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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Your Time

Do you ever wonder why you were born at this time, to the family you are in, the area you live in, or your purpose? A long time ago a whole race of people were about to exterminated. A queen's Uncle confronted her with these words;

 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” - Esther 4:14 

Maybe part of the answer to the above question for a believer is - Now is your time. It is time to speak the truth of God to the world around us. Call sin - sin, and lies - lies. Jesus came to save us from our sin, and everyone else as well.  
How can they respond  to the Truth if we do not share? 

The evil one is not afraid to spread lies.  
Why should we be afraid to spread the truth?

Be wise today and always - this is your time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Truth and Life


We face choices every day. We do it our way or God’s way. We can live in darkness or the light.

 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.John 3:19-21

Living in the light brings clarity to everything. When are deeds are exposed we ask God to forgive us, and He will. 1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Be wise today and always – shine the Light on all areas of your life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Truth and Love


There is one way to heaven. There is one bridge that can take us from our sinful state to eternity with God – the cross of Christ. Though man has tried to devise his own way - they all fall short. Praise God for showing His love through Jesus – The Way, Truth, and Life!

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18

Everyone makes a choice. The world, all of us, can be saved through Christ.

Be wise today and always – choose Jesus today.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Leadership


Three truths about Leadership:

1. Everyone is a leader Everyone leads at some level.
Leadership in essence is Influence and when Christ is leading them churches and businesses will be led differently because Christ centered leaders make a sacrificial commitment to doing it God’s way and not the world’s way.

2. Lead where you are
We are all on a spiritual journey that needs Christ Centered Leadership.
-         The culture (world) will gobble up people if leaders do not prevail – the church will continue to shrink

3. No one leads alone
We need to be equipping churches in order for all of us to grow.
-         Jesus shows up when we open up to His will and ways.

We are Christ’ bride.  Are we ready for the groom?

Be wise today and always - take leadership and growth seriously.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

People of the Word


Throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to be men and women of the Word.

Psalm 1.1-2 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

The Word of God contains all you need to learn and live by.

Psalm 119.11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!

Read through it… Study it… Memorize it… Share it…

Do not be ashamed of the Gospel - apply it to your life.

Have you fallen and want to get up? Know and apply The Word of God to every aspect of your life. He can pick you up!

Be wise today and always put on God’s armor by applying His Word to your life.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Word Sword


The sixth piece of spiritual equipment found in Ephesians 6:13-17 is the SWORD of the SPIRIT (Word of God).  God’s Word is so powerful in the spiritual realm. We must fill our hearts, minds and lives with the Word of God!

Paul writes in Hebrews 4.12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Spirit will whisper in your ear & you receive it and obey it.

John 14.25-26 "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Be wise today and always use God’s power in His Word.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Salvation


The fifth piece of spiritual equipment found in Ephesians 6:13-17 is the HELMET of SALVATION. The helmet protects the head, the mind of the Christian, and the hope of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior

Jeremiah 17.7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.

1 Thessalonians 5.8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

With each passing day this knowledge, hope, and protection our lives become purer, stronger, and more protected as we daily put on our helmet of salvation!

Be wise today and always – praise God for salvation and protecting our minds.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Faith


The fourth piece of spiritual equipment found in Ephesians 6:13-17 is the SHIELD of FAITH. Fiery darts are launched at you & me all of the time. The fiery darts of the wicked one come fast and furious, and they are going to continue to come. The only thing that will bat them down is this shield of faith.

Wicked thoughts, horrible temptations, evil enticements…What are we supposed to do?

Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2.22 to: Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  

God desires us to have a pure heart full of righteousness, faith, love, hope, and peace. These will protect from this evil world.

Be wise today and always – shield yourself from the world with your faith in Christ.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gospel of Peace


The third piece of spiritual equipment found in Ephesians 6:13-17 is the SANDALS of the GOSPEL OF PEACE. We get to tell people GOOD NEWS! That their sins are forgiven and that Jesus loves them! Factoring Jesus into any situation will bring peace.
 
John 14.27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Evangelism cannot be done in heaven! It’s too late – we must make sharing the Gospel with everyone a priority in our lives. There is a Billy Graham tract call Steps to Peace with God that I have used for years with literally hundreds of people. I always start out with the question: Would you like to have peace in your life? I have never had one person of any age, sex, culture, background, or even in a different language answer anything different than yes!

