I am currently in the process of moving my Mom from Ohio to California! While in Ohio helping her get packed up I was able to have lunch with Pastor Corey Bane who reached me and my family almost 20 years ago. I am so thankful that they believed in my potential at a time when my life was quite unmanageable. I was saved and called to Preach under his ministry and every soul that Shelly and I have led to Christ or simply encouraged in the Lord in these last 17 years happened, at least in part, due to his earlier influence in my life. Never underestimate the opportunity to influence the lives of the people that God places in your path!!!!!
7Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
9Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
10Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
11Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
12But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
Worry never helps anybody but patience saves the day.
One of my greatest struggles as a man of God is waiting upon God. I want to reach people for God and I want to reach them NOW! However; I have learned to wait upon the Lord because the easy and expedient decision without God in it never works out. Whatever I do I want to do it to the glory of God!
We are going to go over when you should be patient, why you should be patient, and what you should do while you are waiting on the Lord. As you grow in your Christian life these will be very important lessons. The worst thing you can do is, in your zeal to share the word of God, display poor judgment to the lost. Christians are no better than anyone else we are just sinners saved by grace, but the world expects different of us, they want us to show them why they should trust in the Lord and we can do that by practicing patience.
When should I be patient? Every day there are things that will test your patience. As American’s we hate to be delayed and we are patient only when it is convenient, but if you live your life saying ‘I’ll be patient when it is easy’ you will never be patient. So when should you be patient? When circumstances are uncontrollable. In verse seven of James chapter five James is talking to Christians. God enables us to have patience. Have you ever been in a situation that was out of control and you tired to control it? The harder you try to control it the more out of control it gets. It is like trying to grab a greased up pig and you tell God ‘God, I got it’ but it slips away from you and you just end up smelling like a pig with no success. The only thing you can control is yourself and the way to have success is to yield to God. When people are unchangeable. This world needs to see Christians being good examples in times of suffering and affliction, it needs to see us being patient and yielding to God not just putting on a show. God is going to work it out, and when things are difficult you need to be patient all the more. Don’t be surprised when people resist the word of God at first but be patient and God will work in their heart. We need to be patient and we need God in the message. When problems are unexplainable. Job played in the Super Bowl of suffering and he won the championship of patience. In two days Job lost everything! He lost his friends, family, fortune, even his wife told him to curse God and die! but Job was patient. Job endured and he refused to give up. We can give 100 reasons why we can’t but the one reason why we can is God. God will always get the glory when situations seem impossible.
Why be patient? God is in control. (James 5:8) History is His story. God has a plan, God has a purpose, and Jesus is going to return. Situations may be out of our control but they are not out of God’s control. God rewards patience. (James5:11) At the end of Job’s story he got more than he had before. To get in the favor of God you need to be patient while he works out his plan. God is working things out. God’s delays are not God’s denials. (Philippians 2:3) It should be our desire to make God smile and patience pleases God.
What should I be doing while I am waiting on God? Wait expectantly. Have great dreams; dream that God is going to do great things through you. Your waiting is not in vain god will not bail on you. Wait quietly. We can complain or we can thank God for what we do have. So many times while people are waiting they complain about the wait, they complain about the line while they are standing in line. That is not patience. Don’t whine while you wait (Isaiah 49:23) you will never regret waiting on the Lord. Don’t complain, don’t grumble, don’t have self pity. Praise God and be thankful. It is hard to be quiet when you are frustrated but when you wake up to a difficult day thank God that you woke up at all. Don’t complain against God. Wait confidently. (Psalm 37:7) Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten.
Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
Here James voices loudly about the misuse of wealth! He warns his people not to be fooled into thinking that money is everything! We have heard it over and over again “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
If we choose to live just to acquire material possessions, we will end up empty, lonely, and bitter because that which we are chasing gives us nothing in return. When we chase wealth, we end up robbing ourselves of the greater riches that God has to give us. And when it really comes down to it, a lot of the things we chase will soon rot, so why do we place our trust in it?
