Pastor Ron Macciola
I love acronyms. They are words formed from the initial letters, or groups of letters of the words in a name. So I am using the word SURGE…
S… Stay Steady.
Phil. 1:6 says:
Being confident of this that he who began a good work in you
Will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ
Jesus has been, and continues to be my constant.
I wanted to become a doctor, a dentist and then a grocery store manager and ultimately a pastor. My brother, Frank, suggested that I try Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz, CA. I did… and found my calling in 1976. While there, on April 29, 1976, my father suddenly died. He had a major vascular collapse in his whole body, and was gone in 31 hours.
My life felt like what some pilots go thru when they take their final exam:
“The Student pilot gets the plane airborne, at cruising altitude. Then the instructor places a loose fitting, thick woven sack over the student’s head, so that the student can see nothing. The instructor takes the controls and starts stunt piloting: He loops the loop. He pushes the plane, Turkish Headache Style, skyward, then flips belly-up and swoops earthward. He rollicks and spirals, careens and nose-dives, tailspins and wing tilts. He gets the student utterly discombobulated. Then he puts the plane in a suicide dive, plucks the bag off the student’s head, and hands him the control. His job: to get the plane back under control. This exercise is called: Recovering from an Unusual Attitude.”
Paul reminds us that “God will be able” to complete what he has started in us. Paul comes to a settled persuasion concerning the fact that the God who had before in the Philippians, done good by their giving, would bring it to a successful conclusion right up to the day of Jesus Christ. Paul knew of the All Sufficiency of God: God is omnipotent. What is God doing IN you and THROUGH you?
I love this hymn:
“Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds my future
And I know who holds my hand”
But I know in whom I have believed and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed until Him against that day
There are some things I understand… but a whole lot more that I don’t. I don’t know
– When Jesus will return
- Who my grandchildren will marry
- How the world will wind down
But I know…
- Jesus is coming back soon
- My grandchildren are going to have an adequate experience of who God is because of the Godly parents they have
Paul states that in spite of his sufferings incurred in his service for the Lord, Paul has not been put to shame, has not been defeated, has not had his hopes disappointed.
Paul says, “I know”. This word KNOW is knowledge. Knowledge of what God is in Himself which makes God absolutely dependable in any circumstances.
Paul continues, “I HAVE BELIEVED”. Here he says that he has believed with the present result that his faith is a firmly settled one. Example: it is like hammering a nail through a board and bending it over on the other side. It’s there to stay! So, Paul’s faith was placed permanently in the God whom he knew, which faith was immovable.
Paul used the word “ABLE”... that means “to be able to have power.” This is might and power resident in the God who is of the ability to do what he trusts him to do.
“KEEP” refers to a military term meaning to guard, defend, keep watch.
“THAT WHICH I HAVE COMMITTED”. This refers to the apostle committing the salvation of his soul into the keeping if God.
The word “COMMITTED” is to place beside, to deposit, to entrust, to commit to one’s charge.
Folks.. God doesn’t misplace your salvation like you and I lose our keys or cell phones!
R is RESPONSIBLE
In Luke 12:48 a statement is made.
“To whom much is given, much is required”.
In Acts 3:6, a story illustrates this.
Then Peter said: “Silver or Gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
What have you been given? Let me suggest we have all these in common.
“The Look” (vs 4) Look at people. Dignify their humanity. For example, the homeless…
“Look at us” (vs4) As believers, we are secure in who we are, in who we serve, and where we are ultimately headed. Security says “I have something”. Let me remind you again, “You know in whom YOU have believed”.
“The Name” (vs6) When Peter invoked the name of Jesus Christ, he invoked the names of God.
The God who is my righteousness
The God who covers my sins
The God who is my peace
The God who is there
The God who heals
The God who provides
The God who is my banner
The God who is my shepherd
G…Give “You can’t out give the Lord”.
It will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap.”
1980…Sterling City, CA Home missions church: 15 total people
My wife, Gail and I were given tickets to Washington for Jesus. We stayed with Colonel and Mrs. Boggs. While we were there, a local church paid our way to Israel, all expenses paid. At the time we were pastoring a home missions church. I had already been gone 2 weeks – how could I be gone more? Well… I called our head deacon Ken Wolff who said “No problem, go. My mother was in prayer and God told her you would be going.”
While we are flying to DC, United is playing a tic-tac-toe game. I scratched 3 in a row and won two 2 round trip tickets to anywhere in the US.
While I am back in Stirling City, CA, my missionary friend Dave Neighbor calls me to see if I want to buy his 1976 Volvo station wagon with a car seat in it. That year, Joshua was born. I told him we can’t afford it. He said,” No problem”, and ended our conversation. Within an hour, Dave calls back and says, “Linda and I were in prayer. God told us to give you the car.”
One year into that pastorate at Bethel Assembly of God in Fremont, the congregation was able to pay off the mortgage… and that church is located in the Warm Springs district. And it’s name is Convergence House of Prayer that Greg and Wendy Simas pastor.
And out of my tragedy – my divorce – God puts me in the path of a precious songbird, Robin. A woman who is in love with God, with me, our five sons and God’s people.
YOU CAN’T OUTGIVE THE LORD
E…Expect God and expect good
“For you are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
GOD BEGAN GOOD IN YOU!!!
Romans 12: 1-2, 6-10
“Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters in view of God’s mercy, to give your bodies as a living sacrifice, wholly and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Believe it or not, your body is a vessel that contains the spirit of God. Feed it well. Rest it well. Encourage it. And recreate it. It will give you miles of service.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
- We’ve all been given different amounts of grace to handle different gifts. Don’t be jealous of someone’s gift. You may not have the grace to sustain it.
- Prophesy with the faith you have.
- Give generously
- Lead diligently
- Cheerfully show mercy
- Be sincere with your love. Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good like a sock out of the dryer.
- Devote yourself to one another in love
- Honor one another above yourselvess