And He said to them, "It is written,'My house shall be called a house of prayer,’…”
Matthew 21:13 NKJV

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Christmas Story

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

In light of the season, can you take a few minutes to open to the Christmas story found in Luke 2:1-20? I want to show you something there.

This is, of course, the story of Jesus being born in a manger in Bethlehem; God becoming man to make a way for us. But I want to focus on the response of the shepherds. First, they left their flocks (verse 15), then they returned full of joy (verse 20). Why joy? Two things. They heard the heavenly proclamation: peace, goodwill from God toward you (verse 13-14). They saw God (verse 17). This is the fulfillment of the cry of David in Psalm 27:4, to paraphrase, “All I want is to be where You are, to see You, and to hear Your declarations”.

Perhaps if we, like the shepherds, can leave our work for a bit during this busy season to seek Jesus, we’ll see a bit of His glory – even if it’s veiled in human wrappings, hear His declaration of “I have good will toward you”, and experience the true joy of the season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Take a Leap of Faith

Pastor Kelly Franklin
Freedom Christian Center

I remember when my boys were young, my husband, Tim would stand them on the top bunk bed and then with just a simple word from him, they would take a leap of faith and jump into his arms. I stood amazed that they so easily believed that their Dad would always catch them. No fear, no questioning, just raw faith and the trust of a child.

The Lord desires each of us to take a leap of faith and believe His Word for the situation that we are facing. Is it financial pressures, strained relationship, job demands, or physical need? Whatever the challenge that seems to be capturing your attention these days, are you willing to release it to the Lord? He longs that you take a leap of faith, believe His Word for the situation, and set your focus back on Him. Just like Josh and Caleb had to focus on their Dad and believe His words that he could catch them when they jumped, the Lord is looking for you to overcome the hurdle that is holding you captive and keeping you from His loving arms of grace and peace. Jesus, our redeemer, is the answer to the problem that you face. He will carry you through the difficulty, into victory, as you place your trust in Him. He will catch and carry you every time.

In II Chronicles, chapter 20, Jehoshaphat was facing his challenge much like us, with the “ites” in his life. The armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and the Meunites, thus the “ites” of life, were coming against Jehoshaphat to battle. Yet he chose to set his focus on the Lord, acknowledging how great, awesome, powerful, and wonderful the Lord is. He stood in confidence that the Lord would speak and provide direction to bring solution to his problem. He took a leap of faith, putting His trust in the Lord. What I love is that the Lord spoke to Jehoshaphat in the midst of his challenge saying, “Do not be afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” Jehoshaphat could rest in the midst of the challenge knowing God was in control. He heard the word of the Lord and the result of his faith was victory!

So I want to encourage you with these words, “Do not be afraid or dismayed just take a Leap of Faith. Set your gaze and trust on Jesus today. You can always trust Him to catch you in His arms of Grace!” God loves child-like faith!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weapons of our Warfare

Rachel Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete." 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

It’s hard in our American reality – which I love, btw – to comprehend living in a war zone. Bombs do not explode outside our windows or down the street. We don’t fear, on the average, walking into a mall and having a suicide bomber blow us all up. We shop in grocery stores that have full shelves and clothing stores that over flow with goods. Most of us have a cell phone, a computer and a half way decent car. We are entertained by flat screen TVs and movies on demand. What war? What fight? Why do I need to pick up a weapon? And, what weapon might that be?

But we are in a fight. The apostle Peter warns, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” And that someone might just be you. You don’t fear mall bombings? But fear the lure of the lust of the eye and the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life that comes flinging toward us every day: Via the media, via movies, news, talk, books, electronic devices, and all forms of entertainment. Perhaps even people we call friends.

I can tell most Christians aren’t aware of the fight by the size of the common prayer meeting. We grip and claw our way through life, wishing God would “just do something,” or wonder, “why does God allow bad things to happen?” And He’s leaning over the balcony of heaven, screaming, “Pick up your weapon!”

