Discipleship Starting Up

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. – Matt.28:18-20

These verses are known as the Great Commission, not the Great Suggestion. Let me briefly remind you of some of the important truths within the Great Commission that you can take with you in your daily life.

Jesus has been given ALL authority in heaven and earth

What does all mean?  All means all and that is all that all means. We need to have this in the forefront of all that we do. Jesus is in control. There is absolutely nothing that limits Him. It is that simple.

We have been sent with His authority

As we seek to ‘GO and make disciples of all nations,’ we need to remember this. We are not seeking to do this in our own strength or with our own resources, but we have been sent with His authority. Therefore, anything that we will need to accomplish what He has commanded us to do, He will provide.

He said, “Go”

This is a call to action. There is going to be intentionality involved in this.

Identifying with Christ

Baptism. An act of obedience. Identifying ourselves with Christ. Read Romans 6.

All Nations

We see God’s heart for all of the nations throughout the Scriptures. Don’t limit what God wants to do. Go to everyone. No matter the culture, color of skin, language, background, etc. All nations.

Teaching them to obey

This is where ‘the rubber meets the road.’ It is not simply that we are to teach people; but we are to teach them to obey what Christ is speaking into their lives. As we seek to follow after Christ, reach people for Christ, and make disciples of Christ, obedience is simply a truth that cannot be ignored. This is where growth takes place.

The promise of His presence

‘I am always with you…’ – It is important that we connect this promise with the context of the previous Scriptures. As we seek to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey all things that Jesus commands us, we have the assurance that Jesus is with us in this process. No matter what the situation. No matter what the language. No matter the difficulty. He is with us in this process. May we never forget this truth.

My dear brothers and sisters. There is a great cost to discipleship, but the rewards are completely worth it. Read Revelation 7:9-11. If you are not personally discipling someone at this time, I would encourage you to begin to pray and ask God to show you whose life you are to start investing into. Disciple them. Disciple them to disciple others. See how your personal life will change in the process as well. God bless you!

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Men’s and Women’s discipleship groups start for us next week! Keep us in your payers! We are really excited to see what God is going to do!

We Celebrate One Year

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 6.42.40 AMIt was a year ago today that CityLight Hamburg was born! We want to start off by praising God for all that He has done! When we stop and think about when He first planted Hamburg in our hearts, it is truly unbelievable to see all that He has done since then. He is the One who initiated this new work here in Hamburg and He has continued to remain faithful to His work. When we look back and consider all that He has done, it completely humbles us and brings us to this place of praise and adoration as well. He has truly done great things!

One year ago Calvary Chapel Siegen stepped out in faith to help birth a new church in the city of Hamburg. They brought over 30 people for a four-day prayer tour which ended with our first church service in HafenCity (a new part of the city). How thankful we are as a family and as a new church for those who came to walk the streets with us and birth  CityLight through prayer. Today we will celebrate as a family, but we as a church will be celebrating together this coming Sunday!

It is now a year later and God continues to establish His work in the lives of the people here. Every week as we gather together, we ask and pray that the Holy Spirit will draw those that need to come and every week it is a blessing to see who He brings. Yesterday we had the kids open us up in a time of worship and share with us some of the songs that they have been learning. It was an absolute blast! Here are a few photos to enjoy…

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.01.46 AM Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.02.03 AM Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.02.30 AMWe would ask that you would continue to pray for us as we seek to make Jesus known in the city of Hamburg. We praise God for all that He has done! We have learned a lot and know that we still have a lot ahead of us! Thank you!

John’s Gospel

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The Gospel. Good News. Starting this coming Sunday at CityLight Hamburg, the good news of Jesus Christ is going to be preached on a weekly basis. How desperately this city needs to hear good news!

So why the gospel of John? I will answer that question with four words – a verdict is demanded. John’s gospel is written is such a way that you must decide what you are going to do with Jesus by the end of it. All throughout the gospel, you have many people deciding who they thought Jesus was, what they thought about His statements, and what they thought about His actions. There is no way that you can simply ignore what is said and what took place and then move on with your life without any decision. A non-decision would then be your decision.

