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Wednesday

March 15, 2017

A Big Slice of Great Advice

Read

Exodus 18:20-22, “Teach them His decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times…. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.”

Think

Every now and then, it helps to take a slice of great advice out of some humble pie. Because at times, we can be working very hard, but in the grand scheme of things, we’re barely working—it’s called the tyranny of the urgent. Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed how God’s man Moses had lost his ‘Mo-Mentum’ having been burdened with the work of many. And that his father-in-law, Jethro, laid down some heavy advice after noticing the inefficiency of Moses’ work, time management, and lack of overall leadership. Moses had lost sight of his calling. God did not call on him to do everything, but to do some things specifically. Jethro wisely pointed him back to his purpose, which was to be ‘the people’s representative before God’.

The advice Moses received with great humility was twofold. First, Jethro redefined Moses’ leadership role, and then he spoke about the art of delegation. Today’s scripture says Moses was to teach God’s decrees and instructions. Suddenly Moses realized he couldn’t do this on a case-by-case basis. He agreed he needed to appoint godly men as officials, and so he did. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for the lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed”. Nowhere is this better illustrated than by Jesus. He didn’t embark on a solitary mission to save the world. No, He chose twelve disciples to follow Him immediately and taught them how to lead and carry out their prescribed mission after Jesus ascended back to the Father. We are called by God to fulfill specific roles for His purpose. Whether leading a Bible study, a corporation, a classroom, or even a family room, great leaders are set apart by putting the right people in the right positions with the right posture under God’s chain of command. Do only what you can do and delegate the rest. What urgent things are you doing that are keeping you from the important?

Pray

Praise God for His calling on your life and ask Him to guide you in deciphering the urgent from the important.

Act

Has someone ever given you some great advice that you didn’t take? Were there repercussions? Think of a time when you received wise counsel and applied it. What was the outcome? Now memorize Proverbs 12:15, “The way of fools seem right to them, but the wise listen to advice”.

 

Friday

March 10, 2017

Leading Past the Likes

Read

Hebrews 13:7, “Hebrews 13:7 “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”

Think

We all like to be liked. We like receiving likes on Social Media. We often seek approval and respond well to praise. But likeability and lead-ability do not always go hand in hand. Great leaders understand that their motives, strategies, abilities, and decisions will be questioned. Hence, when an opportunity arises opposition awaits. When we try to make everyone happy, no one ends up happy including ourselves. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus”. This means it’s more important to take people where they need to go than where they want to go. Had Nehemiah worried about his opposition, he would’ve never completed the wall. If Noah had paid attention to the ridicule and mockery he faced, he wouldn’t have completed the Ark. If Moses had succumbed to the children of Israel’s constant berating, whining, and complaining, he never would have gone atop the mountain to receive the 10 Commandments or deliver two million people out of slavery to the brink of the Promised Land. If Jesus had tried to please and appease everyone during His three years of earthly ministry, He would have never made it to the Cross and we would be facing eternal separation from God! Leaders do what is right despite the fight, outwork the opposition, continue casting vision, and remain focused on God’s plans and purpose.

Above was the information, so here’s the application. When facing criticism, always consider the source, and critique the opposition. Look at their underlying motives and the spirit behind their aversion. We cannot afford to think our critics are always correct and question ourselves to death. Conversely, we cannot assume that every negative voice is wrong and that we are always right. No, we must remain humble and seek wise counsel. In addition, we never forget to look to the book—the Bible, and pray for the wisdom and discernment to make the right choices. Remember, the loudest boos usually have no clue about effective leadership. So, we keep on leading past the likes knowing that following God will take us to the greatest heights.

Pray

Today, pray through the four C’s: Acknowledge the CHARACTER of God, CONFESS your sins, show CONFIDENCE in God’s promises, and stay COMMITTED to being part of the answer.

Act

As a leader for Christ, invite someone to church; knowing if even if they don’t want to go, it’s where they need to be.

 

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

January 25, 2017

By, Through, and Don’t Forget the For

Read

Ephesians 2:8-10, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Think

The sinfulness of sin—the world, Satan, and the indulgence of the flesh—can only be eradicated by the greatness of God’s grace. After the basic tenets of the gospel foundation and acknowledging our need for repentance, it is crucial to understand how we are saved. We are saved by grace through faith—that’s it! God needs nothing from us. And there’s nothing within the human realm that can save us from His wrath. We’re sinners deserving of eternal death. Grace simply means unmerited favor, and it’s a gift from God when we choose to make Jesus the Lord of our lives. This, of course, means we have faith in Him and believe that His promises will be fulfilled. Here we must note—especially for new Christians—the marked difference between faith and belief. We can believe in something without repentance and transformation. The Bible says that even the demons believe in Jesus, and they are definitely not recipients of grace. This is the point Paul is making in Ephesians 2:8-9, but that’s not all when we continue reading.

