“Live the Life”

“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord… They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT

Even before the creation of the universe, God had you in mind and planned you for His purpose! You are not a biological accident; neither are you a mistake or did you enter into this world by chance or happenstance. Your life has purpose because God has given meaning to your life. God has called you to live your life with purpose and direction. When you live out God’s calling in your life you will be productive and blessed.

It is imperative for every person to know and understand their purpose for existence. When an individual does not understand his purpose for being, he will wander aimlessly though life being driven by outside forces. You see, you will find some in life are driven by the outside force of guilt, spending their entire lives running from regrets and past mistakes. Others are driven by resentment or anger. They hold on to past hurts and pains, either internalizing their anger or exploding it on to others. Thirdly, you will find people imprisoned by fear keeping them from becoming what God intended for them to be.

Others find themselves driven by the outside force of materialism. This drive for material things perpetuates the misconception that having more will bring happiness and security; however, we must realize one’s value is not measured by what is attained in life. One is valuable because God created him to be valued and to live his life fulfilling God’s call.

On the other hand, when you live the life God has for you becoming who God has called you to be, you will find meaning and fulfillment. God’s first call for your life is to be loved by God. That is the bedrock for everything that happens in your life.

Remember, you were created and called to be loved by God.

Secondly, to live the life God has called you to live, you must belong. You were not made to go through life alone on your own. You weren’t made to go through life lonely. God created you to belong – to belong to Him and His family, the Church. Not only are you called to belong, but, thirdly, God has called you to “become.” “Becoming” means becoming all that you are in God. It means growing and maturing in your faith. No longer being a “spiritual” baby but becoming a disciple and follower of Jesus.

Fourthly, to live the life God meant for you to live, God has called you to be a blessing to others. We serve God by serving others. God has given you unique gifts and abilities to help build His Family. God has blessed you with your spiritual gifts, your heart, your abilities, your personality, and your experiences. God wired and shaped you to serve Him. When you become a blessing to others, God will bless you. Finally, to live the life and to become who God wants you to become, recog- nize you are called to be sent by God on a mission. Your mission is to share what Christ has done in you and through you.

God wants you to live your life with purpose and meaning; to be fruitful and productive. It is the only real way to live. It is said of David that he was a man after God’s heart. Why? Because according to Acts 13:36, he “… served his own generation by the will of God.” David dedicated his life to fulfilling God’s purpose on earth. There is no greater reward than serving God’s purpose in your generation.

During this month at Life Church, I challenge you to be a part of the Live the Life series. Join an Empower class or small home group, commit to serve, or join an outreach ministry sharing the wonderful love of God. Invite your family and friends to be a part of this exciting journey at Life Church as we live the life!

Changing Lives For Eternity,

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


“Waters That Unite”

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

In the New Testament, baptism identifies Christians with their Lord publicly. Jesus gave his disciples their final instructions: Go into all the world and make disciples – followers of Jesus – of all people. Once people became followers of Jesus, they were to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Too often baptism is seen as waters that divide. We see in Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, instead of unifying the people, baptism was dividing the church. In response to the news that the Corinthian church was fractured based on the following personalities and who baptized them, Paul reminds them of their unity in the Gospel. He then reproves them for the way baptism was dividing them, and in the process presents several truths about baptism: Baptism Identifies Us With Christ

The Corinthians made the mistake of identifying their baptism with the person who baptized them. However, baptism does not connect us to the individual who immerses us; baptism is the way Jesus gave his disciples the means to identify with Him. He could have said build an ark, or move to Israel, or stop cutting your hair, but he said baptize or immerse new believers in water. You see, baptism is what marks Christians and divides them from the world, symbolizing unity in Christ and bringing visible unity to Christ’s church.
Baptism Doesn’t Save You; It Announces Salvation
When you are water baptized, it is because you are already saved. The act of baptism doesn’t save you. It is God’s grace through faith by which a person is saved. Baptism is an individual announcement to family, friends, the church and the world that you are no longer following yourself, but you are following Jesus Christ. It is a public announcement of an inward work of God in the heart of the believer. When I was 17 and just beginning to learn how to walk with God, I was asked if I wanted to be baptized. I certainly did. Somewhere during that year, God opened my eyes to see my need for Jesus and filled my heart with faith. I spent weeks preparing to give my testimony, so that before entering the water I would testify of what Jesus had done in my life. The visible act of baptism was personalized by the verbal announcement I made just before. In every baptism, the individual makes a public confession of their sin and their need for a savior. Baptism symbolizes the Gospel – that we believe the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Baptism Follows Belief
Believer’s baptism, defined as baptism following belief, is the pattern in Corinth. Acts 18:8 says, “And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.” This follows the regular pattern in Acts: the gospel preached, people believed, and they are baptized. To a church divided by the practice of baptism, Paul emphasized their belief in the Gospel. In Corinth, the people had lost sight of Christ’s cross, the Father’s calling, and the Spirit’s illumination. For that reason, Paul called the church to look at the real meaning of baptism – not to forgive sins, but to identify with Christ in obedience as well as to reflect on the powerful work of salvation in the heart of the believer. Today, baptism is both overemphasized and under emphasized. Some make baptism necessary for salvation which is unscriptural, while others put no barrier around baptism, letting anyone who wants to dive in. While baptism is not essential for salvation, it is essential for the health and witness of the church as we celebrate with joy new life in Christ.
Changing Lives for Eternity,
Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson Senior Pastor


“Do It Now”

“When clouds are heavy, the rains come down. Whether a tree calls north or south, it stays where it falls. Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. It they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” – Ecclesiastes 11:3-4

The other day I spilled something on my shirt, and so I went and found some stain remover. The directions said I needed to get to that spot as quickly as possible, and not to let it dry or soak in, but that I should put the solution on immediately. In other words, the quicker I dealt with it, the easier it would be to remove.

