Discipleship

You Can’t Out Give God

“A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy.  I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” – John 10:10 (The Message)

From the moment that we accepted Christ into our hearts, we stepped into that better life than we ever dreamed of.  Salvation was just the beginning, it doesn’t stop there. Gods desire is that we have a full life for the rest of our lives.  Have you been living that life that God has specifically for you in every area of your life?  Could be with the relationships in your life? Your career? Schooling? Or even your finances? Take a second to think about your life and where you’re at right now.  In what areas could you use an improvement?

If you really desire change, then you’re off to a good start.  As christians, we should always desire to better our lives.  Why? Because that’s Gods desire for us as well.  God doesn’t want us to be in the same situation that we were in last year and I can guarantee that God wants next year to be the best year you’ve ever lived.  We serve a God that is always progressing…going from glory to glory.

In Christianity, there are two types of people: Followers of Christ and Disciples of Christ.  Which one are you?  The difference between the two is that a disciple is someone that is committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Does that change your answer to that question?  When we are fully committed to what Jesus said…we will begin to experience the well-being (which really means “prosperity”) that God has planned for our lives.

“32% of Christians in America claim that they tithe.” – George Barna

The sad fact about the above statement is that the higher the income bracket, the lower the amount that people gave.  We have to start here because our finances say a lot about what we are committed to. The Bible says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21).  So let me ask you a question, where is your treasure?  We start with the tithe because that belongs to God.  What some people don’t realize is that the “rich, wealthy, etc.” is in the tithe.  Many wealthy people have learned this principle in their own lives and have lived wealthy lives.  One example is Henry Cromwell who gave 70% of his income to the Church.  See it starts at 10% but it doesn’t have to end there.  Remember, you can never out give God!

When we learn to let God take control, we are allowing him to be our shield.  If we take that a little bit farther, we are allowing him to become “El Shaddai” in our lives. That means, “The God who will reward you and provide for you…our source for everything we need in life.” Are you allowing God to be your source? I want to challenge you to really think about that question…don’t be quick to answer it and go about your day.  But take some time right now to think about whether you are allowing God to be your true provider or if you might be relying on another source for all your needs.

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Why Can’t You Be Like Jesus?

Why can’t you be like Jesus?” Ever asked yourself that question?  It’s probably easier to say “What would Jesus do?” than to actually do what he would do.  But isn’t that what being a Christian is really all about?  I think we all struggle with that cycle at some point in our Christian walk.  Let’s break that cycle and start where Jesus did.

Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Some people define Christianity as a disciple or a follower of Christ…but in one word, it’s being a SERVANT.  True Christianity is in giving, not getting.

Albert Schweitzer, a doctor who became a missionary said, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know and I have truly discovered the only ones among you who will really be happy and satisfied are those who have sought and found how to serve others.”

Are you serving others? Think about it? Are you serving your family? What about your co-workers? Your friends? How about your ministry? Can’t forget God in the mix. With all the cares and busyness of the world we live in…it’s really easy to forget about what’s happening around us and focus in on what’s happening to us.  Let’s see what Jesus did to become a better servant (Illustrated in Isaiah 52:13-14 & 53:1-7)

  1. Put God First in Our Lives: We can’t be lord of our own lives.  We’re going to have to serve somebody. If it’s not God, it’s going to be someone or something else.  Jesus put God first over and over throughout his ministry.  he would always take time to pray even in the midst of his busy schedule (and he was preparing to die for the sins of the world).
  2. Protect My Attitude: First you have to have the right attitude.  William James said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that you can alter your life by altering the attitude of your mind.”  Jesus made it a priority to keep the right attitude.  Even when he could of complained, he kept his mouth shut.
  3. Plant Seeds of Love and Kindness: When’s the last time you showed appreciation?  Do you thank people for the little things?  Jesus always took the time to leave a lasting impression on people with the little things.
  4. Give Your Life Away: Once we give up our life, we will actually find the life that God has for us.  Jesus paid the ultimate price for all humanity by giving his life as a ransom for many.

Jesus’ To-Do List

Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” –Matthew 28:18-20 (The Message)

With the Great Commission, Jesus placed; Discipleship, Mentoring and the development of Leaders at the top of his list of things to do TODAY!  But like many “To-Do Lists,” we have pushed what needs to be done today off to the side until a distant tomorrow.  But that tomorrow never comes. With an attitude like that, the real priority Jesus gave us will slip further and further down on the list each day.

Let’s be careful of the common thinking of today: “…the person willing to take on the most gets ahead.”

If we’re not intentional with our time and focus, we can turn our once beautiful dream into a crashing nightmare.  As a result, some churches, pastors and leaders can begin to lack the desire needed to reach out to a lost and hurting world.   We as God’s servants…and especially as people called who can make a difference in the lives of people, must stay focused on our central purpose!  That is to make disciples, mentor others, develop leaders and release them to do the same.

I believe that we’re in the last days and we must keep our founder’s heart.  Pastor Sonny Arguinzoni Sr. just came back from a crusade in South Africa recently and I could hear his heart…to REACH THE WORLD!  It’s the same message that Jesus spoke to his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20.  So the real question is:

IS THAT BURNING IN YOUR HEART TODAY AS WELL?

But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.” – Acts 1:8 (Amplified)