Knowing they are saved by grace through faith, too many Christians conveniently gloss over verse 10. We’ve got the why and the how, but what about the “for” factor? We were created for works. True faith requires action. Because we are now alive in Christ we should strive for obedience, transformation, and growth. We aim to please God. We are here to serve Him and fulfill His plans and purpose for our lives that will continue in heaven. We are God’s handiwork created to do the good works we were intended to do before He laid the foundations of the earth. If we love God, if our faith is in His strength and promise, then we do the work. We should be trophies of God’s grace on display for the world to see. And we’re here to push the ball downfield for the glory and praise of God.

Pray

As a reminder that you are God’s handiwork, pray through Psalm 139:1-18. Then ask God to use you in great ways to further His purpose, and once again thank Him for the gift of grace.

Act

Read Ephesians 2 in the Message Translation Bible (MSG). If you are not currently serving in the house or are interested in additional serving opportunities click here: Start Serving

 

Wednesday

November 30, 2016

Bike Messengers

Read

2 Timothy 4:5, “…Do not be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News and fully carry out the ministry God has given you”.

Luke 9:23, “…Then Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Me'”.

Think

God has positioned us exactly where He wants us to share His love through our unique abilities and talents.  And within our specific placement, we can choose one of two possible positions. The first is the “Couch Potato” position. It’s comfortable, easy, and safe, with no responsibility or accountability. Although seemingly appealing, it is impossible to fulfill our purpose if we remain static and stationary. The second position is the “Bike Zone”. It is the best and most blessed way to live. But, it’s uncomfortable and dangerous. It requires hard work, sacrifice, braving the elements, responsibility, and accountability. It can at times seem too daunting or costly, but if we persevere and live out our purpose, our great God will reward us in ways we’ve never imagined.

Now, you might be thinking, “Why doesn’t Jesus want me to feel comfortable?” We are to be comforted by Christ with a willingness to become uncomfortable for Christ. You see, Jesus died an uncomfortable death for us to experience eternal comfort. Obviously Jesus didn’t have our comfort in mind when He said, “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves” (Matthew 10:16). Thus, we should have a sense of urgency in our mission—there’s no middle ground—we must do the work! Therefore, we must decide for ourselves if we would rather be comfortable going nowhere, or uncomfortable going where God has planned and purposed for us to go. So, as “Bike Zone” messengers for God, let’s fervently spread the Good News of Jesus Christ all over our cities.

Pray

Ask God to energize you with a willingness and desire to move out of your comfort zone to share His message of hope and love. And pray for perseverance and focus as you continue to do His work.

Act

Read Luke 9:18-27. Do you struggle with self-denial? What does picking up your cross daily look like in your life? As Christ followers, God expects us to do what He has called us to do. Are you following His instructions?

 

Wednesday

November 9, 2016

Occupation Proclamation

Read

II Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat’”.

Proverbs 16:27-29, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece. An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends. Wickedness loves company—and leads others to sin”.

Think

Everything that happens each weekend across all of our campuses doesn’t just happen out of thin air. It’s easy to just show up and enjoy the experience for an hour and leave. However, all of the work done behind the scenes is not. It takes tremendous effort by our staff and numerous dedicated volunteers to pull it off. Hard work honors God and reflects His intent for humanity. Conversely, He sees idleness and unwillingness to work as a grave offense.

Because of our inherent sin nature, we deserve nothing from God. The moment we begin to feel entitled, as if the world owes us something, the enemy rushes in and says, “It’s okay to slack off a little. You deserve it. God will take care of you no matter what, so sit back, and relax”. Don’t buy Satan’s lies! Idleness only allows more time for wrongdoing. If we believe in Jesus—if we believe He did the preemptive work of forgiveness on the cross for us—then it is our responsibility to take action. No matter if we’re a dishwasher, a student, or a brain surgeon we must approach everything we do with excellence as an act of worship. God cares more about our attitude and willingness to work hard than He does about our profession or achieving perfection.

Pray

Father God, convict my heart to take action when I exhibit idleness. Protect my thoughts from the enemy and guide me to the best of my ability to emulate Jesus’ fortitude and diligence at home, at work, and when serving in the local church. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Act

Evaluate your work ethic. In what areas do you tend to slack off? In what areas should you put forth greater effort to pursue excellence? Conversely, if you are extremely driven in most everything you do, when can you carve out time for stillness and reflection before God?

