Follow by Email

Monday, February 29, 2016

Knowing Jesus

Many people believe that being good is good enough to get them into heaven. Let's take a look at a teaching that Jesus gave.
   One day a rich young ruler came enthusiastically running up to Jesus and asked: "What must I do to be saved?" Jesus answered: Keep the law. "This I have done from my youth up," came the reply. Yet one thing do you lack said Jesus. Go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor. Then come follow me. We are told that the young man walked away sorrowfully, for he had great wealth. Concluded the Master: It will be hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. The disciples had been watching the dynamics of this happening and they were quite disturbed. Jewish tradition had always taught that God had especially blessed rich men and that is why he was rich. In their way of thinking, if a wealthy man could not receive salvation, then how could a poor man have any hope? They asked of Jesus: who then can be saved? - Mark 10:17-27
 Three Truths from this passage:
It's about God - not about being good.
It’s about not having anything between you and Him.
It’s about what is impossible with man is possible with God. 
 If you know Jesus, then you know enough. Let Him control your life - you are in "good" hands! 
Amen?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Intentional Choices

We have to make decisions every day on a countless number of things. Some choices we have to make are going to be:
Public - everyone is going to know. With today's social media there is a good chance someone is recording or "sharing" your life with a global audience!
Some will be:
Private - people closest to you are affected. There are consequences to bad decisions, and can effect those who you deeply care about.


 One thing is for certain, you should always choose to be - God honoring in your choices. Do it God's way the first time!
Jesus said, "Seek first God's kingdom, and His righteousness, and all good things will be given to you as well". Keep your focus vertical, it will help your decision making process.

Be intentional on your decisions to always honor Christ. Amen?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Metamorphosis


Metamorphosis is a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's body structure through growth and transformation.
God uses nature to teach us spiritual lessons.  The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one example of this.  As human beings, we are meant to grow: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  
God's plan for us can be found in Romans 8:29 it says that we are to be "conformed to the image of His son." To become like Christ is our ultimate goal! That involves change and a movement from God.
In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God says, "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. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.  
Use the new heart and spirit that God gives believers to grow, change, and be all He desires.
Amen?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Chosen by Christ


If someone came to you and said that you were “chosen” how would you react? Most of the time we would be happy or honored that someone chose us. The Nation of Israel was God’s chosen people, but there is Good News for the rest of us. Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and upon our belief in Him we become part of God’s family.

Let’s look at Colossians 3:12-17 from The Message:
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

May we conduct our lives as God's chosen, bringing honor and glory to him everyday. Amen?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Living


The Word of God rules in teaching & correcting. Wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit. You need to read, meditate, memorize, speak, and live it. We see our instructions in Colossians chapter 3.

v.16-  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

We should worship God with a grateful heart Are you truly grateful of for what God has done for you?

v.17- And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Do everything with direction and in the name of Jesus. Looking like, loving as, and living for Christ is a 24/7 job. How are you doing? We should give thanks always!

Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son. And now let the weak say “I am strong” let the poor say “I am rich” because of what the Lord has done for us. Give thanks, give thanks.

Amen?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Intentional Living


Intentional Living is the “WHY” behind what we do. It’s critical to ask yourself “why” you do what you do! Paul said, Be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity! Ephesians 5:15-16. That’s intentional living!
I love this quote from a group called  Intentional Travel – “Intentional Living means making choices for your life based on your greatest values and not the habits of others. They probably weren’t thinking of “God’s values” but for a believer you can’t get any greater. Don’t base your life on what others think is right – go to the source of righteousness and “follow Him.”
You are to focus on Christ in obedience and love Him and the world around you. Let each of you not focus on your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:4-5
Be Intentional! – Love the Lord and your neighbor. Follow Him in obedience. Do what Jesus would do.
Amen?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Intentional


The word intentional started my sermon series on intentionality. In a conference last year, I encourage people to “be intentional” in their service to the Lord. He always deserves our best. The word is defined as: Done on purpose, deliberate, calculated, intended, planned, willful, knowing, meant, studied…
How do you live your life? Is it with Intentional living, discipleship, and with a purpose?
Or Accidental? Stuff just happens and you are taking life as it comes?
Hopefully your heart and mind say - BE INTENTIONAL!

Let’s follow the Bible’s instructions on Intentional Living in Ephesians 5:15-16 – Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Division

We should always be intentionally seeking the truth, but that will sometimes cause division. The divisions that Jesus caused reach all the way to the leaders of the church, the Sanhedrin. The Pharisees thought the opinion of the religious leaders was unanimous in its opposition to Jesus. Nicodemus reminds his colleagues of an important principle of law they intentionally overlooking.

“You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.” Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.” Then they all went home, - John 7:47-53

The response of the Pharisees can be interpreted in two ways:
1. They may be urging Nicodemus to search the Scripture and see that no prophet had ever appeared in Galilee.
2. They could be asking is Galilee the kind of place to produce a prophet.

The leaders were not interested in determining the truth. They wanted to discredit Jesus any way they could. With their plot frustrated and group divided “everyone went to his own home”. No change of heart or mind, but intent with doing things their own way regardless of the facts.