Listen, beloved, we have ALL authority in Jesus. Kick those temptations, doldrums, and spiritual attacks in the teeth. It’s your God given right. Wake up early. It won’t kill you. Trust me. Head off to the local prayer meeting and wage war with the saints. If that’s all it takes to be victorious….?

What’s the delay?

We have no excuse really. We don’t. I don’t. And I’m kind of fond of excuses. But, when I give an account to the Lord, I’d rather know I went through life fighting than realize I just laid down my weapon and let the enemy have his way.

See you at prayer.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

It’s hard to see injustice all around us and not get angry. But it is comforting to know that, ultimately, no one escapes justice.

(Mat 12:18-21) Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out, Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory; And in His name Gentiles will trust.

Jesus is coming again, and will see to it that every man, woman and child receives justice, except one. (Acts 8:32-33) He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.

Jesus is the only man who will never receive justice. Throughout eternity the one great injustice will stand, an innocent man killed for the sins of others, and they will never be called to account for it. He chose to sacrifice His own justice to become a gift to us. Romans 5:8 calls this the demonstration of His incredible love. The next time you feel you’ve been treated unjustly, think about this.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yet Even Now!

Gary Stebbins
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

At COTRM we recently completed a series on the book of Joel. One of the take aways for me was a clear picture of how God would have a people respond when their nation is in a time of national crisis.

There is much power in the "fervent prayer of a righteous" man, but when it comes to national issues it is going to take a corporate response. The church must gather together to seek the heart of God and intercede on behalf of their nation.

Two verses from Joel have spoken to my heart concerning how God would have us respond to Him in times of crisis: "12 Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; 13 And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil." (Joel 2.12-13)

To "return" means to turn back, not in the sense that I must turn back to the beginning and start all over, but turn back to where I drifted in my heart and devotion from God's heart. The word can also mean to turn away. We turn back to God and at the same time turn away from those activities that distract us from God and His divine purposes for our lives.

Jeremiah spoke to Israel some very encouraging and instructive words when they had wandered from Him: "You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jer 29:13)

As we turn back to God, turn away from distractions, and seek God with all our heart, we will find Him. He is yearning for us to search for Him.

In the above verses Joel leaves us with incredible hope and gives us great insight into the character and attributes of our God: "He is gracious and compassionate, He is slow to anger, He is abounding in
lovingkindness, He is relenting of evil." (Joel 2.13)

I thank God both for His admonition to bring my life in alignment with His heart, and His reminder to me that we serve a good and gracious God.

Yet even now! Can we find the time to pray and seek our God together for our nation?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Simply Devotion

Tim Franklin,
Freedom Christian Center

At our next MyHOP gathering at Freedom Christian Center, on Friday October 7th, we will do something a little different during our first prayer target time. Typically we would begin the evening praying into a designated prayer target. But, on October 7th, we will begin by doing a devotional set.

What is a devotional set? I am so glad you ask! Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, (available free on line, is a dictionary with definitions of words prior to secular humanists taking God out of our educational books) defines devotional as: the state of being dedicated, consecrated, or solemnly set apart for a particular purpose. A solemn attention to the Supreme Being in worship; a yielding of the heart and affections to God, with reverence, faith and piety, in religious duties, particularly in prayer and meditation; devotedness. Therefore a devotional set will be a time in which we dedicate, consecrate, set ourselves apart to God for a particular purpose. As we consecrate ourselves, we will be giving to Him the affections of our heart.

What will this look like when its happening? Another great question! The worship team will be ministering to the Lord in simple songs that you will probably already know. They may be singing or they may just be playing. Either way, it will not be a time to pray at the mic as we usually do, but it will be a time to enter into His Presence. You may start by loving Him. You may need to start by confessing your own sin. The thrill of this is knowing that you are in a room full of other people who are doing the same! Each one wanting to be closer to God. Each one wanting to be more dedicated at a deeper level.

What do I do? Such great questions! Feel free to kneel, walk around, pray, sit and meditate, worship, dance before the Lord etc. Don’t draw attention to yourself or do things that will be disruptive to others who are connecting with God. You may simply choose to ‘soak’ in the Presence--just be still and know that He is God. There is momentum (forward movement with mass) when people of like mind and purpose gather to a God who desires to show himself strong!

