Success

what will it profit what man if he gains the whole world? Mark 8:36 

See the source imageLife’s not all about success. Those are fairly heretical words for most of us men—men trying to ascend—men for whom success in careers, success in raising kids, or success in just looking successful have become so important. Planning for success, working for it, worrying about it—they dominate our everyday lives.

When men introduce one another, they usually say something like, “This is Bill, he is the CEO of… I want you to meet Bob, he is the service manager at…” Men have a tendency to identify other men (and themselves) by their occupation or by what they do but it is NOT who they are. And if they are not careful, they will try to find their worth or value by their success.
Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot” Luke 12:15

Life is partially about success—we’ve got to spend our lives for something, and we should do that something as well as we can. We just can’t make it an ultimate thing. When we focus all, or even most, of our lives on achieving success, we fall short of the full life Jesus promises in John 10:10. We miss those parts of life we’re meant to devote to the success of others.                                                                                                    

How many of us sacrifice huge portions of the lives we’re meant to live—loving wives; spending time with kids; eating meals with families; hanging out with friends; helping people in need—spending too much time on our own success? How many of us are unavailable to those who need us most?

My definition of success? Knowing and doing God’s will/purpose in our lives.

Advertisements

The Fight

Image result for fight winning the battles that matter most

“Most men don’t want to fail…even once. We want to measure up and be successful at anything we try. That’s why we don’t like to play if we don’t think we can win. A man’s greatest fear is failure and his greatest pain is regret.

Have you ever failed? If you answered yes cheer up! You’re in good company. Failure is an event, never a person. Don’t internalize a failure until it starts to ferment into regret….Learn from it. Pain can be a great teacher. 

Just because you’re down doesn’t mean your out. Not by a long shot. Even in our failures, God can still accomplish his purpose. It’s through our weaknesses that he shows himself strong.

What results? Then you’re going to have to do something different…If you are a Christian, you have resurrection power within you. Tap into it…God loves making weak men strong. Don’t just try to “be a better man.” Be God’s man. Stop trying to tell your story. Start telling his. It’s not about you. It’s about him.”

This blog was taken fromFight: Winning the Battles that Matter Most” 

The Red Planet

anger

If someone from another planet were to visit planet earth and observe the behavior of the inhabitants, they would come to the conclusion that we are angry race! Every where we look we see anger or the consequences of someone’s anger.

  •  An Olympic athlete refuses to participate in the opening ceremony. Why? He is angry that HE was not chosen to carry the USA flag!
  •  Politicians refuse to stand during the State of the Union message. They are angry that THEIR candidate was elected and THEIR party is not in control.
  • Road rage is a common occurrence on most highways. (And parking lots!)

For many people, anger is a default emotion. When someone embarrasses us, rarely do we feel embarrassment. Most of the time, that  embarrassment also makes us angry! If you want to read a case study in anger, read the story of Samson in the Book of Judges. I do not have space to elaborate all the ‘incidents’ that caused Samson to be angry but in reality, almost everything that happened was his own fault. At any point, he could have backed off, even just a little. If he had taken a minute to cool off, maybe he could have turned things around. 

If you are angry at those around you, where is your responsibility? I have often heard people say, “They make me so angry!” But the reality is we allow people to make us mad. We choose [sometimes unconsciously] to be angry. It is time to stop making excuses for our behavior and own our part. Ask forgiveness if you need to. And not just from God but from the people you may have hurt. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you. 

Bushels of Seeds

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”        2 Corinthians 9:6-7

I have always enjoyed history, especially American History. One part that captured my attention involved a man named John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed. He traveled through the Midwest planting apple seeds for 45years. It is estimated he spread more than twenty bushels of seeds, each bushel contained an estimated 300,000 seeds!

In the Bible there is the principle of sowing and reaping. You plant corn, you harvest corn. (Not potatoes) One ear of corn planted, will result in a harvest of several ears of corn. The more seeds you plant the more produce you harvest. While this principle  always hold true, today’s “prosperity preachers” have mistakenly taught if you give $20 to their ministry; God will bless with a $100 reaping!

This doesn’t mean we’ll come into lots of money if we give to the Lord’s work. As many people have experienced, wealth can be fleeting, but if we sow into His Kingdom, we will reap blessing in both time and eternity far beyond our original gifts. Choose an investment that is reliable, is guaranteed to never fail and yield great rewards. Invest in the Kingdom of God.

Pro-Motion

I have been a Christ-follower for over thirty years and I have thought a lot about why the Church has lost its effectiveness in impacting and changing our culture. Today, I think I have found the answer. I wish I could say that it was due to my own intellectual prowess but the truth is my “discovery ” came from watching a message by Andy Stanley (http://yourmove.is/episode/pro-motion/)

Allow me to share the truths that I have gleaned from his message.

Christians for the most part have substituted devotion for action. We have a tendency to believe all the right things, so that means me and God are good because I believe all the right things. Believers are often content to believe something rather than do something.

We are good at making a point; showing what is wrong but if all we do is make a good point and don’t make a difference; we are not good Christ-followers.

It is NOT enough to believe, you have to DO something with what you know! We need to “put some motion in our devotion.” James 2:27 “…faith by itself is dead if it doesn’t cause you to do any good things.

Your devotion to God is authenticated by love for others. When my faith stops at “How am I doing God?” we are telling the world “we know it all and are better than y’all.”

A Depraved Nation

Just when you think our society cannot get worse, a news headline proves us wrong.

  • This week we were all shocked when police found that 13 children and young adults had been held in horrific conditions was listed as a private school. We cannot understand how parents could ever abuse their children in such a matter. 
  • A USA Gymnastics team doctor sentenced to 175 years in jail for sexually abusing children 
  • Most recently, a video was released showing a daycare worker hitting a child on her head because the worker did not think the child was obeying.  {Warning: graphic images} 

We have become so calloused to events that we see and hear every day. How much lower can a man sink into his depravity? The Prophet Jeremiah was correct in saying, ““More than anything else, a person’s mind is evil. It cannot be healed. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

If we are upset with the culture around us, how do you think God feels?  “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.” 

There is coming a day (?) when God is going to bring justice to all the earth. “…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25

 

God’s DNA

Some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch and heal him. After spitting on his eyes and laying his hands on the man, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” Mark 8:22 

Can you imagine the people’s reaction when Jesus spat on the man’s eyes? [Mark 8:23]  “We asked You to touch him; not to spit on him.”  Most of us think of spittle as disgusting. But in actual sense, your spittle is one of the most intimate things we possess. God does not see spit the way we see spit. Inside your saliva is your DNA. By spitting on the man Jesus was saying, “This is what I am made up of and I am giving it to you.” Because His spit carries His DNA and He is applying it for healing because Jesus’s DNA is the DNA of God. That is if God has a DNA. 

The spit also contains white blood cells and white blood cells control the body’s defense system against diseases. The man’s vision defense system was weak, so Jesus strengthens it with His system. When Jesus spat we say, “How can He be that gross?’  Heaven said, “How can He be that intimate?”  Jesus was not disrespecting the man but was honoring him.  God’s was is not always our way. 

When you come to God asking Him to do something in our lives do not worry about how God will do it.