How should we deal with division?

How would Jesus?

Always live by God’s truth not man’s (it’s always changing). Amen?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Something Different

The following is an article I wrote that was published in our local paper this week. In a changing world Christ followers must remain clear on two issues. The message never changes but our methods for sharing it will change. Following Christ means a willingness to be led - even when it means doing something differently than you've always have.

When John Maxwell was a young Pastor he was asked by another Minister to come to his declining church to help them with ideas to stimulate growth. A group of leaders were assembled and Maxwell laid out a plan to help them reach their community. When he asked if there were any questions, an older man stood up and said, “What if we try theses ideas, and they don’t work.” Maxwell replied, “What you’re doing now surely isn’t working, so why not try something else!”

   I’ve heard it said that the last words of dying churches are “We’ve never done it that way before.” When translated it means “We’re not changing!” This attitude has been with us since Moses led Israel out of Egypt.

   We see in Exodus 17 that the Israelite community quarreling and grumbling about having no water. They looked at all the old ways for provision, but there were no rain clouds, no streams, no lakes, and no wells. They said that they would rather be slaves back in Egypt. What they failed to realize is that God doesn’t always work in ways we understand. Israel needed to (as does His church today) trust in Him. Moses went before the people as instructed by the Lord, and struck a rock with his staff. Water poured out from the rock, and provided for all their needs. God is able and willing to do that for us today, but we continue to look backwards instead of focusing on Him.

   Later in Numbers 20, the same scenario happened again. This time not only the people were quarreling, but the leaders forgot to listen and obey God. Moses and Aaron were told to speak to the rock, but instead Moses decided to “do it the old way” and struck the rock with his staff. They did get water, but Moses and Aaron were forbidden to go into the promise land because of their disobedience. The key to God’s provision and direction is our obedience. We must keep our focus on Him not the past.

   In Numbers 21 we see the nation quarreling and complaining again. This time the Lord sent venomous snakes that bit and killed many Israelites. The people confessed their sins, and asked Moses to pray to God for forgiveness. He was instructed to place a bronze snake on a pole, and anyone bitten could look at it and live. God’s people need to do that today. We must confess our sins, ask for forgiveness, and place our trust in the One who was lifted up on the cross; Jesus Christ, in order to have eternal life. By focusing on the Savior we must look forward because he is our hope and eternity.  

   Jesus didn’t die for us to be comfortable, but to be convicted in sharing the Gospel with a lost and dying world. We need to quit quarreling and complaining, and start listening and obeying. By forsaking our preferences and being directed by His purposes we will see many come into His kingdom. That is His heart’s desire, and it should be ours also. Here is a novel idea - let’s do it God’s way.
Amen?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Giving Thanks



Let’s consider today Colossians 3:12-17, this time from The Message. 12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. 15-17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
We should worship God with a grateful heart. Are you truly grateful of for what God has done for you? And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. - Colossians 3:17
We should do everything with direction and in the name of Jesus. How are you doing? Are you always giving thanks?
Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son. And now let the weak say “I am strong” let the poor say “I am rich” because of what the Lord has done for us. Give thanks, give thanks.
Amen?



Friday, February 19, 2016

Love Intentions

What can happen to the love you first experienced when you were saved? According to Revelation 2:2-5:  we can still do doing "good" things but have lost our first love.

 “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first …” Revelation 2:2-5 (NAS)

Three STEPS to Recovering that Love:

1. REMEMBER  what first love was like.
2. REPENT - I recognize that where I am is not where I am supposed to be. So, I turn and move toward where I am supposed to be.
“Let's take a good look at the way we're living and reorder our lives under God.” Lamentations 3:40 (MSG)
3. REPEAT -DO WHAT YOU USED TO DO 
“Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it.” Philippians 3:16 (MSG)
“…Live by the Spirit…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians 5:16, 22-23 (NIV)
 "Having started the ball rolling so enthusiastically, you should carry this project through to completion just as gladly…Let your enthusiastic idea at the start be equaled by your realistic action now." 2 Corinthians 8:11 (LB)
What are your intention towards God?
How about tell and show that you love Him! Amen?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Intentions


Intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought.

What is God’s intention towards mankind?
What should our intention towards God be?
It should be the same answer - LOVE_!

The Bible tells us that:
God’s intentions are – Loving the world…and Demonstrating His love…through Jesus!
Our intentions should be - If you love Jesus do what He commands and love God with all you have…

Do our actions match our intentions?

Remember that God’s love never fails. Amen?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Church Time



Acts chapter 1 is the first page of church history. You and I trace our spiritual ancestry to that time. There, Jesus charges His followers with being His witnesses to the ends of the earth. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (V8) Then He returns to heaven. Later the mighty wind of the Holy Spirit blows into a meeting of 120 waiting, expectant believers….and the church is born. It has been passed down from generation to each succeeding generation until today.

And here we are. This is our time. Today, we are Christ’s church (He continues to choose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, doesn’t He?)

Today, Jesus comes to us with the same question. Will you and I, He wants to know, commit to passing on through His church in this generation the treasure of His glorious gospel?

My brothers and sisters, it’s time for us to say yes. Amen?