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The Greatest Blessing

By | Day 06, Day 19, Day 20, Day 25, Uncategorized | No Comments

Our friends over at kingdom.training have really put together a great set of resources for people looking to make disciples. Today I’d like to share with you a video from their site, one in which Curtis Sergeant talks about a blessing, a great blessing, a greater blessing, and the greatest blessing. Check it out, then answer the following questions:

1. What in the video stands out to you?

2. How does this video challenge you?

3. How might this content translate into your vocation / role?

Fix My Eyes

By | Day 06, Day 17, Day 21, Day 22, Uncategorized | No Comments

Do you ever wake up and just feel like you need a boost?  Some sort of reminder that God will do what He has promised, and that our troubles will not overcome us?  That happened to me this week, and God pointed me to Hebrews 8 for the solution. Where are you fixing your eyes?  Check out this video if you need a bounce in your step.

 

Heb 12:1-2  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Scattered

By | Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Day 27, Uncategorized | No Comments

Have you ever faced challenges, especially when living out your calling in the marketplace? Today God took me to Acts 8:1-4 and asked, “what do you see?”  It was bad. Great persecution. The disciples were scattered, torn from their friends and families and everything that was known to them. They were burying the dead, the church was ravaged, and people were being dragged off and thrown into prison. But then there was also verse 4. A few simple words. Those who were scattered went about preaching the word.

Then God said to me, “Look again. What do you see?”  I saw a call to faithfulness in the midst of adversity. I saw a prayer that my core purpose in Christ would not be lost in the overwhelming flood of life’s challenges. I saw a reminder that God’s power is sometimes more obvious in times of our greatest need. I saw that God turned what looked like a terrible end into the real beginning of it all. These verses encouraged me to look at my circumstances in a new light. I pray you would be encouraged to do the same.

 

And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.   Acts 8:1-4

 

Believe

By | Day 20, Day 21, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Chapter seven in Dan Grider’s book Crucial Conversations: Bridging the Awkward Spiritual Gap is titled “The Power of Pisteuo”.  Grider explains how the Greek word pisteuo is usually translated as “believe” , or sometimes as “faith”. However, our typical church culture mistakenly thinks that by this Jesus meant “we should dispassionately repeat a set of sterile doctrines, theologies, and beliefs”.  Rather, it’s not about intellectual consent to a set of facts. In reality, Crider suggest that to capture what Jesus intended, a better translation would be “all in” or “abandon all competing ways to live and fully embrace the new Jesus Kingdom”.

Imagine what our world would be like if it was full of Christians who understood belief as all in, complete abandon, to truths working themselves out in every aspect of our lives. What a huge difference that would make!

The hard part for me is reading Scripture in light of this expanded definition.  John 3:16 would be “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever would be all in / sold out / fully abandoned to His way of life shall not perish but have eternal life”.  Now read John 3:18 or Hebrews 11:6 or Mark 16:16 with this pisteuo/believe definition in mind.  Calls us to up our game, doesn’t it?

 

 

Run In Such A Way

By | Day 17, Day 21, Uncategorized | No Comments

 

Seek Me And Live

By | Day 21, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Sometimes I wonder why so many people who profess to be Christians live lives of defeat and have minimal impact on those around them.  The other day I came across this devotional in my YouVersion bible reading plan (Daily Encouragement by David Evans). I wonder if this might be part of the reason?

“Seek me and live” – this is the essence of true religion: to seek and find the one true and living God, and in finding him, to enter into a life which pleases him. That life is inevitably characterized by good works and the evident presence of God: “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you” (Amos 5:14).

The tragedy of nominal, formal, merely traditional religion is that it is just religion and nothing more. It does not change the life of the individual, and the Lord is conspicuous by his absence. The ritual is carried on while righteousness is missing in public and private life. People go to Bethel, but they do not meet with God. There is no lack of religious feasts, assemblies and music, but this ritual goes hand in hand with injustice and immorality and is an abomination to the Lord.

The test of all religious profession and practice lies here. Is there a genuine seeking of God, and does it produce holy living? We do well to bring our meetings, our music, our charity, and our whole lifestyle to this searching examination. Our Bible study must be subject to it too, because it is possible to search the Scriptures and yet not come to Christ (John 5:39,40).

All In

By | Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Recently I was reading Jeremiah 29, which contains some verses familiar to many of us. Normally my attention is drawn to verse 11, which is the life verse God gave my middle daughter:  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We like to read that verse.  But as I reflected, it struck me that this promise comes with conditions (or at least a roadmap). The words that immediately follow it, verses 12 & 13, explain: “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” For at least a week now, I keep thinking about verse 13 … when you seek me with all your heart.  Sounds like the picture of someone who is “all in”, fully committed. What a challenge this can be, but what a glorious outcome. When I get down about the state of God’s People today, or with my own walk for that matter, I am reminded of the solution laid out in these verses. We must call on Him, come to Him, pray to Him, and seek Him with all our heart. The question is, am I “all in”?  Are you?

Unexpected Instruments

By | Day 06, Day 10, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Some days I find myself wondering, “How can God use a regular person like me?” This past week I heard a “regular guy” named Lee Wood share his God-story.  Lee, a former street dude with lots of energy and “self-diagnosed ADD … squirrel”, is a riot to listen to. God has worked through Lee and his team to launch a disciple making movement in the heart of Tampa, Florida. (click here to read Lee’s story). As Lee shared with us, it struck me how often God uses unlikely instruments to accomplish His work. It made me think of Samuel anointing David as the next king (1Samuel 16:7) … man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. So, take heart. However God has wired you, He wants to use your unique gifting, talents and passions to help fulfill the Great Commission. Ask Him to show you, and He will.

Racial Reconciliation

By | Day 08, Day 09, Day 21, Uncategorized | No Comments

It seems like everywhere we turn these days, we’re confronted with the issue of racism. Whether it’s a simple conversation over coffee or a violent protest that makes headlines, racial conflict seems to be on the minds of many people. But, one question that has not really been fully addressed is this: what is my role as a Christian? Or better yet, how does the Gospel touch the issue of racial reconciliation? If we believe that the Gospel impacts every area of our lives, and every aspect of society, then surely we must give this careful consideration.

The video below was recorded by The Village Church. It is an interview with author and pastor Bryan Loritts, and it focuses on how the Gospel is the ONLY hope for racial reconciliation …. and what reconciliation means for all sides involved.