Thursday, May 28, 2009

I will act now Part 4

will act now.

Hebrews 12:11
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Discipline takes a lot of courage and diligence. It even most of the time is fighting your flesh to discipline your self to make sure you are living in God’s will. Life can be a challenge if we do not have the right discipline to get the things done, but as the writer of Hebrews states it can be painful.

I remember a seen in Rocky, where Sylvester Stallone wakes up early in the morning drinks like 12 eggs and starts running to train for the fight. That always motivated me, because when he was training everyone else was asleep.

Today be disciplined to live in God’s will because it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I will act now Part 3

I will act now.

Mark 1:10, 12, 18, 20, 21, 28, 30, 42
“And immediately coming up from the water, Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness, They immediately left their nets and followed him, And immediately He called them, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught, And Immediately His fame spread, and immediately the fever left her, immediately the leprosy left him.”

IMMEDIATELY! Jesus did not waste any time, these scriptures were just in the first chapter of Mark. The word immediately was mentioned in the New Testament 52 times in the King James Version. You see we need to mirror Jesus here and act immediately because we are in a time where we need to come together as brothers and sisters in Christ and STAND UP for what we believe in.

Galatians 4:4 says, “the right time came and God sent His son.” The word time can have two meanings translated Chronos which is the clock time or Kairos which is the opportune time. I believe this is the opportune time for us to come together because the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

I hope I don’t sound mad in writing this to you today but I believe that the Good News about Jesus is so very timely that we must make our decisions to follow Him timely.

If you have not made that decision, let’s make it today and pray this prayer.
“Father, I thank you for sending your Son Jesus, who died on the cross for my sin. I have sinned and now I repent and I ask you Jesus to become my Lord and Savior of my life and fill me fresh with your Holy Spirit.”

If you prayed that prayer today for the first time or are re-committed your life today, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches From Growing

I have recently finished reading Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches From Growing by Geoff Surratt. I have been a diligent reader this year in the areas of church growth, leadership development, parenting and marriage. I will have to say that this book is in my top two books I have read in the area of church growth. I would compare this book to It by Craig Groeschel. Let me tell you why; Geoff has a great sense of humor and it is evident throughout the book. I really like his sense of humor and it reminds me of Craig's writing.

Geoff does an amazing job with his resources and research. You can tell that he has done a ton of research on this subject and he has the references throughout the book to back it up. At the end of each chapter he does a great job at introducing other successful pastors in the ministry and asks them a series of questions in relation to the subject written in each chapter.

My suggestion is for every church leader to read this book and even go through it as a staff. The insight you will get from this book will help you to make great decisions in the future and minimize mistakes in the future.

At the end of each chapter he also has a series of questions to ask yourself and even discuss with other leaders in your church. I really think Geoff has done an amazing job in writing this book. I am a huge fan and can't wait to read more of his stuff.

Great job Geoff!!

I will act now Part 2

I will act now.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
“There is an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth.”

We have to accept the fact that everything happens in God’s timing. We might not be able to see God working in our lives right now, but you know what? He is. I look back at all the times I was wondering where God was and every time now I look back and I can see him working in my life at the time, even though I could not feel his presence or know He was at work.

Know today that God is working in your life. I have to truly remind myself that I am operating in Gods time and that He has an opportune time for me to do the things He has called me to do.

Today God is calling you to do something.
What is it?
· Maybe it is to get involved in your local church
· Maybe it is to serve in your local church
· Maybe it is to give of your finances to your local church
· Maybe it is to just talk to that one person who has been on your heart to talk to about His love.

I don’t know but God does and as long as it lines up with His will YOU MUST ACT NOW. Do it and don’t hesitate because delayed obedience to God is still disobedience.

This week I challenge you to ACT on what it is God wants you to do.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I will act now Part 1

will act now.

