Thursday, March 31

FEAR THIS...#2

I once read an article about fear. It said "All of us are born with the fear of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, of public speaking, and of the words "Some Assembly Required." I would like to add my two cents and share A FEAR that is a HUGE THING leaders in church world deal with. It’s called the fear of THE UNKNOWN.

Now let’s be honest FEAR IS A VERY POWERFUL EMOTION! Plus it does not always have to be a negative one. For instance, as leaders we can FEAR missing OUR GOD GIVEN OPPORTUNITY TO IMPACT OUR WORLD FOR CHRIST, and TO LEAD OTHERS TO HIM. This is a good fear, because it can be used to MOTIVATE US to EMBRACE all that God brings our way.

However FEAR CAN BE HARMFUL, paralyzing, and eliminating. It can eliminate you and keep you from the things that you should and are called to do. Your fear comes because we may feel UNWORTHY and UNPREPARED, and it’s this FEAR that becomes DESTRUCTIVE and DEBILITATING.

The enemy tries to plant this FEAR IN OUR HEARTS to keep POTENTIAL KINGDOM IMPACT PLAYERS from ever becoming all that God intends for them to become. So I have a few words for every leader out there, actually there Paul’s words…

2 Timothy 1:6-9, “6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” NLT

Now hear my words, YOU ARE A ONE OF A KIND, GOD DESIGNED MASTERPIECE, CALLED, EQUIPPED, AND COMMISSIONED BY GOD, FILLED WITH HIS SPIRIT! So FEAR THIS…fear potential missed opportunities and embrace what God has saved and called you to do!

PS. This blog has not been COURTLAND approved or corrected, lol, haha!

Tuesday, March 29

FEAR THIS...

I think I'll do a couple blogs on FEAR. Did you know FEAR and FAITH cannot coexist? It’s true, and as followers of Jesus we are called to LIVE BY FAITH, and to PUT ASIDE FEAR. So, what are you afraid of? What it is that sends GOOSEBUMPS up and down your spine, brings your heart to your throat and makes you want to get sick just thinking about it? Snakes, heights, spiders, enclosed spaces?

How about the thought that JESUS has entrusted to us the SPREADING OF THE GOSPEL? How about the thought that WE MUST NOT FAIL because ETERNITY HANGS IN THE BALANCE? How about the REALITY that there is no time to play games? The weight of the responsibility JESUS has called us to can be cripple us through FEAR. These thoughts can become intimidating, overwhelming, and scary! These thoughts have the ability to stir up all sorts of NEGATIVE EMOTIONS, but I have some good news for you LEADER. As a follower of JESUS CHRIST, you and I do not have to submit to those EMOTIONS of inadequacy, failure or FEAR! WHY?!

II Tim. 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

So to all the forces of evil, to all the negative emotions, to all those who oppose the church and work of God, I have to say, FEAR THIS! God has filled His kids with HIS SPIRIT, His church with HIS POWER so we will not back down, we will not be intimidated, we will not go with the flow, but WE WILL trust in the Lord with all our heart. WE WILL face the giants, WE WILL fight the good fight of faith, WE WILL lift Jesus High, because the battle is the Lord’s!

So FEAR THIS child of God coming through!

Friday, March 25

SERIOUSLY...

So I got this phone call the other day from a pastor who was deciding to continue supporting Brother Kim, you know the Brother Kim who sold everything and left everything to move to a communist nation to feed starving children and adults, both physically and spiritually, that Brother Kim. These were the questions this pastor asked me...
  1. What version of the Bible do we use
  2. What kind of music do we play
  3. How do we view sanctification
  4. Are we on the left or right (whatever the heck that means)

Questions he didn't ask me...

  1. How many souls have been saved the past year
  2. How many people have been baptized
  3. How many lives have been salvaged by the Gospel
  4. How many churches are you planting

SERIOUSLY! I almost couldn't believe this phone call. Here was a church deciding to continue supporting Brother Kim not based on how many souls are being saved and fed physically AND spiritually (BY THE WAY HE DID NOT ASK ONE QUESTION ABOUT BROTHER KIMS MINISTRY), or how many leaders were being developed in these communist nations, SERIOUSLY! Are you kidding me?

