Follow by Email

Friday, November 30, 2012

Qualification



For God to answer prayer it has to be offered as the Bible instructs.

         1. If you are harboring unconfessed sin in your life, you need to confess it so you can have that boldness to enter into God’s presence. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;– Psalm 66:18

2. You need to pray according to His will. When our desires and requests are aligned with and subjugated to the will of God, we know that He will hear and grant what we seek of Him. 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 us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.– 1 John 5:14-15

3. You need to pray in His Name. What praying in Jesus’ name really means is that we should pray as if the Lord Himself were doing the asking. When we pray with that perspective, we begin to pray for things that really matter, and we eliminate selfish requests. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.– John 14:13-14

4. You need to pray with a knowledge of Scripture. When you are controlled by His Word, you are not going to ask anything against God’s will. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. – John 15:7

Be wise today and always - make sure God hears your prayers by listening to and obeying Him.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rethink



What if someone came in to your church and asked, May I Have Your Seat? This question is often answered in the negative in a declining church, but growing churches answer “yes”.

Paul tells us in Colossians 4:5-6;  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Three things to remember:
1. The Open Chair
A reminder that new members and guests are always welcomed.
2. The Comfort Zone
When an area is 80% full growth begins to decline.
3. The Average Size
There are new standards of how many people will fit. People require more space than ever before.

How willing are you to give up your seat, get out of your comfort zone, or rethink the way we do church?

Be wise today and always – be willing to grow.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shaking



In today’s world there’s a Whole Lot of Shaking Going On. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 - Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.  To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings.

The only constant in life is change.

We see a lot of Shaking and Changing:
1. In the World 2. In Society 3. In Families 4. In the Church

When things begin to shake we take stock of what we have, and what we need.

What should be the churches response?

What is your response?

Be wise today and always – do it God’s way always.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Attention



In today's world we have so many distractions and "bad" information given to us. Hebrews 1:2 tells us; We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.  Focus on the Word and apply it to every avenue of your life.


We must desire to have the mind of Christ Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.- Ephesians 5:1-2

This is one of the BIG verses in the Bible. We are called to be imitators of God. That's a tall order but Paul also reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Amen? 

Be wise today and always - be Jesus to the world around you.

Monday, November 26, 2012

End Results



When it is all said and done what will bring glory to God?

 Psalm 57:2 says, I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.

Here are five things we can do to bring glory to God:

1. Center our lives on God. Live a lifestyle of worship. We were planned for God’s pleasure, and it begins with complete surrender of our lives to Christ
2. Connect with other believers. We need to experience real fellowship that God desires us to have.  We were formed for God’s family. Identify with other believers through the church.
3. Cultivate spiritual maturity and Godly behavior. Quit trying and start training! We were created to become like Christ. Develop habits for intentional growth
4. Contribute something back. Use your talents in ministry, and find a place to serve at church.
5. Communicate God’s love for others. Develop a heart for the world. We were made for a mission - Share your faith in a mission activity.

Be wise today and always – be about God’s purposes.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful Is



How do we show Jesus our thankfulness?
Look at one story of thankfulness found in Luke 17:11-19  
1Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Ten Were Healed – Only One Came Back

1. Only one broke the Levitical law about quarantine.
2. Only one understood what was happening to them in a deeper sense.
3. Only one went from lamenting to thanksgiving and praise.
4. Only one who came back was a Samaritan.
It wasn’t Suzy SS or Deacon Doug who truly understood (got it). It was the Samaritan! The guy that had no business at Jesus feet, but he was the only one who did.
5. Only one saw the difference between being healed and being whole. Nine lepers were so intent on following the law, but the one, who turned around and came back, saw a significant difference in his mind and heart. and clearly in the mind of Jesus, between being healed and being made whole

Be wise today and always - always come back to Jesus with a grateful heart.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Best Reason



We have looked all week at “thankful” verses in the Bible. There is one more that tops them all.

MOST OF ALL WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR THE GIFT OF GOD’S OWN SON.

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Romans 10:9-13: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved

With this Good News in our hearts let’s turn THANKSGIVING into THANKS LIVING for the Lord everyday!

Amen?

Be wise today and always – give thanks every day.

Friday, November 23, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude



We have a lot to be thankful to God for. Let’s continue to look at the Bible, and why we can be thankful.

WE ARE THANKFUL FOR ALL OF THE PRAYERS GOD HAS ANSWERED.
Psalm 118:21 I will give You thanks, for You answered me; You have become my salvation.

WE CAN BE THANKFUL FOR THE BIBLE.
Psalm 119:62 At
midnight I rise to give You thanks for Your righteous laws.

WE CAN BE THANKFUL FOR THE ETERNAL HOME GOD HAS GIVEN US.
Hebrews
12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

What are you most thankful for today?