In saying this, wealth in itself is not wrong here, In fact there were many great believers in the Bible who were “wealthy”. Wealth can be a blessing from God if we use it as He intended and not allowing ourselves to pour our whole devotion to it! – (Proverbs 10:22)
But God makes it very clear that HE is in fact OPPOSED to the misuse and abuse of wealth. He wants us to use our wealth wisely – no matter how much or how little we have. Many would say these scriptures were solely written to the rich, and you may not consider yourself to be very “rich”. But if you live America, my friend, you are rich! I don’t say this to make us feel guilty but it is important that we understand that God has blessed us immensely. There are places in this world where people will walk half a day just to get dirty contaminated water. I think we, as Americans focus so much on what we don’t have that we lose sight of the things we do have! Something I would like for you to think about…If the only thing you had to show for your life, your love and devotion to God was your checkbook what would it look like? Would we see Christ?
Here I’ve listed a few ways we need to avoid in WRONG USES OF WEALTH:
1. THE ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH: DON’T HOARD IT!
Money is not to be stockpiled. God gives you wealth to circulate it, meaning using it wisely for His kingdom and to further His cause. (Luke 12:16) when you accumulate just to get, you forget why God has given it to you.
2. THE APPROPRIATION OF WEALTH: DON’T STEAL IT!
God is concerned with how you got what you have! There are a lot of ways to make money dishonestly, one way is to not pay your debts like James describes in verse 4. We should work hard for our wealth not try to cheat the system to get it. The Bible “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches – Proverbs 22:1
3. THE ALLOCATION OF WEALTH: DON’T WASTE IT!
One of the greatest temptations we must avoid with our wealth (regardless of the dollar amount) is to spend our money selfishly. We live in a day and age that reality TV is addictive due to the fact that we find a strange pleasure out of watching those people waste money! Be careful in throwing away your wealth on things that do not add to His kingdom and remember just because you can afford it- doesn’t mean you should have it!
4. THE APPLICATION OF WEALTH: DON’T ABUSE IT!
The sad truth is many people today use their wealth to manipulate others and to get their way. When we receive wealth it offers a sense of influence, power, and authority. Why is it that we pay more attention to a rich person that speaks than a poor person? It is because our world is fallen and we associate influence with wealth. Someday we all will stand before God and explain how we used our influence, power, and authority; how we spent our wealth that God blessed us with.
In understanding those things we should avoid God also guides us into practicing the RIGHT USES OF WEALTH:
RIGHT ACCUMULATION: SAVE IT FAITHFULLY!
PROVERBS 20:2 – So many times people live for just today, a wise person invests.
RIGHT APPROPRIATION: MAKE IT HONESTLY!
One of the things we struggle with in America is being honest. Earn your wealth honestly as long as it does not hurt your own health or your family.
RIGHT ALLOCATION: SPEND IT WISELY! – “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver” – Proverbs 16:16
RIGHT APPLICATION: GIVE IT GENEROUSLY
In Matthew 6 it talks about laying out our treasures in heaven. God specifically calls us to give on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:2) and to not give grudgingly God “loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Corithinans 9:7)
If you’re struggling with managing money wisely it is usually an insight of a deeper problem, and it may be that you are trying to live without God’s guidance and putting other things before the spiritual things in your life. Let God manage your life, in every way and give it solely over to Him. You can’t out give God. The solution to tough financial situations is not to stop giving but to put Him first and He will honor that. Jesus wants you to live an abundant life! -Matthew 6:21-34
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) When you look at your treasures is your heart where you thought it was? where is your time, talent, and treasure going? Where would you like it to be?
13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
What is your life? What are the positives? What things do you wish you could take away? Your future is right now! You can change right now.
