Saturday, January 18, 2014

God-sized Dreams

Today's Bible reading are Genesis 37:1-38:30, Matthew 12:22-45, Psalm 16:1-11, Proverbs 3:27-32

How big are you dreams? That is a question that has really been bouncing in my mind of late. As I read today's reading it is no different. I can't help but think about this great dream that was given to Joseph. It wasn't a dream that he dreamed up. It was a dream that his parents instilled in him. It was a dream that came from God. I call these "God-sized dreams."

God-sized dreams are the kind of dreams that can only be accomplished through Him.They usually are so extravagant that we would never dare to dream them up on our own.

I have noticed that most people are only comfortable praying for & dreaming for dreams that they know they can accomplish. It is comfortable to them. Most people are not risk takers. Risk frightens us.But here is a thought to consider--If you only pray small & only dream small then you will only receive small.

Joseph was given a dream by God. It was a dream that only God could fulfill in His life. What would have happened if he would have passed it of as to big to come true? What would have been the outcome if he would have settled for boiling that God-sized dream down to a small dream?

I have some God-sized dreams.
  1. I want to see every member of our church filled with the Holy Spirit.
  2. I want to have a Christian school in our church that is supported by our church in such a way that all children of our church can get a Christ-centered education for FREE.
  3. I want to see every family in our community praising the God of creation together.
  4. I want to see a revival starting at the top of our government & working down to every branch.
One thing that I know about theses type of dreams is that if God is not behind it they will never happen. I will never have the ability or wisdom to make this happen on my own. But with God this is small beans to a heart that is willing to wait patiently & pray faithfully.

I want to challenge you today to find a quiet place & start to pray God-sized prayer. Wait on the Lord until He speaks to you His God-sized dreams for your life.What could be in your family with a dream from God?
What could be different in those broken relationships with a dream from God?

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.



Pastor Richard Schlotter

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Jacob Moment

Today’s Bible readings are Genesis 35:1-36:43, Matthew 12:1-21, Psalm 15:1-5, & Proverbs 3:21-26


Genesis 35:9-13
Now that Jacob had returned from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again at Bethel. God blessed him, 10 saying, “Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. From now on your name will be Israel.” So God renamed him Israel.
11 Then God said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Be fruitful and multiply. You will become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! 12 And I will give you the land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants after you.” 13 Then God went up from the place where he had spoken to Jacob.

This must have seemed like the greatest promise that anybody had ever made to Jacob. Remember, he was a man who for most of his life had been a wanderer. He never really had a permanent place to call home. He lived on the run from his brother, live as a servant to his father-in-law, later ran from his father-in-law, wandered around after that until God appeared & made him this wonderful promise. It probably seemed like more than could ever be possible.

I have had times in my life when the promise of God was so big that it left me wondering if He could come through. I can remember when I was I prison & God started to speak to my heart that he was going to use me to take His message to the nations. I didn’t know how that would be possible with me being behind a razor wire fence. I remember when God said that He was going to restore all that had been lost in my life. It didn’t seem possible; my wife was divorcing me, my life was a mess, I had nothing.

We all have moments in life when God’s promise seems out of reach.
1.      It’s healing for the person who is terminally ill.
2.      It’s prosperity for the person who is on the verge of bankruptcy.
3.      It is joy for the widow who has just lost her husband of 50 years.
4.      It is peace for the person who has been tormented with abuse.
5.      It is freedom for the person who has struggled with drugs their whole life.

It is not unusual to have times of such great difficulty in front of us that we begin to wonder if there is anybody who could ever save us.

That is why I love today’s text. It is in those times like these that we need a “Jacob Moment”. A “Jacob Moment” is that moment when God speaks & reveals Himself as El-Shaddai—God Almighty!!! A “Jacob Moment is that moment when God reveals Himself as the God that can do the impossible. It is that moment when we see that NOTHING IS TO HARD FOR GOD!!!

We refer to God as the Almighty One without ever giving any thought to the title He has ascribed to Himself. “Almighty” literally means, “having ultimate power”. Think about that, God has the ultimate power. There is nobody or nothing that has more power than Him. We need a fresh revelation of that. We need a “Jacob Moment”.