Why John’s Gospel? John clearly teaches that Jesus is God from the very get go. Have you ever asked your friends, family, co-workers, or others around you, “Who is Jesus?” If you have, then you know that you will get a wide range of answers and sometimes you will get their verdict as well, even if you didn’t ask. Sometimes in the midst of all of the responses, the following thought has come to my mind, “Will the REAL Jesus please stand up?”

John’s Gospel is very simple and to the point. Commentator Charles Erdman says: “Its stories are so simple that even a child will love them, but its statements are so profound that no philosopher can fathom them.”

Lastly, John’s Gospel is written with a purpose behind it. In John 20:30-31 it says, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

So this is what we would ask from you. Please take some time to pray for myself as I prepare the teachings each week. Pray that I would faithfully study and proclaim what God desires to speak. Pray for all those who will come. Pray for salvation. Pray for rededication. Pray that the Word of God will go out in power and truth and that God would bring in a great harvest as we go through the Gospel of John.

Thank you!

The Importance of Laying a Foundation – Pt.4

4. Building for More

CLH2As we conclude our posts on the Importance of laying a Foundation, I believe that it is important that when we build, that we build for more. Consider this quote from Warren Wiersbe,

“The foundation is the most important part of the building, for it determines the size, shape, and strength of the structure.”

Here in the city of Hamburg there is a beautiful church building that has a tower that the public is able to go to the top of for an amazing view of the city. I have personally been up there many times and have brought many others with me to go and pray over Hamburg. One of the things that I challenge them with while they are up there is with the ability to see beyond all of the apartment complexes, office buildings, shopping centers, etc. and seek to see the most important part of the city – for it can easily be skipped over. What is it? The people.

As we consider laying a foundation, we want to build wisely, we want to build correctly, and we want to build to endure. Why? Because we want to build for more! I am not sure where you live, but we live in a city of 1.8 million people from over 180 different nations. I believe that when Jesus picked His twelve disciples and invested into their lives, He did not only see them, but He also saw something more. What was it? The world! I believe that He saw us here today, in this city, and in this generation. Now I have no idea what the Lord will do here in the city of Hamburg, but I do not believe that He wants to reach only a few people. I am not claiming that we are going to be a mega church, nor do I desire that, but I do believe that as we make the preparations for more, that we need to be in prayer and ask the Lord to see the people of Hamburg how He sees them.

During a recent prayer time, we spent time praying for a meeting place where Muslims, rich, poor, drug addicts, prostitutes, those in need, the proud, different people from different nations, those lives who are in shambles, etc. to be able to come to and be taught the word of God. I am not sure at this point who God will reach through this new church plant, but I do pray that lives will be transformed and those who are currently rebels will be transformed into worshipers of Jesus. Lord, have Your way! I will end this post with a quote from Dwight L. Moody. “If God is your partner, make your plans big.” 

Let’s build for more!

If you are interested in listening to the teaching, click here

The Importance of Laying a Foundation – Pt.3

Today, we continue to share with you on the topic of laying a foundation. Make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you have not already done so.

3. Building to Endure

I would say that this is a very key element that needs to be consider. In Matthew 7:24-25, Jesus said,

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”

CLH2Jesus does not say that the life of faith is going to be an easy life. In fact, He tells us that “storms” will come and will “beat” on our “house.” As we move forward with this new church plant in the city of Hamburg, one thing that we can expect for sure are storms or opposition. We know that the enemy is not simply going to lie down or roll out the red carpet and allow us to bring the gospel message to the people of Hamburg. Our faith, your faith, will be tested. Maybe you have heard the quote before, “A faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted.” But as we look a little closer at the statements of Jesus here in Matthew we see the outcome of the wise man that built his house upon the rock. It says that “…it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” Simply put, is your life built upon the rock of Jesus Christ? Then be encouraged that no matter what you may go through, you will stand in the end. If not, you may want to read what Jesus says about the man who built his house upon the sand. (see Matthew 7:26-27)

There is something else that we must consider as we discuss the topic of Building to Endure. Paul clearly declares to us that we need to “take heed” how we build upon that foundation. Let’s read…

1 Corinthians 3:12-13 “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.”

In the text, Paul gives us six materials that could be used to build with. The first set describe the things that will last through the fire and the second set describe the things that will be burned up by the fire. Paul declares to us that “…each one’s work will become clear…” I am not going to go too much into this, but I think it is pretty clear. We need to ask ourselves, “What materials am I using to build into my life?” My dear friend, take the time to reflect on that question.

