Kingdom Character

Kingdom CharacterI have always enjoyed studying the life of Joseph, the son of Jacob. He is one of the heroes of faith that we would all do well to emulate. This past Sunday we looked at some of the lessons we could learn from a man who was faithful to demonstrate Kingdom Character.

The kingdom of God is filled with people who seek to live out their lives in the power of the Holy Spirit. Their Kingdom Character is a direct result of continual fellowship with Almighty God.

Click on the following link to listen to or download the message, “Kingdom Character.”

“In My Seat” — A 9/11 Story

Most of us can remember where we were on September 11, 2001. In my mind, I can still see the images of buildings burning and eventually collapsing. I can also remember vividly the video images filmed from a helicopter hovering over the crash site in Pennsylvania as well as the Pentagon.  I remember gathering at our church that evening to pray for survivors and the search and rescue teams.  I remember the pain in my own heart as I thought about the anguish so many families were feeling at losing a loved one in such horrible fashion.  Without a doubt, it is a day that I will certainly remember for the rest of my life.

This week I received an email from a dear friend entitled “In My Seat.”  He told me that it wasn’t your normal 9/11 heart tugging story, but it was a wonderful testimony of a man who was scheduled to fly American Airlines flight 11.  The video is just over 15 minutes long, but it is well worth your time to listen to the 9/11 story of Steve Scheibner.

At Peace With God’s Pace

Graceway MediaThis morning I would like to introduce you to Steve Roll, founder of Restoration Ministries. Steve is a godly man who longs to see others enjoy the healthy spiritual life God has planned for them. He has committed his life to be a helping hand and word of encouragement to those who are hurting.

I believe his insightful post, “At Peace With God’s Pace,” will give you simple advice on how to enjoy the life you’ve been given. Personally, I want to go through life at a pace which allows me to enjoy living. I don’t want to live at a frenetic pace feeling like a contestant on “The Amazing Race” going to different places but never having time to enjoy them.  God’s pace will always allow us time to smell the roses.

I pray Steve’s post, “At Peace With God’s Pace,” will bring you hope of enjoying life and not just rushing through it!

“The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace because he trusts in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3
 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” Psalm 37:23

“Are we there yet?” Like kids on a vacation trip trapped in the backseat of the car—we are an impatient people. Rather than enjoy the journey, we clamor to arrive at our destination. And we want to be there NOW!

Everyone is in such a hurry today. You and I run here and there, and there and here, like chickens with our heads cut off.  We have been duped into thinking that the fast lane of the rat race is where it’s at. Who says we have to run the rat race? I guess the rats do! So many people labor and live at a breakneck, feverish pace in order to keep up with the Joneses. If I read my Bible right, Christians are to keep up with Jesus, not the Jones. 

When you study the life of Christ, you find that He paced Himself during His three year ministry. His steps were established (ordered, directed, laid out) by the Father. You never see Jesus stressed out. The Lord never put pressure on Himself to perform or be successful. In the midst of intense opposition and adversity, Jesus experienced the peace of God. Why? Because I believe He was at peace with God’s pace on the way to the cross and resurrection.  

Someone said hurry is often the long way around in life. Hurry, scurry, and worry keep many people frustrated. Many people lack inner peace in their lives because they don’t pace themselves. No wonder we have so many stressed out, burned out, freaked out people in our society. 

I have always been a high energy person. At times, high gear has been my Achilles heel. As a young boy, I remember watching my first long distance track race. The starter’s gun sounded, the runners took off.  I was so disappointed that the runners weren’t sprinting and running in highest gear. The race was 5,000 meters. The distance runners knew something I didn’t. 

They understood the principle of PACE. To complete the race, they had to pace themselves over the distance. They couldn’t possibly run the whole course full throttle. They would run out of gas before the finish line if they ran full blast.
As Christians, we are running a faith race (Hebrews 12:1-3). The Lord’s will is for us to finish our faith race victoriously (II Timothy 4:7-8). It’s to our benefit that we run our race at His pace. If we run ahead of God, we will burnout. If we run behind God, we rust out. But if we run with God, hand in hand with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit, we WIN OUT!

God is a god of peace and pace. He is never in a hurry, He never worries, and He is never late or ahead of schedule. He is perfectly on time, all the time. His secret: a planned, purposeful, peaceful, productive PACE. God’s universe and Kingdom is one of peace when His creatures live life at His pace. A restful, productive pace that energizes us is God’s way.  

Isaiah makes it crystal clear: Perfect peace is ours when we steadfastly focus on the Lord and trust Him to quicken the pace or slow it down. Note it is God’s perfect peace that the trusting person will receive. God’s perfect, complete, whole, fulfilling, satisfying peace is something we cannot produce ourselves.  Our Heavenly Father is the god of peace who gives peace to His children. 

I don’t know about you, but most of the time my problem with pace is not going too slow, but going too fast. Through the school of hard knocks, my hard head is learning that God loves me so much He will find a way to slow me down when necessary!
If we desire to be healthy, peaceful, and productive, we must come to terms with being at peace with God’s pace. If you are out of sync with God’s pace, fall on your face before Him. Confess your impatience. Repent of your dysfunctional desire to control outcomes and have things your way in your time. 

Slow down long enough to receive God’s peace. As you fix your mind on Him, His perfect peace will flood your heart. Trust Him to direct your steps and to show you the proper pace to run your race. 

You and I are off and running into God’s plan for us in 2012. Great opportunities lie ahead for us to glorify God. Peace with His pace will produce less stress and more success in our lives. So let’s commit ourselves to run our race at His pace this year.

“For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:15
“Great peace have those who love God’s law; nothing shall cause them to stumble.” Psalm 119:165

A Word For Your Week:  Christian winners run their race at God’s pace.

Did Jesus Say He’s God?

For almost twenty-five years I have been reading, watching, and listening to Chuck Swindoll.  He has had a great impact on my life, so today I wanted to share an insightful video from Lightsource.com on him answering the question “Did Jesus Say He’s God?”  “Did Jesus Say He’s God?” by Chuck Swindoll

The Truth About Forgiveness

When I talk to anyone about forgiveness I always tell them to read Colossians 3:12-13, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (ESV). Did you catch that, we are to forgive others as Christ Jesus the Lord has forgiven us.

Forgiving someone who has wronged us is not always the easiest thing to do.  We know Jesus expects us to follow His example of grace and mercy by forgiving others; however, there are times forgiveness is the last thing on our minds.

Why is forgiveness so difficult?  Dr Russell Moore answers this question in his blog entitled “What Forgiveness Is and Isn’t.” I hope this insightful article will help as you seek to show forth the forgiveness of Christ.  Click this link to read Dr. Moore’s blog.