Tuesday, 24 March 2009
The Bible says over and over again, never compare yourself to anybody else. Think about this hard for the day.
“Those hired last came up and were each given a dollar. And when those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more.” Matt. 20:9-10a (Msg) In other words, they started making comparisons: “Look what they’re getting. So we’re going to get more. We ought to have more.”
Just don't go there! Dno't compare yourself with anybody else, the way you look, your income, your intelligence, your children, your husband or wife or your job or anything else.
For two reasons:
a) You are unique. God made you and your journey special. He made the mold and then He broke it.
b) It will always lead to one of two sins – pride or envy. If you think you are doing so much better than others, you can easily become filled with pride. Also by thinking others are doing so much better than you, it's easy to become filled with envy. Let's all be diligent here, these things can destroy you and others!
A lot of time I think we envy people because we don’t know the whole story behind their success. We see the glory but not the pain. If you knew their background or the sacrifice they’ve made, the pain or the cost to get what they have, you might not want it.
Let's get our eyes off others and focus on following God's path for our lives TODAY.
Saturday, 21 March 2009
The truth is that we are all made by God and we are to celebrate our diversity and champion the caouse that everyone has a purpose in life. We all have a contribution to make!
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
High achievers usually have one obvious thing in common: personal discipline. Successful people are willing to do things that average people are unwilling to do.
As the pastor of a church with over 15,000 attenders under my care, I've had the opportunity to know and counsel many of Orange County's most successful business leaders. I've observed that successful people express self-discipline in six key ways:
1. Successful people master their moods. They live by their commitments, not their emotions. People who do the right thing even when they don’t feel like it accomplish most of what gets done in the world! "A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken down walls." Proverbs 25:28 (LB)
2. Successful people watch their words. They put their minds in gear before opening their mouths. "He who guards his lips guards his life." Prov. 13:3
3. Successful people restrain their reactions. How much can you take before you lose your cool?" If you are sensible you will control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it." Prov. 19:11 (GN)
4. Successful people stick to their schedule. If you don't determine how you will spend your time you can be sure that others will decide for you! "Live life with a due sense of responsibility … make the best use of your time." Eph. 5:15-16 (Ph)
5. Successful people manage their money. They learn to live on less than what they make and they invest the difference. The value of a budget is that it tells your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went! "The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets." Prov. 21:20 (LB)
6. Successful people maintain their health. That way they can accomplish more and enjoy their achievements. "Each of you should control his own body, keeping it pure and treating it with respect." 1 Thess. 4:4
Now, where do you need to develop self-control? The disciplines you establish today will determine your success tomorrow.
But it takes more than just willpower for lasting self-control. It takes a power greater than yourself. Think about this promise from the Bible this week: "God does not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and self-control." 2 Tim. 1:7
The more I accept God's control over my life, the more self-control He gives me!
Thursday, 12 March 2009
You can't follow the life of Christ without seeing that He carried a love that was not a normal type of love. To say you love something in our society means very little. We use the word love whether we're talking about our wife or a piece of pizza. So when we say Jesus was love, it doesn't carry the impact it should. Jesus Christ came to earth, lived life like you and I for 33 years except he lived a perfect life, and then He freely gave that life for you and I where we could have a personal relationship with God.
That's not a normal love, it is Revolutionary Love.
‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’ John 15:13 (NIV)
God has left the church here to carry out His mission and His mission was to show love, Revolutionary Love to the world. As I've thought about Revolutionary Love, I've looked at churches, organizations, individuals who have demonstrated Revolutionary Love throughout their lives and have seen two common characteristics in those who show this type of love:
· Sacrificial Giving · Unselfish Serving
Those who have lived lives of Revolutionary Love range all the way from a little old lady named Mother Theresa who showed Revolutionary Love to orphans in Calcutta, India to Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California (one of the wealthiest cities in America) who decided to build an outdoor amphitheater to have church in where they could send the millions of dlloars they would have spent on a building to mission organizations all over the world.
Revolutionary Love comes in all different shapes, sizes, colors, ages, race, and backgrounds, but you will always find the foundation of Revolutionary Love to be sacrificial giving and unselfish serving.
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Philippians 1:9-10 (The Message)
9-11So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
I am praying that our love at MKCC will flourish and we will love well. A love that truly impacts the lives of others and makes a difference, a genuine life of love that Jesus is proud of. Come on church, it's time to make love your highest aim. Look around you today, tomorrow, this week and be attentive to the needs of others, God opportunities will surround us all.
Friday, 6 March 2009
For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do." - 2 Corinthians 1-5 (NLT)
I just love these comments about the church in Macedonia. These believers understood that they were apart of something much bigger than what was happening in their own lives, their local church or their own country and had to be INVOLVED.
'THEY BEGGED AGAIN AND AGAIN FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF SHARING IN THE GIFT FOR THE BELIEVERS IN JERUSALEM. O MY GOSH! Out of the little they had 'THEY ARE VERY POOR', they wanted to give. You literally couldn't hold them back from being involved. 'THEY EVEN DID MORE THAN WE HAD HOPED'!!!!!!
Every pastor dreams of a church with this level of maturity and Christ-likeness. For me, this level of generosity reveals who YOU ARE and what you REALLY BELIEVE.
What about you?
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Monday, 2 March 2009
'Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God - ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.'
Three men who were traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. This road was notorious for bandits and thieves. These three men encounter a crime scene and respond to it in a different way. I think these three men represent three attitudes we have will have in life when we encounter opportunities to express kindness toward the people around us.
1. Keep your distance
“There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when robbers attacked him, stripped him, beat him up and left him half dead. It so happened that a priest was going down that road. But when he saw the man he walked on by on the other side.” Luke 10:30-31 (GN)
This attitude says, keep your distance. Keep all your relationships superficial, shallow at arm’s length, because if you get close, you might have to get involved.
2. Curious but Uninvolved
"In the same way a Levite also came there.” A Levite was a temple assistant. “He went over, looked at the man and then walked on by on the other side.” Luke 10:32 (GN)
This guy sees the man victimized, beaten half dead, naked, bleeding to death, looks at his condition but walks away.
Quote: ‘To see a need and to do nothing is to miss the call of God in that moment.’ Bill Willson.
3. Treat others how you want to be treated
“A Samaritan who was traveling that way came upon the man and when he saw him his heart was filled with pity.” Luke 10:33 (GN)
He was moved with compassion and got involved and made a difference in the victims life. This Samaritan guy became an inspiration and a model of what God is really like. He received God’s commendation and was known from then on as the 'Good' Samaritan.
Kindness is love in action.
Sunday, 1 March 2009
I have been blown away by God reminding me again that the reason he called me and continues to allow me to serve him is because my heart is fully surrendered to him. YOU don't have ANYTHING else that God desires from you! He just wants a fully devoted heart.
1 Sam 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
By human standards, David, as the youngest son of Jesse, appeared least likely to be considered for God's purpose or for this leadership position. But God saw the heart of this young man and knew that his people needed a leader with a tenderness of spirit. David was courageous and became a great warrior but his gentleness and sensitivity of heart was always a defining trait.
STOP right now and examine where your heart is today. This where this sacred journey will ALWAYS bring you back to. Your great gifts, skills, abilities, prominence, position etc etc do not impress God one bit. Humility is a position you choose to embrace for the rest of your life and is a high calling and demands you to die to self daily. Are you up for the journey?