Control

10/29/2005 7:14 AM
Title: RESPONSIBILITY BUT NOT CONTROL
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S: ?Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the
sea, ?Peace, be still!? And the wind ceased and there was
a great calm. But He said to them, ?Why are so fearful?
How is it that you have no faith?? And they feared
exceedingly, and said to one another, ?Who can this be,
that even the wind and the sea obey Him!?? Mark 4:39-41

O: John Maxwell says:

When a terrifying storm convinced the disciples they were
about to die, they forgot one important factor: Jesus was
in the boat and had told them they were going to the other
side of the lake (Mark 4:35). His word always comes to
pass.

When they finally awakened Jesus, He got up, rebuked the
wind and the sea, and everything became completely calm.
So long as the disciples assumed control of their
situation, Jesus rested. But when they cast their care on
Him and released control to Him, he cared for everything
and they could rest.

This is true for every leader today. While we must take
responsibility, we are never to take control. Only God is
beg enough to take control. The principle works this way:
1. We care?He rests. God will allow us to mess up our
situation.
2. He cares?we rest. When we release control to Him, we
find peace.
The Maxwell Leadership Bible, p. 1204

A: Good words for me today. I?ve been trying to hard to
control everything that is going on. Where the church
moves, when the church moves, what happens next at the West
Campus ? do we meet on Friday night, Sabbath afternoon,
etc. When and where do we meet on the East Campus, how do
I get the East Campus to wake up spiritually? What about
the evangelism, what about the church property, what about
the fundraising campaign, what about Jim and Shane? All
these things are running through my mind.

Today, I read these words as a gentle and strong reminder
to give up control to God and then I can rest in Him. I
need to spend the time getting ready for God to work in
these situations and allow myself to rest in His strength
and glory.

I can?t control each situation that I am called to lead. I
do carry the responsibility of getting it done. But I?m
not in charge. God?s in charge. I need to never forget
that.

P: Lord, thank you for reminding me today that I don?t need
to carry around that stuff with me every second of every
day and losing more hair about it all the time. Rather, I
need to let you have control. Yes, you have called me to
lead this church, but only as I follow you. Thank you for
reminding me of that.

I love you. I give it all up to you today.

The work of the Redeemer

10/28/2005 3:47 AM
Title: MY REDEEMER LIVES
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S: Job 19:25 I know that my Savior lives, and at the end he will stand on
this earth.
Job 19:26 My flesh may be destroyed, yet from this body I will see God.
Job 19:27 Yes, I will see him for myself, and I long for that moment.
(CEV)

O: No one should be able to pass up this passage if they are totally sold
out to God. I know my redeemer lives. Job knows who has the answers. Job
understands that this life isn’t fair, but that he has a redeemer. That
redeemer is Jesus Christ. Job understands that there is still a hope in a
world gone mad. There is still a hope when the world is in chaos. There is
a hope in a world that does not come together and work rightly or fairly.
There is a hope in God and Job’s hope is in God. Job’s ONLY hope is in God
– his family has been destroyed, his fortune has been destroyed, and his
health has been destroyed. From a worldly perspective – there is no hope.

Not so, says Job. Even though everything else may be destroyed, there is a
hope – and that hope is in his redeemer and he longs for the day when the
redeemer will come.

A: I too long for my redeemer to come. I long for the 2nd coming when there
will be no more hurricanes, no more destruction, no more death, no more
aging poorly. I long for the redeemer – Jesus Christ to come again and make
this world a work of His redemption.

P: Lord, I know that for me to say that, I must also allow your work of
redemption to come into my life. I must also allow you to live in me. I
must allow you to focus on my life and lead me to walk with you. I pray,
Lord, for the Holy Spirit to guide me. I pray for the Holy Spirit to lead
me. I pray for the work of redemption to work a daily work in me and to
change me into a man after your own heart. I ask you, Lord, for the work of
my life to reflect that. I ask you into my heart.

I love you, Lord.

Almost Christian

10/26/2005 6:28 AM
Title: ALMOST PERSUADED

S: ?Then Agrippa said to Paul, ?You almost persuade me to
become a Christian.? And Paul said, ?I would that not only
you, but also all who hear me today, might become both
almost and altogether such as I am, except for these
chains.?? Acts 26:28, 29

O: The story of Felix, Festus and Agrippa has always been a
powerful story to me. Felix liked talking to Paul, and he
brought him in to listen to him ? but it was all about
entertainment. It sounds like Paul spent the time really
talking to him and seeking to win his conversion. But
Felix didn?t bite. He just wanted money from Paul and used
him as entertainment ? for two years!

Festus comes along and simply wants to do the Jews a favor.
He wants to do them some kind deed to be expedient to his
rulership. Yet, Paul supersedes the whole thing by
appealing to Caesar.