Only Jesus can offer us full peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation with God.

Be wise today and always accept the gift of peace from Jesus,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Righteousness


Second piece of spiritual equipment found in Ephesians 6:13-17 is the BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS. Here’s the piece of armor that covers the heart… righteousness. Righteousness has been defined as ‘just doing what is right’.
 
Mark Twain, once said, Man is the only animal that blushes, and the only animal that needs to. We are all ashamed of things we’ve done in the past. Nobody is free who is unforgiven.

Good works and doing things right, a person’s self-righteousness does not make for a good breastplate. Isaiah 64.6 But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Only the righteousness of Jesus Christ can enable the believer to stand before men and before God and to fight the good fight. Along with that, there is nothing like a clean conscience, a life lived apart from sin and in Jesus.

Be wise today and always be cleansed of all unrighteousness by Jesus Christ.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Truth


The first piece of spiritual equipment found in Ephesians 6:13-17 is the BELT of TRUTH. The truth only comes from God who speaks to us through his Word and Spirit.

1 Kings 19.11-12 Then He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD. ’ And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
 
Your Heavenly Father wants to speak to you. Are you willing to listen?

The belt of truth is the cord that holds everything else up on and on the soldier. If you lost he belt… you lost everything! What is the belt of truth for the Christian?· A growing intimate relationship with the TRUTH Himself.

John 14.6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Be wise today and always – know the Truth.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Be Armed


Paul encourages us Ephesians 6:13-17 that a believer is to be armed!

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

There are six pieces of spiritual equipment that we will consider this week, but consider what verse 18 tells us.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Be wise today and always pray for God’s protection and His people.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

God's Will


A knowledge of God's Word is the key to understanding His will and plan for us. It will tranform you and allow you to live in His perfect will.

Do not conform any longer 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.-Romans 12:2;

Seek His wisdom and purpose for your life.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is -Ephesians 5:17;

You will be able to pray with confidence to ask bodly for His promises and desires for your life.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14

Be wise today and always - seek first and always the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Problems


We all have problems. Let’s learn how to deal with them with help from Nehemiah in the Bible.

How big is the problem in Nehemiah 1:1-18?

The Problem: The walls of Jerusalem are broken down and the people are in great trouble and disgrace.

The Problem with the Problem:
The leader is geographically far away from the problem.
The Jews have no material to rebuild the walls.
The people have no will of their own to rebuild the walls.
There was great opposition to the rebuilding of the walls.

Nehemiah’s Process for Problem Solving:
1. He turned to God.
This should always be our first step!
2. He turned to the King (earthly powers).
God can provide help from many sources.
3. He became Personally Involved.
Don’t expect others to care if you don’t get involved.
4. He got the People Involved.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Nehemiah’s closing words of encouragement:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember big problems can be solved


Be wise today and always - keep focused on the task  at hand.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Listen


This story bears repeating.
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and spun the Jag back to the spot from which the brick had been thrown.
He jumped out of the car, grabbed some kid and pushed him up against a parked car, shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?! Building up a head of steam, he went on. "That's a new car, and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?" "Please, Mister, please. I'm sorry. I didn't know what else to do," pleaded the youngster. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..."
Tears were dripping down the boy's chin as he pointed around the parked car. "It's my brother," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair, and I can't lift him up." Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt, and he's too heavy for me."
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be okay. "Thank you and may God bless you", said the grateful child to him. The man then watched the little boy push his brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long walk back to his Jaguar....a long, slow walk.
He never did repair the side door. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention. God whispers in your soul and speaks to your heart. Sometimes when You don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at you.

Be wise today and always - It's your choice. Listen to the whisper---or wait for the brick.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Break Through

The church must develop an unshakable conviction about growth. Take heed of the warning in Colossians 2:19 He doesn't hold on to [Christ,] the head. Christ makes the whole body grow as God wants it to, through support and unity given by the joints and ligaments.) – They lost their Head (Jesus) so they could not grow!

You have to develop this conviction because God commands growth. He did so through the Great Commission. Remember the words Go and Make? The world is desperately looking for the truth, and we are God’s spokes people!

Here is a Game Changer PEACE Plan you can apply to your life and your church
P – New Production – We are to bear fruit! Utilize all the resources God has given you, and pray for those you need.
E- New Energy – Use new people, ideas, and technology
A- New Attitude – we will win, we can succeed, and we will overcome!
C- New Expectations – You can’t go forward looking backwards!
E- New Clarity – Keep laser focused – stay on your mission.

