We often EXCUSE OURSELVES from God’s Greater plans for our lives because WE BELIEVE WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FOR GOD TO WORK WITH.
One of the enemy’s greatest strategies is to get you to focus on what you don’t have, or what you used to have or what someone else has that you wish you had.
What you have is enough to start you towards GREATER in your life! All God needs is what you have.
THINK INSIDE THE BOX
There’s a book called the Houdini Solution. The author points out that everybody has a box and thinking outside that box doesn’t make that box go away…it just makes you frustrated. When you’re done thinking outside the box you realize that all the ideas you came up with are pointless because your still very much inside the box with no way to implement those ideas.
The box is what it is. But, within the box is everything you need to get started towards something Greater. I’m not saying don’t dream…plan… However, I’m saying start right where you are and see what God will do with it.
One of our team went home to be with the Lord last night. Jill had not even been on the team for very long. She was still a fairly new Christian. But she got connected almost immediately and became a part of our team and a part of our Champions Centre family. She was loved and she will be missed. And I thank God that I had the chance to know her and the opportunity to connect her to the team.
I can’t imagine if she hadn’t been on a team, if she had just attended church without really connecting with God’s people. She would have been lost in the crowd and no one would have known she was gone. Because she was connected, we knew her. Because she was connected, she enjoyed her life just a bit more. Because she was connected, our lives intersected for a while and we are better for knowing her.
This week we kicked off our Champion Life Group Fall Challenge with small groups meeting during the week focusing on “Greater” while also focusing on it during weekend services. Pastor Kevin introduced the main character of the Greater book by Steven Furtick, his name is Elisha.
This fall we are studying “GREATER” as the idea that God wants us to live with a sense of expectation, a hope for our future, a faith and confidence about our lives. He wants us TO DREAM BIG, START SMALL and ignite the vision of God for our lives!
WE ARE ALL BEING CALLED TO BE A GREATER VERSION OF WHO WE ARE.
The path to greater = The life changing realization that God is ready to accomplish a unique kind of greatness in your life. Something beyond what we see in ourselves on our best days, something beyond where we are but true to who we are.
But, this “path to greater” is like a path with a ditch on both sides.
Gladiator is a story of a man whose view of the future made him fear no man in the present. Here are a couple life lessons we can take from the life of Maximus:
1. What We Do in Life Echoes in Eternity Maximus was compelled by what was ahead of him. The brief glimpses into the next life was the inspiration for his choices, his decisions, his character and his actions in his life. The bible teaches us that every word and every deed has eternal significance. It warns us of the danger of living just for today. The life that God has called us to is a life with eternal perspective. It’s a life that is not always going to get the approval of people at work, people you go to school with, or even people in your own family. Not everyone understands when you start to live life from an eternal perspective. Many people just live for today with no concept of eternity. Proverbs tells us, “whoever trusts in the Lord will be safe” so that we don’t have to get caught up in the fear of man’s approval.
Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Don’t forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I’m locked up in this jail. Pray that every time I open my mouth I’ll be able to make Christ plain as day to them.
Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.
This past weekend we kicked off At The Movies with “Rocky.” With popcorn and drinks in hand, we watched as Sylvester Stallone became a Philadelphia boxer named Rocky Balboa. Throughout this cinematic experience Pastor Kevin introduced different messages within the movie that we could take away with us:
1. Small Beginnings Zechariah 4:10 (NLT) “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Just like Rocky there were men in the bible like David, Moses and Joseph who were willing to start where they were and use what was in their hand. A lot of people are waiting for something BIG to come their way! They say, “Its just not what I was hoping for…” or “Its not the opportunity I wanted…” Meanwhile they’re failing to apply themselves right where they are and sometimes they end up missing the steps to take in order to get to something big. David, Moses and Joseph in the Bible were all willing to apply themselves — whether that meant they needed to get educated or become students and learners of life — they were willing to do the work. That’s what God is wanting from us, to start somewhere. When we step out in faith and take those first action steps God then has something to work with! He can take you further than you ever thought you could get go as long as you are willing to work hard with what you have right where you are. From small beginnings come great things.
2. Taking advantage of Opportunity and don’t hesitate. Opportunity comes dressed in work clothes! There’s no such thing as a great opportunity without having some challenges attached to it.
