By Series - NYE at FC

NYE at FC

Friday

January 6, 2017

Happy Endings

Read

Luke 19:10, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”.
I Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”.

Think

We all love a great story. And with every great story, there’s a situation, a build-up, a climax, and hopefully a happy-ending. Sadly, though, in real life not all stories end happily ever after. For those who don’t know Christ, their ending will result in misery and utter isolation. Because when this life ends forever begins, and forever is a very long time. As believers, our hope is built on a Christ-filled eternity in heaven—a place more glorious and spectacular than we can ever imagine. But as we eagerly await coming face to face with the Savior, we have a mission. It is to populate heaven and depopulate hell. Most often the path to salvation doesn’t occur by the unsaved randomly showing up at church. No, it starts with us as we share our own great story with the lost.

We don’t have to be Bible scholars to share our story. And often, when we attempt to explain why we believe what we believe to the unchurched from a biblical perspective it backfires. Instead, it’s always great to meet people on common ground. It helps to engage in friendly conversation and get to know a little bit about them—and people love to talk about themselves. Then when the timing is right—and God’s timing is always perfect—we share our stories. We talk about who we were before we knew Christ, what led us to Christ, and what Christ is doing in and through our lives. Eternities are on the line, the stakes are high, and we must love others enough to share about who and Whose we are. Remember, we seek, Jesus saves, and lives are forever changed, because God desires for us all to have a happy-ending.

Pray

Pray for at least three people you know in need of life change and ask God to orchestrate just the right moment to share your story with them.

Act

Prepare to share your story. Write it down. Practice telling it in a precise and concise manner. And be ready when such opportunities arise.

Thursday

January 5, 2017

Worship Is…

Read

Psalm 84:4, “Happy are the people who live at Your temple; they are always praising You”.
Psalm 34:1, “I will praise the Lord at all times; His praise is always on my lips”.

Think

Many of us relegate worship to merely the first ten or fifteen minutes of church as we praise God by singing. And yes, that is a part of public worship, but worship is so much more—it’s a way of life, it’s what we do. Picture a pyramid with God as the foundation. As you move up the sides, think about everything you do throughout the week, every facet of your life relationally, vocationally, maritally, socially, etc. Then you reach the peak which is our time spent in corporate worship—the best hour of our week. Thus, we do not come to church to worship; we come worshipping. Worship is our response to who God is and what He’s done expressed in what we say and do.

God does not need our worship. We do not fulfill His needs by attending church. No, but it does fulfill ours. As Christ followers, our goal is obedience. This means striving to emulate the very nature and character of Jesus Christ. So what does that look like in our daily lives? It is honoring and loving our spouse as Christ loves the church. It is leading our children into a relationship with Jesus and collaborating with the local church to make good kids into great leaders. It is bringing the tithe back to God and being responsible with the resources we’ve been given. It is treating our bodies like holy temples of the Lord. It is our prayer life. It is being the same person of integrity in private as we are in public, because how we act when no one’s around is who we truly are. Worship incorporates all these things and more. Is your life an act of worship?

Pray

First, spend a few moments reflecting on everything God has done and is doing in your life, then thank Him. And ask Him to reveal any areas that you are falling short of bringing Him the glory He deserves.

Act

Psalm 96:1-2 says, “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day”. Start your day—wherever you are—by playing worship music and singing along wholeheartedly. And think, “This is a day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

Wednesday

January 4, 2017

Microwave Prayers

Read

I Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

Think

The phrase “But First, Coffee” is currently trending on t-shirts, coffee mugs, placards, coasters, and even key chains. More than anything else in the morning, we lean on caffeine to face the day. And it’s true; coffee does stimulate us to get moving. However, as catchy as “But First, Coffee” is, it doesn’t prepare us for the day ahead. With Christ in us, we’re already prepared from the moment our eyes open and our feet hit the floor. And in order to maximize our daily potential we need to flip the script and stimulate our minds with, “But first, prayer”.

Many of us don’t pray enough because we errantly believe we have to hit our knees and spend a certain amount of time to pray effectively.  Do not be mistaken, all time spent in prayer is great! But as we hustle and bustle throughout the day, extended periods of prayer aren’t always feasible. Today’s verse says to “pray continually”. This means God wants us to include Him in everything we do. And often, quick simple prayers—microwave prayers—are perfect to refocus our minds as we engage in each new task. Therefore, as you move throughout your day keep God in the conversation, listen for His voice, and allow Him to flow through you as you interface with others.

Pray

Praise God for His desire to be in continuous communication with you. Express your love to Him and thank Him for the perfect agenda He has for your life.

Act

Set an alarm on your phone for three times during your day to serve as a prayer reminder. This will help you get in the habit of praying microwave prayers and including God in your daily dialogue.

Tuesday

January 3, 2017

Instruction Manual

Read

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Think

Many of us are not good at reading instructions. Or maybe, we simply don’t want to be bothered. But the truth is reading directions can save us a lot of wasted time, energy, and frustration. Why then do we so often try to figure things out on our own? We were never meant to exist on self-reliance. God created us to be reliant upon His strength and guidance. And He gave us an amazing instruction manual—the Bible.

One of the most important things we can do to make 2017 a raving success is to study Scripture on a regular basis. The Bible is literally a gift from God; it is His love letter to us.  The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of our faith. John 3:16 beautifully illustrates God’s love, His sacrifice, and His promise of a Christ-filled eternity to those of us who believe. In addition, the Word exists for our protection, inspection, correction, and direction. But what good does it do us to merely read the Bible? True life-change happens when we do what God says to do! Therefore, obedient application leads to spiritual transformation. God’s way works! So pick up His instruction manual today. Read it and apply it for a beautiful day and an even brighter tomorrow.

Pray

Praise God for expressing His abounding love to us through His word and ask Him to guide your thoughts today as you spend time in Scripture.

Act

Meditation is a key element to studying the Bible. It simply means to mull over, to reflect, and to deeply focus on a particular thought. Today, meditate on John 3:16 and consider the magnitude and meaning of this verse.