Archives 2011

Day 40 – Living With Purpose

Living on purpose is the only way to really live!

 “For David … served the purpose of God in his own generation.” Acts 13:36 (NASB)

In the Upper Room, as Jesus was concluding his last day of ministry with his disciples, he washed their feet as an example and said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”  John 13:17 (NIV)  Once you know what God wants you to do, the blessing comes in actually doing it.

You may wonder, “What about God’s will for my job or marriage or where I’m supposed to live or go to school?”   Honestly, these are secondary issues in your life, and there may be multiple possibilities that would all be in God’s will for you. What matters most is that you fulfill God’s eternal purposes regardless of where you live or work or whom you marry.  Those decisions should support your purposes.  Focus on God’s purposes for your life, not your plans, since that’s what will last forever.

It’s easy to drift away from what matters most and slowly get off course.  To prevent this, you should develop a purpose statement for your life and then review it regularly.

Imagine what it is going to be like one day, with all of us standing before the throne of God presenting our lives in deep gratitude and praise to Christ. Together we will say, “Worthy, Oh Master! Yes, our God! Take the glory! the honor! the power! You created it all; It was created because you wanted it!”   Revelation 4:11 (Msg)

We will praise him for his plan and live for his purposes forever!

Pastor Tilton

Day 39 – Balancing Your life

Blessed are the balanced; they shall outlast everyone!

“Don’t let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance.” 2 Peter 3:17 (CEV)

One of the events in the summer Olympics is the pentathlon. It is composed of five events.  The pentathlete’s goal is to succeed in all five areas, not just one or two.  Your life is a pentathlon of five purposes, which you must keep in balance. These purposes were practiced by the first Christians in Acts 2, explained by Paul in Ephesians 4, and modeled by Jesus in John 17, but they are summarized in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of Jesus.

These two statements sum up God’s five purposes for your life:

1.  “Love God with all your heart”: You were planned for God’s pleasure, so your purpose is to love God through worship.

2.  “Love your neighbor as yourself”: You were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through ministry.

3.  “Go and make disciples”: You were made for a mission, so your purpose is to share God’s message through evangelism.

4.  “baptize them into …”: You were formed for God’s family, so your purpose is to identify with his church through fellowship.

5.  “teach them to do all things …”: You were created to become like Christ, so your purpose is to grow to maturity through discipleship.

A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will make you a great Christian.

Pastor Tilton

Day 38 – Becoming a World-Class Christian

The Great Commission is your commission!

“Jesus said to his followers, ‘Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.’” Mark 16:15 (NCV)

You have a choice to make. You will be either a world-class Christian or a worldly Christian.

Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfillment.  They are saved, but self-centered. They love to attend concerts and enrichment seminars, but you would never find them at a missions conference because they aren’t interested.  Their prayers focus on their own needs, blessings, and happiness. They want to use God for their purposes instead of being used for his purposes.

In contrast, world-class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission. They are eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God.  World-class Christians are the only fully alive people on the planet. Their joy, confidence, and enthusiasm are contagious because they know they’re making a difference. They wake up each morning expecting God to work through them in fresh ways.

Which type of Christian do you want to be?  If you want to be like Jesus, you must have a heart for the whole world.  You can’t be satisfied with just your family and friends coming to Christ. There are over 6 billion people on earth, and Jesus wants all his lost children found.

The Great Commission is your commission, and doing your part is the secret to living a life of significance.

Pastor Tilton

Day 37 – Sharing Your Life Message

  God has given you a Life Message to share!

“Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word … The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore – you’re the message!” 1 Thessalonians 1:8 (Msg)

When you became a believer, you also became God’s messenger. God wants to speak to the world through you. Paul said, “We speak the truth before God, as messengers of God.” 2 Corinthians 2:17b(NCV)

You may feel you don’t have anything to share, but that’s the Devil trying to keep you silent. You have a storehouse of experiences that God wants to use to bring others into his family. The Bible says, “Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them.”  1 John 5:10a (GWT)

Your Life Message has four parts to it:

– Your testimony:  the story of how you began a relationship with Jesus

– Your life lessons:  the most important lessons God has taught you

– Your godly passions:  the issues God shaped that you care about most

– The Good News:  the message of salvation

Is anyone going to be in heaven because of you?  Will anyone in heaven be able to say to you, “I want to thank you. I’m here because you cared enough to share the Good News with me?”  Imagine the joy of greeting people in heaven whom you helped get there.  The eternal salvation of a single soul is more important than anything else you will ever achieve in life.

Pastor Tilton

Day 36 – Made for a Mission

  You were made for a mission!

“In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.” John 17:18 (Msg)

God is at work in the world, and he wants you to join him. This assignment is called your mission. God wants you to have both a ministry in the Body of Christ and a mission in the world.  Your life mission is both shared and specific.

Jesus clearly understood his life mission on earth. At age twelve he said, “I must be about my Father’s business,” and twenty-one years later, dying on the cross, he said, “It is finished.”   Like bookends, these two statements frame a well-lived, purpose-driven life.

 

If you will commit to fulfilling your mission in life no matter what it costs, you will experience the blessing of God in ways that few people ever experience. There is almost nothing God won’t do for the man or woman who is committed to serving the kingdom of God.

