Archives For Priority

cloud second coming

1 Peter 1:3- 5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

His mercy for those who follow Him has caused us to be born again to a hope that is living and empowered by His resurrection. You are a person of the future, living in the now and sharing the hope of the future up close and personal for a lost world to see.

You are the promoter of an inheritance that can’t perish, that can’t be defiled and will never fade. This inheritance is being kept for you and for those you lead to the Lord.

God’s power is keeping watch of you and He is keeping watching over the future that is now and not yet. There is a day appointed; there is a day coming that you and I will be healed completely.

You and I have a responsibility to live our new identity in Christ so the world will know the way to true life.

John Wesley once said, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Now go be a promoter for Christ today.

Promote the future of Habakkuk 2:14,
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

mute button
You were called to be more than just aware of God’s presence in your life. You were called to be awakened to the presence of God in your life.

There was a time in my life when I was just aware of God. I was religious. I attended the church. I knew the praise songs by heart. I liked the preacher. I liked the people I went to church with. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. I was good at checking the God box in order to feel like my life had balance.

What I really needed was a relationship that was fully awake to God speaking into my life. I had just enough religion to smell Christian. I was aware of God but not awakened to God.

Allow me to Illustrate it for you.

There are times I’ll be watching T.V. and my wife begins to talk with me. I can hear her talking…I’m aware of her presence, but I’m not awakened to her. The T.V. has my full attention, and I can just kind of hear her in the background. It’s not until I mute the T.V, turn and look her in the eyes that she has my full attention. When I mute the T.V., I move from awareness to an awakening.

The bible tells us; we are able to hear God’s voice and we will not follow another. We can only hear Him and follow Him, when we mute the other voices that are competing for our attention.

When you mute the other voices, you move from awareness to an awakening. If you find yourself just being aware of God in your life…then hit the mute button. You would be amazed at how fast you wake up.

how-to-live-life
Are you living years or life?

It’s amazing how 6 words can stop you in your tracks and make you think. It has been said, “What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.” What are you becoming? Are you living years or life?

There is an extreme difference between living years and living life. You can live years without following God, but you can’t live life without following God.

It doesn’t take extreme obedience to live years. You can just get up and go with the flow of the world and self-interest. However, to live life, -radical obedience is called for. You will be called to go against the flow of the world. You will be called to where it’s not comfortable. You will be called to risk much for Christ, but in the end, treasures of heaven awaits you.

As Christ followers, we are called to do more than wait for the future of- no more sin, no more tears, no more injustices, no more pain, or heartaches. We are called to live that future now. Living that kind of life is living life. Anything less than living God’s future in the now is just living years.

You will not grow closer to God’s heart by just living years. To grow closer to God, you must pursue His heart with deliberate steps of obedience. You must remain attentive to His voice in such a way that you walk with the awareness of His presence. The Bible is clear when it teaches in Proverbs 3:6, “in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”

God doesn’t leave you alone to stumble ahead along the path of life. He is not impersonal or distant. A.W. Tozer once said, “We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts” I love the fact that God is that close and wants to walk with me through life instead of just years.

As a pastor, I’ve stood beside many beds as people were drawing their last breath and I’ve never met one that regretted living life by following God. However, those I’ve stood beside that lived years have a different story. It is a story of regrets and remorse.

I challenge you today; make sure you are living life, and not just living years.

potters-wheel

Isaiah 64:8
8 But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

God is not finished with you yet. His position in your life is set. He is your Father and your potter. Your position in Him is set. You are His clay and the work of His hand. One day the wheel will stop spinning. What will you be?

God excels in taking clay and transforming it by His grace into a vessel of honor and glory for His namesake.

In Philippians 1:6 we read, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

It is God that has begun the good work in you and he will complete it. On the Day of Jesus Christ, when Heaven and Earth are joined forever, and there is no more death, sin, pain or injustice…you will stand complete in Him.

That day in the future, God wants to bring to bear on your life in the now. You are clay He is shaping to feed the hungry. You are clay He is shaping to give drink to the thirsty. You are the clay He is shaping to welcome the stranger. You are the clay He is shaping to put clothing on the naked. You are the clay He is shaping to visit the sick, and you are also the clay He is shaping to go to those who are in prison.

What about you today? Are you struggling to be conformed to all that God wants to do in your life? Is there an area that you have kept uncommitted to the hand of the potter? Here, is the good news- God does not abandon you. You just maybe need to be reshaped, reworked, reformed a bit more.

You are the clay that God picks up and works into the image of His son. He shapes you as He wants you. Yes, there are times the shaping really hurts, but when He is finished you will be fully human.

Are you open to being reworked by God’s hands? Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Think on this today- If you don’t allow the potter to come into complete contact with you, you will remain an unrealized masterpiece. He has a plan for you life. He wants to use you, but you must remain on the wheel of the potter.

Allow me to remind you once more. One day the wheel will stop spinning. What will you be?

obedience

You can give God a gift of obedience, but it’s not always easy.

Facing the responsibility of not obeying God is always more difficult than obeying God in the first place.  What God is calling you to obey may very well be hard, but not obeying Him is much harder.

When you obey God, the outcome is totally in His hands. When you disobey God, the pressure is then put on you; the struggle inside of you never goes away until you obey completely. It eats away until you either surrender or grow farther and farther apart from Him.

God will always point you back to where you last disobeyed Him. The commands of God and the directives of God are designed to bring the very best into your life and to bring God the glory that is His alone.

When we disobey God, we do so in the shadow of the cross. God always directs us to die to self and to die to the attachments of this world. When we surrender to His directions and obey quickly, we show to the world that He is alive, and can be trusted.

Following God is easy when He is leading you in the direction you want to go, but what about when He decides to turn in a new direction with your life? It’s not so easy to obey when that happens, but a Christ follower must surrender.

At times, He will change your direction in big ways, and they are hard enough to obey in themselves. However, I’ve found something much harder. There are times He will seek to change something mundane in your life just to test your heart. I’ve heard it said before, “If Christ does not reign over the mundane events in our lives, He does not reign at all.”

So I close with a question today. How is your obedience?

 biblereading

 

As a Christ follower, I’m sure you read your bible. However, allow me to ask you a question. Do you permit your bible to read you? There is a difference between reading the bible, and permitting the bible to read you.

 

The scripture teaches us in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Did you get all that Hebrew 4:12 speaks?

1. God’s word is LIVING and ACTIVE

2. It’s SHARP and PENETRATES the SOUL, SPIRIT, JOINTS and MARROW

3. It JUDGES THOUGHTS and ATTITUDES of HEART

When we just read the bible out of habit, it becomes a mere devotional journey. However, when you allow the bible to read you, it corrects and changes your direction. When you allow the bible to read you, it will shape your belief, which is vital, because what you believe matters, because what you believe determines how you will live.

So, how do you permit the bible to read you?

1. Pray before you open the Bible and pray that your Bible opens you.

2. Don’t read the Bible trying to make your belief fit it. The Bible forms belief in you.

3. Picture yourself in the stories of scripture. How would you have answered Jesus?

4. Embrace the truth that God is speaking directly to you

5. Allow the Bible to love and convict the ugly side of you. We all have an ugly side.

6. Let the Bible inflame your heart and not just inform it.

 

legacyEvery person wants to be remembered. We want to be remembered, not only in this present time, but we also want to be remembered after we are gone. Today, I encourage you to take an inventory of your life in light of leaving a legacy behind.

You will be remembered. You will leave some kind of Legacy. Legacies are not born; legacies are cultivated one day at a time. The legacy you leave behind is both a choice on your part, and a voice to those that follow behind you. What you do in the here and now will be remembered by someone forever and what you do in the here and now will follow you into eternity.

Here are a few ways to leave a legacy print on the world around you.

 

1. Acknowledge Christ

Your walk with Christ is the most valuable part of your life. Words are powerful, but your walk speaks much louder. In order to have a strong walk, you must have an intimate relationship with Christ daily, and moment-by-moment. Proverbs 3:6 tells us, “in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” In other words, allow God into every part of your walk.

2. Encourage at all times

Think ahead of the next person you run into by asking yourself, “After I encounter this person, what will they say about me 20 years from now?” You can make a choice about how you want people to talk about you in the future, by making the right choice in the now. You have the power to lift people up or to tear people down. Don’t choose the latter. Matthew 5:16 tells us, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

3. Live beyond yourself

Yes, you must take care of yourself. Yes, you are valuable, but the greatest life you can live is a life that is lived beyond yourself, for the sake of others and for the glory of God. You need to make your life about something much grander than yourself.  John 15:13 tells us, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

4. Don’t be inconsistent

The voice of action deep inside of you is the Holy Spirit speaking to act. Listen to that voice and obey. God will get the glory, and you will create a lasting legacy. When you hear God speak to do an act of kindness…obey, obey, obey! God is trying to use you, and that is a great way to develop a lasting legacy. I’ve often said to the church I pastor, “Demons obey God; nature obeys God, but people struggle with it.” Make the choice to obey God without struggling, and you will be amazed at how grand and full your life will become. Divine moments are all around you if you will only see them.

To go deeper with leaving a legacy and living a life of compassion, get a copy of my book, The Descent to Compassion.

 

prayer-on-my-knees4
What could God accomplish through your life, if He had all of you?

That question will one day be answered by hearing God say, “Well done good and faithful servant”, or by Him showing you what could have been.

I honestly don’t think you want to live a ‘could have been life’ for God. I truly believe you want to give all of yourself to God.

The Cry Of God’s Heart Is To Have All Of You. When the people of God would place a burnt offering on the altar in the Old Testament, they didn’t leave half the animal off the altar. All of it was placed on the altar. Otherwise, it wasn’t an offering. All of the animal had to be sacrificed. Your life is the same. God wants all of you, not just part of you.

God can’t be fully personal with you, and you can’t be fully human, until He has all of you. In Genesis when God created Adam and Eve, he called everything good. At that moment, Adam and Eve had access to God that was fully personal, and they were fully human, the way God has intended. After the choice to sin, they lost some of what they fully had.

When I was growing up I use to play at one of my friends houses, and we always had a great time. There were lots to do there. We often would play inside his home, which was big, and had plenty of rooms to mess around in. However, there was one room we were not allowed to play in. His mom would all ways warn us not to go in there. It was beautiful. The furniture was immaculate and the colors in the room where warm and inviting. His mom even raked the carpet with one of those carpet rakes. You could tell if someone walked across the room because it would leave footprints. All we could do was look at the room.

I wonder! Are there times we do the same thing to God? He wants all of us, and we give Him all our rooms but one. We know He can look into the room, but we simple won’t allow Him to go into the room. We remind Him that he has access to 90% of the rooms in our hearts…can He not just be happy with that?

Ask yourself today…Does God have Lordship over your entire life, or does he only have limited access to your life? What one room do you not allow Him to go into?

Read this passage today, and pay attention to what is really going on. This man is looking for more rules to enter the Kingdom of God, but God is wanting all of his rooms instead. God is wanting him to turn his character over to Him.

Mark 10:17-22
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” possessions.21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great

Notice: “You lack one thing”

He had one room He needed to give God access to. What is your one room? We all have one. Whatever it is that you are holding back from God, I ask you today to give it all to Him.

Remember, God can’t be fully personal with you, and you can’t be fully human, until He has all of you.

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Life-Running-Out-Of-Control-Documentary-300x225
The ability to choose how to handle things that spin your life out of control is yours to embrace. You can’t help what life throws at you, but you can make a decision as to the way you will deal with it. When things are out of my control, I like to do these 4 things.

1. What am I suppose to be learning by this?

When my world has been rocked by something momentous and I’m hurt and feel life is out of control, I slow down and ask myself, “What am I suppose to be learning from this?” Have I taken my blessings for granted? I use the ‘out of control’ time to make sure what is in my control is not being overlooked because of what I’m going through. For example, when things are happening out of my control, it’s easy to lose focus on my family because I’m busy trying to figure out what to do next. I slow down and refocus on them.

2. I think past myself

I think past myself. In other words, I look for someone that is in need of help and I try and reach out to him or her. There is something healing about reaching out to others when you need someone to reach out to you.

3. I remind myself, that even though I can’t control everything, God does control all things.

I trust deep in my soul that God has not forgotten me and He knows all about my pain and distress. He cares more about my life than I do. He has promised in His Word that he would never leave me or forsake me. He has given you that promise also.

4. A bend in the road is not the end. (Unless you don’t make the turn)

Appreciate the adventure that God is allowing into your life. Hurt and pain are often part of the road you must travel. There is no need to allow all the negative emotions you are feeling to run you. Just keep making the turns that God is putting in front of you. The road will straighten out soon enough.

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bullseye2

Is God a priority in your life or is He the center of your life?

Maybe you have never thought about it. Maybe you feel they are the same. What I want you to consider today, is they are not the same. In fact, they are very different.  Right priorities have an author. An author that is above and altogether different from a priority list. Jesus is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of your faith.

 

Most of us have been taught the priority list (God, Family, Ministry and then other good stuff falls below these.)

Fact: Priority lists are good but they are not Lord.

1. God doesn’t belong in a priority list of your life.

2. He belongs at the center of your life because He is LIFE

When God is not the center of your life, but simply a priority, your faith is marginal at best.

God didn’t come into your life to be a priority at the top of your priority list. He came into your life to be the center. You see, priorities can soon become just a checklist we check off daily as a mere habit. The clear truth is, God is not a habit. God is life. Jesus didn’t come into your life to be a habit. Jesus came into your life to take up habitation.

Think about this today:  When you make a priority list with God at the top as your moral focus, you have reduced God to the head of a list, instead of the center of your life.

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