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Archive for May, 2012

Striving

 

Two lovely young women came to our home today. They wanted to tell us about the purpose of life here on earth and the future that could await us if we committed ourselves to reading, studying, serving and giving every effort to living a life that honored God.

 

It got me to thinking.

 

Striving to do good so that I will have a sense of well being, so that I will exhale, rest, and feel the weight of guilt off of my shoulders, so that that I will be satisfied with myself, and for the moment hope that God and others might possibly be satisfied with me too, it an antithesis to the gospel of Jesus.

 

Striving in itself is an antithesis to the gospel.

 

John 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 

Jesus reminded me yet again that everything that I need to live a good, godly life I have in abundance in the knowing of Him.

 

2 Pet 1:3-7 “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

 

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

 

By these? What are the “ these” to which he is referring?

 

1. His divine power

 

2. The true knowledge of Him

 

“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith…”

 

faith: pistis,  conviction of  the truthfulness of God, reliance upon Christ for salvation;-assurance.

 

So, I must be careful that I am “applying all diligence” to abide, connect, stay in humble and grateful “dialysis dependence” upon Jesus. I will then have the ability and responsibility to move forward, and thus beempowered to…

 

“supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge;

 

and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness;

 

and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.” 

 

This is the gospel, the good news; this is worth knocking on doors.

All of these wonderful things: a moral life-style, a mind filled with knowledge of what is true, to be self controlled in emotion and word and actions, to be stable and committed, to be kind, to love, are in fact the result, the fruit of His power released into my soul when I know Him.

 

When the woman who had been sick all of her life touched the clothes that Jesus was wearing, just touched them, He said, “power has left Me”.

 

His power, all of His healing and life giving power was released into her, not because of her full embracing of everything that He had said and in her following through with it, no, this woman believed He was who He said He was. She knew Him, and power flowed from Him to her as a result.

 

Oh, my word.

 

This is the gospel.

 

A touch.

 

When a plug barely makes connection with a socket electricity flows.

 

It is about His power, I have none, but He has all power to fill and enable and bring life to areas of my soul sickness. And as a result I  live amazed and not self-impressed.

 

I read recently in John Piper’s “Life As A Vapor”, “ Man was not made to admire man. He was made to admire God”.

 

I want to turn my eyes to Him, and in all my relationships turn other’s eyes to Him.

 

And in that, there is no striving, for the Spirit of God Himself lives to draw us to the beautiful, amazing One.

 

I pray for all those today, who as a result of Satan’s deception to keep the children of God from coming to Him, have them  busy instead knocking on doors, or just knocking themselves out with the trying.

 

“All who are weary…come to Me”

 

This is the gospel.


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Mat 25:13  “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

2 Cor 5:6-9  Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.We live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.

My daughter is going to have a baby. It could be anytime.

She lives an hour away by plane and I want to be ready the minute I get the call that she is going into labor, so I have packed my suitcase and keep it in trunk of my car. I have my toiletries in a travel bag, and every time I brush my teeth or take a shower I put everything back  in there so I am ready. This grandma is going to be prepared to leave at a moments notice when I get the call!  I am going about my business everyday. I am trying to be present with those around me, but I am also aware that at any moment the phone might ring and I will be on my way. I thought about that today as I was caring for my husband and children at home. I want to be sure I have planned for everything they might need in case I have to leave quickly. I am living out each day keenly aware that the call is coming. It’s funny, I can remember as the end of each of my pregnancies grew near that  it seemed like the babies would never come, that somehow I would be that one woman in history who would never actually deliver, I would stay pregnant forever.

But the babies came, of course, and the waiting was over.

 

I thought about how this is like or lives with the Lord. We are waiting, busy about our lives, but in the back of our minds is the reality that the call could come anytime, and that we must have our bags packed.  As we intentionally pour ourselves into the lives of those around us, there is a knowing that when the call comes we must go. There will be no time to say and do what we wished we had done. Our lives are here, but only partially… there is a birth about to happen, a life so real, a home prepared for us so perfect and a knowing of the Lord face to face…..ah, wonderful. How can we help but be a little distracted while we wait for the call, how can we help but live everyday preparing here for the day when we will no longer be here.

Of course Jesus intends for us to live our lives here well, but to remember, to always remember, that the call is going to come, and that we have our bags packed and our eyes upward.

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine,

Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine,

Watching and waiting, looking above,

Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.”

 

 

 

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(A lesson based on the Holy Bible, and John Maxwell’s, ‘21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership‘)

Psalm 141:5 Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head.  My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.

