Sunday, April 29, 2012

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 
Romans 10:17

Faith comes by HEARING!  You were never intended to only need God's word occasionally. Your faith needs to grow every day!  Faith is never built from what you heard yesterday.  Faith comes by what your hearing today.

We need daily digestion of God’s Word.  It’s good to READ our Bibles, but its also good to LISTEN to the Bible.  Listening to the Bible is the greatest daily habit any believer can birth and maintain. 

When it comes to the Bible, some people regard listening instead of reading as “cheating.”  Earlier generations of believers NEVER read the Bible.  They could only hear it.  The printed Word was rare.  Many couldn’t read.  Those that could would never be able to afford a Bible.  They would have to go to church to hear the Word of God read out loud.  Owning and reading a Bible is something accessible only in our modern history. 

I urge you to download the Bible today to your computer, iPod, phone, etc.  You can purchase the Bible on CD as well.  The YouVersion app allows you to LISTEN to various versions of the Bible for free.  Remember, listening has a different reward than reading.

Whatever you do... make God's Word your highest priority.  The rewards will be spectacular!  Start by reading the blessings found in Deuteronomy 28 and  then check out this verse in Joshua...

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Joshua 1:8

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Be Still

Be still, and know that I am God. 
Psalm 46:10

Life has been crazy lately.  All good, but crazy.  I don’t remember a time when I’ve been busier.  I seem to have every day booked solid and I’m still looking for moments to squeeze in a few more things.  I have a feeling I’m not alone.  This appears to be a reoccurring theme in a wide variety of people.  Our obligations with work, home, church, life, etc. are piling up quicker than we can handle.  This is a problem.

When we get busy we usually make cuts in our personal time with God.  At the point we need Him the most, we seek God the least.  In John 10, Jesus likens our relationship with Him as a sheep with its shepherd.  Sheep know (verse 14) the voice of the shepherd, listen (verse 27) to the voice of the shepherd, and follow (verse 27) the the shepherd.  I know life is busy, for all of us, but its imperative that we make time for our shepherd.  If we don’t, we’ll find ourselves lost, sick, and dying. 

God gives us a ton of promises in His Word.  These promises and commands are God speaking to us.  Its His voice.  Do we know His voice, His “nudge”?  And if we are listening, do we obey?  Or are we to busy?

In the midst of our busy lives, we must make time for God and stay sensitive to His voice.  Remember what God is telling us in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Being too busy for God will lead you in a direction you DO NOT want to go.  Staying close and obedient to Christ is the key to true abundant life!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Investing In Your Children

This weekend is our After-Easter Egg Hunt!  This is one of the most exciting annual events for our children’s ministry.  We are called to be good stewards of the children God gives us. What we do for our children is one of the most important investments we can make in this life.  We want our children to love God with all of their heart, mind, soul, and strength.  But how do we accomplish such a big task?

Here are some suggestions to help raise our children “up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)

  • Make God and your family your priority.  You will give your time to the things that matter most to you in life. What possibly could be more valuable than the most important relationships you will ever have?
  • Tell your story.  Talk about what God has done and is doing in your life.  Share your testimony.  Share about your life experiences.  Your story is important in the lives of your children.
  • Be an example... at home, at work, at church, in your spiritual disciplines.  Remember, everything you do, both good and bad, is the example you are teaching your children.
  • Teach wisdom.  The Bible is God’s blueprint for life and godliness.  Let it be your guide. Speak and live the Word.
  • Show grace. Teach them that grace is always greater than sin. Teach them that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.  Teach them that there is nothing that can separate them from the love of God.
  • Encourage.  There is no greater motivator in the life of a child than encouragement.  Show them you and God believe in them!  God created them for a purpose.  Push them toward that purpose with positive regard.
  • Pray together.  Pray often.  Take time each day to pray a blessing over your children.  Teach them when there is a need, go to God first. Teach them how to listen to God during times of prayer and how to hear His voice.
  • Never give up.  Overwhelmed? Be faithful no matter what!  Parenting is probably the most important and most likely the most difficult calling you will ever have.  No matter how hard it gets, don’t give up.  If God calls you, He will equip you and give you strength to accomplish your calling!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

It truly is a happy Easter!  God blessed us at the Ascension Convention (thanks to everyone for your help… you guys are awesome!) and today we get to celebrate our risen Lord and Savior!

The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith.  Some may ask what is the historical evidence that Jesus actually rose from the dead?  Christian apologist Josh McDowell provides six facts that prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ in history. 

Fact 1 – The broken Roman seal
Fact 2 – The empty tomb
Fact 3 – The large stone removed
Fact 4 – The Roman guard goes AWOL
Fact 5 – The graveclothes
Fact 6 – The appearances of Jesus after His resurrection

I don’t  have room to go into all of the powerful details of each of these facts, but if you’re serious about looking into this evidence or know someone who is, take please visit and click Evidence for the Resurrection to get the whole story.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Connecting With God

Richard Foster, in his book The Celebration of Discipline, provided the following list of Biblical spiritual disciplines.

Inner Disciplines
The Disciplines of Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, Study

Outer Disciplines
The Disciplines of Simplicity, Solitude, Submission, Service

Corporate Disciplines
The Disciplines of Confession, Worship, Guidance, Celebration

While practicing these disciplines no doubt shape our lives in profound ways, the point of spiritual disciplines is to connect us to God.  Simply put, it’s all about relationship. 

It’s not whether you pray for 5 minutes, 20 minutes, or an hour, it’s whether or not you connected with God in your prayer time.  It’s not whether you read a verse, a chapter, or an entire book, it’s whether or not you heard God’s voice through His word.  This same connection principle is true in our worship, church attendance, service, etc.  It’s not about “doing your duty” or “fulfilling a requirement,” it is all about connecting with God in relationship.  You were created for a relationship with God and when you make that connection, that’s when you find true fulfillment. 

This week take time to partake in at least one spiritual discipline and when you do have only one goal...connecting with God.