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May 2014

Word of Life | Write Your Story

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May 2014

Word of Life | Write Your Story

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Contents

Waiting in the Waiting Room

4

Once Upon A Time

5

Pastor G’s Growth Garden

9

Words of Life from Pastor G

Privilege & Power

10

4 Reasons For Prayer

11

A Mother’s Labor of Love

12

Christian Education

14

Be The Author of Your Life

17

A Prayer of Commitment

18 Word of Life Christian Church George Wilkinson, Pastor 460 W. Atherton Rd. Flint, MI 48507 (810) 232-5944

May 2014

www.thewordisalive.org


May 2014

Word of Life | Write Your Story

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Words of Life from Pastor G

In the Bible, various metaphors are used to describe Christians. II Corinthians 3:2-3 – Christians are portrayed as epistles of Christ. “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” Many great men perpetuate their legacy & influence through their writings. Jesus wrote nothing, but He left a living legacy in the hearts of Christians. Each day we have an opportunity to make an impact on mankind through the message we send others with the letter we write with our life. Whether you realize it or not, you are an open letter of Jesus Christ, you are a living advertisement, billboard, and testimony. Many may refuse to accept the scripture, but it is hard to dismiss the impact of a consecrated life lived for Christ. One of the greatest lessons we can learn is that people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care about us, they write a legacy from their heart to ours and it makes a substantial impact on us. One such person for me was my mother - her daily letter that she wrote to me made an indelible imprint on my life. It was a letter she wrote unknowingly, but it was filled with love, faith, and hope. It was a letter filled with vivid examples of sacrifice and excellence. It reminds me of the following story:

• Taking out the garbage: $1.00 • For getting a good report card: $10.00 • For cleaning up the toys: $2.00 • Total owed: $18.00 The mother picked up the pen, turned over the paper he’d written on, and this is what she wrote; for the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me: No Charge. For all the trying times, and all the tears that you’ve caused through the years: No Charge. For all the nights that were filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead: No Charge. For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose: No Charge. Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge. When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight at his mother and said, “Mom, I sure do love you.” And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: “PAID IN FULL.” Genuine story’s are written for no charge, no matter how great the sacrifice and difficult the challenge there is never a charge. Jesus wrote His story on the hearts of many and He did not charge a fee - He just has one request - let your life’s letter reflect His love! This month we will become more aware of our journey through becoming journalist for Jesus by writing a life story that reflects Him! May your life be a Bestseller in the eyes of Jesus! Be Blessed,

A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing dinner, and handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing • For washing the dishes: $1.00 • For cleaning up my room this week: $2.00 Pastor G • For running various errands: $A Mother’s Love • Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $1.00

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Word of Life | Write Your Story

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Before the beginning of time, before the beginning of everything, before there was a beginning, God knew you. Our lives are novels with chapters that cover nearly every category. We have romantic chapters, mystery chapters, horror chapters, charismatic chapters, inspirational chapters and thrillers. From the preface to “The End� God has already penned your life story. In order to locate ourselves in God’s story, we have to place reason in its proper position and give faith its rightful place. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Are you embracing your story? Believing that God knows the end from the beginning? (Isaiah 46:10) Is it a page turner? Are you willing to move from chapter to chapter? Or do stories only serve to put you to sleep? Stories constantly progress, including your life story, where there is a moral in every chapter. A moral is a conveyed message or a lesson

May 2014

to be learned. Romans 8:28 reveals that each chapter you experience is working for your good. We can all go back a few pages in our lives and see where God has brought us from. That time in our lives when it seemed there was no way out, no hope or future and we wanted to close the book. Keep turning page by page, faith to faith and chapter by chapter. Watch as God makes known His glory in our story. You have to make up your mind to understand the process between Once upon a time and The End. The process is where we gain strength from the last word, sentence and verse as the last chapter ends and a new chapter begins. Faith is the source for many rewrites to the story. King Hezekiah is an excellent example of a rewrite found in Isaiah 38. He was ill and death was nigh, so close that God

