1. I slept good last night.
2. I am excited about Sunday and sharing this teaching: ON PURPOSE
3. My youngest girl was up at 6:20 am. She is just like Lori.
4. I am going to run 4 miles this morning.
5. Today is the first day in a long time that I don’t have a meeting. It feels good.
6. God is speaking to my life about fasting next week.
7. I want Arizona to win tomorrows game. Go Cards!
I am constantly challenged by God’s Spirit and His word to stay focused on the purpose and mission God has for my life. The tragedy of many Christians (even leaders) is that they hit a wall and give up too easily. Or they get caught up in the vicious cycle of our culture and run after things that have no eternal value. We loose focus, get distracted, and find ourselves following the crowd instead of becoming counter culture. No doubt things were the same in the 1st Century. As I was reading in Acts 14, I was amazed at the erratic and unstable thinking of the crowds that Paul preached to in Lystra. After seeing Paul and Barnabas administer healing to a lame man, the crowds proclaimed them to be “gods” and brought bulls to the city gates to sacrifice in their honor (v. 14). Just five verses later, the religious leaders had won the crowds and turned them AGAINST Paul and Barnabas. They dragged Paul and Barnabas out of the city and stoned them. What an unbelievable picture of instability and inconsistency of the culture.
Our culture is equally a confused and unstable culture unsure and uncertain of reality and eternity. Our culture cannot distinguish between the natural and supernatural. In fact, both are profoundly misunderstood. We live in a world that vacillates constantly between good and evil, right and wrong, the temporary and the eternal. And when crisis comes our way, it gets worse.
But in between the sacrifice and the stones stood two men who did not vacillate or waiver in their faith – Paul and Barnabas. They refused to be misunderstood when people wanted to hail them as “gods” and instead, gave credit to the only One who could have healed the lame man – God. And when the crowds turned against them, stoning them outside the city and leaving them for dead, V. 20 says they got up and went back into the city. In fact, v. 21 says that they returned to that same city again. Can you imagine the look on the faces of people in that city when Paul and Barnabas returned to their city after being stoned and left for dead?
What an incredible picture of stable and unwavering faith in God. Listen: This is what our culture must see. In the face of the good, the bad, and the ugly – we must not vacillate between fear and faith, trust and distrust, hope and hopelessness. We must live counter culture with faith and confidence in our God and not with instability and confusion.
1. I am so excited that 2 people experienced faith in Christ.
2. I believe God is on a mission to define His purpose for our lives.
3. We had 7 first time guests and that was incredible.
4. So many new people are helping in ministries. They are moving from spectators to participators.
5. I love pastoring Elevate Church. I wouldn’t do anything else.
Our Connections Groups have gone to a whole new level. Last night it was incredible to host almost 70 people in small groups. With the Friday CG, we will have over 80 people plugged in to our small groups. It focuses on the Connect – Grow part of our overall purpose for Elevate Church (Worship, Connect, Grow, Serve). To all who have made the commitment to this 40 day Journey of Purpose, your life will be transformed. My prayer is for God to re-tool my purpose and focus. I want to make my life count. By the way, what are you doing on Wednesday, June 27, 2057?
Random thoughts about this past Sunday:
1. What a great crowd with 114.
2. Awesome to see 2 people make decisions for Christ.
3. Quote from the message: “Satan loves to detach believers from the church family. If he can get you thinking, ‘I don’t really need the church’, then he can isolate you from the life blood of your walk with God.”
4. We were honored to have so many guests.
5. We set up faster than ever before – I am proud of the teamwork.
6. I am committed to God’s purposes in my life.
7. I love to pastor Elevate Church.
Last Sunday, I began a series that will correspond with the 40 Days of Purpose in the Connection Groups of Elevate Church. It’s exciting to see how many people have responded to getting plugged in to our Connection Groups. I discovered early on as we began to plant Elevate Church that one of the challenges we faced was getting people connected to both the purpose and people of a brand new church. The real difference maker in the life of any believer is the COMMITMENT they make to be joined to other believers. The Bible says in Romans 12:5 “In Christ we who are many form one body, and each members belongs to all others.” Did you catch that? Our commitment to Christ includes a commitment to be a part of a local spiritual family of believers. To get connected – get involved – open our lives to fellowship and ministry. It’s in the context of relationship that we grow deeper and stronger in Christ. If you would like to join me on this 40 Days of Purpose campaign, you can visit our website.