Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thank You, Bro.Steve & Karen!

"Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith." Hebrews 13:7 (HCSB)

"Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith." Hebrews 13:7 (NASB)

"Appreciate your leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn't change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he's always totally himself." Hebrews 13:7-8 (The Message)

After this Sunday our pastor and his wife, Bro.Steve & Karen, will be moving, stepping out by faith, and following God's Call to plant a new church (CrossWalk Church) in an area of Round Rock, Texas that is "white unto harvest"! As we pray for the new ministry field that God has called them towards, my heart is gripped with an unending appreciation and thankfulness for all of that God has done in ministry and evangelism through Bro.Steve & Karen!

As God's people, we are encouraged today to think about those that are in your life that God has used or is using for His Purposes & His Glory! We have such a privilege and opportunity to appreciate men and women that the Lord uses in our lives! Let's take some special time to express thankfulness to those in our lives that are blessings today! One of the ways you can be a blessing to Bro.Steve & Karen as they enter this new ministry field in Round Rock, Texas is to PRAY for them & their family in the days, weeks, months ahead!! God Answers Prayer!!!

As a first-generation Christian God has been so incredibly generous and faithful to provide Christian leaders & role models in my life, and I NEVER get over the life-changing ways my life has been transformed by Him, His Word, & HIS LEADERS! Today, God has laid it on my heart to list my top five points of appreciation that are extended to every Christian leader, especially Bro.Steve & Karen, that has impacted my life in order for my life to impact others for Christ Alone...I'd like to use God's Promises as each point as I challenge you to appreciate your Christian Leaders too!!!

1.You are APPRECIATED for how you study God's Word in order to be prepared and model preparedness in the ministry of The Lord! ~ "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 (HCSB)

2.You are APPRECIATED for how you follow God's Vision and share His Plans with a conviction of confidence in the ministry of The Lord! ~ "Then the Lord said to Paul in a night vision, “Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent." Acts 18:9 (HCSB)

3.You are APPRECIATED for how you model servant-hearted leadership in the ministry of the Lord! ~ "So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet." John 13:14 (HCSB)

4.You are APPRECIATED for how you model reality through a consistent praying heart that is quick to forgive and be forgiven through intense prayer in the ministry of the Lord! ~ "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful." James 5:16 (HCSB)

5.You are APPRECIATED for how you model evangelism in the ministry of the Lord with a "get up and go" consistent concern for others about where they will spend eternity! ~ "And Jesus said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." Mark16:15 (HCSB) "The Lord replied, "But get up and stand on your feet. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and a witness of things you have seen, and things in which I will appear to you. I will rescue you from the people and from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in Me." Acts 26:16-18 (HCSB)

God laid on my heart these worship songs listed below to share as an appreciation tribute and prayer for all of the Christian Leaders in our lives!!! Click on these songs as we pray for and thank God that He created evangelistic leadership examples for our lives as we all follow Him as our greatest example and strive to be His example of servant-hearted leaders!! Please take this opportunity to thank the Christian leaders that are in your life today and throughout the entire year! A few ideas of ways to show appreciation: send a thank you card or express appreciation with your words, volunteer to serve in the ministry that they are leading, pray regularly for leaders and let them know you are praying, give a gift certificate, share something from your kitchen that you made just for them, babysit if they have small children so that your leader can enjoy a day or night out, ask how you can serve them.....please pray for those that are faithful Christian leaders in your life, after you listen to these worship songs!

Evangelistic Christian Leaders Are Making A Huge Difference For Jesus On The Frontlines & In The Trenches Of Ministry...THANK YOU For The Many Ways YOU Have Made An Impact In My Life For Jesus' Sake!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

II John 3

"Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love." (II John 3)

This verse is John's greeting to the "chosen lady and her children" [whom most scholars believe to be a local church and its members rather than an individual; however, either interpretation does not change the meaning of this passage.]  John emphasizes three attributes in this greeting:  grace, mercy and peace.  (The only other place these three attributes occur is in I and II Timothy.

Grace is God doing what we do not deserve.  Mercy is God not doing to us what we DO deserve; Peace is God giving us what we need based upon his grace and mercy.  Commentaries concur that the word order is significant.  God's grace always precedes anything.  Mercy and peace flow from His grace. 

The end of this greeting closes with the words truth and love.  BOTH are essential to a Christian, to his/her local congregation, and to evangelism around the world.  The church has to show a commitment to a truth that is not compromised in any way and must love each other in a way that is limitless.