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sent the Prophet Isaiah to tell him “Set your house in order for you shall surely die and not live”. Knowing that God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind (Numbers 23:19), Hezekiah should have been picking out what he wanted to buried in, who he wanted to sing and who was going to perform the eulogy. Instead by faith he no longer looked at the messenger, but turned his face to the wall and began to pray to the author of the message. In his prayer he reminded God that he was his servant “God, please, I beg you: Remember how I’ve lived my life. I’ve lived faithfully in your presence, lived out of a heart that was totally yours. You’ve seen how I’ve lived, the good that I have done.” God heard his prayer and wrote another message. What should have been the ending, became a

May 2014

new beginning and chapter by faith. God added 15 more years to the Kings life. Hezekiah participated in the story, and not merely existed in it. Your faith puts the pen in your hands and vision sets you at the keyboard. Where do you see yourself now and in the future? Are you using limited vision, or God’s vision? When writing the vision make sure it is coming from the abundant vantage point. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Be engaged in your biography, and God will edit it as necessary -L. McGee

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SUMMARY: Have you ever bowled where strikes and spares were coming regardless of what you did, you were in a zone or what is called the sweet spot. In order to roll strikes in life - you must learn of God’s sweet spot for you! God gave you, a zone, a region, a life precinct in which you were made to dwell. He tailored the curves of your life to fit an empty space in his jigsaw puzzle. Life makes sweet sense when you find your spot. Max Lucado expounds on how you can write your story in the sweet spot of life in his book Cure for the Common Life, he offers practical tools for exploring and identifying your own uniqueness, motivation to put your strengths to work, and the perfect prescription for finding and living in your sweet spot for the rest of your life.

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Privilege & Power Can you think of any greater honor than to have an audience with the One who rules over all creation? We have been invited to talk with God, we are invited to seek counsel from the One who is truth and wisdom, and we are invited to sit down with the One who knows all things. True prayer is honest, humble and personal, not something that happens in a certain place, using choice words with a certain posture. None of these things are requirements for true prayer. To put it simply prayer is a conversation. Conversation is a part of any vital and growing relationship. We sometimes measure the quality of a marriage relationship by how well the couple communicates. Or to state it another way, one of the first things people point to as evidence that a marriage is in trouble is a lack of communication. The same is true for our relationship with the Father. True, honest, heartfelt conversation is a sign of a healthy relationship. It is important that we not neglect this privilege that was granted to us by the purchased blood of Jesus Christ. Christ died for this end, it cost him the shedding of his blood, so that we, through him, might have entrance to the throne of grace. A privilege that was previously only given to those who held the office of a High Priest and had to speak on behalf of all the people. Who knows and understands your level of gratitude better than you? Even those May 2014

close to you can’t pour out what’s in your heart like you can. Prayer is how you prepare for battle. The principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and the spiritual wickedness in high places are always in training for the wrestling match (Ephesians 6:12). When we neglect prayer we go into battle unarmed. Jesus the incarnate Son of God, found it necessary to pray. When he faced His battle he was humble enough to understand that he could not face it in His own strength, and so should we. In the Garden of Gethsemane He sought to submit to the will of the Father. While many of us plead to God that our will be done. We want God to give us what WE want. We want Him to see the wisdom of our desires. It is His will that is perfect for us. The National Day of Prayer was held on May 1. The theme was One Voice, United in Prayer. Emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of God, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men. The Scripture that was chosen is Romans 15:6 “So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” When we operate in soundness and oneness of mind speaking the language of God our Father, He will keep us in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3) in the midst of any battle that comes our way, because we are armed and ready.

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1. 2. 3. 4.

