There is a lie to expose in our culture. Do you hear it? The lie to expose is that we blame God for our pain and suffering. God didn’t create this pain and suffering. Look at Genesis 1-2. Look at the relationship between humanity and God that is being established. I know some of us get distracted by the existence of dinosaurs and the age of the earth. Stop looking for secret hidden codes, and look at the God that is being described in Genesis 1-2.
Who disciples? Col. 3:2 “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
- The eternal minded that see the big picture
- Those that are personal and have a passion to walk with others
- People who love Jesus
- Lovingly reprove those you lead, and be are teachable
How to disciple? (Barnabas, Paul, Timothy)
The next question we need to consider is, “Does it matter?” I believe this questions matters, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey, because on some level all of humanity has already committed themselves to some type of god. Even if we say, “I don’t care about all that religious stuff.” It isn’t true.
If you read all your psychology and sociology books they will all tell you that people have needs, and underneath all those needs is a deep, deep need to fix our hearts and minds on something, and give complete allegiance. It is to put all your weight, trust, belief, and security in something, and at the end of the day it is our own personal type of god.
In Romans 1 it makes the claim that we can look at creation and see evidence for God! Can you believe that?
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
When you see the phrase, “Eternal Power” in the original language it is the word “Dunamis” it is where we get the word “Dynamite.” It means when we look at creation we can see powerful, explosive, miraculous characteristics that point god-like creator.
On Sunday mornings North Village Church has been studying through the book of Esther. A common theme we see throughout the book is that God involves people in the lives of other people. It’s that simple.
Throughout Scripture we God involving people in the lives of other people and it is something we need to consider about our lives today. Here are a few questions to help us reflect:
Am I Embracing My Faith? Esther and Mordecai hid their faith for half of the book. There are specific parts where they tell one another to “Tell no one.” Continue reading
On Sunday mornings at North Village Church we have been studying through the book of Esther. In Esther 5, we see two great examples of people chasing after favor in the life of Esther and Haman. Specifically, in the life of Esther she is longing for favor from the King of Persia, she is putting her life at risk, and the text says, “She obtains favor.”
Can you imagine how scary it must have been for Esther in those moments? She is risking her life. She is longing for favor to present her case to save her people. She dresses herself in the royal robes, and then she hears, “what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you.”
Scripture teaches through faith alone in the God of Scripture (Father, Son, and Spirit) we are given a greater favor. Esther’s favor is temporal. It was based on her beauty, but God’s favor is eternal established in Christ’s work on the cross. Esther’s favor was based on her effort, but God’s favor is based on grace, and unmerited. Esther’s favor resulted in half of the kingdom, but God’s favor is greater and we are made son’s and daughter’s.
At North Village Church we are finishing up a season of planning. It isn’t something that happens naturally, but I encourage all pastors to set aside time to work “in the ministry” and “on the ministry.”
By working “on the ministry” we focus on three areas:
- Yearly Theme: We look at the vision and values of our church and we begin to prayerfully consider what will be the focus of our church over the next year. This process has been extremely helpful to shape our sermons, groups, and involvement in the community.
- Month By Month: We look at each month and we ask ourselves, “How are we taking steps this month to point our church family toward our “Yearly Theme.” This process allows us to think through details, obstacles, and plan accordingly.
- Financial Budget: After we have spent months praying about what God wants to do in our church family we begin to see our financial budget coming together. We work on this as elders, and then we submit our financial budget to people outside our church to receive feedback. We have found this process extremely valuable.
In each of these steps we are prayerfully positioning ourselves in a place where we believe God has to show up for our church family to continue. Sometimes I hear pastors neglect the discipline of planning because it might hinder the movement of the Holy Spirit. We completely disagree. We believe the Holy Spirit is moving in our planning and through our planning to maximize the movement of the Holy Spirit.
In the end, we hold all those plans with an open hand. They aren’t our plans. They are His plans, and we desperately need Him to show up so that we don’t look really stupid.