Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Give Forgiveness Part 2

Matthew 6:12-15
“And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, and don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

These verses in my bible are in red which means they were spoken to Jesus. He said this at His famous sermon on the mount while instructing the crowds how to pray. To me this does not look like an option but a command. It seems pretty much like even a pre-requisite for our Father forgiving us doesn’t it? But some may say; “Yeah, but you don’t understand what they did to me,” Forgive, “Yeah, but they really hurt my feelings,” Forgive, “Yeah, but what they did to me was uncalled for,” Forgive. We need to know that if we hold unforgiveness in our hearts, it will hold us back from receiving our true intimacy and relationship with our Father.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.”

Monday, March 30, 2009

Give Forgiveness Part 1

In the book of Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus, “Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” It actually sounds like Peter was being kind of sarcastic here, when he says even up to seven times. But we have to remember that Jesus came to forgive us for our sins. What if Jesus said, seven times should be good. We would all have blown it a long time ago. I remember it clearly when I recommitted my live to Christ and it was by these 10 words. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. After being whipped 39 times, being punched in the face, spit on, had to carry a cross in a crowd of haters, made to wear a painful crown of thorns and He says forgive them? I mean come on; he could have at any moment stopped it all. I remember reading this thinking, how could he love someone that much. But He does.

Today let’s remember the cross and who do we hold contempt against that we haven’t forgiven?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Love Deeper Part 5

Romans 13:8
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law.”

Today I want to close this out with knowing that we must learn to love one another. We need to have the passion to know that love is not just a feeling or emotion but an actual commandment from God. Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment based on the ten commandments God gave to Moses and He said, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul and love your neighbor as yourself.” Too many times people base love on a feeling or emotion and don’t consider that we are to love one another. Many divorces are caused by one of the two not having that feeling or emotion anymore, but I believe that love is deeper than a feeling or an emotion. Love is something that is very close to being seen but not seen with the human eyes. It is seen with the heart. True love is when you learn to forgive and forget things that might have hurt you. True love never dies but is a living thing that goes on forever. We are called to LOVE.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Love Deeper Part 4

Romans 12:9-10
“Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them, hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. “

Today’s message talks about being real. I totally think people can tell when someone is being sincere or not. I have really tried my entire life to show my true sincerity and I have been teaching my kids to do the same. We also still live on the rule, “if you can’t say something nice don’t say it at all.” But I would like today to take that a step further, if you can’t say something nice then find something to say nice to say (with sincerity). We really have to be looking at the positive in everything we see and do. My wife was sharing with me last night (on our awesome date night! See love deeper part 3) that instead of looking at the world and seeing the evil in it, we need to look at the world and see GOD in it.

Today I want you to be real and find God in everything.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Love Deeper Part 3

I dedicate this devotional to the most amazing woman in the world, my wife Stacey.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”

I got to go out on a date with my wife last night and it was just me and her. When I look into her eyes I see the person who has given me three amazing children, stuck with me for over 13 years, encouraged me when I am down and most importantly my best friend. I can’t communicate the emotion I have about my wife, because she is amazing. Too many times marriages are just a business arrangement without love. Each day I learn to love my wife more and more, and every day she somehow gets even more beautiful, which is pretty hard to do because she is gorgeous. If you never believed in God, you should see the miracle I scored with my wife. She is way out of my ballpark but every day she loves me right back. We have committed our entire lives to each other and we have gone through many sacrifices and changes to make sure we are in tune with each other.

I just wanted to share in a devotional the amount of Love I have for her. I could write an entire book on it, but I figured I would just start with this.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Love Deeper Part 2

1 Corinthians 13:13
“There are three things that will endure – faith, hope and love—and the greatest is love.”

So many times we get so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget those around us and I am speaking to myself here also. But if we realize when it is all said and done and we have come to the end of our life we can’t take anything with us. What are you doing today to leave a legacy? What are you doing that will show others that you do care? What are you doing that will speak to someone else without using words? The one word that comes to mind here is that Love will endure, after we are gone, the people most important in our lives will remember the love that we showed rather than the toys and money we left behind. Before, Christ really got a hold of me, my next goal was to become the next CEO of a huge corporation and I respected the men around me who worked 60+ hours a week. After I gave my life to Christ, I realized what was important in my life and that is the love I show for others.