But along comes Agrippa. With a very short testimony, Paul
reaches to the very core of who Agrippa is. John Maxwell
describes it this way:

In one of his most compelling court speeches, Paul
addressed King Agrippa. As you read this chapter; try to
sense Paul?s strategy. Paul believed the best defense is a
good offense and nearly converted King Agrippa. Maxwell
Leadership Bible, p. 1362

Agrippa?s words were some of the saddest recorded in
scripture: ?You almost persuade me to become a Christian.?
Almost doesn?t count in anything except hand grenades. We
have no record of Agrippa after this ? in the Bible. It
might be interesting to see what historical evidence we
could pull from him and find out really what happened in
the long run.

A: How many times have I heard words like that during
reaping meetings? Oh it hurts to her those words, when
people are nearly persuaded, but don?t come across the
line. I must have heard that dozens of times, if not over
100 times. At various stages in the journey of a series of
reaping meetings, people will say ? either with their body,
their language, or their actual words, ?You almost persuade
me to become a Christian.?

It?s so hard to watch people make that decision and walk
away. It?s so hard to listen to them be so close, and yet
so far. It?s so hard to have them fall away.

But for me, I can never stop trying. It?s in my very
makeup of who I am and who I will always be. I want to
make sure that I am constantly taking strides to call
people to a decision.

P: Lord, I know that you are leading my life and my church.
I know that you are leading my family. I know that we are
trying to listen to you. Please keep leading us to call
people to a decision for Christ. Please keep us asking,
keep us listening, keep us focusing on you. Please help us
to follow you. Please help us to be guided by you. Please
help us to walk with you. I love you, Lord.

when in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!

10/8/2005 6:29 AM
Title: WHEN IN TROUBLE, WHEN IN DOUBT, RUN IN CIRCLES
SCREAM AND SHOUT!
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S: ?men?s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation
of those things which are coming on the earth for the
powers of the heavens will be shaken.? Luke 21:26

O: A tsunami this year, terrorist attacks all over the
world now, bird flu scares, hurricane after hurricane, and
people are beginning to see the end of the world in all of
this. This text says that men faint and their hearts fail
them simply form the fear of the coming events ? not that
they are really happening.

A: I have a tendency to see the end in these kinds of
things ? not that I see the end, but that I see the
possibility of the end. But it is certainly not a time to
run in circles and scream and shout. Nope. It?s a time to
really focus on what God is doing. It?s a time to focus on
what God is doing in our hearts and in our minds. It?s a
time to focus on what we are going to accomplish.

P: Lord, this is a time for me to rely upon you. I don?t
have the answers, but you do. Please keep leading me.
Please keep directing me. Please keep focusing me on your
path and on your desires. I want to serve you and follow
you. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit. I trust you,
Lord, with the end times. I trust you that you will always
fill me and you will always keep me going. I pray, Lord,
for my heart to be aligned with yours.

Don’t Quit Praying

10/2/2005 7:12 AM
Title: PRAY TO GOD FOR THE RAIN
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S: “Ask the LORD for rain IN the time of the latter rain. The LORD will
make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain.for everyone.”
Zechariah 10:1

O: When the LORD is near coming, we should pray more for His coming. That’s
what I see here. When God is about to do something, we should pray more for
that thing to happen, not less. The latter rain for the harvest is about to
come. We should pray for those rain clouds that they do come and they come
with abundance.

Yesterday I cast the vision of reaching out. Yesterday I cast the vision
for continuing to reach out in a bit of RISK. I cast the vision for
property. I cast the vision for what could be. I think people left a
little excited. I think they left in a way that made them excited about the
future and glad for the past.

A: Now, the real work kicks in. It’s almost time for it to “rain.” We need
to really be on our knees for the “rain” to actually come. We need to be on
our knees for the rain to come together and for the rain to come to fully
come and to come to everyone. What I mean is, that just because people want
to see us get property and our own building, doesn’t mean that they want to
pay for it. It doesn’t mean that they want to work to make it happen. It
doesn’t mean that they want to do things that will actually bring this
church to fruition.

We’ve got a tough row to hoe right now. We need to get the West Campus
up-to-speed with the East Campus helping them, so that when we come to
raising money, the West Campus will no longer feel like the lost step-child
and they will help their brothers and sister on the East raise money for the
building and land.

P: Lord, I know that things are simply not going to fall into place just
because it’s timed well. I know that just because we think the rain is
about to fall, doesn’t mean that the rain will fall. We need you involved
in this whole process, Lord. We need you involved with this whole thing to
make sure that times move forward. In other words, we need to continue to
go forward on our knees. We need to continue to move forward on the
direction that you give us, Lord.

It’s not just going to happen. We need to work in our prayer time to you.
We need to do the work which you have called us to do. I pray that both
will happen. I pray you will also follow-through for us, Lord. Also, I
pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit to guide us and give us wisdom.

Lord, I pray for the rain of finances. I pray for the rain of direction. I
pray for the rain of locations. I pray for the rain of money for the
long-term. I pray for help on seeing that property through. I pray for
direction and I pray for your wisdom. I pray you will guide us, Lord. I
pray you will lead us. I pray you will direct us to follow your path and to
follow your will. Please lead us in your direction.