Decision or Disciple? Oct 27, 2013

Matt. 28:18-20 – there is a huge gap between what I want to do or wish to do and what I actually do – the first mark of a disciple is obedience
– a secision is not the same as an action
– the goal of discipleship is to be like Jesus (Luke 6:40, Gal. 4:19)
– qualifiers of being a disciple (Luke 14:16-33):
  1. nothing before God
  2. take up the cross where my will crosses God’s will
  3. forsake all I have for God
– being fruit inspectors (Luke 6:43-49)
– being a disciple means deliberately identifying yourself with God’s interests in other people
John 13:34-35
– the true expression of Christian character is not in good-doing, but in God-likeness
Col. 2:6 as you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him
– some people have a “profession” but not “Possession”
Matt 7:21, John 15:7-8

Little Things Matter, Oct 20, 2013

Matt. 5:33-37, 25:14-30
– we can say many good things about the work fo the first two servants: they did their work promptly, with perseverance, with success, and they were ready to give an account to their master
– promptness matters
– perseverance is a little thing, but it matters
– little successes matter
– this shows that the master looked for goodness and faithfulness in His servants, not for a specific amount of money
– faithfulness matters
– “I can do very little; it will not make much difference if i do nothing: I shall not be missed; my tiny push is not needed to turn the scale.” F.B. Meyer expressing the thinking of the third servant
– we can say of the work of the third servant: he didn’t think, didn’t work, didn’t even try, and made excuses
– be faithful in your attitude – it’s a little thing that makes a big difference (Phil. 2:1-7)
– your attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference
– be faithful in your money (Luke 16:10-15) – your attitude about money matters – the value of a penny in God’s hands
– sometimes it’s hard to see how small choices can change your life but when compounded over time, the little things can make the biggest difference
– seeing an opportunity and knowing the right choices to make is not enough. You have to act on it. Since the little things are easy to do, they are also easy not to do

Commitment, The Difference Maker, Oct 13, 2013

Eccl. 5:1-7, Matt. 33-37, James 5:12 (ESV)
– we never know what’s on the other side of our commitment
– “If you don’t make a total commitment to whatever you’re doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It’s tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his life jacket on.” Lou Holtz
– “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'” Erma Bombeck
– “If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
– “If you start to take Vienna, take Vienna.” Napoleon Bonaparte
– “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” Joe Namath
– “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” Dante Alighieri
– “When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.” Eleanor Roosevelt
– “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” Margaret Thatcher
– there’s a difference between an interest and a commitment
– some of God’s people have made a decision about Jesus, but not made a commitment to Him
Rom. 12:1-2
– it is impossible to be “sort of committed.” You are either committed or you are not committed. It is not possible to be a partial sacrifice
– “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” Art Turock
– “The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.” Martina Navratilova
– be committed to less so you will be more committed
– we judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions
– right now, we’re making time for what we’re commited to

Redeeming The Time, Guest Steve Parsons, Oct 6, 2013

– do you think of time as something in your life that can be redemed?
Eph. 5:1-16
– redeeming the time – find out what the will of God is
– time can be redeemed for God’s glory
– Moses is a good example of redeeming your time well.
– 3 parts to Moses’ life: 
  – first part is privilege
  – second part is obscurity
  – third part is significance (Ex. 3:1-10)
– how to redeem time for God’s glory:
1. if you want to redeem time, you’ve got to see in new ways
  – whatever captures your attention, captures you and you can end up wasting your life if you’re paying attention to the wrong things.
  – the people who redeem time the most are people who burn with something in their heart.
  – each day is an opportunity to encounter God
2. you redeem time when you embrace God’s call for your life
  – stop waiting for something to happen to you and start showing up and live the life God made you to live
  – stop waiting for something to happen to you; something is waiting for you to happen to it
  – stop waiting, it’s already in your heart – when you get in front of the burning bush, it’s not just the bush that burns
3. you redeem time when you trade your past for God’s future
  – don’t let your past be a label that you wear for the rest of your life
  – if we are in Christ, we are new creatures, the old has gone, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17)
4. you redeem time when you see all of your life as something sacred
  – Ex 3:5 – holy ground – your home, vehicle, desk at work, wife, and kids should be seen as sacred space – just like you think of the church building
  – live your life in a sacred, fresh way