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Welcome to our blog! Here you'll find a collection of past newsletters, upcoming events and other news about The Net Church of Huntsville, Alabama. If you would like to receive our email newsletter, you can easily subscribe here for our weekly update.
Why does the church always ask for money? How many times have you heard someone ask this question? My grandfather never went to church and he always said church people were hypocrites and were always asking for money. There is a good bit of truth in what he said. As I talked about a couple of weeks ago, we are all hypocrites in the church, until we stop sinning and completely obey God in every area of life. We say we believe in one thing and then in some cases, we act as if we don’t believe it at all. Sorry, but that is the definition of a hypocrite. And we ask for money because God is telling us to do things. Most of these things cost money.

The question we all ask in the church is how much should we give. There are two ways to ask this question. One way is to say, “God, everything I have is yours, what should I give and where should I give it”? The other way is to say, "what is the bare minimum that I must give”? The problem with the second way is that it assumes that everything I have is mine. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me”. Jesus carried His cross up a hill called Golgotha, which means “the place of the skull” because it had indentions on the side and looked like a skull. He laid his life down in that place and He calls us to do the same. We MUST carry OUR cross and lay our lives down in the place of the skull.

We must change how we think. We must change what we think. We must put others first. We must give ourselves, all of ourselves to God along with all we possess. It’s never a matter of what we give and what we keep but always a question of how God leads us to use all that He has placed in our hands. If we are grateful to be worthy stewards of God’s wealth and happy to direct it where He leads us, then money will not keep us from the kingdom. And we will be very blessed. Jesus said, “It’s more blessed to give than receive.” It really is! But if like the rich young ruler, we ask what must I do to inherit eternal life, which is just another way of saying, “what’s the minimum requirement, where's the threshold”, then we will not like the answer any more than he did. The answer? "Everything, I require everything.”

If you believe that God holds the universe in His hands, and you want all that He can give you, then it’s simple. You must give Him everything that you have. Most of us, even in the church, unfortunately, will walk away from this proposition because we have so much. And some of us will eagerly make the trade. But remember, God is not after your money, He is after your heart. “Wherever your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Life in Christ does not depend on the Bible. I’ve never heard another living soul in all my life say those words. But, it’s true. In the Christian culture, some among us have elevated the Bible so much that it has become more important to them than God Himself. Jesus said this to the Pharisees. “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39,40) My life in Christ depends on CHRIST, and so does yours. 
 
Satan has a dirty little trick that he plays on some believers. He gives them this religious idea that in order to be acceptable to God, you must know the Bible. He uses people who know the Bible but don’t know Christ to shove this very idea down our throats with the hope that we will feel condemned by it. But Jesus said, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17) Some use the scriptures as a weapon. They call it "the sword” as if it was an offensive weapon and that’s exactly how they use it. 
 
But the scripture rightly describes the Word of God as "Sharper than any double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). Read it and you’ll understand that God’s words, the Greek word logos, (it literally means “saying”) are never meant to be used to hurt people but rather more like a surgeon would use a sharp scalpel as an instrument of healing. It cuts away the disease. It divides the corrupt parts from the uncorrupted parts. It’s described in Ephesians 6 as a defensive weapon to use against the enemy, not believers in Christ. In fact, Jesus said about those who harm young believers, that it would be better for them if they had a millstone tied around their neck and were thrown into the sea. Wow! 
 
The Scripture calls Jesus "the Word made flesh" and He does not condemn. He will love you, forgive you, save you, heal you, restore you, and lead you into all truth. But He will not condemn you. And if you know how to read and have access to a Bible, He will most certainly use it in the most incredible ways in your life. He will speak amazing truths to you and reveal Himself to you, staggering your imagination. But Jesus is the only way to the Father. You can have everything in the world including the Bible, but if you don’t have Jesus, you have nothing. 
 
The truth of this week’s message will liberate you! I hope you’ll come and enjoy the glorious freedom of Christ, our Liberator. You’re invited! Sunday morning at 10:30 am, 2620 Clinton Ave., Campus 805, just follow the blue flags! See you there!
Somehow things have gotten twisted in the church. Maybe it’s because the stages in our churches resemble the stages of entertainment in our culture. It could be that we’ve become so familiar with concerts and shows that are meant for our entertainment that we have come to expect the same type of entertainment when we come to church. We critique the performances of artists that we pay to put on a show for us and we also evaluate the performances that we see on our church stages. And it’s not just the attendees who are doing the evaluations. Those of us on the stage are gauging our performances by how well the crowd responded. Woe! Something’s wrong. 
 
What has happened to us? I say us because I’ve been engaged in this behavior for a long time. I started out thinking that we should give God our best and I still believe that. But, that idea has morphed into the idea that we have to please the people in the seats. We walk out of worship services and say incredible things like, “I didn’t care for the worship today.” Can you picture someone standing in the presence of God and saying, “Hey God, you know all that praise that was coming up to you today - the songs of adoration and gratitude for your sacrifice that paid the debt for all my sins, I didn’t enjoy it.” How did we become so arrogant? God, have mercy on us, please!
 
What happens when we gather to worship is not for you or for me. It’s for Him. One hundred million angels are at this moment worshiping at the throne of God and they know who the object of their affection is. They are not confused like we are. And when they address their God, they can truly say, “It’s Not Me, It’s You”.
Wouldn't you love to hear from God? It’s the most exciting part of my life. It doesn’t happen every day or even every week for me but it happens. And when it does happen, it’s thrilling! Most people I talk to about this subject say, "I don’t ever hear from God." They ask, "how can I hear from God?” There is an answer and we are going to talk about how to have a conversation with God this Sunday. 
 
If you can begin to incorporate not only talking to God daily but also hearing from Him on a regular basis, it will change your life forever. I didn’t really begin to know Jesus until I began to hear from him. He speaks the most profound and the most comforting things that you can imagine. You begin to think the way He thinks and you begin to understand His motivations. The appreciation for His heart changes you. You become more like Him. That’s what He wants and that’s why He speaks to us. 
The Wise Men brought gifts but what can you bring? What can we give a Savior who holds the universe in His hands? The answer is short and simple. Do you think you know the answer? We are receiving contributions now for our “Help Project” this season. We have decided to help the First Stop ministry to the homeless renovate their facility so that more people can be served. But money is not the answer. We have purpose groups that help people in various ways. You could join one of those groups and spend your precious resource of time to help others. But time isn’t the answer.

Do you know what the Creator of all things so desperately wants more than anything? It’s something that He cannot give to Himself. It’s something He does not own. It’s the most valuable thing in all of time and space and He doesn’t control it. He can heal the sick, calm a storm, walk on water, create food for thousands in front of your eyes and He can even raise the dead but one thing escapes His grasp. It breaks His heart more than we’ll ever be able to fathom. It’s the human soul. It’s you. He owns everything but you. He controls everything but you. He chose to give us our own selves with the great hope that we would give ourselves back to Him.

Imagine the Almighty on His throne with only one thing on His mind. You. Me. Everyone we know. Everybody we’ve ever seen and all those we haven’t. Those in need and those who have plenty. When we begin to understand the heart of a God so in love with humanity that he became one of us maybe we’ll know what to bring. He took every blemish, every stain and everything ugly thing that our free will has brought into this world and demolished it by nailing Himself to a cross. Wow. When I think about that, all I want to do is give myself back to my creator and say, “Here I am, remake me”. It doesn’t seem to be enough but it’s all He wants. Let God perform a miracle in your life. Give Him the chance. He will.
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