12 miles

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What is 12 miles? The distance that many of the members of this church walk, one way just to get here.

You see this is the only church in the area. This culture is very pedestrian in the sense that many of them aren’t fortunate to have a car or moto so they walk. Even so 12 miles one way? So let’s get this perspective. They are almost walking the distance of a marathon to attend church.

Now before you think I’m about to bash those of us who live in the west and give you some speech about how when I grew up we had to…etc. slow down, that’s not my intention.

However, I do want us to investigate the question that in our current mindset, our life of options and conveniences if someone told us we could only go to church 12 miles away and we had to walk would we do it?

Do we love the gathering that much? Are we that committed to the cause of Jesus, His Church, that we would walk it?

Seriously, how motivated, how inspired, how spiritually hungry, would we have to be to make that walk?

Are we that excited and motivated about our relationship with God, are we that moved by our love for our church? Are we burning with the spiritual hunger and passion enough to take that walk?

As I write this to you, I’m challenged in my own relationship with God? Am I that hungry for him? Am I committed to that level?

Again, it is not my desire to condemn you or make you feel bad, it’s a question I’m asking us.

Warning: before we make excuses like…

Well they don’t have the distractions we do, true, there distractions are more like roads that are dirt and difficult to traverse.

Well, they don’t have all the options we do, don’t get this twisted, they are human and can easily choose other things that are more convenient and make for a much easier day.

I could go on but let me stop and make an observation. Our blessing doesn’t make us bad, and their lack doesn’t make them good, and that’s my point.

I didn’t say every African goes to church, and I didn’t say every African Christian would walk or has to walk twelve miles.

What I’m saying is this is not an externally religious obligation that motivates at this level. It’s an internal heart motivation based on a relationship with the one who has saved our lives.

The question I’m asking myself and the question I want you to ask yourself is our relationship with God and His Church worth a twelve mile walk?

God give us the heart that we would walk to the end of the earth for you.

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Always Something New

It never fails when we reach out to help others, and attempt to do the will of God with motives other than selfish ambition that God will give us a greater revelation of who He is.

A great temptation for a guy like me, meaning I’m 43, I’ve grown up in ministry, I have worked in full time ministry for 23 years and for all of those years I’ve been an avid student of the word, of people, of leadership and life in general, is to without realizing it limit myself by thinking I know more than I do, or operating on old stale mind sets.

As I lay here in my bad at 4 am in kibuye, Rwanda, listening to the waters of lake Kivu and contemplating what I plan to share with these pastors today I realize I’m but a small piece of a very big puzzle. I have more to learn than I have to teach. I’m merely a tool in the hand of God and what he is using me for is less about me and more about His purpose.

However I am a piece of the puzzle. I have learned some thing’s that I can teach, and I am a tool in the hand of God that He will use to change the life of another.

So in realizing this temptation, and that a lot of people my age struggle with this whether they admit it or not, I find myself with a new and different perspective.

That while I’ve gone aways down the road of my journey I’m really just beginning. I’m more concerned now with the motives behind what I do then the importance of what I do. Growing is something that never stops if we are healthy and I can learn from the very people I teach.

My prayer is that Gods kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and that it never be skewed by my limitations, aspirations or selfish ambition.

I am given to that for which God has created me for, nothing added or taken away.

To God be the glory!

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Proverbs 1:4-6 (msg) To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality. There’s something here also for seasoned men and women, still a thing or two for the experienced to learn-Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate, the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.

I’m on vacation, relaxing and enjoying time with my family. I’m having a great time. God is good! Enjoying time with God as well just reading proverbs and wanted to share some thoughts I love that my dad and grandfather taught me as a young man, how important the bible is, and how it’s wisdom can transform and revolutionize our lives.

In this passage that’s what this is saying. These writings are inspired by God and penned by the great king Solomon. What he says is simple. The word of God teaches us how to live, but more than that he reveals the right attitude for growth and development.

No matter if we are young and zealous, beginning to learn about life, thinking we know more than we do, we need to pay attention to the wisdom of God and be teachable.

No matter if we are older, experienced and have faced many issues, there is more for us to learn. More growth and development to be had. Be teachable.

The killer of a persons growth and development, the thing that will stunt it more than any other is the pride and arrogance of thinking we know more than we actually do. I’ve made a commitment to be a life long learner. In my mind that is the key to success. So, let’s be honest about where we are and be open to be taught necessary lessons to achieve Gods purpose.