When you are headed in the wrong direction, you need someone to correct you.

A leader is not someone who has a vision to start something and get people on board.  A leader is someone who lives a life where other people benefit by it.

Strive to be an influencer in a positive way.  Are the other people in your life better in their lives because you are in it?

Philippians 1:9-12 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

John 10:4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

Live a life of purpose, intention, and loving others.

Recap:

Law of the Lid

Recognize where your “lid”/limit is.  Study and learn how to raise/lift that lid

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Law of Influence

Do the people I want to influence actually listen when I talk?

The words of the wise are:

  • Sweet/healing: Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
  • Carefully chosen: Proverbs 17: 27-28 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.

The difference between managing and influencing: Are you accomplishing goals or winning hearts?

The Law of Process

Jesus, I believe you have something better for me and I am going to follow you in it.  Call me, and I will come. (ex. Peter in the boat)

“If you try harder, you can do it” -this is Christian humanism.  It is the Holy Spirit that allows us to accomplish anything.

Psalm 103:14 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

Be committed to learn and grow and for God to show you.  Submit yourself to a learning process that won’t quit until you die.  Never stop learning.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

You fall…you get back up.

You wander…you get back on the path.

Teach your kids hope and comfort in Jesus.

1 John 2:12 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Commit to not be the same person you were a month ago.

Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

Lay down the doubts that it’s never going to be any different.  Be at peace that covering God is at work.

The process will be difficult.  This include our Christian walk.  the Holy Spirit does not tell us this to frighten us, but to calm us. (Father said there’d be days like this…)

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

What matters most is that we be calmed when difficulties come.  Focus on what God is doing in us.

God is more interested in our hearts versus our behavior.

The secret of your success is in your daily agenda.  This shows your priorities, passions, (in)abilities, relationships, disciplines.

Psalm 141

What are the top things you value?

Look at your kids faces.  Talk to them directly.

Jesus does not want an end result.  He wants a relationship with you.

“As was his custom” -Jesus was away with His Father.  As a result, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray (even though they were raised learning to pray.  The saw a difference in Jesus’ prayers.)

Relationship with Jesus will be messy.  Many things will be torn down.  “Don’t be tidying the teacups, when I’m tearing down the roof.”

God does not care about our mess/dust.

It’s an ongoing learning process.

2 Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control;  and to self-control, perseverance;  and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (CAN ONLY HAPPEN WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT)

Self discipline and perseverance – set a goal each day to improve a little.  (Relationship, finances, health, etc.)

Phase 1: I don’t know what I don’t know

Phase 2: I know that I need to know something

Phase 3: I know what I did not know

Phase 4: I know and grow and it begins to show

Phase 5: I simply go because of what I know

Rest will come, not when things change, but when you know who Jesus is.

The courageous risk of believing that things could be different in our life…not because others will be changed, but because we will.

Psalm 143:8-12  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.  Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you.  Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.  In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

It is hard to walk while in fetal position…

A lifetime of choices.  Influence the hearts of the people he has put into your lives.

Philippians 1:4-6 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 50:4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

Romans 5:3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Homework for next month:

Ask someone who knows you well if they would be willing to help you.  Let them know that you want to grow in the area of leadership and influence and ask them to share an observation of an area in your daily routine that if it were stronger would help you meet these goals.

What are three areas of weakness you recognize?…seek them out…
Psalm 139:23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Bring them to the Lord to be led in a healthy, strong path.
Psalm 143:10  Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Hebrews 4:16  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

What are three things that you do every day?

What are three things you want to do every day?

It has been said that who you will be in five years depends on the books you read and the five people you spend most of your time with.

What are you presently reading?

What are you willing to commit to begin reading?

Who do you spend time with? Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly

Who are you committed to start spending time with in order to intentionally influence them or be influenced by them?

Set one long term goal; put something into practice every day.

What are three practical ways you can become a learner of how to influence others?

Ask the person how they enjoy being related to, what energizes them what motivates them.  Seek ways to encourage them in these areas.  This will take time, each day.  It will not in one day, but you an build on what you do each day.  (ex. The building of the Secret Garden)

Learn about their “love languages”, learning styles, traits as revealed in personality tests.  (Not for the purpose of analyzing, but in order to understand.  We cannot influence people if we do not understand them.)
Are you committed to making a consistent change of direction in the relationship with those you hope to influence?
In regard to what we have learned tonight, what must you be committed to in order to be an effective influencer/leader? (It begins with the letter ‘P’! :))

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