Thursday, November 5, 2009
I feel like I need to issue a bit of a disclaimer. These notes were never really designed to be read. They are my preaching notes, and I don't put much detail into my notes. Some people write out their notes word for word, but I am really more of a headlines guy. I rarely give my notes out because they are really just designed to be a guide to keep me on track during a message. But, I had several people ask me for these notes, so here you go. I think the most important thing is that you can go back over the scripture that I used after hearing the message. My prayer is that we will all pray the prayer found in Psalms 139:23-24, and invite God to lead us on His jounrey for us. If you haven't heard the message, these notes may not mean much to you, so I recommend that you go to http://www.getlife.info/ and listen to the series.
I have also put the list of books that I mention at the bottom of these notes.
My Journey toward Forgiveness #1
- In September I went on a Men’s event called a “Quest”…
- During this “Quest” I prayed a Dangerous Prayer…
Ps 139:23-24 NLT
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
- God answered my prayer by shining His spotlight on a relationship that I have avoided for years…
= My Relationship w/ my Dad…
= There were several issues from my childhood…
- The Lord brought up what I now call my 35 year Grudge…
= At 5 yrs old I watched my dad beat my mom…
- I Forgave my Dad 23 years ago…
…but never personally told him, and I realized that I still had bitterness in my heart toward him…
Matt 18:21-35 NLT
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, "Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?" 22 "No!" Jesus replied, "seventy times seven! 23 "For this reason, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn't pay, so the king ordered that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. 26 But the man fell down before the king and begged him, 'Oh, sir, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.' 27 Then the king was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. 28 "But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. 29 His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. 'Be patient and I will pay it,' he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn't wait. He had the man arrested and jailed until the debt could be paid in full. 31 "When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him what had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, 'You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?' 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison until he had paid every penny. 35 "That's what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters in your heart."
- God really doesn’t give us an option about forgiveness...
Matt 6:14-15 NKJV
14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
= There is an amazing freedom that comes when we receive forgiveness, and when we give forgiveness to others!
= It’s a Cycle of Freedom!
“Forgiveness is not natural!”
“Forgiveness is super-natural!”
3 Important Truths I’ve learned about Forgiveness:
1. Forgiveness is Releasing People into God’s hands
Rom 12:18-19 NKJV
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
2. Forgiveness is a 2-Way Street
23 "So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
3. Forgiveness is NOT a feeling... It’s a choice.
Col 3:12-13 NLT
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.
“Forgiveness doesn’t change the past,
but it does enlarge the future."
During my Quest Father God gave me Clear Instructions:
- Repent for allowing unforgiveness back into my heart
- Make a list of all my major offenses toward my dad
- Release my dad into God’s hands
- Begin to Pray for my dad every day
- Go Share my Offenses with my Dad & Forgive him
- Wash his Feet & Pray for him
My Journey toward Forgiveness #2
3 Things that happen if we “Refuse to Forgive”:
1. We become Chained to the Offense & Offender...
- We end up taking the pain of that offense everywhere we go...
- Sometimes people actually begin to like their chains.
- Often our chains from the past actually become a part of our identity.
2. We Invite the Devil into our Lives...
.... Welcome Sign
1 Peter 5:8 NLT
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
= When we Refuse to Forgive, we invite him in!
Eph 4:26-27 NLT
26 And "don't sin by letting anger control you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
a spot, occupancy; location (as a position, home, tract, etc.);
an opportunity; a sheath, license, a place, a room.
= Because of bitterness people will develop all kinds of destructive lifestyle.
3. We Drink the Deadly Poison of Bitterness...
Acts 8:23 NKJV
For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity."
...Holding on to bitterness and thinking that it hurts our offender is like drinking poison hoping that the other person dies…
"When we forgive, we set the captives free
- only to realize that we were the captives."
~ Dr. Neil T. Anderson
How do we walk out Forgiveness?
= Pray & Prepare
3 simple steps that I learned from Pastor Jimmy Evans in his “Freedom from your Past”…
Steps Toward to True Forgiveness:
= Why would I need to “Repent”?
