IronPrayer Lake Placid, asking God’s Blessing for Athletes

ImageGreat music, stories from Ironman athletes, and a special message by

Pastor Ryan Schneider, followed by prayer time for athletes asking God’s blessing on them for race day and beyond — join us for IronPrayer!

Everyone is invited

Sat, July 21st @ 5:30-6:30 PM

@ Lake Placid Baptist Church, 2253 Saranac Ave. LP, NY 12946

Special activities for kids age 10 and under, including a “bounce house”

and other activities in the church gym

Toddler/nursery care in the church nursery

For more info on either of these events: Visit us at http://www.ncministries.net http://www.ncministries.net or call Pastor Ryan at 518-523-2008

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Proud or Humble? Respond the Right Way Every Time

When I think of Jesus, I think of a strong man. He was physically strong – a “carpenter” in those days was like a very strong construction worker today. He was emotionally strong – He never had a “meltdown.” He was mentally strong, able to answer even the most perplexing questions thrown at Him by the scholars of His time. And He was spiritually strong, living a life of purity in every way, and always staying right in line with God’s will.

If anyone had a reason to be proud – even prideful – of His abilities, it was Jesus.

But He wasn’t.

Instead, He chose humility. And so should we.

But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

God resists the proud. But He gives grace to the humble. And not just a little grace. He gives greater grace!

Read each of the passages from James chapter 4 listed below. After each passage, think about and respond to the questions that are asked. If you’d like to hear a podcast that goes along with this lesson, CLICK HERE.

GOD OFFERS HELP TO THOSE WHO ARE FIGHTING

What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. (James 4:1-2a)

  • According to these verses, what is the source of the wars and fights among you — the other person or you?
  • Read James 4:6 again: But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 
  • Describe how responding to a “fighting” situation in either a proud way or a humble way will make a difference in the outcome.

GOD OFFERS HELP TO THOSE WHO’S PRAYERS SEEM UNANSWERED

You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires. (James 4:2b-3)

  • According to v 2, what is one possible reason that a person may not be getting what they think they need?
  • According to v 3, what is another reason that a person may not be getting what they think they need?
  • But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 
  • What is the difference in how a proud person prays compared to how a humble person prays?

GOD OFFERS HELP TO THOSE WHO ARE TOO FRIENDLY WITH THE WORLD

Adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy. Or do you think it’s without reason the Scripture says that the Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously? (James 4:4-5)

  • What does it mean for a person to be a “friend of the world”?
  • Why is a friend of the world an enemy of God?
  • What does it mean that God’s Spirit that lives in us yearns jealously?
  • But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 
  • How does a humble Christ-follower relate to the world’s system?

GOD OFFERS HELP TO THOSE WHO ARE LOSING BATTLES WITH THE DEVIL

Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. (James 4:7-10)

  • At the cross, and through the resurrection, Jesus defeated Satan! When you placed your trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you received the power of the living Christ inside you. What that means is that you can be victorious every single time, over every temptation that the devil throws your way.
  • But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 
  • Describe the process in James 4:7-10 of how a humble yet bold follower of Christ will stand up against the temptations of the devil, the kind of standing that makes the devil flee!

GOD OFFERS HELP TO THOSE WHO ARE CRITICIZING OTHERS

11 Don’t criticize one another, brothers. He who criticizes a brother or judges his brother criticizes the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:11-12)

  • In Matthew 7:1-6, Jesus warns us about being judgmental. Here in James 4:11-12, we are warned to not be judgmental and critical of others.
  • However, in 1 Corinthians 2:15, we learn that believers in Christ are able to clearly make judgments about what is right and wrong. And in Galatians 6:1-5 we see the delicate process of approaching someone who is caught up in sin, trying to help them to return to faithfulness to Christ.
  • But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 
  • Think about Jesus and how He interacted with people, all of whom were sinners. What does Jesus’ example and the teaching of James 4:11-12 and the other passages listed above (Mt 7:1-6, 1 Cor 2:15, Gal 6:1-5) teach us about how to humbly relate to others as a Christ-follower?
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your grace, your abundant grace. It humbles me to think of how much you love me and how you shower your grace upon me. By your Spirit, help me to respond with humility – never with pride – every single time.

