You Only Have Today

This is something I'm realizing more and more as the days and weeks and months and years go by. Many of the people I've known my whole life are getting older. Many of them are dying. 

I'm spent a lot of my life worrying about tomorrow, and regretting yesterday. But I'm at a point now... more so than ever before, I hear the Lord saying to me, "You ONLY have TODAY." Then I snap back into reality.

"WHY am I WORRYING?" Why am I stressing about things I have no control over? Why am I bothered by other people's foolish choices? Why am I constantly trying to make up today for yesterday's lack. This is the strong conclusion I've come to to solve every problem I'm facing... to get through every trial I'm suffering... I overcome every obstacle and turn them into opportunities...

LIVE TODAY.

Take today, and live it out loud!

Take today, and live it for Jesus.

Take today, and determine with all my heart and soul to make progress in my life, my business, by character, my ethics, my knowledge, my bible reading, my prayer life. DO - LIFE - TODAY -

Simple, but powerful.

I encourage you to move forward into all that God has for you, and the way you do it, is do it TODAY. 

Not inspired to work?

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Edison This is one of the greatest downfalls of so many people I've come into contact or conversation with. They are waiting for inspiration to work.

Waiting for their big break.

Waiting for passion to fill their minds before they act.

There is nothing at all wrong with inspiration. When you feel it, it fuels you to go and do and build and labour for the things that are your dreams. But when you don't feel it, then what?

I encourage you to WORK anyway.

Do your day today with emphatic zeal and purpose!! NOT because you FEEL like it, but because LIFE must be apprehended. Opportunities must be seized! Goals must be CONSISTENTLY worked toward if they are going to because reality.

Not inspired? WORK ANYWAY!

God's strength in you

"I love you, O Lord, my strength." - King David (Psalm 18:1) The same David who slew Goliath with a sling and stone...

The same David who conquered armies and subdued nations...

The same David who rose from obscurity to lead the people of God into arguably the greatest transition of their nation's history.

The same David of who God spoke, "The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people..." (1 Samuel 13:13[b])

I once preached an entire series on deliverance based on this one verse of scripture. Because so much freedom happens in a life that makes GOD it's strength.

When God Himself is your strength...

no demon...

no sin...

no hindrance...

Can block you from what God has for you.

Many times we don't need another conference or someone else to lay hands on us and pray... we just need to make a decision where to draw strength.

I would suggest David's source. Seemed to work...

A MAN of STRENGTH

The best book I've ever read so far in my life (which for me means it has had the most impact and resulted in the most transformation) is "Wild at Heart" by author and speaker John Eldridge. The book spoke powerfully to the deepest parts of me as a man. The parts that were scared. The parts that were bound by fear and insecurity. The book itself didn't give me freedom, but rather, gave me permission to be myself with God - and permission to be strong. I felt released from the prison of other's opinions, and realized that even though the insecure of the world may not agree with a strong, free, passionate man - it was what they were actually crying out for!

The revelation in this book made me strong. God used it as a catalyst for me to put my strength in Him and Him alone. He is my source, my strength, my love, my life. This is the actually to key for a person to be delivered from any vice, and hindrance, or any addiction. When you make THE LORD your strength, his power in you becomes an all powerful source of grace and patience and self-control. The Holy Spirit gives strength when you make THE LORD your strength.

Before one of King David's greatest (and most violent and intense) Psalms. He writes these words:

"I will love you, Oh Lord, my strength." - Psalm 18:1

Think on that. Confess it. Live it. His strength will change your life!

Exponentially Better

It's amazing to me how many opportunities so many people miss in life (including myself).

At first glance, the above statement can seem like a downer. I just hear you thinking, "Common man, be positive! Let's enjoy life! Don't talk like that! Think positive man!"

Yeah, I'm positive man! People miss a lot of really great opportunities!

For instance: the potential of 1 hour (60 minutes) of your time.

What could you do in an hour?

* read 2-5 chapter of a book (which could change your life)
* have a meaningful conversation with a friend and pray for them
* clean off your desk (which could lead to increased productivity the next hour/day/month/year)
* plan your next week
* the list goes on and on and on and on

Or you could watch T.V....

...

...

...

Which adds exactly what to your life?

...

...

...

Please tell me.

Time (which is your life) slips by continually. Are you maximizing it?

I encourage you not to LET this month and summer slip by casually! Maximize this summer!

