Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Biblical Goal Setting Part 3

Being Prepared

1 Peter 1:13
“Therefore prepare your minds for action; be self controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Being prepared is very crucial in your goal setting for the New Year. In 1 Timothy 4:2, we are called to be prepared in season and out of season. In Ephesians 4:2 we are called to prepare God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up. We must make sure we are being prepared for the return of our King and through goal setting it disciplines us to make sure we are prepared.

Today prepare yourselves for 2009 by being specific in the areas of you life you want to see improvement in.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Biblical Goal Setting Part 2

Ecclesiastes 8:6
“For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter”

In the category of goal setting we must know that everything happens in a certain time frame. And if we don’t have plans in place for where God wants us and where God needs us then we fail. The Bible also says in Ecclesiastes 5:4, “When you make a vow to God do not delay in fulfilling it.” We must make sure that we are being intentional in fulfilling the will of God.

While writing out your goals try to break it down to the timing of each goal, if need be by each quarter of the year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Biblical Goal Setting Part 1

Habakkuk 2:2
“Write down the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”

As 2009 quickly approaches I felt led to share about goal setting. I have been setting and writing goals for many years and many I have succeeded in and some that I am yet to achieve. However it may be we all need to have a vision and set goals for our lives. In a study by Harvard many years ago they tested 100 graduates and 10 of them set goals and after 40 years the 10 who set goals had more money than the other 90 who did not.

My challenge for you this week is to set some goals for 2009 and make sure you write them down. You can set goals in different areas of your life like spiritual, physical, financial, goals in your business and anything other category you can.
The point is if you don’t have goals for yourself, someone else will and they might not have your best interest in mind.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Celebrating Christ's Love

John 15:13
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

The inescapable promise of Christmas is this: Christ loves us. Even though we are imperfect, fallible human beings, and even though we have fallen far short of God’s commandments, Christ’s love is perfect and steadfast. On the very first Christmas day, when God sent His Son to become the salvation of the world, He bestowed the ultimate gift, a gift that is beyond price and beyond human comprehension. We have not earned our salvation; even the best among us fall far short of God’s commandments. But when we accept Christ as our Savior, we are saved by God’s grace. As we celebrate His birth, let us accept Christ’s love and share His Good News. Christ’s love changes everything; may we, as believers, allow it to change everything in us.

John 12:46, “I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in the darkness.”

John 10:9, “I am the door. If any enters by Me, he will be saved.”

Matthew 28:20, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Perfect Christ

Isaiah 9:6
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”

Would you like to experience a perfect Christmas this year? Then you must put Christ at the absolute center of your celebration. Two thousand years ago, in the tiny town of Bethlehem, God presented the world with His ultimate gift. That gift, of course is the baby Jesus. During the Christmas season, we celebrate Christ’s birth, His life, His sacrifice, and the victory that can be ours through Him. How will you respond to God’s perfect gift? Your answer is simple question will determing the quality of your holiday and the direction of your life, so answer carefully.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Celebrating God's Promises

Matthew 24:35
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

The words of Matthew 4:4 remind us that, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” During the season when we celebrate the birth of God’s Son, we should study the Bible and meditate upon its meaning for our lives. Otherwise, we deprive ourselves of a priceless gift from our Creator. God has given us the Bible for the purpose of knowing His promises, His love, and His Son. As we study God’s teachings and apply them to our lives, we live by the Word that shall never pass away.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Time for Renewal

2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

From time to time we might find ourselves exhausted and running on empty, especially during Christmastime. The pressing demands of the holiday season may temporarily rob us of the joy and peace that might otherwise be ours through Christ. When the obligations drain our strength and test our patience, there is a source from which we can draw our power. That source is God. If we lift our prayers to Him then he will renew our strength. It says in Isaiah 40:31, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint. And when we take time to study God’s word, we are confronted with a profound truth: the challenges of today will soon fade away, but Gods love endures forever.

Psalm 51:10
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Perfect Christmas Part 1

Strength for the Holidays

Exodus 15:2
“The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”

As December 25th grows closer, we may find ourselves feeling exhausted or worse. The demands of the holiday season may temporarily rob us of the joy and peace. These are also times of memories with our loved ones and sometimes even memories of our loved ones who have passed away. When the inevitable pressures of the holiday season and sadness sap our strength or worse test our patience, there is a source from which we can draw the power we need to recharge our spiritual batteries. That source is God.