"Grace, mercy and peace flourish in an environment where truth and love prevail." (Akin, Commentary on I, II and III John)  As we intentionally share the gospel, we must show in our actions and attitudes mercy and peace and emphasize God's grace in giving us what we do not deserve  In addition, we must also hold strong to the truth of the gospel and not let anything contrary to God's Word ever take root in our heart or the church at large.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Unmatched Faithfulness

"This saying is trustworthy: For if we have died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."
-2 Timothy 2:11-13, Holman Christian Standard Bible

The last part of the verses above, "If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself," stood out to me.  God is unchanging in His character and virtue, and that is one of the things I love about Him.  He is faithful to us, and His grace is great.  Our God is both loving and just.

How can we love Him today?  How can we reach out and love others like He loves us?  My prayers after reading these verses:
  • thanks to our God, who simply can't deny His character
  • for the Holy Spirit to continue to transform our hearts to be more like Christ's
  • that we see times to share God's unmatched faithfulness with others

Monday, July 18, 2011

Just One Thing

"Just one thing: live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ" (Philippians 1:27a, HCSB).
There will be times when no one agrees with you. There will be times when you don't even know what direction in which you should go. There will be times that you are misjudged. Welcome to the world of leadership.

Over the last few weeks, I have been reminded again that there is one thing important: to live my live in a manner worthy of the gospel, regardless of the outcome, the criticism, or the response.

I don't know what you may be going through but this I know: God knows and He has a plan. His plan for us may unfold before our eyes or it may not; regardless, we are to live in a manner worthy of Christ. Today be reminded to keep your head up and facing heaven. Know that He is in control and no matter what, live out a Christ-filled life. Focus on this one thing and God will give you ways to share what He is doing in your life.

Friday, July 15, 2011

II John 1,2

"The elder, to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth--and not I only, but also all who know the truth--because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:" (II John 1,2)

The book of II John (one of the two smallest books in the bible) has much to teach us about our Christian walk and in resisting false teaching.  John was an old man by the time this was written and he did not need to refer to himself as an apostle, so he refers to himself as "the elder." An elder was a person with authority who was respected in the church.  Scholars differ in their interpretation of "chosen lady and her children" with the majority thinking it is more than likely a figurative reference to a local church rather than an individual lady and her children.

It is important to see that love and truth are communicated at the beginning of the letter.  Danny Akin, in his commentary on I, II and III John says:  "No letter more beautifully balances the twin Christian graces of love and truth."  (p.  221) 

John will explain in this letter that walking in love means walking in obedience to God's commands.  He will also indicate his interest that the truth of Jesus Christ is personal and spiritual.  Truth matters!  We must be careful to heed this call to truth and not let any false teaching slip into our lives and churches.

(We are going to take a look at II John over the next few Fridays to see what John can instruct us on evangelism.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Everything in Christ

3 We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, ESV.

There are many truths in this wonderful passage. Today, it all speaks to me. We are to be servants of God, no matter what. People who mean well sometimes create obstacles. Regardless of what obstacles you and I face, let's look to Jesus, be truthful of speech, and depend on His power today. If we have Him, we have everything. Pass it on!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Love and the Gospel

In order to be faithful to the Great Commission, we need to verbally share the gospel, BUT also show love through our actions and our obedience.  I love this definition of love described in The Message translation of I Corinthians 13:4-7.  Let us use this to evaluate how our walk matches our talk:

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "Me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A "Blessed" Life!

In Matthew 5:2-12 God's Word Shares Specific Ways To Have A Blessed Day, Blessed Week, Blessed Month, Blessed Year, Blessed Life Because...Because You Are Blessed!!

"He (Jesus) began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, because they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, because they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, because they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness,because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Who can you share God's Blessings with? People are searching for truth, purpose, meaning, plans for their future and God's Word has all the answers! Let's ask God for an opportunity to share Jesus and His Truth with someone today that needs God's Blessings! ♥God BLESS You♥ (I Am Blessed by Rachel Lampa)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,“I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” Romans 10:20-21, ESV

I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here am I, here am I,” to a nation that was not called by my name. I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices; a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and making offerings on bricks; who sit in tombs, and spend the night in secret places. Isaiah 65:1-4a, ESV
I am reminded again this morning through Romans 10:20-21 (which comes from Isaiah 65), God shows Himself even to those who do not seek Him. All I can say is, "Glo-REH!!!" Amen! Lost is hard to watch. When we see our loved ones so desperate for attention, it is very hard to watch. When they have rejected the truth and love from God, our hearts cry for them. These verses remind me that God is still at work. We pray for people to seek Him but even when they don't, God is reaching out to love them, forgive them, and give them HOPE!

Let's never give up praying for those we love who need Jesus!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13, ESV