live like you mean it

6/22/2005 7:06 AM
Title: BE AN EXAMPLE
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S: ?Let no one despise you?, but be an example to the
believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in
faith, in purity.? 1 Timothy 4:12

O: 6 categories of areas where Paul tells Timothy to be an
example in. He could have left it to two ? word and
conduct. But instead he broke conduct down into more
categories ? love, spirit, faith and purity. Each of those
defines a lot more than simply saying conduct. But each of
these things define a Christian. It is someone who speaks
the word of truth, acts like he lives with the word of
truth. This person should be full of the Spirit, having
faith in God and living within the boundaries of purity.

A: I took the word ?youth? out of the scripture, because I
didn?t feel like I was a youth anymore. That?s reserved
for someone in their 20s and 30s. But the words of this
passage are words for me ? to be an example.

I understand that I?m a broken model in each of these
areas. I understand that I?m a model that needs to point
to the ultimate model, Jesus. But these are good reminders
for me ? love, spirit, faith and purity, conduct and word.

In other words, I should not just talk the talk as a
pastor, but I also must walk the walk.

P: Lord, I don?t write about this to put undue pressure on
me, nor do I write about it because I have somehow attained
to this issue ? not at all. But I pray for your strength
and I pray for your will. I pray you will come into my
heart and come into my life. Please lead me to be a
Christian in all areas of my life.

So, I submit my work, my wife, my kids, my home, my stuff
and ME to you, Lord. I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide
me and to lead me. I pray you will fill me and make me a
man like you. Please lead me to focus on you, Lord, and to
focus on walking with you. I love you.

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God’s Abundance

6/20/2005 6:49 AM
Title: THE GOD OF ABUNDANCE
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S: ??Go borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your
neighbors, empty vessels, do gather just a few.? 2 Kings
4:3

O: I?ve never read it this way before. I knew he said to
gather vessels, but I never saw that he stated from
EVERYWHERE! Elisha says very clearly ? God is going to do
something amazing among you, and you need to be ready ?
don?t lack any vessels. Don?t gather just a few.

God is a God of abundance. When ever he?s going to give a
blessing, he doesn?t give it in just a little way, rather
he gives it in a BIG way. When Jesus fed the 5000, he
didn?t give them just enough, but he gave them an
overflowing abundance. When he blessed the widow with
Elijah, he gave her just enough for the day, but did it
every day. When he said that the Holy Spirit would come
and would lead men to truth, he could have had a few
hundred come to repentance and accepting Jesus, instead he
had 3000 that day and more to come later.

God is the God of abundance.

A: I think what I see here is that when I pray for God?s
blessing, I should prepare for his blessing. In other
words, we often pray for His blessing, but we don?t really
expect it. We pray for converts, but we don?t expect a ton
of them. We pray for help, but we expect a little. We
pray for wisdom, but just enough that we can still use our
own wisdom too.

God is the God of abundance. What does that mean to me and
my church? Does it mean that He is calling me to have even
more of an abundance of children? Does that mean that he?s
going to continue to lead us to grow a church larger and
deeper? Does that mean that he?s going to do immeasurable
more than we ask or imagine.

20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all
we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work
within us, Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

God is a God of abundance. He doesn?t do anything in small
ways.

10Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may
be food in my house. Test me in this,? says the LORD
Almighty, ?and see if I will not throw open the floodgates
of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not
have room enough for it. Malachi 3:10 (NIV)

Throwing open the floodgates of heaven. That is not a
metaphor of limiting, but one that pictures you can barely
contain it or cannot contain it.

God is a God of abundance. He doesn?t do anything in small
ways.

Right now, I?m trying to build the church in a way that
will prepare me for handling even more of God?s abundance.
Right now I?m trying to gather the vessels from
EVERYWHERE. In other words, I know that I will always have
the opportunity to grow and learn, but right now, I?m in
the gathering stage.

There is a tension right now as we struggle with being a
small church that has grown into a medium sized church.
There is a tension about my job, Shane?s job and Jim?s
job. There is a tension of expectations within the church.
There is a tension about how we do things and why we?re
doing them. We?re in a new gathering stage. We?re
gathering stability, we?re gathering something to hold us.
We?re gathering a way to keep us in line with him. We?re
preparing to hold the abundance of blessing that he gives
to us.

P: Lord, make me the man you have called me to be. Make me
the leader that I am supposed to be to be able to lead The
Adventure into the future. Please give me wisdom, an
abundance of blessing, and prepare me to work hard in
receiving that blessing. Lord, guide me.

I pray for the upcoming Leadership Conference that we are
doing with RMC and MAUC. I pray that people will come and
that we will be prepared to have them here. I pray that
you will lead us and that you will give us wisdom to know
how to pull it off. Please Lead, Lord. Please guide us.
Please direct.

I love you, Lord. I invite you into my heart.

Work by a Good Conscience

6/19/2005 6:56 AM
Title: MAKE GOOD WARFARE
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S: ??the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by
them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good
conscience?.? 1 Timothy 1:18-19

O: Paul is telling Timothy to use the tools he has given
him to make good warfare. In this instance the tools were
the prophecies about him being a minister. And the warfare
is for the kingdom of God. But Paul then tells him to add
two more tools ? or at least not to forget these two tools.
Faith and a Good Conscience. These two things will go a
long ways in helping you to wage the good warfare.