Ephesians 6:10; “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength.”

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Gift of Giving Part 5

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Prior to writing this, I was brought to tears to know that God loves us so much. I was listening to a Hillsong song that says, “For all You gave, the world Your only Son for us, to know Your name to live within the Saviors love and You took my place and You were crucified, and Your love, Your love of people undeserving.” This song really hits home for me. I like the message version of John 3:16 where it says, “He gave his only son, and this is why: so that no one need be destroyed by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”

I remember when I gave my life to Christ; I was amazed as to how someone could love us so much. You know at any time Jesus could have called upon a legion of angles to save Him from the cross. If you haven’t given your life to Christ you can today. Just pray this prayer and let me or someone know.

“Father, I thank you today for giving us Your only son who paid the ultimate sacrifice so we could have a relationship with You. I admit today that I am a sinner and I repent of my sins and ask you to come into my heart. Thank you God for restoring my life and accepting me for who I am, and guide me in my paths so I can follow you. In Jesus name Amen.”

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Gift of Giving Part 4

Matt 6:3-4
“But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what the right is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything will reward you.”

When giving to someone in need lets make sure that we are giving from the heart and not doing it to get something out of it. A lot of times people do things so they can get publicly rewarded for something they did but it is in your private life that God and you are the only ones who see what you are doing. Our private lives need to be filled with random acts of kindness, which is a way where we can make a huge difference in the world.

My family is doing a secret Santa, where until Christmas comes we do something special for our family member we picked every day and then on Christmas we will guess who it is. My goal was for every family member think I was their secret Santa, which is not working so please pray for me.

Today do something good for someone privately.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Gift of Giving Part 3

Matt 6:19-21
“Do not store treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves can steal them. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is there, there the desires of your heart will be also.”

Some many times we are chasing the next thing and we have to remember that our treasures are stored up in heaven. There is so much media and things we see that we want but we have to remember that we must give our first tenth of our income to God then we can get the things we want. We need to know that our goal in life is not to have the biggest house, the fastest most luxurious car, the nicest clothes or any material thing. Out goals in life need to be based on what did we do while we were given life on earth not on what did life do for me.

The first thing we can start doing is giving for a reason. Scripture says we need to give the first tenth to God, in Malachi 3:10 is the only place where God says to test me in scripture. Some times people get upset with churches talking about money but we need to know that in the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that 1 out of every 10 verses speak about money, over 2300 scriptures which is 5 times more than faith and prayer. Amazing statistics huh?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Gift of Giving Part 2

Luke 6:38
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Have you ever had a hard time financially and wondered how you were going to make it through? I have and I want to share with you my story today.

We had moved away to Florida and brought with us a ton of debt. I received a pay increase with my promotion and move of more than 25% and Stacey and I were still living paycheck to paycheck. It was stressful and very hard on our marriage. We were attending church and I was just going through the motions to go to church. I had Stacey doing the finances and I wanted to go out to eat and she said “we don’t have the money.” So I started looking over the finances, you know cause I am the man, what do you mean we don’t have the money. The first thing I said was, well we can cut this 10% out going to the church first of all. Stacey was adamant about not doing that and thank God she was.

When I finally became broken in my finances and said, “Ok God, I am not in control you are.” I truly gave our tithe for the first time from my heart. Well Stacey was going on a trip to Texas and we did not have the money for me to go, but after I gave that Sunday we got a check in the mail from some escrow money from our house being sold in Oklahoma for triple the amount I tithed. I bought a plane ticket one way so I could at least drive there with Stacey, because I could not take off work and flew home. The rest is history. It was on that drive to Texas when I gave my life to Christ.

