Archive for the ‘February 2010’ Category

Story of the day: Finding your fit

I have been reading a book titled, Doing Church as a Team, written by Wayne Cordeiro, and I found an illustration about finding your fit within the church and the your importance as a piece of the puzzle. He writes:

Each of us is like a piece in a giant jigsaw puzzle; every piece has its place in God’s plan. No piece is optional. How frustrating it would be to put together a 3,000-piece puzzle, only to find one piece missing at the end!

That’s how God sees us, as a wonderful puzzle made up entirely of incredibly important pieces. Everyone is necessary to complete the divine puzzle. When all the pieces fit together, the world can see a beautiful, completed portrait of the heart of Jesus, beating for people everywhere.

But how do we find our place in God’s plan? Will it come easily? Where do we start? As with most puzzles, no piece alls smoothly into place on the first attempt. It usually takes several tries in order to find the right fit. You turn the piece this way that, set it aside and try a few others, and then you try it again. If a piece doesn’t fit on the first go-round, you don’t toss the rebellious part in the trash! No, you keep going because you know every piece is a perfect fit–somewhere.

But I am just one piece, you might rationalize. They can do without me. Why, there are 2, 999 other pieces! I’m just one, insignificant pice. They’ll never miss me.

Don’t you dare think that way! That’s exactly how the enemy of our souls wants you to think, but don’t you do it–even for a minute. You are vital to the success of God’s plan and mission.

Quote of the day: Wayne Cordeiro

“Remember, everyone is a 10–somewhere.”

Bible verse of the day: Philippians 2:13 (NIV)

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for creating me to be a part of the puzzle. As I find out where in the puzzle I am to be placed, may I not become discouraged about where I need to go or do, because You will guide me and place me where I need to be. Thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen


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The Church is not a Building

Posted: February 24, 2010 in February 2010

Story of the day: The Church is not a Building

Jeff and I were discussing late last night the mission of the church. As we were delving deeper into the topic of the church, we began to dissect what the church really is and what it represents. Well, I first want to tell you what it’s not. The church is not a building, although sometimes the building itself is where we meet to fellowship and learn about Jesus Christ. If you think about it some more, you don’t even need a building to meet, you can do it outside and it will still be the church, mainly because you and I are the church. We are a group of believers who have been saved by grace, that want to serve God. So, wherever you and I go, then that’s where the church is.

So if you and I are the church, then why is there so much emphasis placed on the building itself. We have gotten so carried away with how the building should look or what goes on or doesn’t go on inside this building, that we sometimes forget the true meaning of why we are there in the first place. Throughout my 21 years of knowing Jesus, I have seen many people come and go from the “church building” itself, mainly because they either have become intimidated by what goes on in the building, have been hurt, or aren’t getting a need met. Whatever their reason for leaving, they have gone somewhere else and sometimes in their leaving, don’t go back to “the church” at all, and that saddens me.

Sometimes people think that going to “a church” will automatically get them saved. Stepping foot into a church building doesn’t automatically make a per saved, no more than going into my garage makes me a car. My being saved has nothing to do with a building at all, but it has everything to do with asking Jesus to come into my life and changing me from the inside out. It is a personal relationship that God wants to have with all people, and God will use anyone and anywhere to reach them, so that they too can make a choice to become saved. My main purpose in this life is to worship God and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ by talking to others about Him, living it out in my life, and serving others through love. Anything other than that is “extra.”

My friends and family, the church isn’t where you go, but rather who you are and what you do in Christ. If you are saved, then you are the church. It constantly moves where you move. Now, obviously, we gather together as whole body to meet and learn more about Jesus, and I believe that this is important in your walk with God. So wherever you serve, whether it be in a building or not, just remember that if you are saved, then you are the church and you represent Jesus Christ.

If you have read this today and don’t if you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then I want to encourage you to head over to our Salvation Page, where you too can find out how to ask Jesus into your life, entering into a personal relationship with Him and to become part of the church.

Quote of the day: Author Unknown

“Your church is like a bank: the more you put into it, the greater the interest.”

Bible verse of the day: Acts 4:32

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You that as a body of believers, we can come together to worship You, serve and love others in Your name, and grow in our walk with You. Whether we meet in a building or outside, when we come together, may we represent You in a way that brings You honor and glory, so that when others who are not saved come to the church, will see You in that place, and will want to come and have a relationship with You. I love You Father and I am thankful for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Story of the day: The Great Divide

There once was an ant who felt imposed upon, overburdened, and overworked. You see, he was instructed to carry a piece of straw across an expanse of concrete. The straw was so long and heavy that he staggered beneath its weight and felt he would not survive. Finally, as the stress of his burden began to overwhelm him and he began to wonder if life itself was worth it, the ant was brought to a halt by a large crack in his path. There was no way of getting across that deep divide, and it was evident that to go around it would be his final undoing. He stood there discouraged. Then suddenly a thought struck him. Carefully laying the straw across the crack in the concrete, he walked over it and safely reached the other side. His heavy load had become a helpful bridge. The burden was also a blessing. [Author Unknown]

Quote of the day: Hawkes

“Tough times teach trust.”

