Wednesday, 21 June 2017 16:15

Why spend time studying the Bible?
Mel Tavares (C) 2017

12733 Bible Devotional Coffee.800w.tnWhat profit is there from investing hours, days, weeks, months, or years in studying the Word of God?

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

We study, not just to show ourselves approved (as 2 Timothy exhorts us to). We study, not just for our own benefit, so that we may live righteous and holy lives before our Living God and Savior. We also must study to become equipped for every good work, regardless of our particular area of calling to the ministry. The Bible provides spiritual truth in doctrine; reproof in showing our imperfections; correction by revealing our sinful failures; and instruction in living a righteous life.

We minister to people from all walks of life. They are broken and hurting, empty and despondent. Whether they be in prison, prostituting themselves on the streets, dealing with a chronic illness, or are the rich man (or woman) sitting in a business meeting; they need to answers to their questions. They need healing. They are captives that need to be set free. They are parents that need to know how to deal with their kids, the addict who needs deliverance.

We are on the brink of revival here in New England, and we here in Connecticut are going to be instrumental in the revival. Revival happens when people decide enough is enough and they can no longer deal with living with what this world has to offer, and they cry out to God. When hundreds, yea thousands, yea tens of thousands begin to cry out and hunger and thirst after God-revival breaks out. When revival begins to break out (as it is now, with embers of revival fires beginning to burn), spiritually hungry and hurting people are going to turn to us for answers. We must be ready and equipped, for there will be no time to start learning at that point. If a water main breaks in town, there is an immediate need for an equipped workman to step in with his toolbox and knowledge and immediately remedy the breach. So it is with ministering to people. We need to be ready, because the floodgates are beginning to open.

We know there is no deficiency in the Bible for man, in any of the situations in which we may be in life. Every situation that I just mentioned and so many more, are addressed in the Word of God. Who in this world is not concerned about finances? If they turn to us for answers, we must be ready to point them to the 2200+ Scriptures that deal with money issues. The lonely, the broken hearted, those who have succumbed to a myriad of temptations then repented and are now looking for a roadmap of how to live….these are the ones who are all around us and are beginning to cry out for answers. Where the Bible is silent on specifics—such as where a young person should go to college—then we are to apply biblical principles (good stewardship of God-given resources, protecting one’s heart and mind from godless influences, etc.) to the situation while at the same time allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal direction. Regardless of the situation a person is facing, answers are found within the Bible.

The revival fires are smoldering and we must study to be equipped with a full toolbox, ready to give answers to the hope that lies within us, but also with real answers for real issues people are facing.  I read this quote recently “Christians need not go down to the Philistines to whet their tools, nor be beholden to unwritten traditions, or to the writings of pagan philosophers, for directions what to do, how to worship God, or manage any part of their conversation, either as to their general calling, or as to their particular relations. The answers are in the Word of God”

We must have tools at our disposal for when they are needed and necessary in our lives and in the lives of those around us. You have some knowledge. Some of us may have much knowledge. But, we know that the mysteries of God are deep and we must continue to study God’s Word, the Bible. Where ever you find yourself today in this journey, however far you have already come, know that there are always more tools to be added to your toolbox for ministry. Continue to study, continue to learn, continue to be equipped; so that you may live righteous and holy lives and that you may be effective when ministering to others!

Thursday, 27 April 2017 18:38

Here are three questions for you to consider:mel tavares150x200

  • How do you share your faith in the real world?
  • How do you live out your faith online?
  • How do you see other sharing their faith online?

We are called to preach the gospel to all nations. It should be our goal to go beyond preaching the gospel to all people. Rather, we should purpose to make disciples of them.  A large part of making disciples is teaching and equipping believers (Christ followers), that they may be prepared to live the life Christ has called them to.

When we disciple, we  are intentional about  creating a Biblical community of believers who are passionately committed, sensitive and submitted, are mission driven, are family oriented and keep family as a priority, ones who are responsible citizens, and are evangelistically bold.

Technology pervades nearly every aspect of our daily lives, especially those of our youth and millennial adults, and yet we rarely talk about it in our churches. In this media-driven world that we live in, utilizing digital platforms for ministry has never been easier.  Today’s youth are ‘digital natives’ who are tech savvy and already using every possible platform of media.

