Monday, November 30, 2009

Ministry Makeovers

Attimes, we just have to evaluate what we are doing in ministry. We have to check out what we are really doing in Jesus' name. We need to look at the essence of what we do as well as the effectiveness of how we do things.
But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. [1 Cor. 14:40, NIV]
Just look at how we handle things. Keep the Lord's Word in perspective as we do so. From there, we should learn if we are doing right by Him. He sets the standard. We are to strive to live up to it.
__________________________
Here are some resources that may help when evaluating your ministry.
www.outreach.com
www.lifeway.com
www.churchmetrics.com
www.crosswalk.com

Friday, November 27, 2009

Make the Most of Today

What do you do with your day? Is it all about whatcomes your way? Do you make plans that are interrupted by other things that seem to be other people's priorities? I used to do that. It made me sick. I mean literally sick.
I learned to prioritize my day with necessary tasks and necessary "down" time. Everything that comes your way may not be for you to handle. I mean that. Whether it is business, ministry or other things, take the time to seriously evaluate if this is something that you need to do yourself.
You have options where you can:
  • Delegate the work to someone else who is capable
  • Divide the work between you and others
  • Delay the work until other priorities have been met

Don't get me wrong. It will have to be done. it just doesn't have to be done by you and you alone.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Delivered, Not Destroyed

John 3:16 says a whole lot. I mean really read it to yourself. Take it all in. Letthe words saturate into your soul.
God did something out of love.
No, let me back up.
God did something for us, who surely did not deserve it, out His love for us. He got the ball rolling for us to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten son, that we might have eternal life and not perish based upon our belief in Him.
Wow! He has the power to destroy us for our sins. You know, those thoughts that creep in when you let your mind wander. He can call us on our thoughts, words and actions. Pick any of those and you can see that we are sinful. We might control our actions, but watch those words. And, Lord, have mercy about the way we have let our minds wander into different areas. Truthfully, we needed Jesus to do what He did on Calvary for us.
Look at John 3:16. Look at what love will really cause someone to do for someone else. The word is sacrifice. What he sacrificed for us cannot be repaid with anything we have or that we can gain.
Hold on to the words that you read in John 3:16.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Heretics or Haters

I guess we should shut down the rumors now. Some folks just got to be up in the business whether you invite them or not. It doesn't matter.
Ask Jesus about it. He asked the question regarding the Sabbath and doing good or harm, saving or killing (Mark 3:4). No one wanted to answer Him. He went on and healed a man simply by His command for the man to stretch out his hand. Guess what? That wasn't satisfactory either for some folks. The Bible says that the Pharisees got together with the Herodians and started working on a plot on how to destroy Jesus.
Learn the lesson. Some people just have to regulate what other people do regardless of what good it does. We have these glorified gatekeepers watching our every move, keeping their eyes on all that we do inside and outside of the church. Think on it. If that's who is guarding the door, then thatmay be why folks ain't coming in like they used to back in the day.
Just a thought. . .

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Planning the Path

Habakkuk 2:2-3
We can find ourselves totally off course. I mean we can just be off track and headed in the wrong direction. What we need to do when this happens is simple and makes good sense. We need to get back to the point of the mission and purpose. We need to return to what originally motivated us in the first place. From there, we can stick to the plan and head down the right path.
Limit the lip service. Stop simply speaking about it. Start doing something about the issues. Now is the best time to get back on track and get yourself aligned with your goals again. Plan your path.

In the World, Not of the World

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Genesis 6:8 (NKJV)
Noah is an example of how we can exist in the world without being of the world. In fact, Noah found grace in the eyes of the lord according to the Scriptures. That says a lot about Noah because of the condition of the world he lived in daily. Dealing with worldly people does not mean that you have to become worldly. You can coexist with other people who do not share your beliefs and God will still grant you favor. You just have to commit to maintaining your integrity and keeping a grip on our identity in Christ in spite of the world we live in as followers of Christ. Even with that, we can maintain a high standard for ourselves in a world that seems to hav low standards.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Doubting, Not Defeated

I can only imagine how much doubt was going around the camp when Joshua said for the children of Israeal to consecrate themselves and prepare for what God would do the next day. I still feel a little of that same doubt drizzle upon me as I think about it. Think about how it must have sounded when Joshua present the Jericho wall strategy. Silence must have left many feeling like Joshua had lost his grip and was headed down a similar path to poor ol' Moses. Surely, I can imagine, people doubted. Did they doubt and submit to defeat? I truly doubt that much. Some will add more commentary on how Joshua followed in Moses' footsteps and all of that, butI merely say that he faced a new generation that had no ties to Egypt, only to the promises of God. So, in thatcase, why doubt? Why? It's simple. We doubt because we have not seen it come to life yet. It has not manifested before our eyes. Yet, even when we doubt, we must remain undefeated. Let us run our race with endurance, withstanding stride by stride until we reach the end of the journey. Paul shared that we are pressed on every side, but he was also sure to inform us that we had not been defeated.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ready or Not