Here are some of the thoughts Pastor Kevin shared this past weekend at Champions Centre services.
God’s love for us is enormous, extravagant, endless… God doesn’t love us sometimes… He loves us all the time. God doesn’t love us conditionally… He loves us unconditionally.
Psalm 36:5,6 God’s love is meteoric, (very fast and brilliant) his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.
Ephesians 3:18 …I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…
Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose world’s have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me.” — George W. Bush, September 11, 2001
The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead, we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom. — Rudolph W. Giuliani, December 31, 2001
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,by a new and living wayopened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,for he who promised is faithful.And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”—Philippians 1:6 message version - heart for the house series
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. - Psalm 84:10
DoorKeeper in God’s House:
A doorkeeper was an honored and privileged role, held only by the Levites/Priests. They had a variety of roles, but definitely were the first at the door to welcome or keep out and helped with different areas of service. Doorkeepers’s reward for their work was to be closest to the presence of God. The New Testament (and where we are today) is different and we don’t have technical doorkeepers because that’s Jesus and now all are welcome! But when David says I’d rather be a doorkeeper, He’s basically saying “Any role of serving that brings me close to God is better than a high place of ease.”
Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua declares to the Israelites that they will need to choose who they will serve. He boldly states that he, and his household, will serve the Lord…
This past weekend we continued our Summer series, Heart For The House. Pastor Kevin was joined by Nichole Moore who is our Champions Centre College Director of Academics. They focused on “INTEGRATING OUR HOUSE WITH GOD’S HOUSE.” You can watch here. We can get excited about this as believers, but then we struggle trying to sort out what that looks like for our household to serve the Lord.
Many people would call it an intervention. Looking back I can see a series of events that came together to completely alter the direction I was going.
When I first realized I wanted to be in ministry I thought it was all centered around being on a stage speaking with thousands of people listening to every word I had to say. I was captivated by this thought. I loved it and wanted so badly to be a part of that idea of ministry. I was consumed with the thought of building my platform, my stage, and my life. Luckily God intervened. My mentors and leaders began shaping my focus they challenged me to build God’s Kingdom, not Mine.
After an incredible week at TC12, Pastor Kevin continued the Heart for the House Series we have been in throughout the summer. He had one of the teaching team at Champions Centre, Pastor Samuel Deuth, join him to teach on how a heart for the house is about passion or zeal. You can watch the message here.
Here are some of the notes from the weekend:
Zeal for your house consumes me… — Psalm 69:9
His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” — John 2:17
Zeal Definition: Great energy & enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or object.
Consume Definition: Completely taken over / totally and completely given to something.
Zeal for the house is a natural response for God has done in my life through His house. It’s time to allow the passionate pursuit of God’s cause to overtake us.
2 Kings 6:15-23: When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked. Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria. After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.
1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) loveturns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fearbrings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].
Fear of the Lord is not born out of intimidation, but of intimacy. You can tell what the enemy is terrified OF, by observing the means that he uses to terrify YOU.
Perfect love drives out fear. The love of God is like a bouncer at the door. When stronger-than-you is standing at the door, you either have to kick fear out… or fear will keep you out.
Fear’s greatest hit – WHAT IF. It will sing your dreams to sleep if you let it. Fear is the ultimate misappropriation of your imagination. Fear is misplaced faith. I’m putting more faith in my doubt than what God says. When I place greater faith in my WHAT IF than what God says, fear takes control.
The path to your greatest potential is often straight through your greatest fear. Our biggest need isn’t more protection, it’s greater perspective.
When Elisha prayed, God didn’t send more help than what was already there – his eyes were just opened to what was around him. We are fully understanding in a greater way stuff that He has already done. He is ALWAYS doing a greater thing – when am I going to open up my eyes to see it? My help is not on the way, my help is here. It’s always been here.
Flip the lens – look through the other end of the binoculars for a Godly vantage point. Fears will get really small. Worship flips the lens. People that do great things for God are not people that fear LESS… they are people that are faith FULL.
Fear will not evaporate; it must be evicted.
I may feel it, I may see it – but fear will never control me again. I will never bow to it. The love of God expels fear from my life.