Wednesday

October 19, 2016

Gospel Bound

Read

Acts 20:23-24, "I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace".

Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose".

Think

At some point in our lives we have all felt bound or incarcerated by something. Maybe it's worry, fear, addiction, unforgiveness, financial stress, or spiritual bankruptcy. Well, no matter the situation or circumstance we can rest assured in knowing that God works through—not some things or things with conditional clauses—but ALL things for our benefit and to His glory. However, sometimes His plan unfolds in unexpected ways.

The Apostle Paul longed to visit Rome. He yearned to proclaim Jesus’ name in the largest and most influential city in the known world. God, though, prevented him from going until due time. Paul eventually did make it to Rome—but not in the manner he imagined. He went there as a prisoner. As God's ambassador in chains, Paul continued to preach fearlessly under Roman guard for two years and wrote the majority of the New Testament.

As a great reminder of spiritual ambition, we must remember Paul's devotion despite his harrowing and likely miserable circumstances. He could have quit. He could have complained about life being unfair. He could have grown bitter towards God—but he didn't. He remained ‘joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer’. We can all take a page from the apostle's book to push past our own opposition or discomfort and carry out God's sovereign plan and purpose. So the next time we undergo hardship, we must not ask God, "Why me?" And instead ask, "Why not me?"  Remember, what binds us physically might just be what spiritually sets us free.

Pray

Pray for a renewed desire, a new spiritual ambition to see God's will be done no matter the circumstances. And ask God to grant you the necessary patience to wait on His perfect timing.

Act

Throughout the day assess your attitudes, ambitions, and motivations. And consider your willingness to avail yourself to accomplish the work God has prepared for you to do.

 

Friday

October 14, 2016

Reel Partnership

Read

I Corinthians 3:6-7, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow”.

Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes”.

Think

Overseas missions are great and necessary, but for the majority us, it isn’t necessary to fly from one mission field to the next. God places us where He wants us to fish within our sea of humanity. Here are a few staggering statistics happening right here in the United States. If presented with the gospel, 17 million people would probably accept Christ.  Another 43 million would seek to learn more if presented with God’s truth. And 82% of the unchurched are likely to attend if invited. What’s the problem? Too many believers are inwardly focused. They errantly think that church is only for Christians. This consumer mentality not only prevents us from partnering with Christ, it promotes Satan’s agenda!

“Fish it like you find it” is the motto for many fishing guides. Thus, in that instance fishing may be prime, partial, or slim pickings—but nonetheless your guide will tell you to, “keep on casting”. Jesus is our fishing guide. He will produce supernatural results when we look past the improbable and realize that through Him nothing is impossible. Therefore, It’s time for us to get out of the fishbowl, our little holy huddles, and focus on huge hunks of humanity that are flopping, floundering, and dying all around us.  Together with Jesus and the greatest tackle store in the universe—the local church—we will concertedly and passionately unite to deliver those out of breath and on the verge of death into the living water of salvation.

Pray

“Father God, create in me a sense of urgency to unite with Christ—the Ultimate Angler—to reach and rescue the lost. Lead me into opportunities to share Jesus and grant me the boldness to keep on casting. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Act

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. Notice Paul did not say ‘I’ and ‘me’ but ‘us’ and ‘we’ to encourage unity within the body of Christ. Partner with another believer to pray for the lost. And ask God for many hearts to be forever changed this weekend at Fellowship Church.

 

Friday

September 16, 2016

Go Fish!

Read

Luke 5:9-11, “For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him…Jesus replied to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!’ And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.”

Mark 16:15, “Jesus said to them, ‘Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation’”.

Think

In Mark 16:15, Jesus said, “Go!” He wasn’t asking, “Will you go?”  No, He gave a direct command. The fact that His earthly ministry was bookended with His call for disciples and the command to “go fish” obviously indicates the importance of evangelism to God. Yet too many “Christians” buy all the gear and never even get their feet wet. They attend tons of Bible studies, sport fish symbols on their cars, wear crosses and T-shirts with crosses to make sure everyone knows they are a Christian. What a paradox, when our purpose is to act—not look—the part. True faith comes from being clothed in Christ instead of the latest apparel from a Christian bookstore.