A: Good words for me. I understand very clearly now ? over
the years ? that I must increase my faith and I must
increase my use of a good conscience. In other words, in
order for me to fight the good fight, to wage good warfare,
I must be clean in my thoughts and I must also rely upon
God. The church isn?t going to be built because we simply
move on our own. It has to be built on faith and it has to
be built on Jesus Christ and it must be built on a good
conscience.

P: Lord, lead me to follow you and to listen to you. I
pray you will use these words to guide me ever more into a
deeper faith and into a wiser word. Please lead me.

My Life’s Purpose – Live up to it!

6/11/2005 4:59 AM
Title: MY LIFE?S PURPOSE
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S: ?and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become
confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the
word without fear.? ?What then? Only that in every way,
whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in
this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.? ??so now also
Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by
death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.?
?Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of
Christ?.? Philippians 1:14, 18, 20, 21, 27

O: Listen to the words of John Maxwell on Phil. 1:12-18

“Paul might have been forgiven had he chosen to take a
little sabbatical as he sat in prison, awaiting his trial.
Yet he used even this opportunity to advance the gospel
(Phil 1:12).
Paul was a leader who never drifted from his mission.
He determined to leave his mark wherever he went. George
Washington Carver wrote, ?No individual has any right to
come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind
him distinct and legitimate reasons for having massed
through it.?
How did Paul?s sense of purpose keep him in the battle as
he sat in prison? What did he learn behind bars? Consider
the following:
1. A purpose will motivate you.
2. A purpose will keep your priorities straight.
3. A purpose will develop your potential.
4. A purpose will give you power to live in the present.
5. A purpose will help you evaluate your progress.”
The Maxwell Leadership Bible, p. 1447

And again, commenting on the same passage:

“A personal sense of purpose works in two ways. First, we
work on it. Then, it works on us.
Once Paul had determined his life mission, that purpose
daily improved his attitude. In prisons, shipwrecks,
beatings, through trials and debates, Paul kept on smiling
because of his strong sense of purpose. He understood that
leaders can either surrender to their circumstances, or
they can surrender to a cause that is so great, their
circumstances won?t matter.
When we surrender to our circumstances, we have good days
and bad days. We are the mercy of what happens to us.
When we surrender to a cuase or a purpose, we have good
days wherever we go; the purpose never dies. Paul?s
attitude helped his purpose go forward, then his purpose
helped his attitude go forward! His attitude helped him
conclude that it didn?t matter what happened to him of
others ? so long as the mission continued.”
The Maxwell Leadership Bible, p. 1448

A: I think for me, I?ve found this all to be true. I read
Paul and I see that he really did have a mission for his
life and he never stopped. I?ve found that when I focus on
the mission that God has given me, to reach lost people,
the mission begins to really make me. It focuses my
energy, it focuses my thoughts, it focuses my ideas and it
focuses what I need to do.

I?m impressed with the drive of Paul. I?m impressed with
his overall commitment to the message of Christ. I?m
impressed with his ability to sing and laugh in prison.
I?m impressed that he never gave up.

P: Lord, I want to be like that. I know Jim accuses me of
being a bulldog once in awhile, or of being a broken record
on the vision. But I see a lot of times where I get
distracted and could do a much better job. I want to
preach Christ and I want to lead a church that is preaching
Christ to the unchurched ? those that have never had him
preached before. It?s my desire to see a church that is
making a difference because of its evangelistic attitude.

Lord, make this happen. Keep me focused so that I can keep
others focused. But please don?t ever let it be about me,
Lord. Please don?t ever let it be about what Roger is
doing. Let it always be about you, Jesus. Let it always
be about being filled with the Spirit.

Lord, empty my heart and fill me with your spirit. Empty
my life and empty my soul. Make me a man like you who is
willing to follow wherever you lead. Please continue to
guide me, Lord. Please continue to focus me. Please
continue to let me listen to you. I submit my life and my
plans to you. I love you, Lord.

The Promise of the End of Evil

6/4/2005 6:15 AM
Title: KNOWN OBEDIENCE
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S: “For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your
behalf, but want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly..” Romans
16:19, 20

O: I don’t like Romans 16 and I frankly wasn’t going to read it this
morning. Because it’s like a speech of someone who just gets up and says,
“I want to say thank you to.. And to .. And to..” It’s like the
acknowledgments in a book – thanks and greetings to all the people he’s been
helped by.

But I thought that I should read it, if I’m going to do the FULL measure of
my devotions and I found this wonderful promise.

Paul says that your obedience is KNOWN to all! That’s good news. Their
works were mimicking their words. Their fruit was known and it was good
fruit.

But then Paul gives them a warning to be careful of the evil. And then he
shares the promise – God will crush Satan shortly! Hallelujah! That’s good
news! That’s the kind of thing that needs to be preached from the mountain
tops. It’s about the 2nd coming of Christ. It’s about the end of sin as we
know it. It’s about the end of our day-to-day struggles.

A: On a more practical level, I can simply be assured that God is working to
crush Satan in my life. He’s going to crush the problems I have with
people. He’s going to crush the sins in my life. He’s going to crush the
trouble I have with family and friends. He’s going to crush my thought
patterns and recreate in me a new and clean heart – which He already has.

Praise be to the Lord for His wondrous working. The promise of a crushed
evil means that good, joy, righteousness, holiness, Godliness will reign
supreme forever and ever.

P: Thank you, Lord. I love you for that promise. I love you without that
promise. I love you in all my ways. I love you all my days. I want to be
the person that promise is spoken of – my obedience is known to all, I’m
always being warned of the evil around, and to receive the promise of a
crushed evil and You, Father God, reigning supreme in my life.

I submit my life to you. I will follow you. I love you.