Monday, January 20, 2014



Galatians 5:24
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Desire.  That is what separates those who do God's will and those who follow their own will. Desire. That is what keeps us close to God or keeps us far away from God. Desire.  It's what helps you grow in your relationship with God, your service to Him, your faithfulness to His Church, and your living for God or it's what keeps you from growing, not serving, not being faithful, or not living for God.
Desire is the difference between just believing and acting upon your belief to have faith.  You must desire to live for God, desire to have faith in God, desire to know more about God's Word, desire to pray daily to God, desire to be in His church worshipping, serving, giving, and glorifying God. 
What is your desire? Desire to be more like God or to follow your selfish desires for this world?  What is your desire to put God first, or put sports, hobbies, money, and self above God?   Desire is a strong wish or want for something do you wish you were more like Christ? Do you want to be more like Christ? Then you have to desire it.  Make an effort.  Be committed.  Stop making excuses.  Stop putting other things before God.  Stop justifying your actions, attitudes, and behaviors.
Our scripture above from Galatians, Paul tells those Christians if they belong to Christ, just like Christ was crucified for our sins, we also have to crucify our flesh and all the passions and desires that come with it.  Your flesh will always want what the world has to offer and never what God wants for us.  The only way your going to overcome worldly desires is to crucify them(kill them) and seek the desires of God.
Understand the difference between eternal(God) and temporary(anything in this world and life) and seek things in your life that are lasting. We put so much effort on our own wants, goals, hobbies, etc...and before you know it we are more committed to our job, our kids sport, our hobbies, or our bank accounts than we are our God.  But don't be fooled, all the things of this earth will pass away, but God is forever and so is eternity.  Choose what desires to follow wisely.
You want to have desires for God? Than start praying more often, start reading and studying His Word, make more time to serve God and give to Him,  be a little more faithful to your church attendance and consistent in your worship of Him.  Make changes that you know are keeping you from Godly desires.  If your open, honest, and sincere God's Holy Spirit will guide you to help you have the same desires of God.  Strive to Put God First.  Pray for Godly Desires. Work on your desires for God and less for the things of this world. 

1 John 2:17
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Represent Well

Represent Well
I don't like the Pittsburgh Steelers, it's not secret.  Yeah I like the Cincinnati Bengals and they and the Steelers are in the same division, but when I looked at why I didn't like the Steelers, it wasn't because of them, it was because of their fans, that made me eventually grow to dislike the Steelers.  Now, I have friends and family who love the Steelers and we give each other a hard time in fun, those aren't the folks who make me dislike the Steelers, it's those who are obnoxious, arrogant, and pushy about their team and put down other teams.

I realized this is exactly why some people don't like church or go to church. It's not that they don't like God or church so much, it's that they don't like some of the people that go to church of call themselves Christians.  Ouch!

I know it's not fair for me to not like the Steelers because of some obnoxious jerk fans and it's also not fair for people to stay away from God or His church because of some bad or jerk Christians, but the truth of the matter it happens.

People leave church because of how they are treated by other Christians.  People go to school, work, or other places with people who are Christians and they may see how they act, behave, or carry on either trying to push God down their throats or the direct opposite they call themselves Christians but they gossip, slander, lie, cuss, and show themselves and that as well turns people away from God and His church.

I've been a part of churches where families stopped coming because someone in the church was rude to them, talked bad about them, or wouldn't allow them to get involved or feel welcome so they left. Was that God's fault? The church as a whole's fault? No, but we need to realize when we are Christians and members of God's Church, we no longer just represent ourselves, we represent God and HIs church.

Just as it's not acceptable to be a Bible-thumping bigot who is obnoxious and arrogant to those who aren't saved or don't go to church, it's also not acceptable to be a bad example, or treat others so poorly then have no desire to step foot in a church or be a Christian.

None of us are perfect, we all sin and fall short, however there is a big difference in being honest and sincere even in our weaknesses and being blind, in denial, or just down right don't care how we act or treat people.  Being a Christian means we are wearing the name of Christ and made a commitment to follow Him, Live for Him, and yet even strive to ACT like Him.  Which means when we get saved we must take steps to learn to grow and mature in our faith and make changes in our attitudes, behaviors, actions, habits, personalities, and lifestyles.

We want to attract people to God and His church not repel or push them away.  While it's true I may never be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I do like many of their players and you can't argue with 6 Superbowl victories, but being a winner and successful doesn't mean you have to be mean, ugly, arrogant, obnoxious, brag, or a jerk. True successful people are confident yet humble, winners yet gracious, and worthy of praise yet don't let it go to their heads.  I think true Christians are the same way, we may be on the winning team, but unlike sports, we want people to join our team so we need to act in such a way to attract them not push them further away from God.

