November 27, 2006
Last friday night was movie night. We showed “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” a movie based on the true story of Francis Ouimet. In 1913, Francis won the prestigious US Open Golf Championship, defeating the greatest golfers in the world at the tender age of 20. Very inspiring story of courage, determination, and special effects (special effects were necessary to make the game of golf look interesting.) This Sunday’s message was based on the themes presented in the movie.
After the final shot, Francis was mobbed by the crowd, and lifted high on everyone’s shoulders in celebration. Right next to him was Eddie, his ten year old caddie. All golfers are served by a caddie – the one who carries the bag and walks the course with the golfer. Eddie did not take a single swing the entire game. Outside of staying close to Francis, he did not put any effort into the victory. His victory came by way of association. Because Francis won, Eddie also won. He was his caddie.
Our relationship with Jesus is not too much different. Our victory is really not our own. It comes by way of association. We are victorious because He is victorious. When He gets lifted up, we too get lifted up. When he wins, we win. When He is glorified, we are glorified. This is why Col.3:1-2 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” In the parable of the prodigal in Luke 15, the father told his older boy, “Son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” When Jesus is glorified, we too are glorified with him, because we accepted his invitation to come along for the ride, and everything He has, we have.
November 25, 2006
Doing your job as part of the body of believers means more than signing up for membership. We can do that and still be divided. It means more than faithful attendance like a class in school. It means to be rightly fit and fastened together. We are attached! The book of Acts records how the early church committed. They arrested themselves to each other, and great power was made available.
The NKJV version of 1Cor.12:18 says, “But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.” Think body: The arm and shoulder are properly placed next to each other. They are fully committed 100% to each other. Based on that full commitment, purpose is realized. Connecting anywhere else in the body would hinder purpose. Your place in the body is arranged just as He pleased. Therefore, it is important that we come to realize where our place of commitment and connection is. If we can find where we are committed, we will also find our purpose. This is the law of the body. Fingers are committed to the hand by way of purpose. It is not enough for the fingers to be connected to “the body.” They need to be connected to their appointed place in the body- next to the hand. Purpose is realized through that connection ….(for the complete text sign up for Monday Morning above).
November 13, 2006
Infancy is the opposite of maturity. Maturing in God is so important, because there are parts of our inheritance that God cannot give us until we do so. It says that His body is the fullness of Him, “who fills everything in every way.” Every promise in God is yes and amen (2Cor.1:20), so when we do not see these manifestation of God’s fullness in the church and in the city, it is not because God was joking, or lying about his promises. That promise is actually waiting on our maturity to qualify us for it.
It says the child is no different from a slave, though he owns the whole estate. It is through maturity that the child gets access to everything that is his. His Word gives me a right to my inheritance, but it is my maturity that gives me access to it. It says the child is put “under.” So when we see the things that God has promised to be under our feet, still over our head, it is a maturity problem, not a promise problem. We should not ask God to give us the city, because His answer will be, “mature for it!”
November 7, 2006
Heb 2:8-9, “In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.” It says, “Yet at present, we do not see everything subject to him.” The word is awaiting an appointed time. The problem with many of us, is that we always try to find God’s will in our present. The truth is, God will always speak a word so opposite of your present condition. This is why we always say, ” Africa is blessed!” At present, it does not look so, but our faith is not for the present.
Noah received a Word that a flood was coming. He was building for 120 years for something that did not exist in the natural. Noah had to line up everything in his life with everything in that word, and rebel against everything about his present. In the same way, Gideon was called “mighty man of valor,” but “at present” he was shaking like a leaf in the winepress. This means that in order to line up with the Word of God, Gideon would have to literally press against the grain of everything about his present. If he agreed with his present, that Word would not take root. We must develop a similar attitude. We must realign our thinking, our speaking, our actions with what God has said. You are not your present. You are far greater than that. You are not here! (For the complete text sign up for our free Monday Morning Newsletter above.)