1.      A mountain that He can’t move.

We will run into barriers in this life. There will be times when we do our best only to find that it wasn’t enough. We are trying to get ahead, trying to get closer to God, trying to breakthrough, & yet right in front of us on the path is a mountain so big that we don’t think is moveable. This is when we usually get weak in faith or just plain frustrated & we give up.
There may be mountains too big for you to move but God has never seen a mountain He can’t move.
Exodus 14:21-22
21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. 22 So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!

Moses was between a rock & a hard place. He had the army of Egypt coming from behind & the Red Sea in front. It looked lie 2 unmovable mountains. That is, until God spoke. The water parted & the army was destroyed. No mountain for God.

           2. A storm He cannot calm.

We may have things get crazy in our lives at times. The wind can blow & the waves can crash down on us. It happened to the disciples. They thought they were going to perish in the storm. We have times like that too.

Mark 4:35-40

35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

This was more than they could handle. It left them feeling like Jesus didn’t care. But it was not more than Jesus could handle. He got up & showed them there has never been a storm He couldn’t calm. Peace Be Still!

             3. A sickness He couldn’t heal.

Everybody has heard of a health condition that immediately makes us think the worse. It may be cancer, HIV, leukemia, or maybe a name that has never been heard before, it is said to be INCURABLE. Hope can sink at such a diagnosis. We can sink to the floor in despair. But let me remind you…

Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Diseases have names. They may frighten us but they don’t move our Healer! His name is greater. They bow to Him & His authority. He has broken the power of sin, death, & sickness FOREVER!!! That is the gospel.

4.      A sinner He can’t save.

Nobody is beyond the love of God. There are people that we say will never change. You may even have committed some sin that you wonder if God will ever forgive. The answer is yes. There is NO sin that His blood can’t cover. His blood is stronger than:
1.      Your failures.
2.      Your past.
3.      Your greatest sin.


Romans 5:20

20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.

It is like the words of an old hymn:

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can we do to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

I pray for you today. I ask God to give you a “Jacob Moment”. Open our eyes to see you as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Purged By Love

Today’s Bible readings are Genesis 32:13-34:31, Matthew 11:7-30, Psalm 14:1-7, & Proverbs 3:19-20

Genesis 33:3-4
Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.

I am amazed at the number of people who hold resents toward others. As I have talked with people over the years I have heard of some of the silliest reasons for people being bitter. But the one thing that is true across the board is that bitter people are sick people.

We sometimes fail to realize that the effect of resentment on our bodies will be devastating. Many people are sick today because they refused to forgive in the past. I know somebody may ask, “How do you know that?”

Bitterness is a cancer that spreads through a person’s soul. It starts out as an offense. It is held on to at great effort for a length of time. It develops into a lifestyle. In settles deep into a person’s attitude. It begins to spread into every area of their life. It eats away at the inside of them.

Hebrews 12:15

15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

Bitterness will become a root. Roots spread so they can be stronger. As they spread they touch different areas. That is what happens with forgiveness & bitterness. It ultimately troubles a person to a place of great destruction.

The writer of Hebrews says that bitterness leads to corruption. We many times only like to think of the corruption spiritually. But I want to point out that that corruption could very well be physical, as well. That is why I believe that bitterness leads to a corruption of health too.

Let’s look at some reasons that people get offended:
1.     They don’t receive the recognition they think they deserve.
2.      They don’t think they have been treated fairly.
3.      They think something should have happened that didn’t happen.
4.      They think something happened that shouldn’t have happened.
5.      They think others are not considering their feelings.
6.      They get their feelings hurt.
7.      Somebody doesn’t agree with them.
8.      Somebody doesn’t support them.

        Offense will keep you from receiving your miracle.

Matthew 13:55-57 (NLT)
55 Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. 56 All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?” 57 And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.”

        Offense will cause you to lose out on your ministry.

John 6:66-67 (NLT)
66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

        Offense will rob you of blessings.

Luke 7:21-23 (KJV)
21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.


        Offense causes you to build walls around yourself.

Proverbs 18:19 (NLT)
19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

        Offense puts you under the control of the enemy.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NLT)
24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.


1.       Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us.
2.       Let go of what we feel is owed to us.
3.       Make a choice to refuse to be offended.
4.       Quickly forgive when people do wrong.
5.       Choose to think the best of everybody all the time.

