test of our dependency on the Holy Spirit
-My House shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. Mark 11:17

Action/Obedience
1. When, hwere with whom will you begin/continue to pray for the harvest?
2. Make a list of the people you know that are far from God.
3. Who's one person from you list that you can share the Gospel with this week?
4. For more information, training and practice in the 4 fields for you or your church, please contact Justin Vande Water at Justin@ourprimary.com/(605) 759-3943

For the full teaching, click here. 
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Praying into Pentecost

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The Pentecost is May 20.  Join us in praying as the Pentecost approaches, that the Holy Spirit would flood over our churches, towns, region, country, and world. 

The Church needs the Holy Spirit
St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:17 that "The Lord is a Spirit..." That is why when the Holy Spirit is given to us, we are able to love God so freely as to sacrifice voluntarily the selfish love of the world: "...Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty".
Our faith in the Holy Spirit is our belief that God, who is Love, can share with us something of His own divine love.
We speak of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as the supernatural instincts or impulses that urge us to put the virtues of faith, hope, and charity into practice. We have the fruits of the Holy Spirit that give us a deep supernatural satisfaction in doing the will of God.
We believe that the Church Is One, Holy and Apostolic. These characteristics, inseparably linked with each other, indicate essential features of the Church and her mission. The Church does not possess them of herself; it is Christ who through the Holy Spirit makes His Church one, holy and apostolic, and it is He who calls her to realise each of these qualities.

The rising tide of prayer precedes the flood of God’s Spirit
  • The apostles devoted themselves to prayer as they awaited the outpouring at Pentecost (Acts 1:14).
  • Their friends gathered for prayer when Peter and John were released from custody  "and when they had prayed the place was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 4:31).
  • The blinded Paul fasted and prayed as he awaited the filling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:11, 17, 19).
  • Cornelius and Peter were both praying when God spoke to them (Acts 10:9,30).
  • The church was earnestly praying when God moved to release Peter from prison (Acts 12:5).
  • The teachers of Antioch were worshipping and fasting when the Spirit set apart Paul and Barnabas for the mission that changed the world (Acts 13:2).
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Prayer For Our Justice System

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PRAYER FOR OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM

Read also the bible verses that go with this at prayerstrategy.org/prayers-for-justice/
Almighty God, you are a God of justice and righteousness.
We pray for the justice system in our country. Lord, you are just and you are merciful God.
You have given our government authority to establish and maintain justice in this nation.
Your justice is perfect; Your word speaks to us to respect and submit to the decisions of our government, but we also can appeal for consideration and reconsideration.
We want to see Your Kingdom in every part of the sphere of Law and Justice,
we do not ask for an avoidance of justice, but for the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
We pray for those struggling with legal issues; bring them peace and confidence.
Let justice prevail in all areas of the departments of law and justice in this country.
Give our judges sound minds and good conscience to deliver decisions based on biblical and moral values.
Show them more of you and your ways.
God, you are the best and final judge of all.
We trust you now and always.
In Jesus’ name. Amen

Scripture: Isaiah 58:6-9
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

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Spark Notes 5/6 - Reaching the Unreached

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This week, we learned about the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and current state of the world in regards to being reached by the Gospel.

The Bible is one big story from Genesis to Revelation about God and His glory and there is a theme that runs through the entire story of God's heart for all nations and the purpose He has for His people.

In Genesis 12:1-3, we read that we are blessed to be a blessing.
Exodus 9:16 says that God's name would be proclaimed in all the earth.
Exodus 19:4-6 talks about a kingdom of priests, a holy nations, that is, Israel's calling, opportunity, an response. Then we learn about Jesus, the Messiahs for ALL people.

Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, John 20:21, Luke 24:27-29, Acts 1:8 all commissioned, sent and empowered to tell people about Jesus ad make disciples of all nations.

Acts 9: 1,4 - The Church at Jerusalem is scattered, then in Acts 13:1-3, the church at Antioch sends people out. 1 Peter 2:9 again talks about a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. We learn about the top line blessing means bottom line responsibility. 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 says that we are ambassadors with a message. This is the Church's calling and opportunity, so what is the response?

"Make Disciples of all nations" / Greek word for nations is ethnos + ethic groups or people groups.

There are about 17,000 total people groups in the world (total population is 7.5 billion). There are about 7,000 unreached people groups (with a population of 3.2 billion people). There are about 3,000 unengaged people groups. And estimated 2 billion people have never heard the Good News.

Romans 10:13-15 says, How will they heart about Jesus unless someone tells them? Matthew 9:27-28 note that more workers are needed! And we know that the end will come! (Matthew 24:14 and Mark 13:10).

The "10/40 Window" - where 95% of the unreached people groups are in the world today.

3% of all cross-cultural missionaries are working among the unreached.

Our highest motivation should be to see the glory of God in all the earth. John 4:35 tells us that the fields are ripe for harvest! The most beautiful part is that in Revelation 7:9-10 we are given a foretaste of what is to come.





For resources on how to pray for the unreached and to get involved, visit joshuaproject.net
For more statistics, watch this video.

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National Day of Prayer Guides

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How to pray for our country on this National Day of Prayer. Provided by NationalDayofPrayer.org with Sioux Center additions made by HOME.

