“The Last Five Minutes” – Pastor Lyle Lopez

As Abundant Harvest Fellowship International continues its series entitled: Proclaim The Lordship of Christ; Pastor Lyle Lopez teaches us to number our days and work for what matter most as he begins the message with an illustration that questions each saint as to what one will do if posed with the last five minutes of their life. Pastor Lyle teaches us the importance of leading our loved ones to the straight path, for our days our numbered on this earth. He continues by presenting the steps to not waste their life on fleshly desires. To number our days that we may apply our hearts into wisdom. payor Lyle highlights the present problem with society today including the churches in general as to the failure to present the Lordship of Christ and move people to be right with God especially since time is ticking; and soon the end shall come. Thus the question; what would we do in our last Five Minutes.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 – It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.

Meet The Need: You Only Get What You Give

“What I have I give, what you have you give”! Let us lovingly achieve ” To Meet The Need” of the brethren.

Last Sunday, Abundant Harvest Fellowship International launched an initiative entitled: Meet The Need; calling out to the Saints of the Church to fill requisitions for things that they may have, or have stocked in excess and moving each person to give and meet the need of their brethren.

The turn out for the 1st Sunday was a huge success as everyone was able to obtain their needs from the communal plate set up by the church thus moving forward as a body of believers who seek to be in want for nothing especially during the Christmas season. This goes hand in hand with the idealism set forth in the New Testament church in Acts 2:44-47.

Acts 2:44-47 – All the believers were together and had everything in common.45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Thus we call out to all our brothers and sisters in Christ, not just in AHFi but in every church that truly proclaims the Lordship of Christ. You might be keeping items in your possession that may give you the privilege to meet the need of another brother or sister in Christ; This is your chance to share and make a difference- not just for your family, or your church but in your community. In this season of Perpetual Hope let us be reminded How God GAVE His only begotten son Jesus Christ to save us all so that we may have Eternal Life. The saving knowledge of God’s Grace is His gift to us. The ministry of “Giving” witholding nothing is Jesus Christ’s ministry. Let us practice Generosity until it becomes second nature to us.

Matthew 25:29 – “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

Acts 20:35 – “I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “

Remember ” You only get what you Give.” Go the extra mile “To Meet The Need.” The Ministry of Giving never ends! Be a joyful cheerful Giver! Have a Blessed CHRIST-mas everyone!

Why Do We Celebrate Thanksgiving?

In this day and age, we see a decline in faith, a decline in gratitude and the crumbling of our humanity. Occasions and holidays are but dates where we get a silent reprieve from the everyday humdrum of life itself. Thus comes the question many in this age would ask- why celebrate thanksgiving; what have I to thank for?

Life my friend, we have life. If there is anything to be grateful for, it is the life bestowed upon us by God, our everyday; our family and friends and above all else- the hope and future to which every believer holds onto: Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yet some of us may yet be aware of the origins of this holiday and the overall message that we ought to apply in our everyday life in regards to shining a thankful heart. Thus, we’d like to give you a brief history on the subject thus ending it with a greeting from our Senior Pastor as we here in AHFI stand to give thanks for all and everything. For in victory or defeat, in harvest or drought, in sadness or joy- we ought to give thanks.

Habakkuk 3:17-18 – “Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”

A Brief History of Thanksgiving

Almost every culture in the world has held celebrations of thanks for a plentiful harvest. The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast of thanksgiving in the early days of the American colonies almost four hundred years ago.

In 1620, a boat filled with more than one hundred people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the New World. This religious group had begun to question the beliefs of the Church of England and they wanted to separate from it. The Pilgrims settled in what is now the state of Massachusetts. Their first winter in the New World was difficult. They had arrived too late to grow many crops, and without fresh food, half the colony died from disease. The following spring the Iroquois Indians taught them how to grow corn (maize), a new food for the colonists. They showed them other crops to grow in the unfamiliar soil and how to hunt and fish.

In the autumn of 1621, bountiful crops of corn, barley, beans and pumpkins were harvested. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so a feast was planned. They invited the local Indian chief and90 Indians. The Indians brought deer to roast with the turkeys and other wild game offered by the colonists. The colonists had learned how to cook cranberries and different kinds of corn and squash dishes from the Indians. To this first Thanksgiving, the Indians had even brought popcorn.

In following years, many of the original colonists celebrated the autumn harvest with a feast of thanks. After the United States became an independent country, Congress recommended one yearly day of thanksgiving for the whole nation to celebrate. George Washington suggested the date November 26 as Thanksgiving Day. Then in 1863, at the end of a long and bloody civil war, Abraham Lincoln asked all Americans to set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving.

