Faith

Without faith it is impossible to please Him… —Hebrews 11:6
Faith doesn’t always make sense in the common physical realm. Faith not only transcends our present realty but also transforms our futures. If you want your faith to be reality ready it must be tested continually. Someone once said: “a faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted”. God tests our faith not for us to fail but for us to demonstrate His power. Peter didn’t fail at walking on water; he succeeded! But his faith wavered and he fell. Peter failed to walk all the way to Jesus by faith on the water. Jesus comments that Peter’s faith had diminished as he continued further into the storm. (Matthew 14:31). God allows storms in our lives so that our faith will be strong enough to make it all the way to the end. (1 John 5:4-5, Revelation 2:26, Revelation 3:21). Don’t let your faith fail!
God wants to perfect your faith in your present reality. This is done through the common trials of life that provide the furnace of faith. It’s in the daily common trials that our faith is made more precious for the future. (Romans 8:28). Although faith transforms our future it also transitions us from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are becoming what God is making us through our faith in Christ alone. May your faith in Christ be strengthened today. Whatever comes your way is meant for that purpose: to strengthen you and glorify Him.

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Reflections On Matthew 27:62-63

62 The next day, which followed the preparation day, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that while this deceiver was still alive He said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Matthew 27:62-63

 

An Imposter?

It seems interesting that the Pharisees and Chief Priests would call Jesus a “deceiver” and “imposter”. Shouldn’t the ones who had the most education and training be able to know the Son of God?  Maybe it just goes to show that education nor religious training is sufficient to ensure we get all of life’s most important questions right?

A Quote?

The Pharisees and Chief Priests seem to recall what Jesus said He would do if He was killed…interestingly enough, Jesus’ own disciples did not seem to remember this. The people in this verse show that they were not quite sure that Jesus wouldn’t raise Himself, or that someone might play a trick and make it look like He rose from the dead. They were not going to take any chances.

If Jesus was who He said and the disciples really believed Him, shouldn’t they be the ones with confidence?

When the difficult times come, do you forget what Jesus said? What He did? Don’t let the words of Christ escape you. Since Jesus isn’t an imposter or deceiver, we can take every word He said and confidently walk into an unknown future.

The Path To Leading Well

Looking through the scriptures this morning, I noticed a few things about spiritual leaders that I think could be helpful on the path to leading well.

Read Matthew 27:41-43

41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

The spiritual leaders of Jesus’ day did a few things that we can observe to help us not make similar mistakes as we lead others.

Mistake 1: Being like everyone else.

The passage starts off: “Likewise”…Isn’t it interesting that the spiritual leaders of Jesus’ day were no different than all the rest of the people around? As a spiritual leader, we should be much different than all of the world around us. This is one of the reasons leadership can be so difficult.

As a spiritual leader, God has called each of us to a different way of living. We shouldn’t be chiming in and sounding like everyone else around us. It is a great opportunity for leaders to have a unique voice, a different tone and march to a different beat, when everyone else around us is looking to crucify someone.

Mistake 2: Denying God.

The spiritual leaders were only willing to believe in Jesus if Jesus did all the things they wanted Him to do. Jesus/God does not operate that way. As a spiritual leader it is important to not deny God the rights to do as He will at any time.

The leaders of Jesus time were throwing all kinds of conditions and stipulations on the people and on God. Are you doing that in any way? Are you limiting God or people? Are you demanding that they do something to prove who they are? Are you trying to prove something yourself?

These religious leaders wanted to prove to Jesus, their people and even to God that they had everything under control and within their power. They were completely wrong.

Mistake 3: Missing the big picture.

How often as a spiritual leader has this happened: looking at the circumstance instead of God? These leaders of Jesus’ day could not for the sake of their lives believe that God would send His son, much less have Him save the world like this…and yet God did.

There may be situations, circumstances, and issues that we face as leaders that simply don’t make sense to us. There may be a myriad of questions that go unresolved for months and maybe even years. As a spiritual leader, faith, hope, and trust are essential to endure to the end. Just because God didn’t intervene and save His son as the leaders thought would happen, didn’t mean God wasn’t pleased with Jesus and doing a much greater work than they could possibly imagine.

As you walk the path to leading well today, here are a couple things to take with you:

Be ok with being the leader and not being like everyone else. God has allowed you to lead for a reason. Set the tone, march to a different beat. Don’t cave into popular demand and certainly don’t mimic the rhetoric around you.

Be aware of how you are trying to manipulate others or God. Let God be God. You be a leader. Leaders don’t have to coerce people…they compel people because of how they live and how they love.

Be focused on the big picture. It’s not about us as leaders; it’s about God’s story and His plan. Don’t miss what God is doing around you because you feel it should be another way. Just be pleasing to God but remember that even that might get you crucified at times.

 

Vision 2 Hear Weekly

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AWAKEN 2016 LOGO FINAL

It’s Monday morning and I am trying to get back into the swing of things. Recovering from the India trip has been a little more difficult this time for some reason….maybe it was the schedule? Or the temperature? But I have a head cold and sinus issues and I’m still trying to get my sleep pattern back to USA times (and then there’s Daylight savings next weekend)! Currently I’m in NC, and I should be here until about the 16th before heading to Florida.

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The NC WAVE Team after the 30-Hour Fast Forward Love Feast.

We finalized our Love Feast 30-hour Fast Forward this year with several from the NC Wave team sharing in the event. We began the fast at noon on Friday and ended at 6pm on Saturday. Everyone fasted on their own this year from their homes and then we gathered together at Golden Corral of share…

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India Update Week 2

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AWAKEN 2016 LOGO FINAL

Hey everyone,

2016-03-01 05.53.55I am on the plane writing this update fresh off the trip to India. It was a great time once again and there were several good things that came out of it. Here’s a little review of the time there and what we are looking at for the future.

LENT

Of course I am practicing Lent this year but it’s not been the typical Lent season for me. I have not been able to engage as I would normally. However once I got to India I realized they were having prayer meetings as part of Lent each morning at 5am-6am. This was not what I wanted to hear after 29 hours of flying and then another 4.5 driving. But the next morning I got up and went to prayer and it was great.  Lent isn’t just about giving up something like sleep but about embracing sacrifice knowing that…

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