HOW TO PRAY FOR UNITY IN AMERICA

1. #PRAY4UNITY IN AMERICA.
“Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3
  • The present spiritual crisis in America is calling us to pray for and take all necessary actions to come together as a nation.
  • God is the only One who can bring unity, harmony, and oneness in America; therefore, we look only to Him in prayer.
  • Call upon God to empower us to make every effort to live in unity, call for unity, and forward unity in America continually.
2.#PRAY4UNITY IN THE CHURCH OF AMERICA.
“Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
  • God is calling His church in America to unify upon the authority of the Bible and the centrality of Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world.
  • Ask God for thousands of local churches to unify as one body of Christ, agreeing together that God is our greatest need in America.
  • Call upon God for Jesus’ Church in America walks in unity, harmony, and oneness, so His Church personifies, calls, and leads America to unity.
3.#PRAY4UNITY IN THE FAMILIES, WORKPLACES, COMMUNITIES, AND CITIES IN AMERICA.
“Also, the power of God was at work in Judah to unite them to carry out the command of the king and his officials by the word of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 30:12
  • God’s power upon us is the only source to unite our families, workplaces, communities, and cities in America.
  • Call families, workplaces, communities, and cities to look to our only King, Jesus Christ, who is not only the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but also the Prince of Peace who can unify us.
  • Pray for America’s families, workplaces, communities, and cities. It is the spiritual energy that leads to forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, and unity.
4. #PRAY4UNITY AMONG ALL ETHNICITIES AND PEOPLE IN AMERICA.
“For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.” Ephesians 2:14
  • Since each of us is made in the image of God, we each bear His image regardless of the color of our skin or the uniqueness of our ethnicity.
  • Through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, He has torn down the wall of division among all ethnicities and people.
  • In God alone, we unify and live in peace with one another; standing as one people against all racial and ethnic division, denouncing it as sin and not God’s will for us.
5. #PRAY4UNITY THAT WE AGREE CLEARLY, UNITE VISIBLY, AND PRAY EXTRAORDINARILY FOR THE NEXT GREAT SPIRITUAL AWAKENING IN AMERICA.
“They all were continually united in prayer.” Acts 1:14
  • Preceding the epic movement of God on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, Jesus’ people were continually united in prayer together.
  • Convict the church in America to wake up spiritually, agree clearly, unite visibly, and pray extraordinarily for the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America to occur in our generation.
  • Call upon God to bring spiritual awakening now in America shaping the future of America, just as the Great Spiritual Awakenings in our history have shaped our spiritual heritage as a nation.



HOW TO PRAY FOR THE SEVEN CENTERS OF INFLUENCE IN AMERICA

GOVERNMENT
  • Federal: Executive, legislative, judicial
  • State: Executive, legislative, judicial
  • Local: Executive, judicial, police and first responders
In Sioux Center:
  • City Council

MILITARY
  • Leaders
  • Divine protection
  • Courage and dependence on God
MEDIA
  • Truth-bearers
  • Life-giving
  • Unity-contributors
Sioux Center:
  • Agency Two Twelve
  • KDCR
  • KSOU
  • Cinema 5
  • M Design + Promotion
  • Sioux Center Publishing
  • Premier Communications
BUSINESS
  • Leaders of integrity
  • Creators of economic blessing
  • Givers of resources to the community

EDUCATION
  • Truth-centered
  • Excellence-driven
  • Opportunity-afforded
In Sioux Center:
  • Sioux Center Christian School
  • Sioux Center Community Schools
  • Dordt College
CHURCH
  • Gospel-centered in message
  • Disciple-makers in mission
  • Spirit-empowered to unity
In Sioux Center:
  • Bethel Christian Reformed Church
  • Central Reformed Church
  • Christ Community Church
  • Covenant Christian Reformed Church
  • Covenant Reformed Church
  • Faith Christian Reformed Church
  • First Christian Reformed Church
  • First Reformed Church
  • New Life Reformed Church
  • Peace Lutheran Church
  • Amistad Cristiana
  • Jesucristo el Buen Pastor
  • Iglesia Pentecostal Unida Hispana

FAMILY
  • Return to the biblical model
  • Reconciliation in broken relationships
  • Restoration to love and unity


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Spark Notes 4/29 - Keeping Our Eyes On Jesus

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On Sunday, Mark Vermeer shared about keeping our eyes on Jesus. 

Beginning with 2 Chronicles 20, we read about King Jehoshaphat:

"2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom,[b] from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard and said:
Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.
The people were facing a crisis, so they turned to the Lord. Why is it that crisis brings us back to the Lord? Why aren't we always seeking the Lord? Why do we get distracted when life is going great? 

Philippians 3:13-14 says, 

"13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Looking back to the 2 Chronicles passage, we learn that the battle is never in our hands, but it is always in God's. How do we hand it off? We need to discover Jesus (OR re-discover Jesus).  We need to turn from all of the other altars that we build that distract us from the Lord. 

In the story of the blind beggar in Luke 18 we read, 

"35As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God."
We know that Jesus sees us and hears us. He stops for us. In this story we see how the beggar went from a blind beggar to a worship leader because his faith healed him, even when everyone cast him aside. He had the faith to be healed and once he was healed, he was filled with joy and began worshiping and the people watching also began worshiping. 


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