Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~ Justification

The legal aspect of salvation whereby God declares those who place their faith in Christ "are not guilty". He even goes beyond the declaration of "not guilty" to the point of declaring the Christian "righteous" before Him. Justification is by faith alone in Christ alone.

why did Christ come?

1. Matthew 5:17 - He came to fulfill the law
..."Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
2. John 12:46 - He came as a light into the world
..."I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.
3. John 10:10 - He came that we might have life
..."The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
4. Matthew 9:13 - He came to call the sinners to repentance
..."But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
5. Matthew 10:34 - He came to bring a sword
..."Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
6. John 9:39 - He came to bring about judgement
... And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."
7. Matthew 10:35 - He came to set man at variance
8. John 18:37 - He came to be a King
... 37Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
9. John 6:38 - He came to do the will of the Father
... 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

looking at the life of Paul

When looking at the life of Paul, we can see the following things:

8 elements of his missional strategy

1. maintained close contact with his home base (sending point)
2. confined his efforts into a few areas (which birthed into others)
3. concentrated on larger cities (which became sending units)
4. preached to responsive people
5. baptized converts
6. remained long enough to establish the church (not just plant it)
7. made ample use of fellow workers
8. became ALL things to all people

7 elements on why Paul was successful

1. deep conviction of call
2. completely dedicated to the will of God
3. depended on the Holy Spirit
4. fearless in the presentation of the Gospel
5. emphasized the autonomy of the church
6. had a wise policy regarding money
7. lived what he preached

Sunday Reflections

This Sunday was a little different at Gateway Fellowship. I pulled double duty this weekend. Scott Finch our worship pastor was out, so I led the worship with the band and preached as well. I have to admit that at times, I do enjoy to get back in the saddle and lead musically, but it did seem to wear me out a little more than a usual Sunday. The band did a great job and I enjoyed leading with them.

The message, on "boundaries", was the fourth message in a series called "Stressed?". This series is one that I have really enjoyed teaching through and look forward to the next as we wind it down and prepare for our next one. We have some really cool things taking shape and we will be launching some new "Gateway IN Gear" tasks very shortly. The first of those tasks will be a few neighborhood block parties that will take place during the month of August and September. This block parties will take place in the neighborhoods that we have ConnectGroups in in, and are meeting on a weekly basis.

I love our church
I love our people
I love our team
I love what He is doing in us
I love what He is doing through us
I love that He is not done with us

Thursday, July 23, 2009

innovation via @gregatkinson

At the Church 2.0 conference at Fellowship Dallas and the 2nd session is on innovation:

innovation is that act of doing something new
innovation is being spirit led

~ Isaiah 43:19
~ Ephesians 5:1
~ Jeremiah 33:3

innovation comes from God moments when you are being led by the spirit

God's activity is far greater than anything we can dream up ~ William Blackaby

The main thing is to be Pure and Praying

There is not short cut to innovation, you can not by pass Prayer

7 ways that innovation happens:

1. revelation~ God speaks to you through scripture, prayer and/or worship
2. inspiration~ when you are challenged, stretched, encouraged and inspired by watching others
3. observation~ we have to be students of culture:: a learner and watcher of those you come in contact with
4. conversation~ you never know what God is doing through the loves of the people that surround you:: listen
5. situation~ you never know what God is teaching you through your circumstances or situations
6. frustration~ pay attention when you are frustrated because the Lord may be doing something huge
7. desperation~ when you are so desperate that you have no where else to go but God:: This is good

3 Uses of Twitter via @gregatkinson

Sitting in the Church 2.0 Local Forum at Fellowship Dallas led by Greg Atkinson. He is talking about uses of Twitter and how we can implement them into the lives of our people and churches

1. listening
2. life streaming
3. networking

You have to be intentional in using these tools

boundaries~ having a dark day = means you do not use it for that day. We have to set boundaries!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday Reflections

