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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sharing Stories

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)

Know and share your story how Jesus came in to your life.
Amen?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Heart's Desire


Ascending the mountain of the Lord is symbolic to coming in to His glorious presence. The psalmist instructs us on what is required by God to stand before Him. As sinners, we have separated ourselves from a holy, pure, and righteous God. We must go through the "cleansing" process.



 “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His Holy Place? The one who has clean hands and pure heart”. – Psalm 24:3-4

Thanks to Jesus' atoning sacrifice on the cross our sins can be forgiven. You have probably sang the song inspired by this psalm as a request to God. Give us clean hands, give us a pure heart, and not let us lift our souls to another.

Pure hands represent our outer sins, things we do (and others can see) that dishonored God. Clean hearts deal with what goes on inside us (what others cannot see) our thoughts, feelings, forgiveness, etc. Our souls to an idol reminds us to keep the first four commandments. We must keep God first and foremost in our hearts, minds, body, and soul. Love Him with all your being.



Make this your desire and song of your heart. Amen?

Friday, August 18, 2017

I Believe


Our Christian life is founded on faith, trust, and obedience. When people hear you speak do they hear, 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?
May your speech always be positive, hopeful, and full of belief in Christ. Amen?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I Hope


King David sang, 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 Is that what people hear coming from your mouth, I hope

So I praise… God - 1 Peter 1:3 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

So I have… Faith - Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

So I know… that I am bigger on the inside than the outside 1 Timothy 1:16 - But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

So I pray… always - Ephesians 6:18 - And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.


May our words always be full of God’s hope. Amen?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Important Words

Words are so important. Have you ever thought about what others are hearing you concerning your relationship with God? Hopefully you have a positive one that says, I can
Do… all things - Philippians 4:13 - I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Carry out… the work He has assigned me - Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Love… because I was loved first - Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Care… about others - Matthew 22:39 And the second (greatest commandment) is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself..”
See… the Hand of God in all of creation - Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

Practice “Can do” language today and every day. Amen?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bible Smarts


The Bible portrays wisdom as something that doesn’t come easily. To have wisdom implies many struggles but with understanding. It’s when we don’t understand why things are working a certain way that we are faced with the journey toward wisdom. 



Proverbs 22:17-19 - 17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, 18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. 19 So that your trust may be in the Lord, I am teaching you today, yes you.



Proverbs 22:17-19 (TLB) Listen to this wise advice; follow it closely, for it will do you good, and you can pass it on to others: Trust in the Lord.



Psalm 119:18 (CEV) Open my mind and let me discover the wonders of your Law.



Proverbs 2:1-5 (NIV) My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.



You need to - Open your mind to knowledge, turn your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding. Amen?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rock I Stand


We do not need to understand but we must depend on Jesus Christ (the Rock I stand)



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.

o    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.
Stand firm, stand on the truth, and stand on Christ. Amen?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Be Different


 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.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hearing


A few years ago we had a minister's lunch at the church I was at 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 hear 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?



 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? …

Friday, August 11, 2017

Leadership Application

"The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning." - Proverbs 14:6

I am really excited that the Global Leadership Summit is helping tens of thousands of Christians grow. I love learning from great leaders. Here are some of my favorite quotes on the subject:
Leadership is influence.
Everything rises and falls with leadership.
If you try to lead and no one follows then you're just taking a walk.
Everyone is a leader.
The first person you lead is yourself.
Lead where you are.
Wise leaders take wise risks.
No one leads alone.
To be a good leader you must be a good follower.

Why not pick one of these quotes and think about how you can apply it to your life.

Be wise - good leaders look to God for direction.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Two Are Better

I  am excited to be going to the Global Leadership Summit for the twelfth time! I heard a speaker there a few years ago talk about an experiment in dealing with stress and anxiety. Scientists had a monkey in a cage that was stressed out by loud 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.
 