IMLP 2011 Ironman Prayer & Celebration Service (aka, IronPrayer)

North Country Ministries invites you to 2 great events:

FREE! Ironman Pancake Breakfast

  • Everyone is Invited
  • Sat, July 23rd @ 7:30-9:30 AM
  • @ the Oval, near the Finish Line
  • All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes
  • Juice & Water
  • Your choice of Syrups (Adk Pure Maple or Butter-Flavored)

Ironman Prayer & Celebration Service (aka, IronPrayer)

  • Everyone is Invited
  • Sat, July 23rd @ 5:30-6:30 PM
  • @ Lake Placid Baptist Church,
  • 2253 Saranac Ave. LP, NY 12946
  • Great music, stories from Ironman athletes, special message by Pastor Derek Spain, and prayer time for athletes, asking God’s blessing on them for race day and beyond
  • Special activities for kids age 10 and under, including a “bounce house” and other activities in the church gym
  • Toddler/nursery care in the church nursery

For more info on either of these events, call Derek at 518-524-4179

Download the Flyer HERE

To see all the ways NCM is serving during IMLP 2011, CLICK HERE

______________________________

IMLP 2011 Pancake Breakfast

North Country Ministries invites you to 2 great events:

FREE! Ironman Pancake Breakfast

  • Everyone is Invited
  • Sat, July 23rd @ 7:30-9:30 AM
  • @ the Oval, near the Finish Line
  • All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes
  • Juice & Water
  • Your choice of Syrups (Adk Pure Maple or Butter-Flavored)

Ironman Prayer & Celebration Service (aka, IronPrayer)

  • Everyone is Invited
  • Sat, July 23rd @ 5:30-6:30 PM
  • @ Lake Placid Baptist Church,
  • 2253 Saranac Ave. LP, NY 12946
  • Great music, stories from Ironman athletes, special message by Pastor Derek Spain, and prayer time for athletes, asking God’s blessing on them for race day and beyond
  • Special activities for kids age 10 and under, including a “bounce house” and other activities in the church gym
  • Toddler/nursery care in the church nursery

For more info on either of these events, call Derek at 518-524-4179

Download the Flyer HERE

To see all the ways NCM is serving during IMLP 2011, CLICK HERE

______________________________

To The Ends Of The Earth

After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, He met with His followers to say goodbye before He ascended to heaven. At this meeting on the side of a mountain, He gave them some clear instructions to follow: they were to be His witnesses in their local community, throughout the region, and to the ends of the earth. He really believed that His followers could change the world.

He was right!

In Acts 1:4-11, you will notice three key words:

  • Waiting
  • Watching
  • Witnessing

Read Acts 1:4-11 (HCSB)
4 While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “This,” ⌊He said, “is what⌋ you heard from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

6 So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, are You restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. 10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”

WAITING

Waiting on God is not a bad thing; it is a good thing. In America, we don’t like to wait – for anything or anyone! Movies-on-demand, microwave dinners, download the book to your Kindle or ipad… we don’t want to wait for anything. But, sometimes it is good to wait.

The word translated “wait” in Acts 1:4 is not a passive word, however. It is an active word. The biblical idea is that while you are waiting, you are preparing, collecting, getting ready for what happens next. Sometimes in the Bible, the word is translated “remain” rather than “wait.” Listen to Jesus’ words in John 15:5.

John 15:5 (HCSB)
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.

Did you see it? The one who remains in Him (the one who waits on Him) will produce much spiritual fruit, because without Him you can do nothing. So during your waiting time, keep reading the Bible, keep praying, keep collecting mental, spiritual, physical and emotional strength for the journey to come.

WATCHING

Looking up into heaven is a good thing. When we gaze at the clouds and the sun and the stars, we are reminded of the grandeur of God. We are reminded that He is big! And we are reminded that He is the in-charge creator of all things.

But if we only look up, we may miss the work that is to be done on earth. When the men-in-white talk to the disciples in Acts 1:9-11, they are essentially saying, “Move along boys, there is work to be done. Don’t forget what you just saw – because He’s coming back the same way. But get to work doing what He told you to do.”

It is good to watch for Jesus’ return. We are to be looking forward to it, expecting it at any moment. Listen to Jesus’ words in Mark 13.

Mark 13:33 (HCSB)
33 Watch! Be alert! For you don’t know when the time is ⌊coming⌋.

