Tuesday, June 25, 2013

One thing many RELIGIOUS people are not getting RIGHT


In the messages I preached last Sunday at our church, I focused on the television series LOST and the meaning of good relationships in our lives. As you know this TV show was about 48 people surviving a plane crash and had to leave all of their established relationships behind and start new ones with other survivors, many that were so different than they were.

I believe that God created us for deep relationships and not just to have acquaintances. 
I recently checked my Facebook friend list and I have 883 "friends"!!! Wow, I will be pushing 1000 real soon. But, as I reviewed my list, I found out that hundreds of these fine folks are pretty much acquaintances and not people I have a personal relationship with.

The things that are outlined below will only happen when we have deep relationships that are far more than casual acquaintances.

How does God expect us to live out our relationships?

  • By being LOVING and considerate to others
Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 

  • By being FORGIVING to others

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  • By valuing others more than OURSELVES
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

The New York Telephone Company monitored phone calls to see what were the most used words in phone conversations...do you know what word was the most used? You guessed it: "I"

Are you getting RELATIONSHIPS right? Our relationships with others are so important to God. He loves those that He created and wants us to love others too....

Join us at United next Sunday for more on this important topic...thanks for reading!

Monday, June 17, 2013

My New Golf Clothes and INFLUENCE

Well, Fathers Day is over for another year. I do hope everyone enjoyed the time together you spent with family during this special time.
I am also thankful for the designer golf shorts and shirt that I received for Father's Day. 
I just hope that I play as well as I am dressed the first time I wear them on the golf course. I am right now thinking about which golf course is going to be privileged to have me the day I wear these fine clothes for the very first time! I mean there is a chance I will be the best dressed golfer on the course that day. When I walk off of that golf course, regardless of how I play,  I can say:
"I may not be good but at least I look good doing it!"

Isn't that how life works? We may have the best exterior looks, we look like we mean business, we display all the qualities that we know others want to see. However, many times we INFLUENCE others the wrong way because of our actions that others see and our words that others hear.

The Apostle Paul said to young Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:12: "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."

One of my favorite quotes goes like this:

So, if we win on the inside, taking care of who we are becoming, the outside will take care of itself, no matter how good we look. People will want to be around us, to learn from us and to become more like who we are becoming on the inside.
Winning on the inside will cause us to win and influence others on the outside. That is where disciples are made, where winners are established.
Whether we notice it or not, we are influencing someone today; some for the good and some for the bad. Our influence on others can make an impact for years to come. Keep growing in your heart, keep learning from the One who has the greatest wisdom and plan for your life.
"The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years."  
Deepak Chopra

So, no matter what I dress like on the course with my new Father's Day clothes, there is really only one thing that makes a difference: 

Winning on the inside, set a good example and influencing others to follow and win in this most important GAME OF LIFE!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Christ follower or Comfort follower?

1 Peter 2:21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

To many, it appears that we live in an unjust society. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people.
Perhaps, in 2015, situations defined you. When good things happened you were easy to live with. When bad things happened you were.....well, you know how you were!

Being in a bad situation is not an excuse for bad conduct. We, followers of Christ, have the power of Christ living in us and that should make a difference for Christians to live at a higher level than the "world" around us.

BRIEF NOTES about living in an unjust world:

1. There will be much injustice in this world and we need to get used to that fact!
-Upon accepting an award, the late Jack Benny once remarked, “I really don’t deserve this. But I have arthritis, and I don’t deserve that either.”

In life we get some things we don't deserve and some we do deserve. The whole idea is to live for Christ, act like Christ would and follow His example no matter what life offers us.

Talk about injustice!! Watch this video:

2. Be Submissive, Be Respectful and Be Enduring to those over you and to the problems you face.

-Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”

ILL.- Someone asked C.S. Lewis, "Why do the righteous suffer?" "Why not?" he replied. "They’re the ones who should be able to take it!”

Once again, we, as believers should be able to face persecution and pain from others in a different way than those without God's grace living through them.

  • It is more important that Christ’s followers be people of integrity than people who live well. 
  • It is more important that God’s people display God’s grace than people who demand their rights. 
  • It is more important that Christians are known for their grace and patience than for their success and business skills.
  • It is more important that Jesus Christ be lifted up than for me to get out of a bad situation.