Apply God's wisdom - find and keep monkey buddies in your life. Amen?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

New Being


Many times when we are suffering a health crisis we cry out to God for his great grace to ease our pain and suffering. There is a path that we need to follow to achieve this in our lives. Paul instructs Christ follower: 
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves overto sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned  when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.  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 4:17-24
Paul warns not to act like and think like the world. It will cause you to be separated from God and develop a hard heart and depraved mind. Instead follow the truth of Christ and become "new" in your thinking and actions. You were created (and redeemed) to be forgiven, holy and righteous.
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” - Psalm 40:16
Regardless of your circumstances today you can turn to Christ and become a new being in Him. Through the power of the Holy Spirit all change is possible. Amen?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Live Out

Direction and purpose can be found throughout the Bible. Consider what Hebrews 10:23-25 says,  23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving 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

These verses speak volumes in to a believers life. 
1. Hold on to your hope in Christ.
2. Jesus is faithful to His promises.
3. Help other believers to live a life full of God's love and obedience.
4. Do not stop being the church! Fellowship and coming together is essential.
5. Encourage each other when you are together.
6. Jesus is coming back soon!
Live out the Word of God everyday. Amen?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Prayers That Count

I love this prayer by Paul found in Colossians chapter 1:3-14.


We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Pray this right now for yourself and for someone who God has laid on your heart. Pray the Word of God daily.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Friendships

Do you remember the story of healing found in Mark 2:1-­12, A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Have you ever tried to bring a friend to Jesus?

Despite what it may cost, Jesus came to save sinners, and we have a great responsibility to guide them to Him.

Don't we all have friends who need the forgiveness of Jesus?  Are we urgent about it?

There was two healings that took place in this passage; 1. The man was healed from being paralyzed. 2. The man’s sins were forgiven (eternal healing).

Are we afraid of how others will react, or perhaps of how Jesus will react to our efforts?

What sacrifices will you make to bring others to Jesus?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Warnings

People especially those who call themselves Christians should take seriously God's warning in Hebrews. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving 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.26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 
Hebrews 10:23-31

Stop sinning and start obeying the Word. Amen?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Respond, Repent, and Reconciled


In the book of Jonah we read about one of the greatest revivals of all time, but Jonah was a reluctant evangelist. He was disobedient and tried to run away, but after a three day “fish trip” found himself doing what God had commanded. When God’s messengers brings forth the Word of God three things will occur, and true revival will break out.



First of all people Respond to the Gospel.  Jonah’s message was simple and direct. He said God was going to destroy them because of their evilness. The response was immediate. “They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.” Our sin has separated us from God, and we are doomed unless we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Have you responded to God’s Word?



The second thing we see in revival is that people Repent of their sins.  In Jonah’s time, the king declared a national time of fasting and repentance. They prayed for forgiveness, and that they would turn from their evil ways. Many people came with tears and brokenness before the Lord. They also prayed for forgiveness, and cleansing. God calls for His people to repent. Jesus said, “ Unless you repent, you too will perish.” When you have asked for forgiveness did you truly repent?



Salvation is complete when people are Reconciled to God.  God saw what the Ninevites did and how they had turned from their evil ways. He had compassion, and did not destroy them.  In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us that we become a new creation when we accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. We are reconciled with God through Him. All believers are to be Christ’s ambassadors, and are given the ministry of reconciling man to God. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Where are you at in your relationship with God today?

As the body of Christ, let us continue to pray for revival in our lives, our families, our churches, our city, our country, and throughout the world. Amen?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

His Way


We are to apply God’s instruction to all our circumstances and relationships. It comes with a great promise. Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Doing life His way will lead us to His purposes, and put a smile on His face.

Jesus wants our trust and action to be based on our faith in Him. It doesn’t matter where we come from or who we are. God wants our commitment. The Lord is our Rock and security. Remember, even if you have fallen, you can get back up with the power of the Holy Spirit! 
Amen?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Submit Anew


Society says to submit is a bad thing, but James 4:7 tells believers that we are to submit to God in word, action, and spirit. Put your emotions, thinking, and doing under Christ's control. Trust Him with everything.



So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. - James 4:7-10 The Message



God wants your commitment. God wants your thoughts and action based on that trust. It doesn’t matter where we come from or who we are. God is our Rock and security. Remember even if you have fallen, you can get back up, and be under God's care and control. Today can be your day of new beginnings. Amen?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Plumb Life


The Lord used, and uses, a "plumb-line," His Word, to determine how upright His people truly are in His sight. How upright they think they are, or how upright they proclaim themselves to be, means nothing to God. There is a standard, a right and wrong, things we’re to do, and things to refrain from. We must focus on God and His Word to make sure we are in His will.

Joshua learned that lesson, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  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 1:7-9


Contemplate on these verses today. Use the Bible to make sure your life is "plumb" with God's plan and purpose for your life. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Seeking Purpose


You have probably asked yourself, What's my purpose?" There has been a lot written about the church's purpose and a Christ-follower's purpose that you can read. But I think one of the greatest reasons we don't live out our Godly purposes is that we are too easily distracted. God is trying to tell us something but we're not listening. We have a great example by Jesus about keeping our focus in Mark chapter five. 