James 4:17 NLT
Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
Col 3:13 NLT
You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
- Forgiveness really takes root in our hearts when we release the offender into God’s hands…
Rom 12:21 NLT
Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Luke 6:27-28 NKJV
27 "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
Luke 6:31 NKJV
And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
...Jenny who forgave her uncles who had sexually abused her…
= She began to pray for their salvation!
Jesus is our shining example for this kind of forgiveness…
Luke 23:33-34 NLT
33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Ps 139:23-24 NLT
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Will you pray this prayer?
During my Journey Toward Forgiveness, I’ve read several good books…
= Recommended Books:
- “Get the Junk out of your Trunk” – Duane Vander Klok
- “Victory over the Darkness” – Neil Anderson
- “Life’s Healing Choices” – John Baker
- “The Key to Everything” – Jack Hayford
- “Freedom from your Past’ – Jimmy Evans
- “Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship” – Jack Frost
- “Total Forgiveness” – R.T. Kendall
Friday, October 30, 2009
Dancing With God
When I meditated on the word Guidance,
I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word.
I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.
The movement doesn't flow with the music,
and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead,
both bodies begin to flow with the music.
One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back
or by pressing Lightly in one direction or another.
It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.
The dance takes surrender, willingness,
and attentiveness from one person
and gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word Guidance.
When I saw "G": I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i".
"God, "u" and "i" dance."
God, you, and I dance.
As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust
that I would get guidance about my life.
Once again, I became willing to let God lead.
My prayer for you today is that God's blessings
and mercies are upon you on this day and everyday.
May you abide in God, as God abides in you.
Dance together with God, trusting God to lead
and to guide you through each season of your life.
This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached.
If God has done anything for you in your life,
please share this message with someone else.
There is no cost but a lot of rewards;
so let's continue to pray for one another.
And I Pray We All Dance Today
~ Author unknown
Thursday, October 15, 2009
for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation.
They exult in your righteousness.
You are their glorious strength.
It pleases you to make us strong.
I read this today as I prepare to walk in obedience in a way that will be very uncomfortable for me. God has challenged me to step out in faith in a way that scares me. It's easy to obey God when it doesn't take us out of our comfort zone, but that is not how battles are won. The real battles of life take courage, humility, and God's strength. I love this truth that God finds pleasure in making me strong! Bring on the strength Father!!!
I will share more about this step of obedience soon...
Here are a few more verses that I am praying through as I get ready to move in obedience:
2 Cor 12:9-10
9 Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Let’s look at the difference between Like & Love. Remember when you were a kid and you had crush on someone. There seemed to be this natural progression that went from “like” to “love”. I even remember having a girl who had a crush on me send her friend across the playground to ask me if I “loved” her friend or if I simply ‘liked” her. Although it seems silly now, at the time my answer carried a lot of weight. I mean this girl whose name I can’t even remember today, was asking me to “define the relationship”. Like and Love were obviously two very different things to this 5th grade girl. “Like” was one thing, but she wanted me to take it to another level with the power word “Love”! Following this line of thinking it would surely be more appropriate to say that “I love Jesus”, than to say that I simply “like” Him. Again, for the record, I do “love Jesus”, but I like Jesus just as much. Now that we are grown, and childhood crushes are distant memories, let’s revisit this ‘Love” & “Like” thing.
Here is my thought process now. The Bible says that I am to love my enemies, but it doesn’t say that I need to “Like” them. Love is a moral imperative. It has biblical implications, and is part of the Greatest Commandment. We are to love the Lord our God with everything we have, and we are to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. Now, before I veer off into a message on love, let me get back to my point here. While I am commanded to even love my enemies, there is no command given regarding the word “Like”. While I must love my enemy, I certainly don’t have to “like” them. Do you see my point? While I certainly love Jesus, I also really “Like” Jesus. “Like’ is a personal preference, and for that reason I think that makes “I like Jesus” powerful on a whole other level.
