Only Believe 4 (message notes)

Mark 5:35-36 msg

While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 

Big Thought:  Its amazing how practical faith really is.  Its practical for one simple reason.  Jesus is personal.  Its a powerful thought and reality that the Createor of all things, The only one true God so incredbily big in all of who He is, but somehow He is mindful of us.  He cares about us, loves us, is interested in us and is personally involved in our lives.  He set up the way for us to have a relationship with him.  So we no longer depend on a ritualistic religious way of serving God, but now we are chosen, adopted, and accepted into the family of God, and He wants to be personally involved in our every day lives.

Gods attitude towards us: We are not a burden on Him.  He is not put out with us.  He is not tired of us or resentful towards us.  He loves us, and wants the best for us.  He cares so much that he loves us just as we are, and He loves us to much to leave us like we are.

QUESTION:  What is going on in your life right now thats to big for God?  

THOUGHT:  Don’t make the mistake that because God is Spirit that all his solutions and answers for our lives are alone spiritual.  Yes Heaven is real, actually more real than our very existance.  However, to think that the things that are spiritual do not bridge to the practical, physical aspects of our lives is a terrible misconception.  When we set our faith in the invisible, the unseen, God of all things, then the results of that faith manifest in the physical.

God has the ability to change things.  
>He has the power to take us out of situations, 
>He has the ability to help us walk through circumstances, 
>He has the ability the change the circumstances, 
there is no doubt that our belief in God and his ability to effect change in our lives, does more than make us feel good spiritually or give us peace.  
It absolutely impacts the circumstances of our lives.

Deliverence through – 3 Hebrew boys

Deliverence from – Peter from Jail

>All things are possible with God, including all the practical issues our our lives.

Philippians 4:19 NKJV

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus

Isaiah 53:3-5 (Amp)

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

THOUGHT:  If we Apply the instruction that Jesus gave Jairus, to ONLY BELIEVE, then we set ourselves up for this all powerful, all knowing, all present, God, to act on our behalf.

Its called appropriation.  Our faith appropriates Gods power.  His power manifests in our life, when we set our faith on him.  

HOW? 

the answer to Gods spirit intervening in our physical is to Know Him more, understand Him more and Believe who He is and what He can do, and He will Deliver you out of your problems, or walk you through your problems, or Protect you from your problems, but whatever way He chooses to do it, His Super will touch your natural, and things will change.

The best way to have God personally involved in your life, is to have an ongoing, intimate close relationship with Him.  Know him and his salvation, and grow and develop in relationship with him. The greater the revelation you receive of Christ the stronger the faith and perserverence to believe,  and the greater the manifestation and appropriation will be at work in your life.

Dwell in Christ:  All the promises of God are yes and amen IN CHRIST.  HE IS THE SECRET PLACE.  Our journey towards God being active practically in our lives, starts with having a relationship with Jesus.  Do you know him?

II Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 

Psalms 91:1-6 NKJV

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 

QUESTION:  where are you living?

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How to Get and keep Friends

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

Good friends are such a benefit to our lives. They can lift, encourage, strengthen, protect, correct and love in a way that truly makes a difference.

However acquiring friends, especially good friends is not automatic to being around people.

I love the above proverb, because in essence it’s telling us we can have friends if we try and not just friends but friends who are closer, even, than our own family.

Friends don’t just happen. If you want friends you have to be a friend. I use to have a problem connecting with people one to one. I could speak to hundreds even thousands and feel no intimidation, but connecting with one person for an elongated period of time was out of the question.

Until a mentor in my life knowing I needed to cultivate friendships, and knowing how important good strong friendships are in life, challenged me and taught me how to connect and over time I have developed friends, some of which truly are as close and even closer than my own family.

It’s important that we have and
That we are the kind of friends that care as much or more than family.

I can honestly say I have friends who have seen me through tough situations, and I’ve seen friends through tough situations. Friendship is powerful but it must be acquired and maintained.

How to get and keep friends.

1. Make it a priority

If we don’t realize how important it is, we won’t get out of our comfort zone to achieve it.

2. Connect with people who are different than you.

Finding great friends requires having many acquaintances.

3. Give kindness and compassion.

While looking for opportunities to help others you will make some of the best friends ever.

4. Be open.

Don’t live your life closed off, hiding in the crowd. Be a bit vulnerable and reach for relationships.

Make it Count

Today we celebrate 17 years of life for my daughter Taylor. 17 years ago today we were in the hospital holding the baby that we weren’t supposed to be able to have, and who had no life or apgar scores for 15 minutes after she was born. She made it, her life is a great testimony of the power of God. She is an A/B student, always has been, she travels the world with me sharing the Gospel, and helping the poor, she leads in her youth group and leads worship. She’s a musician and a singer, and a good and developing into a great leader.