However as followers of Christ we are to be His witnesses, not just His watchers. So, yes, pray. Yes, gaze into heaven. But don’t just retreat to a mountain and stay there forever. Come down off the mountain and get to work telling people the good news of Jesus.

WITNESSING

Jesus tells His disciples to be His witnesses in four locations:

  1. Jerusalem
  2. Judea
  3. Samaria
  4. The ends of the earth

These locations teach us where we are to be His witnesses:

  1. Jerusalem – the area where we live
  2. Judea – our region
  3. Samaria – a nearby region that is culturally a bit different than ours
  4. The ends of the earth – all over the planet

Jesus tells us that He empowers us to be His witnesses (read Acts 1:8 again). And He tells us that we are HIS witnesses, not just witnesses of our church, denomination, or nation.

Furthermore, if you read Acts 1:8 closely, you will notice that Jesus tells His followers to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea AND Samaria, AND to the ends of the earth. He doesn’t say be His witnesses in Jerusalem THEN be His witnesses in other places. He directs us to be intentionally part of reaching out to all of those four locations at the same time. How? By praying for missions, by giving to support missionaries, and by going on missions yourself.

Sometimes we travel to other areas and even into our own community on intentional mission trips. Sometimes the Lord sends us places on vacations, business trips, relocations, displacements, and more.

Take a few minutes and think about and answer these questions:

  1. How do you “wait” on the Lord?
  2. What is the value of “watching” and keeping your focus on heaven?
  3. How can “watching” become an end to itself and keep you from other things the Lord would want you to do?
  4. What are some specific ways that you can be a witness for Christ in each of the four locations mentioned in Acts 1:8?

PRAYER: God, use ALL of your children to be Your witnesses from our local communities to the ends of the earth. Let us wait on you, watch for you, and be a witness for you. Help us to tell the world that Jesus died and rose again, and that He offers forgiveness of sin, salvation, a new life here on earth, and eternity in heaven!

S.T.A.N.D.

In Exodus 14, the children of Israel are caught between a rock and a hard place. After a miraculous exodus from slavery in Egypt, they find themselves being pursued by Pharaoh’s army. If that is not bad enough, they are headed right toward the shores of the Red Sea, without a bridge or a boat to get across. Without a miracle, they will either be killed by the Egyptian army, taken back into slavery in Egypt, or drowned in the Red Sea. The situation looks very bleak.

By most estimations, the number of people – men, women, and children – totaled about 2 million people. Their leader, Moses, stands before the people to offer encouragement. He tells them to not be afraid, to STAND and see the Lord’s salvation, to be quiet (read: stop complaining!!) and watch what God does.

Read the Bible’s account below:

Exodus 14:5-14 (HCSB)
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about the people and said: “What have we done? We have released Israel from serving us.” 6 So he got his chariot ready and took his troops with him; 7 he took 600 of the best chariots and all the rest of the chariots of Egypt, with officers in each one. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out triumphantly. 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, his horsemen, and his army—chased after them and caught up with them as they camped by the sea beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians coming after them. Then the Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help. 11 They said to Moses: “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt: Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

13 But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.”

The plight of the Israelites at the edge of the Red Sea is no different than our spiritual battles today. Sometimes we are caught between a rock and a hard place. We are faced with temptations all around us, with spiritual forces like guilt, fear, anxiety, and depression pressing down on us.

What should we do?

Let’s see what the Israelites do, and learn from their example. Let’s use the word STAND as an acrostic to help us remember how to stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation. As a follower of Christ, we are more than conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:35-39). In other words, with the power of Christ living in you, you can be victorious over temptation every single time!

1. See that God is bigger than the obstacle. To the Israelites, Pharaoh’s army seemed unconquerable and the Red Sea seemed insurmountable. But compared to God, Pharaoh’s army was not powerful at all, and the Red Sea was easy to cross. The first thing the Israelites needed to do was to overcome their fear by seeing how big God was. We need to do the same. When we see how big God is, we will realize that He can save us from even the most difficult situations and put us right where He wants us to be.

Here the words of verses 13-14 again: 13 But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.” (emphasis added)

  • How can you see how big God is?

2. Trust God for the power to stand. If the Israelites had tried to form an army, they would have been defeated. If they had attempted to build boats or swim across the Red Sea, they would have surely drowned. The only way to be saved was to trust in God. And that’s just what they did. They did things God’s way. And that’s exactly what we need to do. When God placed a wall of fire between the Egyptians and the Israelites, they didn’t cross it. They broke camp, Moses raised up his walking stick as the LORD directed him, and the people prepared to cross the Red Sea.