A few years ago Mary and I started making this distinction in our affection for each other. We’ve been married since 1988 and we certainly love each other very much. Truth be told, we are passionate about each other! Not a day goes by that we don’t call each other multiple times throughout the day or text little coded messages to each other. It was in the midst of this daily flirtation that we began to use this word “Like”. The funny thing was that we used it to sort of take the word “Love” to another level. It went kind of like this… “I not only “Love” you, but I really “Like” you to!” There was fire in those statements, and the power of "personal preference". Okay, that is enough about my romantic life… :-) "Personal Preference" is what I am really talking about. I personally prefer Jesus! When I look at the way Jesus valued people it amazes me! From the little children, to the blind man, from the woman at the well, to the woman caught in adultery, from Nicodemus to Zacchaeus, Jesus revealed the love of the Father to people. When He confronted sin, He did it with such passion, strength, and purity that you can't help but see His love for people in that as well! I really like Jesus! Jesus is the expression of God's heart for us. He is the demonstration of all consuming love. I love reading the Gospels and just trying learn from Him, to try to pick up His attributes, and maybe even begin to see with His eyes. As has been stated by authors, preachers, and the bands...Jesus showed us "a new to be human", and I want to become that kind of human. Yes, I love Jesus, but I also really like Jesus.
Monday, July 6, 2009
‘We Hold These Truths . . .’
July 3, 2009
The great British intellectual G. K. Chesterton wrote that “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on [a] creed.”
Think about that for a moment. Other nations were founded on the basis of race, or by the power of kings or emperors who accumulated lands and the peasants who inhabited those lands.But America was—and is to this day—different. It was founded on a shared belief. Or, as Chesterton said, on a creed.And what is that creed that sets us apart? It is the eloquent, profound, and simple statement penned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”I’ll never forget when I graduated from Brown University during the Korean War. I couldn’t wait to become a Marine officer, to give my life if necessary, to defend that creed. To defend the idea that our rights come from God Himself and are not subject to whims of governments or tyrants. That humans ought to be free to pursue their most treasured hopes and aspirations. Perhaps some 230 years later, we take these words for granted. But in 1776, they were earth-shaking—indeed, revolutionary. Yet today, they are in danger of being forgotten altogether. According to Gallup, 66 percent of American adults have no idea that the words, “We hold these truths . . .” come from the Declaration of Independence. Even worse, only 45 percent of college seniors know that the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are proclaimed in the Declaration.As America grows more and more diverse culturally, religiously, ethnically, it is critical that we re-embrace the American creed.America has always been a “melting pot.” But what is the pot that holds our multicultural stew together? Chesterton said the pot’s “original shape was traced on the lines of Jeffersonian democracy.” A democracy founded on those self-evident truths expressed in the Declaration of Independence. And as Chesterton remarked, “The pot must not melt.” Abraham Lincoln understood this so very well. For him, the notion that all men are created equal was “the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.” So tomorrow, go to the Fourth of July parade. Go to the neighborhood barbecue and enjoy the hot dogs and apple pie. But here’s an idea for you. Why not take time out at the picnic to read the Declaration of Independence aloud with your friends and your neighbors. Listen—and thrill—to those words that bind us together as a nation of freedom-loving people: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are the words Americans live for and, if necessary, die for. ~Chuck Colson
Thursday, May 7, 2009
What a mass of hideous sickness must have thrust itself under the eye of Jesus! Yet we read not that He was disgusted, but patiently waited on every case. What a singular variety of evils must have met at His feet! What sickening ulcers and putrefying sores! Yet He was ready for every new shape of the monster evil, and was victor over it in every form. Let the arrow fly from what quarter it might, He quenched its fiery power. The heat of fever, or the cold of dropsy; the lethargy of palsy, or the rage of madness; the filth of leprosy, or the darkness of ophthalmia—all knew the power of His word, and fled at His command. In every corner of the field He was triumphant over evil, and received the homage of delivered captives. He came, He saw, He conquered everywhere. It is even so this morning. Whatever my own case may be, the beloved Physician can heal me; and whatever may be the state of others whom I may remember at this moment in prayer, I may have hope in Jesus that He will be able to heal them of their sins. My child, my friend, my dearest one, I can have hope for each, for all, when I remember the healing power of my Lord; and on my own account, however severe my struggle with sins and infirmities, I may yet be of good cheer. He who on earth walked the hospitals, still dispenses His grace, and works wonders among the sons of men: let me go to Him at once in right earnest.
