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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Break Out in Praise

Have you ever watched a movie that was a musical? Right in the middle of some action they break out in song and dance! Life would be more entertaining if we did that in real life. Think how your life and those around you would be if you just broke out in spontaneous praise of God during your day.
 
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth. -David
 
 
Seek God's face... always. How will you seek Him today?
 
Be wise today and always - seek God He is near and not hiding.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Do not be Discouraged

I have been sharing a lot about leadership lately, because it is so important. When a leader gets better so does everyone around them. Courage is necessary to be the leader God has called you to be. After 40 years with a mentor named Moses it was tome for Joshua to become Israel's leader. Moses implored him to be strong and courageous, and so did God.
 
 
God wants you to depend on Him on not be afraid. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9.

Be wise today and always - remember God is always with you do not be afraid of this world.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Activity of the Church

Bill Hybels is famous for saying that the local church is the hope of the world. The rest of that quote is "when the church is working right". The Bible talks about the relationship between God and His church.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. - Jesus (John 15:9-17)



 
Be wise today and always - be the church God wants us to be.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Opportunities for Harvesting

 I will be preaching and teaching on Jeremiah this Fall. It is said that he had the ministry of opposition. Do you ever feel like when you take a stand for Christ all you get is attacked? Be encouraged God is with you, and if you are being faithful then you put a smile on His face. That is what counts. 
 
Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. "Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest '? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. "Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.… John 4:34-36
 

Be wise today and always - keep your eyes and heart open it's harvest time!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nailing It to the Cross

Yesterday I spoke about the cross at the coliseum's emperor's gate. The place where Paul was murdered for the entertainment of the people. That same Paul wrote about the power of the cross and what it meant to him, and should mean to us.


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. Colossians 2:13-15

Jesus has overcome the world and offers hope in every circumstance. You need to call on Him, and claim His victory.

Be wise today and always - nail your sins and worries to the cross.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Power of the Cross of Christ

There is a cross at the emperor's gate to ancient Rome's coliseum.  the same place that saw the Apostle Paul beheaded and countless other Christians killed because of their faith in Jesus. A pope had the cross placed there many years ago as a symbol of the power and eternal aspects of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross 2,000 years ago.

 
I find it ironic that none of the emperors are immortalized here. The work of God and His power to overcome is highlighted. The cross is more than something to "behold", but is something to grab hold of every day. Using that same overcoming power we can apply it to life's crisis and hardships.
 
Be wise today and always - hold on the power of the cross of Christ.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Praise God Every Day

Today I took a random Psalm and just prayed for God to illuminate its meaning to me. Take a look at Psalm 29  A psalm of David.
Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
    Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
    with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
    the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
    and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
    the Lord blesses his people with peace.
 
God is awesome and this awesome God loves and empowers His children. God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace. Have you praised, thanked, and relied on God today?
 
Be wise today and always - give God all the glory.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Are You Pressing On?

We all hit spiritual and emotional walls. We all can get depressed, and overwhelmed.  When trouble visits you remember this encouragement for Paul.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Philippians 3:12-16
 
Keeping your eyes on the victory that awaits all believers can help you press on and through whatever life throws at you.
 
Be wise today and always - when you're feeling down look up to where your help comes from.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Progression

I was reminded recently about a business model concerning three boxes. Each one contains things that businesses need to do to achieve success. The first one is about managing your present business. The second is about forgetting (not being crippled) about past mistakes, and the third is focusing on future ideas and success.

In our Christian walk I think there are also three questions we need to ask ourselves.
 
Where have I been?
Honestly admit your mistakes, and ask God for forgiveness.

Where am I now?
The choices we make need to honor Christ and satisfy biblical morality.

Where am I going?
Honor the past but keep going forward. God will feed your heart through His Word, but we must seek Him to be transformed.
 
Be wise today and always - progress in your faith allows you to come closer to Christ.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Christ is...