I have never stopped giving and tithing since that day and God has delivered me from an upwards of 35k in consumer and credit card debt and allowed me to take over a 60% pay-cut to work in the full time ministry and fulfill my true calling in life. Our finances are tight but God continues to meet our needs every day and we have learned from our past how to manage our money better.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Gift of Giving Part 1

2 Corinthians 9:6-7
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and who ever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

If we give, God is able to give us more so we can perform other good works. In other words, God sees to it that the generous giver will not suffer want. We must know that we can change the world one person at a time and when we give, we are changing the world. I think a lot of the time we think to ourselves, what difference can I make, I am just one person. But you can make a difference in the things that we do now. It is only what we give away that we shall be able to keep for all eternity. The things we cling to on this earth will not go with us into heaven. Therefore, it is wise for us to keep our focus on the things that have eternal value. I like the quote, “The person who dies with the most toys, still dies.”

This week as we enter into the Christmas season, I felt it would be good to have a five part series on giving.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Turning Your Sickness Into Health Part 5

Proverbs 4:20-22 (The Message)
“Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover the words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health.”

This is a great verse to end off the week with. Another version says pay attention to my words, keep them always in mind. There is power in the scriptures and we must make sure to stay into His word to truly see life change and to continue to openly communicate to God. There have been countless times where I am going through something and be reading the Bible and the words will stand out of the page as to exactly what is going on in my life. As stated in Proverbs those who discover the words will live, really live and are bursting with health.

Lets make sure we are getting into the word and keeping them in plain view at all times.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Turning Your Sickness Into Health Part 4

Isaiah 58:8
“My light shall break forth like the morning and my healing (my restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily.”

Sometimes you healing will take place speedily like the prophet Isaiah said. Sometimes it takes time and a ton of faith. I heard a story recently where a woman was being prayed over for her sickness where she could not walk or move and when she was being prayed over, she felt it and said thank you Lord. Her husband wheeled her home and the next morning got her out of bed and she still needed him to help her get out of bed and at the breakfast table they laughed out loud. Because they knew it took place and they were giving God the praise. Next day the same thing happened and the next day and by the 10th day, the husband heard something in the kitchen and there she was up and making the breakfast. Praise God, sometimes we have to know that when it happens we might go through a small season prior to our healing to manifest.

So today know that the prayer you prayed yesterday might not happen immediately but it did happen and continue to give God the praise for it. Make sure you don’t also continually ask God for the same thing, once you ask for the healing to manifest the next time you pray, Thank Him, that is very important. Because when you continually ask for the same thing you are showing lack of faith. Ask God one time and then thank Him for it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Turning Your Sickness Into Health Part 3

James 5:13-15 (The Message)
“Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven-healed inside and out.”

This in the Bible is referred to as a prayer to be reckoned with and the power of prayer. We have to realize that there is power in prayer and that healing does exist. Many doctors admit that sometimes things are out of their control and you know what many doctors see the miracles happen. We have to believe in miracles and healing to take place because they happen. God is at work!

Today I want you to think about someone who you know is sick and pray for them, if you feel led to pray out loud and with them and lay hands on them you can. If it is just silently you can also do that but I ask that when you do it believe they have received and it will happen.
Please respond to me if you did this today? I am looking forward to your praise reports.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Turning Your Sickness Into Health Part 2

Proverbs 4:20-22
“Pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight; keep them within your heart, for they are life to those who find them and health to man’s whole body.”

During the holiday season it seems like so many germs and sickness are being spread around. We have to dwell on Gods words to ensure we are standing on Gods word when getting sick. So many times I hear, “every year about this same time I get sick or every holiday I get sick.” The power of life and death are in the words we speak so if you continue to speak that into your life then guess what is going to happen?

But remember to dwell and meditate on Gods word when we are being attacked by a sickness.

Psalm 30:2 I cry out to the Lord and He heals me.
Psalm 103:3 The Lord forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases
Psalm 107:20, Psalm 118:17, Psalm 147:3, Jeremiah 17:14 and the list goes on.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Turning Your Sickness Into Health Part 1

3 John 2
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

God wants us to be in health and not in sickness. As a matter of fact Jesus is the Great Physician of the souls of our bodies. Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 53:5, “by His stripes we are healed.” Then Peter came back to confirm it in 1 Peter 2:24 and says, by His wounds you have been healed.” Peter says ‘you have been’ meaning past tense. The torture and death of Jesus experienced on the cross for us enables us to receive the healing God has provided for His people. Experts show that there are 39 root causes for sicknesses and Jesus took 39 lashes on His back so that we may live in health.

