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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Love to Tell the Story

One great method in sharing your faith is called the Three Stories - 1. Their Story: Reveals felt needs 2. Your Story relative to their story 3. God’s Story - The Ultimate Cure Remember what God's Word teaches us in Romans 1:16:
 
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentiles.

A Great Outline for your story should contain:

1. Your Life before Christ.(Related to their need)

2. How you received Christ - How did you hear about Jesus? - What did you hear about Jesus?  How did you respond to Jesus?

3. Your Life after receiving Christ (The difference He made)
 
Be wise today and always - know and share your story how Jesus came in to your life.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Passionate Ears to Match Your Heart

We need to share the bridge to Jesus & the Good News to everyone we possibly can. We earn the right to be heard by sincerely listening to others. Consider these questions when you are listening to another person's life story.

What need is this person feeling?

What difference does Jesus make with that need?

How can I introduce the Jesus difference?

What faith story do I have that shows the difference Jesus can make with this need?

How to share the message L.I.S.T.E.N.

 Listen to their story
 Identify the difference Jesus makes with their need
 Share your story - the difference Jesus made
 Take them to the cross and the empty tomb
 Encourage them to receive Christ
 Nurture this new relationship with Christ

Be wise today and always - be a passionate listener for Jesus.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Open Door Prayers

We are mandated to go and share the Gospel. We need  to pray for open doors! Paul knew this and shared this with the church in the city of Colosse many years ago, but it is just as true today.

“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  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.” - Colossians 4:3-6

Three Open Door Prayers

Lord, Open a door. - Give me opportunities!

Lord, Open their heart. - Holy Spirit convict them!

Lord, Open my mouth. - Allow my words to be your Word!
 
Be wise today and always -  make me a spiritual lifesaver.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

You Got to have Heart

We've all heard - No pain - no gain! It's in the "doing" that makes us stronger. So today let's ask the question;   How can I strengthen my heart for God?

It’s all about HEART!

Hands that are open before God.  If your hands are open saying, Father, these are ordinary hands but I want You to use these hands in this life to be able to touch the life of another. Are your hands open before God? 

Experienced in connecting with others.  Not forever but at least for a while.  But it is not just about being in community and experiencing community…

Available to be used by the Father.  That’s ultimately the purpose and the path of life.  Would you be available?  Are you?

Reluctant to be used can be a good thing!  As you look at the character of David, Jonah, or look at the character of Moses who had five good reasons why he didn’t think he would be God’s man for the moment.  God said you are. 

Teachable spirit.  Are you willing to listen? We need people who are willing to be teachable and responsive to God.  Like the clay that is on the potter’s wheel being willing to be brought into something magnificent beyond what they can do on their own. 

 How does God want to use yours? What does that look like?

Be wise today and always - ultimately it’s all about the heart.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Heart Check

What condition does God want my heart to be in? Proverbs 4:23 instructs us that, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”.

How to allow your Heart to be used by God – 5 C’s

1. Contrite (broken before the Lord)
Engage in what is happening around you with feelings & emotion.

2. Connected (in but not of the world -  look for opportunities)
Recognize and connect with what is going on around you.

3. Cheerful (even in giving!)
John 15:11, “I have told you this so your joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

4. Compassionate (does anything move you?)
Is your heart becoming softer or harder with time?

5. Chooses (to Hear God’s Promptings)
Never take for granted that the God of creation chooses to talk to me

Proverbs 3:32For the Lord….takes the upright into His confidence”

Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” – Do you need a change of heart?

Be wise today and always - have a change of heart for God.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Heart Theology

“I didn’t think I could do it. But I found out I could. It’s not as hard as you think. You just have to have a willing heart.”

Today ask yourself: What condition is my heart in? Israel was in bad shape during Jeremiah's time. They fooled themselves thinking all was right with God - even in their disobedience. They were not fooling God (and neither do we).