We talked about FEAR yesterday morning and I really enjoyed preaching on this topic. We looked at the scriptures in Matthew 10: 16-31 where Jesus begins to talk to the disciples preparing them for their ministry to the community and the fact that they will face new challenges and things that may even cause them to fear. A few things to remember when dealing with fears. Although many of us fear things such as death, illness, clowns, and spiders~ there is really only one thing to fear and that is The One who is able to destroy both soul and body (Matthew 10:28). There are a few things to remember when walking through the things that "we" count ourselves to be fearful of. Here they are:
1. God knows everything
2. God cares for us
3. God is in control of everything
4. God is with us
We had a great Sunday! The worship led by Scott Finch was awesome and it was great to hear the congregation engage in worship through song. Our YARD staff, which works with our children, were on spot yesterday morning. I love to see people who are passionate about teaching children and are willing to do "whatever it takes" to get the job done. A big shout out to The Yard Staff!! We will be talking about "boundaries" next Sunday, July 26th. I am already looking forward to preaching on this topic

~ I love our church
~ I love our people
~ I love our team
~ I love what HE is doing in us
~ I love what HE is doing through us
~ I love that HE is not done with us

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dream Big and follow hard after them

Here are 4 things that I shared at the Executive Board Meeting for the HBA last night. I started out by reading in acts 1 verse 8 the promise given to the church. I then went to Acts 2 ...Pentecost and followed with Peter's sermon

14But Peter, taking his stand with (S)the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.

15"For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, (T)for it is only the [b]third hour of the day;

16but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

And they shall prophesy.

~ people are often living lives of obligation rather than passion

1. ~ Question: If the greatest dream you have became reality, would it profit and benefit the world around you?

2. ~ Question: What dreams do you have that are trapped under the rubble of your past?

3. ~ Questions: What dreams are waiting on the other side of your fears?

We must give ourselves to the dream that God gave us to live.

There are so many places He wants to take us in our own individual lives as well as the life of the church

Four things that will move our ministry to the next level:

1) Understand ministry is WORK. Isaiah 57:14

14And it will be said,

"(A)Build up, build up, prepare the way,

Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people." NASB

a) Am I a team player?

b) Is there anything in my life that would disqualify me from ministry… or that i need to change?

c) How Thankful am I?

d) How is my relationship with others on staff?

e) Am I REALLY honest with others about what is going on in my spiritual journey?

2) Understand that Status Quo is unacceptable-

-Lack of attention to detail & Apathy are the quickest keys to recognizing Status Quo exist.

a) How’s my personal Passion Level? Isaiah 59:17

17He put on righteousness like a breastplate,

And a helmet of salvation on His head;

And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing

And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. NASB

b) Is God pleased with my performance?

3) Understand that it’s OUR JOB to BEG GOD for Him to move!

a) How active is the Holy Spirit in my life and in my work?

b) When is the last time I clearly heard from God?

(if we cannot remember then it might be time for us to find another job and stop faking it.)

c) How much are we praying as a team and a staff? Isaiah 62:6

6 On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen;

All day and all night they will never keep silent

You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; NASB

4) Understand we’ve got to believe greater days are yet to come! Isaiah 54:2-3

2"Enlarge the place of your tent;

Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not;

Lengthen your cords

And strengthen your pegs.

3"For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left

And your descendants will possess nations

And will resettle the desolate cities. NASB

a) God has made His Church UNSTOPPABLE!

b) God has made His Church UNEXPLAINABLE!

c) God has made His Church UNDENIABLE!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday Reflections

We are in the second week of our sermon series entitled, "Stressed" and the Lord is already doing a work in us. We talked about friendships and intimacy yesterday morning and spent some time talking about removing our masks. Here is the sermon text (Col. 3: 12-17) and a few of the points that were discussed during the sermon:

12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

14Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.


Meditation on Col. 3:12-17. What does it mean to put on Christ as we "do life together"?

~ you have to put on:
... a heart of compassion
... kindness
... humility
... gentleness
... patience

~ we must do these things:

... bear with one another
... forgiving each other
... put on LOVE

It's lonely behind the masks that we wear because we start to wonder if people like us or the person we pretend to be.