Jesus Christ is... Advocate ... Almighty ... Alpha and Omega ... Amen ... Apostle of our Profession ... Atoning Sacrifice for our Sins ... Author of Life ... Author and Perfecter of our Faith ... Author of Salvation ... Beginning and End ... Blessed and only Ruler ... .Bread of God ... Bread of Life ... Bridegroom ... Capstone ... Chief Cornerstone ... Chief Shepherd ... Christ ... Creator ... Deliverer ... Eternal Life ... Gate ... Faithful and True ... Faithful Witness ... Faith and True Witness ... First and Last ... Firstborn From the Dead ... Firstborn over all creation ... Gate ... God ... Good Shepherd ... Great Shepherd ... Great High Priest ... Head of the Church ... Heir of all things ... High Priest ... Holy and True ... Holy One ... Hope ... Hope of Glory ... Horn of Salvation... I Am ... Image of God ... Immanuel ... Judge of the living and the dead ... King Eternal ... King of Israel ... King of the Jews ... King of kings ... King of the Ages ... Lamb ... Lamb of God ... Lamb Without Blemish ... Last Adam ... Life ... Light of the World ... Lion of the Tribe of Judah ... Living One ... Living Stone ... Lord ... Lord of All ... Lord of Glory ... Lord of lords ... Man from Heaven ... Mediator of the New Covenant ... Mighty God ... Morning Star ... Offspring of David ... Only Begotten Son of God ... Our Great God and Savior ... Our Holiness ... Our Husband ... Our Protection ... Our Redemption ... Our Righteousness ... Our Sacrificed Passover Lamb ... Power of God ... Precious Cornerstone ... Prophet ... Rabbi ... Resurrection and Life ... Righteous Branch ... Righteous One ... Rock ... Root of David ... Ruler of God’s Creation ... Ruler of the Kings of the Earth ... Savior ... Son of David ... Son of God ... Son of Man ... Son of the Most High God ... Source of Eternal Salvation for believers ... The One Mediator ... The Stone the builders rejected ... True Bread ... True Light ... True Vine ... Truth ... Way ... Wisdom of God ... Word ... Word of God

Be wise today and always - know and experience all the names and attributes of Jesus.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

To Know Him is to Love Him

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in His death, and so, somehow to attain to the resurrection of the dead.” Philippians 3:10

Paul is saying (and so should we):

I want to know Christ in a personal and practical way.
I want to begin to experience the power, freedom and joy that comes when we live in light of the resurrection
I want to have the attitude Jesus had when facing the difficult times of life.  I want to know that sense of peace that transcends the world.
And I want to live NOW as a person who attains the resurrection of the dead on this side of the grave

Let's again take a look at the story in John 6:16-21 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake,  where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them.  A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.”  Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
 
It was dark and the disciples were about to sail into a storm without Jesus.
Is Jesus with you in the storm?

Jesus calmed the fears of the disciples by revealing to them His true identity in the midst of the storm.
Do you know who Jesus really is?

Jesus entered the boat, the stormed stopped, and they arrived immediately.
Do you have the protection of Jesus?

Be wise today and always - with Jesus in your life, He’ll see you through the storms, and get you home.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Praise God in the Storm

During life's storms and crisis we need to be focused on God’s Kingdom not the world’s. Look at what God's Word has to say about the subject:

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.  –Hebrews 1:2

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.- Psalm 127:1

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.- Colossians 3:2-3

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. - James 1:22

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
 
Be wise today and always - accept and live God's promises every day.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Walk It Off

Have you ever been given the advice to: Walk it off ? It's usually given to us when we are afraid or what is happening to us isn't as bad as we're making it to be.

In John 6:16-21 we see Jesus coming through a storm to rescue His fearful disciples. By the way He was walking on water!

 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them.  A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.  When they had rowed about three or four miles,[a] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened.  But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.”  Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

This is a great illustration of the supernatural, fear, and faith (or lack of). The focus of this account is on Jesus and how He protects us, loves us, and wants us to grow in our belief (faith and obedience) of Him. We need to keep our hearts, minds, and eyes on Him.

How’s your focus?
 
Be wise today and always - keep your focus on the one who walks on water.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Monkey Business

I heard about an experiment in dealing with stress and anxiety. Scientist had monkeys in a cage and stressed them out with noise and other stimuli. Nothing seemed to calm them down till they allowed the monkey's friend enter in to the same cage. Monkey buddies reduced stress by 50%!

We shouldn't be surprised. Solomon shared years ago.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
 
I've got a couple of monkey buddies in my life that helps me deal with stress. I pray you do too. They're also a lot of fun.
 
Be wise today and always - find and keep monkey buddies in your life.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Makes you Think

Last week I was blessed by Willow Creek's Global Leadership Summit. Most of us cannot remember everything a speaker says, but there are always those "pearls of wisdom" that sticks with us. Here are some of my favorite quotes.

Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. - Charles Stanley

God's forgiveness does not depend on us getting (understanding) it! - Bob Goff

You need to be more of a contributor and less the critic. - Brene Brown

Lead in the things that matter to God. - Henry Cloud

Even if you don't know these leaders - meditate on their quotes, and how you can use them to grow in the Lord.

Be wise today and always - listen, learn, and let your faith grow.

Friday, August 16, 2013

I Can Fix That?

We are a society of "fixers". We think of ways to make the problem go away or make it better. This attitude is as old as time itself. Remember the Garden of Eden, and original sin?

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. - Genesis 3:6-7

When Adam and Eve sinned they tried to fix it themselves by covering themselves. God asked them where they were,  “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Instead of confessing and asking for forgiveness they played the blame game. There were consequences that we feel today.

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,  since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:16-19

Be wise today and always - allow God to forgive your sin and fix your life.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not My Way but Your Way

Most of us have heard of Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life series. We are called to live "purposeful" lives for God! We are to obey God’s commands, and to dedicate everything we do to bring Him glory and honor. We can use Jesus as our example.

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God  is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. - 1 John 2:3-6

Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey My commands.”

What do people see when they watch you?

God’s Perfection, Provision, Protection, and His Purposes are available to all. Ask today for His wisdom and guidance. Then be obedient. 
 
Be wise today and always - accept Jesus and His model for hope and life today!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Be in the Light

Have you ever considered God’s provision and protection? We are called to reflect His light in this dark world. The hope of God is so needed now more than ever. Speak His truth with the love of Christ in your heart.

“Light” represents truth, holiness, righteousness, and God’s Word. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.- Psalm 119:105

“Darkness” represents lies, evil, deceit, and works of Satan.  

But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. - Proverbs 4:19 Light illuminates and allows people to truly "see" the world and their lives.

Who is the Light? – Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. - John 8:12

Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection is for everyone who receives it. – Hebrews 9:27-28 - Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Be wise today and always - be, stay, and share God's light.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Well Lit Life

Forgiveness and cleansing are what God offers to everyone through Jesus Christ. It allows us to come before a holy and pure God. It is through Christ's perfection, sacrifice, salvation, and forgiveness that we can have a right relationship with Him. The Apostle John tells us in his first letter:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. - 1 John 1:5-2:2

Be wise today and always - accept all that Jesus has to offer you today.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Go! Someone is Waiting

Going out in to the world as Christ’s ambassadors is part of our marching orders. Hebrews 10:24 challenges us: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,  

Life should be about being encouraged and encouraging others to go in to the world sharing God’s love and ministering in Jesus’ Name. Practicing random and intentional acts of kindness and good deeds will show Christ’s love and our devotion.
 
Where are you supposed to go for Christ this week?
 
Be wise today and always - Do what God has called for you to do, and go where He's called you go.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Never too Old to Grow

Growing in your faith follows your salvation. When we give our life to Christ we give our lives to Him as well! Hebrews 10:22-23 Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 
 
Just do it! Grow in your faith with hope and confident belief in Christ. Show your love for Him by obedience to His Word, and living a holy life. Listen, read, study, memorize His Word. Know and trust in God’s promises to His children. He is faithful.

Are you growing in your faith?

Today think about ways God wants you grow. Put a plan together on what you need to do. It will be the journey of a lifetime.

 Be wise today and always- be obedient it's good for you and will help you grow.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Let's Get Together

Gathering together with other believers is mandated in God's Word.  Hebrews 10:25 – Do not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 

 Don’t avoid or give up meeting and worshipping together (it’s easy to get in bad habits), but gathering is vital for spiritual growth. We can encourage, teach, and guide one another to the truth especially in light of today’s world. Jesus is coming back soon. It's all about Location, location,…

Where does God find you these days?

How important is gathering with other believers to you?

 
Be wise today and always - go to church the next time the doors are open. We miss you.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Follow the Right Leader

God doesn’t want you to be confused, and he will never lead you into confusion. If you’re having trouble figuring out which way to go, get back to the basics and trust that God will give you the guidance you ask for. “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.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Take these steps to know God’s direction for your life.

I admit I need God’s guidance to make any decision.

I ask in faith for direction.

I listen for God’s response.

I trust God when I don’t understand.

Always ask God to give you guidance and obey.

Be wise today and always – follow the right leader.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Which Way to Go

I love the Wizard of Oz movie! Do you remember the part when Dorothy first me the Scarecrow and asked direction? He pointed both ways and said that's where people go. In life that is a true statement. People go every which way, but not all ways are the best ways.

