Calvary Chapel Eastvale

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Where He Leads

Where He Leads

By Pastor Dennis Morales

Be strong and of good courage…for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  - Joshua 1:9

The children of Israel were ready to cross the Jordan into the Promise Land, but there was one thing in their way, the Jordan. It was Harvest and it was a torrent of rushing water and virtually impassible (Joshua 3:15). God instructed Joshua that they were to cross regardless. God added He will be with them and He would make the Jordan passable. In a “step of faith,” the priests were instructed to go first and to take the Ark of the Covenant and start the process. God said when the feet of the priests dip in the edge of the water that the waters would part. So God lead them and parted the waters the moment the priests dipped their feet in the water just as He said He would. God also told the priests to stand on the dry river bed until every last person had crossed. Why? The Ark of the Covenant stands as a reminder of God’s presence. He wanted the people to know He was with them as they passed through the waters. Where is God leading you? Does it seem difficult or impossible? Remember wherever God leads you, He will be with you. Daniel was lead to the Lion’s den as a result of his faithfulness to God but God shut the mouths of the Lions. Jesus told His disciples “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). God reminds His people in Scripture “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). God’s strength is realized in allowing God’s leading.

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Our Everything

Our Everything

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

David, the author of this Psalm, writes eight titles referencing God and His reliability.  He experienced God’s hand of protection and deliverance from his enemies and now David is worshiping God for His faithfulness during battle.  I’m sure David sang often in battle.  I heard it said of a young boy who was trying to pull a large weed from his front yard.  Suddenly, the weed came out, root and all, and the boy was thrown back and fell in the process.  A man happened to be passing by and replied to the young boy.  “That sure was a hard pull!”  The boy replied, “It sure is tough when you have the whole world pulling against you.”  We can all feel what this boy said at times.   The cares and concerns of the “pulling world” have a way of fading away in God’s presence.  Pressures, demands, deadlines, and failures are no match for the reliability of God.   He strengthens you when you are at your weakest point (2 Corinthians 12:9).  David rejoiced that God was everything he needed to get through the most difficult of situations.   When the battle rages or the world pulls, it takes strong faith to worship.  But as you worship you will find the One supplying the strength to worship is your “stronghold.”  God is closer than you think and He is “able to supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  (Phil 4:19)

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Unfinished

Unfinished

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

Paul the Apostle is nearing the end of his life.  He is contemplating the things God had called him to accomplish.  This is his swan song.  I am immediately impressed with the confidence with which he is able to say “I finished.”  It’s been said that “a wasted life is really nothing more than a collection of wasted days. As God gives us life, each one of us starts the new year with the same number of opportunities—365—that we can choose to either use and invest in eternal things or allow to drift by without taking advantage of the gift we have been given.”  I was walking through a cemetery after a funeral service and my eye caught a headstone that read “a life still unfinished.”  We would naturally say that about anyone that had passed from this world at a young age, but this was someone who passed at 78!  I don’t want to come to the end and think of all the things I should have done or the ways I should have stepped out in faith.  Paul calls life a “race.”  My favorite races in the Olympics are the sprints.  These races are literally over in seconds, but I am always impressed with the amazing speed of the athletes.  The race referred to by Paul is likened to a “long distance” run.  A long distance run takes faith, endurance, and focus.  Jesus “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.” (Hebrews 12:2).  God calls us to focus and invest in things that matter so that we might finish well.

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Auto Pilot

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“Keep My Commandments and follow them, I am the LORD.”   -Leviticus 22:31

There was a danger for the priests to become very familiar with the customs and regulations of Temple practices. They would become so familiar that they could do things with their eyes closed. God told them to be careful of going into auto pilot with no effort, no thinking, and no responsibility. There had to be great care in performing the offerings of the day.

