The Born Supremacy

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Recently, I had the privilege of preaching in the absence of our pastor. My thoughts were to preach what I know…Jesus. As a result, below is the video of that sermon. I hope you’ll take 30 minutes to just stop everything you’re doing and hear of the only Supreme One. It might just change your life direction. After you’ve watched, please leave a reply below with your comments or questions. I would love to hear from you.

If you receive a blessing from this, please consider sharing this post on your social media pages or through emails to your friends. Be blessed!

Words

words“I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”–Donald Trump

“If you like the plan you have, you can keep it.  If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too.  The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold.”–Barack Obama

“We came out of the White House not only dead-broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. It was not easy.”–Hillary Clinton

Words. We hear alot this season of life in our country. An election year always brings an onslaught of promises made that will never be kept. Empty words. Words with no meaning.

There is the alternative. The One who merely speaks and things happen. The One who spoke, and the world was created. Think about that. Without even lifting a finger, God created the heavens and the earth. Without lifting a finger, the land and sea were defined. Without lifting a finger; the sun, moon, and stars came into being. Without lifting a finger, Man was created.

Words. That is all God needed to make all that He made. No struggle. No construction. No starting with one thing to evolve into another. Just words. He said it–it happened.

But that’s not all. When He told Moses to drop his rod it became a serpent. When he told him to raise his hands, the waters parted.

Further in the Word, when Jesus said to the sea, “Be still,” it was. When Jesus said to Lazrus, “Come forth.” He rose from death to life.

This is far from an exhaustive list of God’s speaking and things happen, but it gives a clear and accurate description of the power of God’s voice.

God still speaks. God gave His Holy Spirit to speak to us. Henry Blackaby, in Experiencing God states, “God speaks by the Holy spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.”

So, the choice is yours. You can listen to the empty, feckless words of the world around and hope it changes, OR you can listen to the voice of God, which causes everything to change.

It’s what I do. I turn every day to hear God speak through His Word. I pray and listen for Him. I watch the circumstances to see what God is doing. And I always hear him. You can too.

At Ease in Zion

At Ease in Zion

Mediocrity, complacency, laziness. They have commonality. These are conditions of the heart that reveal the callousness of a man’s heart. His lack of care for his world are exemplified through his attitudes, and his attitudes are reflected through his actions.

Consider the Israelites. Amos addressed the impending disaster for Israel. After imploring God’s people to return to Him, Amos told them what God thought. Concerning their complacent worship, the Lord Himself said,

“I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your failings.

Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like and ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:21-24

Can you imagine God saying that to you of your worship? Can you imagine God saying that to you of your work? Can you imagine God saying that to you of your family life? What an indictment! And what brought that about? It’s explained in just a few short words.

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion and to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria…” Amos 6:1

Complacency does that. A student pastor once asked his youth group on a scale of 1 to 10 in your relationship with God, “How many of you are a 10–on fire for God?” A couple of students raised their hands. “How many are a 1–you couldn’t care less about God? A few raised their hands to this inquiry. How many of you are more in the middle with your feelings toward God? Almost the entire group raised their hands.

The youth leader read, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

Yes, those are the words of our God in Revelation 3.

Complacency, mediocrity–they don’t occur naturally in our lives. No, instead we are quietly lulled into that state by turning our thoughts from God to ourselves. As Dave Ramsey says, “mediocrity is not the norm.”

So how do we turn that around? Well, the Lord continues in Revelation 3 with the answer. “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” You see, God is love. He is not sitting on His throne just looking for an opportunity to strike us, but as the perfect Father, He disciplines us back to good relationship with Him. He continues, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to Him and will dine with Him, and he with Me.”

Our loving Father desires fellowship with us. But who wants a relationship with someone who is apathetic about that relationship? God wants ALL of you. If you’ve been treating Him like a foreigner while sitting back lapping up a life of self-centered luxury, turn your attention back to Him.

“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

You CAN Go Home Again

You CAN Go Home Again
A Celebration of All Things Renewed

Thomas Wolfe made the phrase “You can’t go home again” with his bestseller. But unlike the fiction that he penned, the truth is you CAN go home again. After all my children left the house, I accepted and then adjusted to the “empty nest syndrome.” Then, my son asked to move back in. He stayed home for a little more than a year.

