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NP Blog Posts 2019

NP Blog Posts 2019

1.23.2020

Dear Church Family,

On Monday, we gathered to pray for the Hawkins, Ivascu, Ruiz, and Campusano families. We are coordinating efforts and assistance to the family (click HERE for more information and to donate). We share their shock and grief. As we all process the tragic loss that has impacted the families in our church, we turn to God in prayer. Here is a summary of Monday evening’s focus that might assist you as you go to the Lord in prayer.

When you pray, acknowledge the greatness of God and our limitations in life: 

Reflect on the Word of God in Psalm 90:1-11 —

Remember that the Lord has been and is our dwelling place from everlasting to everlasting; He is God. Jacob Ivascu, Daniel Hawkins, and Drake Ruiz were all taken sooner than anyone expected. We know that the Lord provides comfort to the families.

A Promise from the Word of God: Psalm 139:13-16 —

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Pray for healing:

Reflect on Psalm 103:1-5 —

The surviving boys are recovering, but it will be a long road ahead. Pray for their physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. They have been through multiple traumas and will need healing and encouragement.

A Promise from the Word of God: Psalm 103:8-22 —

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

Pray and express your grief:

This is a loss to all: the families, the friends, the church, the community. It is okay to grieve and to let God know, through prayer, how this is impacting you.

Reflect on Psalm 77:1-12 —

I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.

Pray for those who cry aloud to God wanting to be heard. Pray for those who cannot sleep because of their grief. Pray for those who need to be comforted, and those who are so grief-stricken they cannot speak.

A Promise from the Word of God: Philippians 4:4-7 —

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Pray for God’s comfort to the families:

Reflect on Revelation 21:1-5 —

Pray for parents who lost a son. Pray for siblings who lost a brother: Friends who lost a buddy.

  • Craig, Janet, Joshua, and Sara Hawkins
  • Alex, Ramona, Joshua, Jeremiah, Jillian, and Jedidiah Ivascu
  • Debbie Ruiz
  • The Campusano Family

A Promise from the Word of God: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 —

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

Pray for comfort to all:

Reflect on Psalm 42 —

Pray that our souls would thirst for the Lord even when we are asking, “Where is God?” Pray that we would look to the Lord even when our souls are cast down, in turmoil, and we say to God, our rock, “Why have you forgotten me?” Pray for a renewal of hope in God, even when our soul is cast down.

A Promise from the Word of God: Hebrews 4:14-16 —

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

 

Pray for our ability to understand:

Reflect on John 11:17-27 —

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother (Lazarus) would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. 

We often may not understand why things happen. When things happen that we do not understand, we should run toward God, not away from Him. We believe.  Pray that the Lord helps our unbelief.

A Promise from the Word of God: Psalm 139:7-12 —

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

We affirm our confidence in the Sovereignty of God:

Reflect on Romans 8:26-30 —

We know that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we do not know how to pray or have the words to express our hearts. We know that God is at work even when we do not see how that can be. We know that He works for our good. We know He completes those things that He begins.

A Promise from the Word of God: Romans 8:31-37, 38-39 —

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are thankful for the first responders and medical personnel:

Reflect on Psalm 121:2 —

We know that our help comes from the Lord, who uses people to bring us comfort and healing. We pray that the memories of the first responders would be cleared of lingering scenes and that their consciences would be clear, knowing they had done all they could. The Lord never stops giving spiritual protections.

A Promise from the Word of God: Psalm 121 —

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Pray that we forgive the perpetrator whose actions led to the loss of life:

Reflect on Luke 6:27-36 —

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Love your enemies.

We are called to bless those who mistreat us. This is very hard to do. We should be merciful, even as our heavenly Father is merciful. Christ is our example.

A Promise from the Word of God: Romans 5:6-11 —

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Pray that we Commit Our Lives to the Lord:

Hear the Words of Psalm 90:12-17 —

Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.

We should value every day of our lives. We should embrace family and friends and commit our lives to serving our great God. We pray for God to make us glad and to bless our endeavors as we do His will.

A Promise from the Word of God: Hebrews 13:20-21 —

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

We Acknowledge the Goodness of God —

We end with Psalm 23. As you pray, remember these Words from the Lord.