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Prayer is a privilege purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. Christ died for this end, it cost him the shedding of his blood, so that we, through him, might have entrance to the throne of grace. And will you let such a privilege as this lie still? If you do, so far as is in you, you cause his blood to be shed in vain. For if you neglect the privileges gotten by that blood, you neglect the blood that procured them. [The Puritans on Prayer p.17] Conversation is a part of any vital and growing relationship. We sometimes measure the quality of a marriage relationship by how well the couples communicates. Or to state it another way, one of the first things people point to as evidence that a marriage is in trouble is a lack of communication. The same is true for our relationship with the Father. True, honest, heartfelt conversation is a sign of a healthy relationship. A lack of conversation or conversation only in public is a sign of a relationship in trouble. We should pray because we are in a fierce battle. Constantly we are warned of the Devil’s intention to neutralize and demoralize us. We are told that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:10). We are in a battle and we need the help of God. The enemy has marshaled his armies . . .when we neglect prayer, we go into battle unarmed. Do you find it at all instructive that Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, found it necessary to pray? If He did not feel He could face the battle in His own strength . . neither should we. Prayer is a deterrent to sin in our lives. In the quiet times of private, honest prayer God exposes the rationalizations and the excuses that we use to cater to sin. In prayer God holds a mirror up to our lives so we can see the way we really are. . .and repent. Prayer makes a difference. I can’t tell you how it “works” . . .I know that circumstances change when people pray. Diseases are sometimes healed, strength is imparted, guidance is given, hearts are softened, needs are met. I know that when I pray for others it helps them. But I also know that when I pray, I am changed.

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, troit , e D er in sed r broth i a r e s s wa s an old ays and e m 1 a ee J . She ha good d salms 9 n n e me on . P inso ya R Son Robins had so course rs. Rob , a s m e t n laba d Betty rney ha t her o r. and M ld and i ur A , i n p u n o M r ubu hnnie a r life’s jo h has ke y day. oung ch par t of ess.” A n c i o orn inister J son. He her fait or cloud a as a y h a vital its pro t n y i c n y u n i M nn So ob ate s su by bb ny R to clim on a su ation to cation i par ticip n h u Jo rt c ls ll e hil r comfo an edu ays, “Ed ould sti m o s f s e nya ce o rs I w gs h brin por tan life. So on dolla in illi e im d th passion had a m e s s r I stre e he even if m a c be ty and e soci

B May 2014

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W

hen a woman is in the process of giving birth she is said to be in labor, but it is after the child is born that the work really begins. Being a mother is a lifetime position, with no retirement options. Sophia Wilkinson like most little girls played with dolls, but being a mother was not on her list of things to do as an adult. She was never fond of babies and would not babysit her own nephews until they reached an age that they could speak and tell her what they wanted. This disposition all changed when she met the love of her life, George David Samuel Scott Wilkinson. Pastor George is the youngest child of six children and the only son. Therefore, having a son was imperative to carry on the Wilkinson name. Sophia prayed she didn’t have to go the route of her mother in law and not have a son until the 6th child. The Lord blessed them in their third year of marriage with George David Samuel Scott Wilkinson II and later Kristian Wilkinson. In retrospect she wishes she would have had a 3rd child. However, Word of Life Christian Church is also a labor of love that she embraces with all her heart. Motherhood is a very personal matter to Sophia. She counts it a blessing that she was able to be a stay at home mom. It was her job, her labor of love. This helped to knit their family together. Especially the years they spent in Argentina, where all they had was God and each other. When you love the work you do, your heart’s desire is to be as close to perfect as possible. When the children experienced missteps, didn’t get the grades expected, or misbehaved, it felt like it was a direct reflection of her investment with them at

home. Due to the extensive time spent molding the clay and filling the cracks in the pottery it was painful to endure their miscues. To assist in their development Sophia was a fixture at the school and enjoyed every field trip, parent teacher conference, and program. Understanding that she could not be with them every moment of the day, or for the rest of their lives she learned to pray. Her mother the late Martha Pitts was her guide, best friend, confidant, hero and prayer warrior. Mrs. Pitts taught her the importance of not only prayer, but covering her children and family in prayer so they would not have to be out in the world alone. “I miss my mother,��� said Sophia. She smiles with excitement when she speaks of the wonderful relationship she has with George and Kristian and refers to them as jewels. She believes she is still being blessed by the prayers her mother uttered for her and her family throughout the years. Her prayer for her own family is for God to keep them safe, expose to them their wrongs, and reveal his perfect will for their lives. The woman who never wanted children is looking forward to seeing her children get married and experience the same kind of joy, love and longevity that she shares with their father after 28 years of marriage and then have some grandchildren. “I plan to be a very involved grandmother,” said Sophia. Her mother’s prayer has become her prayer “Lord let me live long enough to see my grandchildren”.