Are you ready to be a game changer?

Be wise today and always - be a Game Changer for Jesus!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Game Changers

Do you believe that Jesus has the power to change things?
 
Look at Colossians 2:13-15 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Jesus proved to us that death can turn in to eternal life!

Jesus is the all-time game changer, but as Christians we can make an impact in the world as well. Look at these four proven game changers:

#1 Energy – Life not death
#2 Expectation – If you raise the challenges you'll raise the bar.
#3 Excitement – Equals Anticipation – What’s next?
#4 Excellence -God requires and responds to this.

Be wise today and always – give your best.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Mother’s Hope


Godly Mothers want their children to know God’s plan and purposes for their lives. “And afterward,   I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Joel 2:28

Do you have a vision for your life?

Life is way too short and you are way too important to God and the plans He has for your life for you to not have a vision for your life.

4 things to help develop a vision for your life:
1. Know yourself.
2. Develop your strengths
3. Learn from other people
4. Benefit others

What vision does God have for you?

Be wise today and always seek God’s vision for your life.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Jesus' Mom


Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"  and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.  John 19:25-27

Here is Jesus, on the cross, bearing the sins of the world, and what are his final words to other humans in this account? They are words of caring for his mom. There is a special bond between a mom and her sons and certainly what an incredible bond between the woman who bore the Savior and the Savior Himself.

Here Jesus is thinking of her, making sure she has a son to love, and he wants to make sure there is a son to take care of his Mom.

Verses 26-27 tell us that while Jesus was suffering on the cross, he was concerned about his mother and his youngest disciple. Both had depended on Jesus so much, his death was a terrible blow to them. So, what did Jesus do? He gave them each other for their mutual comfort. The love they had for him could now be lavished on each other to help them through their grief. He still does that today through his Church where he gives us each member to encourage the others.

But, I believe much more was happening here than we see on the surface. I believe Jesus was founding the family of God. Mary and John were among the first ones in it. You see, a new relationship was made possible when Jesus died. It is stronger and more lasting than any earthly relationships we know here. From that moment on, Mary was no longer the mother of Jesus. She became his sister! John was no longer his cousin and his youngest disciple; he became a brother of Jesus and a joint-heir to the Kingdom of God. Both of these along with millions of others would be in the new family of God.

You see, the Jews didn’t understand that God was their Heavenly Father. He was too high up and too far removed from them to be that familiar. They wouldn’t even pronounce his name; it was too holy! They called Jesus a blasphemer because he dared to refer to God as his Father. In Nazareth they had tried to throw him over a cliff when he claimed to be God’s Son. They said, “We knew his father, and his mother and brothers and sisters are here in Nazareth. He’s not God’s Son!”

But, those who reject Jesus as God’s Son can never know God as their Heavenly Father. Jesus is God’s only begotten, the first-born of the new family he established. Paul wrote in Romans 8 about our new relationship. Everyone who trusts Jesus receives the spirit of adoption so we can now call God “Abba”, which means “Father” or “Daddy.” In John 20:17, Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' We take this for granted, but it was an unknown concept before Jesus died. He told the good news to Mary Magdalene that he was ascending to his Father and her Father, to his God and her God. Jesus not only called God his Father; he was now Mary’s Father, also! God can now be your Father, too. Jesus finished everything that was needed for all of us to belong to the family of God.

Happy Mother's Day.



Saturday, May 12, 2012

New Things


Are you ready for something new from God in your life? Look at what he says in his Word about "new things".
 
Psalm 98:1
A psalm. Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.

Isaiah 42:9
See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”

Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 48:6
You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them? “From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.

Isaiah 65:17
 [ New Heavens and a New Earth ] “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. 

Be wise today and always allow God to do something "new" in your life today


 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Follow Instead of Worry


Is there one thing that you’re worried about, that thing you’ve been waiting on – maybe an answer from God, or a break-through in your life, or enough money to cover this month’s bills? 