How can you show love to another person today? Is it an email, is it a call, is it a letter or just a thank you. But let someone know you care.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Love Deeper Part 1

Luke 6:31
“Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

This is the Greatest Commandment Jesus said and above all things this is what we are called first to love. This is one thing that kept me away for many years from becoming a dedicated follower of Jesus. I did not understand why if it was such a loving God why would he want me to love Him before my precious children and my beautiful wife? I could not wrap my mind around this, until one day He came and met me through reading his word and with tears in my eyes, I committed my life to Him. When I did, I immediately understood that it was Him who gave me the life, gave me my wife and gave me my wonderful kids.

Today I want you to reflect on God’s love and realize that it is Him who gives life.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Speak Sweeter Part 4

Proverbs 16:24
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

We must realize that our words carry power and they can build up or break down. When God made earth, he spoke it into existence. Today I want you to really examine the words you are speaking specifically to your loved ones, you kids, your spouse, your friends and family. Are the words you are speaking over them building them up or tearing them down. I have realized that I have to speak even differently to my kids. Madylaine wants the facts and Solomon just wants me to speak the details in a soft manner.

How do you like to be spoken too? How do your loved ones like to be spoken to? Examine this today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Speak Sweeter Part 3

Luke 6:45
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bring forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

We really need to make sure we are using the right words when speaking to others. If you know me I have a dry sense of humor and I can at times be very sarcastic. Well I have noticed from experience that sarcasm ruins intimacy with my wife and it can also hurt other relationships. Also I have noticed that it is not the best thing to use when raising kids, especially when they throw it back at you. So through time I have tried my best to only use it on my in-laws…(just kidding). But seriously I have had to really retrain my tongue because I have noticed that out of the heart the mouth speaks.

James 1:19 says, we are to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. That is why God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth. During my AMAZING journey of being married for 11 years and being a parent for 10 years, I have to remind myself of this often, so please be praying for me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Speak Sweeter Part 2

1 Thessalonians 5:11
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

Have you ever been in a rut, or a trench, or a dip, or just a plain old depression? Well the thing I have done in the past is to actually encourage someone. My goal each day is to encourage someone and do my best to try to encourage people around me. Anytime I am down I just remember how beneficial it is to encourage others.

Encouraging others does many things.

1) it builds up their spirits and gives them confidence and courage.

2) it encourages you and lifts up your spirits

3) it also builds your relationships with each other.

There are many other things and today I need your help. What are some things you do to build others up?? Come on bloggers help me out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Speak Sweeter Part 1

Proverbs 18:21
“The power of life and death are in the tongue.”

We are currently going through a series at our church and I felt led to share with you some of the insights we are going through. There are power in the words we speak and we need to remember that anything that is spoken over one another or ourselves carry weight. This week we will be discussing a few things we can do to speak sweeter in others lives. Let’s remember to make sure we are always being positive when speaking to others. We have all heard, “well I speak the truth” but in reality we need to make sure we are not hurting others with our speech. We are called to love God and love others.

Make sure today you are not speaking anything negative about others today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hungry for the Lord! Part 4

Psalm 90:12
“Teach me to make the most of my time so I may grow in wisdom.”

In order to stay hungry we must be using our time wisely. We have things that can be time thieves in our life, like email, facebook, my space or even our phones now that have all that on them. But we have to make the best use of our time because it is limited. We are going through a series at Turning Point Church (www.turn4good.com) called “Live Like You Were Dying.” And in this series we have a daily reading, small group lessons and weekly memory verses. Too many times we take our life for granted but to tell you the truth, tomorrow is not promised. There is going to be a day where we will be judged and on that day we will examine our lives to see what we did with our time.