Three common mistakes to avoid:
1. PLANNING WITHOUT GOD. Just because something seems right it does not mean God is in it. You can work out every detail but you cannot succeed without God’s blessing. Often times a Christian will get an idea than go to the planning stage than start to put it into action and assume God is in it. Than the plan begins to fail and we blame God, but it is going wrong because of the attitude of self sufficiency. What you can accomplish without God is not of God. The bible teaches planning but it tells us to plan WITH God. Often times we get an idea and assume it is from God but the bible tells us to wait upon the Lord. The future God has planned for you cannot be a reality if you do not give him free rein over your life. Live your life as if it is ALL His. Planning without God is practical atheism. Don’t ask God to bless your plan, ask Him to give you His plan. There are three possible reactions to God’s will you can make reference to it, show difference to it, or show preference to it. We should make plans counting on God to direct us through the plans. (Proverbs 16:9)
2. PRESUMING ABOUT TOMORROW. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (James 4:14) Be humble when God works through you. When we fail we tend to blame God but when we succeed we take the credit. Give God the glory! It is all God every good gift cometh down from the father. Life is unpredictable. None of us know what tomorrow will bring. Make plans on what God leads you to do. Since life is unpredictable you must trust God every day. Life is brief. Our future is now. You are NOT going to live forever. If you continually put off what you are going to do for God you will never do it. You are a heartbeat away from eternity (Isaiah 56:12. Proverbs 27:1) What level of involvement does God have in your life today? Since life is briev shouldn’t we live for God right now? Live one day at a time; don’t worry about tomorrow because worrying sucks the life out of today. You can plan for the future but live for today!
3. PUTTING OFF DOING GOOD. There are things you dream about doing one day…well today is that day! God ends James chapter 4 with “ 16But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. 17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Plans are great but actions that are led by God are impacting! Christianity is more than avoiding evil; you can still sin by doing nothing. Simply not sinning does not mean you are not sinning, when you know what is right and you don’t do it you are sinning.
Three are three things you can do with your life, waste it, spend it or invest it. What are you going to do?
Please take a moment and encourage and share with each other. What are you going to stop putting off and do today? Maybe your testimony will help someone else step out on faith and do great things for God.
“Every plan God lays before you will have success when you follow His plan”
We had an amazing Sunday at Crosspointe. Worship was off the charts! I am so proud of our Worship team, they have been putting in time and pursuing excellence and you can see it. It was powerful and spirit led! There was one saved and a full alter at the invitation. Sunday evening we had Crosspointe 101, our membership class, and there were 4 active duty Marines who attended! I am excited to see what the Lord is going to be doing in the coming months. As you can see we are also changing the blog and will be updating our media during the service over the next few months. God is doing great things.
1 Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.
2 And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ 3 Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.
4 But the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.” 6 And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. 7 Then the LORD said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place.”
God’ does not need your talents He just needs you. Every plan God lays before you will have success when you follow His plan! The United States is known as a Christian nation; however the gospel light is not shining.
Here are the encouraging statistics:
In the United States there are 15,000 Christian radio stations and 300+ Christian television stations, 70+ million people who say they ate born again, 62% of Americans say they made a commitment to Jesus Christ, 96% of Americans are “believers of god” not all of whom believe in Satan and hell (Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven).
Here are the discouraging statistics:
The United States is the world’s biggest user of prisons, 1.1 million Americans are in prison, 1 million teens run away from home every year, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens, the number 1 killer of children are their parents, 50 thousand drug addicted babies are born in California every year, this year 1.5 million babies will be aborted.
The country claims God is important but the actions say different. Christians as a whole seem to say one thing and do another. What God asked Gideon to do did not make sense at all, but he did it. God is not concerned with the size of the army, just as we should be concerned with quantity in our church we should be concerned with quality. Life is not what happens to you it is how you respond to what happens to you. How important is god to you? It’s easy to rely upon your talents but it is hard to turn away from that and turn toward Him.
The first thing God asked Gideon to do was…Excuse the Cowards.
