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God's Kingdom is More Than Words.

Words are powerful.  Robin Sharma once stated, "Words can inspire. Words can destroy. Choose yours well." But, when it comes to the kingdom of God, words are little. This morning in my devotion time I was reading in 1 Corinthians chapters three through five, and I came across a statement Paul made to the Corinthian Church, "For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power." ESV

God's kingdom is not of talk but of power. Now, I also like the way the NLT translates this verse, "For the kingdom of God is not a lot of talk; it is living by God's power." God's kingdom is a sovereign kingdom, a kingdom of authority both in the world and in the heart of men. Notice, this is not just anyone's kingdom. If it was, perhaps, it would be merely talk and not of power. But, Paul tells us this is the kingdom of God!

    The name 'God' here in the Greek is theos, meaning, the Creator and Owner of all things. He is the God who in the …

Christ Has All Authority.

This past Sunday I laid out the mission of our church. The mission, I believe that every church shoulder have, is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. For me this is in accordance with the last words of Jesus according to Matthew before Christ ascended to the right hand of God the Father. A churches mission may not be summed up in those exact words, but if a church does not match itself up with the commission of Christ, then, it's priorities are elsewhere.

   One may wonder why the church should have this mission? Simply stated, Jesus said so. It really is just that simple. Yet, what gives Christ the authority to give us this command? In Matthew 28:18 it states, "And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." 

     For one, Jesus has been given 'all authority'. The word 'all' means to the greatest possible degree, implying there is no authority that exceeds the authority of Chr…

Devotion Is Intentional.

Devoted. That was the best word Luke could find to describe that first century church. The past few blogs were about looking at what it means to be devoted and my hope is that you found that helpful and encouraging to go deeper.
     One thing I want to remind us of is this simple truth: Devotion is lead by conviction. That is so very important. Lets take a look back at that opening statement, 'And they devoted themselves..' (Acts 2:32). I want to pose a question, who devoted them? They devoted themselves. Why? Because they were convicted and because they were so convicted they gave themselves up without any encouragement from anyone. 
   I say that to lead into this: No one can devote you better than you can. No one can devote you to anything, it a decision that is left to the individual regarding how devoted they are to something. A preacher can preach until he is red in the face and sweaty, but he cannot devote you. A preacher can teach on a Wednesday night with the mo…

How Devoted Are You? Part 3

As I meditated on the those words, "And they devoted themselves" (Acts 2:42), I really was touched. Why? Partly because of the word 'themselves'. It is because their devotion to God was lead by conviction and not begging. In today's society it has almost come to the point where the Pastor must beg from the pulpit to be more devoted to Him.

   We live in a society where so many distractions pull at us. Today the ball game pulls us away from the mission field. Today we have more devotion to our cell phones than our Bible's. Today we have more devotion to talking on Facebook than we do talking to God. The list could easily go on and it is truth. I am as guilty as anyone, so no pointing of the finger here. Truth is, no one devoted them but them.

   Who devoted them? That was a question that popped in my thoughts. Look at those words closely again, 'And they devoted themselves'. They devoted themselves. Which leads me to a major truth revealed in the s…

How Devoted Are You? Part 2

The idea of devotion, giving up something to purse something else, is not just a first century church idea. Jesus made comments about devotion also, particularly when it comes to following him. In Luke 14:33, Jesus was quoted saying, "So therefore, any of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." Take just a moment, before you read any further, reflect on each word of Jesus and consider the weight of what he is saying.

    If you took the time to look at Jesus' words they are very...um...weighty. What I mean is that it is strong language. Who does he address this to? Well, if you go back to Luke 14:25 we discover that a large crowd is following him, but he is not just saying it to them he is saying the same to us today. Notice the words, 'any of you'. Jesus does not make any distinction or specificity on who he is talking to, so these words are to everyone, no matter your race, your gender, your socio-economic status. Jesus knows no …

How Devoted Are You?

If I were to ask you to what are you most devoted to, what would that be? Some things that come to my mind initially are sports, clothes, work, family and cars. But what if I were to ask you your level of devotion to the reading of the scriptures? What about to prayer? What about your devotion to God? It is easy for about anything to still our devotion to and with our Creator, so I would think, that to anyone who reads this would probably answer that their devotion could improve.

    Over the last week or so I have meditated on Acts 2:42, "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." Taking time to observe Luke's evaluation of the first century church I noticed one word in particular that really stood out to me: "devoted". And in fact, the first four words of this verse really spoke to my heart, "And they devoted themselves.." I thought a lot is said about the early church…

What is prayer and why do we need to do it?

Prayer is probably one of the most unpracticed, most important disciplines of the Christian faith. There are various reasons why we do not pray but probably the number one reason, as I have mentioned in another post is time. Time, I believe, is the number one reason and the number one killer to prayer yet it is vital to the life of the Christian. But what exactly is prayer and why should we make it a part of our lifestyle to do it?

  Jesus spoke to his disciples in Luke 22:40 saying, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." He says this again in 22:46. Examine the sentence carefully. What is the first thing Jesus tells them to do? Pray. The word 'pray' here means, to interact with God by switching human wishes for His wishes. Understand that prayer is an interaction with God. It is a time where you and God interact with one another, as two people interact with one another through verbal communication, so the same is with God. When you go to Him, you are speak…