Bible verse of the day: 2 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV)

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

When the stresses of my life seem to overburden me, may I be reminded that You won’t give me more than I can handle. Just like the ant that felt the task before him was too much to bear, in the end became his blessing. Teach me today how to use my struggles that I face to become my strengths. I love You Father and I am thankful for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen


Funny Friday Quote: Holes (Alan Prophet)

Once I was sick, and I had to go to an ear, nose, and throat man to get well. There are ear doctors, nose doctors, throat doctors, proctologists–any place you’ve got a hole, there’s a guy who specializes in your hole. They make an entire career out of that hole. And if the ear doctor, nose doctor, throat doctor or proctologist can’t help you, he sends you to a surgeon. Why? So he can make a new hole!

Bible verse of the day: Psalm 116:7 (NIV)

“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come into Your presence today with singing in my heart and praise on my soul. May my song be a sweet sound to Your ears this day and may my life reflect the beauty within. Thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Story of the day: What’s your sense of direction?

There’s a story about a man who lived in northern Michigan and decided to take a walk in a densely forested area. When darkness began to settle in, he decided it was time to head for home. He was familiar with hiking in the woods and felt he had a keen sense of direction, so he didn’t bother to look at his compass.

After walking for a long time, though, he decided he’d better check it. He was surprised to see that the compass indicated he was going west–not east as he had thought. But he was so sure of his own sense of direction that he concluded there must be something wrong with the compass. He was about to throw it away in disgust when this thought came to him: My compass has never lied to me yet, maybe I should believe it. He chose to follow its direction and soon found his way out of the woods and back home. [RWD]

So often we too can find ourselves lost in an area that we thought we knew pretty well. Maybe we think we can handle certain situations, or be a part of something that isn’t good for us.  And just like this gentleman, we think we can find our own way out of situation not needing the help of our compass, but instead we find ourselves completely lost and not knowing where to go. When you feel that you have lost your way, don’t discount God’s Word, because it will always point you in the right direction.

Quote of the day: Carter

“The Bible always points the believer in the right direction.”

Bible verse of the day: 1 Kings 8:58 (NKJV)

“that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You lead me by Your Word, which is my compass in all things that I do. Father, when I find myself in unknown territory, may I presume not to know it all and that I can fix any situation. I pray to rely on You for every decision that I make and that it brings You honor and glory! I love you and thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen


Story of the day: Break up with your bad habits

Habits. Now here is a word that can either be the greatest thing we ever do in our spiritual walk with God, or can leave you wishing you had dumped them years ago. I was watching Joyce Meyer the other day, and she got my wheels to spinning about bad habits and how we must break up with them.

Have you ever had a past relationship where you knew you had broken up with the person because it was the best thing for you, but it was the most difficult thing to do? The same is true with our bad habits. These bad habits have probably been lingering in our life for some time.  Let’s face it, keeping them around is easier than having the “break up” talk with them because no one really wants to go through that uncomfortable time in their life. After the breakup, it may seem easier to want to go back to them because they were able to fill a void in our life that we think we needed to begin with.

So how do we break up with something so bad that we have defined in our life as good? There is never an easy way to break up with anyone, let alone anything.

Have you ever noticed a vine growing and spiraling around a chain link fence? The fresh growth, the young green vine, is easy to remove with a simple twist of your wrist. But the old, brown, woody part of the vine is very difficult to remove. It takes a lot of time and effort to break it off, and sometimes it won’t come off unless we are willing to also remove part of the fence itself.

Bad habits are like a vine on a chain-link fence. The sooner we get after them (break up with them), the easier they are to remove (let go). But the old ones, the ones we’ve let remain in our life for years, are hard to get rid of (say goodbye to). And sometimes they can’t be removed unless we also remove other parts of our life.

Quote of the day: Lloyd Cory

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”

Bible verse of the day: 1 Corinthians 11:28 (NKJV)

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today I examine my life and I pray that if there are any bad habits in my life that they be brought to the light. Father, it all starts with a change of heart and mind and today I choose to I break up with any bad habits in my life that are keeping me from living a fully devoted life to You. I love You Father and I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Story of the day: Shut the Door

I found a very interesting story about a man who years ago, was visiting the United States and decided he needed to make a telephone call. He entered a phone booth but found it to be very different from those in his own country. It was beginning to get dark, so he had difficulty finding the number in the directory. He saw a light in the ceiling but didn’t know how to turn it on.

As the man tried again to find the number, a passerby noticed his plight and said, “Sir, if you want to turn the light on, you have to shut the door.” To the visitor’s amazement, when he closed the door, the booth was filled with light. He soon located the number and completed the call.

In a similar way, when we draw aside to a quiet place to pray, we must “shut the door” to block out our busy world. As we open our hearts to the Father, we receive the light of His Wisdom. Our Lord often went to be alone with His Heavenly Father for strength and guidance. Sometimes it was after a busy day of preaching and healing. At other times, it was before making a major decision.

We can have the confidence that “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” But we must remember that  to “turn the light on,” we must first “shut the door” by getting alone with God. [RWD, “Shut the Door.” Our Daily Bread, June 2, 2002]

Quote of the day: Anonymous

“One secret of effective prayer is prayer in secret.”

Bible verse of the day: Matthew 6:6 (NIV)

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done is secret, will reward you.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today I “shut the door” to the noise that world holds around me. I offer up to You my sincere prayers as I kneel at Your feet in complete humbleness. I thank You Father for hearing my prayers and for answering them according to Your Will. I love You and thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen