Monday, October 29, 2012


God is so good and I want to let you know that He is in Love with you.  He dances over you and seeks your affection.  Worship in feeling and action.  Feeling is the presence of God that fills you as you worship Him with your whole heart and body, bowing down and saying you oh Lord are the only one worthy of this degree of willful submission, honor, respect, praise and adoration.  Action is the worship of our coming into a tangible contact with God’s will.  How we treat others.  Our will submitted to the higher calling of God’s worldview.  One in which we are God’s hands  showing our worship for God by acting on the love He has for people with our time, thoughts, emotions, talents, and money.  This is worship.  This is why we come together on Sunday morning and offer of the sacrifice of praise.  It becomes the culmination of our week’s service and submission.  It is with that we go into the presence of God together.

As always, that one is for free, the message God has for you today is one He has been working in and through me for years… Qualified.

As you’re turning to the book of Colossians the first chapter let me tell you a little story.

Joke: A new pastor moved into town and went out one Saturday to visit his members.   All went well until he came to one house.  It was obvious that someone was home, but no one came to the door even after he had knocked several times. Finally, he took out his card and wrote on the back: Revelation 3:20 and stuck it in the door.
      The next day, as he was reviewing the prayer request, he found his card in the stack of request.  Below his message was the notation Genesis 3:10.
      Revelation 3:20 reads: "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me."
      Genesis 3:10 reads: "And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked."

That literally had nothing to do with my message, but it did make me laugh so take that home with you today.

Let’s read the word Colossians 1:12-14 (NKJV)
12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood,[a] the forgiveness of sins.

We are looking at a new day in the world.  With the advancements of intellect, reason, sciences and technology, we have invented, reinvented and changed terms and words that have had different meanings in the past, all in efforts to reshape our thoughts. We have replaced words like sin with issues or even worse, not even issues but a way of life or “just the way we are”.  We can’t even call wrong wrong today without being called intolerant.  Even the word tolerance has changed to mean that we have to accept everything and everyone as equally right.  With all of this, it has left a weak and unstable individual with self worth and self-esteem issues.  Many Christians today struggle with guilt, unworthiness and being qualified for service to God, while some even try to create a check list or “righteousness” without ever thinking about this one question.

What does it take to be qualified?  

This can be a misleading and is a problematic question in and of itself, but we will get to that in a minute.  A while back we were in need of a Graphic Designer at the Church.  I had received many resumes’ and was taken by one in particular.  Let me just read you some of the things this person wrote for their qualifications to be a Graphics designer.

“I possess the abilities to multitask, be dependent, fast paced, dedicated, and often very diligent when inconvenienced.  Previous employers has often bragged about me being good at working under pressure.  Moreover, I am licensed to serve liquor (TABC) licensed, with grocery store and general laborer experience.  I previously worked for many trade jobs and plants.  Throughout it all, I have learned that hard work can keep a person very protected.  Accordingly, I will say that my productiveness, creativity, diligence, trustworthiness, and overall experience in high level jobs has kept me employed." 
  • pouring cement
  • guzzling truck
  • scaffolding
  • shoveling dirt
  • Inventory Clerk
  • cranes, tractor parts, and basically transportation of motor parts
  • Flipping chicken
  • washing dishes
  • sweeping
  • taking out trash
  • sanitation work

His qualifications while great and even some of them humorous had no bearing on the position in which he had applied.  This is a is what Paul is talking about in

 Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 

What can we do to qualify ourselves for Salvation?
·        Nothing, Jesus has to become our Savior

We can’t do anything to gain salvation.  We are in the grace of a living God and are in need of a Savior.  Our lives are held in His hands. 

What can we do to qualify ourselves for Service?
·        Nothing, Jesus has to become our Lord

Colossians 1:12-14 (NKJV) 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood,[a] the forgiveness of sins.

This is where most Christians fail is that they believe that sin somehow disqualifies us from the service that God has called us to perform.  This is a falsehood as if a lack of sin was the qualification then everyone would be disqualified and no one would be reached.  We cannot abdicate the position that God has given us.  We have to be humble and repentant but cannot use our faults as an excuse to exclude ourselves from His calling.

It would be like a father quitting fatherhood because they did something wrong.  We have to be lead by the spirit, not by guilt.  When we allow Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, we are justified and qualified by His righteousness and calling.  

What does it take to be disqualified? 

In short, if you couldn’t do anything to qualify yourself, then when you have made Jesus your Lord and Savior you can’t disqualify yourself.  Look at Jonah.  He was completely against what God wanted to do, running from God then thinking he could out smart God by having the others throw him to his assumed death, only to be used by God to see the single greatest revival the world has ever known, all while hoping for death and judgment.  Does that sound like any of us?  Hope no one has tried to outlast God in the belly of a fish at the bottom of the ocean. 

We get very good at pointing out other people’s disqualifying acts without ever thinking if God has disqualified them for His service. They may be a testimony in progress, or repentant and I heading towards their greatest day.  

But that is about others, what about the way in which we condemn ourselves?  How often it is that someone will feel disqualified for service because of past sin or fear of future fallings?  We can’t afford to go down this road of disqualification.