See you at MyHOP, Friday October 7th, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spying on David

Tim Franklin
Freedom Christian Center

“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said...” 2 Samuel 7:18

The sound of these words, are so intriguing and at the same time, so humbling. To read any further makes me feel like I am almost spying on King David. Yet his actions are so deliberate and purposeful that I cannot just let him slip by. I must see where he goes. I must hear his conversations.

Oh, to live a life of prayer so natural, so communal before God, that others are drawn to follow, that they might hear the words of my heart before the Living God. Some would say it is an art to pray as David prays following this opening line. David was so incredibly humbled, by the goodness of God, that his prayers came dancing off his lips, driven by the song in his heart.

“Who am I Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” Now there is the voice of a man who is fully aware of the goodness of the Lord. He evidently feels he is getting something that he does not deserve. And, he is obviously overwhelmed by the kindness of the Lord―to him and to his family. David is experiencing gratitude as he comes in and sits before the Lord. He is like a playful child that wants to talk. He wants to be thankful. He wants to be appreciative. He wants to give back to the Blesser. The only words he can find in the midst of all the goodness of the Lord is, “Your name will be magnified forever!”

A house of prayer, a person of prayer, a church of prayer will have to begin at the place of humility before God that comes from having seen how much He has freely given us. It is the kindness of the Lord that leads to repentance. It is the mercy and goodness of the Lord that leads to humility that results in gratitude.

David was honoring God by going in to sit before him. Some of our greatest connections with God will happen when we just come and sit. You can sit and talk or you can just sit. There is no pressure to perform. Just an invitation to be yourself before your Father.

More followers of Christ would find greater joy in Father God if they just paused to remember how good He has been to them. He is faithful to His Word. His promises endure forever. My future destiny and heritage are destined to be great by the word of His mouth.

Oh Lord, my Lord, you have been kind to me. And to my sons!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

I have really worked and prayed for unity among pastors and churches in our city. I believe it’s a huge deal to God. If fact, I think it’s a prerequisite to getting many of the things we’re asking for; things God won’t give to us as individuals. Things we have to come to Him together to get. Let me attempt to justify my belief biblically. Consider Psalm 133.
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! {2} It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. {3} It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing; Life forevermore."
We begin with the prerequisite: unity, and end with what we want: God’s commanded blessing. Note that we’re to dwell together in unity. I think that implies substantially more than coming together occasionally for big meetings. But look at the picture God paints twice in between the action and the result.

First the anointing oil poured on Aaron’s head that runs down to collect at the hem of his priestly garments. The New Testament says that now we’re God’s priests. Ephesians 4 describes the church as a body knit together with Christ as the head. There is enough anointing to heal a sick woman who touches the hem, the lowest position in the body. Then the dew that collects on Mount Hermon and pools together as it runs down to become the Jordan river. Jesus said in John 7 that we’d have rivers of living water flowing out of us.

So why don’t we see the manifestations of the Kingdom we’ve been asking for? The problem isn’t a lack of anointing. All the anointing the church is ever going to have has already been poured out on the head, Jesus, who dwells in us (Col 1:27). Maybe the problem is a lack of connection. How can anointing flow down from the head to the body if the body is dismembered? How can we have a river if we each hoard our own little stream? We know how important it is to stay connected to Jesus, but we may have underestimated how important it is that we stay connected to each other.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Thankful Heart

Gary Stebbins
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

Several weeks ago I came into one of our early morning prayer times at church. All was well, or so I thought. As we were praying, Pastor Tony happened to glance out one of our windows. Something did not look right and indeed it was not right.

During the night someone had stolen three of our air conditioners. After processing the initial shock and implications of such a problem, my immediate response was thanksgiving. Now I was not thankful that someone had stolen the A/C units, but my heart was filled with gratitude over the goodness of God. Yes, this was a problem, but God has been so faithful to us for many years. It would be very difficult for me to express in words how truly gracious God has been towards us.

