By Topic

Decision

Wednesday

March 1, 2017

Two Great Questions

Read

Exodus 18:14, “When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”

Think

God’s people were coming off a major victory after defeating the Amalekites. Moses, who sat on a hilltop overlooking the battle—where he was supposed to be—came down and returned to his daily grind. His father-in-law, Jethro, was visiting from out of town when he observed Moses sit all day and serve as judge for every problem and dispute for the entire nation of Israel—we’re talking about a population of two million people! Jethro, seeing the futility in his son-in-law’s time management—or lack thereof—asked two critical questions: “What are you doing?” And, “Why are you doing it?” We should all ask ourselves these two great questions in every facet of our lives, especially in our service to God.

God is a God of order. The devil deals in disorder and distraction. He doesn’t want us to stay on track with God’s agenda. Is each distraction some horribly evil temptation? No, in fact, the majority of them are good things that hinder us from pursuing the great. That’s why it’s so imperative that we regularly examine our actions and the reasons for them. In response to Jethro’s inquiry, Moses (notice the irony in his reply) said, “The people come to me seeking God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and laws.” As the Hebrew head honcho, Moses should have skipped judging individual disputes. Unfortunately, he landed for too long and got caught in the wrong spot. He was NOT doing the significant things God had called him to do! Instead, he was distracted by the superfluous. None of us will likely ever be called to lead two million people, but we all have influence. As leaders in the home, church, at work, and elsewhere, what we do matters greatly. Remember, we were created on purpose for a purpose. Are you dealing with distraction or taking action within God’s plan for your life?

Pray

Father God, thank You for creating me to serve a special and uniquely specific purpose. Guide me, Lord, to regularly consider the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ questions, as I desire to stay on course with Your will. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Act

Over the next week, spend some time considering the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ questions in your life.

 

Tuesday

February 28, 2017

The Art of Leader-Skip

Read

Psalm 27:8, “My heart says of You, ‘Seek His face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Jeremiah 29:12-13, “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”

Think

Praying about priorities is a senseless waste of time. Why? Because, our priorities are clearly delineated throughout Scripture. The problem is that we get so caught up in the superfluous that we miss the important. Thus, our priorities are about skipping. Great leaders are defined more by what they miss than the meetings they make. It’s called the art of leader-skip and delegation. When we skip we are in the air with the ability to see farther and gain a more unique perspective. Of course, what goes up must come down. But when we land, we don’t want to stay on the ground for too long.

The Amalekites had just attacked the Israelites. Moses, wise in his decision, delegated leading the battle and selecting soldiers to Joshua. As the nation’s leader, Moses went to the top of a hill with God’s staff in hand to watch the battle. As long as his hands were raised the Israelites were winning. When he lowered his hands the Amalekites started winning. To secure the victory, Moses’ brother Aaron and friend Hur helped him elevate his arms. And by God’s power, the Israelites won. Had Moses been on the ground in the midst of the battle, or anywhere else besides the hilltop, the enemy would have likely crushed the Israelites. Only there did Moses have the ability to see the events unfold, and he gained a greater perspective because he was where he was supposed to be. Likewise, in leadership, to make the greatest decisions we must go where God calls us to go. When we prioritize His will, He will grant us the discernment to do what needs to be done according to His purpose in a magnificent fashion.

Pray

Father God, help me discern when to skip and when to land. Guide me in Your way as I seek Your kingdom and righteousness above all else. I love You! Thank You, Lord for calling me according to Your purpose.

Act

Here’s the phrase that pays: We skip the superfluous and land on the significant. And when we land on the significant our lives will be magnificent! Write this helpful saying at the top of your calendar or daily planner. Then take it a step further and post it on social media with #FellowshipChurch.

 

Wednesday

February 22, 2017

So Long, Yesterday!

Read

Ephesians 4:22-24, “ You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”.

Think

We all like the idea of a fresh start or a new beginning. And as the saying goes, “Out with the old and in with new”. However, we also long for yesterday. We like to hold on to certain things from the past. Those ah—nostalgia moments, back in the day, and remember when’s… are totally fine—great even. But in our walk with Christ, our yesterdays, previous lifestyles, and former ways of thinking are futile—they’re no-no’s and definitely not okay! They lead to double-mindedness and duplicity in our character. Today’s verse says to ‘put off our old self’ by ridding ourselves of old habits and unhealthy appetites. This means we’ve got to shake off yesterday’s dirt and ‘put on our new self’, which is being clothed in the righteousness of Christ. The Bible also says ‘all our righteous acts are like filthy rags’. Huh? Before we knew Jesus, even when we were at our best and performed wonderful deeds, we were still filthy. Our number one desire as Christ followers should be growing more and more like Jesus. This requires making a conscious decision every day to put on our new self in every aspect of our lives.

