Monday, February 6, 2023


Tucked into the middle of one of Jesus' most popular parables is a powerful teaching about distraction. In Matthew 13, Jesus told and explained the Parable of the Sower (sometimes call the Parable of the Four Soils). In verse 22, Jesus was explaining the meaning of His parable and said:

As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

This verse seems to describe a person who is unable to fully accept the gospel of grace because they are distracted. Distractions are wrong-way attractions. Those who are attracted to what the world offers will always struggle to be attracted to what Christ offers.

The cares of the world often seem very important at the moment, but when we view them with the proper perspective, we discover they are not nearly as important as initially thought.

A great exercise to evaluate potential distractions is to use the 5x5 method (5 questions with the number 5) to determine whether something is BETTER or whether it is LESSER:

--> How much will it matter in 5 minutes?
--> How much will it matter in 5 days?
--> How much will it matter in 5 months?
--> How much will it matter in 5 years?
--> How much will it matter to the 5 people closest to me?

Don't let distractions derail your life. Learn to focus on the better thing instead of the lesser thing.

Check out this 4 week devotional about distractions

10 Sermon Leftovers From The Life Of Samson (Judges 13-14)

Some have said that Samson was a He-Man with a She-Weakness. We might also say that he was someone with Dynamite Potential but was derailed by a Distraction Problem. Here are 10 Leftovers from my recent sermon on Judges 13-14.

1. Samson was a shadow of Jesus. His miraculous birth was foreshadowed by an angel and he was born specifically to deliver his people.

2. God's purpose for Samson was empowered by the gifts He gave to Samson. In the same way God has empowered the church to accomplish the purpose He gave them (Matthew 28 & 1 Corinthians 13)

3. Why was God willing to consistently punish the Canaanites?
  • His original desire was to bless them through Abraham (Genesis 12:3).
  • He patiently waited for them to repent (Genesis 15:16, 2 Peter 3:9)
  • Even in the midst of judgment, He extended grace to those who came to him. (Rahab - Hebrews 11:31)

4. EVERYTHING in the Samson story needs to be viewed through this lens: The Philistines were the enemies of God and God's people. God's intention was to remove their evil from the earth (something we all appreciate)

5. Some degree of Samson's failure can be attached to his parent's weakness. They did not need to affirm Samson's sin (marriage to Philistine), but they chose to facilitate it and participate in it. Permissive parenting is always easier but never better.

6. Samson and his parents were all terribly flawed. God still used them in unexpected ways. God uses flawed people!

7. Samson's purpose was to begin saving Israel from the Philistines. David finished the job. David's job was to begin the royal line of the Messiah. Jesus finished the job. Samson was to David as David was to Jesus.

8. Distractions are wrong way attractions.

9. To avoid a distracted life, FOCUS ON:
  • What you have, not what you don't have.
  • Who is with you, not who is against you
  • Where you're going, not where you've been

10. When the lion rushed at Samson, God's Spirit rushed into Samson. God always gives us exactly what we need to face whatever comes our way.

Friday, January 27, 2023


Do you MAKE TIME for God, or do you only serve God when you HAVE TIME? This is the difference between a PRIORITY and an OPTION.

For too many Christians, God is a great option, but He is not a priority. Check out these seven verses (with commentary) to help you think through what it means to make God your first and central priority.

Mark 12:30 -- “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

If you love God, you'll give Him every corner of your life.

Matthew 6:33 -- “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Your first decision should always be building God's Kingdom. Everything else will take care of itself.

Romans 12:2 -- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

If you always think the way you've always thought, you'll always live the way you've always lived. Discipline your mind to think differently.

Luke 12:34 -- “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Your desires will chase your treasures. If you want to prioritize the things of God, invest your treasures in the things of God.

2 Timothy 2:22 -- So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Put physical distance between yourself and anything that tempts you to drift from God.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 -- Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”;

Build lifelong habits that will help you keep your eyes, mind, and heart on God.

Psalm 37:4 -- Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

The more you focus on God, the more He will change your desires so that your heart aligns with His. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023


Do you want to be a force for good in the lives of your friends and family? What if you started sending 3-5 encouraging texts every day? Just choose a couple of people in your contact list and send them one of the verses listed below (or find your own!).

  • Exodus 15:2 - The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.
  • Psalm 34:4 - I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
  • Psalm 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
  • Psalm 118:24 - This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
  • John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
  • John 16:33 - In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
  • Ephesians 6:10 - be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
  • Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
  • Colossians 1:11 - May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy
  • 2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

You Cannot Call Jesus LORD If You Do Not First Call Him MASTER

In the Gospels, Jesus is referred to as "Lord" numerous times, particularly in the letters of Paul. Even today, this title is often used by people in prayer, church, and conversation. However, has "Lord" become so common that we have lost the significance of its true meaning?

To call Jesus "Lord" is to recognize and acknowledge Him as the supreme authority. It means surrendering to His will and submitting to His leadership and obeying His commands. It is a declaration of allegiance and devotion.

Calling Jesus "Lord" is a commitment that should not be made lightly.

In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." This verse reminds us that it is not enough to simply profess our faith in Jesus with our words. We must also demonstrate our faith through our actions and obedience to His commands.

In Luke's account, Jesus said, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?" This passage highlights the disconnect between professing faith in Jesus and actually living out that faith. To truly follow Jesus as Lord and Master, we must not only say the words but also put them into practice. One cannot claim allegiance to Christ without also submitting to His agenda.

In short, calling Jesus "Lord" carries a great responsibility. It requires us to submit to His authority and follow His commands. It is not a title to be taken lightly, but rather a commitment to live out our faith in action. If we claim to follow Jesus as Lord, it is essential that we also submit to Him as Master, obeying His commands and serving Him with our whole hearts. 

12 Sermon Leftovers about PRIORITIES

 We are kicking off 2023 with a sermon series about Priorities. We're going to study the GREAT COMMANDMENT and discover how our central priority needs to be loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Below are 12 statements about PRIORITIES from the first sermon:

1. Every "YES" is a "NO" to something else. You cannot have it all.

2. You cannot do it all. The good news is that God never asked you to do it all.

3. Prioritizing anything means rejecting something to choose a better thing.

4. You are never too busy. You just don't have the right priorities.

5. Priorities are CHOSEN, not spoken or felt.

6. Priorities shape your decisions and your decisions shape your life.

7. Prioritizing God means loving Him with every part of your life.

8. Loving God means deciding to give up our own desires so that we can live for His purposes.

9. Jesus' life was extraordinarily different than everyone else's because Jesus' priorities were extraordinarily different than everyone else's.

10. If your priorities are truly different than the world, then your actions will reflect that truth.

11. I can observe your priorities by observing your life.

12. Your priorities are reflected in your bank account, your calendar, your browser history, your social media timeline, your YouTube history, and even your Netflix favorites.