A psalm of David:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Amen

 

1.16.2020

An Update From the Elders

A quick note of thanks to our congregation for your faithful and sacrificial giving: We ended the calendar year with a General Fund balance that is up almost $50,000 compared to last year at this time, and we are currently $58,000 above our budget needs for the fiscal year. The Lord has provided, through your tithes and offerings, for unexpected, non-budgeted items that have come our way. The most recent one is a need to replace sound equipment and microphones for the Worship Center and Heritage Hall. The FCC has made changes in the allowable broadcast frequencies that impacted our older equipment. Replacement costs are around $14,000. The Lord knew of our need, and He has supplied the funds through your gracious giving. Praise His Name, and thank you for your financial generosity.

The Northpoint Leadership Team

1.9.2019

Seek and You Will Find

By Dave Dussault
Northpoint Prayer Ministries

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. … For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”  – Isaiah 55:6-7, 12

So often, what we need the most is what we seek the least, while treasures untold lay right before us untouched and neglected. The central story of the Bible is the all-wise and all-powerful God who made us offering His love to people who refuse to notice Him and who will exist eternally without Him, except for the work of His omnipotent grace. This self-revealing God calls us to seek Him and promises that when we do, we will find all we need.

Let’s learn from Isaiah what it looks like to be “seeking the LORD.”

 

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near” (55:6): Seek Christ now. We dare not presume upon His grace and assume He will always be available. Seek Him as a habit.

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts” (55:7): There’s always a choice between following Christ and going our own way, which is sin. Cultivate obedience and confession of sin. Trust God and believe that what He has for you is better than anything else you may desire.

“Let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (55:7): Turn away from sin and toward God. Forsake pride and receive His abundant forgiveness. Learn to practice repentance.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (55:9): We understand that a holy God demands justice. But His redeeming grace—which saves even sinners like us—is beyond our comprehension.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, … so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose” (55:10-11): God superintends physical and spiritual systems that are certain to accomplish His eternal purposes. God’s Word brings His blessings to all the earth, and He calls His people to take His truth throughout the world (Acts 1:8).

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (55:12): Along with all creation, we will enjoy the blessings of God’s favor and goodness. Our hope is certain because we have God’s promise.

Make 2020 a year of seeking God through His Word and in prayer. Let the Living Lord be the object of your daily search. Live in the hope of Jesus’ promise: “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10).

And we seek the LORD to the praise of His glory.

In Him,

Dave Dussault
Northpoint Prayer Ministry

– Each week, Dave updates a monthly Bible reading plan and writes a Bible and prayer focus, Prayer Life. The preceding is a recent installment. You can pick up both offerings at the Information Center in the Foyer on Sundays or sign up there to receive them via email. You can also click here to find the archive: https://northpointcorona.org/ministries/prayer/

 

1.2.2020

In 2007, we obtained a 0.6-acre parcel of land next to the southwest corner of our property. This was acquired as part of a larger transaction involving the development of the Rite-Aid, and resulted in Northpoint receiving $300,000 in cash and the land.

As the church and our ministries have developed since then, it has become clear that the land doesn’t fit into our long-term strategic plans. It’s too remote for a building, and its shape and location wouldn’t help improve parking. As such, we’d rather improve and grow the campus we have, or support church planting, than to expand into a narrow corner.

In early 2017, a buyer approached us about using it for a private residence, and based on a market survey, we agreed to a price of $100,000 and a split of the surveying costs. The congregation gave approval in the Spring of 2017, and we moved forward with the buyer and his builder.

The actual transfer and closing of the purchase took longer than expected, and to keep it moving forward, we gave permission to the buyer to start construction. God’s timing is always right; we closed escrow this week and have netted $98,994 from the transaction.

Our goal is to use the funds to improve our existing buildings. Some of our AC units are approaching the end of their designed life-span, and other areas need repair to help them last longer. We will follow God’s guidance and plan carefully for the best use of these funds so that we can sustain our ministries long into the future.

