Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

Are you climbing?

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Mountains. They are beautiful, majestic, rugged, and simply amazing. They are full of misleading ends. Here is what I mean by that. A misleading end is the place that you see in the very short distance that you feel is the end of your climb. You reach the spot only to find that you’ve only reached a small plateau. There is still much to climb. Just recently I was in the mountains and I am sure I came across at least 4 or 5 of these. Just when I thought the burn was done, I still had quite a climb ahead of me.

Press On

I also see it as people are climbing to Christ. They reach that same plateau and think that they are done. Not true. This is a climb or a journey we all must take and will last our who life. Are you still climbing? Or have you stopped? Maybe you are telling yourself, “I just need to sit down for a while and catch my breath.” Unfortunately, many who say these words end up sitting for years.

Our relationship with Christ does not function well with plateaus. We’re either moving up or down. Where are you? Maybe you’ve placed your faith in Christ, you’ve been baptized, you’ve repented but you thought to yourself, “that’s enough for now.” You’re only lying to yourself. If you’ve made it that far, you have only begun. All you’ve done is put your pack on. You haven’t even started the climb yet. I wonder how many people are actually standing around at the bottom with their packs on thinking about all they’ve accomplished so far.

If you’re in that group, I challenge you to start your climb. I promise you God will not let you down. Yes, it’s going to be hard, but it will be worth it. Look at the encouragement we recieve from Paul as he has begun his climb in his letter to the Philippians.

4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Bold/Italics added for emphasis)

Paul sees that he is far from his journey’s end. He presses on. We should too.


One Month to Live?

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

This weeks sermon series on One Month to Live has had me thinking. I think we all want to live a life of no regrets, but the issue is…where do we begin? How do we make our first decision, a good one? I struggle with this too. It’s hard to know what I need to be doing as opposed to what I typically do. Really, the only thing that makes sense to me is to look to Jesus. Now, when He began His ministry, he didn’t have one month, but He had about three years. So, what if I had three years?

Three years might be a little more manageable to stomach, but at the same time, the clock is ticking, pun intended. What would you do? Jesus began His ministry knowing how long He had, when it would happen, and how. Scary thought, eh? There in lies the difference between us and Christ.

He lived with passion, authority, purpose. What are you living for? We’re not guaranteed another breath, but often the next breath is wasted. What can we do to begin living without regret? It all begins with looking how someone lives with passion, authority, and purpose. Christ began His ministry by surrounding Himself with people who would intimately know Him and whom He would know the same.

One of His primary purposes was to know and be known. Are you known by anyone? Do you know anyone outside of office parties and family get togethers?

Christ also lived with authority. He taught truth in every situation. He stood up for what He believed and never backed down. He knew God’s word inside and out left nothing to question. He inspired people by how He lived and how He taught. Reading about Christ now, you or I would never question the authority in which Christ lived by. We know how He lived and who He lived for.

How do you live? Who are you living for? Are you standing up for your beliefs?

Finally, I can’t think of anyone throughout scripture that lived with more passion. Christ came to love and for that He was adored. His compassion for His family, His friends and those who would put their trust in Him was truly magnificent. Passion gives purpose to living with purpose and authority. It’s what completes us. Are we called to live passionately? We sure are!

When people see your gravesite and see those two numbers and the dash that make up your life, how will you be defined? Personally, I want to be seen as someone who has lived with Purpose, Authority and Passion. I want to be known by others and to know those around me. How do I do that? I surround myself with people who have the same goals, I immerse myself into the truth of the Gospel and I live a life of no regrets.

I challenge you determine what your next step is. How will you live a life a Purpose, Authority and Passion? What is the element that has been the missing link in your life? Starting today, live your life with no regrets. Start today and be known by someone and know somebody. Starting today, live a life that is defined by passion.

Make your years, your months, your days and every breath something you can look upon proudly!

The Pursuit

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Any weekend night I can get away down to Starbucks is a good one. Tonight, spending time with my wife over a cup of coffee or a pumpkin spice latte is just what the doctor ordered. (Actually, there is no doctor in this equation.)  This week I have been thinking a lot about marriage. The union between two people. Is it just me or is marriage the biggest blessing and at the same time the most difficult thing one could enter into? I often wonder how in the world people can do this without God at the center? It seems impossible to me.

Four years into my own marriage I am still learning things about my wife each and every day. While we were dating it was things like favorite meals, toothpaste brand, favorite Starbucks drink, favorite movie, or favorite past time. Now it has developed into something much deeper. I am learning my wife’s deepest needs. I am learning that staying loyal to her is the most important thing I can offer her. I am learning that pursuing her is not just something you do while dating, but something I’ll be doing till I am 100 years old or at least till I lose all my mental capacity.

It’s an interesting correlation to think about how just how she has this deep need to be pursued, while Christ pursues us without pause. Its makes me think of how Christ relentlessly pursued us. He went so far that he put himself at the hands of His captors, who put him to death. Scripture calls men to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Do you see the picture I am painting?

