Archives For Making Jesus famous

Room for Them?

May 30, 2011 — Leave a comment

Luke 2:7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Have you ever noticed the bottom half of this scripture?  The bible never says that there wasn’t room in the inn; it simply states there wasn’t room for them.  Them =  Mary and Joseph expecting a baby out of wedlock.

During the religious festivals that were going on, this inn-keeper chose to allow only certain customers to actually stay in the inn.  Apparently, his door wasn’t open to those that looked like they had some issues.

In todays society the church is a refuge to many.  This number includes wealthy and poor people alike.  Sometimes people come through our church doors that have it all, they are just missing Jesus.  Others come with all kinds of baggage.  These people are literally burdened with issues that are serious and terminal.  Our church must be open to them.

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What causes a door to open in the spirit world?  How can we motivate the hand of God to unlock doors and open access into a deeper realm in the spirit?  Should we focus on prayer?  Or maybe constant worship?  Should we fellowship deeper and more often with believers?  What creates openness in God’s Kingdom?

I think I found a key that ensures not just an open door, but a door that stays open and no being or man will have the authority to shut it.  God promised the church at Philadelphia an open door that no man could shut (Revelation 3:8).  This is the only church that was given such a promise.  What was the key?

The answer is found in Paul’s writing to the Corinthian church (II Corinthians 8-9)  He describes a great need that was met by the Philadelphia church.  They financially blessed when they didn’t have an abundance of money to give.  They weren’t giving out of their overflow; rather they gave out of their lack.  It was this sacrificial giving that caused God to say I will open a door that no man can shut.

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Inside job

May 16, 2011 — Leave a comment

I am a guy, believe it or not, that likes to iron.  It’s the ritual side of ironing that I really enjoy.  My last few moments before I head to church are spent ironing my clothes and meditating on what I am going to preach.  I love it.  My wife thinks I am crazy for not having her iron, but she has two squirming little girls to get ready, so it’s only fair that I iron.

During my Sunday ritual last week I started to ponder some deep stuff.  Like, why am I ironing the back of the shirt?  Nobody is going to see it.  The back is going to be covered by my suit.  Why was I ironing the sleeves?  I mean, my suit coat will hide them also.  Well, I concluded that while nobody else would care, I care.  As crazy as that sounds, it’s biblilcal.

God instructed Moses to build a box made of wood, covered inside and out with gold.  Now obviously I can see covering the outside of the ark with gold, but the inside?  That is like ironing the back of your shirt.  Nobody is going to ever see the inside of the ark.  Really only the man that built the ark, and Moses should have ever seen the inside of the ark.  So what’s the big deal?  To us, maybe it isn’t a big deal.  But to God, even the hidden things matter.  He wants us to do our best for Him, whether we are seen or not.  Whether we are on a platform or behind a curtain, God wants us to cover our work with gold.  Excellence.

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Guest Ministers

May 12, 2011 — Leave a comment

ConnectPoint has been blessed during the month of may to have quite a few guest speakers minister to our congregation.  Guest speakers offer many things: freshness, new perspective, and an un-biased word.

I emailed a thought to ConnectPoint a couple of years ago, directly related to guest ministers, that I would like to share with you today.

Having a guest minister at our church, reminded me of a few things I saw in the bible concerning guest ministry.  The main principles I want to share are found in II Kings 4:8-16. The great woman of Shunem is receiving Elisha the great prophet into her home. There are some things she provides that produce a lasting ministry in her house.

I. Bed – She makes Elisha comfortable. The first step to receiving guest ministers correctly is to make them comfortable. How this translates in a church service: everybody be kind with handshakes and smiles, but do not linger. Generally the minister has his mind on the service and doesn’t need to hear about everything that happened in our day.

So to create a bed environment – show yourself friendly but don’t linger. As many ladies as possible introduce yourself to the preachers wife and ask if there is anything she needs, ensuring her comfort as well. Always bring the preacher to the pulpit with noise, clapping your hands and lifting your voice. Most preachers get uncomfortable in a new place when they take the pulpit with a quiet congregation looking on.

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Joseph was highly favored by his father.  This favor was exemplified by the coat that his father had made for him.  It was a coat of many colors.  This coat was a manifestation of the blessing Joseph had been given by his daddy, Jacob.

His brothers stole this coat off of his back.  It was a mark of contention between brethren.

This coat was torn and soiled by the blood of an innocent animal.

The rending of this coat brought many years of sorrow to Jacob.

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I’ve been astonished lately by the amount of church groups that are united by what they are against.  For example, some churches are against preachers wearing jeans in the pulpit,  etc.  Whether it is magazines, sermons, or blogs, they make it plain that they are against a plethora of things.  How can you possibly keep something united if your basis for unity is what you fight against?

I think that this ideology can lead to problems of pride.  It can raise a culture of Pharisees.  In the name of unity it might lead to great chasm and division.

What about uniting over the things that we are for?  We all are against certain things, but there will always be somebody either harder or more lenient than you; why not unite over reaching a lost world?  Let us join hands in making Jesus famous in our cities.

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Ame.  That is the Hebrew word for mother.  The word literally means, “the bond of the family.”  It signifies the force that strengthens and holds things together.

Moms are the ones that calm down bickering teenagers, and make sure the family dines together, etc.  Generally, mom is the one that makes a house a home.  My wife does a tremendous job of making sure our crew has lots of family pictures, experiences, and traditions.  All of the little things that equal one big happy family.

There are some stories in scripture that exemplify in the spiritual realm, what the word “ame” signifies.

1. I Kings 3:17 -27 – A mother never wants division.
2. Matthew 20:20-21 – A mother desires her children to be as close to Jesus as possible.
3. Judges 5:6-7 – A mother brings safety.
4. II Kings 4:19 – A mother brings comfort to her hurting children.
5. John 2:3– A mother believes in her children.

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Got Honey?

May 5, 2011 — Leave a comment

Jacob is in dire straits.  The only man that has food in this world-wide famine is demanding that Jacob let his youngest son, Benjamin, go down to Egypt with his brothers to get food.  If Jacob doesn’t comply with this demand they don’t get any corn.  Adding insult to injury is the fact that Jacob has a son, Simeon, that is in prison in Egypt.  The ruler that is demanding that the youngest son come to Egypt, also imprisoned Simeon, and is holding him until Benjamin shows up.  A very tough and tense circumstance.

The wise old man Jacob submits to the request.  What else can he do?  But the wisdom of Jacob is manifested just before his sons leave on this quest.  Jacob tells them to take along a little honey (Genesis 43:11).  Because this situation is tense, you need to offer some sweetness in the deal.

Tense, is a good word to describe the overall feeling in our world today.  What with the crashing economy, spiritual wickedness, and overall brokenness, our world is tense.  Tons of questions.  Not too many clear answers.  People are being asked to do the unthinkable just to provide for their families these days.  Foreclosure.  Unemployment lines.  What next?

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The Old Testament system of worship that God established with Moses was amazing. It was graphic, emotional, and alive. Just like it’s supposed to be today.

What is really intriguing to me is the Day of Atonement. On this day, man would meet with God in a special place, in a special way, and if all went according to the plan, God would push man’s sins ahead for one year.

The High Priest was the man appointed to this sacred task. He would follow a pretty extensive procedure, concluding with God meeting him and the nation with mercy. Now, understand, there was great risk attached to this assignment. If God found Israel unrepentant, or if the High Priest didn’t follow the protocol of approach to the letter, the High Priest would be killed by God Himself. That is quite a thing to have hanging over your head as you approach God. Talk about some pre-service prayer.

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