Imagine the release in Jacob & Esau when they embraced. When love flowed it purged them of the hurt & bitterness. That is truly the work of the Holy Spirit. I have learned a very humbly principal in life—“Change Before I Have To.” Don’t wait for your life to fall apart before you become willing to be purged of bitterness. Let the Holy Spirit do a His work & purge you with His love NOW!!!


Pastor Richard Schlotter

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Breaking Free From Fear

Today’s Bible readings are Genesis 31:17-32:12, Matthew 10:24-11:6, Psalm 13:1-6, & Proverbs 3:16-18

Fear is such a paralyzing force. Just as faith, hope, & love are forces that produce actions in our lives; fear is a force that produces action as well. The difference between these forces is where they come from.

For instance, faith, hope, & love come from God. They produce in our lives the things that God would desire for us. They move us to act in ways that bring glory to His name. Fear, on the other hand, comes from satan. It produces in our lives the things he desires.

The force of fear can cause us to do wrong things & keep us from doing right things. Fear is simply perverted faith. Many times it is produced through worry. Worry stems from meditating on a lie from satan. As we meditate on his lie it produces fear.

The exact opposite is true when it comes to God. Hope is meditating on a promise from God. This produces faith. As we meditate of God’s promise we begin to see it happening in our lives. Faith takes that picture in our minds eye & runs with it. The same holds true with worry & fear.

Some people are so convinced that bad things are going to happen. They do irrational things, respond in irrational panic, liv with great anxiety, never attempt new things, or even give up on things they sincerely desire.

Genesis 31:31
31 Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.

We see in our bible reading today the effect that fear had on Jacob. He had a relationship problem between him & his father-in-law. As he spent time meditating on the wrong things, fear gripped his heart. It became such a strong force that he could not stand it. It caused him to run away. He didn’t want to face his problems.

This is what a lot of people experience in life. They don’t want to face the things that come up in life. As they meditate on all the bad things that could happen, they give birth to fear inside. I have found that most of the things that people spend so much time obsessively worrying about NEVER occur.

I want to point out that no matter how fast he ran his problems caught up with him.

Genesis 31:22-23

22 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.

It seems that fear is a pattern in this family. Abraham dealt with fear, Isaac dealt with fear, & now Jacob too. That is the worst things about leaving things undone in our lives. The things we don’t find victory over will tend to come up in our children’s lives as well. They see certain things modeled in us & then pick those behaviors up themselves.

1.      Fill our minds with the right thoughts.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

We are told exactly what to fill our minds with. What we fill our minds with will determine what comes out of our lives.

I will be the first to admit, things could go bad.  BUT WHAT IF IT DOESN’T?  Things could just as easily go great. In fact, if we worked as hard filling our minds with thoughts that things would turn out well, instead of, with thoughts that things are going to turn out horrible, then we may easily see more of the things we would like to see happening in our lives.

Why sit around & think thoughts like these:
1.      My kids are never going to serve Jesus.
2.      My husband is never going to change.
3.      Things will never go that way in my life.
4.      I am not going to find healing.
5.      I can’t forgive that person.
6.      I will never be able to do that.
7.      I can’t get out of debt.

These thoughts are lies from satan. God tells us the exact opposite in His Word. We can choose to meditate on God’s promises or we can choose to meditate on satan’s lie. Either way we will meditate on something. But the outcome will be very different depending on what we choose to focus on.

2.      Don’t worry—PRAY.

Philippians 4:6-7

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

There is an alternative to worry. It is called prayer. Many Christians fail to pray that is why there is so much worry. Prayer eliminates worry. As we cast our cares on God we really find release. We have confidence that God can do anything. This leads to peace.  His peace guards our heart & mind as we wait on Him.

3.      Simply trust in God’s goodness.

Psalm 136:1-3

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever.

This whole psalm is one that encourages us to give thanks because of God’s great mercy, love, compassion, power. God has always been good. His goodness will still outshine the morning sun. God never changes. He was good yesterday. He will be good today. He will be good tomorrow.

Make the decision to put an end to fear in your life. God’s plan for you is far too great to allow fear & worry to rob you it. Be strong & full of courage in Jesus name!!!

Pastor Richard Schlotter