We as Christians can never be so "saved" that we think we are better than others, we simply were lost and now we are found, we simply have the truth others do not yet. We also can't be so blind that we forget we represent God and His church and we can't go around losing our tempers, gossiping, cheating, lying, and sinning on purpose and think God get's any glory from it, He doesn't, we are hurting God and His church not helping.

My challenge for me and you who are reading this today is represent God well. Be humble, be gentle, be honest, be patient, be helpful, be loving, be accepting, and be who God wants you to be.  Treat others the way God treats you and represent Him well in this world and who knows the influence you may have on others.  We all can do better to represent God out in this world, after all He left the
evangelism and outreach of the great commission up to His Church. 

Titus 2:7 (NIV)
In everything set them an example by doing what is good.

Thursday, January 02, 2014



"If God’s objective for every believer is to transform us into total Christlikeness, then the objective of preaching is to motivate people to develop Christlike convictions (to think like Jesus), Christlike character (to feel like Jesus), and Christlike conduct (to act like Jesus)."-Rick Warren

As Christians being a Christian doesn't mean a title, it doesn't mean a position in a church, it doesn't mean worshipping traditions, denominations, or selfish agendas.  Being a Christian mans being transformed from a lost to found, sinner to saved, and most of all maturing and growing into being less like the world and more like Christ.

Too many churches and too many Christians have been going about it all wrong, have wrong reasons, and follow traditions, rituals, religion, etc...and miss the point of being a Christian in the first place.  God wants to see our lives change. He desires to see us grow from a human being that is living by the world standards and become a spirit-filled being that is living by God's Word and standards and striving to grow into a fully-devoted follower who is a part of His body(the church).

Where did we go wrong? Maybe many started out wrong? I am not sure?  But, the goal of being like-Christ is to be Like Christ!   God doesn't want us following or living by religious traditions, or going through the motions of Christian rituals that do not change us..  If you think about the quote above, the goal of Christianity is to totally transform our thoughts to think like Jesus, our character to feel like Jesus, and our conduct so we act like Jesus.

However, if all Christians were all thinking, acting, feeling, and thinking like Jesus I think we'd have a lot less church splits and factions, we'd have a lot nicer Christians, and we'd be making a greater impact in our personal lives and communities. The harsh truth is we got a lot of churches that are not being the body of Christ or acting like Christ and we got a lot of Christians who truly aren't living, acting, or being like Christ.

So what is the problem?  I think Christianity without transformation is just shallow religion.  God deserves and desires better from His followers.  I think many people want to be Christians, but do not "totally surrender" their wills or lives to Christ, that is the first problem.  When you want to only partially-surrender your life to Christ He can't truly transform you.  A second problem is we have too many Christians who care more about their church politics, practices, traditions, and self-centered focus than they do about truly being a Christ-follower that reaches the lost and make disciples, which is and should be our mission as Christians and churches.  You can't reach the lost and make disciple when you are focused inwardly on yourself.

Another problem is many so-called Christians simply don't grow much after being "saved" or becoming a "Christian.  Just like an infant is totally dependent on their parent to live, we as new-born Christians have to totally be dependent on God, hungry for His Word, and led by His Spirit.  Too many just go through motions and don't or stop growing their faith. You have to be in the Word regularly studying, you have to participate in the life of the church body by worshipping, serving, and giving with the right attitude and motives, and you have to desire to grow and mature so that God can use you, develop and deepen your faith.

My question for you is were you transformed when you gave your life to Christ if you are already a Christian? Are you striving to grow and mature in your relationship with Christ? Are you acting, feeling, and thinking like Christ or are you still struggling with the same sins, still acting the same old way, and no real change has taken place in your life?

I firmly believe that too many churches would be better off to dwindle and die that continue the Christian charade because they are not about the father's business, but simply inward focused and not transforming anyone. I also believe many Christians are giving God a bad name or breaking God's heart because they aren't being transformed or transforming others for Christ, but are simply dragging his name through the mud of religion, ritual, tradition, or sin.

Being a Christian is not to be taking lightly, and the name of Christ and His Church should not be taken lightly either.  Be transformed by Christ, strive everyday to be like Him and the only way you are going to be like Him is to spend time with Him, His Word, His Spirit, and allow Him to transform you into the follower He wants you to be. Our main goal is a Christian should be to live to please the Lord and seek Him daily.  Only total surrender, willing attitude, and desire to grow will transform us and our churches.

Romans 12:2NIV
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.