Thursday, August 30, 2018

My Utmost For His Highest -- Pastor Brad Windlan -- First Christian Church, Cookeville, TN

In this video – My Utmost For His Highest (Oswald Chambers) – Pastor Brad Windlan – First Christian Church, Cookeville, TN -- Pastor Brad Windlan, lead minister at First Christian Church, Cookeville, Tennessee, shares about four things every Christian needs in their life---if they long to live a life of giving their utmost for God’s highest—inspired by the classic devotional by Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Matthew 28:18)

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The great commission; it's the foundational MISSION STATEMENT for the church.  Over the next several posts I'm going to break these amazing words from Jesus down and consider their meaning for us today.

Let's begin--at the beginning :-)

When we think about THE GREAT COMMISSION, often times we launch right into the "...go make disciples..." part---which is super awesome and important---but--the words that precede these are crucial.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."

Okay, let's  consider a rhetorical question: "How much authority is ALL?"  That's like, A LOT, isn't it?  That's like every single bit of authority there is--not just on earth BUT IN HEAVEN TOO!  God the Father has actually given ALL of His authority to his Son Jesus.  So, stated plainly--Jesus is currently in charge of EVERYTHING.  He is Sovereign over every facet of life.  NOTHING is beyond the scope of his sovereign authority.

Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 15 that at the end--when all things are restored--Jesus will return all of that authority to His Father, "Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power." (Vs. 24)

But in the meantime, He is in control -- and here's how that applies to THE GREAT COMMISSION: As His disciples, we are commissioned to go and make disciples---NOT on our authority, but His.  As we shine for Christ in our circle of influence we do so as ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20).

Here's a helpful definition of an ambassador: "Generally speaking, an ambassador is a respected official acting as a representative of a nation. Sent to a foreign land, the ambassador’s role is to reflect the official position of the sovereign body that gave him authority." (GotQuestions.Com)

So, when Jesus says, "Therefore go and make disciples..." the word THEREFORE means, "BASE ON MY AUTHORITY."  It's crucial for us to understand that Jesus never intended for any congregation or individual disciple of His to try to accomplish the Great Commission in their own wisdom, authority, or strength.  He clearly said, "I will build my church..." (Mat. 16:18).  It's not our job to make the church grow.  It's our job to faithfully follow, represent and share Him with others--He'll take care of the rest.

The early church in Acts never asked, "How can we make the church grown?"  They simply devoted themselves to following Jesus as Lord and loving one another as He commanded (Acts 2:42, Jn. 13:34-35) "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." (Acts 2:47).  Pretty cool eh?

As you go through your day--remember--you're not alone.  Christ is with you.  As His ambassador, you are commissioned with His authority--so go forward with Godfidence and shine!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Steps... Conversations... Relationship...

Hey friends!  It's a new day here at!  About one month ago, Kelly and I moved to Cookeville, TN to serve the First Christian Church as their lead minister.  We are both so thrilled and happy to be here.  FCC is a wonderful church and there is so much potential for kingdom growth here in Cookeville!

I say that---to say this....

Going forward I plan to use this blog as a place to share my heart--primarily--with the FCC family.  I will try to write at least once each week and hopefully give you a sense of what's brewing in my heart.

I'm sure some have wondered, "What's the plan for FCC?"  Well, I have a million ideas, programs, models, etc. floating around in my heart, but it's way too early to think about any of that right now.  Right now is all about STEPS... CONVERSATIONS and RELATIONSHIPS.  Kelly and I are hungry to settle in and make FCC, Cookeville & Middle-Tennessee home.  It takes a while for that to happen---for streets and grocery stores and restaurants, etc. to begin to feel like they're yours.  This whole first year at FCC will be a year of firsts for us---this will be our FIRST fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas (Road to Bethlehem), Winter, Spring, Easter, etc at FCC.  I'm looking forward to just taking it all in and experiencing it with you!

Along the way I'll do my very best to learn---names, stories, traditions, etc.  I will also do my very best to love you all well and to preach and teach God's Word with passion and joy!  In time, as my relationship with all of you, the staff and the elders matures---I have no doubt that God will begin to reveal His vision for FCC--and we'll follow Him together--step by step--in His time.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you this Wednesday/Sunday!