South Tacoma Assembly of God

Reaching and Transforming Lives through the Love of Jesus Christ

We are an Assemblies of God church located in the Tacoma area. Our mission is to reach and transform lives through the love of Jesus Christ.

Sunday Morning Service: 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Evening Service: 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday Evening Service: 7:00 p.m.

Give Praise, Worship, and Thanksgiving Always!

“Sing unto the LORD, O you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His Holiness” (Psalms 30:4).

Give Praise, Worship, and Thanksgiving Always!

Greetings and welcome back as we look at God’s Word this week, meditating and thanking Him always for His mercy and His love for us. How are you doing my brothers and sisters, friends, children and all that are enjoy studying God’s Word. It is good to look at what the Lord has done in all of our lives, and to encourage each other in what God has for our betterment!

I pray that you have settled your heart, soul, and mind in the things of God. The enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy everything that our Lord has established, but do not be moved - He our Lord God has the last word. No matter what you are going through, just know that He is with you all the way. Use the weapons of God’s warfare to remind the enemy that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!

We will continue to trust God for what He is going to bring us into this next coming year. Set your heart on what is right and what is pure, looking to God who is the Author and the Finisher of your faith. This is what it is all about - enduring the seasons of spiritual struggles that the enemy uses to try to change our way of thinking, and to lure us to fall from His grace. But I want to remind you of this: let the redeemed of the Lord say so! We are more than conquerors through the blood of the Lamb! Regardless of what it looks like, we win! As we will see today, the enemy is trying to change and influence the things around our communities and country, even around the world. We see that evil is trying to take over - but stand strong in the power of His might. No weapon that is formed against us will prosper. No! It will be brought down by the mighty hand of the Lamb of God.

So let us begin by using these tools we have to fight back against the enemy. As you read the Scripture above, I want to encourage you that this Scripture should be the song of every Child of God. But more pointedly, it will be the song of the redeemed Israel at the conclusion of the Battle of Armageddon when they, at long last, return from their spiritual exile. Let the Lord be magnified. Hallelujah!

You see, praise, worship, and thanksgiving are some of the simplest ways we can pray, and yet they are such powerful spiritual dynamics. This is why we should always emphasize these three during times of praise and worship. We use these as types of prayers, because they are expressions of our hearts toward our Lord. Friends, when we use praise, worship, or giving thanks, we are talking to God and that’s what prayer really is.

Moreover, praise, worship, and thanksgiving enhance and empower our prayer lives, because they keep our hearts focused on the Lord instead of on ourselves. In essence, they allow us to connect with God in passionate ways, and to encounter His presence in our everyday lives.

That is why we do not need to wait for a church service or a corporate gathering in order to experience or express praise, worship, and thanksgiving. We can incorporate them into everything we do, all day long. So often we complain when a praise and worship time is long, but that is the time we should be talking to God in praise, worship, and thanksgiving. This day may be the day of your healing.

Don’t come to God with an attitude because after the service, you went home empty and angry at everything. When you come to the Lord with a heart full of worship, praise, and thanksgiving, you go home filled with passion and His grace, remembering that it is not because of anything we did, but because He did it all. His grace is sufficient for you and me. When we are weak He is strong in us.

What does that really mean? It means when you have issues or circumstances that you can’t in your physical mind fix or solve, you give it to the Healer. During your worship, you feel the touch of the Master’s hand, delivering you from your pain and your messes.

I want to switch now to prayer, because this is the most important part of praise and worship. I will only give you two of the twelve steps of prayer to start with. You must first be silent. Prayer should begin with silence. We don’t normally make a practice of this, but it’s a very important aspect of prayer.

Now, to be silent means “to gather oneself, to be still”. In Matthew 6:6, Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then Your father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” What Jesus is telling us is we need to go to a quiet and private place where we are not being disturbed. Now if you are in a setting at church and pray, just worship God with your whole heart and talk to Him in psalms and praises.

In the New Testament times, most of the roofs of the houses were flat. People often prayed on the roof, because that was their private and quiet place. They went there to get away from all the noise and busyness in the house.

Now, when you begin to enter into prayer, first get quiet and eliminate distractions. You can’t pray effectively when all around you the children are playing, the CD player is going, the television is on, and people are asking you questions. Let me explain this and get deeper a little. You see, prayer necessitates collecting yourself, your thoughts, your attention, your concentration. That is why you need silence or isolation, because you have to pull your entire self together. Most of us are usually distracted by many things when we come to prayer. Our bodies are there, but our minds are somewhere else. That means we are experiencing all kinds of emotions.

So therefore, you need to put yourself in a position where you can become quiet, and let the Lord calm your heart. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). You see, the word for “peace” in Hebrew is “shalom”, which means “more than enough.” What that means is, prosperity. Moreover, everything you need is provided by God, so you don’t have to be distracted by worry when you pray.