The Message - Jeremiah 17
1-2 “Judah’s sin is engraved with a steel chisel, A steel chisel with a diamond point— engraved on their granite hearts, engraved on the stone corners of their altars. The evidence against them is plain to see:sex-and-religion altars and sacred sex shrines Anywhere there’s a grove of trees, anywhere there’s an available hill.

GOD’s Message: 3-4 “I’ll use your mountains as roadside stands for giving away everything you have. All your ‘things’ will serve as reparations  for your sins all over the country. You’ll lose your gift of land,The inheritance I gave you. I’ll make you slaves of your enemies in a far-off and strange land. My anger is hot and blazing and fierce, and no one will put it out.” 5-6 “Cursed is the strong one who depends on mere humans, Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone and sets GOD aside as dead weight. He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie, out of touch with the good earth. He lives rootless and aimless in a land where nothing grows.

7-8 “But blessed is the man who trusts me, GOD, the woman who sticks with GOD. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers—Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season. 9-10 “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, GOD, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”

11 Like a cowbird that cheats by laying its eggs in another bird’s nest. Is the person who gets rich by cheating. When the eggs hatch, the deceit is exposed. What a fool he’ll look like then! 12-13 From early on your Sanctuary was set high, a throne of glory, exalted! O GOD, you’re the hope of Israel. All who leave you end up as fools, Deserters with nothing to show for their lives,  who walk off from GOD, fountain of living waters—and wind up dead! 14-18 GOD, pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise!

Listen to how they talk about me: “So where’s this ‘Word of GOD’? We’d like to see something happen!” But it wasn’t my idea to call for Doomsday.  I never wanted trouble. You know what I’ve said. It’s all out in the open before you. Don’t add to my troubles. Give me some relief! Let those who harass me be harassed, not me.  Let them be disgraced, not me. Bring down upon them the day of doom. Lower the boom. Boom!

In Jerusalem it was business as usual, but God not pleased. He gives the cure how to remain connected to Him in verses 7-8. Jeremiah was depressed, and his heart went back and forth with being God's messenger. How is your heart today? Is it sick, strong and steady, or swings back and forth?
 
Be wise today and always - don't give up instead get right with God.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hand Theology

Living a Christian life is a "hands on" proposition. Our hands need to be available for God to use for His kingdom work. Our hands need to be Out, On, Up, and Open for God to use for His utmost and highest.

People serve with their hands. God asks us, Whom do you serve? Joshua answered this question like this: But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”- Joshua 24:15

Everybody serves somebody. We choose everyday to do things God's way or our way.

Be wise today and always - give God control of your hands and life.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Highway to Heaven

God hasn't called us to entertain, but to disciple and bring people to Jesus Strong Knees and resolve living God's Way - standing strong in faith.

 What has stopped us? The economy - fear - change - or maybe it's the people closes to us?

Believing + Faith + Trust = To do what you cannot do and should not attempt to do your own!

God - Jesus came to save Is our focus on the right things to help us make decisions?

Isaiah 25:8 a place called the Highway to Holiness,  Finding and staying on the Highway to Holiness is to be our destination. Not the Highway of Having It!

What road are we taking? Matthew 7 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Psalm 101 - My theme song is God’s love and justice, and I’m singing it right to you, God. I’m finding my way down the road of right living, but how long before you show up? I’m doing the very best I can, and I’m doing it at home, where it counts. I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things. I reject made-in-Canaan gods, stay clear of contamination.

 Be wise today and always - don't stop till God tells you too.

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Keep on Running

We see poverty, starvation and injustice all around us but do nothing. Where is God in all of this suffering?  Israel thought God had left them when they were taken in to captivity.

Has God stop being with us? Do you feel hopeless about making a difference?

What can spur us on when we feel defeated and hopeless  in today’s world?

We need strength – no more weak knees, but rise up in God's power using His Word!

Deliverance and power comes from Father God. We must resolve to keep going!

As we are promised in Isaiah 40: Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,  the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,  and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Be wise today and always – turn to God for strength and direction on how to change the world for Him.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Unsteady Knees

What do you want the bad news or good news first? The bad news is that we live in a fallen world and bad things are going to happen to good people. The good news is that Jesus is available to everyone to help them through. This eternal hope also brings present hope as well. God gave us Isaiah 35 to give us a glimpse of God's world and what will happen to His people.

