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Label vs. Lifestyle

I was challenged this past Sunday by Scott’s sermon. Are you playing to win or are you just playing not to lose? If this doesn’t draw a line in the sand, I don’t know what does. So many people slip in quietly and slip out quietly, never even considering that they have been called to so much more than just good attendance at church.

How do you measure your growth? Do you have specific times that you can names in which you know that God has moved in your life? I bet we can all mention when we first believed, many can mention their baptism, some can mention getting involved in a small group of some kind, even others can mention how they took a step of faith and served. What about you? Where have you grown?

It’s really easy to think that Christianity is more of a label then a lifestyle. We come and believe and get baptized like its one of those wrist bands you get to a concert. (the type that rip all your arm hair off when you try to remove it) We think that once the wrist band on, its all access and we don’t need to do anything else.

Now, some of you may think that you don’t need to do anything else. You preach “freedom in Christ” and its not about works. Let me just say, you’d be right. However, I assure you, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians, you are a baby. You feed off milk. While so many around you are moving on to solid foods, you are still craving strained peas.

Everything Christ called his followers to was something of action. He never called his followers to an apathetic life. When Christ told his followers they’d be witnesses to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, he was telling them that they would have to endure some big things. In fact, the word witnesses in the Greek is “martys” which is also the same word that we get “martyr”. He said they would be martyrs for His name.

Are you ready to give your life for His name? You see some of his followers were ready and willing, but some of them were harder to convince. Even Paul was stricken blind before he would follow. What will Christ need to do in your life before you are ready to follow after him?

If you are looking to take the next step in your life, there are so many opportunities. I’d love to be able to help you through that process. It’s time to get up and move.

What to do when you don’t want to be the ‘Hands and Feet’

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Even as a pastor in a church who is constantly looking for volunteers, I understand that to an attender, the call for help is often way too much. In past years, while I have attended, I would sit in the pew, being as anonymous as I could, and listen at all the pleas for help in just about every area of ministry. I’d open up the bulletin and see that 75 percent of the announcements were to serve. All I could help but think about was, “Why do they always have to keep on asking?! I’m sick of hearing this!”

Be honest, do you ever think this way?

I mean, there are all these other people, why do I have to have the guilty conscious? Sometimes I want to have “me” time. Is that so much to ask?

There are just those times we all feel like this. We say to ourselves, let someone else do it. We say, I don’t want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We may not say the latter just like that, but our unwillingness to move says plenty. So, what do we do when this happens? How can we get back in the game?

Let me outline a couple of things. I am guessing for someone to think these words, one of two things are true. First, they already serve way too much. Second, they are serving in areas that don’t match their giftedness. I am going to be honest. When I am not teaching on Wednesday nights and I hang out with the youth, I go home exhausted, not wanting to come back. This is clearly an area that does not fit my giftedness. I am willing to help, but its not the area in which God designed me to flourish.

Most of the time, its the latter of the two. Isn’t enough to just be willing to serve in an area, even if it means its not apart of our gifting? Well, sure, thats nice, but what happens when you get burned out and find yourself in church avoiding any calls for help in or out of your gifting?

Look at this verse from 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

If we were only to use the gifts we have received to serve, do you think God will reward that with exhaustion and burnout? I don’t think so. He rewards that with something great. It’s time each of us discover what that gift is in our life and how we can use it as the hands and feet of Christ.

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If you would like more information on gifting and how to serve in the right area, please contact Nick at the church office (384-5038), or email him at adults@thirdcitychristian.org

the Holiday Blues

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Many of look fondly on the upcoming holidays and think of the great times we will share with our loved ones as well as many of our friends. We will share meals, laughter over a hot cup of coffee, or exchange gifts with our children or siblings. It’s a great time of year! However, not everyone gets to share in the same kind of joy over the holidays. In fact many don’t get to share in a turkey dinner or able to exchange gifts. As we all know times have been tough lately. For some times have been really tough.

I encourage you over the next couple of months to find someone who will won’t be able to treat themselves to a fancy meal or to gifts at Christmas and give them an experience they won’t soon forget. Be a blessing to a family who is need this year. There are many opportunities that are available to do this. So, if you are reading  this and times haven’t been so tough for you this year, lend a helping hand. Give someone a real Christmas blessing!

For more information, please call Nick at 384-5038. We will get you all the information you will need so you can help someone enjoy their holiday as much as you will this year!

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An Investment for the Books

What are you investing in?

I am not asking about your Starbucks or your Microsoft stocks though. I am asking about your eternal investment. For the last year or more I’ve had in my email signature (that static ending to every email I send) “For His Kingdom”. What does that mean though? I have to look at how I am investing in “His Kingdom” and what the impact of that is. The funny thing about this investment is, you don’t get a monthly update on your Kingdom portfolio.

Our investments into the Kingdom of God aren’t seen until heaven. So, for those of you who might be expecting payback, you’ll be waiting for longer than you want. Then again, why is it you are expecting anything? I think about all the times that I have given it my all to plant a seed of encouragement or a seed of wisdom and just hoped and prayed that a person would come to see it grow in their life.

It’s like the parable of the talents. These men had been given much, but what did they do with it? Two of them actually did see return on what they had been given, but what about the last guy. What did he get in return? Nothing. He buried the talents. For what? Who knows. God has gifted each of us with so many talents. Maybe your talent is time or resources, or abilities. How are you using that to impact the Kingdom of God? What eternal investments are making now?

If this is a new concept for you, don’t fret. There is still time to invest in the Kingdom. There is still time to take what God has given you and use it for His purposes.

In three weeks on Saturday, October 16th, you’ll have an opportunity to invest your talents into the kingdom of God. As Jesus’ hands and feet, come and serve with me and many others to show the love of Christ to those who may not know him.

Choose to make a difference by investing in something new. Invest in the Kingdom. I promise you, the payback is huge! You may have to wait for it, but a treasure in heaven is greater than the greatest riches on earth.