Thursday, August 31, 2017

Life On Purpose - What Makes God Smile?

Numbers 6:25  “May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.”

Psalm 119:135  “Smile on me, your servant; teach me the right way to live.”

The SMILE of God is the goal of life.  Last week we learned that we are built to bring God pleasure--since bringing God pleasure and making Him smile is the crux of what life is about, it would seem pretty importand for us to learn how to do it, right?

Ephesians 5:10 “Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.”

NOAH helps us see how to make God smile.  Noah lived in a broken world where every inclination of people’s hears was only evil all the time.  So much so that God decided to destroy Humanity by flood.  “But Noah was a pleasure to the Lord” (Genesis 6:8, LB).

Because Noah made God smile---you and I are alive today!

NOAH teaches us the 5 acts that make God smile
1 God smiles when we love Him supremely   Noah loved God even when no one else did.  Jesus taught us that the greastest command of all is to Love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength!

Genesis 6:9   “Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.”

2 God smiles when we trust Him completely… Even when it doesn’t make sense—like being asked to build a boat in the middle of a desert.  Even when it takes 120 years to build it and everyone thinks your nuts!  There is no record of Noah complaining or wavering in his obedience.

Hebrews 11:6 Without Faith it is impossible to please God…

3 God smiles when we obey Him whole-heartedly…

Gen. 6:22 So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.

4 God smiles when we praise and thank Him…  God smiles when we recognizing Him as our Father, our God and as the source of every good gift in our lives.

Genesis 8:20  Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose.

5 God smiles when we use our abilities.  We can bring glory and pleasure to God and make Him smile with every activity in life, except sin.  God loves to watch us live joyful and productive lives.

Genesis 9:1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Life is hard. God is good-er!

For a very long time my family has passed around a phrase.  It's a phrase that simultaneously sobers us up and reminds us that this world is a broken place and also that as followers of Jesus we have boundless reason to be hopeful and joyful!

"Life is hard.  God is good."

That's it.  Short, simple, powerful.

Life indeed can be hard.  Sickness, frustration, failure, rudeness, cruelty, injustice, any or all of these broken world symptoms AND MORE can smack us in the face on any given day.  There is nothing pleasant or fun about any of it.  But...

God is absolutely good!  And as I like to say it, "God is gooder than life is hard."

In Christ we have God's promises of faithfulness, presence, comfort, wisdom, grace, mercy, strength, joy, provision, deliverance, healing, protection and MORE.  The scope of God ability to uphold us and see us through life in this broken world victoriously is LIMITLESS.

I love what Paul wrote in Romans 8:37, "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."

God is our unshakable ROCK in the storms of life.  Jesus is our strong tower of refuge and strength against all the forces that seek to harm us in this cursed world.  In HIM, in HIS goodness--we are more than able to do all things!

Life is hard.

God is good--er!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

You Were Planned For God's Pleasure! Purpose Driven Life

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You were planned for God’s pleasure.  You were built to honor and relate with and bring glory to God.  In this summary if day 8 in Rick Warren’s  Purpose driven life, Pastor Brad Windlan talks about how we can honor God with our lives, our time, our body, our talents, every part of who we are.  To bring God pleasure is to worship Him and worshipping God is at the core of our reason for existing

God Didn’t need to create you.  He chose to creat you for His pleasure.
Ephesians 1:5 “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great leasure.”

Jesus left heaven, put on flesh and went to the cross to pay for sin, yes, but also to demonstrate how much He loves and values us.

When we understand this it has a profound impact on the way we live and relate with God.  We trust and obey Him not simply because we have to, but for His pleasure.

We were built to bring pleasure to God.  Guess what it’s called when we bring pleasure to God?  WORSHIP!  You may have a notion that CHURCH is the only place where WORSHIP happens.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Worship isn’t an event or an activity that begins and ends.  Worship is a LIFESTYLE.   Worship isn’t “part” of life – worship is our life.

1 Corinthians 10:31  “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

How do we worship God like this?  By doing life for Him and with Him.  Waking up in the morings and saying, “Good morning Lord.” Walking with God at work and in every part of our day.  When we live like that—we bring God pleasure---that is what a life of worship is all about.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Devil's Four Totally Predictable Tactics!

He has a lot of names, Lucifer, Satan, The Thief, The Accuser, The Devil, The Dragon, The Serpent, but he only has one M.O. He’s actually not very creative at all. He uses the same four tactics to deceive us EVERY SINGLE TIME.

