PastorsPoint


Shout for Joy all the Earth

This week we will continue in our series about corporate worship, (Sunday morning service). Our primary topic will be worship through song. Why is it that no matter where you go in the world, most evangelical, Scripture reading believers open up their meeting times with song? I have been all over the world and it is the same everywhere I have been. Across denominations within the faith and countless differences and objections, they all start with worship through song. This is not random or by chance, it is part of a design that God worked out thousands of years before the formation of the church in Acts. When God made a covenant with His people, through Moses, He set apart instructions for a place that His spirit would dwell. This place would be called the Tabernacle, it was made with the strictest of instruction and every little detail was outlined by god as to how the temple would be constructed. The first thing that you would see as you approach the tabernacle is a fence that is about 7 feet high (2.15m) made of linen hangings hung on pillars. It was a barrier to God’s presence, as illustrated by the pillar of cloud or fire, and the people. It reminds us that there is a barrier between each man, woman, child, and God. Like this fence, it is a man-made barrier and is the result of our sin. There was only one entrance to the inner area. You had to go through the gate to get inside. It was covered by a curtain or screen made of fine linen embroidered in blue, purple, and scarlet. It didn’t matter who you were, if you wanted to get into God’s presence you had to go in through the gate. The rich and...

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He is Worthy

This Sunday marks the beginning of the month of August. For us Arizonans, it typically has meant children back in school, hotter, humid weather, and long prayers for, Oct./Nov., to come quickly. This Sunday will mark a new sermon series that will last for the 5 months in August, where we will be discussing the importance and separate distinctions of Sunday morning corporate worship compared to all other forms of worship. Much of Paul’s letters to the churches revolve around how they are conducting corporate worship and his concern’s regarding their understanding of how special that time is. There are really five main elements to the time of corporate worship. Those are: 1. Songs of Worship 2. Tithes & offerings 3. The Preaching of God’s Word 4. Communion 5. The invitation Each of the above elements is acts of worship unto the Lord. When we take any one part of the service and ignore it or feel it does not apply to us, we miss out on the full blessing of that time. So often, we look and say I’m just here for the message, or the songs, or to take communion but check out during the other portions of the service. All of the elements of the service work together to bring our hearts and minds back to what really matters in life and in our decisions for the week. As a pastor, whom the Lord has set apart for the work of ministry, it is a heavy responsibility to conduct these services every week and lay before the Lord all the planning and thoughts we have for the service because if His Spirit is not there, none of it will matter. It is at the core of who we are as the leadership of LifePoint church that our...

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Peace in Turbulence

If you have ever been on a ship in stormy seas, or in a plane and turbulence strikes, then you know the feeling of instability. Looking for something to grab onto that would provide some sense of stability, but everything is moving and shaking and for many people is frightening enough to keep them from flying or going out to sea. To handle these de-stabilizing events both ships and planes have stabilizers. In airplanes, the back fins are mainly their stabilizers. The vertical fin is what keeps you from bobbing around right to left, but in particular, the horizontal rear fin is what keeps you from bobbing up and down. A Ships stabilizers are fins or rotors mounted beneath the waterline and emerging laterally from the hull to reduce a ship’s roll due to wind or waves. Active fins are controlled by a gyroscopic control system So let me ask you something, what are the stabilizers in your life? There is no question we are currently in very turbulent times and everyone, no matter your religious background, is looking to find something to stabilize ourselves when everything that is usually solid seems to be crumbling. In Philippians 4, Paul discusses what has been his stabilizer and how the church can find peace in turbulent times. Take some time and read Philippians before this Sunday and ask the Lord to show you what is bringing stability in your life. Peace, Nathan Bentley...

