Friday, September 28, 2018

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’  “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’  “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves (justify - make themselves feel and look better) will be humbled, and those who humble (are honest with themselves about their own goodness) themselves will be exalted.” [Emphasis added]. Luke 18:9-14 (NLT)

This pharisee was hyper-critical of the tax collector. All He could do was point out his fa...

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 (NIV)

It is interesting that Paul starts this verse with TAKE because salvation is a free gift that we can receive rather than take. Paul is speaking to the believer who has already received the free gift of salvation and encouraging them to take this eternal certainty into their mind in the form of hope. Our thoughts can drift, and we can think of some crazy things. So we take the helmet of salvation to be reassured that our salvation is concrete.

Unlike the rest of the armor which is defensive, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God is our offensive weapon. Let your mind be defended by the helmet God has given you this very day and let’s play offense today. You can attack your day with the help of the Holy Spirit and the word of God. To play offense,...

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (NLT)

I Don't mean to be gross, but if you have ever seen a limb separate from the body it belongs to, usually in TV or the movies, there is nothing attractive about it. An unattached arm or leg is never appealing. Any limb removed from the body eventually loses it's lifeblood and dies.

The Apostle Paul teaches that the body of Christ is made of many independent parts that make one whole. When the limbs and parts are attached, they remain alive and healthy. This is also true of us, who are members of the body of Christ. When we stay connected to the church, (othe...

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.” - Luke 17:3-5 (NLT)

The disciples’ are making a genuine request when they ask for an increase in their faith, but in this context, the genuineness of radical forgiveness is more important than the faith we desire to possess. In other words, we don’t just seek forgiveness because it benefits us in our walk with Jesus. The amount of faith isn’t necessarily as important as the right kind of faith.

Our loyalty is to God, and we trust in Him by faith. Our faith is strengthened when we are obedient and humble. We are called to do what He desires from us willingly. Not for our increa...

Monday, September 24, 2018

“Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” Colossians 4:6 (NLT)

Let’s think about the purposes of salt: preservation, flavor, disinfectant, and it contains a mineral in which our bodies need (sodium). If our speech is seasoned with salt, as it should be, then others will be filled with life after talking to you, you will build them up and make them stronger, as salt does to our food. We also need sodium in our system for our bodies to perform correctly; we need each other to speak words that encourage us so that we can function properly. And all of this is done with the help of the Spirit and His grace.

It is so easy to want to talk about ourselves when talking with others, but we are called to something greater. If we all start speaking with others according to this verse, encouraging one anoth...

Friday, September 21, 2018

At last Job spoke, and he cursed the day of his birth. He said: “Let the day of my birth be erased, and the night I was conceived. - Job 3:1-3 (NLT) 

Job faced every feeling and dealt with intense amounts of depression and sadness, guilt, fear, and anxiety. Leaving or losing something or someone can bring us to a place where feelings consume and control us. Job felt feelings so strongly that he cursed his birth, but Job’s story didn’t end at His feelings. 

What’s your story when your feelings get the best of you? Do you throw in the towel and move onto something different or do you hold onto the spiritual things in your life because they are more significant than your feelings? A famous quote from the church that surfaces from time to time is from Nate Carr. “Don’t tell me what you feel, tell me what the Word says.” 

I’m here to tell you today that when you grab...

Thursday, September 20, 2018

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3 (NIV)

What are you worth? The world will always put a price tag on you, and it’s easy for us to get caught up in the world’s standards. We will base our value off of what the world says is valuable. Note to self- Don’t be someone you aren't. The world does one of two things. It either makes us believe we are more capable than we are or it leads us to think that we are less valuable than we are. Our ego grows, and people can’t do what they say they can do. We shouldn’t think of ourselves as better than we are.

The best way to gauge our value is by spending time with the Lord. He gives us healthy self-esteem. Know your self-worth by k...

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

Have you ever said, "No one understands what I'm going through." Sure you have; we all have. The truth is, there are plenty of people who have experienced what you have faced, are facing, and will face. There is no temptation or hardship that we encounter, that is unique only to us.

Here is the good news about the hardship and temptations (the difficult situations that beckon us to do wrong) we face; GOD IS FAITHFUL. Did you catch that? Even when you and I are tempted to be unfaithful, God won't budge. He won't leave our side. He is the one constant in our lives when everything else seems chaotic and...

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. Matthew 5:13 (NIV)

You ever had days where you feel like you aren’t worth much? Feeling like you are someone that gets trampled on instead of adding flavor to other people’s lives. I think this happens to all of us at some point in life. We have valley experiences and mountaintop experiences that don’t define us but help us mature. Ernest Hemingway said, “The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”

Don’t lose your saltiness because of the what, but become more flavorful because of the who. The "what" will always change, but the "who" will remain. The "what" is defined as the different situations and circumstances you face in this life. The "who"...

Monday, September 17, 2018

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, ‘I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” Matthew 8:10-12 (NLT) 

What an amazing statement by Jesus! “Those for whom the Kingdom was prepared (sons - NKJV) - will be thrown into outer darkness…” This statement comes on the heels of a Roman guard (Non-Jewish, religious person) asking Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus responds to this man’s request and insightful words (Matthew 8:5-9) with how amazed He was at the guard’s faith a...

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We believe the only life worth living is the “uncommon” life that results from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We encourage our youth to experience this life through a daily time with Jesus,  worship, ministry, and prayer.

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