Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What a Weekend!

Midtowne Church held it's second serving project and second Preview service this past weekend and all I know to say is WOW!

About 25 of us went all around the community handing out appreciation bags to employees at local businesses. I wish you could have seen the faces and heard the comments that they made when we told them we appreciate them and all they do. My favorite was, "That's never happened before." A sad commentary on our culture I think and statistics say that the number one reason people change jobs is because they feel unappreciated. We want to change that.

Sunday morning we gathered for our second preview service. The mood was electric and the Spirit was very present. We held this service in the warehouse portion of the building because we didn't think we would fit in the smaller classroom we used last time. We were right. We had a full band that did awesome worship and I spoke about giving thanks to others this Thanksgiving. Even though I was battling a sinus infection, God showed up. I am so glad it doesn't depend on me and my ability.

The Children's Ministry did a great job with the kids and all of our volunteers were awesome. I am so thankful for our Launch Team and their commitment to this ministry. God is up to something big in Saline County and I am thankful to be a small part of it.

One weekend down and a lifetime more to go. What will God do next? I can hardly wait to find out!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Making Jesus Proud Pt. 2

Firm Faith Luke 7:18-28 John the Baptist

John was the picture of humility. He had every opportunity to take credit for the awesome things God was doing through him yet he knew that the glory must go to God and for that reason Jesus pointed him out.

So how can we demonstrate a humble heart and make Jesus proud of us?

Always check your heart motive for the things you do. Are you doing things, even good things, to be noticed? Are you serving others so that you can get another notch in your belt? Do you desire to get attention for your self? We all want to be recognized for a job well done but when it comes to serving God, He alone gets the credit and gives the credit. If you are expecting others to give it to you, you had better check your heart.

Be careful how you speak to others about your serving. Do you find yourself using the word "I" a lot? Are you often telling stories about yourself in an undeclared game of "Top This"? Do your friends and family get time to speak or have they become really great listeners? Nothing wrong with bragging on God but make sure that your words always point to Him.

*SPECIAL NOTE: Please don't feign humility with this saintly refrain: "It's all God, all God." A simple "Thank you" or "It was cool to see God do that" will suffice.

One more thing, a humble heart is best presented by actions and not words at all. Notice that John was not even present for this commendation that Jesus gave him. John didn't need to be there. Jesus and the people there already knew about him and his humility. Remember, in John 1:27 John the Baptist declared himself unworthy to even untie Jesus' sandals. People knew about John. His reputation was known because of the life he lived: A life of humility.

Serve your family, friends and co-workers this week but don't expect any credit for it and if you do get some, smile and say, "Thank you" then in your heart give the glory to God.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Making Jesus Proud Pt. 1

*NOTE: The next few posts are follow ups to the message I taught at Midtowne Church's first service on October 21, 2007. We talked about four things that a church must do in order to Make God Proud.

A Firm Faith Luke 7:1-11

Wow! That Roman soldier really got it. When you understand who Jesus really is and what He can do, you have no trouble putting your trust or confidence in Him. He recognized Jesus as having all authority because of the authority that he had as a soldier. When you have confidence in your leader, you will not question his orders.

So how do we live that out?

This week, realize who Jesus is. If you have truly received Him as your personal Savior and LORD (that's the key, it means boss or leader), then you have all the faith you need. If He is God enough to give you eternal life, He is God enough to handle the stuff you face day to day (see Colossians 2:6-7).

As you face decisions, problems, or difficulties, let Jesus take them from you. How? By telling Him that He can. The soldier said "You have all authority. If you just say the word...". Do you believe that? Tell Jesus to handle it for you. If you confess His authority in your life, He will act according to His character.

Don't worry. Worry means you are playing God. It means you don't trust Him to handle it. Leave it in His hands and forget it. By daily reading His Word and daily giving things to Him through your prayer times, you will see Him work. As you see Him work, you will be encouraged and your faith will become stronger.

Ask Him to help your faith grow. He will. Usually by giving you things you can't handle to see if you will give them to Him.

Make Jesus Proud of You Today