Words That Make Me Look Inside

There are some words that cause me to look inside; words from the Word. I am not elevating these words above any other words from that Word, but I highlight them here because they often have me stopping in my tracks and examining my heart. Above all else, I must be saved!

Matthew 7:21-23

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matthew 24:22-24

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mark 7:6

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me.

Luke 13:23-27

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all [ye] workers of iniquity.

1 Corinthians 9:27

But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

My Three Words: 2011

This is a neat little exercise that I first read about on Chris Brogan’s website.  Every year, Chris picks three words that will serve as “guiding pillars” for the year. I thought this would be worth trying for myself so I have picked three words for 2011.  I will not focus on these three items at the expense of other important things, but I will narrow my focus in 2011 to improve in these specific areas.

1.  Understanding

I have been taught to distinguish between knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.  Knowledge is recognition, wisdom is application, and understanding realizes the value and purpose of application. Need an example?  Lying is wrong; recognizing that is knowledge, not lying is wisdom, and realizing the value and purpose of not lying is the understanding.  All three of these can be applied to (and may even be considered the components of) Truth.

I will endeavor to increase in my understanding of Biblical Truth in 2011.

2.  Preparation

I will be preaching and teaching in 2011 more than I ever have in any given year of my life.  Let me tell you, the guilt of feeling unprepared to share the Truth is not a good feeling.  We ought to be well-prepared regardless of our duty, and even more so when we are called on to share God’s Word. Good preparation is vital if we are going to be effective.

This one is a little tricky for me because my personality can lead me into the ditch on the other side of the road.  It is possible for preparation to become a form of procrastination.  And when it comes to preaching and teaching God’s Word, it is possible to lean too heavily on preparation at the expense of Divine interruption.

I will endeavor to be well prepared and willing for God to interrupt when He desires.

3.  Serving

I want to get my focus off myself and more on others in 2011. I don’t want a ministry that serves me.  I want a ministry that serves others. It is easy as a young minister trying to become established to always look for the personal benefit in opportunities.  This year I want to look for opportunities that serve others.

I will endeavor to serve in 2011.

What are your three words?

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Chick-fil-A Leadercast: Part 5

Chick-fil-A Leadercast Conference 2010

Speaker #9: Steve Uzzell – Award-winning corporate photographer and former staff member of National Geographic

Mr. Uzzell was one of the most interesting speakers of the conference.  If you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, I would highly recommend that you take advantage.

I want to share with you one “takeaway” from Mr. Uzzell’s talk…

“Chance favors the prepared mind.”

People say Mr. Uzzell is lucky because he get shots like the one below.  He says being at the right place at the right time has less to do with luck and more to do with being prepared.

Our dreams are realized in our preparation. 

Things aren’t going your way?  Have you prepared?  Have you studied?  Have you put the work in?

This reminds me of the lyrics to a Newworldson song:

Lady Luck ain’t always in the mood.

Four leaf clovers are hard to find.

Fortune tellers can be so shrude.

Quite pokin round inside my mind.

I don’t believe much in luck.

God’s the only one that I trust.

How often have you heard somebody say (maybe you said it yourself) about someone who is experiencing success, “they were in the right place at the right time.”  Did you ever stop to consider that maybe it had less to do with the place or the time, and much more to do with the fact that person had learned to BE wherever and whenever they were?

We can’t afford to wait for the fulfillment of our God-given dreams to start acting like we belong there.  Be faithful with the little that God has given you.  Start treating your reality like it is  your dream and God will make the necessary changes to bring the dream to pass.

Live the dream on the way.