Sunday, January 31, 2016

Endurance Is The Pathway To Living Free



James said that suffering leads to endurance and endurance makes us complete.

Paul said that endurance builds character and character leads to hope.

Chumbawamba said "I get knocked down; but I get up again."

We would all like to think that once we start something, we work at it until we finish it. We believe that once we quit something, we never have to worry about it again. Truth is, we rarely finish what we start without slipping up a time or two along the way. We are rarely successful at quitting cold turkey.

The secret is ENDURANCE.

Success is the result of continuous effort in the face of overwhelming odds. Growth occurs when we dust ourselves off and keep going no matter how badly we've failed.

Peter said we need to work out our salvation daily. On the cross, Jesus did everything necessary to set us free from the sin that enslaves us. He offers us that freedom, we only need to accept it and keep accepting it.

John said if we confess our sins, God will forgive us and make us righteous. So, 

next time you mess up... 
next time you fall into an old habit... 
next time you slip back to the old way of life... 

Confess, Get up, Keep Going & Embrace your freedom in Christ.

Friday, January 29, 2016

You Will Become Like The People Who Surround You

Many churches consistently push people toward small groups as a vehicle to help them grow. This isn't just a churchy thing, though. "Secular" research also suggests that the people whom we allow to influence us will either drag us down or pull us up to their level.

Monday, January 11, 2016

10 Lessons On Leadership from John the Baptist


"After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
If I were to use one sentence to summarize John the Baptist's leadership style I would say this: John the Baptist was fully committed to building someone else's kingdom instead of his own. When reading Mark's account of the desert prophet, I am struck by the wild popularity of John prior to Jesus' arrival. Yet, even though he could have gained wealth, position, possession and more; John chose instead to lose everything (even his head) in order to point people to Jesus. 
Mark doesn't devote a great deal of ink to the story of John, but what he does say is profound. Below are 10 reflections of mine from Mark 1:1-8.
  1. John the Baptist was a celebrity who could have greatly benefited from a solid self-promotion campaign. Instead, he chose to point everyone to Jesus.
  2. John's refusal to "build his own ministry" was counter-cultural then and now.
  3. Be wary of "spiritual leaders" who are masters of self-promotion.
  4. John the Baptist's birth was miraculous, it was preceded by an angel's visit, and he was personally the fulfillment of several OT prophecies. Yet he described himself as lowlier than a slave when compared to Jesus.
  5. No matter how much you've accomplished, pride is always the wrong response.
  6. The only thing John the Baptist could offer to people was greatly inferior to what Jesus could offer them.
  7. Jesus is far superior to anything or anyone else we could ever offer to people.
  8. Despite drawing massive crowds, John the Baptist didn't consider himself successful except when he was pointing people to Jesus.
  9. The size of the crowd doesn't always indicate the success of the ministry.
  10. The most important thing any Christian can do with their life is point people to Jesus.

Monday, January 4, 2016

9 reMARKable thoughts from Mark 1.


Mark 1:14-15: Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Our question is not just "How did Jesus act?" In view of His action, we must also ask, "What should be my reaction?"
Don't be so consumed waiting for tomorrow's miracle, that you miss God's provisions and opportunities today.
Anywhere the King's authority is accepted and obeyed is a kingdom outpost.
Jesus came to inaugurate the Kingdom of God in the hearts of men.
Repentance is more than just an apology. It is words, not actions. It is an intentional effort to discontinue the old in favor of the new.
Belief is more than just a one time prayer asking Jesus into your heart. It is the full embrace of a new way of life.
Repentance and belief is like remodeling an old house. It's best to simply tear out the old so that the new can be built appropriately.
Jesus understood people wouldn't immediately be made perfect upon hearing His teachings. He was inviting them to join Him on a journey.
Jesus didn't come to earth, die on the cross, rise from the dead and return to heaven so you could "get saved" and then just wait to go to heaven.