God has plans for her. She’s only 17 and in many ways she’s already done more than I have.

All I can say parents, is I remember that day 17 years ago like it was yesterday, I have been completely involved in her life, but as I sit here today I feel like I’ve missed something cause it’s happened so fast. We get one chance make it count!

Thank God for his hand on my Taylor, and for letting me and Janae parent her this far. All I can say, is make it count.

FaceTime, the importance of Prayer in our lives

It’s important that we become passionate about prayer in our lives, it is a powerful component to our spiritual growth and development.  Developing your prayer life, is key to fulfilling the purpose of God in your life.  Let’s pray

 

http://www.harvestokc.com/messages/facetime-3/

The Birth of Grace

These are my notes from a Christmas message…”The Birth of Grace”

Matthew 1:23 (msg)
…She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus – ‘God saves’ – because he will save his people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term: Watch for this, a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; they will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for God is with us)

The idea of the son of God being born to be the Savior of mankind, also included him being mankind’s sacrifice. Giving us salvation through grace. Unearned, undeserved, unmerited Favor of God.

Meaning when Jesus was born, Grace entered the earth. Mankind would never be the same again.

Several ways we see grace given in the birth of Jesus.

1. We see grace being prophesied through his family tree.
• There were only four women mentioned in his family tree. Only Four, and all four had particular stories of redemption and Grace.
o Matthew 1:3 Tamar
• Geneses 38: Tamar’s story is one of vindication, one of justice, wrong things being made right. Redemption. One of her sons name was perez (break forth) and the other zerah (Scarlet, as in the color, crimson)
o Matthew 1:5 Rahab
• Joshua 2: Rahab was a harlot but had heard the stories of Gods people and believed, so she hid the spies and she and her family were saved, redeemed. The spies said, your lives for our lives. Just hang this “scarlet” Thread out the window, and bring all your family in, and you will be saved.
o Matthew 1:5 Ruth
• Ruth: The entire story of Ruth is about redemption. About her Kinsmen redeemer who purchased her and gave her offspring an inheritance. Her son was David’s Grandfather. Jesus became our kinsman redeemer.
o Matthew 1:6 Bathsheba (wife of Uriah)
• We know the story of Bathsheba and how her life was marred by adultery but in her and David’s repentance they were redeemed and she became the mother and teacher to the wisest man on the earth.

2. We see Grace In Joseph’s handling of the entire situation.
• Joseph before he knew it was God, did not want to shame or embarrass Mary, he extended grace to her. He walked in grace throughout the birth of Jesus and the upbringing of Jesus. The amplified said he handled Jesus tenderly.

3. We see Grace in His Name
• Jesus (Joshua) Savior
• Immanuel, Hebrew for God is with us

4. We see Grace in the Conception of Mary.
• Luke 1:46-55 Although Mary was a virgin She was a human and not perfect but God gave her grace and allowed her to be the carrier of the great gift to mankind.

5. We see Grace in the Angels declaration of the birth of Jesus
• For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will towards men.

6. We find Grace in The baby.
• The Fact the king of Kings came in the form of a baby, implies an act of Grace. He didn’t come to overthrow us but to be one of us, and be here for us, and to love us. In spite of our failings and his perfections. In spite of our weakness and his strengths. That is called Grace. Thank God for the birth of Grace.

When Jesus Was born, it was the birth of Grace, the completion of the law, and Now, though man couldn’t live up to the law, He has the opportunity to believe in Jesus, and His gift of Grace. The law did its job in showing us we can never meet its standard, so Jesus Came and in His grace he met the standard for us. Now all we need do, is believe.

Take this, study it for yourselves.

God bless you.
David

Something to Say About Leadership…It’s all about perspective

A great lesson I’ve learned over the years is all people see life through certain filters, or lenses. Our lives are truly a vision of the perspectives we have. Many people can’t seem to get ahead in life, because they see themselves as a victim, so they view life from that perspective. Everything that happens, every relationship, every opportunity, every rejection to them is about the fact that everyone is against them, they are doing their best and people are just keeping them down. It’s amazing what a little perspective change can do. Simply shifting the “way” we see things, can have a profound effect on our lives.

I believe there’s a cycle here. The cycle works this way. We have certain perspectives, view points (the point from which we see things). Our perspectives effect our view, which effects our thoughts. Our thoughts effect our actions. Our actions solicit responses, and those responses bring reinforcement to our perspectives.

