Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “X Marks the Spot” #uneXpected

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.

Yesterday, we continued our Christmas series at Kfirst called”uneXpected.” The Christmas story was completely uneXpected. A pregnant virgin. A King born in a cave. Shepherds experiencing angelic announcements. Kings bowing before a peasant child. Nothing about the birth of Jesus was what anyone really eXpected…

…but it was exactly what we needed.

We brought a prayer for the month of December that was born out of Luke 1:38-39, “Lord, help me to be humble enough to CATCH what you say & CLING to Your instruction so CHRIST is seen in all I say & do.” (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)

Yesterday, we read out of Matthew 1:18-25 as we studied Joseph. Of the little we know of him, we catch what may be the most important thing about him: His Motives.

Our motives speak volumes about us. In fact, we believe our motives add flavor to our behavior. They reveal our heart behind our decisions and actions. Our motives:

  1. Determine what we do.
  2. Reveals who we are. 
  3. Forecasts who we will become.

And for Joseph, his motives were born in his “just” heart (Matthew 1:19).  His God-centered life created an awareness to be open to God’s instruction. Me may not have understood what God was doing, but he knew God’s motives. And when you when you know the motives of God you can trust the hand of God.

If we want to change the world, we must start by asking God to help us see and address what we need to within our own hearts. Our motives must reflect the X; they must reflect Christ.

This week, make it a practice to do two things:

  1. Check your motives. 
    • Ask yourself why you do what you do. Is it to reflect Christ? Is it to gain something else?
  2. Practice repentance.
    • I believe the greatest remedy to incorrect motives is a repentant heart (Psalm 51:10).

Our messages are for Monday and we need to put action to what the Lord is speaking. Ask the Lord to lead you to see what others are seeing. Ask Him to see a new view of your motives.

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 Christmas playlist:

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Putting the X Back in Xmas” #uneXpected

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.

Yesterday, we kicked off a Christmas series at Kfirst called”uneXpected.” The Christmas story was completely uneXpected. A pregnant virgin. A King born in a cave. Shepherds experiencing angelic announcements. Kings bowing before a peasant child. Nothing about the birth of Jesus was what anyone really eXpected… …but it was exactly what we needed.

We brought a prayer for the month of December that was born out of Luke 1:38-39, “Lord, help me to be humble enough to CATCH what you say & CLING to Your instruction so CHRIST is seen in all I say & do.” (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)

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This series we’re determined to bring the emphasis of Christ back into Christmas. For hundreds of years, the letter X has stood for Christ. So when the church began to use the term, “Xmas,” it was to emphasis Jesus instead of, what so many people think, erase Christ from the holidays. So our way to keep Christ at the center of Christmas, we are deciding to respond the way Mary did,

“I am a servant of the Lord…” Luke 1:38

As humbly walk before Christ, we carry the simple message of Christmas,

The next step of the message: Live out the X

What does that look like?

  • Helping a neighbor who needs a hand.
  • Locating a family in need to provide assistance.
  • Looking to encourage someone hurting.
  • Praying for someone who has lost hope.
  • Sending a note to someone who is discouraged.
  • _____(fill in the blank)________

Where God has placed you is where God is calling you. And as you’ll take the time to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying, and you cling to what He says, then you’ll show the “X” to the world around you.

Our messages are for Monday and we need to put action to what the Lord is speaking. Ask the Lord to lead you to show His character 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 Christmas playlist:

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Confessions of a Missionary” with Marcus Smith

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.

Yesterday, we had a guest with us, Marcus Smith, missionary to Thailand. Kfirst has been supporting him, Andrea, and their beautiful family for the past 4 years. They have been instrumental in impacting the community that God has placed them in. And it all began when the Holy Spirit challenged their comfort zone.

And yesterday, Marcus brought to us what he termed as his “confessions” that every one of us can relate to.

  1. “I have nothing to give.”
    • When we abide in Jesus, it’s THEN that we have something to offer. (John 15:4)
  2. “There’s a lot of junk in my heart.”
    • I need to take inventory of what’s deep inside of me. (Hebrews 4:13)
  3. “I don’t know anything.”
    • I should walk humbly before God and not get prideful in myself. (1 Corinthians 3:18)

Our messages are for Monday and we need to put action to what the Lord is speaking. This week, be willing to ask God to take you out of your comfort zone. God will not just give you opportunity, He will equip you to do it.