Sophia Wilkinson May 2014

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Sunday sermons Week 1: You Don’t Know My Story! Week 2: Rewriting Your Story Week 3: There is Glory in Your Story Week 4: The Rest of the Story

Weekly Mediation Scriptures Hebrews 12:2 Luke 12:48 Romans 1:17 2 Corinthians 3:2

Christian Education Study Syllabus

May 6th - No Compromise (Revelation 2:12-17) May 13th - Standing Against Corruption (Revelation 2:18-29) May 20th - Vibrant Faith (Revelation3:14-22) May 27th - The Beast’s Defeat (Revelation 19:11-20)

The Word

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was sent before him endured the cross despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. “ (Hebrews 12:2 ,KJV)

May 2014

Our Corporate Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, we come humbly before you, realizing that you are our light and salvation, our strength and refuge. We come to you Lord, giving you our bodies, from head to toe, giving them all to you. Our hands, our limbs, our eyes, our minds; all that we are inside and out, we hand over to you. Mold us, shape us, live in and through us, whatever life You please. These bodies of ours are Yours and Yours alone form this moment on. Father write your story and help us to live a God-scripted life adventure; doing your will. Father, please help me to get completely out of the way so that You can have Your way. Father we want to “Abide in You”. In Jesus’s name we pray, forever and ever. Amen.

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Christian Education April 2014

Word of Life | The Waiting Room

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Be the Author of Your Life Does it sound like we’re patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we’re not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you. You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it. (2 Corinthians 3:2) When perusing the theme for the month, it is essential to remember that we as Christians are to write a Christian letter with our lives; not a selfcentered letter. The initial action leading to salvation was that the Spirit of God convicted our hearts to accept Jesus as Savior of our lives. After totally surrendering our lives to him, it was obvious that we needed him completely to be Lord of our lives. As we learn to trust and obey God, we reflect Him and begin to be the letter He desires. Now, what is faith? The truth of the matter is that faith in its essence is yielding our will and committing to following the will of Christ because He is Lord of our lives. Many times we find ourselves in trouble because we reject His guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is strange that God provides us ultimate help and we reject the divine direction. As we become mature through Christ, we see and understand, we can do nothing on our own and without him.

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Therefore, faith involves repentance; turning from sin and turning to Christ. Repentance is a free decision on the part of the sinner, made possible by the enabling grace given to him as he studies, hears and believes the gospel of Christ. Faith includes a variety of Godly attributes we develop as Christians and must practice daily. We grow in obedience, personal devotion, and loyalty to God, not ourselves. We learn to love God with everything in us, and before we sin and hurt the heart of God, the Spirit reminds us or corrects us to do God’s will instead of our own. We are living letters for all men to read. We can only be read properly when Christ, the pen of our lives, writes the tenets of His will on our hearts. Finally, God has extended his love and mercy upon us all; we all have the same opportunity to bath in the precious love of God. We have a choice to be free or enslaved to sin. When it comes to writing your story and being the author of your life, we must remember it is not about us, but it’s all about Him. If and only if you let God be the author and finisher of your faith will your story result in being one of the greatest stories ever told.

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A Prayer of Commitment

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Dear God, I am thankful for all of the blessings you have provided for me. I know that you have called me to do this work and to be blessed. I accept that I am created in your image and claim that greatness. (Genesis 1:27) I accept that I am a part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a peculiar people. (1 Peter 2:9) I am your child and a joint heir with Jesus. (Romans 8:17) I accept that because Jesus died for me I have full access to all of your glory. I accept fully that you can do exceedingly, abundantly above all that I can ask or think through the power that is working in me. (Ephesians 4:20) I accept fully that you have blessed me that I might be a blessing to others. I believe that you will lead and guide me, that you will provide all that I need according to your riches in glory. (Philippians 4:19) You have made me like David, Moses, Deborah, and Esther -- to be a leader. I accept this fully. I am not afraid to be who you have created me to be. I will always operate in faith and not in fear. For you have not given me the spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 2:7) Your son Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith. (Hebrews 12:2) I thank you for perfecting my faith. Now God, lead and guide me for I am committed to this work. I am an example of your goodness, your grace, and your mercy. I give you all honor and praise for my life and my gifts. My will is to do your will and to fulfill my divine purpose. Have your way in my life! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.


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Word of Life Magazine • May 2014