We cannot excuse ourselves from what God has commanded us to do. Nor can we claim we don’t know enough about the Bible to cast a line. Peter and his partners were uneducated but they trusted Jesus to teach them what they needed to know. We cannot claim to be too busy, because there’s no business like soul business! In fact, numerous times God called people while they were already busy at work such as Moses, David, Matthew, and Paul just to name a few. So, we are without excuse. Remember, Jesus isn’t asking us to leave our cars, careers, and families behind. But He is asking us to shift our focus from worldly things to the things of God. He’s saying, “I come first! Obey My commands!”  Because, if we aren’t concerned with our neighbor’s salvation, quite frankly, we should be questioning our own.

Pray

Thank God in advance for the lost people He will place in your path. Then delight in Him by praying Isaiah 12:2, “See God has come to save me. I’ll trust in Him and not be afraid. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; He has given me victory”.

Act

Ask yourself these three convicting questions: Who was the last person I invited to church?  Who was the last person I tried to lead to Christ? Who was the last person I led to Christ? If you are unable to answer, pray a high-risk prayer for God to open your eyes and heart to such opportunities.

 

Thursday

June 9, 2016

Work is Worship

Read

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15

Think

From boardrooms to classrooms, office complexes to sports venues, government buildings to constructions sites  – millions of people this morning are getting ready to head to work. No matter what you do, have you ever considered that your work is a gift from God? Too many people, sadly, see work as anything but a blessing. But the reality is that work is a gift that was given to humankind before sin ever entered the world. When we get to heaven, our work will continue. God has given us all a desire to do something. When we get to heaven, that desire won’t stop! Rather, we will have an opportunity and a capacity to do what we love – for the glory of God forever. As you think about that, keep the perspective that your work place can be your worship space. Use the talent and position God has given you to glorify Him!

Pray

Thank God for the ability to work. No matter where you work – whether home or office – pray for the perspective that your work can be your worship!

Act

Even if you don’t have a “job,” the fact is you work. List out some of the things that you do for work. Then, spend some time praying over each of those items on that list and ask God to help you do that today for His glory!

 

Tuesday

February 9, 2016

One Flesh

Read

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

Think

Every relationship we experience in life takes work. No relationship “just happens.” We have to be intentional about pursuing, maintaining, and enriching every connection we have in life. Perhaps no relationship in our lives, though, takes more work than marriage.

Marriage is the only earthly relationship that is analogous to our relationship with God. It is the picture of connection, intimacy, and community that God wants us to experience with Him. Too often, though, people bail out on marriage when it becomes “too difficult.” After all, becoming one flesh is not easy. But one look at the cross, and we should quickly remember that the most important relationships in the world take the most work…and have the greatest benefits! If you are married, make sure you are doing the work you need to in order to maintain your relationship. And use your marriage to glorify God!

Pray

Thank God for the gift of marriage. Admit to Him those times that you have felt like throwing in the towel. And pray for the strength you need to crash through the quitting points.

Act

This is for the married couples. Take a night this week and focus solely on one another. Turn off the technology, hire a babysitter for the kids, and get away somewhere where you can connect one-on-one. Use this kind of night as a foundation for your week, and remember that you are in this thing together!

 

Thursday

August 20, 2015

Working for the Lord

Read

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

Think

Let’s be honest – sometimes we just don’t feel like working. Maybe we feel overwhelmed with our to-do list, or maybe we don’t feel like what we do really matters. Remember that God does His greatest work through our work. When you are working, no matter what your job may be, you are being used by God to care for creation in ways that it wouldn’t otherwise be cared for.

You may not think your work is significant, but your work is sacred. When you feel overlooked, remember that God knows what you are doing and He will honor your commitment. He is the One you are working for. Wherever you are during this season, you’re there for a reason.

Pray

Thank God for trusting you with the responsibility to care for His creation. Thank Him for the ways He’s blessed and cared for you through the work of others. Pray that He will give you a servant’s heart so that you may serve Him joyfully each day.

Act

Read Colossians 3:23-24 each morning this week before you begin your day. Pray that God will help you to live out this scripture so that you’re working for Him!

Friday

February 20, 2015

An attitude of gratitude

Read

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Think

We all rub shoulders with other people, from acquaintances to our closest friends. And God wants our connection to those people to be meaningful, intentional, and powerful. The right THEY in our lives don’t just happen. This entire series, “Fifty Shades of They,” is all about learning to be intentional about who we surround ourselves with.

Every relationship you have is an opportunity to grow in your own life and a chance to influence someone else to grow in theirs. Are you intentional in your interactions? Are you focused in your friendships? Are you surrounded by the right THEY?

Pray

Thank God for creating you as a relational being. Ask Him for direction and discernment in developing meaningful, powerful relationships in life.

Act

Write a list of the three most important relationships in your life. Over the next day, tell each of these people what they mean to you. And remind them that THEY are the right they!