As we continued to pray that morning I felt God say that there would be a silver-lining in this cloud. My immediate response as I prayed was not justice, but praise and thanksgiving. The Lord reminded me of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing in everything give thanks: (WHY?) FOR THIS is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

The following Sunday I challenged our church to live the next week without grumbling and complaining, but instead express gratitude and thanksgiving to God.

I believe thanksgiving should be a significant part of our prayer life. God is not asking us to be thankful for trouble when it comes, but to be thankful for a God who will walk with us no matter what difficulties might come our way.

I love David’s prayer of thanksgiving in Psalm 138, and in verse 8 he says …“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; your loving-kindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of your hands.”

Wow! God is concerned for what concerns me. He hears my prayers. This fills my heart with thankfulness towards Him.

May God fill your heart with thanksgiving and may the expression of gratitude become a significant part of your prayer life.

Are you rejoicing?
Are you praying?
Are you giving thanks in everything?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Careful What You Pray

Tony Hauck
Church in the Rock - Melbourne

I Kings 18 records the time Elijah called down fire from heaven on Mount Carmel, then called up rain after holding it back for three and a half years. Chapter 19 describes his fleeing to the wilderness after a threat from Jezebel. Lest you be too hard on him, keep in mind he’d just wiped out 450 of her demonic prophets and broken Satan’s long hold on Israel. I know I’ve never encountered that kind of spiritual backlash. But there is something Elijah did wrong, and it had to do with his attitude. At that critical time, Elijah interceded against Israel.

Rom 11:2-5 "God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel,saying, "LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars,and I alone am left, and they seek my life"? But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace"

There are two things to consider here. First, even though he accurately saw Israel’s problem, he was willing to write all of them off. Look at verse five. There is always a faithful remnant. Second, he wasn’t praying. He was just answering God’s question. That means whenever we talk to God, even if we’re just complaining, it’s intercession. Contrast Elijah’s attitude with Moses’ when God did have reason to write off all of Israel.

Exo 32:10-14 "Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation." Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: "LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? "Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, 'He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'"

So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people." Moses appealed to God’s word, His plan, His glory, and His mercy to give Him a reason to continue to bless His people. If we’re going to be intercessors, we need to be careful how we talk to God about His church, His bride.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Slow Down

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

Daniel 12:4 has always been an interesting verse to me. It says that in the end times “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase”. Can you think of a more apt description of our hectic media driven lives? I don’t think this kind of activity and pursuit of knowledge is a good thing. I think it’s a distraction that will keep many from seeing God.

Have you ever watched a basketball game where the announcer said something like, “they’re letting the other team get them off their pace?” If you can get a team to play at your rhythm, instead of their own pace, you have a better chance of controlling the game.

So I encourage you, don’t get caught up running at the pace the world is setting. Walking with Jesus means walking at His pace, and it isn’t hectic. You’ll have to fight to simplify your life. You’ll have to cut out good things to make room for the best things. But you’ll also find it easier to obey Colossians 3:15. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

Friday, May 13, 2011

You Are Here

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

I was pondering three passages that describe the last days or beginning of sorrows. Understand that this isn’t the time of great tribulation spoken of in Revelation, but what immediately precedes that time, so even if you’re pre-trib, no one escapes these events. You can read them for yourself (Mt 14:4-12, 2 Tim 3:1-5, 2 Pe 3:3), but I’ll give you a short list of what to expect; deception, wars, famine, earthquakes, tribulation, martyrdom, hatred, offense, lawlessness, cold love, scoffers, lustful, self love, proud, disobedient, no self control, brutal, haughty, lovers of pleasure, haters of good, having a form of godliness but without power.

Sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? And that’s what I was thinking about, how bad it’s going to get, when God pulled me up short with one statement. He said, “You’re already in the beginning of sorrows now.”

My first thought was, “this isn’t as bad as I thought it would be”. But my immediate second thought was, “how desensitized to sin have I become that I’m living in the last days, don’t even recognize it, or think it’s that bad?”

