Monday, June 30, 2008

How Do We Avoid This? ::: Praying Through Hosea 13:6

When I fed them, they were satisfied, when they were satisfied they became proud, then they forgot me.

~Hosea 13:6


I know our tendency is to become prideful and self sufficient. I don't want to ask for more of you only to get it and be satisfied...I constantly want to want more of you. What do I do? How do I chase after you daily? As a deer thirst for the water...I want my soul to long after you. I've tasted and seen your goodness but my soul is so thirsty for more of you...if you will fill me, I will overflow...

It's in your Holy and Powerful name...


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pride Kills Everything It Touches

We live in the kind of world where basketball players pound their chest when they dunk on someone, where baseball players remain in the batter's box to watch their work as the ball flies into the seat and football players choreograph celebrations for touchdowns (not to mention sacks, interceptions and even tackle someone or catching the ball). So much of what we are inundated with every single day is man boasting about how great he is and relying on his own ability or talent to answer the question of who's great...

Now, I've never dunked on anyone, so I don't know how that's been a long time since I've hit a ball over a fence...and aside from an annual flag football game we play every year again out students (which we always dominate...prideful statement) it's been a long time since I've scored a touchdown. However, I see the evidence of pride in my own life almost daily. I lean on my own strengths and abilities way to much. I find myself unwilling to lean on the mighty hand of God.

A quick keyword search on shows 63 occurrences of the word pride. James 1:10 says, But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. I like this because the first part of the book of James starts out with, "consider it pure joy when you suffer persecution..." another concept that is foreign to our western evangelical mindset.

How about this mindset to combat what we see, 1 Peter 5:5-6 says this,
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

I find it incredibly encouraging to know that instead of relying so heavily on my own ability to be a good husband, good daddy, good son, good brother, good employee, good pastor, etc...I can rely on the strength of Almighty God.

This is why I love the words of The Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:4, where he says, May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.


Monday, June 23, 2008

The Challenge Has Been Issued...

Sometimes it takes someone else to look you in the eye and challenge you to do something that you know you should already be doing for it to truly sink in...maybe it's the competitive nature...whatever. The reality is, my pastor has challenged me to be more faithful in my blogging. The reason this is a good challenge for me is because this has become a form of journaling for me, which I'm a firm believer in. I think journaling is a discipline that everybody should chase after. It's good to have time to be alone with your thoughts and record them so you can go back and read them and maybe avoid pitfalls in the future or be encouraged by and be uplifted in the future. Job even mentions in his torment, "...oh that my words were written..." He knew that it would be important for others to know the path that he had walked down.

So, to you Pastor Trent, thanks for the challenge...

Off to work now...


God's Mission...God's Method

We will be finishing up this sermon series this weekend with a talk on leadership as we try to challenge our people to embrace the role in which God has placed them. To be voices in their homes, work place and when they are out in the community.

I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to reflect on this series because I feel like in a lot of ways it's been foundational for our church. It seems a little strange to say something we are doing 2+ years into the life of our church is foundational because it seems like the foudational stuff should have already been done. This is a perfect reminder to me that God's timing is always perfect. It's so amazing to be able to sit and watch God's people respond...sometimes you can almost see the light coming on. This is how I know that the timing of this has been perfect and ordained by God.

Here's a quick recap of the series, if for nothing else than for me to remember where we've been:
1. An Adventure Begins - Acts 1:1-11
2. The Central Message - Acts 2: 14-41
3. A Devoted People - Acts 2: 42-47
4. Committed To Worship - Acts 2:42-47 and Psalm 95
5. Committed To Mission - Acts 8:1-8, 11:19-26, and Romans 1:14-17
6. Committed To Service - Acts 4:32-35, and Isaiah 58:6-9
7. Committed To Community - Acts 2:42-47 and Ephesians 2: 11-22
8. Committed To Maturity - 1 Thess. 1:4 - 2:12 and Psalm 119: 9-16
9. It takes Courage - Acts 4:23-31 and Acts 3:1 - 4:22
10. It Takes Leaders - Acts 6:1-7:13

Church planting continues to be hard, but I continue to be encouraged with the people that God is giving us to walk this road with. And I know that if we will simply remain faithful to what He is asking of us then He will be faithful to do the rest...seems to be a Scriptural stance, so I'll take it...