Stay tuned later this week as we talk about ways to receive and believe in healing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Turning Fear Into Faith Part 5

Turning Fear Into Faith Part 5

Matthew 14:27
“But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”

In this story the disciples were told to go before Jesus in the boat to the other side of the sea. Jesus went up to the mountain by Himself to pray. This story tells us several things and I would like to point out a few today. First this is the story where Jesus walked on water, but before He did that what did He do? That’s right He went out alone and prayed. Then he came back walking on water, pretty prayed up right. Secondly in this verse 26, the Bible says that the disciples were crying in terror, cried out in fear and were troubled. And it says IMMEDIATELY Jesus spoke to them to have courage and not to be afraid.

God is telling you today, the thing you are going through in your life, the thing that is troubling you, don’t be afraid because He is with you to go through the storms, the trials, and the good times and bad times.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Turning Fear Into Faith Part 4

Turning Fear Into Faith Part 4

Matthew 6:31, 33
“Therefore do not worry saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Wow what a powerful verse and Jesus said this 2000 years ago, who says the Bible does not apply to today? Today we are going to be talking about worry and anxiety. How many times have you worried about what you were going to eat, or drink or wear? Well, Jesus tells us here that we must seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be added. I can tell you a little about worry and anxiety and how I turned it into faith.

After working a good corporate job, where my future goals consisted of being the youngest CEO in Citigroup (the largest financial institution in the world), my plans changed when I realized God had called me into the full time ministry. For a few years, I asked God questions like how could I take a reduced income when I am living paycheck to paycheck right now, how will I provide for my family, what about my benefits, what about my 401k, come on God I could minister to a lot of people in the corporate world. But, too many times I got confirmation that I was to be in the full time ministry and doors kept opening up. I made the choice to seek first the kingdom of God and since then I have not gone without and God has met all my needs.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Turning Fear Into Faith Part 3

Turning Fear Into Faith Part 3

Hebrews 13:6
“So we say with confidence, the lord is my helper; I will not be afraid, what can man do to me?”

Today I want to attack the subject of insecurity. So many people deal with insecurity and we must know we are created in the image of God and we are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him. He created every hair on our head or in some cases the few hairs on our heads and every thing about us. He formed us in his image and had plans for us even before we were born. We are alive today by God’s amazing divine plan and he has a purpose for us.

If we try to compare ourselves to the things of this world then more than likely we are comparing our success and failures on the images the mass media wants us to see. If we compare ourselves to the image that God has created us to be we will be able to look into ourselves and see His true beauty he created in us.

Today I want you to know that you are beautiful, amazing, marvelous, and excellent because you were created by God.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turning Fear Into Faith Part 2

Turning Fear Into Faith Part 2

Psalm 112:7 and 8
“I won’t be afraid of bad news, my heart is steady because I trust in the Lord, I am confident and will not be afraid.”

What do you do when you get bad news? Do you fear or do you have faith. Today at noon, I get a call from Stacey and it is one of the worst calls you can get, “I have been in a wreck and it’s not good.” My heart drops to my feet and I am frantic. What do I do? I find out everyone is ok; no one is hurt just a little shaken up.

Sometimes when we get the news we have to process it and know that if our hearts are steady and we trust in the Lord we can be confident and not be afraid. Every night before our kids go to bed Stacey and I pray over them, for God’s protection, wisdom and knowledge. And in times where you have a bad wreck, where the car had to be towed into the shop, we can know that God protected us.

How do you or have you responded to bad news? Don’t be afraid but hold your heart steady to trust in Him!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Turning Fear Into Faith Part 1

Turning Our Fear Into Faith Part 1

Psalm 23:3
“Though, I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

I was inspired to talk to about turning our fear into faith this week. I watched a few movies this weekend that really put into perspective what could possibly be inclined to define fear. The movies “Into the Spear” and “Beyond the Gates of Splendor” are about missionaries who are deep in the Amazon and trying to reach an extremely violent tribe who is killing so many people. They fly a plane deep into the tribe’s territory and attempt to make contact with him. But before leaving one of the men’s son asks him what will you do if they attack you will you shoot them? The father said to his son, “no, because we are ready to die but they are not”. He knew where he was going when he died.

That to me is turning fear into faith.