NOTE: If you aren’t familiar with the story of The Fall (The first sin), take a moment to read Genesis 2 and 3. 

TACTIC #1: He Always Questions God 
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 

This was a ridiculous statement. Satan knew full well that God had told Adam and Eve they were free to eat from ALL the trees EXCEPT the one in the center—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

His goal with this first tactic is simply to bump us off center and get us to question God, “Is God really… ?” “Did God really mean…” This opens the door for our own rationalizations to creep in. “Oh I’m sure God will understand…” “I’m sure this one little thing won’t hurt anybody…” etc.

TACTIC #2: He Always Twists The Truth 
Genesis 3:4-5 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

Every good lie is wrapped in a kernel of truth. Satan was right—Adam and Eve would see things they hadn’t been aware of before and their physical hearts would not stop beating the moment they ate the fruit. But he conveniently left some facts out, like: Human beings weren’t created to play god or to be the arbiters of what it right and wrong. We were created to love and trust God and enjoy His goodness. He also forgot the mention that they would experience spiritual death (separation from God) and—as a result of their sin—they would now grow old, experience sickness and eventually death.

Satan always keeps the focus on the RIGHT NOW, “Don’t think about the negative consequences you’ll have to pay down the road, it’s all about immediate gratification!”

TACTIC #3: He Always Appeals To The Flesh 
Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

If the devil can nudge our attention away from honoring Christ and get our thinking and our senses (our eyes, ears, etc.) fixed on things that appeal to our flesh (our self-centered, “It’s all about what I want”) nature… he’s got a foothold. He’ll promise us pleasure, escape from troubles and fleshly satisfaction galore.

TACTIC #4: He Always Rips Us Off 
Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD.

The MOMENT they bit into that forbidden fruit—they realize they’d been ripped off—but it was too late. Their eyes were opened alright—they instantly became aware of their own “nakedness.” This is a powerful Old Testament way of saying they experienced SHAME and GUILT for the first time. Their minds were flooded with all kinds of overwhelming thoughts that they’d never experienced, like, “Oh no, I feel so unworthy... How can I cover and hide my shame? Oh, I know—I’ll sew these fig-leaves together and hide behind them.” 

Every time we buy into Satan’s lies he ALWAYS rips us off. Any pleasure we do experience is ALWAYS fleeting and the negative consequences (that we never saw coming) linger on and on.

So the next time you sense the tempter tugging on your heart, think about these four tactics and I PROMISE YOU they’ll help you see his alluring siren song for what it really is—a pack of lies that will leave you broken and feeling ripped off.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Reason for Everything! The Glory of God!

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There really is an amazing reason for everything!

Romans 11:36 (NLT) “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.”

We were created to bring glory to God.  That’s the reason we exist.  It’s the reason for everything.  Everything in creation was created by, through and for Him.  We bring glory to God when we love, honor and trust Him—as we walk in love and faith and hope, growing in our relationship with Jesus Christ as our Lord and our Savior.

In this talk Pastor Brad shares a summary of day 7 from Pastor Rick Warren’s boo, Purpose Driven Life—The Reason For Everything.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Life On Purpose - Life Is A Temporary Assignment - Purpose Driven Life Day 6

Life on Purpose – Life Is A Temporary Assignment – Purpose Driven Life Day 6.
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Life is a temporary assignment.  Life is short then we die.  And eternity is long, like forever long.  Eternity only offers us two choices—Heaven—with God or Hell—apart from God.  We need to think about eternity a lot—and when we do it will impact how we live.  We will find ourselves living as temporary ambassadors hear, representing out true home as citizens of Heaven.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

In this talk Pastor Brad shares a summary of day 6 from Pastor Rick Warren’s boo, Purpose Driven Life—Life Is A Temporary Assignment.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Seeing Life From God's View - Purpose Driven Life - Day 5

Life on Purpose – Seeing Life From God’s View – Purpose Driven Life Day 4.
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How you view your life, shapes your life.  The metaphors you have for life impact how you live your life.  If we want to live our life for God and His purposes, we need to see life from his view.  We need to fill our minds with His metaphors for life.  God’s Word teaches us that life is a test, a trust and a temporary assignment.

Romans 12:2 teaches us, saying, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

In this talk Pastor Brad shares a summary of day five from Pastor Rick Warren’s boo, Purpose Driven Life—Seeing Life from God’s View.