Read Luke 4:1-20
TODAY is the day we begin fulfilling our 2017 resolutions.
TODAY is the day our determination, persistence and grit kick in: determination to eat better, determination to exercise more, and determination to spend less.
This is the YEAR that we resolve to actually keep our promises to ourselves and to work hard each day to deliver on our resolutions.
This is the YEAR that we finally stick to our resolutions for more than just a few weeks.
This is the YEAR that we FINALLY achieve that level of determination that resolves to not let excuses overwhelm and discourage us.
This is the YEAR that we FINALLY let intense determination and grit keep us resolute in our promises.
We must COMMIT to standing our ground against sugar, COMMIT to standing our ground against the snooze button, and COMMIT to standing our ground against the next shiny object that Satan throws at us in FEEBLE attempt to break our determination and steer us off course.
TODAY, at this moment, on behalf of all Christians around the world, I am declaring 3 resolutions and committing them to God on our behalf.
- We as Christians resolve DAILY to treat our bodies as the Temple of God, fit for the Holy Spirit to dwell.
- We as Christians resolve DAILY to capture our thoughts and focus them on good rather than bad.
- We as Christians resolve DAILY to help others in need rather than selfishly pursuing our own desires.
TODAY we resolve to commit ourselves to Jesus, to follow in His footsteps, and to take control of Mind, Body and Spirit, in the same resolute manner as our Savior did.
TODAY we we humbly approach God in awe of His love, His grace, and His mercy.
TODAY, we humbly bow before God and express to Him our thanksgiving for what He has done for us through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross, and we honor that sacrifice with this communion service.
Thanks to all that attended our Guys Night Out this past Saturday night… it was a really fun evening. How can a guy go wrong with pizza, cornhole, college football on the big screen, and good Christian brothers to hang out with. Also, thanks to all of you for pitching in and helping get the chairs setup before we got started with the evening. Have a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
There are signs of truth that reveal themselves when I have my life centered on God’s promises and work hard to draw myself in harmony with His will for my life. Galatians 5:16 promises me that by yielding myself to the Holy Spirit, great power will be revealed to me… a power that is strong enough to overcome the weaknesses of my flesh. Psalm 63 promises me that when I am in the desert of life, and I’m parched from lack of life-preserving water, it will be revealed to me that God’s Spirit and strong hand are there to continually lift up my head and give me strength. And finally, Luke 11:10 reveals the promise of hope and confidence in Him because it is promised to me that when I ask it will be given – when I seek I will find – when I knock the door will be opened. Therefore, because these very powerful promises have been revealed to me through the Holy Spirit, I will continually strive to be in harmony with God’s will since he has done so much for me. The practical ways I will do this… well, these are lofty but simple goals – I know if I can ever master them I will certainly draw in line with His will for my life.
- spend hours in God’s Word
- spend hours meditating on what I read
- spend hours in prayer
It’s that simple… yet also that difficult. Will you join me on this journey?
Are we going to BELIEVE and OBEY Jesus, or are we going to be content to settle for less than radical obedience to Him? Satisfaction in our lives and success in the church are not found in what our culture deems most important but in the radical abandonment to Jesus. Somewhere along the way we have missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable. We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves, when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves. We would be wise to heed the words of Jesus in Luke 9:57-62 when we “put our hand to the plow”.
These thoughts are based on excerpts from the book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
Men… a big thanks goes out to those that attended our STAND FIRM Men’s Rally this past weekend. It was a huge success thanks to so many that pitched in and helped plan, buy food, cook food, contribute to devotional conversations, and simply be there to help develop stronger bonds with our brothers in Christ. We were blessed with beautiful weather and very good food. In addition, our devotionals were very motivational, challenging, and encouraging. Thanks so much for a great weekend… God blessed our efforts in so many ways. Please be on the lookout for more men’s events coming soon, including another retreat either Fall 2015 or Spring 2016. Many have asked for a copy of the presentation that was used for our devotionals, so here it is…
If you missed the Men’s Breakfast this past Saturday, you missed some amazing food and fellowship. A big thanks goes out to the men that prepared the breakfast and to those that organized the event. Also a special thanks to our brother Ron Kline who delivered to us a powerful message that was both encouraging and challenging. And the best part of the morning… Ray’s famous biscuits. They were amazing!