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Debt of Love

Debt of Love

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“Owe no one anything except to love one another…”   -Romans 13:8

Though we hear some debt is good to build up credit, we try our best to part with it.  Did you know according to the Bible there is debt in relation to love?  This is a debt we are called to pay into daily.   Jesus said loving one another is a mark of knowing Him.  Knowing Christ transforms our thinking (Romans12:1,2).  Jesus said “Love one another as I have Love you” and people will know that we belong to Him (Jn 13:35)..  This command extends to all people. In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37), Jesus showed that the command “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18) extends even to strangers in need. It applies to people whom we may not especially like and to those who have wronged us. We do not necessarily have to like them, but we do need to love them and forgive them.    As you read the famous love chapter (1Corinthians13), we see words in our language that qualify as descriptors or adjectives, but in the original Greek language, these are words of “continuous” action.  John 15:13 says “greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  God, with love in action, sent His Son.  Jesus actively loved us by sacrificing His life for us (John 3:16), so that we can have the hope of Heaven. We needed forgiveness.  So Jesus, out of love, came to pay a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.  Pay some of that debt down today. 

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Reflection

Reflection

By Pastor Dennis Morales

"…Glory to God in the highest…" Luke 2:14a

Some would say this has been a tumultuous year. One thing for sure, God’s plan is still in place.  Nothing can change God’s plan (Matthew 24:35).  During this time of year, we look back at the experiences that could form our future decisions or we can look to the future with concern.   As we come to a point of contemplation, take comfort in why Jesus came into the world.   I am reminded in Scripture that bringing glory to God was the chief purpose of Jesus. Following His birth, the angels declared the glory of God: “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."  (Luke 2:13, 14 NLT).  When we look at the cross of Christ, it is hardly something one would say is glorious, but in reality Jesus came into the world to glorify the Father.  The cross is possibly the greatest display of God’s glory (John 3:16, 17).  Jesus’ goal was to see God’s purposes fulfilled, so Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice by giving His life.  But what followed is even more glorious.  He rose again in victory over sin and death.  He set us free to a hope that does not disappoint (John 8:36, Romans 5:5).  With Jesus in heart we hope of Heaven and victory in life.  This is also glory to God.  Now God has called us to bring him glory.  We can pursue the things that glorify Him, bring unity, and reveal His character in our lives: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).  Remember with a New Year comes new opportunities.  Remember to give God glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).

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Fashioned Days

Fashioned Days

By Pastor Dennis Morales

"All the days ordained for me were written in your book…" Psalm 139:16   

David writes that God looks at our life as looking through a book.  He sees the beginning and end.  He knows the exact days and hours to the second we will occupy our address on earth.  The world recently lost three icons of the entertainment industry.  80s pop icon George Michael, and two very shocking circumstantial passing’s of Carrie Fischer and mom Debbie Reynolds within a day of each other.  This sent shockwaves through Social Media and Hollywood as we know it.   With the sobering sense of shock and loss, death can strike fear in the hearts of so many.  This fear can lead one to go well beyond good measure to try to “extend” life.  Though becoming vegetarian may be beneficial, we can do nothing to extend “the life of days” God has fashioned for us.  I take comfort in knowing that God knows the “order of my days.” I cannot die sooner nor live later than what God has recorded in His book as He guides us through life.   Better yet, God has given us opportunity to trust in Him and live in a way that death’s grip no longer has control over us through Christ’s work on the cross (Hebrews2:14/1Corinthians15:54).  Scripture says “teach [us] to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12)   Our tendency is to number years, but God says number “days.”  Though life is brief, Scripture says wisdom is living for God daily.  We may not know what the future holds, but we can never be wrong in trusting an unknown future to a known God (-Corrie Ten Boom). 

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Don’t Overlook It

Don’t Overlook It

By Pastor Dennis Morales

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever"  Psalm 118:29

Holiday mode is officially starting to kick in.  I can already taste my mother in love’s famous Yams.  But, I personally feel like I just packed up the Christmas lights!  As I shop in the local stores, it already feels like Christmas (minus our June weather of course).  You may feel inclined to start searching for the box of decorations, to start preparing shopping lists, or even get busy with planning the family gathering.  Or maybe you have endured a loss or are experiencing difficulty and your “heart just doesn’t seem to be in it” this year.  You may be in a position where you feel it’s just too hard to find things to be thankful for.  It’s no wonder why Thanksgiving can often be overlooked.   I’m reminded of a comic strip that read “Thanksgiving should come AFTER Christmas, then we’d have more things to be thankful for.”     But we are to remember that, “God is good” (Psalm 118:29).  We are also reminded biblically to bring praise (thanks) to the Lord “continuously” because He is always with us, especially when times are tough (Isaiah 43:2).  Whether we are busy or experiencing difficulty, we are reminded to be thankful.  Sometimes being thankful will involve sacrifice.  The Bible says “Therefore by Jesus,let us continually offer the [sacrifice] of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:29).  Regardless of circumstances, remember not to overlook the reasons to voice to God your thanksgiving.