The Northpoint Leadership Team

 

12.26.2019

King of Glory

By Dave Dussault
Northpoint Prayer Ministries

“Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in. Who is this King of Glory? The LORD, strong and Mighty, the LORD, Mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in. Who is He this King of Glory? The LORD of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.” – Psalm 24:7-10

No wonder they wondered! What was most remarkable about the newborn Messiah was how unremarkable He was—eyes tight shut like any newborn, hands clinched just as anyone would expect. Soft, tiny, and helpless. Yet they knew they were gazing on the King of all there is. There was only one way that band of gaping shepherds knew who this baby really was. God had revealed it to them.

We’ve been doing Christmas so long that we think we understand. We’ve got it down. This is exactly the time to stop and let God reveal Himself to us again. Take a fresh look at Jesus. Who is this King of Glory?

Lord of All: Since childhood, the shepherds had learned, “the earth is the LORD’s and all that fills it” (24:1). And now, there He was, a part of His creation. Everything belonged to the newborn Jesus because He made everything. He spoke, and it was. The tiniest flower. The most delicate butterfly. Hundreds of trillions of stars filling the night sky. All are His. The Holy Infant’s tiny clutching fingers wielded the power that made them.

The voice of Mary’s infant, crying to be swaddled, warmed, and fed, expressed the voice that tamed the seas and brought forth the dry land. He directs the course of all the water that flows, from the drains in our sink to the Amazon River. Everything there is came about at this Baby’s word. Then He filled the earth with life and every good thing that sustains life. Jesus Christ is “the Fountain of Life” (Psalm 36:9).

Holy God: No one ever looked at God—not if they wanted to live. Yet there He was, right before their eyes! Those present at Jesus’ birth had heard Isaiah’s dread-filled words, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3)! Why weren’t they dead? Who could possibly come before this glorious king? Who would dare to stand before Him? Only those with clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:4), who had never uttered a false word.

They were witnessing a miracle. More than a miracle of new life, this moment was the miracle of all time. This baby was the promise from the dawn of time, when Man violated the will of God Most Holy and devastated the earth with sin—the curse of separation from God. This Jesus would crush sin and Satan to bring an end to all the fears and agonies they caused, and swing open the door back to the Father.

LORD of Hosts: The LORD of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.” Jesus is the “LORD of Armies”—all the armies of heaven and earth. No power in heaven or on earth belongs to anyone else but Him. When the armies of Israel conquered, it was in the name of the LORD. When their enemies defeated them, it was at His command, to accomplish His holy purpose. Psalm 24:7-10 depicts the LORD returning in triumph from battle, after laying waste those who do evil so they never rise again (Psalm 36:12).

The manger, that rough-hewn feeding trough in Bethlehem, held the Divine Warrior, who had come to bridge the infinite divide between sinful man and our Holy Creator and bring peace between us. Jesus is the perfect example of unconditional love. But He’s also the Warrior God who has conquered sin and death—not by slaying evildoers but by taking on human flesh and dying to sin for us. He conquered the world by surrendering to His Father’s will and accepting His just wrath for sin—our sin.

Prince of Peace: Peace is more than the absence of conflict. It’s the defeat of evil. More than an inner calm, peace is the complete confidence that all is well and all will be well. The “Sweet Little Jesus Child” does more than evoke tender feelings of peace. He is the Mighty God and Everlasting Father who came to make peace, by becoming God’s peace offering for us.

Lift up your heads and behold the Baby Jesus. He is the King of Glory!

To the praise of His glory,

Dave Dussault
Northpoint Prayer Ministry

– Each week, Dave updates a monthly Bible reading plan and writes a Bible and prayer focus, Prayer Life. The preceding is a recent installment. You can pick up both offerings at the Information Center in the Foyer on Sundays or sign up there to receive them via email. You can also click here to find the archive: https://northpointcorona.org/ministries/prayer/

12.19.2019

Do You Know What I Know?

By Dave Dussault
Northpoint Prayer Ministries

He shall speak peace to the nations.” – Zechariah 9:10b

Do you see what I see? Christmas is a season for children. Gaze on a sleeping infant—so vulnerable, sweet, seemingly so innocent. We project all of our hopes on these tiny new members of our homes. Teach them well. Raise them with love. Transfer good values and provide a positive example so they’ll make us proud and encourage our hopes for the future.