Tusculum Men… begin making your plans now to join your brothers the first weekend in May for lots of motivational speaking, encouraging fellowship, and springtime recreation at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park on the Tennessee River. Click here for more details. You can also see Chris Burton, Matthew Mehaffey, or David Gee for if you have questions. A sign up sheet is in the Great Hall and the cost per person is only $40 for the whole weekend. Don’t miss out on all the exciting activities planned for our 2015 Spring Men’s Retreat!
(This article is based on my notes from reviewing the popular “7 Things Remarkable People Think About Every Day” at Inc.com)
Successful people think like successful people. How do some always seem so happy, fulfilled, and focused on a clear mission? Their secret is not that difficult. If you too will just apply effort every day towards controlling what you think you will see a definite difference, transformation, and change in your actions and level of success.
Here are 7 habits that when practiced daily can make a big difference in your life.
1. Know Your Life Mission and Work Hard Daily Towards It
Know your mission in life and do something each day that contributes towards that mission. The momentum you will experience from simply working hard and staying focus will help you achieve more than you think you possible.
2. Focus Most of Your Time and Energy on What Is Most Important in Life
Your time, energy, and talents should be focused on what is most important to you in life. Yes, we all have to earn a living and “trade time for dollars”, but don’t let that necessity pull you away from staying grounded in your mission.
3. Surround Yourself With Motivational People
Minimize your time with those that can be discouraging and maximize your time with those that are motivational. It is much more productive and rewarding to surround yourself with those that can motivate you and help keep you from getting distracted from your mission.
4. Align Your Goals With Your Mission
Is something holding you back from achieving your goals in life? Sometimes goals do require that you overcome hurdles in order to achieve them, but don’t let that fact keep you from having the courage to take one step at a time towards success.
5. Drink Coffee Regularly With Trusted Friends
Proactively seek out opportunities to network with friends and colleagues, especially those that can help keep you motivated. Be open and honest with them and you’ll grow in many ways through mentoring, friendship, and encouragement.
6. Swim Upstream Against the Current
Some of the most successful people in history have deviated from the norm by deciding not to necessarily swim the river in the same direction everyone else does. Be courageous, convicted, and independent in your thoughts and opinions. Stick with your beliefs and stay on course with your mission even when others try to knock you off course.
7. Break Projects Into Achievable Milestones
Lofty goals can so often seem completely unattainable. Don’t let necessary hard work and dedicated time keep you from moving forward with plans. In particular, for large projects with lofty goals, break them down into smaller achievable milestones. Create an outline of the steps necessary to reach each milestone and check off steps in the outline as they are completed. Never forget as well that taking that first step towards achieving the first milestone is in many cases the most important step in the journey.
If you feel like you are not as happy or successful as you would like to be, consider adopting these 7 simple ideas into your everyday life and I promise you will be surprised by the results you witness and the transformation you experience in your life.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans”
How do you view the coming year? Are there new possibilities right around the corner that promise to challenge and grow you? Or, are you like so many that are trapped in the habits or shortcomings of the past? The new year is upon us and is a white sheet of paper. Commit yourself to a few realistic and achievable goals and you won’t regret it. Goals give us something to work towards… something to help keep us focused. Set goals that take you out of your comfort zone and God will bless your efforts.
Don’t just casually commit goals to memory, but rather write them down; or better yet find a computer application or an app on your phone or tablet that allows you to notate your goals and track them throughout the year. Let’s challenge ourselves to establish goals in four different areas.
(John 15:5) Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen. Decide to devote some time and energy to jump-starting spiritual growth:
1. Read the Bible each day and commit to read it entirely before the end of the year.
2. Get involved in a small group or structured Bible study.
3. Make witnessing a priority and share Jesus without fear.
(Proverbs 1:5) Challenge yourself by taking steps to learn or try something new.
1. Do in-depth research on a particular subject and take notes on what you’ve learned.
2. Enroll in some type of continuing education class or program.
3. Volunteer to lead a small group, teach a class, or mentor someone.
1. Forgive – Decide to extend the gift of forgiveness for an old hurt. You’ll gain a new sense of freedom because you no longer carry a grudge.
2. Be patient – Practice patience in areas where you are historically impatient.
3. Manage anger – Make a conscious decision to control your anger and determine its sources.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Get serious about maintaining the temple that is our body.
1. Enroll in an exercise program and go! Be disciplined enough to actually work out regularly.
2. Deny yourself those tasty morsels that do nothing to adorn the temple. View food as fuel for the machine instead of gratification for the taste buds.
3. Execute a family plan that encourages physical activity and togetherness.
God can transform our lives but He needs us to do our part. Commit to Him and yourself simple goals in each of these key areas and you are guaranteed to see results as He blesses your efforts.