Tuesday, January 29, 2013

An Impact That Doesn't Hurt

If you are a football fan, you know there is much concern about injuries that happen from the impact that occurs when two players run into each other.  The impact of a tackle often damages players. However, in the church, we want to increase our impact because that means we are helping more people move closer to Christ.   Please join me as I pray that the church’s impact will increase.  These are the things that I am asking God for to increase our impact.  

  • 100% Involvement of everyone that attends Northridge in serving, giving, and sharing Christ.  We have about 1,200 who attend on a regular basis.  If everyone served, gave, and shared Christ, our influence and impact would be huge.  Jesus tells us to pray for workers for the harvest. Let’s obey! 
  • Insight into how we can change this community.  This is a great community, but satan has some strongholds that we need to bring down.  This is about Northridge mobilizing as an army to do some serious damage to satan’s strongholds.
  • Resources that we can use to focus on reaching this community and world.  Resources come in many different forms.  People are the greatest resource we have.  Today, technology is a resource that helps us reach out in many ways.  Money is a resource that helps in many different ways.  Ask God to give us all the resources we need to make an eternal impact.

Prayer is a powerful.  As we join together in prayer, I know God will act in astonishing ways and increase our influence.

Friday, January 18, 2013

For Every Good Work

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

God’s Word is powerful!  It works in us to equip us for every good work.  That means that if we are allowing God’s Word to do its work of teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training, that we can do what God asks.  It says equipped for every good work.  That removes all our excuses.

  • Through God’s Word, we are equipped to share with others about Christ.
  • As we read the Bible, we gain the hope that will get us through the tough times.
  • In the Scriptures, we learn how to live a holy life that honors God.
  • By obeying the truth, we are purified to love.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22

The key to having this power in your life is simply reading the Bible.  By reading God’s Word, you will be blessed to hear the voice of God Almighty.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Winds of the Spirit

It is has been said “the winds of the Spirit are not sent to cool us down, but to fan the flame.”  It is clear that the wind of the Spirit is blowing at Northridge as we see growth.  We must continue to fuel the fire.  Here are a few things that we can do to fan the flame and add fuel to the fire so that it spreads into all the world.

  • PRAY - Continue to beg God for our community to know Him.  As you pray, specifically pray for two or three people who need Christ.  
  • INVITE - The best way to get people to come to church is to ask them.  85% of those who come to church do so at the invitation of a friend.  There are resources at the Welcome Centers to help you.  
  • SERVE - If you are not serving somewhere, get involved.  You can also serve by freeing up seats and parking by coming to our 9:30 service.  
  • WORSHIP - When you come to worship, be ready to proclaim the greatness of God on Sunday morning as you worship.  Your enthusiasm will spread as we sing and praise God.  

Paul told Timothy to “fan the flame” in 2 Timothy 1:6.  I think that is good advice for us also.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Be The Shepherd

God has appointed the church to be led by elders.  Peter tells us that elders are to “be shepherds of God’s flock” (1 Peter 5:1-4).  A good shepherd doesn’t sit around and think how he can become a good shepherd?  A good shepherd is thinking how he can best take of his sheep?  The focus of the shepherd isn’t on how develop the qualities to make them a good shepherd.  They look for ways to protect and to feed their sheep and do it.  Peter learned this lesson from Jesus the Good Shepherd.  In John 21, Jesus tells Peter to feed His sheep three different times.  This is the simple lesson Peter learned and passes on to us: If you want to be a shepherd, be a shepherd and take care of sheep.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rough Waters

“Rough waters are the true test of leadership. In calm waters, every ship has a good captain.” ~ A Swedish Proverb
Here are a few thoughts about rough-water sailing and walking from Matthew 14:22-33:

  • We are all going to encounter some rough waters.  In this story, they were challenged immediately after a great victory of feeding 5,000 people out of a kid’s lunch box.  Don’t be surprised when the storms come after a great win.  
  • When you find yourself being buffeted by the wind and waves, watch for Jesus.  He promises us that He will never leave or forsake us.  
  • If Jesus invites you to get out of the boat, keep your eyes on Him.  There are two dangerous distractions that will cause us to remove our eyes from Jesus.  The first is looking at the wind and waves and getting scared.  The wind and waves represent the problems we encounter.  We can’t allow ourselves to become problem focused.  The second distraction is looking at ourselves and believing we are something special because we are walking on water. Anytime you take your eyes off Jesus, you are headed for trouble.
  • There are calm waters ahead because Jesus is in control.  Look forward to the calm. John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." 

With Jesus’ help, we all have the potential to be good captains in calm water or rough waters.  The key to being a good captain is keeping our eyes on Jesus.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Random Thoughts

  • Somebody said, “Santa's got to love how much easier Facebook has made his job. After a few posts, he can tell who's naughty or nice.” 
  • It seems like every news show and newspaper has lists of all the celebrities that have passed away in 2012.  As I was watching one of those last night, it served as a stark reminder that our life is but a mist (James 4:14).  
  • What would happen if we got as excited in worship as we do watching our favorite football team?
  • “Making tough decisions is not the mark of leadership; living with the tough decision is the true mark of leadership.”  I don’t know who said it, but I know it is true.
  • A thought for the New year by John Ortberg :  “God may not put you in a new place, but he can put a new you in the old place.” 
  • “It is time to stop cursing the darkness and begin lighting candles!” Cam Huxford  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Dave Barry had a really good article recalling 2012.  The point of his article was that as you looked back at 2012, there were some really bad things that occurred.  There were shootings, moral failures, financial collapses, natural catastrophes, looming disasters, and politicians that didn’t play well together.  While Dave Barry injects humor into this mess, his message is clear that these are dire times.  After reading his article, I needed to be reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.