But earthly hopes are born to conflict. Not everyone aspires to good things. Setting aside the reality of original sin—which shows up ever too quickly—newborn innocents enter too soon into the everyday battle of good against evil. Everything from playground tussles and pressure from peers to gangs and the war on drugs will assail our treasured newborns in a few short years. Innocence is an embattled commodity.

An ugly thought at Christmas, but don’t forget the ugly backdrop of the nativity. The slaughter of the innocent children of Bethlehem and Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more (Matthew 2:18) haunt Christmas’ idyllic tale and reveal the ugly reason why Christ came to earth. Man’s battle against evil is not going well—not really.

 

 

Even when good prevails over evil, innocence is lost, and corruption progresses. Winning requires gaining an advantage. This world is given over to the devil, and in this world, an advantage costs a little bit of your soul.

The invention of the stirrup gave the Mongols an advantage they used to strike fear into the civilized world. The English developed the longbow and used this advantage to control the world. Eventually, this arms race brought destruction to a staggering scale as “good” determined to gain mastery over “evil.” Only seven decades ago, after 70 million deaths, “good” gained advantage over “evil” and brought the horrors of the nuclear age. Death and destruction are the logic of fallen humanity.

Do you hear what I hear? False hope abounds. Faith in the goodness of humanity is becoming increasingly insistent as if just believing harder will change human nature and the clear trajectory of human events. As if blowing harder could extinguish a wildfire. The cost of hope is an emphatic denial of reality.

But Christmas brings joy like a refreshing breeze to our stifling days. And Joy is no denial of reality. Joy is the entrance of eternal reality into the stuffy confinement of daily events. God entered our race with the birth of the Child Christ and through Him, the reality of God’s Redemption.

In October 1962, the music industry commissioned a couple to write a Christmas song. The sight of children being strolled around the streets of New York brought no inspiration. It was the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the shadow of nuclear holocaust—a very real possibility—hung over the world. But finally, the couple produced a song that is popular to this day. Its climax is the earnest plea, “Pray for peace, people everywhere!” This carol turns our hearts in the right direction—to God.

Do you know what I know? Our message of hope to the world is the good news of who Jesus Christ really is. What He accomplished for lost humanity is the basis for eternal confidence. His birth brings “good news of great joy … for all the people” (Luke 2:10).

Because Jesus lived His life on earth as God the Son, fully divine and fully human, His death was sufficient payment for the cumulative weight of all the evils of all humanity for all time—including yours and mine. In Christ, faith doesn’t deny reality. It grasps the accomplished and documented reality that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead in victory over sin and death.

The tiny Baby in the manger would eventually astonish His disciples by uttering two commands from a small boat in a very large storm. In response to His disciples’ plea for salvation, He ordered the storm to “cease,” and it did, then He commanded the wave to “be still,” and they were.

Listen to what I say! One day, Christ will speak again. He will “speak peace to the nations,” and like the storm and sea, they will obey the voice of our Savior and Lord. Then and only then, will all the earth find peace through Christ the King and cry, “Glory!”

To the praise of His glory,

Dave Dussault
Northpoint Prayer Ministry

 

12.12.2019

“True Treasure”

By Dave Dussault

Northpoint Prayer Ministries

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” – Matthew 13:44-46

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21

Hello Church Family,

We live for a different world.

God made us to live, but the world we live in is dying. Jesus died to this dying world and rose again to a new one, which will never pass away. The Christian life—living by faith in Christ—is a life of dying to this world and living for the new world Christ created when He rose again. Living by faith in Christ means daily releasing the things that tie us to this world and receiving the eternal treasures God promised us in Christ. We let go of this world in order to gain the next.

We live for the love of Christ.

Jesus is our first love, our true treasure, the one essential thing in life. He is the Author of life and the Creator of the world. No one matters more in this world. Jesus Christ is the One who loved us and traveled the infinite distance from heaven to earth to make us His own. He became a man, died in our place to pay a debt we owe but could never repay. All things in heaven and earth belong to Him, so by possessing Christ, the believer owns all things. What else could we desire besides Him?

