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When Life Is Tough, Use These 4 Ingredients Of Christ-Like Prayer

Gethsemene was one of the darkest moments of Jesus' life. He knew He was about to be betrayed. His closest friends had fallen asleep rather than support Him. He was beginning to anticipate the coming separation from His Father. Gethsemene is also the moment of one of Jesus' most famous prayers. Mark's gospel records it like this (Mark 10:36) “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” What can we learn from Jesus' prayer? I noticed four specific movements in this short verse. I believe we can discover four important truths about prayer from each movement. 1. He addressed God as Father. "Abba" is an intimate word, similar to our English word "Daddy". This is the same way He began the Lord's Prayer. We should take heed. Because God is our Father we can depend on Him to always give us GOOD GIFTS. 2. He acknowledged God's power and sovereignty. By saying "al

Here's a tool guaranteed to make your life better

Psalm 19 is one of the great works of poetry in the Bible. The entire psalm is about how God reveals Himself to us. The first half describes God's revelation of Himself in nature. David uses examples from creation to highlight God's creativity, orderliness, and reliability. The second half lists the benefits of God's written revelation. David was speaking mostly of the Law (Genesis-Deuteronomy), but the principles can also be applied to the entire Bible. Below are 6 ways God's Word can change your life: God's Word can Revive the Soul (get a fresh start) God's Word can Make the Simple Wise (make better decisions) God's Word can Rejoice the Heart (find joy in hard times) God's Word can Enlighten the Eyes (gain a healthier perspective) God's Word can Warn your Servant (avoid bad choices) God's Word can Bring Great Reward (live as God created you to) Psalm 19 is a motivational chapter (it's much better than any mo

4 Leadership Lessons to Learn From King David's Failure

2 Samuel 6 tells the story of David's efforts to move the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. His first effort failed miserably. He didn't take the time to consult God or God's regulations for transporting the Ark. Instead of having the Ark carried by priests, he placed it on a cart pulled by oxen. In transport, one of the animals stumbled and Ark began sliding off the cart. The man who reached out his hand to steady it was immediately struck dead (no man was allowed to touch the ark). After a time of repentance and mourning, David tried again and did it the right way. The day began with sacrifices and ended with celebration. Wise people learn from the mistakes of others. What can we learn from David's mistakes? As I read this story, Here are 4 LEADERSHIP LESSONS DAVID LEARNED TOO LATE. 1) Listen to God. Check His Word for wisdom. 2) Pay attention to details. Obey in small things. 3) Think of the people you lead before you think of yourself. 4) Take respo

How To Avoid Spiritual Obesity

PROVERBS 29:19 By mere words, a servant is not disciplined, for though he understands, he will not respond. I was sitting around a table with several other pastors, talking about how to disciple our people more effectively. One of the other pastors was lamenting the reality that many in our church had been long-time members with significant biblical knowledge, but their lives weren't reflecting the love of Christ. In frustration he said: Too many people are 100 verses overweight. His statement is a great summary of Proverbs 29:19. Head knowledge alone doesn't lead to growth. If more information doesn't lead to greater transformation, it's wasted effort. James told believers to not just be HEARERS of the Word but to be DOERS. Jesus didn't tell His followers to "make disciples, teaching them all my commands." He told them to "make disciples, teaching them TO OBEY all my commands." God's Word teaches us what we need to know, and we must imp

Sermon Leftovers From The Fourth Commandmement: Remember the Sabbath.

1) We all face the temptation every day to wear our busyness as a badge of honor. We feel more important when we claim that our "busyness" is an impediment to connection with others. 2) Too many people claim to be "busy" in order to avoid conversation, authenticity, or deeper relationships 3) Much of our busyness is caused by our proclivity to fill the empty spaces of life (waiting in line; riding in planes, trains, and automobiles; bedtime) with technology. Instead of serving us by making us more productive, our gadgets have become our masters. Look around, everyone is bowing to their phone. 4) The deeper reason for our busyness is a desire to prove something to others or ourselves. We take on more and work harder in an effort to prove we are worthy or to disprove the judgment we perceive is directed toward us. 5) The Sabbath command is the only one of ten which demands a repeated ritual. It is a proactive command requiring intentionality and discipline.

Assumptions and Excuses Will Destroy Your Life

PROVERBS 22:13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!” This is one of my favorite proverbs because it paints such a vivid mental image for me. I used to imagine a young man, lying in bed and refusing to get up. His father tells him he needs to get out and get a summer job. Having exhausted every possible argument for why he cannot get out of bed, the son exclaims, "There is a lion in the street!" Today, the mental image has changed slightly. No longer is the son in bed, now he's in the basement playing video games. And he might be 30. And it might be his mother (or even wife) telling him to get out and find a job. Sluggard-Lifestyle has become an epidemic in 2019. DISCLAIMER: Men are not the only creatures who behave like sluggards. Women are also capable (although perhaps not as likely) of finding reasons why they shouldn't do what they know they ought to do. The foundational truth of this proverb is that the sluggard is sup

Your intentions may not be as pure as you think!

PROVERBS 16:2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Our dogs have a terrible habit. At least three or four times a day, they will begin barking at the neighbor's dog (actually, the neighbor's dog may be starting it). Their barking becomes so intense that they are all at the fence, clawing at it (sometimes even biting it), trying to get through to the other side. We have a command for them to stop. We say, "Leave it!" If they stop barking and follow us inside, they get a treat. If they don't, we scoop them up (they're quite small), carry them inside, and sentence them to 15 minutes in their cages. Every time this happens, I feel like Mylie (the smarter of the two dogs) looks up at me and her eyes say, "But master, I was protecting you!" She believes that her motivation was pure. I know she was simply acting on her beastly instinct. We do the same thing. We tend to assign ourselves the best motiv