Joy of the Redeemed

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.

3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7 The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9 No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10 and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Be wise today and always - accept salvation and hope for eternity and today.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Where are you?

Genesis 3:8-9 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Where are you?

It is a question not of a location but of a relation. 

Where are you in your relationship with God?

Many are hiding in their business, culture, religion, values or thinking

Where are you in maturing in faith? 

All believers should be growing in their walk with Christ. We should continue to be more like Christ and less like the world.

Be wise today and always - know where you are with God.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Do You Really Love God?

There is a lot of talk about love. The word love, itself, has trouble in it's definition.. We can love our Moms, wives, baseball, God, apple pie, and books all with the same word. Hopefully we don't love objects more than people but we say we love them both.

Jesus thought love was really important. His love for us is supreme. He tells us the greatest commandment is to love God with all your mind, body, and soul. Then He says in John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

How we love others is a sign of loving Jesus. Today consider how you love those around you, and far away.

Do they see Jesus in you or just you?

With Christ we can do all things. Even love the unlovely, or do things we never dreamed of. You’re a lot bigger on the inside than the outside if Christ is in you. And if He is in you then He should be coming out of you, and if He’s not coming out of you is He really in you?

Be wise today and always - love God by loving others.



 
 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Now What?

The third question of this series is Now what? This is a Christ follower's call to duty - your service for the Lord.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
 
We do not need to understand but we must depend on Jesus Christ. Just like the old hymn states:
  1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

    • Refrain:
      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
  2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.
  3. His oath, His covenant, His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
  4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    Dressed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.

Be wise today and always - Greater things are yet to come

Thursday, July 18, 2013

So What?

Today let's look at the second question. So what? Once you have received Jesus as Lord and Savior He will transform you, making you different. Others will notice the change.

Do not conform 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

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. - 2 Corinthians 3:18

I love the song Change my heart o God  
Change my heart oh God, Make it ever true. Change my heart oh God, May I be like You. You are the potter, I am the clay, Mold me and make me, This is what I pray.

What is the relationship between the potter and the clay?
 
The potter makes the design and decision. The clay allows for it's self to be molded in to the correct shape.

Be wise today and always - allow Godly change to happen in your life.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What in the World?

Today we'll start looking at the first of our three questions. What do I need to focus on? You've probably heard this before. If you aim at nothing you'll hit it every time! Life is about setting our sights on something bigger than ourselves. We need to recognize that there is a God who loves us so much He was willing to die on the cross to forgive our sins. Our heart, devotion, and life should always be directed at bringing Him glory.

The problem with that is the world tries to put other things in our path to take our attention away from God. Jesus knows we have a problem with focus.

Matthew 6:24No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Luke 16:13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are a new being. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you made that decision in your life?

Be wise today and always - always serve Jesus.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Very Peculiar People

 One definition of the word "odd"  is Deviating from what is ordinary, usual, or expected; strange, different, or peculiar. I think that is a good description of a Christ follower. If we are like everybody else then how can we make a difference for Jesus?

Jesus in Matthew 5:12-16 describes Christians like this, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Scripture tells us that we are different - we are not from this world but just passing through. It is on this passing through journey called life that we are to make a difference in the world. We are to bring the truth of God out of the darkness and in to the light. We are not to be ashamed of the Gospel, and need to apply it to our lives.

Be wise today and always - be different for God.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Where is the Church?

We had a minister's lunch at my church this year for about 16 area pastors. Our church has ten different outside doors. Everyone who has been there knows to go in the side door for "eating" events. I thought it was weird that a new pastor that I talked to earlier did not show up. He called me about 20 minutes in to the lunch saying he could here us inside, but couldn't find an unlocked door to get in! I rescued him from the parking lot, but it made me think about how the world sees the church. Do they ask the question, How do I get in?