God will pick us for a special assignment whether we are ready or not. He will tap you on your spiritual shoulder and get your attention, and then hit you with some overwelming news. He wants to use you to reach other people. He wants to use you to preach His Word. He wants to use your voice to sing praises to His name before the entire world. God wants to use you of all people. Can you imagine that?
Think about Saul prior to becoming Paul. How about Peter and Andrew as they cleaned their fishing nets by the shore with Jesus inviting them to become "fishers of men." Moses just wanted to tend his father-in-law's sheep, but god came to Him as a burning bush and gave him a new assignment with a different flock.
Get ready. You never know. He may be on His way now. All you have to do is let Him use you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Faithful Focus (Heb. 12;2)

Looking unto Jesus. . .
Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
I've been there. I am talking about those times where you just seem to have lost focus. Literally, it is as if you can't keep your eyes set on your target. It truly can be troubling. I even find it distrurbing.
The author of Hebrews told us to drop all of that heavy-weighted stuff that keeps us bogged down while trying to run this race. Then, he offers us a faithful focal point. He simply says look at Jesus. Do you need inspiration for enduring? Look at Jesus. Can't seem to get on target? Look at Jesus. Does it seem like you arelosing it? Look at Jesus.
Keep your focus by keeping your focus on Jesus. He's our primary example. He's the best mentor we could ever have on our side.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Beyond Sunday

"...And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." - Acts 2:47 (NKJV)

Salvation is not limited to Sunday. God's saving grace works beyond our Sunday morning worship services. He saves sinners on any other day just as good as He does it on Sundays. Unfortunately, we tend to limit our perspective on God's grace for salvation to Sunday based upon traditional views. The truth is that God's grace is intended to work on a daily basis.

The early church operated beyond the Sabbath. According to the New Testament, the newly-converted believers of the Way met daily, whether in the temple or from house to house. The church was a body of believers, not a central meeting place. Since the establishment of the church building as a central meeting place for the body of believers, the church has primarily met on a one-day-per-week basis rather than a daily basis. However, God's power is not limited to Sunday only. In fact, even if the church met three days per week, Wednesdays for prayer and Bible study, Fridays for fellowship or evangelism, and Sundays for praise and worship, God's power still works beyond when the church says it is open for business.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Black Business, Kingdom Business

William Washington Browne had been a slave, and became a minister, educator, and businessman. Did everybody get that? He was once a slave, but he escaped from slavery and signed on as a Union officer's servant before serving in the Union Army at fifteen. He was a minister and educator. A former slave? Yes, sir. Yes, ma'am. Finally, he was a businessman. The Bible is ripe with the Lord using businessmen of all sorts such as fishermen, shepherds, and others.

Visit www.sba.gov to learn more about small business success.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Love Acts as a Catalyst

For Gos so loved. . .
-John 3:16
It is pretty simple. It's like 1 + 1 = 2. It just makes sense. It adds up. Love serves as a catalyst for further action. It makes us do what we may not normally do. It provides us with the "higher road" that should be taken. It sets us up to do more than usual. It makes us realize how much we cannot do in our own strength. Yet, when love has penetrated us and filled us, then we see all of the miraculous things that He can do through us.
Paul said it well the other day to some believers in Rome. "Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10 NIV). If we are "loving" folks, we are edifying folks, empowering folks, embracing folks, engaging folks, and entrusting them, too. we are do all sorts of things that make them better and bring them no harm. We do not do such things in order to love somebody. We do such things because we already love somebody.
Be careful out there. Love is a catchy thing. If you get loved the right way, the way God intended for you to be loved, then you are going to feel it and catch it. And, once you catch it, then you are bound to do all sorts of things just because you love. . .

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If I Had it to do Over Again

I reflected the other day on the eve of another birthday and thought about how much could be or even should be different in my life. There are wrong turns that I wish could have been u-turns. Choices have been made that I often regret. Things have been done and said that I wish that I could take back.
I guess if I had it to over again, I would do things with more faith. I would approach life's many challenges with a renewed spirit, renewed by His Spirit, and tackle things both big and small with more faith. I really mean to say by faith that I would trust the Lord more wholeheartedly, giving Him my all. That's what I would do. I would do things with more faith.
In reality, I realize that God has brought me this way for a reason. Every season. circumstance and challenge has come about for a reason. Every slight change and drastic overhaul has been for a reason. I am supposed to grow. So, as I reflect, I grasp hold of what He has given for me to do, and I approach it with another chance, a new opportunity, to simply have more faith.
 
Amen Me!