Ecclesiastes 11:4
“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. “
I found this from Rick Warren and could not have said it better.
Most of us have experienced the 8 Phases of Procrastination:
Phase 1: Hopeful – “I’ll start early this time.”
Phase 2: A little tension – “I’ve got to start soon.”
Phase 3: Creeping guilt – “I should have started sooner.”
Phase 4: False reassurance – “There is still time to do it.”
Phase 5: Getting desperate – “What’s wrong with me?”
Phase 6: Intense pain – “I can’t wait any longer!”
Phase 7: Get it over with – “Just get it done!”P
hase 8: Cycle repeats – “Next time, I’ll start earlier.”

Procrastination does tremendous damage to ourselves and others at work. It causes unnecessary pressure and problems … and it wastes opportunities, time, and money. The problem is: procrastination is addicting! The more you succumb to it, the harder it is to change. It becomes a way of life, causing you a lot of misery.· Stop making excuses!· Realize perfectionism paralyzes performance!· Face your fears!· Focus on the gain, not the pain!· DO IT NOW!What have you been putting off that you know you need to do? … something at work … at home … at church? DO IT NOW!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I will multiply my value a Hundredfold Part 3

I will multiply my value a hundredfold.

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.

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.

Don’t get me wrong with taking this step things are still tight but God is supplying all our needs.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I will multiply my value a Hundredfold Part 2

I will multiply my value a hundredfold.

John 10:10
“The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Someone needs to know today that Jesus came so that you could have a life of abundance or in Greek περισσός or perissos which is translated to exceeding abundantly above and beyond measure. God is not about lack, if you lack something in your life it was the thief that stole it from you.

God is about abundance He is our Jehovah-jirah as stated in Genesis 22:14 ‘The Lord Will Provide’. The story when Abraham was tested and God said to sacrifice his son and tested his obedience, when Abraham went to sacrifice his son that is when the Lord spoke to him and said not to do anything and provided him with the sacrifice, a ram. (Genesis 22:1-14)

Some of us might be going through the test. Some of us are taking our eyes off Christ like Peter did when he walked on water, and rather than focusing on Christ he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” Peter said and it says INSTANTLY Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. “You don’t have much faith.” Jesus said. “Why do you doubt me?” (Matthew 14:27-31 emphasis added).

Jesus, save us today, remove this doubt and give us the faith to know that You are the God who provides all our needs according to Your glorious riches. (Philippians 4:19

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I will multiply my value a Hundredfold Part 1

Matthew 6:33
“Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.”

In today’s fast food and microwave world, we keep finding things to help us to save on time. I have to remind myself often to seek Gods kingdom first. I have so much going on, I tend to take on a lot at one time. The world might call it A.D.D. but I like to call it multi-tasking. Sometimes we try to do things on our time, our work, our dollar, our strength and we forget to let God do His thing. Trust me His thing is much better than anything we can do.

Today I want you to look inside yourself and ask, “Am I adding value towards Gods kingdom?” When you do you will find that all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I want to be an Olive Tree

Psalm 52:8
"But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God's unfailing love."

Olive trees in the Old Testament times represented a few things. They stood for long life and productivity. They were especially long-lived, and the produced wine and the oil that played such a central role in the lives of the people. So my prayer for today is Lord make me an olive tree, thriving in your house. I also was reading in Romans 11:11-24 and it talks also about the olive tree. It clearly states also in verse 18, "do not boast over those branches. If you do consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you."

I don't know if that speaks to you, but I wanted to share what God was speaking to me about. I want to make sure I am rooted in God because it is not my productivity or my long life that I am supported by but by my God given roots.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Entering Into Your Journey Part 3

Philippians 1:6 says, "He who began a good work in you is faithful. He will complete it until the day of His return."

I wanted to expand on the four areas we discussed yesterday. Those four areas are being connected to a local church, serving others, giving and not being luke warm.