We are all very familiar with who we were yesterday, but are we certain of who we are today? Absolutely! Our identity is in Christ. But if we know this and are striving to become more like Jesus, why then do we so often find ourselves playing the spiritual ‘hokey pokey’ with one foot in and one foot out of God’s will?  We don’t need to ask God for guidance in what’s already clearly delineated in His Word! Instead, we should pray for His strength to keep our past in the past and the fortitude to step forward in our faith. Remember, the Bible says we are not our own; we were bought at a price. Therefore, we must identify what’s holding us back as well as identify what God is cultivating in our lives right now. It’s time to commit to repentance and lay our old habits and desires at the foot of the Cross.

Pray

Father God, change my thinking. Teach me to not think with my own instincts, but to cling to the truth as it is revealed in Your Word. Give me the discernment to flee from past temptations and to run toward Your strength and protection. And thank You, God, for sending Jesus to model who and what You desire for me to be.

Act

Here’s the phrase that pays: “Don’t let YESTERDAY hinder your decision TODAY to become who God wants you to be TOMORROW”. Write this down as a personal reminder to put on your new self every day. And take it a step further by posting it on social media with #FellowshipChurch.

 

Friday

October 7, 2016

Borrowed Pain

Read

James 1:4-5, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him”.

Think

I Peter 5:8 admonishes us to remain alert because “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. Yikes! We are all susceptible to the enemy’s trickery and deception. He knows that one bad choice has the potential to set off a chain reaction of disastrous events. Therefore, if we dig ourselves into a hole we need to drop the shovel, look up, and ask God for wisdom. As we persevere and mature in our faith, we become more and more equipped to avoid the pitfalls of life. We learn to be conscientious about people, places, and things from a godly perspective.

God-triban is anything that bans us from God’s best. If we knew God’s agenda for our lives, we’d be blown away! Therefore, the caster of disaster—Satan—constantly dangles situations and circumstances before us to steer us away from God’s purpose. So, in moments of weakness we must pause and borrow pain from the future. This means considering, “Okay, if I hook up with this individual, if I go there, if I try that, then what are the ramifications? What will this situation look and feel like tomorrow? Are a few minutes of pleasure worth it?” Thus, based on the past, thinking about the present, and especially looking into the future, what is the wisest thing to do? As we triumph over temptation, God will leverage our gifts for His greatness.

Pray

“Father God, I thank you for having loved me so amazingly in spite of who I am. And I thank You for honoring me by sending Jesus Christ to die for me and the Holy Spirit to empower me.”

Act

To prepare to persevere and look past the cast, ask yourself the following questions.
Location: Where am I swimming? Am I placing myself in dangerous waters?
Association: Who am I swimming with? Do I have relational grief or relational relief?
Demonstration: How am I swimming? Do people see Jesus when they look at my life?
Situation: When do I swim? Am I swimming at times when Satan is most likely to attack?

 

Tuesday

September 6, 2016

Ultimate Freedom

Read

John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free”.

Romans 8:39, “No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

Think

God is all-powerful, all knowing, and always present. He reigns supreme over all of Creation. He is always in control. However, He doesn’t try to control everything. He releases us into the world with freedom of choice. He does not force us to love Him. That decision is solely ours. So we either choose to accept His forgiveness and grace—something we don’t deserve—or not.

Far too many have skewed notions when it comes to defining freedom. Apart from God, the quest for freedom only leads to chaos and eternal incarceration. Conversely, connectivity with God not only provides security and stability, it allows us to freely become who God created us to be. Thus, in the midst of life’s ups and downs what seems like chaos is actually controlled. Ultimate freedom outside of God’s will does not exist. Freedom is only found in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Pray

Bow before Jesus and reaffirm your desperate need for His guiding hand. Then thank Him for the security and safety of being tethered to His righteousness and the totality of His truth.

Act

Think about a time in the past when you willfully went your own way. What was the outcome? In the end did the experience bring you closer to Christ?

Thursday

September 1, 2016

Why Are You Here?

