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Showing posts from February, 2018

Avoiding Offensive Penalties

Morning Inspiration: Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what I like or what is best for me, but what is best for them so they may be saved.
1st Corinthians 10:32-33 Like Paul, we should try our best, to never offend anyone. Our nature is to say “I have a right to my opinions & I’m going to speak my mind.” Paul had rights too, but he often gave them up for the good of the gospel. Guarding our tongue & restricting certain activities, without wavering an inch in our faith, can be an effective way to show others the love of Jesus. No, we can’t please everyone all the time, but Paul tells us we we must remember to try. Making ‘the good of others’ the main goal of our service to the Lord, is a sure fire way to please Jesus. Meanwhile we’ll be showing them what His amazing love is all about.

Avoiding Division in the Church

Morning Inspiration: But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
Jude 1:17-19 Our enemy doesn’t always work to destroy the church in obvious ways. He often tries to get us to divide, from the inside! The evil one uses every trick in his very large book; from a constantly growing stream of cultural issues, to seemingly ‘new discoveries’ (that Scripture debunked long ago), to our egos causing personality conflicts among believers over these things. Combine all that with false teachers infiltrating the faith, & we have exactly what Jude warns about, happening today. There’s SO much for us to be confused about, or to disagree on. That’s why a rock solid foundation in Script…

Be Ecouraged & Encouraging!

Morning Inspiration: When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.
Paul, in Romans1:12 I was blessed to actually experience this Scripture this week. Here’s a note I got:
Steve, You know since my son passed away this last July, I have been struggling with many things. And, living on the road in a RV, though usually enjoyable, is not always easy. Last night, I had a dream that I should just “give up”. I woke up in a very melancholy mood and was just about ready to “give up”.
As usual, I went thru my morning routine, brewed the coffee, took the dog for a walk then sat down to do my morning Bible verse study. But this morning, for some reason, I opened my emails first. There it was, the email titled Men’s Ministry “Never Ever Give Up”. As I read it, tears came to my eyes. God spoke to me at that moment, again!! So Steve, If you ever wonder if your daily message ever reaches anyone or helps anyone....Never ever give up sending it out…

How We Keep From Giving Up

Morning Inspiration: Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. 2nd Corinthians ‪4:16-18‬ Simply put, Paul encourages us to never, ever give up! We can’t allow pain, loss, and things like criticism or persecution to wear us down, and make us think of quitting. Paul learned to focus and concentrate on the power of the Holy Spirit inside him. That renewed his enthusiasm and commitment...and it will do the same for us! “Lord Jesus, help me to use my weakness as your strength. I can’t allow today’s sufferings, to steal my eternal rewards, and I lean on you for all I need to keep going for one more day!”

How Much Time Do We Have Left Here?

Morning Inspiration: “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!”
Jesus, quoted in Mark 13:32-33 Jesus was explaining that NO human knows the time of His return, when heaven & earth (as we know it) will come to an end. Likewise, no one knows how much time they have left in this world, before we die. You may live to be 100, or might not even have 100 minutes left! We can’t count on having plenty of time to make things right with others, or with God. So it’s critically important to think about your relationship with Jesus today, before it’s too late. Be alert to God reaching out to you. Pay attention to what people say, & things that happen. These are made possible by the Lord, to show you the way to eternity in paradise with your Creator. How much time do you have left? Just enough, if you ask Jesus into y…

The Great & Terrible Example of My Life!

Morning Inspiration: This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life.
Paul, in 1st Timothy ‪1:15-16‬ We in the faith remember Paul as a great hero of Christianity. Yet he never forgot the terrible things he did, before coming to follow Jesus. There is a powerful, double edged lesson for each of us here. First, the more we recognize, & own up to our sinfulness...the more we will treasure God’s amazing grace! Next, when others understand how much Jesus has changed us, they begin to realize He can do the same for them, no matter how far from God they have wandered. “Lord, please help many others to see, just how much you’re transforming me.”

Be An Encouraging Example

Morning Inspiration: In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely in all they do. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity & seriousness of your teaching. Let your teaching be so correct that it can’t be criticized. Then those who want to argue will be ashamed because they won’t have anything bad to say about us. Titus 2:6-8 This Biblical description from thousands of years ago, is what the world calls Mentoring today. Encourage others to be wise. Be a Living Example of what you hope they will become. Don’t just tell them how to behave. Carefully show them how to live a life that is pleasing to Jesus. Don’t give the world any possible reason to think poorly of you, or our Lord & Savior.

It's Time Again for Covenant Men!

Hey Guys!

Jason Westbrooke & the Boys in the Band will be cranking up the live Worship at 8 this morning. What a GREAT way to start the day! We have hot coffee & delicious goodies from Donut Mart today...PLUS that FREE Tamaya Package to give away. The Weekend To Remember Marriage Encounter includes two nights at Tamaya Resort & tickets to all the seminars.
Most important though, is the great group of men who will join us as we all try to grow closer to Jesus. Today's message looks at how we fight back against the negative & sinful thoughts that flood our mind every day. It's Biblical, it's simple...& it works! Join us as we take Another Lap In The Circle of Life! Small group discussions to follow. Hope you'll invite a friend. All men welcome, no matter where they worship. 7201 Paseo del Norte 8-9:30am.
Steve Stucker
Men's Ministry Team
New Covenant Church
men@nccabq.org

Improve Your Marriage! Win a FREE Weekend at Tamaya!

Family Life has donated a FREE weekend stay at the luxurious Tamaya
Resort (right outside of Bernalillo) for you & your wife!
It's the Weekend To Remember Marriage Encounter Feb 23-25. Two nights
hotel, plus tickets to the seminar, will be given away
this Saturday morning, at our Covenant Men gathering.  Check with your
wife now, to make sure you are both able to attend in case you win.
Only those
interested & available to go, will be included in the drawing.

Of course, we will also have Live Worship, free coffee & donuts, plus
a short lesson & small group discussion. Hope you'll join us, & bring
a friend.

Steve Stucker
Men's Ministry Team
New Covenant Church
men@nccabq.org

Becoming Less, to Increase Success!

Morning Inspiration: “Therefore, I am filled with joy at His success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
John the Baptist, quoted in John 3:29-30 Jesus once said John the Baptist was the greatest man who had ever lived! We see one of his best qualities here; in the form of true humility. After ALL the hard work he had done, JTB realized he needed to step aside, to let the light shine on God’s Holy Son! How many of us can willingly become less & less, in order to help with someone else’s success? This is essential for all of us involved in ministry! Ego & pride are God’s enemy, & can’t be allowed inside you & me. Watch for those who are enthusiastic & effective. Do all you can to encourage & support their labor of love for the Lord, then get out of the way. We are not the story! Jesus gets all the glory!

Pastors Visit with Our NCC Sister!

Pastors Chad Smitch & Jim Meyer went with me Tuesday to visit our friends the Pacheco's. Patricia had a difficult kidney surgery back in November, & has had several serious complications since then.
While I visited her several times at the hospital, & called each week, she hadn't felt well enough for a home visit until now. We were greatly encouraged to see her! She was all smiles, & just glowing with God's love. She is still in quite a bit of pain, & asks for your prayers for complete healing. Please remember to also pray for her devoted husband Sabino (Tiny) & their son Greg.  We laid hands on her, & prayed deeply that God would give her doctors the guidance they need to help her recover.  We are looking forward to seeing them both back at NCC!

True Love Requires What Few Are Willing to Give!

Morning Inspiration: There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. Jesus, quoted in John 15:13-14 We will hear a lot about what the world mistakenly calls ‘Love’ today. Jesus teaches a very different definition of the word. True love requires great sacrifice, by putting the needs of others before our own. Are we willing to sacrifice our personal needs & desires, in order to do more for our spouse? What about our elderly parents & their special needs? Does your church need more of your time & money than you’ve been willing to share? What about Jesus? Do we love Him enough to consistently follow His simple commands? Let’s make Valentine’s about true love; placing less value on what we want, & giving God the desires of His heart for us.

Don't Be Surprised By Hate, OR Caught Up In It!

Morning Inspiration: So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
1st John 3:13 In the verses just before this, John reminds us that Cain killed his brother out of hate, simply because Abel was doing what was right in God’s sight. We can’t make the world love us! Yet, as followers of Jesus, we are required to love them, even if they hate us. We must go the extra mile, to make peace with them, as much as they will allow. It’s also imperative that we don’t drive them to hate us, by being overly critical, judgmental or ‘Holier than thou’. God created them too, & our best avenue to bring them to know Jesus, is through kindness, love & unselfish service in His name.

Finding Common Ground

Morning Inspiration: Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ. I do this to spread the Good News, and in doing so I enjoy it’s blessings. 1st Corinthians 9:22-23 All it takes to ‘relate’ to someone else, is honest self assessment and a spirit of humility. Accept others right where they are at the moment. Mature believers did that for me when I was brand new...& I’m forever grateful. Had they been in my face with all I was doing wrong, I would’ve turned and ran the other way! My eventual trust in them, allowed me to grow into my faith, through their example. Now, when I see a ‘splinter’ in someone else’s eye, it reminds me of the logs I still have to deal with in mine. I’ve come a long way, but still have far to go. Sharing the common ground (past, present and future) of our journey with someone new, is one of God’s greatest blessings in life.