Be wise today and always – show God your thankfulness.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful to God



We have a lot to be thankful to God for. Let’s continue to look at the Bible, and why we can be thankful.

We CAN BE THANKFUL THAT GOD IS A GOOD GOD.
Psalm 106:1 Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.

We CAN BE THANKFUL FOR GOD’S UNFAILING LOVE.
Psalm 107:8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men,

WE CAN BE THANKFUL THAT GOD IS ALWAYS NEAR US.
Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Which one of these means the most to you right now?

Be wise today and always – God is good all the time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks



This week being Thanksgiving it is appropriate for us to look at what the Word says about giving thanks to God.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians
5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to Your holy Name and glory in Your praise.

The Word is clear that we should live a life of being and giving thanks – even went it is not easy to do – God deserves our praise of thanksgiving.

Be wise today and always – never stop giving thanks to God.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving



This week being Thanksgiving it is appropriate for us to look at what the Word says about giving thanks to God.

Psalm 50:23 He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."

Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Do these verses describe how you express thankfulness?

Be wise today and always – always be thankful to the Lord.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Help



Today is the last day of looking at nine possible answers using Scripture to answer the question: Why Do Christians Have to Suffer?  I hope it has given you something to pray about and consider.

Answer 9. To enable you to help others in their suffering.

Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Look to Christ for your example in strengthening others during suffering. He will see you through them all.

Be wise today and always – praise God through the storms of life.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Greater Trials



This week we will look at nine possible answers using Scripture to answer the question: Why Do Christians Have to Suffer?

Answer 8. To strengthen you for greater trials.

2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Hebrews 11:33-34 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

The more you are tested and refined by trials, the more effective you’ll be in serving the Lord.

Be wise today always – give thanks and praise through the trials.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Value



This week we will look at nine possible answers using Scripture to answer the question: Why Do Christians Have to Suffer?

Answer 7. To teach you to value God’s blessings.
   
 Psalm 63:3-4 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

  Faith tells us to value the things of God, with which He has blessed us abundantly – including His Word, His care, His provision, His strength, and of course His salvation.

What do you truly value?

Be wise today and always – value the things of God.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Follow or Feel



This week we will look at nine possible answers using Scripture to answer the question: Why Do Christians Have to Suffer?

Answer 6. To teach you obedience.

Psalm 119:67,71 “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word…..It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.”

The painful sting of affliction ought to remind you that sin has consequences. So God uses trials to make you obey and pursue holiness.

Where in your life do you think this is happening today?

What does God want you to do about it?

Be wise today and always – obedience leads to God.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Who do you love?



This week we will look at nine possible answers using Scripture to answer the question: Why Do Christians Have to Suffer?

Answer 5. To reveal what you really love.

Look up the complete story in Genesis 22:1-14 and read here Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,  even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

 It is testimony to Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. To love God is the greatest commandment, and here we see that trials help us to love Him as we ought. Even when it doesn’t make sense, and even if we don’t want to do it.

Be wise today and always be willing to sacrifice it all for Jesus.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Eternal Focus



This week we will look at nine possible answers using Scripture to answer the question: Why Do Christians Have to Suffer?

Answer 4. To call you to an eternal focus.

Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

If your hope is in heaven, you’ll never be disappointed by anything in this life. Suffering is the first step in producing that hope.

Be wise today and always – focus on heaven.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Worldly Things



This week we will look at nine possible answers using Scripture to answer the question: Why Do Christians Have to Suffer?

Answer 3. To wean you from worldly things.

Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

The more we accumulate material possessions and worldly knowledge, experience, and notoriety, the more we are tempted to rely on them instead of the Lord.

Be wise today and always rely on things of God not this world.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Humble Yourself



This week we will look at nine possible answers using Scripture to answer the question: Why Do Christians Have to Suffer?

Answer 2. To humble you.

2 Corinthians 12:7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

Trials remind us to not let our trust in the Lord turn into presumption and spiritual self-satisfaction. Our dependence in God comes from our faith, trust, and love in Him. The focus should always be on Christ and not us.

Be wise today and always – humble yourself in the sight of the Lord.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Suffering



This week we will look at nine possible answers using Scripture to answer the question: Why Do Christians Have to Suffer?

Answer 1. To test your heart.

Proverbs 17:3 “The Lord tests the hearts.”

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

These tests are not for God’s sake, because He already knows if your faith is real or not.

Are you trying to fool somebody?

Be wise today and always – be true to God.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Caring God



I saw an article recently titled, Does the Church really matter to God? It really got me thinking because in record numbers people leave the church every day. This is one of those "minor prophet" verses that we probably never read or skipped over. It's God's Word to the church for all time.

Amos 5:21-24 really talks about what matters to God:
I hate all your show and pretense-the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won't even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. 

Whenever you see the word "justice" in the Bible it is usually in regards to caring for people's needs.Living a "righteous life" means doing it God's way.   