People carry powerful smartphones and tablets, and they work daily on desktop and laptop computers. They are continually plugged into the internet and social networks—technologies which have completely saturated our daily lives and work. Nearly all students and adults have smartphones, and even if they aren’t checking them, they are fiddling around in their purses and pockets checking for them.

Social media saturates our daily lives, like eating breakfast and taking the bus to school or commuting to work, so much so that not sharing our feelings in images and updates would be foreign, even in our faith lives.

Why not use the digital platforms to spread the gospel, equip believers, and create disciples?:

What Can You Do?

You can tweet prayers and post happenings on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Also, liberally use Instagram and Facebook Live, share the VCC App, Use the hashtag #VCCinCT, and numerous other possibilities. If you use these platforms, be sure to interact with the VCC media pages, share the posts, retweet etc. By doing so, the VCC reach will expand into your sphere of influence.

You can connect with others and connect them to God and to our church by giving them glimpses of what God is doing in people’s lives through the ministries of Victory Christian Church. Invite them to events, share the news and announcements with them, and get them connected here at VCC.  

You can help people grow and become equipped by posting encouraging Scriptures, graphics, articles, insights and more.

Learn More About Qualities of a Disciple

VCC’s Senior Pastor, Peter Leal spent several sessions preaching a series called ‘The 10 Qualities of a Disciple’. You can listen to the full series on the VCC church APP  or on our YouTube channel. 

About the Author: Mel is currently the Communications Director at VCC. She is the founder of VCC's Kingdom Writers Ministries. Prior to coming to VCC, Mel worked for over 15 years as a journalist, freelance content writer, and editor. (After 20 years in the field of Rehab/Special Education) She is the published author of 2 books and is working on a 3rd one. She is a Bible School student and loves to expend her days ministering in one way or another.  Mel is 'Joe's Wife', mom/stepmom to 1 high school senior, 6 adult kids and several sons-in-laws, and is soon to welcome grandbabies #8 & 9 to the family. 

Thursday, 27 April 2017 18:25

The Conflagration
Liz Hall ® 2017

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As I drove down a familiar street early one morning I noticed smoke coming from a building I had driven by many times.  It was a large structure and had been reconstructed into individual apartments.  I’m not sure how many people lived there but I had always guessed it was quite a few based on the number of cars in the adjacent lot and the activity in and around the place.

Seeing the smoke my heart began to race and I quickly pulled over, slammed the car into park and ran towards the front entrance.  This was dangerous; someone had to warn these people.  Not thinking I ran into the foyer and surprisingly through a door into the hallway.  I frantically began knocking on doors. 

To my dismay the first few doors did not open in response to my knocking and I didn’t know if there was anyone home or if they just chose not to respond.  Were they sleeping? Did they not hear me?  How could I warn them of the danger if they did not respond?  Desperate to get the message out I moved on.

I felt relieved as the next few doors were opened by occupants who received my warnings and left for safety outside of the building.  I was so thankful they were free from danger, but within a few minutes I saw that once they were safe a few decided they had left something of importance behind and returned inside towards the imminent danger.  “No”, I pleaded, “don’t go back, stay safely outside”, but I could not dissuade them from returning to the burning building.

I continued on.  Incredulously, there were some who opened their doors but upon not knowing who I was did not believe me.  They did not smell the smoke and were not alarmed by the commotion; they were convinced the message was not for them.  They had no visible proof of smoke or fire and decided they could just go about their lives convinced they would be ok.  I begged, pleading with them to please come away from the danger.  I warned them that staying meant they may be consumed by fire, smoke and impending death.  I told them I knew the way out and they could be free from this danger, but it seemed as though they neither heard nor understood my words. 

I quickly moved to other doors and floors in the building. Some people had already smelled the smoke and were on their way to safety.  As other apartment doors opened in response to my knocking the occupants who were warned of the smoke and impending flames heard and understood.  They responded accordingly.  They heeded my words and fled the danger heading towards the outside where they could be free from being burned, overtaken by smoke inhalation or possible death.

In the end some were saved but sadly some were not.  They all received the same message of danger that could lead to death but all did not hear or respond.

Jesus said “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.  In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving’. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them” Matt 13: 13-15

 About the AuthorLiz is a founding member of the Kingdom Writers Ministry of VCC, and is the Vice-President of the Chapter Board. She has written extensively, been published on multiple occassions, and is the author of a published memoir/tribute. She is the director of the VCC Singles Ministry, is a lover of all things outdoors, of music, of dogs and of her family. 

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