September 14, 2015

It's a beautiful Monday morning . . . one that God has given us out of His grace. May we use it for His glory! I hope your day and work week are off to a great start. I just wanted to say to the football fans out there that you know you might have a problem when your Monday morning outlook is highly dependent on how well your team did over the weekend. Let's hope your team did well unless they were playing my team . . . haha . . . of course.
As I sit here on a Monday morning I realize there are so many topics I want to convey to each of you that I feel a little overwhelmed. In one sense I think that wow they should already know these things and yet maybe I need to be their reminder. In another sense I think, who am I that they should or even will listen to me? I'm just kidding myself. And if they do hear it will they actually take action on it? And then I think maybe this is just what "I" want and maybe you need to hear something else or maybe God wants me to convey something else. Ah, so you can see a little of where my brain is as I sit and pray for you and for God's direction. So let me share a few ideas and you let me know if God is speaking to you through them.
Discouragement. Maybe today you are feeling down for whatever reason. Maybe a relationship is not going how you want it to go. Or maybe you're out of money and the week just started. Or maybe your walk with God seems very dry or distant. Let me be the voice of encouragement today. God has not forgotten you. He is as close as a prayer away. He wants to be in control of your life and in reality He can run it much better than you. But you have to give Him that control. If you are discouraged today take it to God in prayer and listen for His answer. We had a meeting last night after church and one topic was church finances. Did you realize that even churches sometimes struggle with money? That seems odd when you really think about it. And the first response for many is fear. The same fears you have with your money. And yet God's Word is very clear about fear. There are many but let me just quote one here and give you the reference for another one so you can look it up later. 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV) says, "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." (Also check out Matthew 6:31-33.) Whenever we deal with life's problems there should never be any fear. That spirit of fear is not from God. So today, whatever is going on in your life don't be afraid. God has your back. The King of the Universe is on your side. Take comfort in that.
Discipleship. One more word to share today as I see I am already getting long. (Some have already stopped reading by now – ha.) The bible tells us that we are to "go and make disciples." Many times I think we read that and we agree but then we think "umm I'm just going to let someone else do that. I go to a big church so I don't have to do everything. There are plenty of others who will get that done." The command is there for all of us. So what does that look like? Again, not enough time to fully explain this but ultimately it means living each day intentionally. Those of you who have heard me speak know that word is one I am focused on recently. Living life Intentionally. Living life On Mission. Each day needs to begin and be immersed in prayer. Prayer that God will use you. Prayer that God will provide opportunities and open doors. Prayer that God will give you the words to say. It begins there and prayer continues throughout each moment of your day. But then it also requires action. It doesn't have to be crazy action like walking around quoting scripture to everyone you meet. It doesn't have to be wild action where you lose your job because you're shouting "Turn or Burn" from your cubicle. But it does mean being intentional in looking for opportunities to interact with others and to be used by God. In just a few weeks we are kicking off a campaign called "100 Happy People" which Max Lucado did at his church last spring. We will adapt it for sure but just know that discipleship has to be intentional. It has to start with each person and requires God and you working together. Get a jump start today on being intentional.