When you think about going into a new year and you think about wanting to live a life of wisdom, scripture tells us that if you want to live a life of wisdom, the comparing aspect of what we do with other people has got to go, because as soon as you start comparing yourself to other people, you're going to live a life that lacks wisdom.
If you want to see change in your life, that change is not going to come by necessarily trying harder or by dreaming more or by working yourself to death. That change that we're all looking for has to come in changing the way that we approach making our decisions.
Our level of openness is directly proportionate to the level of newness we can experience. So what are some things that we can do to be open and stay open to changes in our life? The Bible gives 5 very clear, practical steps for making all things new.
At Christmastime, there are a lot of presents given that will not last even a couple of months. But there is a gift that God has given us that will last forever. When Jesus came, Isaiah prophesied that he would be called Everlasting Father. The author of Hebrews declared that, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." He will never change and will always be fighting for you.
Joseph McMurry teaches us that Jesus is so much more than just a name. In fact He is our Mighty God, which can be translated Valliant Warrior. And when he came, this Valliant Warrior represented change. A change in power, a change in worship, and change from Caesar to Christ. This Christmas, the gift of change is available for you as well. All that is required is for you to lay down your "caesar" and accept the Christ.
Christ’s position as our Wonderful Counselor means we can trust Him to listen to our problems and guide us in the right direction. We can be sure He is listening because He told us to pray to Him about our worries. We can be certain He has our best interests at heart because He loves us.
"God, I know You want to use me to show Your love in this world. Give me eyes to see needs of others and a heart that dares to get involved where You are working. God, my life is Yours. Whatever You want, wherever You lead—here I am, Lord, send me."
Dear God, I know You give grace to the humble. So I ask You, God, to do a deep work in my heart and break me. Break me of my pride. Break me of my selfishness. Break me of anything that keeps me from knowing You. As hard as it is to ask, God, do whatever it takes to break me.
Heavenly Father, as hard as this is for me, I’m asking You to search me. Search me, God, and know my heart. God, test my motives. Reveal to me my anxious thoughts. Show me anything in me that offends You. God, I want to see in me what You see in me so I can become more like Jesus. God, I ask You to search me.
A company’s brand represents what that company produces - Starbucks produces coffee, Apple produces computer devices, and Nike produces athletic items. In the same way, the product of your life (your fruit) indicates what brand you are. So, when people see me and my life, what brand do they say I represent? Joseph McMurry wraps us this series by looking at Galatians 5:22-23 and asking, does the product of our life show that God is working in our life?
Have you ever had an amazing experience? Maybe your team made it to the championship, you ate at a place with incredible food, or saw an amazing movie. When you have an amazing experience, you can't stop thinking about it, then you just can't stop talking about it. The same thing is true about faith.
For most of us, the word, "saved" is a very misunderstood word. In fact, in recent history, we have reduced it to something that God never intended it to be. That if I must be saved, all I got to do is pray a prayer, and get out of hell free. But what if there is more to it than that? Paul explains to us in Romans 10:9 that there are two things we must do to be saved. And those two things are pretty simple, but they are not always easy.
“Do not let your heart be troubled. You have put your trust in God, put your trust in Me also.” This is an interesting statement because it implies that we have some measure of control over the state of our heart. That there are things that we can do that can trouble our heart and there must be some things that we can do to lessen the trouble. This message looks at some practical ways to move your heart away from being troubled and towards peace.
When we find ourselves trying to live up to our own self-defined expectations, there will always be a gap. And self-defined expectation gaps are the worst of all the comparison traps because we will never measure up to our own expectations. But there is hope; you can escape the comparison trap by listening to Jesus and what he says about you, who he says you are and where he sees your life going.
Comparison is something we do every single day and most don't even realize it. But there is danger to comparing, it is a danger of the heart; in facts it’s trap. And the highlight reels we see of other people are the bait that comparison uses to trap me. In this message, we begin to see the way out and we learn a better way to look at life.
Jesus was the most spiritually formed, spiritually deep person who ever lived. He was righteousness itself. And at the same time, Jesus was a magnet for people far away from God. In fact, he loved those people. And he didn’t just love them because it was his job to love them; he liked them. He liked being with them. He sought them out, and they sought him out.
It should be no surprise then, that God’s plan for His church is that it be people who have the character of Jesus and, therefore, love the people that Jesus died for. So, how can we do that? In this message, Pastor Clay explores how influence works and how God uses it to transform lives.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” So, the question is do you have people in your life who live here, locally, who've got your back, who will stand with you back to back to help you fight through those biggest troubles in life?
Today's message looks at that's how you're better when you're connected with others and how your church family can be your family, a family that makes you better, a family that's here for you when you're down and can even celebrate with you when things are great.