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Your Greatest Battle…right now!

You will become what you are becoming right now.

You, at this very moment, are in the greatest battle you will ever wage in all your life. You are fighting for what, one day, you will become.

wagingwar

There are forces, seen and unseen, clashing for influence in your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  These forces can typically go unrecognized by you.  You might or might not feel the stress of the war being waged.  You likely won’t understand the battle until you are able to look back on the whole thing, years from now…and see what you’ve become.

You can influence this war’s result.  You can influence what you will become.  You are becoming it right now, whether you feel like it or not.  The people who have become something remarkable…the people who have become something extraordinary…they are not better than you, smarter than you, and most definitely not luckier than you.  No, they just chose to notice the battle being waged. They made a choice to influence the outcome of what they become.  They made a decision to influence the minute by minute battle waging on them, right now.

They accepted the fact that they will become what they are becoming right now.  They chose to deliberately steward what the end result would be.

What do you want to become? end-result-wide

 

Until you can answer the question above…you will be at the mercy of the consequences of the war being waged on you right now.

It’s kind of like a summer boat party that happens everyday in your town’s closest lake.  If you’ve got several friends, then the odds of you being pushed out of the boat and into the lake everyday are highly likely.  If you know you are going to get pushed into the lake everyday, then you can predetermine how you are going to respond to that spontaneous splash everyday.  When you predetermine how you are going to respond, then you will control your response when it actually happens.    fall-in-water-660x371

Everyday, you get pushed. You get pushed in areas of life way more important than boat parties and lakes.

If you don’t predetermine how you are going to respond when you get pushed, then you will be at the mercy of emotion and other external forces that want to determine how you will respond.

This is the same as your end result as a person.  What do you want to become?  Predetermine it and don’t let any other forces determine your end result.

This is easier said than done.

If you want to be a person who determines your own end result…then you can only be successful at becoming that end result when you have clearly defined the end result you desire to become. (Maybe read that again…)

What do you want to become?  Write it down.  Clearly define it. Then make minute by minute decisions that help you become it starting right now.

Maybe that is what God had in mind when He had Jesus say, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

You will become what you are becoming right now.

 

 


Motives Matter

Our motives matter to God.

He’s sees right through our disguises.

For instance, as a Christian it would be very easy to disguise my selfishness and fear as a desire to be in a small, intimate Church. We could hide behind the Bible verse that says “God is love” and excuse our desire for a small church as all about love and knowing everyone, just like God knows everyone.

And, it would be easy to disguise my competitive spirit, greed, & pride, as evangelism and church growth.  It would be easy to have the ends justify the means.  We could say, look how big my church is, God must be so proud of how many people attend my church.  We could excuse our sin by disguising it as evangelism.

Motive pic

It doesn’t matter what people believe our motives to be, only what God already knows our motives are.

I’m a “Why Guy”.  When was the last time you really did a self-aware check?  When was the last time you got in a closet with God and spoke to him about your motives?

Why do you do what you do? God knows, but do you?

We cannot be fake with God.  Someday we will all stand before Him…

intellectually naked    —    emotionally exposed    —    physically insufficient.

Don’t fear it….be ready for it.

Remember that nothing can separate you from the love of God.

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”  Romans 8:38

And Jesus said,

“If you love me, obey my commandments.”  John 14:15

Do not forget that Hell is full of people whom God loves.  God didn’t send them to Hell, he only honored their choice to not obey Him. He honored their motives.  Our motives matter to God.  Are your motives about humbly serving, loving, and obeying Jesus?

Let’s triple check our motives.  If you are ashamed of what you find, then never forget that…

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

If Jesus is who He says He is…then He is returning someday…with passion…to settle the score once and for all.

Don’t screw around with Him and your eternity simply because of the shallowness of the temporary.

Motives matter.

Know your motives.

God will not control your motives.

He left that up to your own stewardship and care.

God will honor your choices that are born out of your motives.

Your motives will lead to your choices, and your choices will be extended by God into eternity.

Heaven and Hell are in the balance.  Eternity is at stake.  For your eternity’s sake, check your motives.

 


70 X 7 (a quick reminder about forgiveness)

I am in frustrated awe of how bitterness, hurt, and anger will stealthily try to creep back in my heart, soul, mind, and strength…even after fully forgiving, reconciling, and dealing with it all.  

Might this be why Jesus answered Peter the way He did in this passage?…forgiveness-21

Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!”

70  X  7 !?

It’s not about the math…don’t get out your calculator!  You and I both know the math is 490.  Some have forgiven the same person beyond 490 times.  Does that mean that Jesus now gives them permission to stop forgiving?  By no means!  Remember what Mother Theresa said, “When you refuse to forgive someone, it’s like you drinking poison and hoping it kills the person who hurt you.”

Forgiveness frees us from the prison of bitterness, hurt, and anger.  I’ve never felt like forgiving someone.  It is a decision made from holy discipline.  Its just the right thing to do. Period.

When the devil gets in your ear and starts whispering to you…, “remember when that person did that to you?”  You only need to respond, “Yes, I remember, and I also remember forgiving them.”  … Go to hell, satan.