Then I got to thinking, how many of Christians jump ship never asking the new church

  1. How many souls have been saved here in the past year
  2. How many people have been baptized here
  3. How many lives have been salvaged by the Gospel here
  4. How many churches has your church sacrificed to birth

SERIOUSLY! I believe it is this attitude that makes God throw up! SERIOUSLY, you are deciding to support a man who sacrificed everything based on what we wear to church? SERIOUSLY, you will leave a church that is seeing lives forever changed, to sit in a church where you are more comfortable? SERIOUSLY you'll let kids and adults starve pysically and spiritually because of a Bible version? SERIOUSLY, you would rather go to a church and soak it in, then stay in a church and pour it out! SERIOUSLY! SERIOUSLY?

Hey Mr pastor man if Jesus comes back today I don't think the questions you're asking, He will be asking, THINK ABOUT IT! To My GRANITE family I am so proud of you, and honored to serve with you and by your side, the stakes are too high for us to seek to be comfortable. Jesus told us to DIE TO SELF, and to TAKE UP A CROSS.

SERIOUSLY, lets do this for Jesus, eternity hangs in the balance for those close to us and far from God. To my pastor friend in the Mid-West who has been hurt by those leaving the church because of your vision, remember the vision is not for sale, remember we need to focus of the LOST WHO ARE NOT HERE, not catering to the already committed. SERIOUSLY!

To my GRANITE leadership team, lets help people down from their HIGH-CHAIRS, hand them a towel and lead them to die to self and serve like Jesus died to self to serve. SERIOUSLY!

Sunday, March 13

Somebody HONOR Somebody, Pt.5 [stevejesmer.com]

This is reposted from www.stevejesmer.com.

HONOR THE WORD OF GOD

I honor and love Your commands. I meditate on Your decrees. (Psalms 119:48 NLT)

We all have questions we want to ask God, big questions. And every weekend we get the opportunity to hear from God through His Word. But do we really listen? Do we really expect to hear from God? Are we honoring God's word in how we attend church, how often we attend church, how we focus during the preaching of God's word?

Honor the Word of God by attending your local church's worship experience every weekend. We get 6 days to work for our families, but we only get one day to worship with our family! Make the weekends count, don't waste your weekend, worship with it!

Honor the Word of God by listening intently to the Pastor's sermon. If you have trouble staying awake, drink more coffee, grab a 5 hour energy, pop a caffeine pill;-) BUT DO SOMETHING... Don't just let week after week go by and you are sleeping through God's message for you! Try taking notes on your smartphone. Try tweeting important statements or principles from the sermon. Try updating your facebook with a Scripture verse from the sermon. And most importantly write down in your notebook or journal HOW YOU CAN BEGIN APPLYING THE SCRIPTURES RIGHT AWAY!

Honor the Word of God by reading it every day. Grab a journal and a bible. Take notes, write down questions, and look for answers in the Bible. Try getting a Bible reading plan from www.youversion.com. I also love THE ONE YEAR BIBLE by Tyndale.

Honor the Word of God by studying it in a small group every week. It's fun to learn the bible in community, and often times its necessary to have accountability and encouragement from other believers in order to apply and live out the Bible. Try joining a life group at www.theDC.tv/groups.

Honor the Word of God by responding to the sermon each week. This might be taking a faith step at the end of the sermon as the pastor leads you, or simply clapping, shouting, or responding when the Pastor prompts you to do so during the message.

Saturday, March 12

Somebody HONOR Somebody, Pt.4 [stevejesmer.com]

This is reposted from www.stevejesmer.com.

HONOR GOD WITH YOUR WEALTH - BRING THE FULL TITHE & LIVE SACRIFICIALLY

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. (Proverbs 3:9 NLT)

I love tithing. A tithe literally means "a tenth" or 10%. It is God's way of teaching the heart to always honor Him. Why does He use money? Because money is the greatest competitor for our heart's HONOR & WORSHIP!

We all like to treat money like its our god. We often believe that money will make everything better. We think, "If I just had a little more money then my life would be so much better." But that is a lie, because everytime we get that little more money, our lives aren't any better, we still have the same stresses that money brought in the first place. Why? Because so often we believe that MORE, MEANS MORE FOR ME.