Read

I Kings 19:8-10, “So Elijah sat up and ate and drank. The food and water made him strong enough to walk forty more days. At last, he reached Mount Sinai, the mountain of God, and he spent the night there in a cave. While Elijah was on Mount Sinai, the Lord asked, ‘Elijah, why are you here?’ He answered, ‘Lord God All-Powerful, I’ve always done my best to obey you. But your people have broken their solemn promise to you. They have torn down your altars and killed all your prophets, except me. And now they are even trying to kill me!’”

Think

Linear thinking, although not always the most creative, is the most efficient method of thought processing. Moving from point A to point B in a straight line saves time. Conversely, fragmented thinking is fraught with detours and distraction.

God’s man Elijah was in a slump. Depressed and distracted, his feelings led him on a major detour. Without considering point B, the place God wanted him to be, he embarked on a two hundred mile trek into the desert. Ironically, he fled from doing God’s work to Mount Sinai, the most prominent place on the planet associated with the manifestation of God’s presence. You see, Elijah had always been a “there” man. He went wherever God directed him to go. So God asked him, “Why are you here?” Obviously, a rhetorical question, God was in essence asking, “Really? You’re so distracted and double-minded that you chose to flee from My plans and purpose?” Right now, is God asking you the same question? Are you allowing the push and pull of life to prohibit you from doing what God wants you to do?

Single-mindedness is linear thinking with a vertical perspective. It gives us the trajectory to fulfill God’s purpose and never leaves us wondering why we’re here.  It will, though, prompt us to consider what we can do while we’re here to serve God. Therefore, single-mindedness gives us the clarity to look past momentary distractions and the ability to see the path God has designed for our lives.

Pray

Ask God to open doors of opportunity for you to share the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. And pray for those whom you’ve invited to church to accept the invitation.

Act

Review your schedule for the next three days and think about the most efficient way to accomplish each task while maintaining a single-minded focus on God.

 

Thursday

August 25, 2016

Decision Demands

Read

I Kings 18:21, “Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him’. But the people said nothing.” I Kings 18:38-39, “Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD-He is God! The LORD-He is God!’”

Think

Far too many self-proclaimed Christians live like heaven on Sundays and like hell the rest of the week. They believe in God, they believe Jesus died for their sins, and they have prayed for salvation. Great! But sadly, their duty as Christ followers seemingly ends there. For this reason, James, the half-brother of Christ, said faith without action is dead. In fact, the moment we invite Jesus into our lives is just the beginning. The Israelites had experienced God’s supernatural power and provision first hand and still willfully disobeyed His commands. And like so many of us, they became consumed with everything but God. Attracted by what seemed so sexy and cool at the time, they surely had more fun living like hell than for heaven, right? Sound familiar?

God’s faithful servant, Elijah, was on fire for the Lord and saddened by the state of his people. Therefore, he gathered the nation of Israel on Mount Carmel and said, “Enough! You cannot worship both God and unadulterated pleasure. Make up your minds!” Then in an almighty display of power, God rained down fire from heaven. Single-minded devotion to God demanded a decision, and in that moment they were forced to choose between the shallows of iniquity and the depths of God’s righteousness. Fortunately, they chose the latter and fell facedown to the ground crying out “The LORD-He is God!

Will we likely ever see fire fall from the sky? No, but through Christ in us, we are privy to the raging fire—the power, purity, and presence of God 24/7. But, remember without doing our part, the flame dwindles and the enemy’s seductive power can easily draw us away from the things of God. Thus, our choices are paramount! Is living for God a one-time decision? Yes and no. We only need to invite Jesus into our lives once, but we must routinely make choices to keep God first. Because as harsh as it sounds, God would rather us to live like hell and follow the devil than have one foot in the church and one foot out..

Pray

Bow before God and personally call out to Him by the various names that represent His very nature and character (Healer, Defender, Savior, Lord, etc.). Then express your wondrous awe and reverence for His almighty power.

Act

Read Acts 16:11-34. Which of the two accounts of conversion is most like your own? How does the jailer’s moment defining decision parallel that of the Israelites on Mount Carmel? Although seemingly less remarkable, what aspects of Lydia’s conversion are equally impressive? What does this say about the life-changing message of the gospel?

 

Tuesday

August 23, 2016

Sending A Message

Read

I Kings 18:21, “Elijah challenged the people: ‘How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow Him; if it’s Baal, follow him. Make up your minds!’ Nobody said a word; nobody made a move.”