Forgive  c   o   n   t   i   n   u   a   l   l   y   .  .  .  .  .  .  .


Have you seen a man’s heart?

see heart

 Sometimes you just come across some material that you can only copy and paste.  This material is from Luke Davis.

 This is good writing.  Enjoy.  More information about this author and material is posted at the end.

Have you seen a man’s heart? Have you glimpsed the depth of emotion and feeling that lies within? I don’t think you have, not truly. You may look at the men of the world and think they are cold unfeeling brutes, to all outward appearances you would be right. A man’s heart is a very dangerous thing, it must be tamed, it must be controlled and at all costs it must be hidden from this world. The very fabric of society would be rent if men were allowed to use their hearts. Every stage of a man’s life our society is bent on ensuring a man’s heart is contained, it’s written so in our fairy tales, in our stereotypes, in our media and in our very thoughts. It is with good reason this must be so and if you feel you have seen a man’s heart be cautious and seek help, for that is a problem that must be resolved.

A man’s heart is a very dangerous thing.

Have you seen a little boy’s heart? So shiny and bright with hopes and dreams for the future, there is nothing this boy can’t do. His heart, so small and yet so large, big enough to feel all the ills and pain in the world around him and small enough to heal quickly. Big enough to show him courage and bravery, to take risks and overcome that which scares him yet tiny enough to be a fragile thing. The world is such a beautiful place to this boy, so wide and large and always another hill to see what lies on the other side. But men do not cry. When such things as a boys tears are loosed upon the world they must be shackled, controlled and converted; competition is the only outlet suitable for that which fills a boy’s heart. He must play societies game and learn how to win the acceptable prizes in life. If you see a boys heart prepare your shackles because such a sight cannot be left unaddressed.

Have you seen a teenage boy’s heart? Full of motion and action, he rebels at the constraints laid upon him and the world is his yet to change. So quickly does he grow, so fast does he see the world for what it is. We fill his mind with tales of knights, dragons and princesses but this is our snare. Oh so carefully do we divert him form learning the truth, that first he must learn to love himself; that love must come from within and it isn’t a prize to win. But men must not touch. At a time when a teenage boy begins to learn of love this should be stymied, strangled and bound. He is a rapist, a pillager, a plunderer and a monster; he will not know the boundaries such needs should have. He may want a simple hug from his mother, an embracing bond between his fellow man and a kiss from his first love but these he cannot have. He can never be trusted with such freedom for he does not know how dangerous he is. If you see a teenage boy’s heart prepare your bindings because such actions cannot go unchecked.

A man with passion cannot be trusted to act in the interests of everyone else.

Have you seen a man’s heart? So slow and sluggish, but oh so strong. With shackles and bindings, still it yet beats. Somehow he maintains his purpose and passion. He is capable of such great things, marvels beyond compare, wonders that never cease. But men must not show weakness. Such willfulness must be enclosed, corralled and caged; a prison in his own mind with bars forged of honor, duty and responsibility. Pain, uncertainty, fear, sadness, inaction and distress have no place in a man for how can we charge him with his roles if we believe him to be human. He must be the first to step in front of danger to protect those he loves, the first to sacrifice himself to provide for his family, the first to bear the pain of ill winds. There is nothing a man should not dare for honor, duty and responsibility and a man with passion cannot be trusted to act in the interests of everyone else. If you see a man’s heart unfettered and free, run.

If you see a man whose heart is free, flee as far and as fast as you can because an encounter with this man will leave you forever changed. A man whose heart is truly free is the most dangerous thing in existance; he is a dreamer, a visionary, an idealist. This is a man who still sees all that is good in the world; he will shine a light on all that you find dim and dark and show you the beauty that lies underneath. This is a man who believes he can make the world a better place; he will touch you with his love for this world and you will believe also that the world can be changed. This is a man who burns with a passion so deep it cannot be extinguished; a man who creates miracles and makes his very dreams come true. Flee because this is a man who has learned to love himself.

If you see a man’s heart, embrace him, he misses the world’s love for him.

– See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/have-you-seen-a-mans-heart-ldvs/#sthash.ajOb5qSL.dpuf


Sink or Swim

An adapted quote from Goi Nasu…

“An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. All the sin in the world can’t sink a Christian’s soul unless it gets inside.”sinking boat

It starts with just a small drop…

-it’s just a movie.-It’s just a sports swimsuits magazine. -it’s just a joke. -it’s just a little flirting. It’s her fault she gave me the wrong change back. -I just tried it once. -it’s just one drink. I deserve more. -It’s just a text msg. -I can do a better job than him. -I didn’t intend for it to go this way… … …. … … …

Let’s guard our God given freedom.  It is very easy to become desensitized to what the Bible calls sin.  At the same time it is easy to blur the line between holiness and legalism.  Freedom requires incredible selflessness and responsibility.  Following Jesus is not for the faint of heart.  

A ship under water began to sink when the first single drop got in the boat. Do you need to start bailing water out of your boat? 

If necessary, start with 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us ours sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. Keep your eyes on the eternal prize! Swim baby swim!!