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His Voice

His Voice

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep recognize His voice and come to Him. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.…” John 10:3

We lost one of our sons at a crowded amusement park once.  Absolutely, not a good feeling.  Our family began shouting his name.  This went on it seemed for about 1 or 2 minutes.  Then I jumped in at the top of my voice and shouted my son’s name.  A few seconds later, I was relieved to see a security attendant coming over holding my son’s hand.   She explained that my son went to her and said he was looking for his papa.  All of a sudden he began to say “Papa! Papa!”   He then quickly took her in the direction of my voice.  Out of a crowd of thousands, my son heard my voice.  When God says something, it’s for good reason and worth obeying.  When he calls, it may be to say “stop,”  “go this way,” or it may even be “not that way!”  His voice is one that calls us, guides us, and protects us.  God spoke audibly to some such as Moses and Abraham, but God also speaks clearly through the pages of the Bible.  There is a lot of noise in the world that can get in the way.  The noise can be in the form of social media, TV, or even politics.  But the more you read the Scriptures, the more readily you will know when God is speaking.  The word “leads” in this verse speaks of “leading out.”  He has the way and He is ready to lead you out of whatever you are going through and into His green pastures (Ps 95:7).  “If you hear His Voice.”

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Burn Out

Burn Out

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out.  And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning…” Leviticus 6:12

A first-grader wondered why her father brought home a briefcase full of work every evening. Her mother explained, “Daddy has so much to do that he can’t finish it all at the office.” “Well, then,” asked the child innocently, “why don’t they put him in a slower group?”  I believe there is much truth to this.  We find our fast paced environment creeping its way into our lives more often these days.  We can walk into worship at church lacking energy and being a spectator rather than a willing participant.  This may not always mean it’s time for vacation, but it may be an indicator to at least “slow down.”  The fire on the altar of “burnt offering” was to never go out.  If your time with God is dissipating, you will burn out.  God is calling upon us to burn brightly for Him in our daily lives, but there needs to be fuel for the fire.  The priests would throw wood on the fire every morning to keep the fire burning.  It may be time to prioritize, slow down, and put wood on the fire.  There is no greater fuel for the Christian heart than the Bible.  In Luke 24 after Jesus rose from the dead, he met two disciples on a road and opened the Scriptures to them.  After their encounter with the Risen Christ they proclaimed “did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us?” (Luke 24:32)  Make it a priority to get back into the “daily” practice of reading your Bible and praying.  It will bring fuel to your life.

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Your Platform

Your Platform

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me…” Nehemiah 2:18.

You have a platform.  It’s essentially something that enables you to be heard.  Speakers often stand upon a “soapbox” or a “stage” to be heard and make plain their message to their hearers.   Whether it is adversity, struggle, or triumph, it is a platform for faith.

Nehemiah was in captivity and was the king’s cup-bearer.  He used his seemingly ill position as a platform for faith and to bring awareness of Gods plan.  As a result, Nehemiah was given favor with the king and necessary resources to fulfill God’s plan and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  Nehemiah’s opposition was ever present and men sought to discourage his faithful plan, but Nehemiah had faith and trusted in God.  Nehemiah knew God was for him and God turned the enemy’s plot to nothing (Neh 4:14-16).  The people rallied and completed the walls in record time.  God is faithful in adversity.

I am reminded of Bethany Hamilton who entrusted herself to her faithful Creator. She didn’t quit living when she lost her arm.   She gave her life to God. She deposited her life for safekeeping into His hands; and now, God has given her an international platform from which to share her story and bring Him glory.  What is your platform today?  Trust God to give you strength and lead you today (Proverbs 3:5,6).