If you want to be used by God, you must care about what God cares about; what he cares about most is the redemption of the people he made.  He wants his lost children found! Nothing matters more to God; the Cross proves that.

Always be on the lookout to reach “one more for Jesus” so that when you stand before God one day, you can say, “Mission accomplished!”

Pastor Tilton

Day 35 – God’s Power in Your Weakness

  God loves to use weak people!

“I am with you; that is all you need.  My power shows up best in weak people.”

2 Corinthians 12:9a (LB)

A weakness is any limitation that you inherited or have no power to change.  Everyone has weaknesses. In fact, you have a bundle of flaws and imperfections: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.  Usually we deny our weaknesses, defend them, excuse them, hide them, and resent them. This prevents God from using them the way he desires.

When you think of the limitation in your life, you may be tempted to conclude, “God could never use me.” But God is never limited by our limitations. Sometimes, however, God turns strength into a weakness in order to use us even more.

Jacob was a manipulator who spent his life scheming and then running from the consequences. One night he wrestled with God and said, “I’m not letting go until you bless me.” God said, “All right,” but then he grabbed Jacob’s thigh and dislocated his hip.

What is the significance of that?  God touched Jacob’s strength and turned it into a weakness. From that day forward, Jacob walked with a limp so he could never run away again. It forced him to lean on God whether he liked it or not.

If you want God to bless you and use you greatly, you must be willing to walk with a limp the rest of your life, because God uses weak people.

Pastor Tilton

Day 34 – Thinking Like a Servant

  Service starts in your mind!

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:5-7 (NIV)

Real servants serve God with a mindset of five attitudes:

– Servants think more about others than about themselves.

– Servants think like stewards, not owners.

– Servants think about their work, not what others are doing.

– Servants base their identity in Christ.

– And servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation.

Henri Nouwen said, “In order to be of service to others, we have to die to them; that is, we have to give up measuring our meaning and value with the yardstick of others … thus we become free to be compassionate.”

When you base your worth and identity on your relationship to Christ, you are freed from the expectations of others, and that allows you to really serve them best.

Imagine what could happen if just 10 percent of all Christians in the world got serious about their role as real servants. Imagine all the good that could be done.  Are you willing to be one of those people?

Pastor Tilton

Day 33 – How Real Servants Act

  We serve God by serving others!

 “You can tell what they are by what they do.” Matthew 7:16 (CEV)

In our self-serving culture with its me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept.  Jesus, however, measured greatness in terms of service, not status. God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you. Yet, it is possible to serve in church for a lifetime without ever being a servant. You must have a servant’s heart.

 

Notoriety means nothing to real servants because they know the difference between prominence and significance.  In heaven God is going to openly reward some of his most obscure and unknown servants—people we never heard of on earth, who taught emotionally disturbed children, cleaned up after incontinent elderly, nursed AIDS patients, and served in thousands of other unnoticed ways.

Knowing this, don’t be discouraged when your service is unnoticed or taken for granted.  Keep on serving God! “Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.”  I Corinthians 15:58 (Msg)

Even the smallest service is noticed by God and will be rewarded. Remember the words of Jesus: “If, as my representatives, you give even a cup of cold water to a little child, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42 (LB)

Pastor Tilton

Day 32 – Using What God Gave You

God deserves your best!

“Since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be.” Romans 12:5 (MSG)

He shaped you for a purpose, and he expects you to make the most of what you have been given.  Don’t let another day go by. Start finding out and clarifying what God intends for you to be and do.

Begin by assessing your gifts and abilities. The best way to discover your gifts and abilities is to experiment with different areas of service. Until you’re actually involved in serving, you’re not going to know what you’re good at.

 

Consider your heart and your personality. This is simple – Paul advised, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.” Galatians 6:4b (Msg)

Examine your experiences and extract the lessons you have learned. Review your life and think about how it has shaped you.  Moses told the Israelites, “Remember today what you have learned about the Lord through your experiences with him.” Deuteronomy 11:2 (TEV)

Forgotten experiences are worthless; that’s a good reason to keep a spiritual journal. In heaven we are going to serve God forever. Right now, we can prepare for that eternal service by practicing on earth.  Like athletes preparing for the Olympics, we keep training for that big day: “They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.” 1 Corinthians 9:25 (Msg)

Pastor Tilton

Day 31 – Understanding Your Shape

Only you can be you!

“You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 (Msg)

God designed each of us so there would be no duplication in the world. No one has the exact same mix of factors that make you unique. That means no one else on earth will ever be able to play the role God planned for you.  If you don’t make your unique contribution to the Body of Christ, it won’t be made. “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts … different ways of serving … and different abilities to perform service.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (TEV)

Your abilities are the natural talents you were born with.  One of the most common excuses people give for not serving is “I just don’t have any abilities to offer.” This is ludicrous. You have dozens, probably hundreds, of untapped, unrecognized, and unused abilities that are lying dormant inside you.

 

Like stained glass, our different personalities reflect God’s light in many colors and patterns. This blesses the family of God with depth and variety.  It also blesses us personally. When you minister in a manner consistent with the personality God gave you, you experience fulfillment, satisfaction, and fruitfulness.

You will be most effective when you use your spiritual gifts and abilities in the area of your heart’s desire, and in a way that best expresses your personality and experiences.  The better the fit, the more successful you will be.

Pastor Tilton