It’s the same way in our lives. When God brings something to light, revealing an area that we need to change, or something that we need to make right, that’s when we need to take action. Not next week when we feel like it, or next month when our circumstances are better. No, we need to do it immediately.

Procrastination – putting off till later what we ought to do now – is so easy to justify. We think, “One day, I’m going to do that, so I‘m really being disobedient.” We say “Someday, I’m going to get serious about my relationship with God.” Or, “One day, I’m going to get back in shape.” “One day I’m going to get my finances in order.” Or, “Sometime soon, I’m going to forgive that person that hurt me.” Unfortunately, for many people, one day never comes.

I’ve discovered that if the enemy can’t get us to be disobedient, his next plan of attack is to deceive us into putting off what we know we should do. “God, I’m planning to do it, just not right now.” “I’m planning to tithe – to give ten percent of my income to God through the church – as soon as my finances get better.” “I’m planning to serve in the children’s ministry as soon as my work schedule slows.”

We’re saying, “I have good intentions; I’m planning to be obedient, so that’s not bad.” But good intentions don’t equal obedience. And really, delayed obedience is disobedience. When God speaks to your heart about changing your attitude, or apologizing to that loved one, or treating somebody better, yet you keep putting it off, that will destroy your joy and keep you from God’s best.

Rather than being a procrastinator, be a “now” person. Start doing what God has put in your heart right now. Don’t merely intend to be obedient, promptly obey. What are you putting off? Maybe it’s to live a healthier life, or get out of debt. Perhaps, God has told you to reach out to someone and forgive. Whatever the Lord has put in your heart; don’t put it off. Do it now. Don’t try to rationalize or create reasons why you shouldn’t do it.

When you do what is right, you will walk in the blessing and favor of the Lord. Likewise, when you do the “right thing,” God will open up new avenues of opportunity for you. When you know to do right and you do it, you will be amazed at what God will do in and through you.

Everyday choose to listen to your conscience and the inner voice of the Holy Spirit. You can defeat procrastination. The next time, you think about not doing something, don’t talk yourself out of it, but do it for the glory of God.

Changing Lives for Eternity,

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson
Senior Pastor


“Keepers of the Fire”

John the Baptist said, “ I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” -Matthew 3:11

On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came down in the Upper Room where all the believers were praying and seeking God. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues as the Spirit of God gave them utterance. This was the birth of the New Testament church! Since then, God has continually baptized believers with His Spirit enduing them with supernatural power.

With the turn of the 20th century in 1906, the Holy Spirit came down in an unexpected way at Los Angeles’ Azusa Street. Those whose hearts were hungry and ready received the outpouring of blessing with openness and joy. To others it was another opportunity to ignore God’s intrusion of His gifts into the lives of believers and the church.

But, our God is the Great Intruder, and the Azusa Street revival, which began in obscurity, caught a heavenly wind, bypassed those who resisted, and has since ushered into its fellowship more than 600 million souls worldwide.

Emil Balliet, in a 1969 reports, documented the Assemblies of God rise from the outpouring at Azusa Street, “Like tiny tributary streams, they converged to form a flowing river of spiritual power, and a significant “third force” of considerable dimensions began to make the impact on Christendom and the world”.

You and I are in integral part of this movement of God. We are not an isolated island, but rather part of God’s great surprise: His continuous flow of the river of God to impact our world. While we have received the wonderful blessings, and benefits from this outpouring of God’s Spirit, we must continue to hand down this precious mantle

of anointing in spite of opposition, giving faithful attention to the flame which was lit afresh on the Day of Pentecost. Nothing was, or is, more important for us than maintaining the spiritual fires of Pentecost.

Some may doubt and others may scoff as they did on the Day of Pentecost, but to us who hunger and thirst for this experience, God will continually fill. Post modernistic theology may say it was for back then and not for today, but this is nothing but a lie to extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit. However, If the church is to be vibrant, healthy, and alive, the church must have a fresh outpouring. It is presumptuous to think we can change a world without the Holy Spirit. We can do nothing in and of itself without the anointing!

As we celebrate Pentecost this month, let us pray that God will once again touch us with an unusual and transforming manifestation of His Spirit. Let us desire a fresh outpouring which will energize and awaken a sleeping church. Let us pray for God’s sovereign hand to open for a flowing river of spiritual power which will change us and make an eternal impact on the church and the world which we live. Join us on Sunday, June 9th, for Pentecost Sunday and our evening “Outpouring” service at 6 PM at our SW Campus with Rev. Chresten Tomlin. Let us endeavor to be keepers of the fire! Until then, let us continue…..

Changing Lives For Eternity,

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson

Senior Pastor