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:

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:

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “The Influence of #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 started a new series at Kfirst last week. “The Two” is 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 the depth of the influence we hold.” (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)

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Our Western Michigan Chi-Alpha Missionary, Scott Shank, brought the message on Sunday. His message emphasized the fact that we are determined to be a voice of faith in a world that feeds off fear. Like “The Two” (Caleb and Joshua), our response to what we face influences those around us.

On Sunday, Scott taught us:

  1. What captures your attention may blind you to the obvious.
  2. What captures your attention will influence what your worship.
  3. What you worship will shape your character and influence your behavior.
  4. Your character and behavior will spread to influence those around you 

This week, see your life as a tremendous source of influence to the people in your life. Ask the Lord to lead you to impact your world 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:

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Growing an Environment of Faith” #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 kicked off a new series at Kfirst. “The Two” is 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: “Faith will develop or deteriorate by the words that you speak.” (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)

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We are determined to be a voice of faith in a world that feeds off fear. But what comes out of our mouths is a result of what’s happening in our hearts. Like “The Two” (Caleb and Joshua), we need a response that will create an environment that will grow faith. Our two challenges:

  1. Silence the Negativity (Numbers 13:30). Use the right filter. See through the eyes of Jesus and respond with His love. Then change your inputs. Change the things that are feeding into you that are contrary to the nature of God.
  2. Speak faith & command your space. (Numbers 13:30; 14:7-9). God has placed you into your sphere of influence, not as a thermometer (telling the temp) but as a thermostat (setting the climate). Speak faith and set the environment for other’s faith to grow.

Our prayer this month:

Your two next steps this week: 

  1. Dedicate your words (spoken/typed) to reflect #TheTwo.
  2. Find TWO people this week to send a message to build their faith.

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 kick off a new series!

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

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “The Rx for Offense” #PivotPoint

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 continued our current series at Kfirst. “Pivot Point” has been our study of the life of Jacob. Even though he didn’t have the “model life”, God always had something beautiful in store for him. Our goal yesterday was to help people understand: “We can’t live in the Land of Promise without leaving our place of offense.” (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)

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So many of us want the promises of God but don’t want to be obedient to what the promises require us to do. And one of those areas of obedience is releasing offenses. Jacob left the land of promise because of the issues between him and Esau. And he knew when God called him to go home in Genesis 31:13, he would have to face his brother and a 50-year-old offense.

In the narrative of Genesis 32, Jacob gives us three examples of what happens when we don’t deal with offense correctly:

  1. Dwelt on offenses lead to misguided reactions. (v. 3-4)
    • Instead of responding with a personal interaction, Jacob pushes his servants to take care of things for him.
  2. Picked up offenses will exaggerated issues. (v. 6)
    • Jacob finds out Esau is on his way. He panics and begins to divide his family to, in his mind, preserve some of them from his brothers wrath he assumes is still there.
  3. Unattended offenses create self-serving responses. (v. 9, 16)
    • He puts it on God to deal with.
    • He sends his servants again with a load of gifts to buy Esau’s favor.

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In view of Jacob’s decisions, our heart is to dismantle what the enemy wants to use to divide the body of Christ. We want to step into a biblical prescription for offense.

  1. Be intentional about offense. Matthew 18:15-20
    • Engage with God.
    • Re-engage the person who offended you.
  2. Be intentional about humility. 1 Peter 5:5
    • Humility opens up the door for opportunity for others to listen and for us to grow.
  3. Be intentional about information. Ephesians 4:15
    • We should never express ourselves at the expense of the character of Jesus.
  4. Be intentional about forgiveness. Proverbs 19:11
    • I can’t choose the offense I’m offered, but I can choose what I hold on to.

Ask the Holy Spirit to check your heart. Ask him to show you if any offense is being held in your hands. Rest in the grace that Christ offers and be a distributor of that grace.

This week, if you need a scripture reading plan, check out this one.

Love you all.  See you on Sunday!

BTW, here’s a song this week for your devotions playlist that we learned on Sunday: