In one of his epistles, the apostle Paul has called on all Christians to “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) yet up to this day, most are confused as to what it means. It must be something important for Paul to remind his friends about.
“Prayer is a lifestyle,” is a sentence most believers are too tired to hear. While some feel bombarded by this reminder, making prayer a lifestyle is what gives believers hope and strength to face the day. To pray is to enforce the will of the Lord on one’s life. If a person isn’t connected with the Lord through a lifestyle of prayer, it would be difficult to learn about and live out His plans and purposes.
With a humble heart, Jesus prayed to the Father and even taught His disciples how to come into the presence of God. The Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) puts in perspective the position of every child when seeking the Father. As followers of Jesus Christ, every believer should place Jesus as their sole example of how to live on Earth. Jesus spoke of the will of the Father when dwelled among men.
The father-and-son relationship that was demonstrated by God the Father and Jesus is exactly what prayer is all about. Staying connected with Him and seeking His will in everything should be for all situations, not only those that could get out of a person’s control. Corrie ten Boom posed a great question: Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?
Westside Family Church, based in Lenexa, KS, believes that everyone should live by serving the community while growing their faith in God. Church members do their best to serve, connect in life group studies, learn from growth classes, and participate in mission projects. For quick updates, follow this Westside Family Church Twitter page.
Before Jesus Christ began His ministry, He first had to be baptized in water, which was facilitated by John the Baptist. The latter was even a tad confused as he thought it was him who needed to be baptized by Jesus. Jesus, however, told John, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”
Jesus Himself found it essential to undergo such an act. But is it required for one’s salvation? Absolutely not, because it is Christ who has already done everything; one just has to accept Jesus and believe what He did on the cross to assure passage to heaven.
Water baptism is simply an act of faith and obedience.
It is an act of faith because the baptism symbolizes that believers die to their old self and then rise as a new creation with Christ. There is also a conscious decision to live completely giving glory to God. It is for this reason that water baptism involves a complete immersion of the participant under the water – with the help of facilitators, of course.
It is an act of obedience because it is a commandment of God. The Book of Acts is filled with stories of the followers of the Gospels immediately being baptized in water after their conversion. They did so to submit to what Jesus had said. This is why water baptism must be delayed until the believer is of the right age when he can decide for himself to undergo the act.
Westside Family Church is more than just an organization; it is a community of people who help one another grow in their faith in God. Learn more about the church by visiting its website.
Believers know that following Christ is a decision one has to make once, yet a daily commitment to embrace. The invitation of Jesus to follow Him was a summon for all men and women to walk with the only source of true light in this dark world, and He said it’s not going to be easy.
On the night Jesus was betrayed, His disciples fled one by one, even Peter who said he will never forsake his Lord— proof that following Christ isn’t easy. Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew that one must love Him more than he or she would love anything and anyone in this world, for if they love them more than they love Him, they are not worthy of Him. These words may seem a little harsh, but the Word of the Lord is always living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword.
If Jesus is one’s top priority in every area of one’s life, He becomes everything. The truth is, He is everything. The road is straight and narrow for there can never be a “halfway” disciple—Jesus isn’t pleased with lukewarm Christians. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of His people for He knew it would be hard to follow Him completely. He is faithful to keep His children close, making sure they walk on the right path giving the Holy Spirit to help them.
Following Jesus means striving to be like Him; daily dreams and decisions must be Christ-centered and Spirit-breathed, and every follower must be fully dependent on Him.
Westside Family Church is more than just an organization. It is a community with a life centered around Jesus, believing that everyone should live by serving the community while growing in faith in God. For more on the Westside Family Church, click here.
Every person needs to feel accepted, loved, and forgiven. However, not one person will be able to feel all these, unless he learns about the goodness of Jesus. Unconditional love is hard to give. If one commits to giving it to his brother, he is a true testimony of God’s unconditional love to him; one cannot give what he doesn’t have.
Forgiveness is not easy to give, especially when a person was badly hurt by the other. It is a choice and not a feeling. Sometimes, it is even harder to forgive oneself. Jesus offers forgiveness to those who ask for it and are willing to repent and turn from their sins. When He was taken by the soldiers and was about to be crucified, Peter denied Him, yet He was able to forgive him and restore Peter’s life. It says in the Bible in Ephesians 4, verse 32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
It is important to understand that love for God is the foundation of unconditional love. People fail in this aspect because they try to love others with their own kind of love. Peter had loved Jesus with his own love, causing him to deny Him when he was asked if he’s one of the disciples. Jesus is the embodiment of love. He is everything Paul was telling the church about when he wrote 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
Unconditional love and forgiveness are strongly connected to each other. In every season of the soul, these two are needed—either to be given or to be received.