“Prayer is pursuing Christ.

Prayer brings the reality of heaven into our daily lives. It makes the next world part of this one by making Christ our goal on earth and His kingdom the essence of all we seek. Answered prayer is receiving Him.

The Holy Spirit is God in us.

He is our present realization of the ultimate blessing of being with Christ forever. He’s our “portion,” the present experience of a future reality bought by Christ. God’s Spirit is Emmanuel in the believer’s life today.

Faith that overcomes the world has a “come what may” quality to it. It trusts God when He takes away the things of this world and expects Him to replace them with better things—in His time. As we pursue the tasks and challenges of this life, we look to Christ to take care of us and provide for us, knowing that the last thing we’ll release to God is our life on this earth, and trusting that the first thing we’ll receive afterward is life forever with Him.

Expectant prayer embraces the good and bad in life, accepting the fact that this world is not our home. We evaluate what happens in this life based on something other than the good we do or don’t experience on earth. It prays, “not my will but yours be done,” as Christ did in Gethsemane, with the same faith that led Jesus to the cross to conquer death. This prayer and this faith led the apostles to follow Christ in life and in death. This faith built the church. This faith sees what isn’t but what will be. This faith obtains things through prayer, accomplishes God’s work on earth, and receives the hope of heaven.

True Treasure pays eternal interest. A life lived for the love of Christ reaps ten-thousand-fold interest. It claims Jesus as our greatest Treasure and understands that He is more precious than anything this world has to offer. It’s the hope of the coming year, as we live, pray, hope, and aspire for the praise of His glory.

In Him,

Dave Dussault

Northpoint Prayer Ministries

12.5.2019

The Satisfied Life

By Dave Dussault
Northpoint Prayer Ministries

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. – James 4:1-4

Hello Church Family,

God is renewing Northpoint as a church. He’s getting rid of the old to make room for the new. This housecleaning is not without pain or difficulty. It’s the working out of death that brings new life. It’s following in the way of Christ. God is working a miracle in our church. There is so much for us to look forward to, but there’s also much we need to let go of as a body and as individuals.

The Satisfied Life Email FB Banner 2019
And our passions are the first things that need to go. In order to embrace one another in love, we need to let go of the things that matter more to us than Christ. The trappings of church that are exactly to our liking and activities that perfectly suit our taste compete with our Savior for our love.

Our passions, as James calls them, create an insatiable desire for more. They turn our focus from God’s fullness to what we want but don’t have, and create demands that conflict with the desires of others. So we contend with each other so to get what we want at their expense. This is how our desires displace Christ’s love in our lives and relationships.

This process also blunts the power of our prayers. When what we want but don’t have becomes the focus of our prayers, the God we have but no longer desire begins to say, “No.” When we let our emptiness define us, His fullness will never satisfy us. Prayerlessness and unanswered prayer are symptoms of a compromised love for Christ. So are the interpersonal conflicts they produce.

As humans, we are made from the stuff of earth, so naturally, we desire things that are in the world. But our world is under the curse of sin, and it’s passing away. As Christians, we are not of this world. We’re free from this dying planet and everything in it that draws us away from the God who made us, and His Son who saves us. Prayer brings heaven down to earth to make us ready for heaven, and to do heaven’s work here on earth. Freedom in Christ is freedom from the power this world has over our lives.

And so, drawing close to Christ brings conviction more than comfort. But that conviction is healthy, and avoiding it is exactly the wrong thing to do. Drawing near to God means letting Him examine our lives for things that separate us from Him. It means praying with David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). Here are some self-examination questions that go along with that prayer.

• What passions are leading me to ask wrongly?
• What do I get mad at God about when I don’t have it?
• What makes me angry with others when things go their way and not mine?
• What are some things God gave me to use in His service that I’m clinging to as my own?
• What things at Northpoint do I value for my sake instead of God’s?
• What do I need to let go of because it comes between me and my Lord—or me and my brother?

Our passions are things we love more than Christ. When we want the gift more than the Giver and the creation more than the Creator, we commit spiritual adultery. Letting God search our hearts sets us free to live the satisfied life and empties our hands so they can receive His abundant riches—riches we enjoy, not just for ourselves, but together as a body to the praise of God’s glory.

