It’s a brand new year. I’m a goal-setting kind of person. In the past I’ve set goals for various aspects of my life: family goals, spiritual goals, fitness goals, and work goals just to name a few. I’ve been thinking about 2016 for some time now and praying about what kind of goals I would set for the upcoming year. Studies have shown over and over again that most people ditch their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. There are all kinds of reasons why this is so, but just a couple worth pointing out are: We make too many resolutions to change too many things in our life. Another reason is that we are not committed to the changes we desire to see made. Continue reading “What Do You Want More Than Anything? 2 Corinthians 5:14-19”
????????? I have been waiting for you for such a long time. There is so much I want to say, but I don?t really know where to start. I can remember going through this same routine with your sister 2006, but we didn?t hit it off so well. For that reason I must admit that I am a little timid in finally meeting you, even though I have been waiting like a school boy anxious for his first kiss. I have been praying that with you I will be able to make the changes in my life that I desperately want to make, but haven?t been able to carry out in the past. I really don?t think it is all my fault though, I mean, I looked to 2006 to help me. Was that false hope! In the beginning she had me so excited, I knew the feelings I was having had to be real. There was fireworks, confetti, and smiles breaking out like the chicken pox. I guess she gave all she could those first few days because after a few weeks there was no one there to cheer me on?I felt so alone. Oh, 2007, I know things are going to be better with you. It?s not only me that?s counting on you, all of my friends are as well.
????????? Continue reading “A New Beginning 2 Corinthians 5:14-21”
????????? Witnessing the culmination, the end result of commitment excites us doesn?t it? My heart is stirred by people who make huge sacrifices to pursue something that others think is out of reach, something outside of their comfort zone, possibly even beyond their ability. Those rare folks whose ears tune out the world?s voice crying out, ?You can?t! You shouldn?t! You won?t!? are the men and women that we remember. They are the ones who willingly say, ?No!? to many things in order that they can say, ?Yes!? emphatically ?Yes!? to one thing?and they stick with it.? The world may ridicule this single-minded mentality, but what has the world ever accomplished? The crowd may snicker and make jokes, but what has the crowd ever done that?s been of lasting value?
????????? Continue reading “The Glory of Giving 2 Corinthians 8:1-11”
The day the church treasurer resigned, the Elders asked the local grain elevator manager to take the position. He had been a member of the church for years and was one of the most respected men in the community, as well as the church. He agreed to take the position under two conditions: First, no treasurer?s report would be given for the first year. Secondly, no questions were to be asked about the finances of the church for the first year. The Elders were surprised at the man?s request, but most of them had done business with him for years and had never found him to lack in integrity. The Elders discussed his request and decided that they still wanted him to take the position as church treasurer. At the end of the year the man came to the Board meeting and stood before the church leaders, then he gave his report.
Tom Jackson and Chris Johnson were both members of the same church. Tom and his family had joined the church when they moved into the neighborhood and began searching for a new church home. Tom and Serena had three kids who were in school at the time. The kids were busy in extracurricular activities at school that kept the family going several nights a week. Their schedules were jammed packed with “things to do,” but Tom and Serena had both been raised in Christian homes where going to church was never an option – it was as much a part of their lives as breathing and eating three meals a day. They remembered how important the church had been to both of them when they were young and they wanted their children to have the same memories.
During the months of May and June we spent four weeks seeking to gain a deeper understanding of “God’s Amazing Grace” and how the Lord has so freely showered every one of us with His abundant blessings. We learned that we were not born by mere coincidence or happenstance, but that the God of all creation took time to knit us together in our mother’s womb. He has created us with purpose in mind. The reason God has given us life is so that we may live in fellowship with Him, bring glory and honor to His holy name, and share His saving grace with everyone we meet so that they may know Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives.
This morning I want to speak to you about a very important subject for us who profess and desire to be followers of Jesus Christ. The waters are muddy this morning concerning what it means to be a follower of Jesus. There are theorems, ideas, and proposals concerning our relationship to Jesus that are impeding the cause of Christ around the world and in our own community. There is the idea that being a follower of Jesus is nothing more than a self-improvement program. If you want to lose weight, gain deeper insights, quit smoking, repair your relationships, or win the lottery then you should get connected to Jesus. To minimize Jesus to simply another self-help guru like Deepak Chopra, Richard Simmons, Oprah Winfrey, or Tony Robbins is one of the most insane decisions that we could ever make. I will guarantee you that if you surrender your life and will to Jesus then your life will change, but it may not change in the way you wanted – it will be far better, far more challenging, than you could ever dream.