The journal is my way of expressing things that I would not share on my blog. In a journal I can pray, vent, rant, or write thoughts down on a piece of paper to better free my mind up to think on other things.
For the past few years, I have started the first week in January, with writing about a word that I wanted to define the year ahead. Some years have been better than others.
This is not a pie in the sky kind of thought process. This is more of a goal that I want to meet. See, the word that I use to describe my year is for me a goal in growing my character. The word describes an aspect of my life that will help me become more of the man that I believe God has designed me to become.
This year my word is:
I believe that there are a lot of people that are living their lives without focus or direction. They live without purpose. A life apart from focus and purpose is a wasted life.
I don’t want to live a wasted life.
I want everything that I do to be done on purpose for a purpose.
Another way of saying this is: I want everything I do to fit into God’s overall purpose for my life.
Wasting time is easy. Intentional living takes work.
Living on purpose takes work because it is far too easy to live distracted. Life has a way of throwing knuckle balls at you that are meant to knock you off of your game. It takes determination and focus to not let things sidetrack you.
You are more likely to live out your purpose when you are listening to the voice of your Shepherd. When you listen to the voice of your Shepherd, you follow Him in obedience. Your obedience shows you that you have purpose in every area of your life.
If you want to live an intentional life, you have to be disciplined.
Plan moments in areas that you want to be intentional.
- You have to be intentional with your personal growth.
- You have to be intentional with your health.
- You have to be intentional with your spiritual growth.
- You have to be intentional with your kids. You need to spend time with them individually and together.
- You have to be intentional with your spouse. We will talk more about this one later.
- You have to be intentional if you want to get out of debt.
- You have to be intentional to make disciples.
Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, you have to be intentional in working towards that goal.
Distracted people let life happen to them instead of making things happen. Distracted people wonder and wander. Distracted people fear change. Distracted people miss opportunities.
Every day is another opportunity to make a difference. There are 358 days left in this year. That is 358 chances to make a difference in your life, your spouse’s life, your kids’ lives or the life of someone else.
If you want to make a difference, you have to be intentional.
Live on Purpose.
Don’t Waste Your Life.
What is your One Word for 2016?
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Here are some announcements so that you know what is coming up.
- The funeral for my dad will be Wednesday at 11am.
- There will be no Wednesday night gathering but feel free to stop by our house and visit with us if you like.
- FaithPoint Men, we will be meeting Sunday morning at 9:00 to discuss the next chapter of our book. I look forward to our time of discussion.
- We will be in week 4 of our DNA series. This would be a good time to invite friends or family to come with you.
Here are the notes from Sunday:
The title for this sermon is: The Word of God – Authority of Scripture. This is week 3 in our DNA series.
How do we know that the Bible is God’s Word?
In what sense is Scripture our highest authority?
We have heard it. The Holy Spirit helps us to believe that the Bible is God’s Word through faith.
There are different forms for the Word of God:
- The Word of God as Jesus – Revelation 19:13, John 1:1, John 1:14
- The Word of God as decrees by God – Genesis 1:3 A decree of God is a word of God that causes something to happen
- The Word of God as personal address – God speaks directly to a person. Adam, Moses, Jonah, Isaiah, Jeremiah
- Word of God as spoken through humans – God raises up prophets through whom He speaks. Jeremiah 1:7, 1:9-10 Anyone who claims to be speaking for the Lord but did not receive a message from the Lord was severely punished.
- The Word of God as written words – The Bible Exodus 32:16, Deut. 31:24-26, Joshua 24:26
For our DNA series: We are going to focus on the Word of God as written words – The Bible.
Wayne Grudem, in his book, Systematic Theology, says this: The authority of Scripture means that all the words in Scripture are God’s words in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God.
2 Timothy 3:16
2 Peter 1:21
It is one thing to know that the Bible is God’s Word. It is another thing entirely to be convinced or believe that the Bible is God’s Word.
1 Corinthians 2:14
Apart from the Holy Spirit, a person cannot fully understand spiritual truth and will not receive or accept that the words of Scripture are the words of God.
Sin distorts people’s perception of reality. They do not see Scripture for what it truly is. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit in us, overcoming the effects of sin, and persuade us that Scripture is the Word of God and true.
Titus 1:2 – God never lies.
Psalm 119:89 – God’s Word is firmly fixed in heaven.
Matthew 24:35 – Jesus says, Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away.
Numbers 23:19 – God is not man, that he should lie.
John 17:17 – Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Jesus is saying that God’s word is not just true but it is truth itself.
We know these verses but are we convinced enough that Scripture is our highest authority?
Conviction or belief will be lived out through obedience to the Scriptures.
Psalm 119:5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12
We believe that the Bible in its original written form is inerrant, that is to say that the Bible is without error or fault in all of its teachings.
Scripture is sufficient as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. All truth necessary for salvation and spiritual life (sanctification) is found in Scripture. Scripture is the highest and most supreme authority for any matter that it addresses.
1 Corinthians 10:31
I LOVE OUR CHURCH!
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I had the incredible opportunity to attend the REACH 2015 conference. This is the second annual conference of its kind in Georgia.
The main idea or reason for a conference of this type is because of the astronomical numbers about the status of our state. Currently, there are over 7 million people in the state of Georgia who do not attend a church of any denomination and do not consider themselves to be Christian or otherwise. They are just turned off period. So, again, there are over 7 million lost people in the state of Georgia.
I want to put the biggest dent I can in that number. I am part of a group of pastors that are praying that God will use their churches to punch a hole in that number. Wouldn’t it be phenomenal if by God’s amazing grace; that number could be cut in half in the next 5 years? I believe that it can happen but it requires us to be intentional.
One of my favorite sessions at the REACH conference was led by Pastor Bill Purvis. His talk was titled: Defining Strategy With Leadership. I would love to share you my key takeaways from this session.
Defining Strategy with Leadership: Bill Purvis
Vision is your mental picture. Strategy is your map.
Churches don’t grow because they have a great vision. It is because they execute a good strategy.
2 Samuel 5:17-25
God provides David’s strategy.
Strategy is a leader’s most important role.
The leader is the strategist.
Why does your church matter?
Why do people need your church?
Be intentional about Your Mission.
What is your big win?
Be intentional about Your Personal Growth Plan.
Growing leaders grow churches. Your personal growth plan is the key to your leadership. You have to be on a quest for growth.
Be intentional about Growing Others.
Be intentional in Looking for Leaders.
Be intentional in Aligning People’s gifts so they can add value.
Share your vision with the people who can make things happen.
Send thank you notes to people.
Lead by example:
- Your Marriage
- Your Family
- Your Integrity
- Your Finances
- Your Motives
Do the best you can with what you have where you are and God will not leave you where you are and He will increase what you have.
People need to know that the leader loves them.
Here is a video snippet of the session. I hope you enjoy it.
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