3) Giving
Lets break this down to three ways to give: GIVE WILLINGLY.“For if the willingness is there, your gift is acceptable according to what you have, not according to what you don't have." (2 Corinthians 9:12)"Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under pressure ..." (I Corinthians 9:7a) GIVE CHEERFULLY.“...for God loves a cheerful giver!” (2 Corinthians 9:7b) GIVE SACRIFICIALY."They gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service ..." (2 Corinthians 8:3-4) GIVE EXPECTANTLY."Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and whoever sows generously will reap generously." (2 Corinthians 9:6)

4) Not being luke warm:
Today lets make the choice are you going to follow Him or are you going to follow the world. Either you are in or out, don’t be lukewarm. Read Revelation 3:14-22 about the Church in Laodicea who was lukewarm. Confess Him as your Lord and follow Him for the rest of your life and never look back. My greatest fear lies in these following scriptures: Matthew 7:21-23 which states: Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” This scripture keeps me on the path to HIM.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Entering Into Your Journey Part 2

Phillipians 1:6 says, "He who began a good work in you is faithful. He will complete it until the day of His return."

I wanted to expand on the four areas we discussed yesterday. Those four areas are being connected to a local church, serving others, giving and not being luke warm.

1) Being connected to a local church:
First and foremost it is attending in a church service in your local church. Why? Can't I just stay home and have church? Well there are many good teachings on TV however, it says in the word that 1 can put 1000 to flight and 2 can put 10000 to flight. When you are connected to a local body of believers there is power in it. Power in being in an actual worship service weekly, power in being around other believers who want to further his kingdom.
2) Serving others:
This can also be done easily in a local church. You become part of a team where you are all sharing in a certain God given vision to further his kingdom. This can also be done in you community, there are plenty of orginzations that are looking for volunteers to help.

The other 2 we will review in the next devotional!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Entering Into Your Journey

Too many times we all think that we have to live up to someone else’s standards. We need to make sure to base our standards on the word of God so that when we enter into our journey we can truly be grounded in His ways. Proverbs 3:5 says, "He will direct your paths and make your ways straight," and in Psalms 119:105 it says, "He will be a light unto your path." It is going to be God who gives us the directions as long as we are taking up our cross daily and following Him. We need to remember that it is God who gives us the desires of our hearts and as long as we are in Him we will be directed correctly.

Today really examine your path you are on, are you connected to a local church? Jesus said He is coming back for His church. Are you committed to serving others? Jesus said He did not come to be served but to serve. (Matthew 20:28) Are you giving? Jesus tells us that if we give it will be given back to us, pressed down, shaken together and running over!! (Luke 6:38) Are you on fire for what God has for you or are you luke warm? Jesus said He would spit you out of My mouth! (Revelation 3:16)

Sorry I am really not mad just trying to be real with you today. Please continue reading my devotionals, I just had to share what God was speaking to me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Entering Into The Journey

So many of us enter into our journey and consider it a race. We run and run and only stop taking a breath sometimes, but if you want to truly be a good runner you have to know how to breathe while you are running.

Acts 20:24, "if only I may finish the race," 1 Corinthians 9:24, "that in a race all runners run", Galatians 5:7. "You were running a good race and 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept my faith."

Let's run this race knowing that is not just a sprint but a marathon, it is not just a one day event, and it is a lifetime. Too many times we are entering into the race with a full on sprint, all our resources, all our time and all our money and we come to find out that it was only a failure. Let's not fail, let’s keep the endurance and perseverance!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Entering Into A Journey

Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

When we start our lives we are all beginning a journey, we all start somewhere. We are all given a choice of what to make of our lives, no matter what you think, you have a choice to rejoice with your lives or reject your life. This week we will be discussing our journeys and what we can make of them. Let's remember that we need to be being and doing, not just being.

I like how the message version says this verse;
"Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way of life--to God!--is vigorous and requires total attention."
Again we have a choice as to what we want to make of our Journey. What kind of a difference we make is up to us, not up to our past, not up to the resources and money we have, but the difference is up to us!! We have the complete choice on how we want to impact this world while in it. Now we must choose what gate are we going to travel through while taking our journey? What path are we going to take? What ship are we going to get on? Where do we plan on making a our lives or in someone else’s? Are we just being or are we being and doing?

Start today your journey and start it with complete passion and complete compassion to know you are choosing a path.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Good News

Good News!!
Today's post is in regards to my previous When Bad News Hits. I spoke to my Papa on Thursday and he is healed of any cancer, and took his last kemo. Thanks for all the prayers and support over the past few weeks.