Now let us consider the following quote from Warren Wiersbe, “Each of us builds into the Church what we build into our own lives.” As we are in our very beginning stages, it is our aim here at CityLight Hamburg to build with the gold, silver, and precious stones. We want to build with the things that will last, but it is important that we do it on an individual level as well. Later on in 1 Corinthians 12:12, Paul declares to us…

“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.”

We need to remember that each one of us plays a very vital role in being a part of the body of Christ. It doesn’t matter how big or small our role may be, it is vital. Therefore, it is important that we individually building with the things that will last, so that the whole body will be stronger as well.

May we be those who build to endure!

Starting on Pentecost

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4

As many of you know, we have been in the process of asking, seeking, and knocking as it comes to finding a meeting place for CityLight Hamburg. It has been a very beneficial process and we see that the Lord has been directing our steps. For the past months we have “sensed” that it was time to move forward and take the step into the city and we are excited to let you know that the Lord has opened a door for us and we will begin to meet there on Sunday, June 8, 2014. So let me share with you some of the details that have taken place these past few weeks.

Throughout the searching process, we have constantly been “hitting a wall” it seems in regards to finding a new location to meet. There were many questions and thoughts for us to consider. Where in the city? Should we get our own place at this time or should we rent out a place on a weekly basis? Could we afford our own place? What would be the best “first step” into the city? Etc. Well, a few weeks ago, as I was reading in my devotions, I had begun the book of Deuteronomy. As I began to read through chapter one, I began to read over how Moses recounted the story of Numbers 13 & 14 with the new generation that would be entering into the promise land. As I read through the chapter, there were two verses that really stood out to me.

Deuteronomy 1:8, “See, I have set the land before you; go in a possess the land…”

Deuteronomy 1:21 “Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.”

As I began to write some things down in my journal, I was thinking about our personal move as a family (we just moved into our new home) and, as well, the steps that were before us as CityLight. Through this time, I sensed that the Lord was clearly speaking to me that it was time to “go up and possess the land.” Although I didn’t have an answer yet on so many of our questions, I knew it was time to move forward. The next morning I receive a text message from Janos that said, “The lady called and said we can use the building.” To which I responded, “I know, the LORD already told me yesterday.” As you can imagine, he was quite excited and we quickly called each other and talked over some of the details. As the next few days went by, we arranged to go and view the possible rooms and begin the process of figuring out the costs. With the doors opening up to this location, we took our guys discipleship night and met at the location and spent time praying outside of the building and in the surrounding area. We then took part of the group over to the building on Sunday, May 25th and showed them the rooms that we will be able to use.

As we make this first step into the city, here are the few that that we know for sure. (1) We know that the LORD has spoken to us that it is time to “go up and possess the land.” (2) This was the only door that did open up for us (3) The location is very practical for us. It is right down the street to where we have already been meeting. (4) The location is a prime location, right on the Alster (water)! (5) There are not any other churches in this part of the city! (6) This door of opportunity is way beyond us!

Having shared all of this, we know that although we will be meeting literally in an upper room on Pentecost, we need something greater than a cool date and great location. We need the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to empower us for the work that He will desire to do! This is where you can join in with us and continue to be a part of what the Lord is doing here in Hamburg! Please do join in with us this month of June as we focus in on prayer. We praise God for what He is doing and look forward to what He will continue to do!

Here are a few of the pictures for our new meeting location…

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The Upper Room where the adults will be meeting

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The Children’s Ministry Room

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The back side of the building where they have canoes that you can rent for a boat ride

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The Sport Room that the kids will be able to use from time to time