Happy Monday Friends! A new week is upon us, a new chance to be a positive influence in the world around us! As I stated last week, I love Monday’s, it begins my week of listening to my favorite sermons from some of my favorite pastors, and then it begins my week of sharing those messages here with you. I have a strong feeling this will be a great week of receiving the Word. Monday is also the first day I can start working on plugging in the importance of finding a church that: 1. captures your spirit, 2. entices you to attend church on a regular basis, 3. pushes you to become a member of your church, and, 4. lastly, ushers you into a life changing experience where you begin serving where your church needs you the most.
Any advice I give on this blog isn’t to gloat or hold myself on a soapbox pedestal. Rather, I am just passing on the experiences I have had in my life that I wish for everyone to have. My wife and I have seen our lives changed quickly in the last six months since we jumped in and started serving at our church. We serve in the 4-yo kids ministry and the victory we share together when we survive every Sunday gives us shared laughs, frustrations, and blessings. I get to sit back and admire my wife as she elegantly handles a group of 8 to 11 rambunctious, high-energy kids as I struggle to keep my 4 to 6 “little angels” from destroying a classroom as they quickly dissolve into “Lord of the Fly” survival techniques after spending fifteen minutes listening to my small group talk. I love our Sunday’s.
The other blessing we get every Sunday is, as we keep coming in clutch on serving in the late service, our own kids are getting four solid hours bonding with other kids their age and being in a positive, safe environment learning about Jesus and God. That’s why I am pushing everyone reading this blog to find their place at their church. And if you already have that, I hope 2020 is the year you start going after everyone around you to bring them to the same joy you are experiencing.
As we are talking about serving, I want to congratulate my good friend, Terry, who was brave enough to share his testimony on this website. Terry has recently followed God pushing him to move from Florida to Tennessee where he quickly found a church and for the last two weeks he has been leading a sign language class. His first week they had over 50 church members interested in learning ASL and yesterday he sent me a message saying they had grown another 20 members. That’s fantastic! Great job Terry, God is working big things through your life and story.
35Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)
We’re starting this week looking at the stern discipline Jesus instructed to his Disciples. Today, we look at this line of instruction and what it means for those wishing to be first in the Kingdom of Heaven: that they “must be the very last.” The Disciples had been arguing about which one of them was the greatest in their group. Typical guy stuff, it’s always a competition. But Jesus sets them straight and tells them that only the one whom serves everyone and puts everyone ahead of himself, only that Disciple would be the first, or greatest, in Heaven.
Perhaps you are not worried about your place in Heaven, maybe you are just like me, doing everything you possibly can just hoping to sneak in the back door when the time comes. But why isn’t our goal in life to live a life that would garner the praise and applaud of the Creator of the Universe and His Son? Is it because we think that living a life that would bring approval from God and Jesus would be impossible to accomplish? To please Jesus, which is the way to please God, is simple: serve others, love everyone.
We have made this life much harder than God ever intended it to be for us. God wanted us to come into this world, to enjoy the world He created for us, and to take care of one another. We have complicated it by our endless pursuit of success and our desires to please everyone but Jesus, mostly ourselves.
Reading plan: Mark 10:32-52
Deeper reading plan: Deuteronomy 22-24
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and pray that God helps you be a servant to those around you.
Fitness challenge: Week seven of our 7×14 challenge. 2 sets of 14, we’re going to speed the reps up again. Keep perfect form put push yourself to complete these sets quickly.
1. Standard push-up 2. Sit-up or crunches
3. Air squats 4. Hand-release push-up
5. Leg lifts 6. Lunges (7-each leg)
7. 4-count flutter kick