Recently a friend told me of a funeral at his church where he encountered a group of people outside on his front lawn who asked, Is this the church, and how can we get in? That just gives me the shivers! Have we become so isolated and outdated that the world really doesn't know who, what, or where we (the body of Christ) are?

The next few days we will examine three questions: What? So what? and Now what? that comes from our identity as Christ followers. Today ask yourself - do those around you know of Christ, and how can they have a relationship with Him?

Romans 10:12-14 tells us; …For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call on him. For whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? …

Be wise today and always - tell someone the way to Christ.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Taking Your Medicine

We have been talking the last couple days about how to control your anger. Here are a few more verses to consider and apply.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1, NIV).

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” (Proverbs 29:11).

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness
(Ephesians 4:22–24).

“Put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language” (Colossians 3:8).

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (James 1:19–20).

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

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Controlling Your Anger

Most of us know if we have an issue with anger, so it's important to learn healthy ways in dealing with it. Consider these 7 ways of controling anger:

1. Don’t interpret everything as a personal offense, oversight, or hurt. At the same time, try to pinpoint the things that cause you to become excessively angry.

2. Make your attitudes and responses a matter for serious prayer. Pray also about the irritating behavior of others that has caused your anger. Remember that God uses people and circumstances to refine our character. We may have many rough edges that need to be filed down!

3. Regularly confess excessive anger as sin: “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26). Learn to balance the books at least by the end of each day.

4. Realize that the Christian must learn to cope with two natures, each striving for supremacy. We must learn to practice the “put off—put on” principle of Ephesians 4:22–24:

A. Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires” (verse 22).

B. Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (verse 24).

C. The effect of practicing the “put off—put on” principle is to “be made new in the attitude of your minds” ( 2 Corinthians 5:17).

5. Strive to focus your anger away from yourself, to the problems that are causing it.

6. Surrender each day to the Holy Spirit: “Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:16).

7. Let the Word of God permeate your life as you read, study, and memorize it: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and  admonish one another with all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16).
 
Be wise today and always - live by the Spirit not your Self.

Friday, July 12, 2013

You Make Me So Mad

Anger is an involuntary reaction to a displeasing situation or event. As long as anger is limited to this involuntary, initial emotion, it may be considered a normal reaction. It is when we respond improperly to anger—when we either lose our temper or store the anger so that it makes us resentful or hostile—that it becomes dangerous. It is here that the Bible calls us to account.

Sometimes people say thay just can't stop themselves, but it is Scriptural to control your anger.

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” -Proverbs 29:11. Each person has the right to express his own opinions and to be treated with dignity and respect. At the same time, we should not forget that if Jesus had demanded His “rights,” He wouldn’t have gone to the cross! The Christian must be careful of his responses, remembering that one’s position may be right while the accompanying attitudes may be wrong.

We'll look deeper in to this issue tomorrow.

Be wise today and always - keep your anger under control.
 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Don't Want to Say a Word

I heard a song the other day that made me think again of a psalm from David.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.       Psalm 19:14

Today we listen to modern day psalmists. Consider the song, Words by Hawk Nelson

They've made me feel like a prisoner, They've made me feel set free

 They've made me feel like a criminal,  Made me feel like a king

 They've lifted my heart, To places I'd never been

 And they've dragged me down, Back to where I began


 Words can build you up Words can break you down

 Start a fire in your heart or Put it out

 Let my words be life,  Let my words be truth

 I don't wanna say a word Unless it points the world back to You


 You can heal the heartache  Speak over the fear

God, Your voice is the only thing We need to hear

I wanna speak Your love  Not just another noise

 Oh, I wanna be Your light I wanna be Your voice

 Let the words I say Be the sound of Your grace

I don't wanna say a word,  Unless it points the world back to You
 
Be wise today and always - speak the truth.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

You Are Going to Be Different

Christians sometimes try to be "secret agents" in the world today. They do such a good job that no one would ever suspect them in being a Christ follower. I don't think that's biblical or healthy! Peter gives belivers the plan in one verse of things that are to be evident in our lives.