Let me praise Him, this morning, as I remember how He wrought His spiritual cures, which bring Him most renown. It was by taking upon Himself our sicknesses. "By His stripes we are healed." The Church on earth is full of souls healed by our beloved Physician; and the inhabitants of heaven itself confess that "He healed them all." Come, then, my soul, publish abroad the virtue of His grace, and let it be "to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off."
- C. H. SPURGEON
Friday, April 17, 2009
It’s tough watching your kids suffer! I just wanted to make everything better. I wanted to take away his pain. I wanted to fix it! I’ve suffered a few broken bones in my day, and I know how it feels. I remember thinking, “I wish it was my leg that was broken rather than his.” That is when it hit me that it was Good Friday. The day we remember how God endured pain and death on our behalf. I didn’t have much time to reflect on it then as I had a job to do, “just be daddy”. Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on that night, I think I understand God’s love for us just a little bit more than I did before.
Levi’s leg is set and he is on the road to recovery, but I have a new insight into God’s “Father Heart” toward us.
Isa 53:4-6 NKJV
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I am really excited about the future as the church family of Great Plains Community Church are about to become a part of Life Church! This is such an exciting thing, because we have two churches with the same vision, like-minded leadership, and similar history joining forces for greater impact! I had the privilege of speaking at Great Plains Community Church a few weeks ago, and they are wonderful people who will be a real blessing at Life Church. I’ve known Pastor Tom Blasco for more than 20 years, and having him join our leadership team is a huge step forward as we prepare to raise up leaders and reach this generation!
Life is good, the future is bright, and Life Church is truly blessed!
Ps 133 NKJV
1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing —
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Somebody who commits an act of remarkable bravery or who has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character
We love Heroes! Our movies are saturated with them, and bookshelves are loaded with them. As I started thinking about this theme of Heroes, I actually found a group in Japan that is basically a ‘Hero Fan Club”.
The Yamagato Fellowship:
“For as long as history has been recorded, it has recorded the story of heroes. Whether it be the myths of those possessing supernatural abilities or the legends of the ordinary finding the extraordinary inside themselves, common strings can be found through all of these tales. The Yamagato Fellowship is dedicated to the study of these heroes - to highlight their courage, their passion and their intellect. By looking into the past, it is our hope that we will all be better equipped to identify and inspire the heroes walking among us today.”
Life Church is becoming like a “Yamagato Fellowship” for “Heroes of Faith”.
“We will highlight their courage, their passion, and their faith. By looking into the past, it is our hope that we will all be better equipped to identify and inspire the Heroes of Faith walking among us today.”
The Bible is packed full of Heroes! As we read it’s pages we see Kings & Queens, Shepherds & Fishermen, Lawyers & Tax Collectors, Priests & Peasants, Slaves & Soldiers, all who lived Heroic lives.
We’ve been looking at a list of Heroes found in Hebrews 11.
Heb. 11:1-3 NKJV
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
1. Heroes = Live by Faith
“Faith is believing that God is who He says that He is,
and that He will do what He says he will do.”
Heb. 11:4a NKJV
“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous…”
2. Heroes = Willing to Sacrifice
Abel not only gave a sacrifice, but he gave an “Excellent Sacrifice”…
“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible.”
When you think of Military Heroes, Search & Rescue Heroes, or Revolutionary Heroes, they all had this in common, they were “Willing to Sacrifice” for the greater good.
Heb. 11:4 NKJV
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
3. Heroes = Leave a Legacy
Heroes live for something greater than themselves, and therefore their impact outlives them.
“When you came into this world you cried and people rejoiced…
live in such a way that when you die people cry and you rejoice.”
Hebrews 11:5 NKJV
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
4. Heroes = Please God
I think it’s amazing that we have the potential to “Please God”!
