Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “The Foundation of Formation” #IAmChurch

I love our church. In fact, I think that you love our church too – otherwise you wouldn’t be here.

But what is it exactly that we love about our church community? Why do we gather every Sunday here? Why do we volunteer here? Why don’t we see the people, not the building, as the church? We believe when the Church is working right, there is nothing like it. The Church is not an organization. It’s an organism designed to live, move, and have being. January is all about celebrating what Christ established. In Matthew 16, Jesus gave us this promise that He would build His Church, and that nothing could prevail against it. So, we don’t just attend a church and we don’t just tolerate the Church — we celebrate it, because we are part of that Church that Jesus is building! This month, we celebrate everything that God has done, while looking forward to the future. We have a rich history here at Kfirst, but we believe that the best is yet to come.

Check out the service yesterday from the website or from the Facebook livestream. 

Other thoughts from the Youversion notes from Sunday:

  • God, search our hearts and remove anything that doesn’t align with Your heart.
  • Myths of Spiritual Growth:
    • 1 – Spiritual growth is about finding the right formula.
    • 2 – Spiritual growth is optional.
    • 3 – The goal is to attract more of God’s love and the attention of people.
    • 4 – The test of spiritual formation is how much I know.
  • Spiritual formation is a process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.” M. Robert Mulholland
  • There’s nothing I can do to make God love me more and there’s nothing I can do to make him love me less.“ Philip Yancey
  • You and I have a choice of becoming more like Jesus or less like Jesus every day.
  • Partnership with God is doing what I can do while God does what only he can do.
  • Repentance: Aligning your life in the direction of Jesus.
  • Are my thoughts leading me, toward life (toward the best version of me) or in the other direction?
  • Why Repentance?
    • 1 – It causes me to take responsibility for my sin.
    • 2 – It is an act of humility that reconnects my heart to His.
    • 3 – It shows I’m relying on God’s strength to help me change.
    • 4 – It allows me to be continually healed.
    • 5 – Repentance sustains growth in my relationship with God.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

BTW: Here’s the new song we used from the last two weeks…

The Cheap Seats: Controlling Our Opinions

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24

The “cheap seats” is a simple term to describe a location in a stadium, in particular, older stadiums. In this day and age, most areas are built with nothing cheap and with the attender in mind. But back in the day, the “cheap seats” were economical for a reason. They were far from the action, many times your view was inhibited by a pillar or by distance, yet you got to have full participation in the moment without the cost others paid.

Today I write from a place of brokenness; a heart of humility. Psalm 139:23-24 is what I pray almost daily. Before I start my day, write a message, type of blog, meet with an individual, post on social media, or…whatever, I whisper those words of the Psalmist.

Search me, O God…show me any grievous way within me…”

Why do I do that? Because without that heart, I end up buying tickets in the “cheap seats.”

What are the “cheap seats” I speak of? They are the places in life that many of us like to live life. They are places where we like to hurl our opinions over someone (or a situation) even though (1) we are far from the action, (2) have limited insight to the situation, and (3) get to have full participation with little to no personal cost.

The cheap seats are great for keeping your distance so you’re not “associated with a person” while making a seemingly righteous stance. This feeble and destructive response has image of Godliness but has nothing to do with Jesus. Why? It’s all about exalting self. Without bringing my heart into check, I make myself look better by publicly (or in my circle of friends) shaming or taking a stab at someone else.

Christians friends, in the words of James, “…this should not be” (James 3:10). We have to be better; we must do better.

Do you want to stand for righteousness? Me too.
Do you want to see holiness in people lives? Me too.
Do you want to see those of influence have a greater impact in the opportunities they’re given? Me too.

Can you do better with your gossip? Me too.
Can you use better self-control with your social media? Me too.
Can you be a better listener? Me too.
Can you do better at treating people with kindness? Me too

Can we be better at halting our immediate response to any situation by starting with a moment of personal repentance (Psalm 139)?

Me too.

Maybe it’s time we stop being season ticket owners in the cheap seats. We all like to sit in them. You can find the “cheap seats” in the church halls, at coffee shops, or on social media. They’re easy to find.

These past couple weeks, seeing the amount of people buying their “cheap seat” tickets to Lauren Daigle’s interview has been astounding. Lauren responded to a question in a way many Christ-followers are not happy with. Personally, I wish she gave a better answer. But then again, that’s my “cheap seat” response. Armed with my 20/20 hindsight and my “cheap seat” location, it’s painless to dissect her and others of influence and affluence. It’s easy to say we’d do better (at least we’d like to think we would) if we had the opportunity.

But I’ve wondered over this past week? What has been more damaging to the body of Christ? A singer’s answer or our responses? A moment missed (in many people’s opinions) or an example we’ve made to the world of how we handle people in our ranks that we don’t agree with?

Do people do the same thing to me as a preacher? Probably. Honestly, I do it to myself. Most Sundays, I walk away from the pulpit thinking that about my sermons. “I wish I had said something better. I could have done better with the moment/opportunity I was given.

What should our response have been with Lauren’s statement (and others to come)? I believe it starts here:

Search me, O God…show me any grievous way within me...”

