Church Growth

About My Father’s Business

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. – Philippians 3:12-16

As we look into this scripture today, I want to set a foundation for the next few blogs to come.  I’ve entitled this blog “About My Father’s Business.” Let me start off by asking you, are you about your father’s business?  What comes to your mind when you think about that question? Is it your church attendance? Your relationship with God? Your finances? Maybe your time and how you use it? Well, all those are great answers but above all…are you about God’s Perfect Will for your life? Do you know what his perfect will is for your life?  And if you don’t know it, are you striving to find out what it is?

What I love about this scripture is that we see a picture of a man that was toward the end of his ministry…and even in prison, yet he was still striving for all that God had for his life.  He had his eye on the goal! Are your eyes on the goal that God has set before you? He said that he had not arrived yet but he knew that God was taking him somewhere.  He knew that there was still work to do.  If you’re reading this today, I want you to know that the same applies for you.  It doesn’t matter if you’re 12 years old, 35 years old or even 80 years old…there’s still something for you to do for God.  Your mission is not complete! You are still full of life, full of destiny and God has something specific just for you! I pray that you are stirred just as I was when I read this scripture.  I couldn’t help but think “I want everything that God has for me, for my family and for my church!”

There’s so much more to this scripture (so we’ll continue this in another blog) but I want to encourage you to be like Paul where he was focused and he didn’t look back.  Today is a new day to step into all that God has for you.  Take that step towards all that God has for you and watch God show up and show off!

Advertisements

Feeding your Faith & Starving your Fear

As they left Bethany the next day, he was hungry. Off in the distance he saw a fig tree in full leaf. He came up to it expecting to find something for breakfast, but found nothing but fig leaves. (It wasn’t yet the season for figs.) He addressed the tree: “No one is going to eat fruit from you again—ever!” And his disciples overheard him. [Mark 11:12-14]

I pray that as you read this blog, you will be encouraged to take your faith to another level.  That’s exactly what Jesus did with the disciples every chance he got.  I once heard it said that you have to be taught the same thing TEN times before it begins to become ingrained in you as a person. Is it any wonder why Jesus spoke so much on faith while he was still with the disciples? For Jesus to spend so much time and energy on one subject…I think he wanted us to tune into what he was trying to say.

I want you to take some time to reflect on your own life for a second.  Have you been feeding your faith or feeding your fear?  Maybe I should ask you another question…have you been obeying the voice of God in your life or been running from what God has been telling you to do?

Have you ever doubted in your heart?  What makes you doubt?  TIME! When time goes by…it will beat at your heart and tell you “when is it going to happen?” Sometimes time has a way of making us feel impatient.  We’ll wonder, why hasn’t it happened sooner?  In those moments, what do you tend to say to your mountain?  Do you speak faith or fear?

If you are in the habit of speaking fear…let me give you some quick advice: God responds to Faith, not Fear [which in most cases is our emotions].  Why is saying/speaking your faith so important?  Because it’s easy to pray quietly or in your mind. But if you’re mountain doesn’t move…no one will ever know.   it’s safe.  But if you speak it out…now that’s a test of faith!  Today I want to encourage you to speak out in faith…don’t get tired of waiting on God.  It’s just a matter of time before that mountain is moved in your life.  God doesn’t want you to struggle.  Choose to do things different today.  God is always trying to teach us faith.  He did the same thing with his disciples even after he died.  Remember what he said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and still believe!”

Be An Example

And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.

Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation. – 1 Timothy 4:12-16 (The Message)

I had the opportunity this past weekend to spend some time with my spiritual sons.  I love when I get the chance to impart into the next generation.  And even though the following was targeted towards young men, I believe that we can all apply these powerful principles into our lives.  Timothy was being challenged to be an example.  I think the same is true for anyone that is taking the time to read this as well.  If you have people that look to you or follow you…then you know the responsibility of being an example!

God never gives someone great ministry unless you have great destiny!” Timothy was that man! God had a huge calling in store for this man.  God knew it and Paul knew it too! That’s why Paul took the time to write this letter.  Timothy was pastoring the largest church at this time.  While that might be pressure enough to handle, add to it the fact that he actually had people in his congregation who had seen Jesus (one example being the Apostle John).  Talk about pressure! Most scholars believe that Timothy was 19 or in his early 20’s. History even tells us that there was a group of elders at the time that said they should make it a rule that someone shouldn’t be a pastor until they were 30 years old! Seemed like Timothy was definitely going through a lot at that time!

Paul challenged Timothy in the following areas: [Basically he was saying…this is how you shut their mouths, Be An Example!]

  • Speech-What’s coming out of your mouth? Get rid of the stuff that leads to nowhere.
  • Life-Set a covenant with your eyes. Don’t waste time! You’ll be a lot further if you don’t waste time.
  • Love-Have a love that is different from that of the world.
  • Faith-Trust God even when it’s hard.  God will fashion us through pain!
  • Purity-There’s a story of a man who was cleaning a huge window.  When he was almost done, everything was clean except for one spot.  He added more soap, scrubbed harder and did all he could to get ride of that spot.  A man a little ways away came up to the man and said, “the spots on the inside.” That’s exactly what God might be telling you today…”the spots on the inside.” There are some things that man can’t see but God can see everything.