We live in a world where God is as accessible to us as ever before. It is easy to get a Bible. We have access to the things of God. They were outnumbered 4 to 1 yet God said “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands “ (Judges 7:2) often times we fail to listen to the second part of that statement “, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me. God is not in the business of you saving yourself; He is in the business of saving you so you can give Him the glory. (Isaiah 42:8) God commands Gideon to do the impossible. Every time God does something for us, with us, or through us He wants us to say this is the lords doing (Psalm 118:23). The greatest victories are in what you behold not what you do. God does not have a measuring stick He just says trust me, yet so many times the glory that is Gods people claim for themselves. At best we can say God used us for greatness. (Judges 7:3) Gideon did something no other general has ever done. He let the timid and the scared go home. Too many Christians lack courage. We hold the fort instead of shouting “onward forward for the Lord”. We are going to fight sin not other Christians. We are going to be about the big things of God. We want to fight the sin and love the sinner. Cowards have no place in God’s army. And the greatest battle will not be fighting Satan it will be fighting yourself. (Deuteronomy 20:8) Cowards and critics are contagious but great faith in God is also contagious. God can use the frail but cannot use the fearful. Faith and fear can not dwell in the same heart.
The second thing God asked Gideon to do was…Exclude the Careless.
The army went from 32000 4:1 to 300. Gideon is walking his journey of faith. Gideon got on board with God’s plan. His plan the best plan. God gives a test. You might think lapping water is a little thing but a series of little things ass up to a whole lot. It’s the little things that will bring you down. And God is watching those little things. The two dangers in war are to overestimate the enemy (cowards) and the second is to underestimate the enemy (careless).
The third thing God asked Gideon to do was…Enlist the committed.
These me were the spiritual Marines that God wanted. Gideon’s army was down to 1% of what it was when he started. The lesson is simple. The master’s minority is better than the majority. God +1 is a majority. Quality not quantity.
With the Lord before us, Jesus beside us, the Spirit within us, and the Bible behind us there is no foe we cannot face.
Yesterday I had the great opportunity to attend Catalyst One Day with some staff members. It left me changed and challenged. I am going to share some of the quotes that really stuck out from yesterday.
“When you delegate tasks, you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders.”
“CULTURE is the shared values we ACT out. If you don’t DO it, you don’t believe it.”
“The longer we believe the lies the harder it is to hear the truth.”
“Build a team that craves and desires helpful feedback.”
“People don’t know what they don’t know they don’t know”
“What we value shapes what our churches do. What do you love in ministry? What breaks your heart on behalf of God?”
“Your church should be the best place in your community to work.”
“The people under us are supported by us. The point of leading is not to be served”
“Just because you are the best speaker does not mean you have an anointing, we are the body and you are not the head.”
“The greatest thing is love, not loyalty.”
“If you do it for one that does not mean you have to do it for everyone. Fairness ended in the Garden of Eden. Don’t try to be fair be engaged.”
“Unexpressed gratitude is ingratitude”
“Ask: What can I do to help?”
Rick Warren had a great lunch time session for young leaders.
“I hope your generation will love the local church like my generation loved the para-church. We got it wrong.”
“You only believe in the Parts of the Bible you do.”
“Build people not buildings.”
“Growing churches require growing leaders.”
“Concerning a Church small or big is not the issue HEALTHY is the issue. Remember a crowd isn’t a church.”
“If you are going to wait to know everything you will never do anything. You have to lead by faith.”
“Everybody has vision at 20, what is impressive is somebody who has vision at 70” “It takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people”
“The desire for approval means you have failed to realize how much God loves you!”
I left Catalyst one day changed and challenged. Thanks to all who invested in my life and ministry!
fall is probably one of the best times of the year. Although we live in beautiful sunny California, this time of year would not be complete without costumes, pumpkins, and yes did someone say, chili and pie??
harvest days at crosspointe is such a good time of food, fellowship and who can forget those 5 who came to know Christ in our service! Praise the Lord! We also had the great honor of wishing our pastor a very special happy birthday. he was greeted with smiling faces and balloons! we love him so much and are so grateful to have him touch our lives. we would like so to say a special thanks to those who baked, cleaned, coordinated, designed costumes, and yes even those who ate! Here are a few snapshots of our big day…enjoy!
The day got even more exciting when we put Pastor, Pastor Steve and even the Shield’s kids into the dunk tank:)
Just for fun…I have to say as a photographer I love to catch the little moments, but yet at the same time gotta love those who love to pose!