I love our church
I love our people
I love our team
I love what He is doing in us
I love what He is doing through us
I love that He is not done with us

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~ Redemption

This is a term that comes right out of the business world of Bible times. To redeem something is to purchase it, especially to purchase a slave to give him freedom. God paid the price that was required to buy His people out of slavery to sin--the price was death. Jesus, by His death on the cross, bought us out of that slavery.

Students are off to camp

Our students and staff left for Youth Camp this morning. Would you join with me in praying specifically for the following campers and staff:

~Nate King - youth pastor
~Susan Snow - youth leader
~Jordan Davis
~Jeremy Andrews
~Nathan Butler
~Aaron Vinson
~Allie Vinson
~Zailey Blakeslee
~Britney Andrews
~Meaghan Brown

Youth camp....the memories. I remember going as a student to many youth functions but the one that stands out the most is the one that took place in the summer of 1991. This is the camp where Christ radically changed my life. It was the starting place for what He had in store for me. I can also remember the 15 years of youth camps and trips that I went on as the Youth Pastor and having the awesome privilege of seeing lives being changed, just like mine was in 1991. There is something about youth camp that drives us. There is something about getting away from the hustle of the world and just hanging with friends, forming new friendships and allowing the Lord to do what only He can do. In 1991, I was not there by chance, God had intended for me to hear what was being preached. This is my prayer this week for our students and staff. May you hear the words that the Lord has in store for you and may it be applied to your lives so that true transformation can take place. This year's camp is a little more special to me because my daughter, who is now in the 7th grade will be enjoying her first youth camp experience

Monday, July 6, 2009

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~ Reconciliation

Man in his original creation, by God, was intended to have fellowship with God but, in the Fall, our first parents chose to disobey God and follow after their own will and desires. This broke the relationship between man and his Creator in such a way that they became enemies.(Romans 5:10). In Christ's death on Calvary, God bridged the broken relationship and brought reconciliation between Himself and His creation. So the Doctrine of Reconciliation teaches us that God has reversed the primary effect of the Fall in the lives of His children.

Sunday Reflections

~ We started a new series Sunday morning called, "Stressed"~ I really think this is going to be an awesome series for our church and I am looking forward to teaching on it the next couple of weeks.

~ We were short staffed yesterday because of the holiday but we had some people step up in big way...Thanks
~ I love our church
~ I love our people
~ I love what He is doing in us
~ I love what He is doing through us
~ I love that He is not done with us
~ We had an awesome time of fellowship last night at Baker's Acres
~ I love seeing real community taking place

Please spend a few minutes lifting the following up in prayer this week:

1. ...that the Lord would grant wisdom, discernment, and favor in every decision the church must make in order to find and fulfill His perfect will.
(Joshua 9: 3-14; and Proverbs 2: 1-9)

2. ...that we would all come to know the Lord more intimately, and that nothing would distract us from the hunger and thirst for His presence in our lives.
(Exodus 33: 12-23; and Philippians 3: 7 -14)

3. ...that our church would move from mere belief in the principle of prayer to the practice of prayer in such a manner that we experience the miracle working hand of God. (Isaiah 38: 1-9; Matthew 7: 7-11; and Matthew 17: 14-21)

4. ...that our church would learn to trust the Lord as our source and sustainer of provision for our lives, homes, and church in these uncertain economic times.
(Exodus 15: 22-27; and Matthew 6: 19-34)

5. ...that the Lord would protect our marriages, preserve our children, and provide to our families the necessary ingredients to build enduring homes.
(Genesis 7: 1-7; Psalm 127: 1-5; and Matthew 7: 24-27)

6. ...that we would grow deep spiritual roots of maturity that produce character, composure, and credibility in our testimony to Royse City and surrounding areas.
(Ephesians 4: 11-16; I Peter 2: 1-9; and II Peter 1: 2-10)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Theological Words Every Christian Should Know ~Glorification

In the Bible glorification is always decisively God-centered. God has glory because all of His deeds demonstrate His infinite worthiness for praise. We are changed into the likeness of our Savior as we behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. When all things render due praise to God continuously, we will be in glory. Ultimately, when we are completely changed into the likeness of Christ, we will be glorified as well.