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Magnitude

Magnitude

BY PASTOR DENNIS MORALES

"In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him" 1 John 4:9

No doubt we live in earthquake territory. Some people react differently to such a seismic event. I have lived in California all my life, so I barely react unless it's an earthquake of higher magnitude. I usually turn to the news to try to find out what the magnitude force of the earthquake was and where it was centered. After an earthquake, we may hear that it was a "magnitude 4.0" which is the measure of energy concluded by a Richter Scale. Magnitude is defined in mathematics as the relative size of an object. In Astronomy, magnitude is a measure of brightness and brightness differences. This got me to think upon the love of God. There is no measure for God's love.

The Bible says "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"(Romans 8:38, 39). We can conclude that no measure of life, no measure of power, no measure of time, and no measure of space can outdo any measure of God's love for you.

If you are feeling weighed down today, Jesus said in love to give Him your burdens and He will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). In faith, He has forgiveness and healing in His hands because His love for you is immeasurable and unfailing (Numbers 14:18). We cannot help but to be moved by God's love (2 Corinthians 5:14). Did you feel that?

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Quality Time

Quality Time

BY PASTOR DENNIS MORALES

“And these words ... You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house…” Deuteronomy 6:6–7

Dad is on his phone checking the scores and Mom is cuddled up with her tablet reading her favorite blogs or updating her status. The children can also be seen on their tablets playing their favorite games or watching movies. Unfortunately, this scene is a growing trend in our current family structure. Now I am all for technology, but sometimes it can blur the lines of responsibility for us as parents to schedule “quality time” with our kids. The Bible is clear about parental responsibility to engage their children in deep heart-to-heart conversations about the Lord that impart more than facts, but teach solid wisdom. We can go things like “conversational walks” with our children or go on short drives to the store for “one on one” time. A characteristic of a strong family is that they spend quality time together. Our Heavenly Father exemplifies this to us in His desire to spend time with us (Exodus 29:43). Our children are a heritage from the Lord and “teachable moments” are all around us. If my son is scared, it’s an opportunity to teach him about God’s presence. Jesus did this when he taught His disciples through a storm. The Bible says to make the “best use of our time” (Ephesians 5:16) and to “make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5). Our opportunity is now to prepare our children to trust God in every situation. Time is a gift and it is short.

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Heavenly Interruptions

Heavenly Interruptions

BY PASTOR DENNIS MORALES

"We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps". Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)

"Sticky notes" are my friend. I have lists of "things to do" for almost everything. Sometimes I can get a little carried away, but I consider myself a planner. I once planned out our whole vacation and took my lists of things to do for everyday. Let's say it was short lived. There was a time when no one could get between me and my schedule. When my schedule was interfered with I felt like the wheels fell off my day. How do you go about your plans? How do you handle interruptions? We have vacation plans, weekend plans, a retirement plan, plans for school, and the list goes on. There's nothing wrong with making plans, but Proverbs says no matter what plans you may make, God decides where those plans will lead us. We can plan the day as usual, but expect some Heavenly interruption. These interruptions come in all shapes and sizes. They can come in the form of a son or daughter seeking direction, a spouse seeking your attention, a neighbor in need, or need I say (parents) "urgent care." We can make all the plans we want to make, but we better figure God in there somewhere. God has a way of editing our schedule at times. Without God in your plans, you're going to feel real lost. Your life is going to feel empty and meaningless. God has a plan for you, it involves a bright future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Trust the Lord in your planning and you'll find He gives meaning and purpose and life to your plans (Proverbs 3:5-6).