I had the pleasure (usually) of living with him and trying to be an influence on him. He moved out this summer as my youngest daughter, Laura, asked to move back home. Upon her arrival, God gave me the opportunity to have a greater influence in her life too. From changing to private school to becoming active in church life, Laura’s life has drastically changed. What a blessing that God would allow me this privilege.

Just last week, my middle daughter Melissa moved back home. These moves are nothing less than blessings for me, and I trust they are for my children. Some had been told by others that I would never let them move back in–that they could never finish school. What lies is the Enemy telling you?

Once again, my home is filled with laughter, friends coming over, and well, piles of laundry. Truth is, as much as I wanted my children to be back at home with me, our Heavenly Father wants that with us so much more.

Scripture shows us how our Father God wants us to come back home to Him. So much so that He willingly gave us His only Son to be killed–crucified on a cross–that our relationship might be restored. The Lord wants to be your Father experientially as He already is positionally. Have you been away from home for far too long? Are you ready to go back home? The prodigal son, in Scripture, was. He was willing to do anything to be back in relationship with his father. In reality, all he had to do was to return. That meant to turn away from where he was and turn his heart and direction to that of his father.

Psalm 84 reminds us of how good it is to be home:

How lovely are Your dwelling places,

O Lord of hosts!

My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;

My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God…

How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!

They are ever praising You.

Remember, You CAN Go Home Again! What’s keeping you from going?

What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story?

Over the past two weeks, Senior Pastor Stephen Byrd and I have done what I’ve never heard of any other pastor/staff doing. We have been meeting with each of our church family members, in 30 minute segments, to hear their stories. You know, where were you born? how did you all meet? how did you come to know Christ? how can we pray for you?

To date, we have met with around 150 people. Daunting task? You bet! But it has been so worth the time and energy. What we thought would be a great time to minister to our church family boomeranged on us. I have been so blessed to hear the stories of God’s faithfulness in each person’s life. Through amazingly difficult struggles and setbacks to victory and joy through Jesus Christ, the stories have been consistent! Jesus Christ is sufficient for our needs.

At times (because we have spent approximately 13 hours per day plus Saturdays doing this) a tiring challenge, this has been a beautiful walk with the Lord. So, how about you? What is your story? So often we cross paths with our friends and family members, but we never stop to talk about all that God has done in, through, and for us. Acts 4:20 says, “for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Isn’t that the way it should be. The family of God should be sharing with each other and with our unsaved friends the greatness of God constantly! Can you imagine how many church fights and how much gossip would dissipate if our churches spent more time with each other rather than against each other?

In God’s Word, Paul told Timothy, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8). Never be ashamed of your testimony! It is exclusive to you, because it is the reflection of what God has done for you! In fact, you are the only one who can tell (testify) to God’s activity in your life.

Although we’re not yet quite halfway through our meetings with the family, I look forward to hearing the other stories from our church family. In fact, I can’t think of any better way for a Pastor and pastoral staff to minister to their church and show love and care than to do this. What an investment! Small group Bible studies, families, discipling groups, should all listen to each other and make the concerted effort to really know each other. For it is in this way that we can know how to pray, and we can encourage and edify the Body of Christ!

From a worship standpoint, I will never again do worship planning without remembering some of these stories and knowing fresh how God may use the songs we sing to minister to His people and to give each of us a fresh expression of praise for God through His attributes displayed.

What’s your story? Why not take a minute right now and write a few sentences in the comments section below and testify to God’s goodness in your life. You will be a blessing to countless others around the world!

Blessings!

When I Survey

The Celebration Choir of First Baptist, Mableton, presented The Journey: Easter Pageant for four years. The first two years were at FBC and the second two years were at the Mable House Amphitheatre. This video, from the 2003 presentation at the Amphitheatre was a moving experience. This crucifixion scene depicts some of what Jesus went through on our behalf.

We edited and produced this music video for the choir to sing with this past Sunday (Palm Sunday). I want to share it with you so that you can reflect on all that Christ has done on your behalf. We will be presenting a complete viewing of The Journey (2003) on Saturday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m. in the Worship Center at FBC Mableton. I would love for you to be there with us as we worship together. Then, Sunday, April 4 will be an incredible day of praise and worship, as we celebrate the resurrection of our King–Jesus.

Have a blessed Easter season