Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Unleash Encouragement” #TheTwo

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and long workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together. 

We are in series at Kfirst called”The Two.” It’s our study of Numbers 13-14. In the face of a culture that shifted from moving toward a land of Promise to a an atmosphere of negativity and hopelessness, two men stood strong in what the Lord had called the nation into. Caleb and Joshua would stick with the promises of God and not the opinion of man.  Our goal yesterday was to help people understand, “Encouragement moves the boundaries of human limitations to faith-filled potential.” (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)

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There are so many people who live in boundaries of what negativity has kept them in. For Israel, the mentality they lived with in Egypt, kept them from seeing what God had in store for them. What they experienced internally, fed discouragement that we all are susceptible to.

  • Anxiety due to a loss of security (13:28).
  • Frustration due to a lack of ability (13:33).
  • Hopelessness due to a loss of vision (14:2-3).
  • Disappointment due to a loss of confidence (14:4).

So our challenge this is to have that “different spirit” that Caleb had. Do do that we need to do three things.

  1. Get rid of negative space.
    • Deal with your heart. Find the places of negativity and evict them.
  2. Change your negative face.
    • Feelings follow actions. Position yourself as an encourager and watch the feels follow purposeful actions.
  3. Step into a dark place.
    • The only way a light works is to be placed where it’s needed. Find someone dealing with discouragement and unleash encouragement.

This week, see yourself as a catalyst of encouragement by bringing hope into someone’s life. Our messages are for Monday and we need to put action to what the Lord is speaking. Ask the Lord to lead you to encourage in a simple, tangible way.

Also, if you need a scripture reading plan to go along with our message, check out this one.

Love you all.  See you this Sunday as we continue our series!

BTW, here’s a song this week for your devotions playlist:

What my parents didn’t teach me about marriage – Part 3

Two weeks ago, we started this new blog series that focused upon the things my parents didn’t teach me based upon some of the issues we see today.  Again, please don’t take any of the following blogs as a guilt trip to those who have struggled or have made mistakes.  I do not elevate anyone, including my parents, above Christ. But I do obey scripture to “give honor to whom honor is due.”

To catch up, read Part 1  and Part 2 of the series here.

Part 3…what didn’t my parents teach me?  They didn’t teach me to withhold encouragement.  

I stand by a statement I said to our congregation at Kfirst on March 23rd, 2013:

“If you are NOT an encourager, you will NEVER become the spouse/parent God wants you to be.”

That message was a crossroads for me as a believer and pastor.  I remember the season of ministry I was in. It was astounding the amount of people (including pastors) that were calling me just discouraged.  They were broken and bruised.  These people were either beat up by discouragement or starved by the lack of encouragement.

What does that have to do with what I learned from my parents and or marriage? Well, first of all, they were married.  Secondly, they are pastors.  I have seen them discouraged in life and ministry.  Yet of all of the things they didn’t teach me, they didn’t teach me to allow their circumstances to make them serve encouragement sparingly.

I don’t think of a single time in my life where I didn’t see them encourage each other, their children, or the congregation they served.  I can’t even recall moments in my life as a child/teen/adult where they were not the first to step up as an encourager in my life.  Believe me, they’ve had every excuse to not be encouraging. I’ve seen people treat them terribly.  As a pastor’s kid, I’ve watched discouraging moments happen to them.  People have taken advantage of their kindness.  Others have turned their back on them.  Circumstances have come and gone that would’ve depleted anyone of joy…yet, no excuses were given and words of edification were always in great supply.

Now, I recognize that many people (possibly you the reader) never had that growing up and/or have it now as an adult.  As stated in my first blog of this series, they’re not perfect.  But their example has shown me this:

No matter if you had someone to encourage you in your past or not…
No matter what you are dealing with right now…
No matter if there’s no one in your corner right now…

…you can and should be an encourager.

Proverbs 11:25 “he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

The cycle of discouragement must stop here and NOW. You may have an excuse to not encourage.  We all do.  I know my parents did and probably still do.  Life is hard.  Sometimes life just plain sucks. But there’s something powerful about the issue of encouragement: when we launch out to refresh others, we get refreshed.    I don’t believe the refreshing comes from others.  I believe it comes from the Lord.  If you are depending upon your spouse (or anyone for that matter) to be the one to “fresh” you, it is clear that your life is centered upon deriving meaning, purpose, and joy from limited finite sources.  In Christ we find life.  And it’s from Him we get refreshed.

Stop waiting for others to refresh and replenish you.  Don’t wait for your spouse to be the one to take the first step.  Christ didn’t wait till we were ready to receive him to give hope to our discouraging circumstances.  He gave.

And because he gave…we too can give.

Keep encouraging.  Keep refreshing and let Christ help you become the spouse you need to be.

Thanks for letting me ramble…