Psalm 77:11 “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.”

A Message from The Head Pastor of Abundant Harvest Fellowship International

To My Dear Family and Friends, My brothers and sisters @ Abundant Harvest Fellowship International, I would like to greet everyone a Happy Thanks Giving, Truly we have so much to be thankful for as another year draws to a close and a New Year springs forth. God is so gracious as He moves in our lives to empower, enlighten, strengthen and guide each heart, mind, soul to His calling. From the breath of life we hold dear, the mornings that we enjoy; the friends who keeps us smiling, and the family we cherish dearly- we must be thankful, We should be Thankful.

Psalm 136:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”

Indeed, it is His love that gave life to us all, His love that gave us purpose, His love the helps us endure and His love that gave us salvation. His faithfulness stands thus we Give Thanks for these blessings, having a heart of gratitude to celebrate was has been given, cherish our relationships and strengthen our bonds of fellowship as we cleave to Christ alone.

Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

In this verse, it is explained how each morning is suppose to be filled with Thanksgiving, filled with gratefulness for man in all his subtleties have not wisdom; we think we hold our destiny, have command of each breath; captains of our fate- master’s of our soul yet we live in borrowed time; temporary as the dew in the morning yet God’s love upholds us, guides us and empowers us to reach the peak of our destiny; not by our might but by cleaving to His truth empowered by His grace. Thus Be Thankful, Be intentional in being grateful and celebrate this day and each day with a new found appreciation for this gift we call: Life by cleaving to His truth, turning away from Sin and proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ in each aspect of our existence.

In Jesus Name Amen! – Pastor Lyle “L.A.” Lopez and your AHFi Family

God With Us – Dead To Sin, Alive In Christ

Romans 5:2-21 – Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord

Are You Saved? A blunt question to begin mind you but imperative for us to answer through carefully examining our faith- so are we save? If our answer is yes, the next question is – How so? Remember the sincerity is not an assurance of salvation, nor the hogwash peddled by many churches today as to the one saved always saved idealism. Just knowing it, feeling or even claiming it is not an answer; nor does it stand as an assurance of salvation- so how do we know if we are truly saved; if we are numbered with the elect?

If we are Dead To Sin, Alive in Christ.

Understand that our salvation comes as a gift if God’s grace, but it can only be appropriated by the human response of Faith. So to understand salvation, understand the set soteriology to which we bide to- we must understand two word; 1st being Faith and 2nd; Grace. When we talk about Faith; we speak of saving faith in Jesus Christ which is the only condition God requires for salvation. Note though that many fail to understand that faith is not only a profession about Christ being Lord and Savior for anyone can say that they believe; but it seeks action- that is the activity coming from the heart of a true believer who seek to follow Christ; that means to walk in obedience, to walk in righteousness as proclaim Him as Lord and Savior of our lives. Matthew 16:24-25; the call of Christ to come and follow Him in faith calls for a denial of self- being set-apart from the world; separated from our former ignorance, Dead to sin and alive in Christ. Walking in the way of the Master requires us to carry our cross and press on through;the narrow path of righteousness which we can follow by the grace of God and faith in Jesus Christ. Easy enough; many people says it so- all we have to do is exude faith which is defined as complete trust. What many don’t realize is that the New Testaments concept of faith includes 4 main elements that make it Saving Faith.

The 1st is; Faith Means firmly believing and trusting in the crucified and risen Christ as our Personal Lord and Savior; It involves believing with all our hearts and completely yielding our will and committing our total selves to Jesus Christ. Romans 6:17-18 sets the understanding that once we were slaves to sin yet by the grace of God and power of Christ; we stand obedient thus being being set free from sin and becoming slaves unto righteousness, bound to Christ. This means that our will, our desires are bound to the King.

No longer I as found in Galatians 2:20; but Christ who lives in me. This means that all our actions, decisions are motivated not by our wants, but by our faith in Christ- we desire God above all else; thus in our desiring of the Lord; we live and are purpose to please and glorify our King.