It was pretty awesome because when I got the news, it was no surprise to me. I had faith to believe that he would be healed. I knew that it says, by His stripes we have been healed. I prayed once, expected it to come to pass and thanked Him for any other time I prayed.

Today lets believe that our prayers are answered when we pray them.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Make a difference. Part 4

The Paul difference.

Paul was a pretty bad guy; he was actually so bad he had to change his name from Saul to Paul. He built up a hatred for the Christians and actually judged them all, he persecuted and imprisoned many Christians to where he even got a name for himself and was feared by many. On the road to Damascus he was struck by Jesus and instantly his life was changed. He spent the rest of his life making a difference for Christ.

How many times have we judged others, said negative words about others. Spoke against people which is kind of like persecution like Paul did. Then how many of us need to take the road to Damascus? Through His mercy, He still loves you and wants you to share His love, just like Paul did.

Today I challenge you to take that road to Damascus and remember that we are called to take up our cross and follow Him.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Make a difference. Part 3

The Jonah Difference

In the book of Jonah, God came to him and asked him to go to Nineveh and preach against it because of its wickedness. And of course, Jonah did what most of us would do if God asked us to do something we did not want to, he fled. But he could not hide from God because he got on a boat and while in the boat God sent a violent storm to get Jonah's attention. So the crew threw him off the ship where he was swallowed by a great fish where he stayed for three days and nights. So God really has his attention now and he agreed to do what God originally asked him to.

How many times in our lives are we asked by God to do something or even just feel like something might be wrong and we need to fix it? How many times have we procrastinated something until tomorrow with what we could do today? Or even worse never did. You might find God waiting where you last did not finish something.

In order to make a Jonah Difference you need to get up and take responsibility to what you have been called to do. You have a purpose in you life, God has asked you to do something, and you have gifts and talents God wants to use. How are you using them? Are they furthering His Kingdom or yours? Ouch...sorry that just came out.

Let’s make sure we are using our gifts and talents for God's will in our lives and not manipulate the things to meet our current situations.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Make a difference. Part 2

Make a difference. Part 2

The Joseph Difference

In the book of Genesis we talk about Joseph where at an early age God called him to make a difference. So he shared it with his parents and his older jealous siblings which in turn his brothers threw him in a pit and sold him to slavery. Well with his calling on his life he worked his way up to second in charge of the household he was faithfully serving, but in turn the wife of the owner tried to seduce him and when he declined her, she lied about him and he was thrown into prison. While in prison he found favor with the guards and also some of the other prisoners where he interpreted the other prisoner’s dreams. The other prisoner’s dreams came to pass and they quickly forgot about Joseph. After a while the Pharaoh was having dreams and could not find anyone to interpret it until the prisoner whose dream Joseph interpreted earlier remembered him and had him called by Pharaoh. He interpreted Pharaoh dream and quickly became the second highest person in charge of Egypt in turn eventually reuniting with his family.

Joseph was called to make a difference and he did, he actually saved Egypt from starvation due to interpreting Pharaoh’s dream. Sometimes in our lives we feel like we are called to make a difference but don’t actually act upon it.

Let’s relate Joseph’s trials and tribulations to our lives. Sometimes we feel like we are in a pit, how are we going to react to making a difference? Sometimes we feel like we have been betrayed, what are you going to do to make a difference? Sometimes we feel like we are in a prison, when are you going to make a difference?

Keep seeking God in your lives like Joseph did and even if you don't see God at work, HE is. Even when you feel you are in a pit, GOD IS WORKING. Even when you have been betrayed, God will turn that into something bigger and better in your life. Even when you feel like you are in a prison......GOD IS AT WORK!!!!

Today make a Joseph difference.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Make a difference. Part 1

John Maxwell said, "I want to make a difference with people who want to make a difference doing something that makes a difference at a time when it makes a difference."

We live today in a much different world than we grew up in, right? So many things have changed since we were young, schools have changed, television has changed, computers have changed, the economy has changed and many other changes. We live today in a world where we have to be ready for change. I believe the people who are reading this today truly want to make a difference.

I challenge you to make a difference in someone else’s life besides your own. How can you make a difference today?