Instead, the Bible teaches that we should GIVE IN PROPORTION TO WHAT WE GET. This is talking about tithing. God says, I have given you everything you own. In fact, all of my stuff is really God's stuff. And God says that He wants His portion. When I bring back God's portion, the tithe, I am really honoring God with all of my wealth/stuff.Bringing the full tithe (which means I bring back 10% of my gross income to the local church as an act of trust & obedience) is not a suggestion but a command, and certainly one with a huge promise of blessing (Mal.3:10).

It's easy to say that I HONOR GOD, OR LOVE GOD, BUT IF I'M NOT HONORING HIM WITH MY WEALTH, THEN I'M NOT HONORING HIM WITH MY LIFE!

The God of the Bible is so worthy of our best. He is not a God of leftovers, He gave us His best, His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us His best on the cross to save us from our sins and give us eternal life with Him. Now, He honors us by calling us to GIVE OUR BEST TO HIM!

Tithing is not the ceiling, it is the floor. Tithing is the starting point of obedience level giving. Once you have grown in your trust of God, its time to learn how to give above & beyond the tithe. This often means re-orienting your lifestyle in such a way that you "seek the kingdom of God first" in an effort to build God's kingdom, grow God's church, and invest in eternity!

Friday, March 11

Somebody HONOR Somebody, Pt.3 [stevejesmer.com]

This is reposted from www.stevejesmer.com.

CELEBRATION AND EXPECTATION HONOR GOD

Then I will praise God's name with singing, and I will honor Him with thanksgiving. (Psalms 69:30 NLT)

At The Dialogue Church, we are very intentional about creating a culture of celebration and expectation. On the weekends every staff member, every ministry director, every team leader, & every volunteer work very hard to create an atmosphere of celebration and expectation. We truly believe that JESUS IS GOING TO CHANGE LIVES LIKE NEVER BEFORE! We are privileged to serve Him!

Every week we are intentional about clapping, hooting, and hollering about LIFE CHANGE! Whenever one sinner turns to follow Jesus all of heaven throws the biggest block party! And we want to celebrate what heaven celebrates! So, we clap, we yell, we chant, we passionately lift up the name of Jesus through singing, preaching, giving, serving, and leading!

A culture of passionate celebration over the blessings of God and His greatness HONORS GOD! Anything less would be sinful! When we honor God in this passionate celebratory way, it not only honors God but draws the lost to Him as well!

BUT WATCH-OUT BECAUSE HONOR IS INFECTIOUS!

A culture of expectation is all about BELIEVING THAT JESUS IS GOING TO DO WHAT HE ALREADY PROMISED HE WOULD DO, BUILD HIS CHURCH! A culture of expectation is "BELIEVING JESUS AT HIS WORD", it's about FAITH. And it's impossible to please God without faith. So a culture of expectation pleases God! Every leader has to own this in the church so he/she can pour it into each volunteer team member!

When you come to church, come believing God for the impossible! He is still in the life changing, church building, and eternity altering business!

Thursday, March 10

Somebody HONOR Somebody, Pt.2 [stevejesmer.com]

This is reposted from www.stevejesmer.com.

HONOR IS A MATTER OF THE HEART: ATTITUDE & APPROACH

Honor is not simply what you say, but HOW you say it. Honor is not simply what you do, but HOW you do it. It's about attitude and approach.

Teach me Your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to Your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor You. (Psalms 86:11 NLT)

HONOR HAPPENS IN THE HEART.
Honor happens first in the heart. Honor is homegrown in the heart. Honor is honed in the humble of heart.A pure heart honors God. A heart that honors grows pure. An impure heart dishonors God. Dishonor corrupts the heart.You can't honor when your motives are impure, no matter what your lips might be saying.

So, church leader, ministry team member, Christ-follower, husband, wife, teenager, mom, dad, teacher - HOW IS YOUR HEART?

Do you approach Jesus, His Church, your ministry, your pastor, your spouse, God's House with an attitude of gratitude or with impure selfish motives? You can't fake honor without failing your own heart.

Wednesday, March 9

Somebody HONOR Somebody, Pt.1 [stevejesmer.com]

Reposted from www.stevejesmer.com. Follow Pastor Steve Jesmer on Twitter @stevejesmer.

It's time to BRING HONOR BACK to the House!For far too long we have removed Gods House from our Homes and our Homes from God's House! It's time we BRING HIS HOUSE & HIS HONOR BACK! It's time we bring HIS HOUSE back into OUR HOMES, and OUR HOMES back into HIS HOUSE!