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Don't Give Up

Don't Give Up

BY PASTOR DENNIS MORALES

Galations 6:9 "And let us no grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

Thomas A. Edison was the most prolific inventor in moderns times-perhaps ever. He made scores of attempts to invent the light bulb. After an unsuccessful effort, one of his associates said, "Well, you have failed again." "No," replied Edison, "I have succeeded again. I now know another way how not to invent a light bulb." After 10,000 attempts, Edison had every reason to be discouraged. However, he had the ability to turn what many saw as failure, into fuel for success. God's desire for you is to succeed and be fruitful in life. The devil would have you focus on the failure and measure success by world standards. This can be exhausting. Whether it's ministry, a business, a college plan, being a teacher, or being a parent, be faithful in what you do. God reminds us that success will come, if we don't lose heart. Sometimes to appreciate success, we may experience pressure or failure. Dwell on the blessings to come. In nature, as well as our lives, there are different seasons. We have seasons to plow and seasons to reap blessings. Remember it was "Jesus, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the Cross" (Hebrews 12:2). The Joy Jesus had was in soon seeing victory over death and the blessing of lasting relationship with you. It's a great provilege to do God's work. Don't grow weary. "You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you." (Philippians 4:13)

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Love In Action

Love In Action

BY PASTOR DENNIS MORALES

My son Noah has a very unique ability to make friends easily, a character trait of my wife Michelle for sure. When Noah enters his classroom I can't help but notice all his friends coming to greet him enthusiastically. As his dad, I get a glimpse into his heart every day. It's an amazing joy to see him grow. We were at a park one day and Noah overheard someone crying. He ran over and found a little girl had fallen off her tricycle, so he helped her up, put his arm around her and told her simply "it's ok, it's ok." This little girl was his new buddy for the rest of their time at the park. I believe friendship is the launching pad for love. Proverbs says that a "friend loves at all times" (Proverbs 17:17). Friendship has such an effect on other important relationships in life. Research points out that friendly people live longer than the general population. Jesus spoke highly of both love and friendship. Jesus said loving one another is a mark of knowing Him. "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35). As you read the famous 1 Corinthians 13 love chapter, we see words in our language that qualify as descriptors or adjectives. In the original Greek language, these words are action words. John 15:13 says "greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." God, with love in action, sent His Son. His Son actively loved by sacrificing His life for all mankind (John 3:16), so that we can have the hope of heaven.

 

 

 

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"Reflectors"

"Reflectors"

BY PASTOR DENNIS MORALES

“Let your light so shine...."  (Matthew 5:16)

The moon at night can offer beautiful displays of light, but it's source of light comes directly from the sun. Realistically, if there was no sun, it would be nothing but a dirty rock. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus shares the very well known "Be"-atitudes." What Jesus teaches certainly isn't about "world peace," it's directed toward our character. The religious leaders in Jesus' day were so concerned with the minute details of conduct that they missed the major issue of character. Character goes much deeper than the surface. The way we live our lives flows from our character. A great preacher once said "Character is who you are when no one is looking." How is your behavior when no one is around? If your character is weak, then you will fall to destructive behavior. If your character is strong, then you will be able to withstand difficult pressures and temptation. What is good character? The bible identifies godly character as one that reflects love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, gentleness, goodness, and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). Do we perfectly reflect this at all times? Not realistically, but influences you have in your life will be reflected by you. The closer you draw to Jesus, the more His life will be reflected in you. Our children need good influence in their lives. We are called to influence character in our children's lives as parents and teachers. Draw close to the source and let your light shine!

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Sunday 09-27-15 :: Bulletin

Bulletin 0927

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Good Company

Good Company

BY PASTOR DENNIS MORALES

And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him. 1 Samuel 22:2

David takes a few men, not perfect men, not model citizens, but men who are stressed, in debt, and have issues. Notice they are distressed, bankrupt, and discontented or literally "bitter of soul". They were looking for something different in their lives, something better. So God led these 400 men to David. The pressures of life caused these men to seek refuge with David. These men came to David in distress, but they didn't stay that way. David made them into the kind of men described in 1 Chronicles 12:8: Mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle the shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains. David eventually trains these 400 men into a well oiled fighting force of great discipline and bravery. Jesus said "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt 11:28). David dealt with the physical, but Jesus heals the spiritual. When you give your life to Christ, He goes to the heart of the problem, which is the heart (Jer. 17:9). Jesus doesn't focus on  what brings you to Him, but on what He brings to you. He brings forgiveness, peace, and true change. "...Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT). 

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Sunday 09-13-15 :: Bulletin

Bulletin 0913

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