Imagine that?

God wants us to take care of others and live a Christ-honoring life - a radical concept by most standards of "church". By the way, church, He means do this every single day - not just on Sunday (or when the Pastor is looking).

Be wise today and always - be the church that matters to God.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Forward



 I love this quote: "I have discovered one great common denominator in every growing church, regardless of denomination or location: leadership that is not afraid to believe God. Growing churches are led by leaders who expect their congregation to grow. They are people of faith who believe the promises of God, even in discouraging times." - Rick Warren
 
We live in a time of great change. There is one thing that should never change: our love, focus and devotion to Jesus Christ. Jesus never changes, so there is none better to follow - Amen?

Do not let politics, storms, anything or anyone else influence that choice. 

Be wise today and always believe in God's plan.















/

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Praise and Hope



God cares about our losses and crisis in our lives. I used Psalm 42 to share with my church the Sunday after the hurricane Sandy.  

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God. My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

It is a great reminder of what our number one desire should be - to be with God. God is a living God. He knows your pain and loss.

Are you reaching out to Him? He’s there.

Be wise today and always – praise God after the storm.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Must Do

I came across this list recently from a journal entitled:  
Six Things We, the Church, Must Do:


We Must Speak the truth.

We Must Consult the Designer’s Manual, the Bible on all matters.

We Must Remember the Children, and teach them God's ways.

We Must Resist the Pressure from the world.

We Must Act Now, because waiting is not an option.

We Must Seek God every minute of our lives.

 People only change their minds when they allow God to change their heart.

Be wise today and always - we must be about God's business.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Faith Training

Apply Proverbs 16:1-9 to your spiritual growth training.

 1. To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.
All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster.
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.
When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.
In their hearts humans plan their course,but the Lord establishes their steps.


Is your heart and mind focused on God for guidance and direction?

Be wise today and always - apply God's Word to your life.

Leadership Basics



America goes to the polls to elect the leader of their country for the next four years. Some of you may be stressed out about who you should vote for. Indecision can cause stress for you. It is a form of double-mindedness and James says that leads to instability (James 1:8). I think part of the problem is we complicate decisions, often factoring in information that isn’t really important—relying on our own wisdom while failing to specifically seek God and his wisdom. As a believer in Jesus Christ consider the following basic Christian Leadership steps in making your decision about your candidate. Do they operate under these guidelines?
1. They admit they need God’s guidance to make any decision None of us can see the future. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow—much less next year, or 10 years from now. The Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12, NIV)
2. They ask in faith for direction. James 1:5-6 says, “If you want to know what God really wants you to do, ask Him, and he will gladly tell you, for He is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him; but … if you don’t ask in faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answer.” (TLB)
3. They listen for God’s response. God designed us to hear His voice. Job 33:14 says, “For God does speak—now one way, now another though man may not perceive it.” (NIV) God speaks to us through His Word, His people, circumstances and impressions—among other ways.
4. They will trust God even when it isn’t popular. Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV) 

Be wise today and always - don't put a leader over you that does not operate under God's guidelines.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hope



Need hope? Receive what God's Word has for you:

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas
, Psalm 65:5

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
. Romans 15:13

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15

Be wise today and always - praise God for the hope he offers to all!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Impact



The impact of Christ's power upon us should be impact our lives and be contagious to those around us!

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2) Share and teach God's Word - the Truth!

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15) Always be ready to share what God has done and will do!

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.(1 John 1:3) Be God's witness for Jesus!

Have you tapped in to the power source? 

Be wise today and always - Pray for God's annointing.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Response Time

Today we will continue to examine examples of God's power. We must tap in to it to reach our communities with the gospel. We have the power of a believing and clean heart, is the witness Jesus desires.
  Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— this is your spiritual act of worship. 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. -Rom. 12:1-2


There is also the power of the response to Christ.  Look at Mark1:27-28, The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

The people responded in three ways: 
1. They were amazed 
2. They questioned 
3. They spread the news everywhere.

Be wise today and always - tap in to God's power. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Word



Over the next few days we will examine examples of God's power. We must tap in to it to reach our communities with the gospel.

We need the power of the Lord’s Word.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Draw strength from His Word, and allow it to empower you to share christ with the world around you.

Be wise today and always - plug in to the Word.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Reaching Out



What barriers exist in reaching the unchurched?

Thom Rainer shares 10 common reasons the church has not reached the unchurched:

10. We go to churches that do not want to reach the unchurched.
9. Failure to invite.
8. Lack of accountability.
7. Losing the habit of witnessing.
6. A desire to be tolerant.
5. Fear of rejection.
4. Busyness 
3. Growing disbelief in hell.
2. Salvation Confusion.
1. Spiritual lethargy.

This trend can only be reversed through God’s power and our willingness to change.

Be wise today and always - reach out to the unchurched in the Name of Jesus.