Rest and relaxation and cottage and fun are good things! But planning them around your productive and fruitful and powerful life is even better!

Exponentially better.

Fire in the Hole!

This phrase was first used by miners and shouted out as a warning that a blast was about to occur. It was then adopted by the military and used to warn of the imminence of a grenade or other explosive about to go off.

As I was thinking about this blog post this morning - this phrase was just ringing and ringing in my spirit. I believe an explosion of God's power and presence is about to occur in many nations of the world - including Canada! God is asking us to get ready for His move. To prepare our hearts! To stay in the word of God - to mediate, confess, believe, and speak the word! (see Joshua 1, Psalm 1, John 8). And to get all sin and idolatry (an idol is anything you love or value MORE than you love or value Jesus Christ) out of our hearts and lives!

FIRE IN THE HOLE! God is about to move! Get ready! 

Don't Rob Yourself Today

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” 
― Mother Teresa

Time. Time is the most important and powerful life resource you have. 

Many people don't make the connection that TIME is LIFE. The two words are actually synonyms. An hour of time is an hour of your life. 24 hours of time is a day of your life. 168 hours of time is 1 week of your life. And so on. 

And it goes by, quickly.

I'm 31 years old now and have walked with God for the last 15 years. As I look back over the last 15 years I see clearly how much of the greatest life resource I had in my possession - I wasted. Much of it I did invest wisely - and am receiving the 'interest payments' of 'time well invested'.

You see, there are 3 things you can do with your time/life.

1 - You can waste it
People who waste their time/life do so by taking their time and practically throwing it away. They never think to themselves, "My days (time) are actually numbered (limited). I'm going to die one day and stand before God and give an account to Him for the greatest resource he entrusted to me - my very life (time)." Their lives are wasted because they don't consider and evaluate the immense value of their time. They think they have tomorrow... then tomorrow... then tomorrow. Maybe so for some things, but for many, many things in life/time you only have today. 

2 - You can spend it
People who spend their time are people who are seeking pleasure constantly. Everything about their life/time is about how much pleasure and fun I can accumulate. This is a fleeting exercise that doesn't lead to true joy, but only heartache and pain in the end. They endlessly seek out the best recreational activities, entertainment, drinks, and other ways to numb the boredom of reality of their mostly purposeless lives. Time/life doesn't make sense apart from God - so until someone's eyes are opened to the reality of the kingdom of God and the purpose of life, spending it on pleasure seems the best alternative. People even admit, "I'm going to hell so I might as well party it up now." They don't realize how utterly true that statement is.

3 - You can invest it
People who invest their time/life are wise. They consider it a better option to take their life/time - the greatest resource they possess (even greater than money) and invest it into loving and helping people. They take their time and they give it back to God for his glory. They pray and study scripture. They read books. They work diligently in their career. They give generously of their finances. They lovingly lay down their lives for their family. And they invest into the eternal gospel of Jesus - the kingdom of God. They do this by helping people connect with and love the God they serve. These people will not only know a greater satisfaction in this life that can ever be attained by wasting time or spending time, but they will be eternally rewarded on judgement day when the question is asked of them, "What did you do with your life (time)?" People who invest their time are wise.

So be encouraged not to let THIS DAY get robbed from you. Don't rob yourself today of the great potential you possess! Your time! Your very life! Don't take the precious minutes and hours you have today of your life and squander them. Invest them into God's will - and begin to reap the life of impact and joy that you've always dreamed of!

A New Beginning for...

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. - Lamentations 3:22-23

I am expecting SUCH GREAT THINGS for the month of June this year. I feel like a new beginning is upon us for Dunamis Church Sarnia - 

It has been an up and down roller coaster of a ride - this thing called "starting a local church". The crazy thing about leading a church is that it's full of people! It's full of unpredictability, sometimes. It's full of surprises. It's full of joy and agony all at the same time. 

We see someone come to Christ and give their lives over to him, get baptized, change their life. The power of the gospel is at work. And sometimes the person rises up into their potential, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they continue on with Jesus, sometimes they fall away from Him. The POWER of choice... is perhaps the greatest risk God took when activating mankind in his own image and likeness.

And the power of choice, the freedom of choice needs to be activated for a new beginning to happen... otherwise it's just wishful thinking. If you're reading this post, God may be speaking to you of a NEW BEGINNING!

