Monday, August 21, 2017

Greatness ... ...


From God to Calvary Church of the Nazarene:

Greatness for the kingdom lies within the answer to this question. If we, as a church was to close our doors and vacate the premises, would anyone in our community even notice that we were gone? Greatness for God comes when we take seriously this statement. As a church, we must be an undeniable presence in our neighborhood … The truth is, greatness has nothing to do with numbers or how many activities take place on a weekly basis or how big the campus is. All of those things are nice … and most definitely a blessing … but true spiritual greatness is achieved when the people who make up the church are all in. 

I just wonder! How tragic is it for God’s people to settle for being good, when God has called us to be great? We are a good church! God is calling us to be great!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Urgency ... ...


John Wesley felt a little urgency.

In his adult years, he delivered three messages a day for 54 years preaching more than 44,000 times. In doing so, he traveled by horseback and carriage more than 200,000 miles which breaks down to about 5,000 miles per year. He arose at 4am every morning and worked to 10pm every night, allowing short breaks for meals. What a slacker! At the age of 83, Wesley was discouraged to discover that he could no longer write more than 15 hours per day because he was losing is eye sight. At the age of 86, he was ashamed to admit that he could no longer preach more than twice a day.

I can feel his sense of urgency! Talk about living a purple life. God is on the move! Let us keep Him moving!

John Wesley has been dead for 230 years and yet, he still lives. I wonder if John Wesley would be honored and thrilled to know that in the 21st century, Christians are using his life as an example of what a purple Christian looks like? Wesley was and is definitely not invisible, but instead, remarkable.

I think Wesley numbered his days.

God has been speaking to me a lot -- as of late -- about the words found in Psalm 90:12. What does David ask, "(God) teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Here is my version of that verse, “(God) teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Busy?


I think that Corrie Ten Boom was right when she said, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”

Folks! Saying “yes” to one thing is saying “no” to something else. If you try to be all things to all people, you will end up being nothing to everybody! Is there wisdom in saying, “no” to pressing things so that we can say, “yes” to the most important things? Folks! I am talking about priorities and feeling a sense of urgency! What should our priorities be? Adults! Let us take back the horizontal reigns of our lives. Adults! We are the ones who are called to set the priorities and the schedule in our homes. Adults! Let us stop living in accordance to everyone else's schedules, rules, thoughts and opinions and fall back in love with the things that God has deemed to be a priority.

Church! You cannot go wrong with God, family, work and then everything else.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Priorities?


Look at Haggai 1:3-4, “Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house (the Temple) remains a ruin?’”

The need to rebuild God’s temple was urgent.

God’s people had just been released from another self-imposed exile. Rebuilding the temple was going to be a symbol to the known world that God was back in the center of the lives of His people and that they had learned some important life lessons as a result of being dominated by the Persian Empire. However, God’s people prioritized the rebuilding of their own homes over rebuilding the house of God. Wood was expensive in the Middle East and yet God’s people … who had just been graciously set free by God … prioritized the paneling of their own homes and minimized the rebuilding of the temple. The priorities of God’s people and God’s priorities did not match up. God’s people were not feeling a sense of urgency in regard to Kingdom things. In light of all that God had done for them, how could that be? You would have thought, that the Nation of Israel, would have been “chomping at the bit,” to embrace God’s priorities as their own, but that was not the case.

In a way, God has set us free from exile.

We are not the same church that we were 12 months ago. In light of all that God has done for us, are we going to allow our priorities to not match up with what God desires? Do you think that a little urgency might be appropriate? Who is ready for some purple living?

Folks, join me and let us all live remarkable lives for God! Not invisible lives!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Laughable Business ... ...


The Bible is very clear that Jesus is to be our example. If that is true, and we know that it is, we must take on the same purpose of Jesus which was and is to point people toward the love of God! Folks, life will press in on us from every side. Things will get busy. Stuff will compete for our attention. Noble demands will scream out for us and some of those screaming demands will seem significant, but it will forever be our responsibility to figure out just how important those screaming demands are and weigh them against eternal things. Sometimes, it is OK for us to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” Somewhere along the journey, serious followers of Jesus ask themselves if the things that clutter their lives are pointing people toward the love of God or is the clutter just that … CLUTTER.