You know, these steps may take ten minutes, an hour, or even five hours, but it is entering to prayer. I tell you, when you discover this important part of your life, it is like quenching your thirst with water from the well that will make your lifestyle as solid as a rock. You will be settled in trusting God with everything you have, and in what you do not have. Even if you were to lose everything you have, you would be settled. I read sometimes of people who pray in the forest for ten hours. I asked this question: “How did they do that?” I come to realize that you have to read the detail of their prayer lives. Some just spend two to three hours just walking in order to get rid of distracting thoughts.

That is why when you come before the Lord, in whatever private place you find to do so, get quiet and listen to nothing but God. Let your heart be restful, as you come into the quiet place, because that is when you are really praying. Ever too often, we try to rush this process, but the Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

In that sense, we can say that prayer is the expression of man’s dependency upon God for all things. So I encourage you to spend time in quiet contemplation before the Lord. Sometimes it is alright to say nothing. So often we start talking right away, and we are thinking about all the things that happened that day and of the different kinds of things we have heard. That is why you should just be quiet and bring your whole self to prayer.

You see, if you are trying to pray but your spirit, body, mind, and emotions are separated, then you are not one, you are not unified, and you will not be able to pray God’s will with singleness of purpose. That is why silence is helpful. It brings you into a unity of heart and purpose with yourself and God.

Well, I was going to give you two steps of prayer, but maybe another time.

What I want you to know is that your prayer life can be as fruitful as it has ever been, and if you follow what the Bible says about praise, worship, and thanksgiving, you will never go wrong. So be encouraged and know that God is love, and He will never fail you in anything. Just let Him be God and praise, worship, and thank Him always. We will see the difference for the better in our lives. Go with God this week, and learn to be in tune with heaven. Even when you are alone with God for just five or ten minutes. Driving, walking, anywhere… Learn to be quiet, and to come to that moment of fellowship. You will never be disappointed. Continue to pray for our Pastors, George and Angel Reed, and for the vision of God in our coming year. Pray for South Tacoma AOG - that God will be magnified through our worship, praise, and thanksgiving to Him always! To every church attendee, come expecting to be filled with His Holy Spirit!

Pray for one another to let the love of God flow through all members of the church. May we have peace in the midst of every storm. Church, it is time for us to stand firm and be settled in His Word and the power of His might. Remember our South Tacoma AOG is a worshiping Church! Until next time, blessings.

This week, I am not going to give any prayer. In your own way and in moments of truth, go to God in praise and worship. Put one of those old hymns on and let God fill your car, or wherever you may be, with His presence. Receive the anointing that breaks the yokes of bondage off of your life. If you are having problems with nicotine or whatever it may be, worship Him and let Him bring you out of that bondage. Read Psalm 103:1-15, Psalm 23, or Psalm 81, and use that as worship if you want to. There are many worshiping Psalms that David wrote that will move your heart. Praise Him always.

Thought: He is more than enough! Shalom!

Iseli

Living Large to Dream

Boast in God's Grace for You!

“The wicked flee when no man pursues them, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1).

Boast in God’s Grace for You!

Thank God again for the opportunity to be with you as we continue to share in His love and joy, giving Him honor and glory forever and ever more. You know, God loved us so much that He has given us another beautiful day to add to the days of our lives. As we continue trusting Him for everything, we should also acknowledge the people that we come in contact with, thanking them for their support and their effort to keep us straight in different areas of our life.

We are almost to the end of this year and this is the last week of this month. Let’s look forward to December with expectation and preparing to set our goals for the New Year to come. We thank God for His grace that has given us the opportunity to share His love and to meditate in things of His Kingdom. How are you all doing so far? My prayer is that you will get to know Him more, and the power of His might. It is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit that we live and are able to look at tomorrow with expectation. Now did you have a good Thanksgiving Day? I know I did and I ate too much, and again have the need to visit the gym.

Well, as we talk about our encouragement for this week, let us meditate on what Proverbs 28 talks about: The wicked flee when no man pursues; but the righteous are bold as a lion. This posture is such because the “wicked” have done wrong and, as a result, see harm coming from every direction. Conversely, the “righteous” have harmed no one, and consequently fear no one because they are bold. Why? All because of a clear conscience. The “righteous” are those who follow the Lord and His Word!

Did you know that God created you for an exhilarating life that often requires you to take bold steps of faith before you see Him come through for you? When our Lord and Savior Jesus said, “It is finished.”, what He meant was that all had been completed on the cross. Of course, there will be roadblocks for us along the way, but we have His Word, and we have His grace to believe and receive our healing or anything that we ask for! There are so many people who are unsatisfied with their lives, simply because they won’t step out of the “safe zone.” In this place, they may feel secure, but it is not always where the joy and adventure of life can be found.

That is why we should always be thankful that God has vibrant life in store for us. Please, I encourage you to not let fear destroy your destiny by keeping you from enjoying that life. Maybe you are thinking of quitting and going an opposite route. Hold on! Right around the corner is your breakthrough that you have been waiting for!