When you think no one is looking or no one is around, God our Father sees everything. He is omnipresent which means he is everywhere and all the time. Today we need to examine our lives as to what we do.

Ask your self these questions. Did I have joy in my life? And Did my life bring joy to others?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hungry for the Lord! Part 3

I was in my daily reading and a verse stood out to me and I was reminded about the day Jesus was angry. In John the second chapter, Jesus was upset about the corruption that was going on in Jerusalem in the temple courts. His passion for the wrong they were doing caused Him to make an outward declaration of His feelings. This chapter talks about Jesus making a whip and driving the people out of the temple area while overturning tables.

A scripture really stood out of the page with me and it said in John 2:17, “His disciples remembered that it is written, (Isaiah 69:9) “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The word “zeal” according to Webster’s means intense enthusiasm. I want to wake up every day with zeal to do what God has called me to do. We can’t allow the money changers or the merchants who could be related today to people or things that want to rob us off the time to spend with the Lord. Jesus was upset because this was a place where people would come and pray and spend time in intense enthusiasm with God.

Let’s not allow the money changers or time thieves to rob our time to be with God.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hungry for the Lord! Part 2

Luke 6:21
“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.”

Today I want to talk about the people you surround yourself with. Specifically the ones you allow to speak into your life. It is real important if you take advice from someone you know they are hungry for the Lord. More specifically: a hunger to see God do the extraordinary as demonstrated by humility, sacrifice and perseverance. Truly hungry people are in search for wisdom and experience until they learn it by living it out rather than just talking about it. On the opposite side, experience minus hunger equals arrogance and cynicism. You can’t stay hungry when you are full of yourself.

Look at the people Jesus surrounded himself with, Peter was not the most well spoken, but he was hungry, Matthew’s profession was not popular, but he was hungry, and Thomas was not always sure, but he was hungry to search out the truth.

Today, take a hard look at who you are taking your counsel from and letting speak into your life. Are they all knowing or are they hungry?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hungry for the Lord! Part 1

Stacey and I have been surrounded with people recently who have a real hunger for the Lord and I felt led to share with you what God put on my heart about being Hungry for the Lord. When we plant seed there are different types of ground.

Jesus says in Matthew 13:3-9
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came up ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

I shared with our amazing Welcome Team at Turning Point this past Sunday, which in serving if you are doing it to fill a need your hunger to serve will not last. If you are doing it to be a part of the opportunity of a lifetime and know that you are serving to be a part of what Jesus died for on the cross “His Church” then your hunger will last. We must know that on based on this the gates of hell will not prevail against our church because it was part of Jesus’ redemptive plan when He died on the cross. He is coming back for his bride, the church.

This week I really want us to examine our soil and decide where we are, path soil, rocky soil, thorny soil or good soil.

Friday, March 6, 2009

At Your Service. Part 5

Guest writer by Stacey Post

You have to serve your way to your inheritance…

Jesus began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. After doing so he said to them “Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things you will be blessed if you do them.” (John13:5-17)

In the movie The Bucket List, a man named Edward Cole found out he had cancer. He was a very wealthy man in the terms of finance. He had an assistant named Thomas (Matthew) that served him. Edward was not an easy man to serve. He was very harsh and callous. You could tell by looking at his life that he had no consideration for the feelings for others. It was very difficult for Thomas to serve him all through the years but he did because he knew that is what he was “called” to do. After years of serving Edward he was definitely rewarded with an inheritance.

This reminded me of our calling by our Father to serve. When we serve one another, we are doing what we are called to do. Jesus came to serve. It was not easy for him while he was serving but he did it. He never said that it would be easy. OH! But the reward [inheritance] is a promise if we obey. We are called to serve. We are not called to just do things that are easy. When we serve, we keep pushing when we really want to quit. We can’t just quit because it doesn’t feel good or we aren’t getting the praise that we think that we deserve. Or maybe you think that you are called to do something higher and that what you were asked to do is beneath you. If you are faithful with little you will be trusted with much. We have to be willing to do the dirty work. It is about serving and when serving, you have to die to your flesh because serving never feels glamorous. But when you are serving you are taking the focus off of yourself and letting His light shine. He promises blessings, he promises an inheritance. He didn’t say to beg me for x amount of days and then I will bless. No, He sent his son as an example and his son told us to serve.