Parents are the worst about this when it comes to report cards.  The first thing we do is look at the lowest grade and build the conversation around it.  We even impose punishments for that one grade without ever considering the unjust nature if we do not also implement rewards for the grades that are good. 

Don’t focus on the one F, look for the A’s; that’s what God does

Weather it is our kids, spouses, friends, coworkers, bosses, pastors, etc… this can apply to everything including ourselves.  So often we break relationship when someone disappoints or hurts us.  How tragic it is and counters the Will of God for us.

I have experienced this from more than one angle.  The time of my testimony and God revealing who qualifies us, to the miracle of God saving a dying baby in my arms at the scene of a wreck.

It’s not the quality, but the qualifier that counts
I’ll leave you with some questions in closing,
Who can qualify?
Who can disqualify?
Are you qualified?
          Savior - Salvation
          Lord - Service
For some, it’s working in our youth, for others its Praise and Worship or even the 3rd service.  The point is that we don’t let anything including ourselves stop or derail us from the place and purpose God has called us to.
Find your qualification in Salvation through Christ.  Make Him your Lord and put your hand to the plow.  Remember you are the treasure in the field that God gave everything for a chance to have it.  Be worth the price of the field.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not for Sale


John 12:1-8 - The Story of the alabaster box and Judas the thief … the oil was worth about $40 – (costly @ $40 per pound)

Matthew 26:10 (The Story Continues) – Judas was not a little upset!

Matthew 26
15  and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
16  So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

Matthew 27
1 ¶  When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death.
2  And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
3  Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4  saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." And they said, "What is that to us? You see to it!"
5  Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
6  But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood."
7  And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.

Zechariah 11
12  Then I said to them, "If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain." So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
13  And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter"  — that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter.

Exodus 21: 32  "If the ox gores a male or female servant, he shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

$15 … that’s what the 30 shekels of silver would be worth today … just the price of a slave – a servant … that’s the value this world set on our Savior – What is He worth to you? I guess Judas was pretty angry about the $40

You might say, “Preacher, are you telling me that Judas sold Jesus for $15?”  NOPE!!!  You see - - -

Jesus was not the one for sale that night in the Garden … Oh no!!!

Jesus was not selling … Jesus was buying

Jesus, the Lamb of God, was not the one for sale, Judas sold himself, and for what? Thirty shekels of silver … only $15 – and even then he casted that away which only goes to teach us that in the end:

We are worth nothing without Jesus – but – We are worth everything to Him

And, BTW … Jesus is not for sale today either!
·        We cannot buy Him …
·        We cannot bargain with Him …
·        And we cannot live without Him …

Jesus is not for sale … you are!

Don’t sale yourself cheap …
·        Not for Gold, Glory, Power, or Position
·        Why not sale yourself to the highest bidder
·        Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords
·        He gave everything, even His own life for you!

You are worth far too much to let yourself go so cheap … eternity awaits those who know their value and redeem their lives in Christ

Life Shape Family Growth and Discipleship Week 7 - Extended Family & Friends


According to the scriptures, (Matthew 18:17), the local Church is the highest authority on earth. However:

God ordained the family before He ordained the Church.

That which is good for the family is good for the Church and that which is harmful to the family is harmful for the Church. (Family First Principle)

The Family First Principle: “I make my family my first priority and I make Jesus the first priority of my family.”

Today we are going to relegate the discussion about family to the Bible teaches is best for the “immediate family”. For the sake of today’s teaching allow me to define the “immediate family” and lay some foundation for the “immediate family structure”.

The Immediate Family: Husband/Dad; Wife/Mom; Children

The Immediate Family Structure:
·        God invented family – He holds the patent – only He can define
·        The Original/Traditional Family
o   1 Man marries 1 Woman – (Monogamous Covenant)
o   Joined by God – Undivided by man
o   Replentishing the earth with offspring
o   Nurturing & Admonition until the Children are ready to
·        Leave and Cleave
o   Become extended family
o   Begin their immediate family
o   Continue to Honor and Respect Parents/In-Laws

Memory Verse: Matthew 19:5  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

One common family problem is lack of respect of Family Boundaries
·        Either by an immediate or extended family member or a friend
·        Creates/Allows/Supports dysfunction within the family structure

How do we know if extended family members or personal friends are detrimental to the immediate family?

Un-Left Family & Too Close Friends       
1.   When they don’t respect or support the immediate family

1 Samuel 18:3  Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

David had a best friend named Jonathan. And even though David and Jonathan had a covenant friendship which, according to David’s account, (2 Samuel 1:26), surpassed the love of women, nonetheless David would not allow himself to come between Jonathan and Jonathan’s father, King Saul.

2.   When they begin to divide the immediate family

Proverbs 27:17  As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Love does not divide family – Love respects family boundaries, is a blessing to family and makes friends better, not worse.

1 Corinthians 15:33  Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good manners.”

3.   When the Spouse or Parent says they are too close

Ephesians 6
1  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2  "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:
3  "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
4  And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.