I think Timothy had to be challenged after hearing this from his spiritual father.  I know I’m challenged every time I get around my spiritual father.  I really take the time to think about what he tells me.  I meditate on it, I pray about it and I even try to put it to action.  That’s the same thing that Paul was doing with Timothy. He was provoking him to make him do something about it.  The only way he was going to be able to silence his critics, was to be an example! Most scholars believe that Timothy was single at this time too.  So if you’re reading this…it doesn’t matter your age, your relationship status, whether people see you as a leader or not…if you take the time to apply these truths to your life you’ll be an example worth following.

The choices you make will determine what you’ll be and what you’ll have!

Jesus Loves the Church

“So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.”Hebrews 10: 22-25 (The Message)

If you’ve ever stepped foot into a church service, you know it can be a battle! For every reason you can think of to go to church, you’ll probably think of just as many to keep you home or even go somewhere else.  It could be you’re sick, you’re not feeling well, maybe a relative needs your support, or you need to do something for work, not to mention the possibility that you have a hectic week ahead of you and you could use the extra rest…you following?  Hey, I feel like that sometimes…and I’m the pastor! I’ll tell you right now and listen carefully, there will ALWAYS be something in the way of you coming to church! It’s those who come to God in the good, bad and ugly that continue to find strength, discover their gifts and learn to trust in God’s promises.

The same was true for a young man by the name of Simon.  He was just a fisherman in the eyes of man but he was a rock in the eyes of God! And you know what, he sees you the same way! You can be someone who was emotionally shattered…God wants to make you into a rock! You can be someone who didn’t make all the right decisions..God wants to make you into a whole person.  You might just be a fisherman…but God will use you to be a fisher of men!

I have a question for you though…Are you using the keys that God has given to you? This is what Jesus is telling you and I today: “Why are you asking me for the keys? I’ve already given them to you. Speak to your mountain and yes it will be done.  You have to do something about it.  You have the power and the authority. I gave you the keys.  Open the door and walk through it.  You’re MY church. You’re MY prized possession.  The battle’s not yours, it’s MINE!”

Before I go, I just want to share a few things with you:

  1. Jesus intimately loves His Church – He sees your Potential, He sees you Prophetically and He sees you Positionally!
  2. Jesus wins over the kingdom of darkness through His church
  3. We provide protection by His church

If you’re taking the time to read this, I just want you to know that you’re apart of His church and that He loves you very much! He is going to make you into that rock that’s going to help build His kingdom! Keep going forward!

It’s Time For Miracles

God is doing amazing things in the city of Whittier. We have been experiencing miracles after miracles since our “Miracle Sunday” Service on November 21st. Everyday we keep hearing about all the great things that are taking place from healings, financial blessings, new jobs, etc. But one thing that we’re really excited about is that we have a BRAND NEW BUILDING

Stepping into Miracle Territory

“After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.” John 6:1-11

If you’re taking the time to read this blog, can I ask you a question? Why do you think all these people were following Jesus? What about you? Why are you following Jesus in your own personal life? Could it be that you believe he has the power to do miracles?  Well, I believe that’s the same reason why these people were following him as well.

I love this portion of scripture because God shows us how we can position ourselves to receive a miracle within our own lives.  Do you need a miracle today? Maybe you need God to move in a personal relationship? Maybe you’re believing God to lead one of your family members to the free gift of salvation? Or maybe you’re believing God for a financial breakthrough despite our economy? Whatever the miracle, Jesus is able to do it!

As Jesus appears on the scene, his first concern is for the people.  He actually wants to feed the 5,000 plus people that are there at that moment.  What does that mean? He cares about what you need.  He knows what you’re believing for and he wants to give it to you.  But first there was a test.  Jesus asked a question but the bible says…he already KNEW what he was going to do.  Before your blessing, there will be a test.  Have things been getting a little shaky in life? Hold on because your blessing is right around the corner.  Have you been trying to get a job and getting denied left and right? Hold on because God is about to give you a better job.  Whatever the need, God already knows and he knows exactly how he is going to bring it to pass.

All these things that are happening are probably just to get your attention.  He might just be telling you to sit down.  Why? Because so many times we are running around with different cares on our mind. But we can’t be part of the solution until we shut everything else to the side.  God wants us to take responsibility for our miracle. There are three things we can do today to position ourselves to receive our miracle:

  1. Accept Jesus into your heart.
  2. Stand in Faith.
  3. Have expectancy!

I’m believing God for a lot of miracles right now within my personal life, my ministry and my church.  You should fantasize about your miracle because it’s going to come to pass very soon.  Write it down and believe God for the impossible.  It’s time to step into Miracle Territorywithin our lives.