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Jesus was sent to heal this broken world. He was so focused on His mission that even in a huge crowd He could discern a woman of great faith had touched Him for the purpose of getting healed and as a result healed her. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"

Are you seeking God’s purpose for your life? Are you proactive in pursuing that purpose or do you let life’s circumstances distract you? Are you living life with a purpose or are you merely existing?

“Aim for Heaven and you’ll get the world thrown in, aim for the world and you’ll get neither.” C.S. Lewis

Loving Jesus means trusting God has a purpose for your life.  Amen?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

In Control


Peace comes from an immovable trust that God is in control. This enables the Christian to live above his/her circumstances. When someone is not at peace it typically is displayed in crankiness. Usually it is because we feel pressed for time because we have so many things that “need” to be done. Martha was freaking out because she felt she needed to get dinner on the table but her focus should have been on Jesus first like her sister Mary. "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,  but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." - Luke 10:41-42

Do you have a time set apart each day to be with the Lord? Have you ever skipped your quiet time because the “to do list” for the day was so big? How is your disposition on those days, cranky?

Spending more time with God on those busy days will give you the strength, wisdom and time to accomplish your tasks. Martin Luther was quoted as saying,  “I have so much to do, that I cannot get on without three hours a day of praying.” 

Even Jesus who was faced with a busy day of healing went away to spend time with the Father: Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.- Luke 5:15-16

Trust God who should be in control of your time and He will give you the time necessary to fulfill your purpose. Amen?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Always Joy


As I have shared before, my life verse is from 1 Thessalonians 5, "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstance. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." It's meant a lot to me over the years, and has helped me keep my focus on God. Lately it has taken on an even greater significance.

Life has come at my family fast and hard over the last three years. Loss and heartache in many forms have not been strangers. It's been tough. But God is tougher! During these valley experiences we need to be reminded to "
be joyful, pray, and be thankful". Remembering how God has been with you in the past reminds you He is with you now. By giving Him glory with a thankful heart positions us in the right direction - on God.

So I will praise Jesus during life's stormy season. I know He can stop the storm if He chooses. He also may allow it to continue but walk through it with me. Either way I know, it's going to be okay. It takes faith but it is His will for me (in Christ Jesus). Amen and amen. God is good...

Friday, July 28, 2017

Are You

Have you ever considered the question, Where are you? 

It is not just a question not of a location, but of a relationship. 

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 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.

Today and always, know where you are with God.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

On Display

I pray that throughout the country the power of God's love, mercy, forgiveness, and great grace are on display by His people. You know He has a great track record in changing lives and empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things for His glory. Are you ready to tap in to the power source? Here are 3 Examples of Power:

1. 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)

2. The power of a believing and clean heart.
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. -Romans 12:1-2

3. The power of the response to Christ. Look again at Mark 1:27-28, 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.)
Responses to God showing up:
1. They were amazed
2. They questioned
3. They spread the news everywhere.

May God do the same now in His churches throughout the world! Amen?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Moving Forward

Today I want to talk about three barriers that keep us for where God wants us to. In other words what keeps us from moving from Here to There. 

Closed eyes - It's not the root but the fruit that people see in our lives. Are your eyes open to the problems of others. In Ezekiel 22:30 it says, "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none."
Closed minds - After we see a need we mus have it in our hearts to walk towards it not act like it doesn't exists. Nehemiah heard of a need and did something about. Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.  They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.  Then I said: "O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands,Nehemiah 1:2-5 He spoke with the king and rebuilt the walls.

Closed hearts - We close our hearts out of fear many times, but fear is the absence of faith. Even when we feel we are powerless to move God can give us strength. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 says, 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.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  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. Strength found in weakness is only found with an open heart,

God desires us to be open and available to His call on our lives, and move us from our "here" to His "there". Are you willing to take that first step? Each one will bring you that much closer to the goal. Amen?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Follow Up

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.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Eternal Word


Voltaire, the French infidel who died in 1778, literally traveled the world speaking against the Word of God. He predicted that 100 years after his death, the Bible would no longer be on earth. Voltaire died, and 50 years later, the Geneva Bible Society bought his home. Using his presses they have been producing Bibles ever since."

For the word of God is alive 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

Jesus said in Matthew 24:35 - “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my Word will never die." Amen?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Strange


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 different for God.