In case you missed the last couple of Sundays or just didn’t have the chance to jot down some notes from the messages, here are a couple of things that I think might be worth remembering as we “fight the good fight, run the race and hold onto the faith” in the year to come.
The first is a simple list of questions from a man named Dan Reiland who writes a regular email newsletter for Christian leaders. They are tough questions that hopefully will continue to help us as we evaluate different aspects of our character and grow in our ability to “live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:19).
- Are you demanding by nature?
- Do you need to be in control?
- Do you possess a critical spirit?
- Are you redemptive in your relationships?
- Would others describe you as having a positive attitude?
- Do you love people?
The second list is from yesterday’s message on breaking the power of money and possessions in our lives. Remember, the story of the rich young man in Matthew 19: 16-26 is the only time in all the gospels where the invitation of Jesus to “follow me” was refused! We dare not get so caught up in our stuff that it keeps us from this exciting adventure of a life with Jesus. But we also need to hear Jesus’ words to his disciples and to us, “with man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible!” (Matthew 19: 26)
From Richard Foster’s book “Money, Sex and Power” aka “The Challenge of the Disciplined Life” I shared seven ideas for how we can partner with God to conquer and break the power of money in our lives.
- Hear what the Bible says about money.
- Reflect on your relationship with money.
- Learn to manage your money.
- Gather a support system around you.
- Pray about money matters.
- Look for ways to dethrone money. (“Engage in the most profane act of all – give it away.”)
- Always, always, always choose people over money.
I hope these are helpful for you in reaching the destination God has in mind for you this year and throughout your life! I’m looking forward to all the places that God will take us in the days to come!
Next weekend in Carpinteria on Saturday night and Santa Barbara on Sunday morning we will begin a new series of messages looking at the Apostles’ Creed, creatively titled “The Creed” for now. Let me know if you have any better ideas for a title… Looking forward to examining this earliest of Christian statements of faith and affirming our beliefs together! Peace-