Let every motive that we possess point people toward the love of God.

Let every word that we say, point people toward the love of God. Let everything that we do, point people toward the love of God. Let every thought that we think, point people toward the love of God. Let every facial expression that we share, point people toward the Love of God. Let every time that we are together be about pointing people toward the love of God. Let every opinion that we share, point people toward the love of God. Let every song that we sing, point people to the love of God. Let every second, of every minute, of every day be all about pointing people toward the love of God. THAT IS OUR PURPOSE!

God is on the move! Let us keep Him moving!

What clutters your life? What distracts you? What pressing things in your life have pushed to the side all that is truly important? Are we working so hard to gain the world that our souls are in jeopardy? Are you just as dead set on your kids and grand kids being in church as you are them being a part of the cool crowd? I want to live a purple life, how about you? I want to love a remarkable life for the kingdom, what about you?

What is most important to you? Is it God’s business or is it laughable business?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Distractions!


Peter tried to distract Jesus away from His purpose. Look at what Peter says in Mark 1:37, “(Jesus), everyone is looking for you!” In other words, “Jesus, it is time to be seen by the crowd!”

Look at how Jesus responded in verse 38, “Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” When you know your purpose, you are empowered to say no to all distractions and that is exactly what Jesus did! What was the Lord’s purpose? To preach! To give people hope! To offer people a second chance and to point people toward the love of God …

…TO POINT PEOPLE TOWARD THE LOVE OF GOD!

Actually, Peter’s request was a noble one.

People were looking for Jesus. However, Jesus had to forsake what was pressing Him to stay focused on the important! Jesus had to preach in other places. Pointing people to the love of God was the Lord’s number one purpose! That is why He had come. Jesus felt a sense of urgency. He was determined to not live an invisible life for the kingdom and thus, Jesus rebuked all distractions!

Jesus was dead set on living a remarkable life for the Father. Are you? Am I? Are we?

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Powerful Thought ... ...


A Good Neighbor has A HEART OF LOVE!

Luke 10:33 says, “But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.” The phrase “he took pity on him,” sums up one word, "compassion." There was such a compelling power at work in the Samaritan’s heart that he could not just stand still. He had to do something. A heart full of compassion is always followed by action. A heart full of compassion breaks down barriers. A heart full of compassion loves.

A heart full of compassion even takes us out of our comfort zones.

John 4:4 has been on my mind, “... (Jesus) had to go through Samaria.” Now, for you traveling buffs, the most direct route from Judea to Galilee was right smack dab through Samaria. However, most Jews did not take that route. Most Jews went totally out of their way to avoid having to go through Samaria even though it was going to cost them three extra days of travel. Again! Samaria was not the best of neighborhoods! Samaritans were a cross breed between a Jew and a Gentile and good, upstanding Jews wanted nothing to do with that type of impure breed. Samaritans were heretics in the eyes of the Jews. When traveling, Jews totally bypassed Samaria, but Jesus, a Jew, HAD TO GO THROUGH SAMARIA because He realized that everyone had to know who He was and that every soul had and has value. Are we willing to go through Samaria even though Samaria might contain shabby houses, smelly people, angry personalities and drug infested lifestyles? Are we willing to do whatever it takes to help people embrace God’s salvation? Is it really that important to us or are we a lot of talk and a Bible?

Folks, starting today, let us all go through Samaria even if it is as little out of the way, a little inconvenient and little uncomfortable. EVERYBODY HAS GOT TO KNOW WHO JESUS IS! Let us run toward the homeless and not run away. Let us engage the hungry and not look away. Let us embrace the widow and orphan and not turn away. You can find all three entities every day. Let us all go through Samaria. Let it be known today, that on this campus and off this campus, we as purple cows will see people, treat people and interact with people as if they are actually people of worth and value. Who is with me? Who is with God?

Here is the truth: Either we are remarkable for the kingdom or we are invisible for the kingdom. Which of the two are we going to be? We need to paint ourselves purple!