Monday, September 28, 2015

September 29, 2015

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:7-12

I am much more excited about this week’s lesson than about last week’s. Sunday’s message was a tough one for me. Those of you who know me well probably knew I was struggling and why it was tough for me. I prefer to preach from a position of strength and my childhood and child-rearing are not highlights of my life for complicated reasons. Actually, it’s probably good for us to be willing to minister from areas of weakness when prompted by the Spirit. I refuse to allow my struggles to prevent me from teaching practical Biblical truths to the people I love.

So, home plate is the most important place because everything starts with a connection at home and ends at home plate with a score. A good solid connection at home is revealed when you arrive at first base. First base is the character base where we master self-love in a healthy helpful way.

Over the first two weeks of “Raising Home Run Kids” I have shared some very practical Biblical principles for connecting at home and arriving at first. This stuff is so good I wish I would have heard it years ago!

When you get to second base you are halfway home! That is true in baseball and it is true in the Home Run Life! Arriving at second base significantly increases your chances of scoring. Second base is the community base where you learn to enjoy redemptive relationships! Obviously you can’t get to second base if you haven’t connected at home and rounded first base. In the same way you cannot develop healthy redemptive relationships unless you have a connection with God and enjoy His love operating in your life.

FredWes does second base very well! The spiritual community we enjoy there is certainly one of the great strengths of our church! It is a perfect climate for Raising Home Run Kids!

Our second base is our LIFE Groups. I enjoyed the love that was shared in our LIFE Group last night! This morning I heard stirring reports of the deep fellowship shared at our other LIFE Group! Evidence abounds that FredWes is connecting at home and arriving at first!

Isn’t that what you want for your kids? Don’t you want them to love God in a strong personal faith connection? Don’t you desire a Godly character developed in them through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in their heart and minds? And don’t you want your kid to know how to build healthy life-long relationships?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions you will NOT want to miss this Sunday’s message on how to help your kids learn to build strong and strengthening relationships.

You want to Raise Home Run Kids!

FredWes needs to be populated with Home Run Kids!

Come let me help you coach them up!

September 28, 2015

Peter has been giving us great advice on how to work out the graces He planted in us when we received Jesus Christ for salvation.
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-controlII Peter 1:5-6

As I have thought about this great portion of Scripture I think of how few people I see who actually live self-controlled lives.

I have recognized three ways people deal with life in the 21st century:

The Self-Dedicated Life

The Self-Medicated Life


The SELF - CONTROLLED Life, I Corinthians 9:24-27

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

“self-control” = “getting a grip on your life - establishing stability”
This is the life God has called you and equipped you to live!

Five Qualities Of Self-Controlled Living:

POSITIVE GOALS, V. 24 – Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win”
Self-controlled people live for a goal bigger than their own desires and wants. Here are some positive goals to live by:
Take responsibility
Spiritual growth is your responsibility. You will have to answer to God for how well you developed the grace He placed within you. It is up to you to bend every effort to add moral courage to your faith and to know the heart, the mind and the holiness of God!
Live with integrity
Integrity means to integrate what you believe into how you live. Self-controlled people will say what they mean, do what they say, and humbly seek forgiveness when they don't.
Welcome accountability
Self-control requires help from the outside. Just like an athlete needs a coach and and a referee, a growing Christian who values self-control will allow a trusted friend to hold him to a high standard.
PRACTICES DISCIPLINE, V. 25 – All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize”.
What disciplines have you built into your life? Discipline means saying "no" to harmful things and "yes" to helpful things!
World-class athletes can't be gold medal contenders by sitting at the Krispy Kreme every day. Olympians give up the donuts to have a chance at the gold.

PROVIDES FOCUS, V. 26 – So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches.”
How do you maintain your discipline in the pursuit of your goals?
I watched the sprinters in the Olympics and they were running directly at the finish line with their full focus on that tape. They weren't looking back or to the side or zig-zagging but striding straight to the finish.
Self-controlled Christians stay focused on the goal of pleasing God with their spiritual growth!
PROMOTES WHOLENESS, V. 27 - "I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”
Self-controlled people, whether athletes or believers, are fully engaged in the race. They train the mind, the emotions and the body in order to compete at the highest level. I did not see any half-hearted competitors at the Olympics this Summer/
Do you daily surrender your mind, heart and body to God’s will?
The bottom line on self-control is you or I can't do it! Self-control is actually God-control and self-control is self-surrender!

Self-control is one of the gifts given by the Holy Spirit once He is in control of your life!

D.L. Moody said,  - "I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God's law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled."
So, how is your self-control?
What are your goals?
How is your discipline?
Where is your focus?
Are you entirely engaged?
Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?