You’ve been waiting and you’ve begun to wonder – Where is God? How much longer do I need to wait? Believe God will answer in his precise timing. He sees your need, but he also sees the exact time it needs to be filled. Remember it’s His timetable; not ours. And while we wait, we can know our God of precision timing is working all things out for the good of – you, who loves him 

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” Romans 8:31-32 (NLT)

Be wise today and always trust in God’s timing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Learning Lessons


The Bible teaches us how Jesus expects us to use time:
  • We follow God’s timetable, not our own – Despite being bombarded with choices between good, very good, and best, Jesus stayed so closely aligned with the Father that he always made the right choice of what to do and when to do it. Following Jesus means focusing on the eternal not the temporal.
  • We look toward eternity, not just the momentary – Jesus always had the end in mind.. Even as he died, he said, in a sense, “Father, forgive them. They don’t see the end of time and so they don’t know what they are doing. They don’t understand who I am.” We must get our eyes and attention off the “petty” distractions around us and remember there is only one of the purposes we cannot do in heaven – evangelism. Our focus must be on telling others about Jesus.
  • We believe that God is always right on time – Timing was so critical to Jesus and his mission that he even died right on time. When the Roman guards came, expecting to break his legs and hasten his death, they found Jesus already dead. It was finished, and finished in time to fulfill the prophecy that none of his bones would be broken. Following Jesus takes faith.
God used precision timing in the life of Jesus and his timing is just as precise in your life!
Be wise today and always – follow, look to, and believe in God’s timing.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hindsight


Jesus never arrived late and he never arrived early, he simply arrived according to his purpose. Look at times where it appeared to the people there that God had forgotten them or did not care. Here are some examples in Jesus’ life.

His Birth – 400 years Jesus was born at exactly the right time to be in Bethlehem with his parents, right as the stars aligned to announce the birth of Israel’s long-awaited king.
At the Temple at age 12 He stayed to study Scripture in the temple, even though his parents left for home.
Jarius Daughter – It seemed he was taking His time getting to the sick girl. When word came she had died and not to come, Jesus said she was sleeping and brought her back to life.
Lazarus (John 11) When others thought he was late, Jesus arrived just in time to raise Lazarus from the dead.
Cross (John 19:28-30) Most people though He missed His purpose by dying instead of becoming King, but in John 5:24 Jesus told them that Death leads to Life!

When we think God is late there is probably a lesson we need to learn in that following Christ means using our time wisely.

Be wise today and always remember God has the best vantage point over our lives.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jesus Is Never Late


Many heard or read this passage during the Easter season out of John 19:28-30  Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”  A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.  When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. It’s hard to follow someone who is late all the time. Trust in them comes in to question. Even though it appeared to people then (and now) Jesus was never late.

Timing was important to Jesus; everything in its time at just the right time. On his mission to bring you and me from death to life (Romans 6:13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.), he never rushed or struggled to play catch up.
He clearly worked from a different clock than everyone else. Instead of Eastern Standard Time, Jesus seemed to be on Eternal Standard Time. 

Be wise today and always – be on Jesus time!

Monday, May 7, 2012

It Isn't Fair


One day a rich young ruler came enthusiastically running up to Jesus in Matthew 20:1-16, and asked: "What must I do to be saved?" Jesus answered: Keep the law. "This I have done from my youth up," came the reply. Yet one thing do you lack said Jesus. Go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor. Then come follow me. We are told that the young man walked away sorrowfully, for he had great wealth. Concluded the Master: It will be hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.
The disciples had been watching the dynamics of this happening and they were quite disturbed. Jewish tradition had always taught that God had especially blessed rich men and that is why he was rich. In their way of thinking, if a wealthy man could not receive salvation, then how could a poor man have any hope? They asked of Jesus: who then can be saved?
But it was Simon Peter who drew the question even more clearly into focus for us. He asked what is on the mind of every one of us, only we are too sophisticated to ask it and too self-righteous to admit that we even think it. Peter didn’t have any problem with that. He simply laid his cards out on the table. He said, "Lord, we have given up everything, riches and all, to follow you." What then shall we have?" In others words, what’s in this for us Lord. How do we stand to profit? Where’s the payoff?
In response to Peter’s question, Jesus told a story. It was the harvest time of the year. At 7 A.M. a wealthy landowner went to the Town Square to hire laborers. In this story of hiring workers we learn:
1. The person who comes late is just as important as the one who comes early.
2. We really do not comprehend the nature of God’s unmerited grace.
3. If there is any special payoff for being selected early to labor in the Lord’s field, it is simply the inner satisfaction that we receive from being in God’s employ.
The next time we want to complain about life not being fair let’s turn it to praise for God’s grace.
Be wise today and always – thank Jesus for dying for you.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Results of Following


Please find your Bibles and read of the beginning of the church in Acts 2:12-42. Today we will finish our study on following Christ, but maybe it is a start of a new closeness as a Christ follower for you.

