Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I Don't Want To Miss It!

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I cannot believe that my boys are already 3 and a half years old. It seems only like yesterday that Brittany and I found out that we were expecting. I'll never forget when that nurse was doing the sonogram and said she had to go get the doctor, I was scared to death all the possibilities rushed in my mind of what this could mean. Then she said 'I think I might see TWO babies' My life has never been the same since that moment. The Lord blessed us with two healthy baby boys. But... They aren't babies any more, they are getting more and more independent every day. It's incredible to watch the, as they mature and turn into 'big boys' with such big personalities.

As I think about how quickly time has passed it makes me realize that I truly don't want to miss a thing as they grow. We are all so busy aren't we? There's always an email that needs to be read, a call that needs to be made, work that needs to be done, chores that need completed, and on and on and on.. But.. Is that more important then the loved ones God has put in front of us? 

What about Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It's becoming evermore easy to ignore your loved ones while scrolling the lives of others. It's becoming second nature to be so concerned with a 'newsfeed' and friends status' that you totally forget about the blessing in your own life. How often do we see a family sitting at a restaurant to eat together and most of the table is focused on their cell-phones totally missing out on their life!

The other day I was sitting outside watching the boys play, while sitting there I was working on some emails on my phone. Maddox kept saying 'Daddy watch me' to which I would say 'I'm watching baby' while trying to finish my email... Finally Maddox said 'Daddy you ARENT watching' and he was right. It kind of struck me and made me start thinking. I really don't want to miss a thing in this wonderful life God has given me. I'm so grateful for my blessings, may I never take them for granted. May you never miss out on your blessings!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Near Sighted


“For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind” 2 Peter 1:9

I love that word nearsighted, (short-sighted) because I never really noticed that was in the Bible.

Nearsighted; it means that all you can see is right in front of your face, but you can’t see anything at a distance away.

If you lack those qualities in the previous verses ;(Knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, love) you are near sighted- in fact you are so near sighted you are blind.
Nearsighted~ isn't this the reason for most of our sins?

All we see is right here in this moment and it will bring pleasure… but you aren't thinking about how you will feel right after.

Haven’t you ever done something, and as soon as it was over you regretted it and you said man I wish I would have thought about the long term.

All you see is right now… You are so nearsighted that you are blind.

You can’t see Heaven- you can’t see forever all you see the pleasure that will come immediately.

Think of Biblical Examples:
             David and Bathsheba~ 2 Samuel 11;
             Achan stole the battle spoils~ Joshua 7
            Peter denies Jesus~ Mark 14
We could look through the Bible all day, and prove the point that one of the most difficult things to do in life is to not be ‘near-sighted’

One pastor said if we could just dangle people over hell for 15 seconds imagine the difference

The way the Bible describes it: utter darkness, pitch black, fire, people wishing they could die but they can’t, weeping and gnashing of teeth Darkness forever.  If we could just get a glimpse it would certainly change our lives forever.

If we could just see Heaven it would change us and we would work together and one accord!
1 Corinthians 2:9 “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—

You can’t even imagine how great it is going to be.

This is what they do in advertisements: Can you just imagine driving off the lot in this…They don’t tell you about the 12 years of payments, and the regret you will feel. All the other things you could have done with that money, and you regret it for years.

Credit Cards: Oh that new outfit will be awesome, that new deer rifle, so we buy things in the moment, but we don’t stop to think about the long term repercussions.

We have been spoiled to this instant gratification of 'I want it now and I’m not going to be concerned with the future'. And that has come into our Christian lives and it’s detrimental to our testimonies.
Nearsighted- can’t even see the potential

We can’t see the big ways God wants to use us in the future because all the work it is going to take right now.

We are so Nearsighted, we dismiss the fact that maybe God wants to really use us in big ways.
But some are so nearsighted that you are blind… scary word… where in scripture do you see that used for believers.

I see that the Scripture “natural man who cannot see spiritual things, but the believer God opens their eyes and lets them see this whole world and accept spiritual things.

When we go through life ‘short-sighted’ focusing on just this life we will Lay in bed at night and we will worry about if our salvation is real. And I am convinced that until we live a life that confirms our calling we will never be a unified and effective body of believers.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Love the Word

A young man went to work one day and was involved in an accidental explosion. The explosion burned most of his body and caused the man to become blind. While in the hospital the young man who had recently surrendered his life to Christ longed to read his Bible, however since he was blind he could not do so. He had his family bring him a Braille bible; but he quickly found that because of the explosion all the nerves in the tips of his fingers had been burnt so he could not feel the Braille letters. He then heard about a woman from England who taught herself to read by placing the braille letters to her lips. He tried this as well only to find that even the nerves in his lips were burned too badly to feel the letters. The only place he had feeling left was the tip of his tongue. Day after day he would hold the Braille Bible to his face and move the letters across his tongue;until he eventually taught himself to read in this way. Constantly throughout the day he would read his Bible. This man read his Bible cover to cover many times.

