Connecting the Dots in an Unconnected World

Friday, July 30, 2010

Something to Pray For

Prayer is one of the great privileges of being a child of God. Sadly, far too many believers never exercise this privilege. Many that do only exercise this privilege while in crisis. Only a remnant knows the joy of a relationship with Christ that is bathed in prayer.

Often our prayer life is bounded on the north and the south by need and desires and on the east and the west by crisis and family. We pray for health and wealth. We pray for wisdom and strength. We pray for missionaries and pastors. All of these are good and right.

Allow me to add a request to your prayer list. Ask God to make you a personal soul winner and to give you a love for the souls of men. It will amaze you what God will do in your life. Opportunities to win the lost will suddenly present themselves. People will become open and responsive to the gospel that you share. James tells us, “Ye have not because ye ask not.”

Peter tells us, “God is not willing that any should perish but that all will come to repentance.” It is the purpose of God to win the lost to Himself. Gloriously, it is also His purpose to use you and me in this process. The clog in the bottleneck of the great commission is you and me. When we become burdened to win souls the clog breaks free and God works through us to do the work of the great commission.

This prayer will alter your life and the lives of many who will spend eternity in heaven because you became a soul winner.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn’t it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent about the cure from the eternal wages of sin, which is death.”
- Dave Davidson

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Building Relationships

Some years ago I was in a conference with the late Harry Piland of the then Baptist Sunday School Board (LifeWay). Dr. Piland at that time led the work of Sunday School for Southern Baptists. During a Q&A session the question arose, “What is the cause of the high ministerial turnover in our churches?” Dr. Piland responded, “98% of our failures are relational.”
Everything in life is about relationships. Family, work, Church, leadership and even winning the lost are all dependent upon good relationships. Why is it then that we seem to work overtime at ignoring relationships?

Everyone needs relationships for encouragement, for support and for service to others. Yet, many are afraid to develop relationships. For you see a relationship requires that you give up something of yourself by investing it in someone else. At times this will place you at risk of being hurt. One pastor friend commented that he (intentionally) had no friends in his church. He was concerned that the relationship might harm his position. The risk of relationship building in the church is far outweighed by the reward.

Relationships take time and energy; they do not develop overnight but are well worth the cost. Often relationships develop by happenstance and not by design; these can be the most rewarding.

People need relationships with other people. No man is an island unto himself. Today the relationship may seem insignificant and totally to the benefit of another. However, there will come a day when you will need the support of others and that will happen as you have built relationships across the years.

Relationships with you family are most precious. It is sad how easily family relationships dissolve. Hurt feelings, selfishness and anger contribute to the dissolution of family relationships. Determine to be the person who will rise above these things and become the “glue” in your family relationships.

Churches need relationships with other like minded churches. No church can do all of the great commission by itself. A church that takes seriously the great commission must seek out and associate itself with other churches that have the same heart and same doctrinal commitments if it is to fulfill its task in the great commission. This is true from the smallest church to the largest church.

Pastors need relationships with other pastors. Oddly, this may be the most difficult of all relationships. Every pastor needs a friend who can be their counselor, confidant and encourager. While some think they are beyond this need, the day will come for each of us when we desperately need this relationship. Pastoral relationships often span age and philosophical barriers. Invest the time and energy in digging the well of pastoral relationships. There will come a day when you must drink from this well yourself.

Having said thus, the most important relationship of all is your relationship with Jesus. Begin your relationship by receiving Jesus as your Savior and work to keep that relationship strong and vibrant. Invest in your relationship by spending time in prayer and Bible study. Declare your relationship through personal soul winning. Enjoy your relationship in times of meditation and reflection. Share your relationship in the fellowship of your church. Treasure your relationship with Jesus above all others and he will be the friend the sticks closer than a brother.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“When something is missing in your life, it usually turns out to be someone. “
~Robert Brault

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stewardship Thoughts

  • The tithe is Holy unto the Lord.
  • The tithe is the foundation, not the ceiling, of all Christian stewardship.
  • The faithful tithe brings the blessing of God upon the tither. 
  • It is selfishness and sinfulness that causes the believer to not be faithful with God’s tithe. 
  • It is greed and heathenism that keeps the believer from giving sacrificially beyond the tithe.  
  • Faithlessness in stewardship is often the plug that stops up the flow of God’s blessing in the believer’s life. 
  • Faithfulness in stewardship would solve the vast majority all believers’ financial challenges. 
  • Giving should be approached as an opportunity to partner with God in the work that He is doing to spreads the gospel to the nations. 
  • It should be amazing to us that the vast majority of Christians rob God with one hand while they ask His blessing with the other. 
Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

Luke 6:38
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
~ Jesus


Friday, July 9, 2010

Is There Not a Cause?

In the 17th chapter of I Samuel the army of Israel was facing their enemy the Philistines and the champion of the Philistines the giant Goliath. When David arrives Goliath is taunting the army of God’s people and their God. As the boy shepherd David surveys the scene he proposes a timely question “Is there not a cause?”

This may well be the preeminent question that you and I face in 21st century America. The Goliath’s that oppose our faith are enormous. The challenges that Biblical Christianity face are numerous in our land. The task of taking the Gospel to the world is imperative. Often we, like the army of Israel, shrink away from the challenges that are leveled against our faith and our service to God. If we are to win the battle we must answer the query “Is there not a cause?”

We tend to view our world and our service to Christ through a lense of apathy and indifference. We far too often see our challenges as insurmountable and overwhelming. We fail to recognize the power of our God and the importnat place that we fill in His plan.

I submit that the ills in our culture or in our communities of faith will tumble when we recognize and respond by seeing these challenges as a cause. What would happen if our Bible Study class became a cause, our children became a cause, our service to Christ through His church became a cause or our lost neighbor became a cause? We would move from apathy to excitement, from lethargy to commitment and from indifference to genuine concern. Life would become focused and exciting and our service to Christ would become an adventure.

David defeated the giant Goliath because he recognized and responded to the challenge. I ask you today “Is there not a cause?”

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

"Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem a turned it into an opportunity."
~ Joseph Sugarman

Friday, July 2, 2010

Great Commission Quotes

"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
— David Livingstone

"Can't you do just a little bit more?"
— J.G. Morrison

"We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first."
— Oswald J. Smith

"If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn't it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death."
— Dave Davidson

"The reason some folks don't believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn't worth propagating."
— unknown

"Someone asked Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we — who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not — can be saved."
— Charles Spurgeon

"'Not called!' did you say? 'Not heard the call,' I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.
— William Booth

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

"The will of God — nothing less, nothing more, nothing else."
— Bobby Richardson

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