Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's Important

This morning I read Acts 6:7, “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” When I read that a large number of priests converted, I wondered why? I think the key is found in the previous verses. The leadership of the early church had gotten distracted and needed to refocus. They were busy. However, they were not busy about the important tasks of God’s Word and prayer. They were doing the good work of helping people, but neglecting the important work of being in the Word and on their knees. Acts 6:3-4 tells us how they regained focus, “We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word." If we are going to lead a church to radical growth like we see in Acts, it means leadership will focus on praying and sharing the Word. It also means that many tasks will be turned over to others.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Overflow

Paul seems to explode into praise two times in 1 Timothy. It seems that he can’t contain himself and just has to talk about the greatness of our God.

1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
6:15-16 God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

Paul often talks about overflow. I think these two bursts of praise are great examples of overflow. I am praying God fill me to overflow into other people’s lives.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Don't Be Ashamed

Here are a couple of verses from our reading in the New Testament Challenge that really encourage us to take a stand for our Savior. The consequences for not lifting Christ up are severe.
Luke 9:26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Luke 12:8-9 "I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Change

CHANGE
A recent study done on folks that have had heart-bypass surgery found that only 10% were making significant changes in their lifestyles to avoid a possible relapse. You have to ask, why aren’t these people making changes since their lives are on the line?

The sociologist and psychologist who did this study found two things to be true about change. 1) Fear and negative outcomes rarely produce lasting change. If you can paint a compelling picture of the future, you stand a better chance of changing someone’s behavior. That would mean more preaching about Heaven and less about hell. 2) It is easier and more effective to make radical change than slow incremental change. In Acts 19, you read about some people that were so moved that they burned some books in repentance. Their sin cost them, and it would cost them if they went back to it. You have to “burn your boats” to keep from turning back.