Sunday, February 19, 2012
The Parable of the Sower (the sequel)
Your Future Probably Won't Be the Way You Imagine It
- A great famine has spread across Israel
- God sends Elijah to Zarephath because he's prepared a widow to feed him
- The widow is down to her last food supplies, she's going to cook one more meal for herself and her son, then they plan to die
- Elijah tells her to cook the meal for him instead
- She does. God miraculously keeps her food supply from running out until the famine is over.
- God always does that which will bring glory to Himself.
- In bringing glory to Himself, God always does what is best for us and what will meet our needs.
- God often works out His agenda in ways we might not expect.
- God usually works out His agenda in timing we would not choose.
What is Your Idol?
- The idol of walking in darkness (keeping our sin hidden rather than confessing it).
- The idol of false security (basing our salvation on a prayer rather than faith).
- The idol of disobedience.
- The idol of worldliness.
- The idol of squeamish theology.
- The idol of pet-sins (habitual sins).
- The idol of grudges.
- The idol of brotherly hatred.
- The idol of prayerlessness.
- The idol of whatever gets between us and God.
- There's lots more in this book, but these ten are a start.
Checklist Christianity: How to Measure Spiritual Success
- SQ is "Spiritual Quotient". This is your level of spiritual maturity.
- Of course, BSQ is "Bonus Spiritual Quotient".
- SUa is Sunday morning attendance. TUv is Tuesday Visitation attendance. Add up all your Sunday morning and Tuesday evening participation over the course of a year, and divide that number by 26.
- SUp is Sunday evening attendance. WEP is Wednesday evening prayer meeting. Again, add up all your participation over the course of the year, and divide this number by 52.
- TRM is "Tent Revival Meeting" and MC is "Missions Conference". Add up your participation in these and divide by 5. (If your church did more than one of these a year, or they lasted more than 5 days, you're at a definite advantage)
- Bonus points for using a King James Version Bible and for calling yourself a Baptist.
- Knowing who God is and what He expects from men
- Relying on Jesus for salvation from sin and a new way of life
- Growing in knowledge, devotion, and influence
- Living out the one another commands in a community of fellow believers
- Leveraging God's resources to meet the needs of those in close proximity
- Living uniquely in the world so as to demonstrate the glory of God and bring those in proximity to repentance
- Seeking to constantly share the message of Christ and show the mission of Christ.
- Expanding influence to impact people around the world for the good of the Kingdom
Friday, February 17, 2012
5 Best Michigan State Guards of My Lifetime...
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Measuring Success in the Church
A) True obedience is an act of worship.B) Worship without obedience is disgusting to God.
"How are our spiritual formation efforts enabling people to live lives obedient to God?""How are our spiritual formation efforts equipping people to worship God with all the resources He has given them."
Monday, January 30, 2012
Submission Means Focusing on God, Not on Ourselves
One of the things I talked about yesterday was the idea that submission requires us to focus on Go rather than ourselves. This morning, I just want to throw out a very practical way you can work toward that.
I think most of our Calvary family recognizes the value of spending time with God on a regular basis. Some might call this a devotional time. My recommendation is to set aside time once or twice a week to have "devotions" that are solely focused on God, rather than ourselves.
Here's how this might look:
Focus on God's work. Take a few minutes to simply praise God for His work in the world (creation, sustaining us, the weather, gravity, etc.). Then take a few minutes to thank him for the work he has done on your behalf. Think Bout everything good in your life, and then contemplate the work God has done to make that possible. If you are really willing to do this, you shouldn't have enough time to finish.
Focus on God's word. Take time to read the Bible (use any plan you like). However, instead of reading to simply find an application for yourself, read so that you can know God better. Don't read yourself into the pages of Scripture, rather let them speak to you about who God is. Determine that through your time in His Word, you will come to a better understanding of the nature and character of God.
Focus on God's will. Sometimes we conclude our devotional times by seeking a personal application. Instead, simply take time submitting yourself to God's will. Perhaps you simply need to take a deep breath and say "God, whatever happens today, I will trust that you are in control." Maybe you need lot spend some time talking to yourself and reminding yourself that God's control is much more trustworthy than your own. It may be that you simply need to surrender an area of your life in which you are relying on yourself instead of God. Whatever it is, focus on what God is doing, not on what your own plans are.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
8 Things I Didn't Say On Sunday
Monday, January 23, 2012
Giving Honor To Whom It Might Not Be Due...
Thursday, January 19, 2012
50 Steps To Becoming A Ninja!
- Doing the #1 task on your todo list.
- Making that phone call.
- Getting the car maintenance done.
- Fixing something that is out-of-order.
- Going to the doctor.
- Getting enough sleep.
- Pursuing your dreams.
- Reading a book.
- Spending time with someone you care about.
- Going for a walk.
- Going to see the person you need to talk to.
- Telling the truth.
- Confronting something from your past.
- Doing something for your future.
- Saving money.
- Learning something new.
- Answering that email.
- Getting your degree.
- Working on your resume.
- Finding a new job.
- Doing something that you are passionate about.
- Putting yourself first.
- Getting a life… yours.
- Facing a fear.
- Starting your hobby.
- Losing weight.
- Taking time off from work.
- Helping someone who needs it.
- Appreciating your family.
- Setting goals for yourself.
- Testing and stretching your limits.
- Eating a healthy meal.
- Enjoying some quiet time.
- Traveling someplace you have never been.
- Doing something you have never done.
- Talking to someone you don’t know, but want to.
- Starting a new habit.
- Stopping a bad habit.
- Cleaning up your desk.
- Donating something to charity.
- Writing in your journal.
- Going to see a friend.
- Emptying the garage.
- Talking the dog for a walk.
- Playing with your kids.
- Taking your spouse on a date.
- Doing something on your bucket list.
- Standing up for yourself.
- Telling someone you love them.