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Remember now, O Lord!

Gary Stebbins
Church on the Rock, Melbourne

Hezekiah was a mighty king over Judah. When the Assyrian army had surrounded Jerusalem and was threatening to attack the city, the Bible says that he took the message that the enemy had sent him, spread it out before the Lord, and ... "Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, 'O Lord, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see;'" (2 Kings 19:15-16)

Later on in Hezekiah’s life he becomes mortally ill, again the Bible says ... "Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, and said, 'Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.' And Hezekiah wept bitterly" (Isaiah 38:2-3).

Both of these stories about the life of Hezekiah have always been vivid pictures to me that encourage me to pray no matter what difficulty I am facing in my life. In the first case Hezekiah’s prayer concerned the deliverance of Jerusalem and Judah from the hands of an enemy army. In the second case, Hezekiah’s prayer had to do with his own personal need for healing. Whether we are praying for issues concerning our country or our own personal lives, God is a God who hears our prayers and responds to those prayers. There is no prayer that is too small or too large for God to hear and respond to. All of our prayers are important to God.

These two stories also demonstrate to me the sovereignty of God both over the affairs of nations and over the affairs of my own personal life. God has the power to deliver a nation from their enemies and to deliver my body from sickness and disease. There is nothing in this world that God cannot take care of.

We do live in serious times. Our nation is facing difficulties that seem almost insurmountable. Many people are experiencing very trying times in their lives personally. The stories from the life of Hezekiah remind me to pray and put my faith and trust fully and completely in the Lord. Difficulties at any level in our lives should drive us into the presence of God where we can find His hope and peace. Fervent, diligent prayer is an indication of our trust in God and not in ourselves.

Pray, pray, and keep praying! God is a good God and He is listening. Prayer can move the heart and hands of God for our nation and in our personal lives.

What about you? Are you facing some serious issues in your own life? Perhaps you are facing financial difficulties, marriage problems, or health issues. Have you taken them to God in prayer? As you listen to the news do you find yourself growing anxious over the future for our nation? Have you taken your concerns to God in prayer? How has prayer helped you cope with the issues of everyday life?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Quiet Zeal

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

What does zeal look like? We all know the story of Jesus turning over the tables of the money changers in the temple, and His disciples remembering that it was written, “zeal for Your house has consumed me”. Don’t forget that whole incident was about the importance of prayer. Jesus spent a lot more time in prayer, not quarreling or crying out, not breaking bruised reeds or quenching smoking wicks (Mt 12:19-20), than he did in flamboyant displays of zeal. Yet I believe He was zealous all the time. So what did His zeal look like most of the time?

"But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.' He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?" (Mat 21:28-31)

I don’t know about you, but too often I’ve sung on Sunday, “Lord I want You, I want to do Your will, yes Lord”, and then, ignored Him on Monday. I really appreciate demonstrative worship, passionate prayer and stirring preaching, but I’m not sure these things are accurate indicators of zeal. Maybe true zeal is seen in daily disciplines, long faithfulness to a task, simple obedience. Maybe it’s less about emotion and more about making decisions in spite of how we feel. Maybe we’re most zealous when we’re dry and tired, but we’re doing it anyway.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

God Help Me Pray

Tim Franklin
Freedom Christian Center

Luke 22:45 “…and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping...” NKJV “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” John Wesley

John Wesley knew well the place of prayer, and was often criticized by the church because of his rigid commitment to prayer and his demand that new believers be disciplined to prayer and the Word. Wesley knew the power of prayer, he walked in the spirit of revival and looked for those men who would give themselves to the place of prayer. God still looks for those kind of men, for communities that give themselves to Him in prayer. He can work through a praying church―not a prayerless one. He can work through praying Saints―not prayerless ones.

Is it no wonder, that Jesus would declare “My house shall be called a House of Prayer”? He did not call it a house of planning, a house of strategic thinking, a house of pleasure or a house of ease. He called it a House of Prayer―because that is what He wanted us to identify with. He was imparting to those who would follow Him, that if you desire anointing, supernatural strength, God’s help, God’s favor, then you must give yourself to prayer.