I Peter 3:15 “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 you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

We are to be "set apart" - different in our words, thoughts, and actions. We are to "be prepared" - biblically literate and morally pure. We do these things in order to share with the world around us the "reason for the hope" that we have through Christ Jesus. Our eternal hope brings us present hope, and we must share and live it out every day.

Yes you're going to be different.

You will put a smile on God's face. It's worth it, and it might save someone around you.

Be wise today and always - be different for Jesus.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Schooling

I saw this book title recently; School is where the home is. It made me think about how true the statement is, but our culture doesn’t like it. We live in a world that the definition of words “family” and home” are constantly changing. Parents depend on the government, schools, sport teams, and the church to train their children. The bible is clear that the responsibility in raising and teaching our children belongs at home. Consider these two passages:

Proverbs 22:5-6 - In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them. Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

There are many other Scriptures dealing with this issue, but these show God’s intention. Responsibility for a child’s training is with the parents. It's a big job but be encouraged - if that is God’s will then He will provide all you need as well!

Be wise today and always - follow God’s plan it’s the best for all of us.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Give a Reason

Yesterday we started the training from My Hope with Billy Graham. The whole training program and how you and your church can be involved can be found at; http://myhopewithbillygraham.org

1 Peter 3:15 reminds us: “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 you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Today let's consider the "Look After" part of the strategy. It is for those who give their lives to Jesus Christ and it will help them to grow in their faith.  The BGEA will provide the My Decision and Living in Christ study materials to help them get started strong. By using these materials you can:

      Help the new believer learn to pray
      Teach them about the Bible
      Invite everyone to your Church
      Teach about repentance and restoration
      The work of the Holy Spirit
      Introduce other Christians easier

 
Be wise today and always - by helping others grow you will too.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Hope

This Sunday we started our training for a fantastic event called my Hope with Billy Graham. It is Billy Graham’s final call for America to turn to Christ. The strategy is called Matthew and Friends. Accepting Jesus’ call to follow Him, Matthew invited friends into his house to meet the Person who changed his life.
More information: http://myhopewithbillygraham.org

This Strategy involves Looking Around, Up, Out, Forward, and After.

Look Around - Identify who in your life does not know Jesus Christ. 
Look Up - Pray every day.
Look Out - Look out for opportunities to build your relationships. 
Look forward - Prepare to share - Invite people to your home - Watch the video - Share your testimony - Ask if anyone would like to receive Christ as Savior.

Tomorrow we'll share the "Look After" part of the Matthew strategy.

Be wise today and always - be prepared to share the Good News.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Reminders

Sometimes it's easier to learn or be reminded of the things believers should do if they rhyme or start with the same letter. Today consider these five things we can learn from and encourage each other with:

Eternal Security - John 3:16 - 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.
Excellence - 2 Corinthians 8:7 - But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
Equipping - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Endurance - 2 Corinthians 1:6-7 - If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
Entrusting - 2 Timothy 1:12-14 - That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

Be wise today and always - encourage the body of Christ with your words and deeds.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pondering

We've all read or thought of things that make you go "Hmm?". They make you ponder on why certain things happen like they do. Here is part of a list I received recently - think about them.

- I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.
- The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
 - Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
- All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
 - How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

These are fun mental exercises, but a better place to meditate or ponder is on the Bible, God's Word. Consider Psalm Chapter One:

1How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD,  And in His law he meditates day and night. 3He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season
  And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
 4The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.

Be wise today and always - think of the ways and thoughts of God.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I Believe

Everyone has an opinion. Many people think that truth is relevant and changing. So sharing what you believe can be a tricky subject. The first course of action is that you must believe yourself. Once you have that faith and trust in God it becomes easy to tell other people about God's truth and plan for their lives.

I believe

In Jesus - John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He sent His beloved Son and who ever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

I will.. love God  Luke 10:27 - He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’;

I trust… in God’s plan Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

I am ready… Christ is coming back soon Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.

What does the world hear from you?

Be wise today and always - share what you believe about God to someone today.