We don’t “Please God” out of “Duty”, but out of “Delight”.
Whenever I hear the phrase “Please God”, I get a little nervous, because there can be so much religious duty tied up in these two words. It doesn’t say Enoch was a “Legalistically Religious Man”… It says that he “Pleased God”. How do we “Please God”? The next verse clearly tells how…
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
How do we “Please God”?
= “Faith in God” = “Diligently Seek Him”
What would it look like for us to begin to “Live by Faith”, and “Diligently Seek Him” more in our daily lives?
Hebrews 11:7 NKJV
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
5. Heroes = Move with Godly Fear
The Fear of the Lord is to “Revere” or “Worship” God. It’s to acknowledge that He is God, and that we are not God! It’s really about living our lives as an Expression of Worship. Many people struggle with this term because they think of “Terror”, but real Godly Fear is really simply putting God in His rightful place in our lives.
Noah was moved with Godly Fear. He chose to obey God no matter what his circumstances, friends, or even family said! He lived in a generation of Horrible Sin, Rebellion, and Godlessness, but H echoes to follow God rather than his generation. Noah is certainly a Hero in my book! Heroes save people, and every one of us can thank Noah for our very existence! Because Noah was close to God, he became a Hero!
Ungodly Fear will paralyze you, but Godly Fear Moves you!
Hebrews 11:7a NKJV
“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark…”
6. Heroes = Prepare for the Future
Noah “Prepared for the Future” by Faith! He diligently did what God told him to do even when he saw no signs of a flood. He did this for more than a lifetime! Imagine the temptations to quit that he must have faced. Yet, he simply did the right thing, and prepared for the future. We can certainly learn a lot from Noah!
As I was preparing for this message, I went back & read through the accounts of both Enoch & Noah’s lives in Genesis, and as I did this, I noticed a statement that was made about both of them.
Gen 5:24 NKJV
And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Gen 6:9 NKJV
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.
7. Heroes = Walk with God
My family got me an I-Pod for my 40th birthday, It’s been a while since my “Walkman” days, and walking around with earphones on has almost been like a new experience for me. As I walked around our hotel & the streets of Manila, listening to Chris Tomlin, or sat in the airplane listening to Daniel Groves, or worked out listening to Jared Scholz I realized the power of walking with God to change our perspective. It’s like I’d invited God into those steps with me. Let’s do that! Let’s Walk with God!!!
1. Live by Faith
2. Willing to Sacrifice
3. Leave a Legacy
4. Please God
5. Move with Godly Fear
6. Prepare for the Future
7. Walk with God
In a world of selfishness and empty promises, let's step up and live Heroic Lives of Faith!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I just returned from the Million Leader Mandate in Manila! It was so great to be able to encourage and equip those leaders for greater impact in that amazing emerging nation. I also met with some church planters about the possibility of taking teams to assist with evangelism and service projects. I believe that we will be sending teams to The Philippines in the near future!
This trip was especially fun for me because I was able to take both of my teenage daughters! We had a wonderful time together! They also made a new friend who was excited to hang out with two girls from the USA! Her father is a friend of mine who was recently transferred over there. He and his wife Laura made the trip so great for us!
My friend "Buko Pie", I mean Mark. :-)
We had a great time, and experienced the grace of God every step of the way! Thanks for your prayers!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I recently shared a message at Life Church called Redeeming Regrets, and had several people ask me for the notes. I decided to go ahead and post a version of my notes on this blog as well.
-to feel sorry and sad about something previously done or said that now appears wrong, mistaken, or hurtful to others
Have you ever felt the sting of “Regret”? It might be words spoken that you wish you could take back, or actions taken that you wish you could erase. It could be things left undone that you wish you could do now, but it’s simply too late, you can’t change it now. Regret can be Overwhelming!