Recently, at the C3 2011 Conference hosted by Ed Young (www.edyoung.com) at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX there was an explosion of HONOR IN THE HOUSE! Some have called it an HONORFEST! i LOVE iT! I started my own study on HONOR and have stolen a lot from Pastor Ed Young and the other speakers at this conference; I also stole a lot from Pastor Anthony Milas and his notes on the conference (www.anthonymilas.net).

Here are some of learnings from honor! And I HOPE TO STIR UP AN HONOR-REVOLUTION IN YOUR HOME & GOD'S HOUSE!

HONOR STARTS FROM GOD & COMES FROM GOD

My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. (Psalms 62:7 NLT)

God is all about honor. In fact, my friend Pastor Buddy Crememans (www.buddycremeans.com) like to say, GOD HONORS HONOR!

The culture is all jacked up about honor. We don't want to honor our parents, we don't want to honor our elders, we don't want to honor city officials, teachers, authorities (such as police officers, fire fighters, etc...), we don't honor the president (not to mention pray for him as the Bible actually commands we do), and HONOR HAS BEEN LOST IN GOD'S HOUSE! It's time to bring honor back.

All HONOR COMES FROM GOD AND RETURNS BACK TO GOD.
So when you honor up, you honor all the way up to the Lord Jesus Christ! When you honor out, IT'S GONNA GET BACK TO GOD!

People are watching you and how YOU HONOR! How you honor will determine how they honor. I don't expect a guest to know our church's culture, but I do expect our staff, ministry leaders, and volunteers to learn and embrace the culture of honor!

Friday, March 4

I've Got Your Back Lord

In case your not aware of this Jesus had the most CUTTING EDGE ministry of his day. People everywhere were experiencing life change, being baptized, and following the Lord as a result of what He was doing. Here are some of the cool things Jesus was doing with His church that separated him from the religious organizations of His day...

  1. Jesus focused on RELATIONSHIPS not RULES
  2. Jesus didn't focus on how screwed up people were, He focused on what they could be
  3. Jesus took time to live in COMMUNITY
  4. Jesus attended events, and hung with people "HE WASN'T SUPPOSE TOO"
  5. Jesus focused on GRACE AND TRUTH
  6. Jesus MET people where they were
  7. Jesus drew CROWDS
  8. Jesus taught in COMPELLING and CREATIVE ways
  9. Jesus GAVE freely, sacrificially, and unconditionally
  10. Jesus focused on peoples HEARTS
And just when you think everyone would want to do what Jesus was doing, especially the "religious" crowd, just the opposite was true. It wasn't enough for lives to be forever changed, to see people baptized, healing take place and JOY to fill communities. And because it wasn't enough, Jesus' ministry came under attack. The religious people of Jesus' day who did not want to submit to the WORD OF GOD, or the GOD OF THE WORD did the same thing that many "religious" "Christian" people do today. When a person doesn't want to submit and follow authority they question it, buck it, and attack it.

MARK 11:27-28, "27 Again they entered Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking through the Temple area, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. 28 They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right to do them?”

Hey Jesus they said, WHO GAVE YOU THE RIGHT TO LEAD! Hey Jesus WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? Hey Jesus, since WE DON'T WANT TO do things the way you do them, so we're going to kill you, your movement AND YOUR PEOPLE. Guess what they FAILED! GRANITE we do what we do because JESUS IS OUR AUTHORITY and has called us to a unique mission. And when that MISSION IS QUESTIONED, don't back down, Jesus didn't back down, he said he would answer them if they first answered a question He had. So here are a a few questions you can ask a naysayer...

1. Who have you led to Jesus recently
2. Whose small group are you in
3. How much money do you give to the Lord through the church
4. What ministry are you leading
5. Who are you discipling
6. How much money are you giving to feed starving kids in a communist nation

The truth is those who are too busy with the work, have a hard time being critical of the work. Those who have much invested in the work, become protective of the work. Those who have died to self and love for Christ realize its not about what I want, my comfort, or even my needs, because Jesus has my back. But the question is do I have His back, do you have His back, or are you QUESTIONING HIS AUTHORITY because your unwilling to pay the price! I'm all in Lord.