Happy New Year! 2016 will be an awesome year. Most of us follow the same pattern, we sit in the same seat, eat at the same restaurant and order the same thing. In this New Year will you follow the same pattern: Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically and Relationally? Following the same pattern takes you to the same place to experience the same results. How will your year end? Patterns can change when we determine to experience different results. Spiritually, to get different results we must broaden our time with God, His Word and with others that can encourage us Spiritually. The same goes in the other three areas.
Determination will always experience opposition, so when it comes what will you do? Stop, slow down, or push on? Determination fixes its focus on the goal, and will be relentless! So how determined are you? Seek someone who can and will keep you accountable to stay with your goals, and if they don’t work out quickly find another. Never stand alone, always be accountable.
Examine yourself and make the necessary cuts to be and experience different results at the end of 2016. Add the necessary activity and people to enable you to be a winner!!
Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year! This year has been a whirl wind and now we are embarking on another new year. However I must say God has been faithful, powerful and gracious. We have experienced the Power of God in many ways over the past several months. Many have been saved and others have made commitments to faithfulness. As we celebrate Christmas let’s not miss God.
Christmas is many things to many people but Christmas is God revealing Himself, God coming to us so we might Know Him. When we talk about knowing God, we are talking about experiencing God. How do you know you have experienced God? CHANGE!! For HE gives you a new Heart, Mind and Spirit. Share with your family how God has changed you, enabling you to respond to Him and hear His direction for your life. Be a telling Christian who tells the story of how God took an ordinary person and transformed them into a person who loves and lives for God. Merry Christmas!! Make the most of the New Year by being and then doing.
When you read the Bible where do you start? Do you flop the Bible open and just read? Are you systematic in your reading? Do you ask questions or sit and scratch your head wondering what’s this all about? Enough questions! But do think about them.
If you are a beginner, start in the gospel of John. John reveals Jesus to us, His life, Miracles, and His love. Spurgeon said: “If you cannot say, Jesus is Precious to me. I don’t care to what Church you belong or what creed you are ready to die for, you do not know the truth of God unless the Person of Christ is dear to you.” John’s gospel reveals Jesus.
Then move to the Epistles and begin reading Ephesians. This book is one of the most marked books in my Bible. We discover a treasure chest of riches for the believer, especially a reminder of the power that we have in Christ. A.W. Tozer said, “I am convinced that the lack of great Saints in this day is due at least in part, to our unwillingness to give sufficient time to the cultivation of the knowledge of God.”
Will you do it?
A question Christians should ask themselves: “Is my present way of living the Christian life transforming the deep places in my life?” The internal wounds and sin patterns? Those thing that happen behind closed doors after conflicts or disagreements. It is not possible to be Spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.
To grow in Christ we must go back and break free from the unhealthy, unholy patterns to become the New Creations God desires.
Lord, surgically remove All that is in me that does not belong to you, shine your light on the deep hidden things!
What is going on? Have you ever asked that? Or should I say how many times! We all experience trials of different colors and from various directions. We must recognize where these come from. Outright attacks from satan or tests from God. If its God you can be sure that they are to benefit you Spiritually and to grow your Faith. God also uses trials to show what’s in our hearts. God has also provided the Spiritual armor for us to put on for our protection. His shield of faith will quench All the firey darts that our enemy sends! Praise God.
When we realize something out of the ordinary is happening we should also examine to see if there is any area of our heart and life God doesn’t have. Like weeds, stuff creeps into our lives unawares and need exposing. My prayer, God take me to surgery and remove any and all that doesn’t belong to you.
Those three statements: Real truth, Real Strength, Real Life have been much needed in the last few weeks not only by me but others that I have ministered to. Sometimes truth hurts but is necessary to position our focus where it should be. Life and our enemy (satan) have a way of leading us away from our Real Strength.
Strength we need comes from the Truth of God’s Word, any distraction from it can reek havoc in our thinking and reasoning. In all circumstances we must draw near to God and HE promised to draw near to us! the moment we choose to neglect The Word we begin to err and loose strength. Life is experienced when we enter a union with Christ Jesus and continually abide in Him and He in us. No matter how hectic life gets remain steadfast, unmovable, abounding in our Love and walk with Christ.
There are two things I want to think about:
1. Identity: there are only two places to look for Identity. Vertically, who you are in Christ and Horizontally, in your relationships and experiences with others. To look horizontally for what has already been given in Christ, will produce a harvest of bad fruit in your heart, ministry and relationships. This could be the reason so many have problems with others. We must never allow Christianity to quit being a Relationship.
2.Attitude: Attitude makes all the difference in the world. Our attitude will make us or break us. How we handle a situation and respond to one all depends on our attitude. Attitude effects you and all those around you. Your attitude reveals your heart, your heart tells the real story of your life! So ask yourself the most important questions. Who am I in Christ and what is my present attitude and do either need to change. Remember God is in the Identity and Attitude changing business…
In life and Ministry I have learned 3 things:
1. Observation: Look closely at everything. Not the outward but the inward, which involves the motives and the action. The words spoken on a regular basis, the attitude in which they are spoken, observe. Body language tells you a lot as well. Observation takes time!
2. Approach: You cannot approach everything, and every person and situation the same. Jesus didn’t and we should learn from Jesus. Through prayer and observation God will give us the right avenue of approach.
3. Opinion: We all have one or two or more!! My and your opinion is necessary but God’s opinion is the best. Hebrews 13:7 reminds us that God’s Word is supreme. Any time we place human tradition, rituals,or rules equal to or greater than the Word we err.
The bottom line is the Word of God!!
Jesus said to the Pharisees: For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. We should pay close attention to this statement for several reasons.
1. There is a source that all words flow. Every word we speak comes from a source that is either pure or impure but it cannot be both. So, the heart and its condition is important.
2. The words reveal our true condition. In other words the words we speak reveal the condition of our heart. But we often say, No, the circumstances made the words what they were. According to Jesus that is not possible! They come from the heart.
3. The words we speak tell the real truth of our hearts condition. Evil or good. Your heart is either evil or good, not both but one or the other. But it can be changed from evil to good by a relationship with Jesus, the Power of the Holy Spirit! The change Jesus does is permanent. Not to a perfect person but a pure person with the presence of the Spirit to help. Praise His Holy name!!
Over the last couple of months I have been told, “I know you want to quit ministry every Monday morning.” I’ve heard pastors say, they wanted to quit Ministry often, because it was hard and difficult. I don’t argue with the difficulty of Ministry at times but I can say, I have not and do not want to quit every Monday! As I thought about this several things came to mind.
1.God called me to Ministry and God doesn’t revoke His call. God hasn’t said quit. He does tell me to trust Him.
2.My greatest responsibility in Pastoring is Me. I feed myself and listen to sermons continually. I know my need is to Pray, Listen to The Word of God and obey. I keep my mind of Him and my heart guarded. I’m not perfect by any means, I know my weaknesses and the areas I must guard.
3.I’m accountable. To my wife, to friends I know will ask me questions, to the Church I Pastor and to God. I’m greatful God has put men in my life who will be honest.
o4. I read, not as much as I should but I read how other Pastors walked through difficult times, what they experienced and learned. And I pray I will learn and stay the course!!