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Oak Grove Community Church - (A Non-Denominational, Full Gospel Church)


I can Only Imagine
Mercy me
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History of Oak Grove Community Church
     The Oak Grove Community Church is so-called because of its location,  
surrounded by a beautiful grove of oak trees.  The Church is located in rural Madison County next to the Roseman Covered Bridge on the of the Middle River near Winterset, Iowa. Oak Grove Community Church is the oldest active Church in Madison County. The present Church building was built in 1889, however, the Church originated in the mid-1840's, and met in various schoolhouses and homes until the present building was constructed.

 Pastor Terry & wife Pam
       
This Weeks Message  
                                                            Necessity of Prayer
 
 
   Scriptures: 1 Sam. 8:4-22 & 12:12-25; Mt. 26:41 & 7: 7-11; Ephe. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17-18; Jn. 14:12-14 & 15:7;  Ro. 8:1; 2 Co. 5:17; Col. 2:9-10; 1 Jn. 5:14-15
 
   This morning I want to talk about the necessity of prayer. Do you realize that prayer is not just an important part of our relationship with God but that it is actually a necessary part of our relationship with God…
 
  Have you ever wondered if your prayers were effective?
 Or have you felt at times as though you were trying to persuade a reluctant God to intervene in a situation that He’d prefer to leave alone?
  Deep in your heart does it seem at times that your prayers and your God are moving in opposite directions?
 And because of these feelings it has led you to a less than active prayer life?
 I think that it is safe to assume that we all have experienced this, at least occasionally, because virtually all Christians have.
 How many here this morning are completely happy and satisfied with your prayer life?  

 How many feel that your prayer life is adequate? That you pray as much and as often and with the intensity that you believe that you should?
 I don’t believe that any genuine believer is convinced that he or she is fully adequate in prayer..
 We all have this nagging feeling that we could and should do better?
 So why don’t we?
 Is part of the reason that we don’t because we are not entirely convinced that our prayers are really all that necessary?
 If one man in Scripture was convinced that prayer was a necessary part of one’s life and relationship with God it would have to be the prophet Samuel.
 Samuel was the prophet of the Lord at the time when Israel was closest to being a true theocracy… Theocracy means ruled by God.
 God would speak to the prophet and the prophet would pass on what God had instructed to the people.
 Thus it was as close to a theocracy as you can get other than when Christ returns to rule upon the earth when He comes again…
 Now the people in Samuel's day lived surrounded by gentile nations that all lived under a monarchy. A Type of government where a king ruled the nation or kingdom. So the Israelites cry out to God that they want a king to lead them like the nations around them….
 Now Samuel takes this personally because he has been the prophet of God that has  lead them up to this point...
 1 Samuel 8:4-22 ( NIV ) So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah.  They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD.  And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.  As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.  Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”
 Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king.  He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.  Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.  He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.  He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.  He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.  Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use.  He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.  When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.”
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.  Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”
When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD.  The LORD answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”
 
 The Lords reassuring words to a hurt Samuel were: it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.
 How does the prophet respond to this rebellious people who would rather put themselves under the bondage of a king then stay a theocracy ruled and protected by God?
1 Samuel 12:12-25 ( NIV ) “But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’—even though the LORD your God was your king.  Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the LORD has set a king over you. 
 If you fear the LORD and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God—good!  But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
“Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!  Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call upon the LORD to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king.”
Then Samuel called upon the LORD, and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the LORD and of Samuel.
The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”
“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.  Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.  For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.  As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.  But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.  Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”
 
 The king that they got was King Saul…And we know what happened to him….He started out a godly king but the power went to his head and it didn’t take long for Saul to fall from God’s grace and the Lord rejected Him as Israel’s leader and put David in his place….
 But let’s get back to Samuel here….
 Even though God had told Samuel it wasn’t he that the people were rejecting by asking for a king to rule over them but it was really God they were rejecting, Samuel still had to be very hurt by all this and he probably did take it personally as, at least in part, a rejection of him also….
 After this little demonstration of the power of God with the thunder and rain at the time of harvest (a time when it was not supposed to thunder or rain), The people were convicted by their sin of asking for a king to rule over them instead of God and they ask Samuel to intercede in prayer for them with God….
 It is important to notice Samuel's reply….
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you.
 Samuel knew the necessity of prayer in the life of a believer, especially intercessory prayer… 
 Notice that Samuel associated not praying for the people as personal sin!
 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you.
 
 If prayerlessness was sin for Samuel than doesn’t it stand to reason that it is sin for us as believers today as well?
 The picture we get in Samuel is of a God who has made prayer an integral part of His activity in this world.
 We are not commanded to convince a reluctant God to do what Hs is unwilling to do; we are called to be a catalyst for His intervention.
 Not only is it acceptable to make our appeals of Him but it is required that we do so…
 
 Prayer is one of the major themes in Scripture….
 Prayer is mentioned in one way or another in every book of the bible.
 Jesus spoke much about it….
 The night of His arrest and betrayal in the Garden Jesus gives his disciples the best advice He could have given them to get through the events of that night and the coming days…
 Matthew 26:41 ( NIV ) “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
 
 Jesus teaches His disciples about the necessity and power of prayer in:
Matthew 7:7-11 ( NIV ) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 
 
 The Apostle Paul has much instruction on prayer and the necessity for it in our lives as a Christian…
 Ephesians 6:18 ( NIV ) And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
 
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 ( NIV ) pray continually;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
 
 Gods will for us as a Christian is to pray continually…
 To Always be seeking His council and guidance throughout our day….
 God gives us the impression that His activity in the affairs of men is somehow contingent on the prayers of intercessors…
  If we don’t pray---it seems often He doesn’t act!
 In His Divine arrangement with this planet, our prayers are essential.
 It is His plan for us to ask and when we don’t, we violate His plan….
 And why shouldn’t we pray? If we would fully realize the power that God has availed to us through prayer we would be praying without ceasing as Paul admonished us to do….