Christ has called me to pursue my wife relentlessly. Just as He pursued me and you to the cross. While I don’t always get it right, I know my wife knows that I am trying. Somedays I catch her off guard with a little surprise of her favorite coffee or favorite pastime. Nobody taught me how to love my wife with Christ’s love, it just came out. The more I read through Ephesians 5 and other passages, it began to hit me.

Meeting her deepest needs has become my life’s pursuit. If I am able to do all I can, I know she will be blessed. Why do I do it? Not because I feel like I need to accomplish something in my life, but its almost a natural reaction to Christ pursuing me. When it finally made sense to me that His love for me was greater than anything this world could offer, I needed to do something with it.

Marriage is a mirror to what Christ did for the church. It’s wasn’t necessarily a singular action becuase Christ’s death is to this day atoning for a number of sins, just as it wasn’t my I do at the alter that set things in stone, ity my constant, undying devotion to her that counts. It’s my daily pursuit that counts.

What are you pursuing? Men, have you figured out that your wife is a reflection of the church and you were called to give your life for her? Women, just as the church is asked to forgive others, forgive your husband. Give him the opportunity to pursue you. Take it easy on him. Once he recognizes his calling from Christ, you’ll never be the same.

Monday Response

I’m back after a two week hiatus.

Yesterday I was drawn to a couple of conclusions in Scott’s message. First Christ is coming back and I need to be sure I am ready. Second, there will be a feast, and I want to make sure I am celebrating it and not fearing it.

Revelation has a number of grim reminders of the reality of life without Christ, yet so many turn their backs on him every day. The promise that He has given is one that we can rely fully on. His return will be the most significant thing this world has ever seen. It’s the the culmination of a plan that was written many years ago.

I loved the illustration of the wedding feast. Like any marriage, man or woman, we are asked to submit. So it is time to ensure that we submit our lives into the hands of Christ and give him the reigns.

If you aren’t sure if you’ve made the right steps to give Christ the reigns in your life, its not too late. Send me a comment if you are ready to make this decision in your life.

Categories: Monday Response Tags: ,

Monday Response

August 9, 2010 1 comment

A popular view of what heaven is can often often be described with Angels on clouds playing harps. On the other side, when we think about hell, we think of a man with a pitchfork sitting on our shoulder encouraging us to make bad decisions. Is there any reality to these? Is this what heaven and hell are like?

Scott made a very unpopular case for what the reality is yesterday. It wasn’t his own beliefs, it was what the Bible says of the subject matter. Heaven is a place where followers of Chris fall on their faces in worship. Hell is a place of eternal torment and punishment.

We are given a short time on earth to make a lot of big decisions. We decide on who we’ll marry, what house or car to buy, what schools to attend, we make decisions that affect our children and others around us. The sad truth is that many people fail to make the biggest decision of all. Do I choose to follow Christ?

In my men’s Bible study yesterday morning we talked about the Holy Spirit. When we recieve the Spirit, the truth of the Scripture is made clear. We become a temple to the spirit. I read a passage from Acts about Philip and the Ethiopian who was reading scripure, but since he did not posess the Spirit, he could not understand it.

This mystery that is only revealed to those who follow after Christ is the mystery that will also set us free from the binds that Satan has put in place. He’s mad, he comes after you and me and those we love becuase He’s not going down alone. He’s wanting to take us with him into eternity in hell.

I remembered a saying I heard many years ago, for those who saved by the blood of Christ, Earth is the only hell they’ll see, for those who aren’t saved, Earth is the only heaven they’ll see.

So what is your response today? Are you ready to follow Christ and allow his blood to cover you? Do you desire to be in a place where there are no more hurts or tears? Or is what you have now good enough?

Categories: Monday Response Tags: , , ,

Wanted: Your Response

August 4, 2010 2 comments

Christ draws each of us to Him in a number of different ways. While reading through Scripture, I see this play out with not only his followers, but those who came under the influence of those initial disciples. Personally, I came to Christ because I hit a dead end. You’ve heard the phrase “Rock Bottom”, right? Yeah, that was me.

I read about so many of the ways people came to know Christ. Some came to Him because they found forgiveness of something they had done that they hadn’t found anywhere else. Other came to Him because of the incredible grace and beauty that is found in Him. Others came to know because of the truth that He spoke. Some came to Him accidently, maybe they had been running from Him for years only to run right into Him.

How about you? How did you come to Him? What’s your story?

I mentioned hitting rock-bottom before. I came to find Christ through His incredible grace. He offered me something that nothing or no one else could give. It was through this grace that I found peace in my life. It was through the joy that He offered I found hope. It’s a hope I hang onto still today.

Categories: Worship Tags: , , ,

Soft launch of LIFE groups is Saturday

Will you be there?

How have you measured the progress of your group? Have you been able to? Now you can! What does the LIFE model say about your group? Where are your victories? areas of struggle?

Remember, discipleship is not short term thing, it’s a lifelong journey we have the privilege to be apart of. Discipleship does begin today. Don’t wait. It’s about when we meet Christ for the very first time through following His commands in every day obedience.

Categories: Discipleship Tags: , ,