A Special Insight, from Prayer & Worship Night

Just want to share something that happened to me during our Wednesday night hour of Prayer & Worship. I was sitting alone (as Rose wasn’t able to attend), praying deeply, & truly feeling the Holy Spirit. Someone came up to sit beside me, & I felt an arm drape over my shoulders. I glanced up & saw a large man, who I didn’t recognize, wearing with an oxygen tube, & smiling at me. I finished my silent prayer, then placed my hand on his shoulder & began to pray out loud for him. When I finished, he began to pray. The moment I heard his voice, I recognized him! It was David Sickles, one of the founding members of New Covenant. He has been battling cancer & other illnesses for several years. Due to his health, he hasn’t been able to attend much lately. Though I visited him in the hospital, & love seeing him when he can attend on Sunday, I have to admit I had ‘lost track’ of our friend lately. To hear his deep, booming voice in prayer, was SUCH a gift of enco…

The Good Word...is God!

Morning Inspiration: In the beginning, the Word already existed. He was with God, & He was God. He was in the beginning with God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that He didn’t make. Life itself was in Him, & this light gives life to everyone. The light shines through the darkness, & the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:1-5

These five short verses, may be the most powerful & informative in the entire Bible! With our limited minds & the human concept of time, it’s difficult to understand that God has NO beginning & NO end. Jesus always was. He still is. He will be Forever! He created ALL there is, including each of Us. He IS Light & Life. The key to understanding this critically important passage, is knowing that Jesus IS The Word.

Preparing For Your Future, By Living For God Today

Morning Inspiration: So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.
1st Peter 1:13-15 Realizing Jesus IS coming back soon, should motivate us to think clearly about the very near future.
Living in obedience to our Heavenly Father is so much easier, once we fully grasp the significance of the new life He has given us! When the world tempts us to return our old ways, we counter that by remembering God’s promises for the coming days. Being holy means ‘to be set apart for a special purpose.’ This doesn’t mean we turn our back on the world, or hide ourselves away. It’s quite the opposite: “Lord clearly show me my special purpose in serving …

How to Survive, & even Thrive through The Fires of Life!

Morning Inspiration: So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1st Peter 1:6-7 When we go all out for Jesus, we can count on catching a lot of heat from the world. Peter explains the positive results from surviving theses fires of life. As a jeweler purifies gold, God uses these fiery trials to make us more like His Son Jesus. Knowing this helps us turn momentary discouragement into eternal encouragement...as we look forward to the praise, glory & honor coming our way, when Jesus returns.

How Can I Be More Like Jesus?

Morning Inspiration: Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Philippians 2:3-5 Though He was God, Jesus willingly came into this world as a poor & humble servant. In order to follow Him, we must adopt His attitude. That means being much less concerned about ourselves, & caring much more about others. Jesus repeatedly tells us that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, but that the humble will be exalted. Which do you choose to be? Once we recognize & acknowledge our complete inability to do anything worthwhile on our own, we begin to give God the credit & glory He deserves. In this way, we become more & more like His Son. Throughout history, God has humbled many who thought themselves to be great. I have learned (the hard way) it is much better to humble myself, t…

Learning To Live Like Jesus

Morning Inspiration: Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will grant you his blessing. 1st Peter 3:8-9 The Apostle Peter echoes not only all he was taught, but what he personally witnessed Jesus say & do again & again. Our Lord walked a very difficult path on this earth, yet He never gave in to the temptation of getting even with those who insulted & hurt Him. This Scripture encourages us to reflect & repeat what Jesus did; helping the helpless, loving & caring for everyone, even those who hate us, remembering to always treat others the way we want to be treated. Even when they don’t deserve it, we are to love them the way Jesus loves us. Doing the right thing, is rarely the easy wa…

Recognizing What Is Truly Valuable

Morning Inspiration: Give me an eagerness for your decrees; do not inflict me with love for money! Turn my eyes from worthless things, & give me life through your word. Psalm 119:36
True devotion to Jesus makes us as eager to know God, as we used to be to accumulate wealth & possessions. Scripture teaches that everything on this earth will eventually rot, rust or burn, but that God’s love is eternal. That makes it the only treasure worth pursuing, as well as the only one you CAN take with you when your days on this earth are done.

Are We Focusing On The Right Things?

Morning Inspiration: Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1 When we invite Jesus into our hearts, He really does give us a brand new life! All we have to do, is cooperate with the changes God initiates. One of the more difficult (but most important) things to do, is to change our focus on what is truly important. With Jesus, our current situation is only temporary, but our future is eternal. That makes things like money, power, position & personal desires much less valuable than we imagine. In God’s eyes, those things are worthless! When we ‘die to ourselves’, Jesus grants us the unimaginable riches of His never ending Kingdom. As the next verse in this passage reminds us:
“And when Christ, who is your life, is reveale…