Feb 7, 2016
Eyes on the Prize
Like the apostle Paul, Christians must press on toward the prize to which God calls us - i.e. a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- Feb 7, 2016Eyes on the Prize
- Jan 31, 2016Go Deeper With Pivotal CircumstancesJan 31, 2016Go Deeper With Pivotal CircumstancesGod desires that our faith in him constantly grow deeper so that we may experience a deepening intimacy with him.A fifth means God has of deepening our faith is through pivotal circumstances. As we experience these unplanned, often painful, circumstances, God grows our faith. As we lean on him, we learn that he can be trusted because he understands and has walked painful steps himself.As you walk these painful steps, you will need others around you in order to help you get a different perspective and a fresh look at what you are going through.
- Jan 24, 2016Go Deeper with Personal MinistryJan 24, 2016Go Deeper with Personal MinistryGod desires a growing sense of intimacy with his people. However, that can only happen through a deepening sense of faith. So God has five tools he uses to deepen our faith.The fourth tool God uses to deepen our faith is Personal Ministry ... God opens up an avenue to invest in the kingdom and lives of others that because it is a bit out of comfort zone stretches our faith.These faith stretching ministries grow our faith because they ask us to do what we can do, but trust God to do what only He can do.
- Jan 17, 2016Go Deeper with Private DisciplinesJan 17, 2016Go Deeper with Private DisciplinesGod desires to have a relationship of intimacy with His people. However, the only way that can really occur is if there is first a relationship of trust (i.e., faith). So God wants to see our faith in Him deeper, so our connection to Him may become stronger.God invites us to utilize the tools of private disciplines to go deeper in faith. These disciplines are private because they are not meant for show. They are meant to help us to lean into God especially in light of some of the things that we struggle in trusting God: our finances, our provisions, and our self-sufficiency.Matthew 6 talks to three disciplines that help us to develop that bond of trust: Giving, Prayer, Fasting. As you trust God by participating in these three disciplines, God just may reward your faith (however, the reward may not be what you think).
- Jan 10, 2016Go Deeper with Providential RelationshipsJan 10, 2016Go Deeper with Providential RelationshipsGod desires that our faith in him grows deeper because the deeper our faith in him the closer the intimacy of relationship with him.A second tool God uses to deepen our faith is providential relationships. God uses relationships because they have a spiritual essence, and he can use them to impact our faith. However, relationships can also undermine our faith.The key to providential relationships with intentionally placing ourselves in places where God has the opportunity to connect us in lifebuilding relationship, and not one that will corrupt our faith.
- Jan 3, 2016Go Deeper with Practical TeachingJan 3, 2016Go Deeper with Practical TeachingTrust is the foundation for any healthy relationship, and God desires to rebuild our faith/trust/confidence in him. He does that through employing five tools to grow our faith deeper.Practical teaching is the first of the five tools God employs to grow our faith. Practical biblical teaching is teaching that is not driven just by content, but also teaching that teaches us what to do with the content ... how it effects our lives and what we are to do about it.When we let practical teaching change our behavior we are wise. When we refuse to obey what we are taught we demonstrate that we are unwise.
- Dec 27, 2015After The Candles Are LitDec 27, 2015After The Candles Are LitChristmas is past. The presents have been unwrapped, but we still find ourselves waiting ... not for the infant king of Bethlehem, but the soon and coming king.As we consider the posture of our waiting, we learn at least three things from Anna and Simeon in Luke 2 about the proper way to wait for God to move.
- Dec 20, 2015The Shepherds’ Candle
- Dec 13, 2015The Angel CandleDec 13, 2015The Angel CandleThe third advent candle is the Angel Candle. The angel candle represents that message that the angels shared the night of Christ's birth. Part of that message was the message of God's universal appeal of grace through the Christ child.
- Dec 6, 2015Small Time, Big Promise, Missed Opportunity – The Bethlehem CandleDec 6, 2015Small Time, Big Promise, Missed Opportunity – The Bethlehem CandleBethlehem's by all accounts was insignificant ... the smallest of the small. But God included Bethlehem in God's biggest promise, the promise of the Messiah. The power of the promise was in what kind of Messiah would come from this insignificant place (MIcah 5).Why would God choose an insignificant village to unveil the Messiah?The tragedy is that it appears that all but a few shepherds missed out on the fulfillment of God's promise. The tragedy is also that we are often so busy with our Christmas plans that we miss out on the reminder of the Messiah, or our lives are so hectic that we miss out on seeing what God is doing.
- Nov 29, 2015God’s Guarantees – The Prophecy CandleNov 29, 2015God’s Guarantees – The Prophecy CandleChristmas is often approached with wishful thinking, a time of hoping for the best. However, we often find that our dreams and desires for the holiday fall short of our wishes.When God is engaged in Christmas it is not wishful thinking, but a time of faithful promises found in the prophetic message. Isaiah shares at least for promises that God guarantees will be fulfilled in the Advent of the Messiah.
- Nov 22, 2015Where Giving BeginsNov 22, 2015Where Giving BeginsSeries: StewardshipConversations on giving seem to always start in the wrong place. They always seem to begin with the questions “how much” or “where”. But when we start our conversations with that question we begin in the wrong place. A better set of questions would be “how” and “why”.Giving begins in the heart of God, and flows from our hearts as an expression of appreciation.