Westside Family Church accepts everyone. It is a community with a life centered on Jesus, and believes that faith in God and Jesus Christ is a continuing process. Westside Family Church is a community that’s willing to accompany everyone in that journey. For more information on its activities, visit this page.
God goes by many names, such as Healer, Savior, Banner, Provider, and more. But one of the characters that He loves revealing Himself as is that He is a Father. Everyone knows the irreplaceable importance of a father in a family. Fathers are seen as the pillar of the family and support the family in different ways.
Sadly, some children have no one to call as their father, orphaned at some point their life. While they do not have the privilege of feeling the love of an earthly father, the Heavenly Father has many promises for them, as written in the Scripture.
God assures orphans that He cares for them very deeply. Psalm 68:5 states, “A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.” And He has also promised them that He is a present help in time of need, as the latter part of Psalm 10:4 reads, “to You the helpless commits himself; You have been the helper of the fatherless.”
Furthermore, the Word of God charges His people to provide care for the orphans, which is why many churches and religious institutions develop programs for these young ones. As it is written in James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Westside Family Church demonstrates a real heart for the orphans by adopting children and equipping families to provide foster care not only in the church’s hometown of Lenexa, KS, but also in different countries, such as South Africa, Thailand, and India. For more Biblical inspirations, subscribe to this Twitter page.
We are not alone in doubting our faith. Many disciples and followers of the Lord went through a period of doubt, in both the Old and New Testaments – from Adam, Eve, Abraham, Jonah, and Moses to John the Baptist, Saint Thomas, and many other apostles.
Most of Jesus’ followers turned away from him, yet he didn’t give up on any of them. Until they eventually cast away their own doubts. God created man and gave him free will, and with it the ability to both be certain and in doubt. We should face this indecision, if our faith were to become stronger. This begins with asking questions and humbling ourselves before God. The goal is humility over certainty, inquiry rather than inquisition.
It’s important that we explore our doubts both with intellectual rigor and faith. Prevalent questions like, “Is Jesus dead?” or “How can God be good if He takes away my mother?” or “Does God bring good people to hell?” should be addressed with the help of your family and church, and with a great amount of sensitivity and Biblical understanding.
Asking questions is how God prepares us to relay his love and teach others. Our own doubts can be painful experiences, but He gives us this thirst for knowledge for a reason. His truth will eventually prevail. Just as it was written in 1 Peter 3:15, when the disciples asked believers of Jesus to explain why they have hope. Because it is in asking questions that we begin the search for answers and the pursuit of that road toward hope, which is nothing if not our inviolable faith.
In Westside Family Church, everyone is accepted. One of the important objectives of this Lenexa, KS organization is to help everyone achieve a higher degree of faith in God and Jesus Christ. For more on its advocacies and missions, drop by this website.
The Bible’s view on leadership may seem different from what believers witness in their daily lives. Instead of leading to obtain a position that empowers one to order others around, the scriptures teach that the first should be last and that whoever wants to lead must be like a servant.
Exemplified by Jesus himself in the gospel, servant leadership is more than just getting perks and respect that come with the position. It also comes with a cost that requires a person to care for those who might be in need of guidance. It involves putting oneself last for the good of others.
In a competitive workplace, obeying this command from the Lord Jesus can be challenging. In a context where position means power, it can sometimes be difficult to think of another person. However, as the gospels have shown, it is still possible to lead while being the servant of all. Before Jesus was crucified, he invested in the lives of his disciples. He taught and trained them for ministry day and night. Though he knows that he is the Son of God, he healed, taught, and trained people from all walks of life. His genuine friendship with people gave them comfort and strengthened their faith.
Being a servant leader allows a person to lift others up through their influence. It also makes them aware of what is going on in the world around them. When Jesus said that a leader must be like a servant, he did not mean for them to become suffering slaves. Perhaps he also wanted his people to experience the joy in seeing others grow to become individuals with purpose. He might have intended this to build up a community of people who strengthen each other.
Westside Family Church members are committed and empowered to serve like Jesus. Its Care Network provides effective and loving care that includes professional counseling, lifelines support groups, Stephen ministry, funeral assistance and grief care, wedding preparation, member support, and prayer. Visit this page for updates.