Monday, December 29, 2014

set for a great 2015

In 2014 we have been able to minister to over 14,000 people through sharing clothes and food, helping with homelessness, preparing kids for school and the like.  Over 50 people have accepted Jesus through the process.  I honestly believe that those numbers remind us of who is really in control.  That would be God.  No me.  Not you or any one else in our church.

Those facts also set us up for a great 2015.  How is that?  We want to be able to do more and to impact more lives for the cause of Christ and the growth of God’s kingdom.

My prayer for me personally in the coming year is that I would be a stronger leader in my home and in the church helping my family and our church family to seek God for greater impact in the lives of people we encounter.  That is no easy task because it is my heart’s desire to help people embrace their passion and to pursue their God given dreams with more gusto than ever before.

This past Sunday it was an honor to preach at my home church, Skelly Drive Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and I wanted to share some of the message with you today.

Legacy is something that all of us recognize, yet it is my opinion that we are not to simply let legacy happen or lives to change on their own.  We are to plan for it.  We are to plug our lives in for world or kingdom impact.

for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.

One of my mentors shared that verse with me over 20 years ago.  He poured in to me.  Someone else poured in to him and so forth.  The impact continues as we keep making the kingdom of God the most important thing.  God is building a legacy through our lives and through the work we are blessed to be part of.

In Philippians 3 Paul illustrates this through his changed life and how his passion built legacy.  What is your legacy?  What is He calling you and this church to be part of?  Ask yourselves those questions.  Paul spoke from the middle of his ministry and in the impact he had on the world.  The past had him stopping the influence of Christ.  The present has him building the impact and influence of Christ as he built people and planted churches.  His was a life lived with purpose despite the pain, hardships, struggles and more.

He was able to see through the struggles and see the outcome.  We must see through the activity and struggle around us to the plan that God has placed on our lives.  That plan remains true at 20 years old, 44 years old or 94 years old.  God isn’t finished with you.

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.

Not of this world.  That is what Jesus said.  It is still true.  If we take our current situation and measure the impact God wants to build or have through us, we are going to miss and are missing what God has for us.  See what this legacy must look like.

It is vital that we make sure our focus is not on God and not on us.  To be able to build others we have to make sure that what we give, what we teach and what we share is built on what is bigger and stronger and last longer than us.

Paul shared the importance of pressing on to a goal.  He said he hadn’t achieved it and that he must continue focusing on what is ahead.  By not allowing our past to stop us, recognizing that God forgave our sin and has given us a great future, and setting the coarse ahead, we will be successful.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Focusing on Jesus is not an option.  Set for a great 2015 we will set our minds, our hearts, our words and our actions on Jesus.

Paul was reminded that the faith of others encouraged him big time.  The same is true for me.  When like-minded people gather with a purpose more will be accomplished, and that is a time when our courage and our faith will be made stronger.  We do that for each other by building the legacy God desires for us and others to have.

But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you, for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith;

Chose to leave a legacy and to build the legacy of others in 2015.  Start at home.  Build the legacy within your children and your grandchildren that will take them further than you can take them.  Build the people around you at work or school.  Make a choice to make a difference and to build others!

Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinners wealth passes to the godly.

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happy birthday, Julie

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