Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The most underestimated tool!

Probing Proverbs 10:19-21 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless. The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.

Who, what, when, where, why and how - these are the guides that we need to employ as we use one of the world’s most powerful tools…the tongue!   This Proverb gives some very clear insight on the pluses and minuses of words. It points out that a large number of words can lead to sin, that it might be better to just keep quiet. Words that are from the Lord are valuable, while what is inside a fool is not. Words can encourage or destroy. Many of the Proverbs resound the same sentiments in different ways. Why? Perhaps it is due to the thickness of our spiritual hearing, we don’t get it when we only hear it once, so God repeats these truths in order to spare us grief. Let’s also place some context to this Proverb so we can benefit the most from it.

We must always keep the “who’ in front of us! Everyone is different and receives things differently than we do. We cannot talk to someone as though we are the ones listening, we must make sure we understand “who” this person is. For example you can be very blunt with me, but not everyone can receive information that way. 

Being that I am a talkative person, the first statement really hits me. What does it mean “Too much talk”? That’s where our guide helps! What is being said, when is it being said, where is it being said, why is it being said and how is it being presented. This guide has helped me as I mature to gauge my communication. I have found “what” to be easier than the rest…but learning the timing (when) is important. Even in a desire to help, timing is essential. Also the “where” changes how the receiver takes in what I am saying. The “why” exposes the intent of my heart, and the “how” confirms if I have taken the time to measure my words. One of the most important questions a talkative person needs to ask is “are there many words because I am talking to too many people”? This involves the “why” and brings to light the sincerity of our motive. Many times too many words cause sin because the words are spread among many individuals, which violates Scripture.

Matthew 18:15  “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

What does it mean to be “sensible”? Synonyms of this word are: “aware”, “mindful” and “conscious”. When we are aware of the situation, mindful of what we are trying to do and conscious of why we are doing it, we will know when to “shut up!”

When we follow the guides we have and our words flow from connection with the Lord, the words we speak can be used to impact a life in a mighty way. I had a man tell me years after we had a conservation about a decision he was making about his marriage that the one statement I made in the middle of a two hour counselling encounter changed the direction of his life! Did I realize it at the time? No! I listened to what he said and each response I made, I made prayerfully, with only one agenda, what does God want me to help him see, so he can make his decision based on what God expects.

“the heart of a fool is worthless.”

Jesus spoke to this and explained why:

Matthew 15:17–19  “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.

There is no value to the words of someone whose heart filled with the world’s point of view! That is a temporal and passing foundation.

Words that flow from Scripture and godly principles will encourage someone seeking truth. 
However, not only is foolish counsel worthless, due to the fact that most people that think worldly have their own agenda, they ignore the guides and not only do they hurt the individual they are communicating with, but because they lack sense, they ignore the “who” and when they talk to someone it is as though they were talking to themselves, ignoring that every person is different. They do not think carefully about the “what” instead focusing on just getting the words out there. Timing (when) means nothing because they are speaking impulsively, circumstances (where) are not important because they have an agenda, the “why” is obvious…because they want to, and the “how” is whatever it takes to make them look right! Is it any wonder that in the end, not only do they damage others, but also they destroy themselves!

Action Point: Why not sit down and create a plan of principles that will help you control your communication. Use the guides and create a mindset for communication. For example – I will always do my best to make sure I know “who” I am talking to – this will guide your approach. I will make sure I know “what” I am saying. This will keep your from overreaction and from responding on hearsay. The “what” establishes the facts! – You finish the rest; the when, where, why and how.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fruit: Peace – it’s not the circumstances…it’s you!

I have always loved american football. When I was younger I was a diehard Redskins fan. So much so, that if they lost a game it ruined the rest of the day. My dad saw this immaturity, but understood I was young. Then we moved to Hawaii – where games are telecasted delayed. Especially Monday Night Football – by the time the game was shown on TV, the game had already finished. Sometimes I would call and tell him I was not coming over to see the game, other times I would come. One night I came to watch with him, the Skins were way ahead, then they began to blow the lead. I just remained very calm, my father kept looking at me like I was from Mars. Usually I would be screaming at the TV and grunting and groaning, this time I was as calm as ever. By the end of the game the Skins had blown their lead and the score was tied. With seconds ticking away, they were trying to get into field goal range, so they could score 3 points and win. They did not get the yardage they needed, but chose to go for a very long field goal anyway. With 3 seconds left, a time out was taken before the try for the long and winning kick. My Pop looked at me in disgust and said “You already know the score, don’t you!” You see…my peace was obvious! I was not worried because I already knew the out come. I had heard on the radio hours before how the Skins would win by a last second long field goal!

