Category Archives: discipleship

~ My Pet Sin ~

Galatians 5:16-18 ~ 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

There is always a battle with the flesh to keep it under, to deny its right to act out, to keep it from having dominance in our lives. Your flesh will always be warring against the things of the Spirit and your flesh will always have a sin nature until it is glorified. Everyone MUST deal with this, even Paul the Apostle had these battles and he describes them in Romans:

Romans 7:16-23 ~ 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

There is no magic pill or prescription that you can take so that  you will avoid this struggle with sin but here is a little tip to help you in your battle with the flesh. First you need to understand where those fleshly desires are coming from and then how to deal with them when they do. If you are struggling with a certain area and your flesh seems to be exceptionally strong and persistent in the desire to “act out” in sin you need to ask yourself honestly:

“Is this just the sin NATURE or is it because I have been NURTURING the desires? Have I been doing anything to feed that desire and make it stronger?”

There is a basic law in nature that also applies to spiritual things and the law is:

 “What you feed grows and what you starve dies.”

Denying your flesh the satisfaction of fulfilling its lust has the same results as if you stopped watering your plants, just like the plants get weaker and eventually die so will those fleshly desires.

The problem that most of us have is that we don’t realize that we are feeding our carnal fleshly desires or we think that what we are doing is no big deal. IT IS A BIG DEAL! Let me give you a some examples; If you have been delivered from drugs and you know that it has a strong pull on your flesh, any thing that would stir up old memories and desires should be avoided. Movies with drug abuse, fellowship with addicts, or even driving through the part of town where you used to buy drugs. If the shortest route to your destination is through an area that stirs up memories of past sins, TAKE ANOTHER ROUTE! Remember this saying, it has helped me:

“The long way is better than the wrong way.”

If you struggle with overeating, or eating junk food, it is much easier to win the battle if you stay out of the junk-food isle. If it stimulates ANY of your five senses, it WILL begin to pull on you.

If you think it is no big deal to be exposed to those things, or if you “think” you are strong enough to handle it. You WILL wake up one day and realize that the little fleshly desire that you used to have has grown into a monster and is demanding to be fed!

Remember that the flesh IS the sin nature and it is described as the enemy of the Spirit. So how are we going to win this war against the flesh? The rest of the passage from Romans 7 gives us the answer.

Romans 7:23-25 ~ 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

God will deliver you from your enemies,

NOT YOUR PETS!

You must see your flesh as YOUR enemy. If you feed your enemy he gets stronger and has more power to do you harm. Remember, I am not talking about your physical body, but its sinful nature. DON”T FEED THE SIN NATURE.

The flesh is never satisfied, the flesh WANTS to sin. Remember:

“Sin takes you farther than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and costs you more than you want to pay.”

Starve your enemy and FEED your spirit.

~What Makes A Healthy Church?~

river church

This is a metaphor that paints a clear picture of two very distinct church models.

 The River model, and the Lake model.

First off, what is church? How do we define it? How we think about church and what makes a successful church will determine how effective we are at pastoring and leading God’s people. Do you have “Lake” vision for the church or “River” vision?

A River and a Lake are made of the same stuff, water, but Rivers and Lakes work very differently. Lakes are limited to either growing or shrinking while Rivers change and move. They have momentum and power and they transport people and goods, taking them further along than where they entered the River. Also, a river can change course, which is an option available only to moving things.

Lake model churches are static and they lack the vital process of discipleship, of developing and maturing people to the point that God sends them out to go make more disciples. They lack direction on how members should progress in faith. The measure of success is a larger congregation, not a fruitful one, and if a pastor looses a mature member of the body that is answering God’s call they see it as a loss, not a victory.

The Lake model forces you to invest a lot of attention, time and finances on material things and programs that the people can attend. Success is measured in attendance and growing a congregation not the healthy growth of the people.

The thing that I appreciate most about my pastors is that they are committed to investing in people. They get excited about seeing people fulfill their purpose, grow in their gifts, function effectively in the body of Christ and answer the call to ministry. They measure success in reproducing people of like faith. They understand the “River” process.

“How many people showed up?” …is Lake thinking.

“What happened to the ones that did show up?” …is River thinking.

Ezekiel 47:9 ~ And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.

If pastors have a heart to invest in, and develop people, knowing they will leave, they will have an urgency to help them through the process. By getting everyone in their church ready for a possible departure they will ensure the health and vitality of those whom God decides to keep in their church. If they remember that their responsibility is to produce fruit, they will rejoice when God decides to ship the fruit.

The challenges that we face today in building a strong body of equipped believers is greater than ever. The commitment to invest in, and disciple people must be foremost in our thinking. How we measure success in our church will help determine how successful the church will be.

Matthew 28:19 ~ Go therefore  and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

~ What Is Character? ~

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. Excellence in character does not come from a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do. 

Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters.

Character is who you are when no one else is looking. Character is what YOU know you are. Character is the sum total of all of your choices to this point in your life.

The quality of your life is tied to the strength of your character.

 Character is developed by thoughts, words, actions and habits and is defined by your consistent behavior. 

 It is hard to talk your way out of what you have behaved yourself into.

Watch your thoughts because they become words.

Watch your words because they become actions.

Watch your actions because they become habits.

Watch your habits because they become your character.

Watch your character because it shapes your destiny.

Truthfulness is the main element of character. ~~~ Jesus Christ is THE TRUTH.  ~~~ The more truthful you are, the more like HIM you shall be.

Remember, there is no studying for a test of character, it is always a pop quiz.

Character poem

You must maintain your strength of character to make right choices in life,

For tests will come when you least expect it to tempt you to get into strife.

When difficulties arise and the choices get tough, decisions must be made on the spot.

You will surely see when it comes to character it is better to have it than not.

Strength of character is not just an item that can be purchased right off the shelf.

It comes from years of doing what is right and constantly dying to self.

Our example for character is the Lord Jesus Christ, our life should always model His

For you cannot study for a test of character, it will show up as a pop quiz.

The Mark of a Proverbs Man

The Mark of a Proverbs Man

Does not wisdom call out? Proverbs 8:1

We need the wisdom of Proverbs in our homes!

The source of many problems in our world today is the lack of men of character and integrity. The lack of Godly men leaves a mark that does not produce life. Sadly, godly living is no longer pursued by men or taught to children in many homes. Because of this, we have a society where right is wrong and wrong is right and many are caught in the middle not knowing which way to go. We need the wisdom of Proverbs in our homes! Wisdom for every member of the family as a unit and as part of the body of Christ in this world. We need more than a few good men. We need an army of Mighty MEN to lead the way for the next generation.We need the mark of a Proverbs Man. The mark of a man that makes a difference. Blessed Men that Fear God and Lead Responsible lives leave The Mark of a Proverbs Man where ever they go. With godly wisdom they train their children in godly living, just as their children will teach the next generation. Father-Friend-Son- Mentor-Brother-Husband– You are called to be A Proverbs Man!

Responsible

Able to answer for one’s conduct and obligations : trustworthy.

Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death

Proverbs 19:14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD

Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace.

Blessed

Highly favored or fortunate.

Proverbs 3:13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.

Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

Proverbs 3:33 The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.

Lead

Providing direction or guidance.

Proverbs 20:7 The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.

Proverbs 23:24 The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.

Proverbs 17:6 Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Fears God

Fearing God means having such a reverence for Him that it has a great impact on the way we live our lives. The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe.

http://huayni.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/dont-fear-the-fear-of-the-lord/

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 14:26 He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.

Proverbs 12:2 A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns a crafty man.

Proverbs 8:35 For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.

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Blessed Men that Fear God and Lead Responsible lives

leave The Mark of a Proverbs Man.

With godly wisdom they train their children in godly

living, just as their children will teach the next generation for the glory of God.

hc

And you will be my witnesses…

We live in the information age, but not all of us share the most important
information we have, the story of our new birth in Christ. This is  my story, friend. Don’t be afraid to share yours.  If you tell your story… they will listen.

Knowing was not enough!!

I used to invite people to church. I used to tell them that God loved them. That God was good and that He could change their lives for the better. I told many people  the most important decision in their life was to receive Jesus as their Savior and I truly believed it. For years I had witnessed God’s  love, power, and salvation. I wanted everybody to experience it.

And one good day… I realized that I needed God too! I needed to answer my own invitation. The truth I shared with others was not my own. I knew God through the experiences of others, but had not made Him my Lord and Savior. I knew Him from a distance, but that changed with one simple prayer. I called on the name of the Lord and He saved me, Alleluia!


I got on my knees on my livingroom floor and cried out to God and asked Him to be my God.

It was a wonderful moment.  My eyes were open to a greater truth, one I could be a part of. I was loved and forgiven.  Later on that week I publicly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior in my Sunday school class. For many people I was just a 12-year-old girl, but God took me seriously. He was now my God and my Savior too. Romans 10:13

Many years have passed, but receiving Him as my personal Savior has turned out to be the most important decision of my life. I have since experienced the transforming power of His love and salvation in my own life and I can tell you this. Knowing about truth and experiencing the truth are two very different things. I am so happy that I chose the second.

 *Do you truly know God as your personal God and Savior? Do not assume that you are  a Christian because of your good moral values, because you are a member of a church, or have been raised by Christian parents.  I was all that and found out that knowing about Him was not enough.  Job 42:5 was my redemdion story. ~I have heard of You only by the hearing of the ear, but now my spiritual eyes see You.~ If you don’t know Jesus as your personal savior – a simple prayer from your heart is all it takes. Romans 10:13

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If you have receiced Jesus as your savior, share your story.  And you will be my witnesses…

~ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  Romans 10:14