Living the Examined Life

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:15-17

This passage gives us a filter for our affections and helps us separate the good from the bad in our lives. Living an examined life means evaluating everything we do, think, and value in terms of good and bad, darkness and light, of God and of this world so that we can live free in Christ.

• Do not love the world or the things in the world: Lust is anything we love more than Christ.
• If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him: This world is God’s primary
rival in our hearts.
• For all that is in the world: Everything in this world has the potential to pull us away from loving
God first.
– the desires of the flesh: Things that please us physically.
– the desires of the eyes: Things we see and want to have.
– pride of life: Things that gratify our need to feel important.
• is not from the Father but is from the world: Our choice in life is clear and stark—we can have the world and lose Christ, or we can have Christ and be free from this world.
• And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever: God is forever, and He made us in Christ to belong to Him forever. This world is an anchor that drags us away from Him and down to death. As humans, we are made from the stuff of earth, so naturally, we desire things that are in the world.

To the praise of His glory,

Dave Dussault
Northpoint Prayer Ministry

– Each week, Dave updates a monthly Bible reading plan and writes a Bible and prayer focus, Prayer Life. The preceding is a recent installment. You can pick up both offerings at the Information Center in the Foyer on Sundays or sign up there to receive them via email. You can also click here to find the archive: https://northpointcorona.org/ministries/prayer/

 

11.21.2019

Plucked Up & Torn Down

By Holli Worthington
Northpoint Women’s Ministries

“Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, and praise and a glory. …” – Jeremiah 33:6-9a

Hello Church Family,

It was not a very desirable job to be assigned to when God called Jeremiah to be his prophet and deliver God’s messages to his people. The message God wanted Jeremiah to deliver was that God was going to “pluck up” and “tear down” (Jeremiah1:10). This was not a terribly popular message. In fact, the people did not want to hear it at all. But leading up to this time and even throughout the time of Jeremiah’s preaching, God had given his beloved people many opportunities to turn back from following their own way and submit to God’s sovereign and loving will. Unfortunately, the people continued in their rebellious ways and did not submit to God.

In Jeremiah 31:28, God says, “As I have watched over them (emphasis mine) to pluck up and break down. …” Even as his children experienced the consequences of sin, God watched over them. And, in the midst of their sin, God had a plan and a purpose—because sin doesn’t derail God’s redemptive plans. Somehow, God weaves our sin into his good plans for his people. This is part of the mystery of his sovereignty. He does this without tempting us to sin, without wanting us to sin, and while still holding us accountable for our sin. And what the devil would rejoice in and use to destroy God’s people, God will use for the good of his people. The last part of verse 28 says, “So I will watch over them to plant and to build.”

God told Jeremiah that the reason he would pluck up and tear down was so that he could replant and rebuild. The time for pruning and repairing was over; God had plowed up the fields and torn down the buildings, and now God was going to do something new. Through the prophet Isaiah, he says to the people of Judah:

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”

The new thing God was going to do was to transform their hearts.

Dear church, it would seem that we, too, have been plucked up and torn down. Certainly, there were numerous times when we could have made different choices or turned back from the many things that brought us to this place, but God, in his sovereignty, has allowed us to be right where we are. And if God, who is all-powerful, all-wise, and all-good, allows something—then he has a redemptive purpose for it. There is cause for godly sorrow and repentance, (and we should pray for this because it is a gift from God), but there is no cause for despair and hopelessness.

Listen to what God says about the devastated city of Jerusalem that had been plucked up and torn down:

“Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, and praise and a glory. …” 

I will heal.
I will restore.
I will cleanse.
I will forgive.

Maybe you have been hurt; God will heal. Maybe you have been wronged; God will restore. Maybe you are ashamed; God will cleanse. Maybe you’ve sinned; God will forgive.

One of the wonderful things about belonging to our sovereign God is that nothing is lost or wasted with him. He uses ALL things for our good if we surrender to his purpose of making us more like Jesus. Even our hurts. Even our sins. He sees them both and wants us to lay them at his feet.

