Archive for October, 2012

Wisdom From Above

Posted in Scripture on October 31, 2012 by nmpreach

Great thoughts today discussed in a study.  We read through 1 Corinthians 2 and were encouraged to consider man without God’s Spirit.  Paul writes of wisdom.  But this particular wisdom comes not from man, not from intellectual circles, nor from life lessons.  This wisdom comes from God alone.

No eye has seen,

no ear has heard,

no mind has conceived

what God has prepared for those

who love him

I was challenged to consider my role in God’s revelation.  He reveals what I need to know.  However, if I’m not willing to allow His wisdom to outweigh my own, I will fail miserably.  I’m still chewing and digesting.  And I anticipate this meal might last for some time.

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Quotes (10)

Posted in Words on October 30, 2012 by nmpreach

In regards to transparency:

Everything said must be true but not everything true must be said.  – Craig Groeshel

In regards to disciple(ship):

Becoming a disciple means to love in action.  Being a disciple is also a tool of grace to stop sin and begin restoration.  – Pete Briscoe

In regards to relationships:

Say the hard things before it’s hard to say things.  – Brian Tome

There ya go.

A Note About Leadership

Posted in Leadership on October 25, 2012 by nmpreach

All too often, we have in our mind leadership takes place in the sense of leading from the front.  The idea is in 1 Corinthians 11:1.  Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.  (Follow)

Perhaps an example would be helpful.  As parents, we often lead our children from the front.  “Do what I say because I’m Dad.  That’s why!”

Leadership also happens at times from behind.  Again, a quote from Paul.  You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  2 Timothy 2:1-2 (Encouragement – sometimes from afar)

Again an example from parenting: I’ve attempted to pour character and integrity into my children.  But eventually, they have a “free will” to make their own choices.  I must now cheer them on and hope they’ve learned lessons in the past.

Finally, leadership at times requires walking hand in hand or side by side.  Throughout the Gospels, how many times does Jesus say Come let us go?  We’re told the only way we can understand love is to understand how Christ loves(d) us.  In other words, He didn’t ask us to do anything He wasn’t willing to do Himself.  Are you willing to drink the cup?  Christ walked hand in hand with those He called. (Side by side)

Example:  Let’s go “tackle” this thing together.  This scenario of leadership often gains more respect because I don’t ask them to do anything I’m not willing to do myself.

Here’s the point:  Don’t think you can’t lead from behind or from the side.  In fact, often times the most relevant and successful leaders are leading from those places.  Don’t wait until you’re acknowledged before you lead.  As followers/disciples, we’re called to lead.  It’s what we do.  Leading from one place today doesn’t mean I won’t lead from somewhere else tomorrow.  People change, relationships change, scenarios and variables change.  It’s important we discern how to lead in each opportunity we’re given.

Thoughts?

 

A Letter of Permission

Posted in Uncategorized on October 24, 2012 by nmpreach

🙂 🙂 🙂

I’m amazed at how God works.  For several months, I’ve sensed God leading me to do something.  The problem was I wasn’t sure exactly what I was being called to do.  I can’t think of a time in my life (other than being called to Bible college) where I’ve prayed specifically about something for so long.  Recently, I was challenged/encouraged to do something I’ve never felt equipped to do.  It’s not the first time.  But I’ve always found an excuse – a way out.  Side note: I really like Moses (and especially his excuses).  🙂

I sensed God telling me now was the time.  But where/when/how to begin has always been the question.

I’m currently preaching through a series in Nehemiah.  This past Sunday, we were studying chapter 6 and God spoke to me about doing something so big that I couldn’t complete it on my own.  In other words, if God is not allowed to along side, it wouldn’t be successful.  How could I preach and challenge God’s people without being committed to something big as well?

I’ve shared before about my lack of discipline.  It’s something I constantly battle.  And for that reason, I asked a good friend to hold me accountable today.  I would ask you to pray as well.  Please don’t be concerned with what I’m called to do.  That will be revealed in time.  But I do covet your prayers that I would be faithful to God’s call.  Pray that I’m disciplined to get this done.  It might take months or years.  But you have my permission to ask how “it’s” coming along.  Thanks in advance.  Now off to work…

Quotes (9)

Posted in Words on October 23, 2012 by nmpreach

Here’s some more:

Sometimes my kids play church. My son preaches and my daughter beats him up. – An Unappreciated Pastor (His title)  🙂

The gift that is on you can destroy you if your character does not sustain you. A gift will get you in a room but only character will keep you there! – Cristine Caine

Jesus’ teaching goes against the grain. So if a Jesus story isn’t giving hearer/reader spiritual splinters, re-read until it does. – Leonard Sweet

And finally, in regards to the election year,

Which one of these two bozos will make Pastor Appreciation Day a national holiday? That’s an important issue to me. – Jason Kraft

Enjoy?

 

Idolatry Anyone?

Posted in Scripture on October 17, 2012 by nmpreach

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.  Deut. 5:6-7 ESV

Of course, this is the first of the commandments (Hebrew: words) God gives to the Israelites through Moses.  Having other gods (idolatry) is a theme that comes up again and again in Scripture.  Observing our own lives in an honest way, we’re forced to recognize this sin.  All too often, I believe we simply rationalize our sin and claim, “I’m only human” or some other lame excuse.  But the command remains the command.

While reading Jeremiah 3 this morning, I was reminded of what idolatry is like towards God.  The prophet uses the analogy of a prostitute, a harlot, or a whore.  Those terms are graphic for a reason.  Every time we choose our own path, every time we choose to rebel, every time we choose a temporary desire over God’s will, we are idolatrous people.  There are consequences for idolatry.  Israel had been taken captive.  But Judah failed to watch and learn.  They continued down the same path as their “sister” to the North.  Take a moment to read Jeremiah 3 and especially notice verse 8.

How often do we have the opportunity to learn from the past but choose to continue our wayward ways?  And there are consequences for our sin.  Why should we be surprised when God allows us to face those things?

The latter part of Jeremiah 3 is interesting.  Although Israel had faced the consequences for their rebellion, they were considered “more righteous” than their neighbor to the South.  Amazing!  They were the first to face discipline but those who didn’t pay heed to God’s goodness faced even greater discipline.  Despite their rebellion, God continued to reach out to His people.  Can I get an “Amen!”?  He promised redemption, restoration, and peace if they would only repent and return to a relationship with Him.  But to return would mean to leave the idols behind.

What are your idols?  They may not be wood or stone.  They may not be bad things.  But anything more important than God – notice “anything” – is idolatry.  Look back at the first commandment.  It’s clear for a reason.  Now what idols do you need to eliminate?  What takes precedence in your life?  People?  Places?  Things?  They all pale in comparison to what God offers.  And the good news is just like Israel and Judah, God continues to reach out to you and I as well.  Let’s not be slow learners.  Let’s be quick about repenting, destroying our idols, and returning to God and the life He has for us.  May it be so!

Quotes (8)

Posted in Words on October 16, 2012 by nmpreach

Preaching has power like nothing else the church has or does. Moreover, preaching reaches more people than anything else the preacher can do, whether it is teaching, visiting, administrating, or counseling.… The time has come to restore preaching to its rightful place, its primary position in the work of the ministry. In preaching there is power! – Carl Sanders

God does not choose a person who is worthy, but by the act of choosing him he makes him worthy. – St. Augustine

Christian, If you’re more passionate about who you’re voting for than who you’re living for, take a break and re-prioritize! – Jason Kraft

 

Have a blessed day!