The 2nd is; Faith Exudes Repentance which was a key point in the study of the book of Ezra. Repentance is two-fold; that being the confession of sin and restitution which is to be set-apart; separated and completely turned away from sin- thus turning to God through Christ. Saving faith is always repentant faith. Thus true believers will always stand repentant upon reproach or rebuke for their true desire is to glorify God with their lives; thus in the heart of sanctification- rebuke is welcomed which then produces Godly grief that produces repentance that leads to salvation – 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, Acts 2:37-38

The 3rd is; Faith includes heartfelt devotion and attachment to Jesus Christ that expresses itself in trust, love, gratitude & loyalty. Faith in an ultimate sense cannot be properly distinguished from love since it stands as a personal activity of sacrifice, self giving directed to Christ. 1 Peter 1:8-9; Faith means that we are singularly devoted to Christ above all else; nothing fills us with hope, with joy save to glorify Christ as we fellowship with the brethren; being of one heart & one mind.

The 4th is; Faith in Jesus as Lord & Savior is the act of a continuing attitude that must grow and strengthen. Because we have faith in Christ who died for our sin; our faith should become greater. Trust and Obedience develop into Loyalty and Devotion which then develops to intense love for Jesus Christ as we glorify Him by enjoying His presence in our lives. This faith in Christ brings us into a new relationship with God as the price of sin has been paid in full and through this we walk dead to sin; never going back to our ignorances but being transformed by the renewal of our mind in Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Now, our life is dependent on the grace of God. In the Old Testament God revealed Himself as the God of grace and mercy; in NT- the grace of God has been revealed through Christ in which we as believers in the hope of not misconstruing nor abusing such grace need to understand that; 1- God gives a measure of grace as a gift as found in 1 Corinthians 1:4-9. 2- God gives grace to believers to set free from sin; Many professing christians state that the grace of God is a limitless start over, clean slate protocol that as sin abounds; thus grace abounds but look at Romans 6:20-22; we have been given grace thus we are set free from Sin; thus sin has no power over us- we are slaves of God; which means that we are slaves to righteousness- we who are renewed, holy, pure and true will not submit to the call of carnality, to the pressures of sin- why sin, ourselves no longer stand as our master; the mastery of ourselves is in Christ. Grace must be diligently desired and sought; that stands as number 3; Hebrews 4:16- how do we come near to the throne of grace; by studying scripture, hearing the proclamation of the gospel, praying, fasting, worshiping God and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:20-21 – By Christ and His righteousness, we were redeemed; but not to walk in sin because grace abounds; but to embrace the grace of God as we strive to faithfully walk in holiness and purity. The law was there to make us realize the unrighteousness within ourselves; in this knowledge- we who are convicted and elected would respond in godly grief as we stand repentant of our sins and embrace the grace of God not to erase our faults and continue walking in sinfulness the next day but to once and for all by the grace of God walk circumspectly- pressing on in the narrow path as we seek righteousness in all that we do. Many have misconstrued this passage time and time again as they justify unlimited grace to unlimited sin; 2 Peter 2:21 states that it would have been better if they had not known the way of righteousness. Why? Because Hebrews 10:26 states that under deliberate sinning; that means sin that abounds after receiving the knowledge of truth has dire consequences awaiting.

Romans 6:1-15; verse 7 highlights that we are freed from Sin; Verse 10 highlights that though Christ was sinless; he suffered from and was humiliated by the power of sin for our sake; in His death, he died to sin’s influence; in his resurrection; he triumphed over its power- likewise though who are one with Him in death are freed from Sin this count yourselves dead to sin because you are alive in Christ; the old self is gone- we die to sin daily as we live a new life in obedience to God. Verse 12-14 calls us not to let sin reign nor allow it to regain control over us; we have to deny it; resist it- by walking in righteousness; by filling our days with scripture; never idling by but pressing on to saturate ourselves in the word of God; always communing with the King as we are reminded that we are not bound by the law but we live in God’s grace which has fulfilled the law in which we ourselves may stand to faithfully obey the law since we Christ empowers us to do.

Finally comes the question- if we are under grace then; do we sin? Verse 15 states – by no means. The answer of Paul explains that every believer must continually reaffirm and implement his or her decision to resist sin and follow Christ. Those who have not committed to Christ’s Lordship and have not completely opposed sin’s dominion in their personal lives have no right whatsoever to speak of Christ as Lord and Savior for no one can serve two masters- you cannot state that you are for Christ yet your life exudes the world thus I stand to ask you as I end;

Are you truly saved?

God With Us is the weekly publication of Abundant Harvest Fellowship International that features the message bestowed the previous week. It is a Christ centered devotional that aims to augment the quiet time and bible study time of every believer who truly seeks to focus on God, grow deeper in His word and walk in the Newness of life in Christ Jesus. Reproduction, printing and sharing of the said work is encouraged but kindly refrain from changing, editing the said piece since it might misconstrue the original message being shared.