Exodus 14:15-20 (HCSB)
15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to break camp. 16 As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I am going to harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them, and I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh, all his army, and his chariots and horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh when I receive glory through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

19 Then the Angel of God, who was going in front of the Israelite forces, moved and went behind them. The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them. 20 It came between the Egyptian and Israelite forces. The cloud was there ⌊in⌋ the darkness, yet it lit up the night. So neither group came near the other all night long.

  • How can you demonstrate your trust in God?

3. Always be completely obedient. The LORD directed Moses to raise his walking stick (staff) all night long. The LORD parted the Red Sea, making a dry path across to the other side. The people’s job? Simply walk across. It may seem to be an easy job to do, but what if the wall of water on the left or the right collapsed on them when they were in the middle of the sea? It took faith and obedience to get across. God saved them on that day. But their role was to walk in obedience. This story reminds us that since God is our Savior, when we are faced with difficulties, temptations, and challenges, our job is to simply walk in obedience to the Word of God.

Exodus 14:21-22 (HCSB)
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea ⌊back⌋ with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with the waters ⌊like⌋ a wall to them on their right and their left.

  • Describe some steps of obedience that you need to take.

4. Never look back with fear. It was the LORD’s job to look upon the situation and defeat the enemy. It was not the Israelites job to look back upon the Egyptians to try to devise a plan to defeat them. For the Israelites, they needed to focus on the goal: walking one step at a time, crossing the Red Sea, trusting God to win this battle. I’m sure that with every step closer to the banks on the other side of the sea, each person’s heart was racing just a bit faster. But the adrenaline pumping didn’t cause them to have fear. And God amazingly defeated the Egyptian army by bringing the crushing walls of water of the Red Sea down upon them. Similarly, God will defeat your enemies (that attack your faith, your heart, your mind) as you walk in trust and obedience to Him. Do not be afraid (verse 13). Like the Israelites, when you finally do look back, you will see that God has defeated your spiritual enemies!

Exodus 14:21-30 (HCSB)
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea ⌊back⌋ with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with the waters ⌊like⌋ a wall to them on their right and their left.

23 The Egyptians set out in pursuit—all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen—and went into the sea after them. 24 Then during the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire and cloud, and threw them into confusion. 25 He caused their chariot wheels to swerve and made them drive with difficulty. “Let’s get away from Israel,” the Egyptians said, “because Yahweh is fighting for them against Egypt!”

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back on the Egyptians, on their chariots and horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea returned to its normal depth. While the Egyptians were trying to escape from it, the Lord threw them into the sea. 28 The waters came back and covered the chariots and horsemen, the entire army of Pharaoh, that had gone after them into the sea. None of them survived.

29 But the Israelites had walked through the sea on dry ground, with the waters ⌊like⌋ a wall to them on their right and their left. 30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the power of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.

  • What are some of your most difficult “enemies” to overcome?
  • Why is it important to keep looking ahead, to not look back with fear?

5. Decide now to walk with the Lord at every opportunity. When God amazingly delivered the Israelites across the Red Sea, he saved their lives. Just like he delivered them out of slavery in Egypt (which represents how he delivers us from our sins), he also defeated their enemies at the Red Sea (which represents how he defeats our spiritual enemies, such as fear, temptation, bad habits, unbelief and much, much more). When the Israelites saw what God did to deliver them, they worshiped Him with a holy awe. This awe is represented by a holy fear of God. They were blown away by the way He saved them. And, they believed in Him. This type of belief led to faithful obedience and trust. In the same way, God desires that each spiritual victory we have should propel us to more and more faith, greater faithfulness, holy awe of God, and trust in Him. Victory today should lead to greater victories in the future. The nation of Israel didn’t completely follow this plan, but because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and our trust in Him, we can!!

  • How have spiritual victories in your life helped you to prepare for future spiritual battles?

Exodus 14:31 (HCSB)
31 When Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and believed in Him and in His servant Moses.

God wants us to STAND with Him:

  1. See that God is bigger than the obstacle.
  2. Trust God for the ability to stand.
  3. Always be completely obedient.
  4. Never look back in fear.
  5. Decide now to walk with the LORD at every opportunity.