We don’t know it all, we don’t enough, and the moment we think we do, we’re done.

What are you learning right now?

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/

What’s on Your Mind?

Collisions 3:1-2 (AMP)

If Then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

The bible says in proverbs, as a man thinks in his heart so is he.  We are told many times in the new testament, to put on the mind of Christ.  Romans 12:2, tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and Strength.

This passage in collossians helps us understand how to grow spiritually, and really how to keep from stunting our spiritual growth.  When we accepted Christ, in symbol we died with Him on the cross and rose with him from the dead.  Our old nature, what the apostle Paul calls the “old man” died when we accepted Jesus sacrifice, and understood that He paid the penalty for our sins.  Just like our “old man” died, our “new man”  now lives with him in reserrection.  Meaning we are the personification of the idea expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:17 If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away, and behold all things have become new.

In truth, we at that moment of salvation are regenerate.  When our faith connects with God, he changes us.  However our old nature, sin nature, carnal nature is at war with that spiritual reserrection and we have to remind ourselves daily that old man is dead.  How?  will we struggle with this forever, boredering on a defeated life foreaver?  Not knowing if we are going to make it spiritually.  No.  Not if we do what this passage says. “Set your minds, and keep them set on what is above.  Meaning godly thoughts, a mind that is transformed and progressively changed as a result of thinking on the word of God, and on Gods plan and purpose for them.  We know that we think on things we allow into our lives.  So what is on your mind today?  Worry?  Stress?  Sin?  trouble?  Gossip?  Failure? Past?

It says, “Set.”  Which means establish, found, consistant.  It implies don’t let anything take your thought life off course?  So two things.  1.  Take the time to meditate, think on Biblical, godly, and purposeful things.  2.  Don’t listen to, follow after, fill your mind with other things.  No fear, just faith.  No gossip, just truth.  No worry, just peace.  No Sin, just righteousness.  No failure, just hope.

What’s on your mind?

 

 

 

 

Walk, Stand, Sit

Psalm 1:1 (NKJ) Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

I want to draw your attention to 3 words in this passage. Walk, stand, and sit. Who are you receiving counsel from? Who’s path are you walking in? Who’s seat are you sitting in?

As a Christian (a follower of Jesus) our spiritual growth and development depends on our associations. Don’t misunderstand me to say that we can’t have any relationships with the lost, how will we reach them if not?

This is another issue. This is the issue of close relationships, those that advise us, those that we walk together with. These close relationships should be reserved, for faith filled, godly people who believe God wholeheartedly.

When we surround ourselves with people who speak into our lives who are cynical, ungodly, and sinful there is a spiritual digression that takes place. You start by walking, but if it’s with the ungodly, it won’t be long before you’re standing. If you stand in the path of sinners you will soon be sitting in the seat of the scornful (mocker, doubter, cynic)

In order to reach out to those who need Jesus, we must be spiritually established and strong (blessed). Then we can make a difference in their lives.

Don’t allow the slow spiritual digression of wrong associations stop you in your tracks and ultimately wondering if God is even real.

Surround yourself with the church, and go on an all out evangelistic lifestyle, that will bring spiritual progress to the life of others. Get them to sit with you in the seat of faith, to stand with you in the path of the righteous, and finally lead them to walk with the Godly.

That’s the way Christianity works.

Thoughts?

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

1 John 2:6 (msg) Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.

I love this verse. It’s basically a challenge. It’s telling those claiming to really know God to live out the results of such knowledge. However many people get this backwards. They would read it to mean the following. “if I try to act like Jesus I will know God.”. This thought is definitely religious and is the human perspective on God. Trying to make ourselves good to gain Gods approval. This thinking misses the point all together. The implication of this scripture is basically intimacy inspires Insight.

It’s as if the writer is saying if we are close to God, the result is we are a reflection of Jesus. Religion is man trying to look like God in order that God may save Him, but this is merely like looking in a fun house mirror which at it’s best is a distortion of the purity of who God is. A relationship with Christ, is the opposite. We become close to God, intimately connected through Jesus Christ, we become the reflection of Him. Pure, undefiled clear view of Christ.

Today, if you don’t know Jesus, ask Him to come into your life, forgive your sins, and confess Him as your Lord and savior and you will begin to reflect His image as you mature in Him.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? A reflection of Jesus, His love, His righteousness, His justice? Or a mere distorted image of humanity trying to look like God by acting the best we can.

Get close to God, you’ll start looking like Him.

Be blessed today.