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)

So I think the best way is God's way. We just need to ask Him, listen well, and follow His instructions. Life is all about faith, and obedience to the Word will keep us on the right path.

Who do you listen to for guidance more - your GPS, Google, or God?

Be wise today and always - follow God's lead and voice and you'll never be lost.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Doing Life God's Way

The church is has its marching orders as found in the Great Commission.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20

We are told to gather as God’ people, grow in our faith, and go out as the hands and feet of Christ. Jesus is coming back soon, and we need to be about His work as the church.

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:23-25 (MSG)

How is your Commitment to the Great Commission?

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

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Enter in to the Kingdom of Heaven

We need to learn more about the "Kingdom of heaven" Jesus taught on it, and it is central to the Christian faith. Look at what Christ had to say about His kingdom.

Matthew 3:2  - "the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 

Matthew 5:3- "theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 Matthew 5:19 - "enter the kingdom of heaven"

In Matthew 13 Jesus explains what this kingdom is all about.

Matthew 13:11- 13 -  He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

Matthew 13:24-33 - Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.  27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pour of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Separation will occur between believers and unbelievers when we die.

God’s Kingdom is bigger and more awesome than we could imagine

A “change” must happen in one’s life to be in the kingdom.

Be wise today and always – be kingdom and heavenly minded.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Kingdom Rocks!

We just finished with this year's VBS, Kingdom Rocks! It was a lot of fun, and made me think about God's kingdom. The Great Commission commands us to lead people to Christ and teach them of God’s kingdom;  “...Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...” -Matthew 28:19

The Bible references the word kingdom (347 times), the kingdom of God (97 times), and the Kingdom Heaven (45 times). There are no direct references to the "kingdom of God" in the Old Testament.

We see God’s plan unfold in the New Testament as He unveils the "Kingdom of God"

Mark. 1:15 - "the kingdom of God is at hand"
Luke. 17:20,21 - "the kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed... behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst"
John. 3:3 - unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God
Romans 14:17 - "the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit"

The Kingdom of Christ is all about being in relationship with Jesus, and accepting His gift of salvation. When someone enters in to Christ’s kingdom we need to be there for new believers like Paul modeled for us in his leeters in the New Testament. He showed how much he cared for them. He says in 2 Corinthians 11:28, Besides everything else (trials and hardships), I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches (new believers).

Be wise today and always - let God rock your world with His kingdom.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Growing in Wisdom and Stature

In order to be "born again" you must believe in Christ and you begin a new life. Using a page from the BGEA let's look at four things new Christians require:

New Christians need - Feeding
“Like new born babies, crave pure spiritual milk so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” -1 Peter 2:2

New Christians need - Protecting
“Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”- 1 Peter 5:8

New Christians need - Training
“Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught.”  - Colossians 2:6-7

New Christians need - someONE not something
 “But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.” - 1 Thessalonians 2:7

Be wise today and always - help someone grow in the Lord today.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Little Help Please

The My Hope with Billy Graham outreach has a great system for the care of new Christians. The Great Commission tells us to  “...Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...” -Matthew 28:19. All believers should use the example of Paul when helping others grow and mature in the faith.
Follow Up Strategies
-         Paul GAVE himself - put other's needs before your own
-         Paul PRAYED for them - praying for growth and protection
-         Paul SENT others - when you can't be there
-         Paul WROTE letters - keep in contact
-         Paul RETURNED personally - nothing is better than the fellowship of believers

We must be in the process of giving continued attention to new Christians until they are at home in the local church, find out how they can serve, develop their full potential for Jesus Christ and help to build Christ’s Church.

Be wise today and always - be a big brother or sister in Christ

Friday, August 2, 2013

How to Have Greater Influence

How can you make a difference in the lives of those around you? Living your life for Christ will certainly give you influence. There are two kinds of people in life: God's way or My way. Everyone has a choice to make in how they will conduct their lives. One way of telling what kind of person you are is to answer the question:

What do people see when they look at you?

Five observations about this core value in Peter's life:

1.   Jesus makes requests of us to see how we will respond.
2.   Jesus challenges us to trust and obey.
3.   We struggle in the areas where we have control and experience.
4.   We are called to give God's Word final authority in every area of our life.
5.   Consistent obedience produces consistent results.

Luke 5:1-11 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

What are you basing your life on?

Be wise today and always - live a God's way lifestyle.