Posts Tagged ‘faithfulness’

  

The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the Lord; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered.” (Jeremiah‬ ‭10‬:‭21‬ NIV)

Peter Wagner once surveyed 572 pastors across America regarding their prayer lives and found that, on average, they prayed about 22 minutes each day. About 57% prayed less than 20 minutes, 34% prayed more than 20 minutes, but only 9% prayed more than an hour. The conclusion: While there are many reasons that a church doesn’t grow – location, sacred cows, poor facilities, etc. – but perhaps the greatest reason is prayerlessness!

The great missionary Hudson Taylor once remarked, “The power of prayer has never been fully tried in any church. If we want to see the mighty wonders of divine grace and power, instead of weakness and disappointment, the whole church must accept God’s standing challenge: ‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.'” (Jeremiah‬ ‭33‬:‭3‬ KJV)

Don’t go another day without assessing your prayer life and making changes. No one has ever “prayed too much”! Take time today and see the difference! You are loved! 

  

Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭1‬ NLT)

Yesterday I preached a sermon about the extravagant love of the alabaster box offering. One year ago, I preached an illustrated message of Jesus’ last hours called “The Whip, Hammer & Cross”. Ten years ago, I preached a message entitled “The Prayer of Evangelism”. Fifteen years ago, I preached “The Corruption Of Good Character” to my first church in Hereford, TX. There’s been a lot of sermons I’ve both preached and heard in my lifetime!

As believers, you and I are not the product of a new ministry or a word come lately. We stand firmly on the shoulders of men and women that have preached, taught, and labored to share the Gospel since the days of Jesus Himself. We can trace this hope through history all the way back to then! We stand on the shoulders of a long legacy of faith!

So don’t let this word become dormant in you. Remember that yours is an ancient and strong faith, passed down from generation to generation, all the way to you. Be sure to do you’re part and keep passing it on! Continue the legacy by standing firm! You are loved! 

  

John did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Messiah.'” (John‬ ‭1‬:‭20‬ NIV)

A pastor friend once shared with me a humorous hospital story. One of his members had been in an accident and was rushed to the ER. When my friend got the call and arrived at the hospital, he found the frantic family. As he walked through the doors, there was the loud, collective, audible sigh of relief from this large group as someone spotted him and cried out, “Everything’s gonna be okay; the pastor’s here!”

The danger of a Messiah Complex is that we truly begin to believe we are “saviors”. And we really run afoul when we try to deliver people out of predicaments that God NEEDED for them to encounter to build their faith! We are not saviors, but Hands of the Savior, being used by God to touch lives so that their allegiance is given to Him, not us. 

Attention feels good, and to be seen as important to others is flattering. But the life of a servant is a life hidden in the Master’s shadow. We fail by accepting the spotlight. Point the way to God by impacting people’s lives and you will share in the Master’s joy! You are loved! 



Jesus said to him, ‘Simon, do you love Me?'” (John‬ ‭21‬:‭16‬ NKJV)

According to Psychology Today, about 40 percent of all female murder victims die at the hands of a former or present spouse or lover. The home becomes a dangerous place for women (as well as for children). Nearly all male murderers claim that they committed the murder out of love, and possibly it was a result of loving too much. But can you truly destroy a life out of love? Is that how love acts?

In the text, Jesus is asking Simon Peter if his love is true. Just a few days earlier, Peter was emphatic that he would die out of love for his Master. Now, after denying Jesus in His hour of need, Peter reacts differently; he is broken. Jesus is trying to help His disciple to understand that he is not only forgiven, but that love doesn’t respond with emphatic hopes but with faithful future action: “Tend My sheep.”

People can be satisfied of our spiritual love because we say the right things. But what does God see? Love will be known by our faithfulness: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words.” (John‬ ‭14‬:‭23-24‬ NKJV) Let your love be true love, even as you are loved! 

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But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth.” (John‬ ‭16‬:‭6-7‬ NKJV)

In times of crisis, the Bible has given me hope. When I have grieved a loss, it’s words have brought me comfort. As a pastor, I also have the privilege of dispensing these same words of life to others that are going through similar circumstances. But could God also bring tough words into our lives? You bet!

When the Lord speaks words of conviction into guilty ears, our heart breaks because we know we’ve done wrong. When the Holy Spirit wisely reveals to us that tough times are a’coming, we cringe at the unseen. To understand these tough words of God, you must understand the context from which He speaks to us: Out of the great love of His heart. He doesn’t aim to hurt us but to draw us to Himself, so that nothing, including sin, can separate us from intimacy with Him.

True love will speak the tough truths to you. I love, but I’m not great at it. That’s why I’m grateful for a loving Savior who can correct all of us the right way. Don’t be discouraged, just correctable. It always leads to blessed places! You are loved today!

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Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (Matthew‬ ‭13‬:‭45-46‬ NLT)

As I stood in line at the pharmacy to get my kids’ flu medicine (yep, we got it), I wasn’t prepared for the “sticker shock” of good health. To get 2 prescriptions for 2 kids, the cost was almost $600! After much hyperventilating and head-scratching, I asked about my kids’ insurance; wasn’t it supposed to cover it?! After finding insurance proof, the total cost of childhood health was reduced to $20. Hmmmm, that makes for an interesting discussion for another day.

My kids are worth whatever price I have to pay. What’s $600 compared to life and death? The same must be argued about God, forgiveness, a home in Heaven, and blessings down here below. Is all of that worth the price of discipleship and right living? Can’t I be holy and have my cake too?!

There is no shortcut to being right with God. Priorities say that certain things are worth any price to us. Make sure that God fits into that category. A “generic” Jesus served only at convenient moments will leave you empty-handed when life lands on your head! Pay the price, it’s worth it! You are loved today!

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Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy.” (Isaiah‬ ‭64‬:‭7‬ NLT)

Joe Young, one of my previous members from years past, had shared a story of intercession with me. His son was a fighter pilot during the Korean War. Joe awoke one night with his son’s safety burdening him. He knelt in the living room, praying fervently for a couple of hours until he felt a release that all was well. Later, his son told him that at that very moment, he was involved in a dogfight with several enemy planes and barely survived the ordeal, thanks to his Father’s urgent prayers.

The work of intercessory prayer is what causes God’s hand to move among us. But what happens if it’s not being done, we being too busy and hoping someone else will? Who suffers because we don’t?

Hear Andrew Murray’s perspective from years ago: “The need of God’s people, and the call for God’s intervention, is as urgent in our days as it was in the time of Isaiah. There is now, as there was then, as there has been at all times, a few who seek after God with their whole hearts. But, if we look at Christendom as a whole, at the state of the church of Christ, there is infinite cause for beseeching God to rend the heavens and come down.” This world needs God, and God needs you and His few praying so that He can move. Listen for the urgent call of intercession! Your prayers matter & you are loved!