Before we pick up a rock to throw and a judgement to hurt, can we start with ourselves? Can we check out motives first? Can we exercise Matthew 18 of shutting our slander and dealing with offense with others in a healthy personal way? Please note: Loving others and exercising self-control isn’t a stamp of approval for someone’s decisions or lifestyle. It’s a display of the Fruit of the Spirit. Reactionary posts to make yourself look better only mar our lives with pride and self-righteousness.

The more I start with me first, the less rocks I have to throw at others. The more I begin with my own heart, the better I handle someone else’s heart.

We can do better as the Body of Christ. We must do better.  For if Jesus was a friend of sinners, why can’t that be said of us too?

So Lord, before I ask a reader to this blog to respond to this challenge of personal repentance, please start with me.

Search me, O God…show me any grievous way within me…”

 

Love you all. Praying for you today.

 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

Marriage blog: “Too busy: The art of abusing with neglect.”

Sobering moments.  There’s no other words for those times or events that send us back to earth to the real world we are living in.  This is what I read in an article that my youth pastor sent me.

Long story short (you can read it in its entirety here), a CEO was known for working insane hours. His alarm clock would go off at 2:45am and he’d be in the office at 4:15am, before returning home around 7pm.  I assume he was a coffee drinker and/or one of the greatest contributors to the rise of the popularity of “5 Hour Energy”.

He states,

About a year ago, I asked my daughter several times to do something – brush her teeth I think it was – with no success. I reminded her that it was not so long ago that she would have immediately responded, and I wouldn’t have had to ask her multiple times; she would have known from my tone of voice that I was serious.

She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper. It was a list that she had compiled of her important events and activities that I had missed due to work commitments. Talk about a wake-up call.

According to the article, the list she brought him contained 22 items.  These included her first day at school and first soccer match of the season all the way to a parent-teacher meeting at a Halloween parade.

And the school year wasn’t over.

busy

Can our spouses write us a similar list?  Can our kids?

You may not have the job demand of the CEO of Pimco.  You may have already forgiven yourself because you’ve compared yourself to the article saying, “at least I’m not that bad” and decided to do nothing about neglecting your marriage or your children.  But that’s exactly what the Devil would love for you to do.  Rationalize the neglect.  Just understand something: when you rationalize, you tell yourself “rational lies”.  Most couples are not determined to drift.  Drifting happens with neglect.

It doesn’t happen just from jobs.  We used hobbies, home responsibilities, friendships, our favorite TV shows, sports, and yes, even church activities as things to fill our time and steal precious moments away from the people who matter most.  If you look at that list, none of them are bad or even sinful.  But when the priority of them is a higher priority than your spouse or your children, you need to rethink what Jesus has called you to. Everything in our life has demands.  It is in our priorities that those demands are funneled and filtered as to not abuse our loved ones with neglect.

There is nothing that this CEO could have done about the past but repent.  Repentance is necessary.  But repentance is meaningless if it doesn’t change the trajectory of your life.  Your actions must lived out your contrite heart.

Ephesians 5:15-16 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Today is the day to respond.  Today is the day to stop the neglect.  You have seasons to enjoy with your family and the challenge of today from Ephesians 5 is to “make the best use of the time.”  The only way to do that is to approach it “not as unwise but as wise.”  And, outside of your relationship with Christ (which all healthy relationships spring out of), your family is the wisest relationship you can and should pour yourself into.

Got some regrets about the neglect?  Pour into your spouse.  Seek forgiveness with a repentant heart.  Let your life as a spouse and/or parent erase the lists that have accumulated from neglect.  Today, start a new story with them.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Devo Series: Book of Matthew Day 3

Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos.  This month we’re going through the Book of Matthew.  Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo.

Matthew 3-4:17

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare[a] the way of the Lord;
    make his paths straight.’”

Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food waslocusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 Hiswinnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,[b] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,[c] with whom I am well pleased.”

The Temptation of Jesus

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered,“It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
    and him only shall you serve.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leavingNazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali,14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
    the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people dwelling in darkness
    have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
    on them a light has dawned.”

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

2 Minute Devo: “Don’t miss this piece” Phil. 2:1-11

Error
This video doesn’t exist

October is our journey through the 2 minute series called “Resurrecting Repentance”.  It’s as simple as viewing the vlog and reading the passage for the day.  Today’s passage is Phil. 2:1-11:

Philippians 2:1-11

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

2 Minute Devo: “Key Ingredient” Psalm 51

Error
This video doesn’t exist

October is our journey through the 2 minute series called “Resurrecting Repentance”.  It’s as simple as viewing the vlog and reading the passage for the day.  Today’s passage is Psalm 51:

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me,[a] O God,

    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

2 Minute Devo: “Repentance is about relationship: Ps. 32

Error
This video doesn’t exist

October is our journey through the 2 minute series called “Resurrecting Repentance”.  It’s as simple as viewing the vlog and reading the passage for the day.  Today’s passage is Psalm 32:

Psalm 32

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,

    whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up[b] as by the heat of summer. Selah

5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

6 Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.

10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!