Archive for March, 2012

Riches, Wealth, and Money

The Bible has MUCH to say about riches, wealth, and money.  Over and over this theme comes out in scripture.  Jesus told parables about it, instructions and warnings are given, and Jesus was betrayed over 30 pieces of silver.  We live in a very different world than the writers of the scriptures, yet the values we find in the Word of God still remain relevant.

Here are just a couple Kingdom values we find in scripture when it comes to money:

1) Generosity.

In Acts 4:32, we see that “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.”  We are also instructed to give to the Lord’s work.  These acts of generosity are made easier when we understand that everything comes from God in the first place!

2) Contentment.

Paul shares with us in Philippians 4:10-13 that he had found the secret to being content in all circumstances.  If you are wealthy, are you content?  If you are poor, are you content?  Do we trust that God will provide?  He takes care of the sparrows, wont he take care of us?  We must find our contentment by leaning on the everlasting arms, and not placing our trust in our money.

3) Riches are perishable.

We will all stand before God almighty on the day of judgement empty handed.  We will not be taking any of our riches with us!  In Matthew 6: 20, Jesus tells us to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal”.

We must remind ourselves of the Kingdom values as so often we hear a different message from the world.

Blessings,

Josh

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Breakout 2012 is this weekend. Here’s why a senior pastor cares.

This weekend is the 5th annual breakout conference in the Akron area. Here is the website for this amazing youth conference.

www.breakoutconference.com

Here’s why I care.

1. I have a heart for teens. C’mon! I haven’t grown cold and crusty after only about two years away from it.

2. I am super passionate about this year’s theme. This is a conference that will challenge the young people of this area to live their faith outside church (hence the name breakout). This year’s theme will particularly challenge them to give their hearts and minds fully to Jesus, to go above easy Christianity, and to believe it’s possible to be renewed and live for Christ FULLY even as teens.

3. I’m speaking! What an honor that the youth pastors I worked with for years would invite me to be a part. I have the message tonight at around 8:00 and will be sharing part of my own story while challenging the students let Jesus transform and renew their minds through Hisbgreat grace and mercy.

Refer to Josh’s Wednesday post for more ways to pray. Then, ask them Sunday or next week how the Lord spoke to them through this conference.

Have a great Friday!

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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Ways to pray for BreakOut 2012

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Several youth from Goss Church, and hundreds of youth form the Akron Area will be attending the BreakOut Youth Conference this weekend.  Here are some ways that you can pray for the event.

– That the Holy Spirit would be present

– That it would truly be God’s work and not limited to what man can do

– For God’s truth to be spoken through the speakers, leaders, and worship team

– For spiritual growth for all of the youth who attend

– For God to save any youth who are not yet believers

– For long lasting impact in the lives of the youth

– For discipleship opportunities following the event

What if we don’t pray for these things?  Is it possible that they don’t happen if we don’t pray?

Blessings,

Josh

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3-18-12 Hebrews 10:19-39

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Why you shouldn’t pretend to have it all together

There is a temptation for believers in the church to portray to others that they have it all together.  Sometimes it is an intentional decision, but most of the time I think it is unintentional.  I think of having it all together as showing others that you have your sin under control.  A person who shows they have it all together doesn’t share their struggles, hurts, or pains with anyone.  Here are a few reasons I can think of why you shouldn’t pretend to have it all together.

1) You don’t have it all together.  You simply don’t.  Romans 3:10-12 says, “As it is written ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.’”  If you are showing others that you have your life and sin under control, you are being fake!

2) It can make non-believers feel like they cannot live up to the expectations of being a Christian.  Non-believers need to see that if it were not for Jesus Christ’s loving salvation, we would be just like them.  Non-believers (or new believers) get the incorrect message of what it means to be a true follower of Christ when they are shown that you have to have it all together to follow Christ.

3) You can begin to think you are better than others.  When you think you have it all together, you can be tempted to look down upon those who don’t, both believers and non-believers. 

4) It makes you the hero, and not Jesus.  Are you the one who conquers the sin in your life, or is Jesus?  When you show others that you have your sin under control, doesn’t that make you the savior and not Jesus?

Let me be clear.  When you become a believer in Jesus Christ, your body becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit.  God himself dwells within you, and there is a REAL change in your life.  You go from death to life.  But, you do not become perfect.  God is at work in our lives, sanctifying us, but we have not yet arrived to the state of who God created us to be.  While continuing to pursue holiness, we should be OK with our current state of being a broken person in need of a immensely powerful savior who saves us from sin and death.

You didn’t just need Jesus when you were saved.  You need Him now.  You will always need Him.

Blessings,

Josh

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3-11-12 Mark 6:7-13

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The little things . . .

I’ve been thinking a lot about the little things. Here are a few examples.  I hope these challenge you today:

  • I found myself saying “I can’t stand this coat our foster daughter wears”.  I should have thought: I’m so thankful she has a coat to wear.
  • I often think “I hate car seats”.  I should be thinking: I am so grateful the Lord has blessed us with children to raise and influence.
  • I often get frustrated when unexpected events or visits ruin “my” schedule.  I should be grateful for these opportunities for God to use me.
  • I struggle with motivation to run sometimes.  Am I ever grateful God has given me the ability to compete and the discipline to train?
  • I will get frustrated that the internet isn’t running fast enough.  Why am I not grateful I have loads of information at my fingertips faster than at any point in human history?
  • My wife will do something that frustrates me from time to time.  I should be more grateful for the vast majority of the time we are completely on the same page.

I hope these sorts of ideas get you thinking and encourage an attitude of gratitude.  I read recently that the more grateful you are, the harder it is to worry and complain.  Couldn’t agree more.

Have a great Friday everyone!

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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