Think

Can you imagine a major airline carrier saying, “Your flight is departing from Atlanta. However we have yet to determine if it will land in New York or Chicago? What kind of message does this send? It says, “We are coming from what is known and destined for doubt”.  Obviously, this scenario is absurd, but is it so far-fetched when it comes to spirituality? Far too many people are straddling the fence when it comes to defining clear-cut boundaries between right and wrong. And Christ followers, we are often just as guilty of duplicity. It’s easy for us to remain silent when it comes to delivering the unequivocal message of God’s truth.

God’s people had gone astray and completely abandoned the Lord’s commands. Having grown impatient with their waywardness, He sent the prophet Elijah to deliver a message to the nation of Israel. Elijah said, “Either worship God or false idols. Choose one or the other and get off the fence”. God loves us too much for us to remain on the fence. He knows it will only lead to a life of utter frustration. Having received the message of the gospel, we are to live out our love for Jesus and walk in a manner worthy of Christ. To do this, we must have a single-minded destination in sight—God’s will. Is your life sending the message of hope in a dark and directionless world?

Pray

Pledge your allegiance to God. Share your renewed passion for single-mindedness and ask for  the wisdom and “stickability” to do what’s right in difficult and defining moments.

Act

Are you sitting on the fence right now? Make a list of any situations or circumstances that cause you to waver. After identifying problematic areas replace each one with a plan or resolution. Then declare out loud your ability to stand firm for what is right through Christ who gives you strength.

 

Wednesday

July 27, 2016

Priorities

Read

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33

Think

The complexity of life creates a lot of confusion when it comes to the choices we have to make each day.  In addition, the information and opinions others give about said choices makes it even more confusing.  As a result, many decisions are made based on the emotion of the moment rather than priorities in our lives.  If only we had some sort of guide to help us make decisions.

We actually do.  It’s God’s Word – The Bible.  (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)  In it we are given God’s guide for our lives – His ‘Yes’.  By putting God’s priorities first in our lives, we are essentially putting our ‘Yes’ on His ‘Yes’ in the choices we make on a daily basis.  Prioritizing helps us to make decisions based on the content of God’s word rather than the emotional context of the moment.  When we make His priorities our priorities life will be simplified.

Pray

Ask God to help you stand firm in a commitment to prioritize your life each day by putting your ‘Yes’ on His ‘Yes’ before you even get out of bed.

Act

Make a list of the priorities in your life.  Do they line up with God’s priorities?  If not, make the necessary changes and see what happens when you put your ‘Yes’ on God’s ‘Yes’.

 

Monday

November 24, 2014

Commit, Don’t Quit

Read

“Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” Psalm 37:5

Think

Our world has a definition for fear that too many people fall victim to - a Frantic Effort to Avoid Reality. In other words, we run from the things that life is really all about. One of those - and perhaps the biggest - is commitment. We think when we run from commitment we'll experience freedom. But the fact is, running from commitment will only lead us to experience heartache and failure.

God wants us to be committed. What is commitment? It's pledging yourself to a position, no matter what the cost. And it's the only thing that will lead to true fulfillment and joy. Because when we stay committed to the things God has committed to, we discover the key to life the way God meant it to be lived.

Pray

Thank God for giving us the capacity to commit. Pray for the discipline and courage and opportunities to "commit your way to the Lord."

Act

Write down a list of your priorities (what you say is important). Now, write down a list of your biggest commitments (what you do). See if they line up with what God wants in your life. If not, begin taking steps to sync them up!

 

Thursday

October 23, 2014

Make This Day, That Day

Read

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:41

Think

Going “all in” for God requires action. It is when we make a faith decision and then follow it with obedience that we begin to discover what an “all in” life is all about. When Peter stood up and preached his “all in” message, the people responded with a question. “What shall we do?” Peter’s answer to them is the same answer that we hear today.

For those who have made a decision to follow Jesus, our first step must be a step of obedience. We are called to take our private confession and make it a public profession. Have you made that decision? If so, have you taken the next step and been baptized?

Pray

Thank God for the fact that He went “all in” for you. You don’t need to pray about getting baptized. But you may need to pray for the courage to make this day, “that day” and go public with your faith.

Act

If you haven’t been baptized, you can do it this weekend. Sign up now, and spread the word that you are making this weekend “that day” in your life!