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A Harvest of Righteousness

A little less than 7 years ago I developed my very first sermon series designed for an adult audience. The title of the series was, “Grace & Truth.” As I was preparing to step into the role of a senior pastor, not a day went by that I wasn’t fearfully laying before the Lord and begging Him to help know what to do or how to lead. To say that I was in over my head would be an understatement. I had never led a church before and did not have a degree in ministry. If that same power that fell on those at Pentecost did not come and show up with me then this was going to be a very quick trip to southeast Arizona. Upon finishing that series I closed with the following sentence: “The truth is here at LifePoint I don’t want a bunch of volunteers and leaders who feel ready, like they have it together and can take care of any problem; I want people who know that without God they don’t know how it will get done.” I can remember exactly where I was mentally when I felt God ask me to rebuild the ministry here at LifePoint with non-professional ministry leaders. To look at the heart of the man or woman and not their resume. This was and has been one of the greatest acts of faith I have ever endeavored. Currently, at LifePoint, there is not a single paid staff member or pastor that has been formally trained outside of their training through life and the leadership at the church. This method grew the church to greater numbers financially, in attendance and impact in the community than it had seen in its previous 9 years. It also brought with it some tremendous pain,...

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Orphans or Children

Being the father of two young girls whom Christy and I adopted a little over 4 years ago, has changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. In the beginning, you see this tremendous need for Godly men and women to step up and help with the overcrowded foster system. Then, you take the classes and are introduced to these tiny little souls, many of whom have seen more devastation in their brief few years on this earth than I have in my entire life. No matter what you learned from raising your biological children, nothing prepares you for what it will be like to love someone else’s child as your own. There is no real preparation for being hated, disliked, or not trusted, even though you have laid your life down for them and have made sacrifices they will never see or understand. As the world reels right now from the pandemic, riots, racism, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, famines, tsunamis, and volcanoes…just to name a few. I can’t help but see so many people out there as orphans. They long to be called children, to have a place, to know they are loved unconditionally. However, the spirit of an orphan is all they know and so they continue to live in that identity. I can only imagine how scary everything in the world might seem right now when not viewed through the eyes of a child of God. Without an understanding of what the Father has done and how through His son Jesus Christ, stopped at nothing to make us orphans no more, but sons and daughters. This Sunday, which is Father’s Day, I want to address the subject of what it means to show the world what it’s like to be a child of God and...

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Whatcha Learn'n?

So, have you gone through any changes lately? Has there been any struggles or conflicts in life that has left you wondering “What am I supposed to do now?” This Sunday we take a look at a point in the life of David where he is in a couple of intense situations. He fears for his physical life, he’s all alone and forced to make decisions when things get uncomfortable. His world is a mess. Can you relate to David? Through this time, he makes mistakes. He acts a fool. He doesn’t turn to God but instead makes less than stellar decisions when relying upon his own wits. He’s running from king Saul and ends up in the midst of Philistines. Years before David was confident in his God. He stood up to Goliath and the Philistines, but now, he seems to have lost that confidence. He seems to have lost his faith. Have you lost confidence? Are you struggling in your faith? Everything in your world seems to be in turmoil. Have you been using these last three months as an opportunity to live out your faith? Have you been using it as an opportunity to grow your faith? Or have you been using it as a time to get caught up in the ways of the world? Using it for “my time”. This has been a great season of learning…if you allowed your heart and brain to do such. In the above-mentioned conversation of David, something outrageous happened. Immediately afterword, David runs off to a cave. There, more than likely, he wrote one of the psalms. A song of trust in the Lord. One rejoicing and praising the Lord. He learns a deep lesson through the trials he has just gone through and he wants everyone to come...

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It's for Freedom

In my spirit, there is a sense of expectation. God is up to something! From the earliest days of the Old Testament, God has been working relentlessly to draw His people back to Himself. In the midst of all that goes on round about us, the threat of Covid19 & the riots in so many of our nation’s cities, God is setting the stage for a great revival. This will be a revival of hearts both seeking God and for many, turning back to Him, willing to surrender their hearts completely to Him. In looking back in time, and history, it has been proven “desperation creates a spiritual condition that makes mankind ripe for revival. We are at that place now; today! As a church, a body of believers, we stand at the crossroad. We can position ourselves for revival, bringing in a harvest of souls, or we can maintain the status quo which simply means “I don’t like or want change”. As Christians, we must learn to accept change! It began when we said” yes” to Jesus! He began to change us using any and all opportunities to change us so that we could reveal Him through our individual lives. One person says, “I am willing to walk in risk” while another “don’t rock the boat”! This coming weekend we will discover together what it means to walk in freedom, to be liberated, to be that new person you have longed to be. Before you come, would you take some time and prepare your heart in prayer? Come with a sense of expectation, ready to worship and by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, receive from His Word what He has for you personally. I will do my part to prepare myself, & you do your part. Together we...

