1160 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC, V6E 3H7
Pastor Fari Maghami
Overcoming Doubt and Despair
Doubt and despair. Who hasn’t experienced uncertainty and the lack of trust in something or someone? Doubt can make us hesitant in making decisions or question someone’s motives or capabilities. Despair is the feeling of hopelessness. It’s when we end up in a place in our minds that keeps us caged and feeling defeated and doomed. Difficult and painful circumstances in life can lead us to despair. In life we will all find ourselves in times of hopelessness, discouragement and even doubting God’s presence or goodness. But the good news is that there is a way out of doubt and despair.
Blessed Are the Peacemakers
Jesus gives us some clues in His teachings on how we should be making peace. Any loving actions and words that help overcome enmity between us and others is a good start. And to be more specific, we are to pray for those who persecute us. In order to pray for God to bless our enemies we (super)naturally need to walk in forgiveness and not hold on to any offenses. As Paul tells us we are to, “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
The Beatitudes – Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit￼
This past weekend at Coastal Church we started our series on the Beatitudes that beginsJesus’ Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew 5-7. In these chapters we read a collection of Jesus’s teachings that have greatly impacted, inspired and transformed people globally. In this blog, I will be mainly focusing on the first Beatitude found in Matt. 5:2: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In verse one we see Jesus observing the large crowds as he walked up the mountainside and then sitting down, which was the well-known posture of a teacher.
The Selfless Love of God
Love! In English there is only one word for love. It’s a word we use a lot to express how we feel about food, fashion, friends and family. Love is something we want – and desire to experience. But the type of love we read about in John’s Gospel is different, in fact it’s divine. In the original language of the New Testament, the Greek used multiple words for love. In John 3:16, the author uses the word agape, which speaks of God’s selfless, undeserved and unconditional love towards a broken and fallen world. God loves a world that does not and cannot love Him back in return, unless He makes the move to change our hard hearts and renews a right spirit within us
Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lord of Hosts; The Whole Earth is Full of His Glory!
May the Lord help us to keep growing in our adoration and worship of Him as the Lord of Hosts and our God. May the Spirit empower us to live a holy life in which our thoughts, words and actions honor Him and point people to the King of kings and Lord of lords who is seated on the throne interceding for us (Romans 8:34).
Everyone Did What Was Right in Their Own Eyes
How do we avoid doing what is right in our own eyes? For starters, we need to avoid relying on our own understanding, but instead trust in the Lord with all our heart. We must set our eyes on Jesus and follow His teachings that are spirit and life (John 6:63). We repent of the things that have been filling our hearts and minds that diminish our love for God.
What You Love Shapes Who You Are
Those who are of God love what God loves. God loves His children and Apostle John in his letter directs Christians to do the same, to love one another. God is delighted when His children obey and live according to His will as revealed in His commandments. Believers do not see God’s commandments as heavy and vexatious. We are a new creation in Christ and therefore we love to follow our master’s decrees. However, we also recognize that loving others or loving what God loves is not an easy task and it requires our daily surrender and dependence upon God. We need the power of God’s Spirit working within us and our daily intentional meditation and application of His Word.
Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
One day Jesus was teaching and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
Powerful and Effective Prayer
You and I were created to have an unbroken relationship with God and others. We were always meant to be in a loving functional relationship demonstrated by continuous and clear communication.
Am I Deceiving Myself?
The letter of James is extremely practical and helpful for believers looking for specific guidance in the Christian life. He did not address the letter to just one single church, but to the twelve tribes of Israel scattered among the nations (1:1). James was Jesus’ half-brother who came to faith in Christ after Jesus’ resurrection. He became an early leader of the Jerusalem Church and died as a martyr in AD 62 or 69. He was known as James “the Just” because of his exceptional virtue.
Trust in The Lord
Godly living is not about your high level of human understanding, but in whom you put your ultimate trust. If we trust God, we also acknowledge him daily and we can be assured that He will lead us down the right path.
Strength Under Control
When the fruit of gentleness or meekness is on display it is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of bridled strength. Meekness is produced by God living in us, but it requires our conscious choice and cooperation with His Spirit. We can choose to remain gentle or not. It is power and courage under control, linked with kindness.
All of Life as Worship
What does it mean to worship God? For many Christians the term worship is related to the time spent at church making music and singing songs directed to God in praise.
Breath of Life
The Bible says that God breathed the breath of life into man. Every human being
regardless of colour, race and background is created by God and that makes every life
sacred. This passage from Genesis came to my mind as I have been thinking and
praying for the United States, watching as people have been protesting against police
brutality, systemic injustice and racism.
When I am Afraid
God’s voice is always comforting and soothing to the soul of His followers. It expels fear and brings faith. The Words of Christ are spirit and they are life to all who receive them (John 6:63). When God’s people hear His voice, they will follow Him. He gives them eternal life; they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of His hand (John 10:27-28).
Ask Anything in My Name
As we pursue Christ and continue His mission in the world by sharing the gospel, letting our light shine before people, loving our neighbours, and extending forgiveness to our enemies, we can ask Jesus for whatever we need and He will give it to us. God has promised His children, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it.” The condition in this text for this promise is “Ask in my Name!”
When Your Performance Is Not Enough to Be Content
Achieving peak performance in our lives is not enough to make us content. No matter how gifted we might be, true contentment cannot be found in our performance. The world grades us and gives us value according to our performance. In contrast, the Bible says we are created by God in His image and He shows His unmerited love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God Will Bring You Through
Life comes with seasons of trial and testing. How do we survive and thrive through the storms of life? How do we face fear, pain, addictions, loss, depression, faith crisis and sickness without becoming callused toward God and people? There are no easy and straightforward answers to life’s trials and afflictions, but one thing is sure in the midst of our tribulations – God is able and willing to bring us through storms of life.
A New Destination
If we believe in a personal and sovereign God who created us intentionally out of love, then it follows that there are some logical questions for every person to ask: why did this God create me? Which direction does He want me to go in life? What is the purpose of my brief earthly existence? Where is my destination in this life and will it affect my afterlife?
Glorious & Free
As an immigrant from the Islamic Republic of Iran, I am extremely glad and honored to live in Canada, a glorious and free land. My homeland is a nation that is known to lack in freedom of speech and has undergone many turmoils, like the 1979 revolution and an almost 8 year-long war with Iraq. I recognize that Canada’s history is not free from violence, prejudice, pain and injustice. However, I do believe that God is on the move, revealing truth and bringing healing in many different areas of our country, including the social and political landscape.
Husbands Love Your Wives
The greatest commandment in the Bible is to, “…love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself…” (Matthew 22:36-38). You would think that these commands from Jesus would be clear enough for husbands to love their wives out of the overflow and empowerment of the first commandment.
All of Life as Worship
What does it mean to worship God? For many Christians the term worship is related to the time spent at church making music and singing songs directed at God in praise. This is definitely a very important part of why Christians gather corporately all around the world every week, to worship God our redeemer in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23,24).