After reading of a man that loves the word of God so much, it made me look into my personal life. How much do I love the word of God? How much do you love the word of God? Job 23:12 is a challenge to us, “I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” O that we would desire a revelation from God more than we desire our next meal. As Christians we will never be what God desires of us until we fall in Love with his word.

Immanuel Kant: "The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity." 

Ask yourself this simple question: How much time this week did I spend in the Word of God? For many we will find that we spend much more time watching T.V. then in our Bibles. “We say on Sunday how much we want revival; but then on Monday we can’t even find our Bibles.”

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cheap Faith...


Throughout college and seminary one of the major emphases of study is based on the idea of church growth. You can go through my office right now and you can find a multitude of books based on church growth. They will tell you how they see it that you can numerically increase your church, they will have neat little slogans like: “Decide how big you want your church to be, and go for it.” They will tell you how your church must be in the “times” to reach the current world. Yet our model is a guy who spent the majority of his ministry time with twelve men. A guy who when left this earth, had only about 120 people who were actually sticking around and doing what he told them to do.

Jesus apparently was not interested in marketing himself to the masses. His invitations to potential followers were clearly more costly than the crowds were ready to accept, and he seemed to be okay with that. He focused instead on the few who believed him when he said radical things. And through their radical obedience to him, he turned the course of history in a new direction. 

I believe one of the problems our culture has is that we have cheapened our faith trying to make it ‘easy’ and the fact is the Bible tells us to ‘count the cost.’ Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes even his own life- he cannot be my disciple.” Imagine hearing those words from obscure Jewish teacher in the first century; He just lost most of us; but then he continued: “anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Now this is taking it to another level. Pick up an instrument of torture and follow me. This is getting plain weird… and kind of creepy. 

Imagine a leader coming on the scene today and inviting all who would come after him to pick up an electric chair and become his disciple. Any takers? As if this were not enough. Jesus finished his seeker-sensitive plea with a pull-at-your-heartstrings conclusion. “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” Give up everything you have, carry a cross, and hate your family, this sounds a lot different than “Admit, Believe, Confess, and Pray a Prayer after me doesn't it?” (See the Book 'Radical' by David Platt.)

The great theologian Dietrich Bonheoffer summarizes my point well when he says; “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”  I would like to challenge you to really take some time and look through the scriptures and find out exactly what Christ expects from his followers. It is truly a life changing decision to genuinely follow our Lord.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Ignite a PASSION

We understand that churches work hard to expand and strengthen the Kingdom of God. We fine tune our worship services, we add programs, and classes, and we expand and upgrade our facilities to appeal to the lost world around us. All of these things are justified and can be very effective, however; the core to impacting the Kingdom of God is very simple: “Ignite people’s passion for God and get out of the way.”

You see once the passion is ignited all of a sudden the peripherals don’t matter nearly as much. They’ll endure worship services that may not meet their exact desire because the focus is on God and not themselves. They will sacrifice more of their hard-earned money for the purposes of ministry because they recognize they are stewards and not owners. They will share their faith with others because they simply cannot contain their own excitement about the privilege of relating to God.

Our success is not defined by numbers and budgets, it is a desire to ‘Ignite a Passion’ that changes every area of life. It is a shift that changes its focus from programs to people, not just quantity but quality. We must understand the things that got us to where we are today may not be the things that get us to where we need to be tomorrow.

Jesus changed the world, by gathering twelve out-cast around Him. He prepared these men to infiltrate their culture with a life-giving message, a transformed lifestyle, and a burning desire to serve God with every ounce of capacity they possessed- or die in the process. Although the task was improbable-it worked, and the disciple’s passion was contagious.

This week would you focus and pray about your personal passion. You can’t give something away that you don’t personally have. We can’t expect others to be passionate and on fire for the things of God if we are not personally passionate and on fire for the things of God. 

Get To Work!

Rick Warren wrote a bestselling book entitled: The Purpose Driven Life. One reason the book was so successful is because people are looking for a purpose. The majority of people go through their routines day after day with no clear direction or point for their lives. I want you to understand this: God has called you to a great purpose! I would like to offer you two points from John 20:21-23.

THERE’S A JOB TO DO: As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

Realize that your life is on a mission from God. Just as Christ was sent to offer salvation to the lost world, you too are to go into a world of darkness and offer light. There is a job to do; and it is not to sit on a pew week after week and soak in the word of God. No, on the contrary we are called to “GO,” we are being sent out. Look at Biblical examples and you will find that once someone has an encounter with God there is always a job to do; Noah built an ark, Moses delivered the Israelites, Jonah preached to Nineveh.  There is much work to be done, yet in our churches there are few workers. Your purpose becomes clear when you are involved in Kingdom work.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE: And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

The good news is this; you are not alone on your mission. The Holy Spirit indwells believers and guides and directs them on their journey. Take Moses for example, God tells Moses to go deliver the Israelites from bondage but he also tells Moses: “But I will be with you.” Our Job is not always easy; however we are never alone in the work. Despite your limitations, or inadequacies when you realize that the Holy Spirit indwells your life you can truly say: “I can do all things through Christ.”

We need workers. Would you rise to your calling? Would you live a life of great purpose?

True Happiness