Let me give you an example. If a person thinks that others don’t like them, then when they go to pubic gatherings, they are usually reserved, shy, disconnected. This action sends out a vibe that says don’t approach me, so people in response stay back, and this reinforces in that persons mind, “see, I knew people didn’t like me, I should have just stayed home.” Is there truth to this, no. There is no evidence that people don’t like them. They are just stuck in the cycle of fear of rejection, because they have a perspective, for whatever reason that they are not liked. Maybe it was a rejection by a parent, maybe it was betrayal by a friend in their youth. Who knows, but their perspective has them trapped.

On the other hand if you have a person who thinks everyone likes them, their actions speak of confidence and openness, the response is people are drawn to them, and it reinforces their thought, “see, I knew it, every one likes me.”

In either of these situations the fact that people do or don’t like them, doesn’t matter, what matters is their perspective. Because they will behave in ways directed by the way they see things, and their behavior will evoke a response, and the response will reinforce their perspective.

You can see how important perspective is. How do you see your life? What are the filters you see through? What perspectives need to change or even be done away with? If we’re going to lead, then we need to make sure our perspectives are not driven by insecurity. We can’t see the world through fear, and expect to be successful leaders.

There are two places this cycle can be broken. One is in a person changing their perspective, another is in people responding in love to a person regardless of their actions, which can break the cycle and give them a new perspective. Both of these are acts of leadership, and both of these take massive amounts of courage and security. We can do it!

What are perspective shifts you’ve had? How did they effect your life?

Next blog, we will talk about the next step towards security.

thanks
David

Something to Say About Leadership…What is Insecurity?

In life we hear the word insecurity often. We use this word to describe people who lack confidence, people who wear their emotions on their sleeves, and people who are enamored with the idea of pleasing other people.

What is insecurity really? The dictionary defines it as an unsafe feeling. A state of mind characterized by self-doubt and vulnerability. So insecurity is a feeling of not being secure. It is a feeling of being a target for hurt or harm, when you get right down to it insecurity in its true meaning is just plane fear, the fear that we are not safe.

We’ve thought of insecurity as an overly emotional state, immaturity, and a lack of confidence. All these things characterize insecurity. They also Characterize fear. Insecurity simply means I’m afraid I’m going to be rejected. It means I’m afraid I’m going to fail. It means I’m afraid I’m going to hurt. It means I’m afraid to risk. It means I just don’t feel safe.

We can all see how this can sabotage a leader. This type of thinking paralyzes a leader. Keeps them from moving forward. Keeps their focus on their performance not the vision. What we need to do however is remove the mystery from the word insecurity and just call it what it is, Fear. Say it after me. “I am afraid.” We all go through this at different times. It’s what we do in those times that matters. Will we see insecurity for what it is and eliminate it, or will we see it as a small weakness and let it stay. It’s fear, and if you are a leader fear is your mortal enemy!

Fear is the enemy of the leader. That’s the way we should look at it. We need to listen and believe the bible. Romans 8:15 says, “we have not been given the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby we cry abba father. It says in Timothy, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and of a sound mind. So Fear does the transverse of this passage. It eliminates love, makes us feel weak, and paints us into a corner of confusion. Fear is an enemy to the leader.

We need to understand the power Insecurity and fear can have if we allow it in our lives. What does it cause? If I fear people’s opinions than I can’t lead with a clear vision, If I fear taking a risk, or failing, then I will stick with the status quo. If I fear rejection from people I will be obsessed with my performance and never feel like I’m good enough. It really is a killer of leadership. We must force it out of our lives.

I taught our staff today, on the idea that leading progress requires courage. Its possible to lead and not be moving forward, Moses did it for 40 years in the wilderness. It took courage for Joshua to get it moving forward. God told Joshua in the book of Joshua chapter one, to “be strong and of good courage and not to be afraid” four times. He was getting the point across to Joshua that it was going to take courage to lead to the fulfillment of the dream, to do the right things, to stand against fear itself, and bottom line it takes courage to lead people. It requires us to do the uncomfortable, to confront, and to influence others.

When I was starting out, I wanted everyone to like me. I thought that was leadership. It made me second-guess my communication. I wondered constantly if I was measuring up. It caused me to compete with others in my own mind, and to compare myself with others. I was afraid I would be rejected or I wouldn’t succeed. It wasn’t until I realized leadership is a “stand alone” place much of the time and It takes courage to help people. You can’t help people if you are constantly seeking their approval, because then it’s all about you and not them.

There are ways to defeat this fear. There are perspectives we must have, and perspectives we must change to defeat this enemy. It can be done.

Next blog I will talk about the first way to overcome insecurity, and how our perspectives can create either a vicious cycle of fear, or a victories cycle of confidence.

Hope this is helping you. Please comment on fears you have faced in leadership and how you have overcome them.

-David