If you love Jesus and you follow Him there are certain things are bound to happen.

1. People will wonder why you act different. - You are not your own – you are Christ’s hands and feet here on earth.

2. People will want to know what they’re missing. – As you bring the Light of Christ in a dark world people will be attracted to it.

3. People will respond to the truth. A decision will be made to accept God’s hope and salvation.

Remember with Jesus miracles can happen. The greatest one is your salvation, and that it is God’s desire that not one person should perish.

Always give praise and glory to Christ, and put a smile on God’s face as you continue your journey as a Christ follower.

Be wise today and always – follow Jesus all the days of your life.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Life Following


John 12:23-25 is a hard saying. "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

Jesus is basically telling His disciples that to live they need to die. That’s not a comfortable teaching. Most of us are not in a big hurry to die. Many of our Christian songs may talk about going home to heaven, "When the roll is called up yonder..," "When we all get to heaven," etc.. , but when the time comes to leave this world, even the most spiritual tend not to be too homesick. We’ve grown accustomed to this world. We’ve trained ourselves to defend our lives, our loved ones, our possessions. We’ve trained ourselves to survive.

Jesus tells us our very usefulness - our fruitfulness for God - is tied to our willingness to surrender our lives (etc.) even to die for Him. There are 6 instances where Jesus mentions bearing fruit as a Christian - and 5 of those are tied to the cross or dying.

In Short - it is in dying... not in doing... that we bear fruit for God. To put it another way: Placed in the position of obeying God when it might very cost you what will you choose?

Remember Jesus said, Come follow me!

Be wise today and always – follow with your life.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Roadblocks to Following


“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that he hears ~ whatever we ask ~we know that we have what we asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15

The following steps can help us experience God’s Power:
1. Confess your sins to God and claim His forgiveness.
2. Ask God to fill you with His Spirit!

Allow Him to Reign in your Mind, your Heart and your Body!

Pray something like this:

“Dear God, Forgive me for allowing Sin to rule in my life. I now yield my heart, my mind and my body to You, and ask You to fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I want YOU to reign in my life! Thank You, LORD, for hearing and answering my prayer! In Jesus’ Name. Amen”

Be wise today and always - confess and be filled.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

How are disciples sent to all nations?


This question infers that the “go” requires churches to send believers out in to the world. It is our task to be strategic and intentional about infusing God’s purposes into the lives of people so they can truly be disciples. For the purpose of mission, and if we are to be obedient to Jesus, we must strategically and intentionally send our people into the world, locally and globally, to carry the Good News to a hurting world.

The best way to do mission is to do church, and the best way to do church is to do mission. Jesus called to His disciples, “Come follow me”. He calls believers today in the same way.

Be wise today and always - be ready to go for Jesus!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How does one make disciples?


Have you ever heard, To have a friend you need to be a friend? Well, to make a disciple you need to be a disciple!

If we use yesterday’s purpose definition of a disciple, then it follows that we must be about inserting these purposes into our lives, and of the people whom God has entrusted us to us. I strongly believe that this is the work of the church.

We must set up an environment that leads people along a developmental path such that these purposes become fully integrated into their lives. We preach the purposes from the pulpit, we model them in our lives, we provide opportunities for people to live them out individually and in fellowship with others, and we expect them to mature and envision and equip others to this same life of obedience. In this way we’ll become the Purpose Driven people and church God wants us to be.

Be wise today and always – be a disciple.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What is a disciple?


Jesus calls us to “make” disciples. We must first understand what a Christ follower would look like. A simple definition is found in Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” A life of discipleship is understood in terms of living out the five purposes.

A disciple (or Christ follower) is one who:
• Is pleasing God every day, this is true Worship. They realize that they are planned for God’s pleasure.
• Is an active member of a local body of believers, which is Fellowship. They understand that they are formed for a family.
• Is learning to be more Christ-like in their behavior every day, which is Discipleship. They realize they are created to become like Christ.
• Is serving sacrificially within the local body of believers, which is Ministry. They know how they have been shaped for service and live it out continually.
• Is sharing God’s love, forgiveness and hope with people who do not know Christ, which is
Mission. They declare openly and confidently, “I was made for a mission.”

Be wise today and always – follow God’s purposes.