Five Questions every church should ask in order to make the most of Easter.
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” - Genesis 6:8 NIV
The room was quiet.
Not too quiet.
Just quiet enough for Noah to hear his thoughts.
It was going to be another long day.
Another day of sweat.
Another day of sun-up to sun-down labor.
And another day of listening to others mock him.
For the past 5,018 days Noah had been working on the same project.
It would be another 5,018 before he would even be halfway finished.
The Voice that had told him to begin the project was now a distant memory.
It had been nearly 14 years since he’d heard a quiet whisper say, “Get to building."
At first he brushed it off.
But the Voice kept calling.
“Get to building”.
So Noah built.
What does it mean to find favor in someone’s eyes?
I look favorably on my children.
I have a positive disposition towards my wife.
I just returned from vacation and I look favorably on the time spent with family and friends.
What does it mean to fall out of favor with someone?
I've had friends I’m no longer friends with because we’ve fallen out of favor with each other.
I’ve had co-workers fall from grace and into disgrace.
I’ve fallen out of favor with others because of things I’ve said and actions I’ve taken.
It seems that favor is related to behavior.
What was it about Noah’s behavior that caused him to find favor with God?
When everyone around him was seeking to do evil all the time, Noah was doing just the opposite.
Noah was seeking to do good.
Noah was different.
Noah was dedicated.
Noah was determined.
Imagine being willing to obediently invest 55-70 years of your life building a boat to save the world.
That’s a man committed to doing good.
How long are you willing to work hard before you see the impact of your efforts?
I think part of finding favor is having an attitude of perseverance.
A willingness to keep doing the right thing even when everyone else around you refuses to.
I think part of finding favor is working hard.
A dedication to doing good even when the results are slow in coming.
I think part of finding favor with God is refusing to seek the favor of others.
A resolve to focus on One Voice and a willingness to drown out all the others.
Think back over your past week, have you been seeking to find favor with others or with God?
In the decisions you’ve made?
In the words you’ve said?
In the places you’ve went (or not went)?
In the things you’ve posted on social media?
Let’s just get down to it.
Too often I care more about how many ‘likes’ my recent post received, more than I care about receiving God’s approval on my day?
How about you?
At the end of today, pause for 2 minutes to consider, “Who’s favor did I seek today?"
So I've decided to take Jeff's 31 Day Writing Challenge
Here's the skinny for those of you who don't know about it.
My 500 Words is a 31-day challenge designed to help you answer that question. It will help you get more disciplined, hone your craft, and finally become the writer you’ve dreamed of being.
- Write 500 words per day, every day for 31 days.
- You can write more if you want, but 500 words is the minimum.
- Don’t edit. Just write.
- Encourage, don’t criticize (unless explicitly invited to do so).
So throughout January I'm going to be writing 500 words a day.
I won't post all of it on my blog, but occasionally I'll post something I've written.
I'm looking forward to how this will help me towards one of my major goals for 2016 which is to complete a handful of writing projects that I need to complete this year.
If you're interested in signing up you can go to http://goinswriter.com/my500words/
One of the greatest challenges ministry leaders face is the pressure to live up to and fulfill their potential.
If you're a motivated leader, there will always be more opportunity than you have time and energy to accomplish.
One of the great lies of ministry is that you can fulfill your potential in every area of your life.
The reality is, in order to fulfill your potential in one area of your life, you are choosing to miss out on fulfilling your potential in another area.
Want to write a great book? Awesome, but you're going to have to say "no" to something else.
Want to become a conference speaker? Fantastic, but you're not going to be able to do that and do everything else too.
Want to lead a healthy growing church? Wonderful, but what other opportunities are you going to ignore in order to make it happen?
Want to be a great partner and parent? Then something has got to give somewhere else.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7 that he wished that everyone was single like he was so that they could be entirely focused on the Lord's work.
Basically Paul is saying, "Hey if you're single, you're free to go full bore after your 'ministry' potential!"
If you're married.
"Don't think you'll be able to say 'yes' to every ministry opportunity that comes your way."
Too many married leaders attempt to fulfill a potential that only an unmarried person would be able to accomplish.
If you try to fulfill the ministry potential of an unmarried person as a married person you'll likely end up an unmarried person.
One of the most freeing discoveries that you can make as a married leader is that it's okay if you don't fulfill your "ministry" potential.
It's okay to say 'no' to writing the book...at least right now.
It's okay to say 'no' to coaching the church planter...at least during this season.
It's okay to say 'no' to speaking at the event...at least until your kids get out of school.
You made a decision when you got married to divide your ministry impact between your professional ministry and your ministry to your family.
And it's okay if you don't fulfill your "ministry" potential.