 Jesus said in: John 14:12-14 ( NIV ) I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
 
 John 15:7 ( NIV ) If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 
 
 Now prayer is not some kind of cosmic blank check for us as a Christian….
 Lord, I want a new Mercedes.
 Now if you need a reliable vehicle you may pray for a new Mercedes but end up with a used chevy…And your prayer has still been answered according to your need.
 This is not name it claim it theology!
 Jesus said: If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 
 
 If we remain in Him!
 This is the same terminology and meaning as when Paul uses the phrase in Christ!
 Romans 8:1 ( NIV ) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…
2 Corinthians 5:17 ( NIV ) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 
 
 The phrase "In Christ" speaks about placement! The preposition in means to take up a fixed position!
 If we are taking up a fixed position "In Christ" then we will not fall under the weight of condemnation and guilt!
 If we are taking up a fixed position "In Christ" then the old sinful nature will go and the new Christ like nature will come!
 If the old is not passing away and the new is not coming then the problem isn’t with the promise but the problem is with us….We are not "In Christ"! We are not surrendering our life and will fully to Him! We are not allowing Him to lead and we follow His leading.
 How do we know that?  Because---
 Colossians 2:9-10 ( NIV ) For "In Christ" all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,  and you have been given fullness "In Christ" who is the head over every power and authority. 
 
 For "In Christ" all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form!
 If we are living fully in Christ than all the fullness of the deity lives within us!
 This is the context that Jesus was speaking when He said: If you remain "in me" and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 
 John says it this way in:1 John 5:14-15 ( NIV ) This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
 
 I believe that Intercessory prayer, the prayer that we offer up for others is the purest and most powerful form of prayer…
 Samuel understood that! As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you.
 
 When the Holy Spirit lays someone on our heart it is an assignment from God for us to respond…
 If the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray for someone we need to follow through on it!
 His prompting is not su-per-flu-ous; He is efficient with His directions, and He would not have led us to pray unless our prayers were an essential aspect of His intervention!
 We need to continue with our prayer assignments until God’s work is done!
 When His Spirit assures us that our prayers are complete, we may move on to others---but not before….
 God’s plan may hinge on your or my pleadings…
 So we need to plead however and whenever He leads!
 Those times when we wake up in the middle of the night and someone just happens to be on our mind we need to take that as a message from God to intercede for that person!
 As we are just going about our day and someone comes to mind we need to stop and pray for that person for God is trying to give us a prayer assignment that needs to be lifted unto His throne so that He can respond to that prayer need!
 Again, spiritual giants such as Samuel understood this fact about God and prayer…
 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you.
 If there is any place in the world that needs this understanding of the necessity of prayer it is we as believers today!
 God has much for us to do and the most important is for us to pray… Because it is our prayers that unleashes the power of God into our world.
 Jesus said: John 14:12-14 ( NIV ) I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
 
 Our level of faith will be determined by the quality and intensity of our prayer life…
 The quality and intensity of our prayer life will be determined by just how much “in Christ” we allow ourselves to be!
 As we place ourselves fully in Him then it is not so much us praying as it is Him praying through us!
 And when this happens is when we really unleash the power of God through our prayers….
 Then it turns our intercession into His intercession!
 And when that happens we will see the power of God unleashed in our lives and upon our world..

 Will you become the prayer warrior that God has ordained for you to become?
Allowing Jesus to use you to effect real change in your world?
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

 Is this the kind of prayer life that you desire this morning?
Ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
 
 Are we daily, moment by moment living a life of surrender to Jesus?
 This is how we place ourselves In Christ, this is how we discern what God’s will is and this is how we become the warriors of prayer that God has ordained us to be..
 
 Do you see prayer as a real necessity in your life and relationship with the Lord this morning?
 Do you have the understanding of its power and importance in your life as a child of God?
 Can you say with the Prophet Samuel…
 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you.
 
 Plus prayer is how we communicate with God!
 God primarily communicates with us through His Word---we primarily communicate with God through our prayes….
 
 So how is you communication with God going today?
 Is it what He wants it to be?
 
 
 

 
 
                                    Have a wonderful and Christ filled week,
                                                    Pastor Terry Kerr 


   

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                                  THE WAY OF SALVATION

  Romans 10:8-10(NIV)That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  

  Today, if you don't have the assurance of Salvation, the assurance of going to Heaven when you die, than just know that God wants you to have that assurance.   The above verse tells us how we do that. We do it by coming to Jesus asking for forgiveness for our sins and then giving Jesus Lordship (supremacy) over our life, believing in and on Him and Him alone for our salvation. 
  If the Holy Spirit has touched your heart today then I would encourage you to Yield your heart to Him right now and pray this simple prayer:  Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner as my sins are always before me. Lord, I am sorry for my sin and ask You to forgive me of all my sins. I now surrender my heart, my life to you and invite You into my heart to be the Lord and Savior of my life.  I thank you Lord for now saving me. Amen.  
   If you have just prayed this prayer than I encourage you to share your decision with a friend or relative (confess with your mouth) and find a Church fellowship to become involved in, and most importantly, commit yourself to daily prayerfully reading the Word of God asking Him to reveal Himself more fully to you.
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                                    SPREADING THE GOSPEL
  Our most important duty as a Christian is spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our world. Oak Grove Community Church is a Missions minded Church that supports  Missionaries in various countries and the USA.
 If you would like to be a part of our missions outreach you can contribute to our Missions Program using the PayPal link below. All Money contributed through this website goes to our missions program.

 
 Visit our missions page for more details about our Missions Program






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