The apostles knew and esteemed the prominence of prayer in their lives. Jesus personally taught them to pray. He left His prayerful mark on their lives with the example that He lived before them. Long before daybreak; long after the sun went down; slipping out during the day; Jesus taught His disciples to pray. After their failure to pray in the garden, on the night Jesus needed them the most, their hearts were eternally marked with commitment to the place of prayer. Never again will we fail like that!

In Acts, they now began to understand that the Kingdom of God had been entrusted to them. Jesus was counting on them. They could not afford to be found prayerless, again. They put prayer first in their lives. They put prayer first in this new community called the church. They esteemed prayer in order that they would bring the people of the region to the highest place of faith and holiness. They ‘stirred themselves up’ to take hold of God. They prayed like Elijah who prayed until his prayers squeezed rain out of a drought. They ‘gave themselves to prayer’ and it was obvious to all. Even smart, well learned men took note that these uneducated men had been with Jesus in the place of prayer, continued to be found in the place of prayer and were turning the world ‘upside down.’

Oh, that Brevard County would experience the presence of praying Saints. Saints who will not say “NO” to prayer, be distracted from prayer, or give up on prayer. May this county know the fierceness of a people who call on God. May it live under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, brought on by tireless Saints, crying out for mercy in prayer. Oh, that Brevard would be awakened to the Presence of God brought on by the thunderous praying of the church. God works through men, men who depend upon Him and seek His counsel and strength in the place of prayer.

Where is the church that boasts of power?
Is she too weak to rise this hour?
Will she sit here idly by,
While souls to a Christless hell go die?
God forbid! Don’t let it be!
Lord put your holy fire in me!
Let it burn and blaze so bright and
Wake me to pray both day and night
Crying out for the souls of men
Crying out for the souls of men.
Give me a holy passion that will not end.
―Song written by Tim Franklin & Dan Walton

MyHOP! Join us this Friday night April 1st, 7 p.m. at Our Father’s House to pray.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm Waiting...

Tony Hauck, Church on the Rock - Melbourne

There are two verses, Psalm 27:14 & Isaiah 40:31, that promise we’ll receive strength as we wait on the Lord. I’m afraid we’ve mostly understood waiting on the Lord in the sense that He’s sovereign, and we just have to wait for Him to act. I often meet Christians who believe some prophetic promise that God is going to do, but are actually doing little more than marking time waiting for Him to show up and do it.

This is passive waiting, but the kind God is talking about in these verses is very active. The Hebrew word for “wait” literally means to be braided together. It speaks of a continual interacting, becoming entwined with God. Maybe God isn’t delaying His promises, but waiting for us to learn how to wait on Him.

So are you waiting on the Lord, or just sitting around waiting?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Gary Stebbins
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

When we examine our lives or the lives of others, we often look at the fruit. What fruit do we see on the trees of our lives? Certainly the fruit that is on our trees is important. In some ways it is a measure of how we are doing in our Christian walk.

When you look at a tree, what is it that determines whether the fruit on that tree is going to be good or bad? Is the tree planted in good soil? Is it being watered and fertilized? These are all necessary for a tree to bear good fruit. But in reality what determines whether a tree bears good fruit or not is the condition of its roots. The roots provide support for the tree, so it can weather the storms it might face. The roots are also the means by which the tree draws nourishment from the soil.

In our Christian lives, what do our root systems look like? What are some of the roots that are necessary for us to live a successful and fruitful life with God? Certainly at the top of the list is our relationship with God, prayer, worship, and the study of God's Word.

Psalm 1:1-3, describes our life with God like a tree. Psalm 1:1 tells us what not to do, "Do not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers." Psalm 1:2 tells us what to do, "delight" in the law of the Lord and "meditate" in His law day and night. The result of heeding the psalmist’s instructions in verses one and two is found in verse three. The trees of our lives will yield its fruit in its season, our leaves will not wither, and whatever we put our hands to will prosper.