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Damned if You Do... Damned if you Don’t

This week we will be closing out this series intended to prepare your hearts and minds for the idea that God is wanting to move his church from the prominence of the preacher and the building to the emphasis of the congregant minister and the home. Hear me out now, I am not saying that we are dismantling or throwing out the model of communal corporate worship. I’m not saying that gathering in large groups is wrong or no longer needed. I am actually calling each of us to a more active role that will require more responsibility and more investment on the part of the believer. This is going to take your relationship with Jesus and those in your community to a level you have hoped for but not known how to attain. This is going to cause you to rely on the Lord’s Holy Spirit for His words to be pouring out from you and His love to be your go-to and not the fallback plan. I am hoping this is breeding in you, an excitement that is continuing to grow week by week. If thoughts of doubt or inability to carry out this initiative plague your mind then I encourage you to bring them before the Lord and ask Him if those thoughts are from Him. If they clearly are not from Him then it is high time we learn to rebuke thoughts that would hinder the work of the gospel in our lives and our community and press into the calling He has set forth. This week we will be studying and using Matthew 11 as a backdrop for our conversation. A lot has happened this week in which we see evil showing it’s cards and rising up in a way that causes many Christians to...

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The Great Divide

This week presented the Christian community with the news of Ravi Zacharias passing and going to be with the Lord. As many have stated through social media all week, Ravi was an influential theologian in my life and a great help in understanding the realities of the world we live in and how clear the evidence of a great and mighty God really is. If you have ever listened to Ravi preach he often would talk of when he was a young teenage boy on a bed of suicide when God met Him and opened his eyes to the truth. From that moment on he dedicated his life to the knowledge and understanding of who/what is God and then teaching others how to know the same things. He was extremely patient and showed much grace when those who opposed him tried to bring him down, or destroy his character. The world will sorely miss this man. The current state of affairs has put before the public’s eye the great divide between the laws of man and the laws of God. It has shown so evidently over the last 3-4 months how far the chasm really is between man and God. With so much information…really a tsunami of information, and that’s what it is, information. Not truth or lies, just information. We are then tasked with determining whether something is true or false and then taking action based on that analysis. Jesus boiled the more than 600 Judaic laws and the Ten Commandments written on stone to just two commands: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. He ended the debate of who is my neighbor? He made it clear that all mankind is your neighbor, and therefore we as Christians have no...

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LifePoint Returning to In-Person Gatherings

I cannot believe it has only been two months since we all met last. It feels like a lifetime ago. While we have continued to worship through online services and connecting over social media and phone calls, we all know it’s just not the same as fellowshipping together. Now I know that not everyone can meet at this time or will feel comfortable meeting and that’s ok. We will still be live streaming our services going forward and continuing the online weekly presence we have built over the last few months. With that being said, I have some GREAT news! We will be holding a live IN-PERSON service this Sunday, May 17th at 9 am. We will be meeting out on the lawn and observing all social distancing guidelines and ask that everyone take the call of Christ and love our neighbor as ourselves and show respect and care for all those around us. We will have an extended time of worship a time for communion, with individual sealed juice and bread, and I am planning a message that God has had on my heart for quite a while now. This will be like a service in the park so bring lawn chairs, a blanket to sit on, umbrellas, and maybe a water bottle. The temperature should be in the high 70’s to the low 80’s. It should be nice but could be warm for some…so maybe some sunscreen as well. We will not be having any cafe services and the restrooms will be open but plan on using them for emergencies only. We will have many sanitization stations around the grass area as well as Lysol wipes in the bathrooms. While meeting in person is not only a desire it is a calling for all believers, we want to...

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