I always say to motivate myself, “Just feel the fear and do it anyway, even do it afraid!” Today, I encourage you to include more variety in your life. Try new things. When you start feeling that life is getting stale and tasteless, just add a little spice by doing something different. You can start thinking and saying, “Today, I will not live in fear!”

1 Corinthians 1:31 says, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” What a powerful Scripture. Stop boasting on things that do not matter; boast only for the cross of Jesus!

Now if someone asks you, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” You probably would answer the same way I would and tell him to confess with his mouth and believe with his heart in the Lord Jesus and he will be saved - wouldn’t you? Think about this, though. A rich, young ruler asked Jesus the same question, but instead of telling the man to believe in Him, Jesus gave him the law. (Mark 10:17-22).

What Jesus saw was that the young ruler lived his life taking pride in his ability to keep the law to earn salvation and the favor of God. But because of Jesus’s love for the man, He had to show him that those who live by the law must realize that their self-effort cannot save them. He therefore reminded him, “You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery…’Do not steal…’ Honor your father and your mother.’” In response, the young ruler showed that his trust was in his law-keeping when he replied, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”

Jesus had to tell him, “One thing you lack, sell whatever you have and give to the poor…and come…and follow Me.” What happened? Well, when the young ruler heard that, he walked away sorrowful.

You see, when we boast of having kept the law, it will always point out something we lack or have failed to obey. The law is so holy and perfect that if we don’t keep even one iota of it, it has no choice but to judge and curse us (Galatians 3:10).

Therefore, God does not want us to boast in our abilities to keep the law. If we are to have confidence in anything at all, if we are to boast in anything at all, it is in the grace of God. Only His grace can completely keep, save, heal, deliver, and bless us.

In closing today, let’s not boast in what we have done or are able to do, but boast in His grace for us, boast that He is our strength, health, favor, prosperity, wisdom, hope, salvation, and glory. That is how we will see ourselves enjoying our inheritance of abundant life.

Paul is a good example of that. He explained more and more about how it is His grace that is sufficient for him. That when he asked God three times to remove that stake or thorn from his side, God said no. Instead, He gave him something better. He said, “Paul, My grace is sufficient for you. When you are weak, then I will be strong.” Now how many of us will say the same thing when we are faced with different kinds of situations?

Today I remind you, and me also, that His grace is sufficient for us, and we should live each and every day boasting about it. When we are weak, then He is strong in us. All we need to do is believe. It is done. Christ did it all on Calvary! He shed His blood for us so we can be healed and set free!

This week, go with God and let Him be your guide in all situations or circumstances that you may go through. Even in making decisions, we need to know that He loves us no matter what. Our problem is trying to make us doubt what we have already been promised by our Savior Jesus. Go with God this week and boast about His grace! He did it all! He did it all! Let His favor be with you wherever you may be! God bless you!

Prayer: Father, I pray that You will help me to break out of the ruts and boring, lifeless routines. Today, I thank You that You have a vibrant, exhilarating life in store for me. I also thank You that new adventures are just around the corner. Today, help me to enjoy each and every new thing that You bring my way. I pray for Your love to continue to envelop us throughout our walk with You as we look forward to the end of this year, and the beginning of 2019.

My prayer for you: Lord, since we cannot always do what we like, grant that we may like what we must do, knowing that truth will one day be vindicated and right in the end must prevail. Bless Your people and keep them all in Your peace. In various parts of our day, please stop us for a minute of prayer. Stop our anxious minds form wandering, and our hearts from desiring anything but to know Your will. In time of prayer and as we hear You speaking, let us stand at attention before You and hear what You have to say to us. I know that You can tell us not only what to do, but also how to do it. If it has to do with making up our minds, You who did make our minds can show how to make them up. And if our mind needs changing, You can work the miracle to do it. Today, speak, oh Lord, and make us hear. I pray that You would help us, Lord, to treat every human heart as if it were breaking, and to consider the feelings of others as we do to our own. Help us this week to be gentle, and to control our tempers that we may learn to love one another. Give us the grace to live this day, in the name of Jesus, Who loves us all. Bless Your people as they come and go. Bless them in the field and in the city. Bless them in their dwelling. Bless them at their work and in their meetings. As we go to and from all the places that we will be going, I pray Your protection and safeguarding to be everywhere we might be. I pray for forgiveness and for peace in the midst of every storm we face. Thank You for all that You have done for us. Forgive us from our sins. To You be all the glory forever and evermore. All these things we ask in Jesus’s Name, amen.

Thought: It is only His grace, not our works, that can save, keep, heal, deliver, and bless us!

Iseli

Living Large to Dream

South Tacoma Assembly of God | 7227 S Puget Sound Ave | Tacoma, WA 98409 | (253) 474-2020 | contact@staog.org