So even though God spoke to my heart that June 1st (today) would be a day of new beginnings for me and this ministry, I know I still need to receive that word, and enter into it, and walk it out! 

I encourage you to make this day a new beginning for you as well! A day to freshly give your heart to Christ. A day to make the renewed commitment to put Christ at the centre of your life. A day to choose to receive his full forgiveness for all your shortcoming and sin and receive his grace. 

His mercies are new this morning (or afternoon). Receive them, and make a fresh start today!

 

Only Complete Surrender Works

surrender all I have to admit - often times I've wished that there was another way. It's like those times when you know in your deepest heart that God is calling you to give him everything you are - but you just feel like, "maybe there is another way? Maybe I can serve/love him and get away with ... (you fill in blank)"

But he wants it all. He is asking you to come to cross and die to yourself, your life, your dreams - to pick up your cross and follow him into the deep unknown. Only complete and full surrender works.

Thankfully, the Word of God makes it clear that there is no other way. One place in scripture says it this way:

1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. - Romans 12:1-2 (The Message Version)

This is where "life with God" truly begins to happen. When you are walking with him... when you are complete in him... when the moves you make in life are with Jesus in mind. Life with God takes on a whole new dimension.

It's the only way that works.

I urge you to start today - while you are reading this - SURRENDER TO HIM AFRESH. Pray the following out loud:

You can stop after each segment (separated by a ~) and share your heart with the Lord. Be encouraged to pray out your own prayer to him if there is something else on your heart or mind regarding that bit.

Father ~ right here ~ right now ~ I give you my life ~ I surrender completely to you ~ You can have all my time ~ You can have all my emotions~ You can have all that I have ~ I choose to love you with all my heart ~ all my soul ~ all my mind ~ and all my strength ~ I surrender to you afresh today~ Give me your eyes today ~ to see people the way you see them ~  To reach out to the broken ~ to stop for the one ~ In the almighty name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen ~

Now take some time either right now or sometime today to worship him. Below is a good place to start! May God fill you with His Spirit today!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-472iLAJNU

What if we actually (even) tithed?

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"Give me 5 minutes with a man's checkbook, and I'll tell you where his heart is." - Billy Graham

I read an article this morning that highlighted what the AMERICAN church could accomplish if it actually gave 10% of it's income - check it out below (I've bolded the article clip) - but you can read the whole article here - I was very impacted by statistics especially.

The church of today is not great at at giving.  

This isn’t exactly news. But it is a statistical fact: 

  • Tithers make up only 10-25 percent of a normal congregation. 
  • Only 5 percent of the U.S. tithes, with 80 percent of Americans only giving 2 percent of their income. 
  • Christians are only giving at 2.5 percent per capita, while during the Great Depression they gave at a 3.3 percent rate. 

 THE TRUTH IS: GIVING IS A HEART ISSUE, NOT A MONEY ISSUE. 

Numbers like that can invoke a lot of guilt, which isn’t really the point. The larger point is what would happen if believers were to increase their giving to a minimum of, let's say, 10 percent. There would be an additional $165 billion for churches to use and distribute. The global impact would be phenomenal. Here's just a few things the Church could do with the kind of money: 

  • $25 billion could relieve global hunger, starvation and deaths from preventable diseases in five years.
  • $12 billion could eliminate illiteracy in five years. 
  • $15 billion could solve the world’s water and sanitation issues, specifically at places in the world where 1 billion people live on less than $1 per day. 
  • $1 billion could fully fund all overseas mission work.
  • $100 – $110 billion would still be left over for additional ministry expansion. 

Those are some amazing numbers.

Okay, me again. Honestly... staggering. 

There is so much I could say... so many opinions and personal convictions I could share.

With all my heart, I want to to encourage you to (at a very minimum) begin to honour God by giving 10% of your gross income to your local church. Your local church is the church where God has called YOU to serve and give and be a part of. You are NOT giving to man - you are giving to God. 

It's a heart issue really.

The rich young ruler in the bible couldn't follow Jesus because his god was money.

The poor widow gave it all and was commended by Jesus.

The corrupt tax collector (Zacchaeus) gave a bunch away and Jesus told him salvation had come to him (because his actions proved his heart change).

Do your actions prove your heart change?

Money is tied to the heart. No doubt about it.

As the church in North America - we could change the world in a year - if we really wanted to.

I think when our hearts change, so will the direction of our money.