Peace is really obvious; when you have it you don’t have to tell anyone.

Keep these questions before you as we discover the fruit of peace.

·      Why is peace so difficult?

·      What is the first step in having the peace of God in your life?

·      Where do we try and find our peace?

Define: Peace - Inner Calm = Wholeness

Peace is not an emotion, that is what we call nerves. It is a sense of calm no matter the circumstance that surround us. It is that quality that assures us that circumstanes are never out of God’s control!

The World craves it, but it is never satisfied, the World seeks it, but looks in the wrong place, the World tries to buy it, but it is a condition of the heart & mind…not the wallet!

We must begin at the beginning: Before we can have the peace of God in our life, we must have peace with God.

Col. 1:20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Romans 5:1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

So first, we need to be honest and do a heart check. “Have I entered into a relationship with God through Christ, which will bring me peace?

Once we know that for sure, it is important to remember, even if peace is being offered, many times, we find we do not have it. Why? We must decide to allow the Spirit to manifest it. Peace is just like all fruit, it can come and go.

When we ask God for peace He can illuminate us to understand the reality of our circumstances. We see only the surface, but God can help us see what is behind the scenes!

2 Kings 6:15-17 Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." Then Elisha prayed and said, "O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." And the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Why does peace seem so fleeting? Because it is tied the closest to our emotions, more than any other fruit! Peace involves our emotions, but should no depend on them.

It is pretty obvious when we are lacking peace, it shows itself as sweat, anger, frustration, depression, and over activity. A nervous business.

What can we do?

There is really only one thing:

* Make sure of your source of peace! If we see God as the only source of our peace, circumstances may make us nervous, but they will not remove the reality that God remains in control and nothing…and I do mean nothing, will happen to you that He does not allow!

Matthew 8:23–26  When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

I have found it helpful to mentally list what things try to control my peace.

·      Things:

Mark 10:17-22 And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and began asking Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. "You know the commandments, 'Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.' " And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But at these words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property.

This man had all the things the world could offer, yet still lacked peace! Something was missing in his life and so he went to Christ.

·      People:

David is a prime example. Through the times that Saul was trying to kill David we see him move in and out of peace. Every time he focused on God, that sense of calm controlled him, even to the point of not taking matters into his own hands.

1 Samuel 24:3–7 He came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. The men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly. It came about afterward that David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.” David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul arose, left the cave, and went on his way.

David’s peace assured him that if God wanted him to be king, it would happen by God’s hand, not his own.

·      Yourself: 

Herod is a great example. He thought John the Baptist was the reason he had no peace, but even after he had tried to bring peace to himself by getting rid of John, peace continued to elude him. 

God is the only one that can bring peace!

The practical question to ask here is how does God’s peace affect me?

·      Life itself = Our work, goals and responsibilities.

Matthew 11:28-30  "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."

The “yoke” God lays on us is from Him and will always be balanced! We lose our peace when we allow the world’s cravings and desires drive our life.

·      Mind

1 Cor. 14:33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

God will teach us what we can understand and what we cannot. Some things in this world are just the way they are and we will never fully “get it.” So many people lose their peace because they must be able to comprehend everything, even that which cannot be comprehended. This leaves them in a state of confusion, which robs them of peace.

·      Eternity

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 1:19–22 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—

This is what gave the Martyrs such calm in the face of lions! No matter how bad the temporal was, the eternal was guaranteed!  

The avenue to peace is prayer.

Philip. 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 26:3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.

I have found that no matter the circumstance, whether I feel like I am going to explode, fall apart or give up, when I get alone and pray for peace, His calm controls my heart. Nothing has changed…except me.

How about you? What do you do when circumstances are trying to rob you of your peace? When was the last real trial you had I in your life? What did you do in the midst of it? What controls your emotions? Why? Make a list of the “peace robbers” in your life. What do you think God wants you to do with that list?