Take heart church, for if there was hope in the days of Jeremiah, there is great hope for us! Ask God what needs plucking up or tearing down in your own heart and confidently hope in the promises of our faithful and loving God who says:

I have loved you with an everlasting love (31:3).
With pleas for mercy I will lead them back (31:9).
My people shall be satisfied with my goodness (31:14).
There is hope for your future (31:17).
For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish (31:25).

Let us all pray for soft hearts and eyes of faith that will perceive a new work of God. Let us pray that our church will be to God “a name of joy, and praise and a glory. …”

In Him,

Holli Worthington

 

11.14.2019

Hello Church Family,

Please be in prayer for the Leadership Team and for our church. The Team meets again on Monday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m., for prayer and planning. We have regular meetings each month and ask that you pray for us as we review more responses to NL Moore’s recommendations. We are also moving forward with discussions on interim assistance on many levels. We need interim staff to help with worship, administration, and conflict resolution. Please be in prayer that we are unified, gracious, and strive together to see where the Lord is leading.

We also encourage you to join the on-campus prayer meeting that happens every Monday at 6:00 p.m. in the Commons. Just show up.

We seek only His will,

The Leadership Team

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:12-17

Memorial Service

Memorial Service

The memorial service to celebrate the lives of Drake, Daniel, and Jacob will be at Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, Tuesday, January 28, at 4:00 p.m. The service will also be live-streamed; we will provide details when available. Continue Reading

Funeral Service for Drake, Daniel, & Jacob

Funeral Service for Drake, Daniel, & Jacob

This coming Wednesday, January 29, Northpoint will be hosting the funeral for Drake Ruiz, Daniel Hawkins, and Jacob Ivascu. This service, open to the young men’s families, friends, and those who fellowship here, will take place in the Worship Center, at 5:00 p.m. A reception will follow in Heritage Hall. Childcare for children birth-1st grade will be provided for the service… Continue Reading

An Update on the Tragic Collision

1.23.2020 Dear Church Family, On Monday, we gathered to pray for the Hawkins, Ivascu, Ruiz, and Campusano families. We are coordinating efforts and assistance to the family (click HERE for more information and to donate). We share their shock and grief. As we all process the tragic loss that has impacted the families in our church, we… Continue Reading

Candlelight Vigil

Candlelight Vigil

Our friends at Olive Branch Church have invited us to a candlelight vigil THIS Friday to remember the families and those we’ve lost in the recent car collision. Here’s the invitation they sent to Northpoint: Northpoint Church Family, This Friday, January 24, at 7:00 p.m., Olive Branch Church & School will be hosting a candlelight vigil on our property located on the corner of Trilogy… Continue Reading

Congregational Meeting

Congregational Meeting

Our Congregational Meeting has been postponed until Sunday, February 9, at 4:00 p.m. Among other things, we will affirm Jasmin Bedrosian, Samson Gastelum, Sheila Hartley, Erika Lazo, Gruia Tomuta, Stetania Tomuta, and Mary Williams as new members, and get an update on the Northpoint finances. Continue Reading

Griefshare – Grief Support Group

Griefshare – Grief Support Group

GriefShare is a ministry for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The new session begins on Tuesday, February 4, at 7:00 p.m., in the Worship Center Music Room. For more info and to register, please call Mary Williams at 951.415.9022 or Michele Balga in the NP Office at 951.734.1335 Continue Reading

Women’s Retreat 2020

Women’s Retreat 2020

Calling All Women!  Our This Changes Everything Women’s Retreat happens April 17-19. This year, we will be staying at the beautiful Ayres Hotel and Suites in Costa Mesa/Newport Beach. Our special speaker will be Martha Harding, conference speaker, and director of Women’s Ministries at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita. Registration begins February 9. Click HERE for more. Continue Reading

NP K!DS’ Choir – TONIGHT!

NP K!DS’ Choir – TONIGHT!

The NP K!DS’ Choir (grades 1-6) is back for our winter/spring session! We will be rehearsing on Thursday nights, starting NEXT Thursday, January 16, from 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., in the Worship Center Music Room. No prior choir experience necessary. We will sing great songs, learn about music, and have fun together! We will be… Continue Reading