Serve with all of your heart even when it doesn’t feel good. We have to get past the mentality of “it must feel good to me in order for me to give up my time” That is selfish and serving is the complete opposite of selfish. Serve even when you are not getting noticed. Serve when it is inconvenient. Serve someone you don’t even like, now that is a hard one! But, if you do it I promise you will grow and you are allowing God to mold you into greatness.

Just like, in the movie, Thomas received his inheritance after all of his years of servitude, God has promised us an inheritance.

So unless you just want to remain the same then you need to serve so you can grow. And things that stay the same do not grow. Just like the saying “Growing things Change and Changing things Grow” Well I would like to say “Serving things Grow and Growing things Serve”.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

At Your Service. Part 4

To me there are three steps to being a great Servant.

1) Serve Up: Just like the disciples served Jesus, Elisha served Elijah, Timothy served Paul, and Joshua served Moses.

2) Serve Down: Take all the names from above and reverse them.

3) Serve Across: This includes all your piers.

We need to remember these three steps and to make sure we are serving with the right heart. One of the most important parts of serving includes all these three steps.

Today I want you to make a list of people in your lives in each one of these categories and if you can not in each, then I want to challenge you to find someone in each category.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

At Your Service. Part 3

1 Timothy 3:13
“Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus”

This scripture jumped off the page at me today when I read it. We should all want to gain an excellent standing in the sight of our Lord. This speaks to what we have been talking about this week, in serving for an audience of one. We need to continually be pressing on to serve Him, even when it seems hard and long.

God spoke to me recently and said, “It should be a privilege to serve Me and not an obligation.” This spoke to my heart and said that I should never look at serving in a ministry out of guilt or like I feel I owe it to my fellow people. But it should be truly an honor to serve the God who sent His only son so that we could have a relationship with Him.

Today I want you to examine your heart in the place where you are serving whether it be in a ministry or your job.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

At Your Service. Part 2

Luke 19:17
“Well done, my good servant!” his master replied. “Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.”

This is what I want to hear when I go to heaven. My greatest fear is for Jesus to say, “I never knew you.”

Now I am speaking to myself today but how many times do we want to skip the small stuff to get to the big stuff? Or how many times are we not trustworthy or take care of our small things and want bigger things. God will not bless disorder. Just before Jesus fed the five thousand he had them sit in groups of fifty (order) then he blessed the loaves and fish to get the increase.

We must be consistently looking at our lives to see where there is disorder. Maybe our car is not clean, a funny story goes back to when I had bought my first Caddy—88 brougham 4 door, black on black leather, man was it cool. I went over to my in-laws one day while they were living at an apartment and in walks my grandmother-in-law who said, “You should see this car out in the parking lot it has so much trash it is almost overflowing out the window. It is an old black Cadillac.” BUSTED.

Monday, March 2, 2009

At Your Service? Part 1

Matthew 20:26
“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”

My eyes were opened recently on my trip to Texas where it seemed sometimes when we went into a convenient store or a fast food restaurant we expect bad service. I was amazed to see that every where we stopped with God’s favor we had great service. I was floored and God opened up my eyes to make sure I understand that serving for Him is a privileged and not an obligation.

I was encouraged greatly with Pastor Mike (http://tpcmichaelturner.wordpress.com/) this Saturday and Sunday where we celebrated our 6 years as a church!! Awesome. We had a volunteer celebration on Saturday night, over 100 people came who were served BBQ, had a guest band play, childcare for the kids, awards, T-shirts and encouragement. It was awesome, I hope everyone else agreed.

Pastor Mike brought up the fact that we are serving for One, that we need to operate in our work like we are owners of the business. My question I would like to ask you today is, how is your service? Or do you have any recent experiences with good service?