The word meditate in verse three means to "engage in contemplation or reflection." It is to take time with God, to listen for His voice, study His Word, and reflect upon what He speaks to our minds or impresses upon our hearts. Prayer is a tool that God has given to us to strengthen our relationship with God. It is one of the major roots in the tree of our life that we must work at keeping healthy. If we allow this root to die it will definitely affect the fruit we find on our tree.

Have you taken time to examine the fruit on the tree of your life recently? If you are not happy with the fruit or would like to see it increase, examine your roots and make sure you are giving them the attention they need. Are you actively cultivating your relationship with the Lord, do you take time each day to pray, are you reading and studying His Word faithfully, do you worship him with all your heart?

So, how are your roots?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Balancing Your Books

Tony Hauck
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

I pulled financial reports today for our monthly meeting. In just a few minutes I have a report that explains what we’ve done with every dollar we’ve been given, and how that compares to our budget. We create a budget each year so that we spend intentionally. Our income can vary, so if we spent according to the wants and needs of the moment, we may not have enough later to pay all our bills. Budgets help you determine when to say “yes” or “no”. We plan ahead because we are accountable.

God has given each of us a fixed, known asset, and we will have to account for how we’ve spent it. Its called time; 168 hours a week. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a year end spending report on our time? Of course you have to trade part of your time for income, and spend some on family and friends. And you have to spend a fair bit taking care of yourself, like eating and sleeping. You may be surprised to learn that the average person still has over forty hours left in their week to do whatever they want. Most of us don’t budget that time, often allowing the desire of the moment to crowd out more important things. If we don’t spend our time intentionally, often others will determine how its spent.

I find that considering the millennium motivates me. If our goal is just to be a good Christian and get to heaven, we’ve missed a lot of the Bible. This life is just an internship. Our true function kicks in when Jesus returns. We’ll be partnering with Him in judging and ruling and restoring. There will be positions of authority. But here is the catch; the position you hold then is determined by what you did with this life.

Consider Ephesians 5:14-16. Every hour we’re given is gone the moment we spend it, unless its invested in eternity. Then it accrues interest forever.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Worthiness of God

Pastor Gary Stebbins
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

When I come home after being gone for several hours, my dog will get very excited, jump up and down, and many times rolls over on her back in what looks like a total act of submission. Or, perhaps she just wants me to pet her stomach. In any case, she acts like she adores me and worships the ground on which I walk.

If you look up the definition of the word worship in the dictionary, one definition is: reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power (Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary). In different words, worship is the celebration of the worthiness of God. God is certainly worthy of our worship.

When my dog rolls-over on her back, she may not be worshipping the ground on which I walk, but she certainly is excited and glad to see me. As we approach God, whether privately or in a church meeting, should we not have excitement in our heart at the thought of worshipping Him?

The supreme reason for human existence is to worship God, our Creator. Worship is a natural response from God’s people to:

1. God’s Love - “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16 NAS).
God’s desire is for all men to be saved and for humanity to be restored in their relationship with Him.
2. God’s Presence - When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent (Exodus 33:10 NAS). When God appeared to Israel as a pillar of cloud they were awed by His presence among men and worshipped Him.
3. God’s greatness - Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3 NAS). We should always be in awe at the limitlessness of God, of the “breadth and length and height and depth”, of His incredible love for mankind.
4. God’s mighty deeds - But when the crowds saw this (lame man healed), they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men (Matthew 9:8 NAS). The people were constantly amazed as God worked miracles, healed the sick, and raised the dead. God is performing the same miracles today.

True worship is not a lifeless ritual, but the response of a heart that has fallen in love with God. True worship is not just an emotional response to external stimuli, it is based on an understanding of who God is that comes out of that place of revelation. True worship, regardless of how it is expressed outwardly, begins as an attitude of the heart that has experienced the eternal life of God.

As we come together to pray and worship God, may we find ourselves excited and in awe of who He is, His love, His presence, His greatness, and His mighty deeds.

How about you? How do you respond to God? How do you worship Him? What is it about God that causes you to want to shout and jump up and down and celebrate His worthiness?