Several years ago while on an outreach with YWAM, I met a homeless man in Florida who had so much regret that he didn’t want to live another day. As I listened to him, he listed several things that he had done, as well as several things that hadn’t done, with deep regret. As I talked to him about God’s Mercy, and the power of His grace, this guy just couldn’t get past his own guilt. He just couldn’t forgive himself. He told me he wanted to die, but he feared the no one would attend his funeral…and if anyone did show up, he was afraid of what they would say. He was afraid of suicide because he was sure that would send him straight to hell, but he just didn’t want to live. Regret had paralyzed him!
Regret has paralyzed countless people from moving forward with their lives! It can be one of the most empty, lonely, and devastating emotions you will ever feel.
Maybe you’ve dealt with deep pain that comes from Regret, knowing that you simply can’t rewind the tape & start over. If you have “Regret” today, God shares it with you. He knows what you are going through, and feels your pain with you. God values you more than you do. Not only does God feel your pain, but He knows how to Replace your Regret with Vision for the Future…
God can Redeem your Regrets! He can do a “New Creation” work in your life!
2 Cor. 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
How do we Deal with Regret & allow God to Redeem it?
The 4 R’s of Dealing with Regret:
- If sin produced the Regret, Repent of it!
- If it wasn’t sin, you can still choose to turn away from the Regret and live for God focusing on the future instead of the past…
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
- If your Regret is based on a relationship, ask God for wisdom on how to bring restitution to any Relational Regret…
- We must be willing to let go of our regret by releasing it to God. We’ll never be able to move forward as long as we hold on to the past.
1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
- Replace Regret with our Redeemer!
- Replace Regret with a commitment to avoid potential Regret in the future!
Proverbs 14:8a “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways…”
How do we move forward & live lives free of Regret?
One of the greatest Christians to ever live was the Apostle Paul. He did more to forward the cause of Christ on the earth than any man who ever lived! Even this Great Man had Regrets. The good news is that he didn’t finish his life that way!
Near the end of his ministry Paul wrote...
2 Tim. 4:7
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
-There is certainly no evidence of regret in this statement! I want to be able to make that kind of statement at the end of my days!
…Today we’re going to quickly look at a few of his statements to the churches in Philippi, & Colosse…
The first statement is from his letter to the church in Philippi…Phil. 3:12-14
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I think a good summary of all that would be:
1. Prepare for Tomorrow, Today.
Early in his ministry Paul said...
“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
Paul knew what kind of man he wanted to be! And he did whatever it took to see that it happened! How did he make sure that it happened? He lived very day his life in light of those values.
What kind of person do you want to be?
What values are most important to you?
Living a life without Regrets means preparing today for tomorrow!
Do you want to live a Life without Regrets?
-Then do something significant today…
-Do you want to be generous? = Give today!
-Do you want to save money for the future? = Save Now!
-Do you want to grow mentally? = Develop Study habits now!
-Do you want to be known as a kind person? = Be kind today!
-Do you want to make an eternal impact in the lives of others?
=Reach out now!
I’m gonna give you a little homework assignment:
-Think of 3 character qualities you want to develop.
-Everyday for the next week, practice one principle from your first character quality that will move you in the direction of making that character trait a reality in your life.
-If you do this with each quality, at the end of the third week you will have taken 21 steps toward becoming the kind of the person you want to be…
àThis seems too simple, but it works.
àA life without regrets doesn’t happen by accident…
We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons
- Jim Rohn
Proverbs 14:15 “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.”
Our 2nd Statement from Paul is found in his letter to the church at Colosse…
Col. 3:1-3 NKJV
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
2. Live for Eternity, Today.
-Each day of our lives has eternal significance!
The key to living a life without regrets--is in recognizing the significance of the eternal value in everything you do… à Look for eternal significance in the little things in life rather just the success of the major accomplishments.Jesus did not struggle to find significance in everyday life.
-He saw every day with “Eternal Eyes”!
-He would be having a meal with a friend and turn it into a life-changing experience.
-He would be walking along the road with his disciples and see a tree, and teach his disciples a lesson in faith…
Do you want to live a life without regrets?
-Open your “Eternal Eyes”!
"No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets"
- William Borden
If you would like to watch this message online you can go to www.getlife.info and then go to the media section