Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Empty


Empty.  Most things we do not want to be empty.  It’s never good when you get in the car and the fuel gauge shows empty.  Coffee drinkers never want to find their cup empty.  When a teenager’s stomach is empty, watch out!  We do not like being around those who have an empty heart or give empty promises.  That word is almost always associated with things that are negative.

That was certainly the case for the disciples on the first Easter.  When they arrived at the tomb they found it empty.  Their first thought was not the resurrection.  Their first thought was that someone had stolen Jesus’ body.  It took both the words of an angel and the appearance of Jesus to convince them that the empty tomb was the greatest thing that had ever happened.  The empty tomb was the result of Jesus conquering death.  The movement that they had given everything for was not over but just beginning.

When your life feels empty Jesus is there to turn it into victory.  When we are weak, He is strong.  The truth is, in our own power and strength we are empty.  Our own righteousness is polluted and leaves us empty.  We have sinned and fail to live up to the standards of Jesus Christ.  When we stand before God in judgement we will be empty unless we have accepted the gift of Jesus.  Through Jesus there is victory.  We will have victory over death because our Savior had victory over the death.  “The empty tomb is there to prove our Savior lives.”  We celebrate because the tomb is empty.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Mission with Purpose


In February, SpaceX founder Elon Musk launched a new rocket called the Falcon Heavy into space carrying a red Tesla Roadster.  The new rocket is a big step in their goal of sending a man to Mars and in 50 years establishing a city with a million people on the planet.  It is a big goal that hinges on the success of this new rocket.

The Falcon Heavy rocket is the most powerful rocket in the world and has an amazing payload of 64 metric tons which is equal to 737 jetliners fully loaded.  It is composed of three engine cores that generate 5 million pounds of thrust.  The three engines, after completing the task of launching the large payload into space, return back to earth to be used again. (www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy)  It is an amazing synchronization of millions of parts working together for a historic purpose that is changing the way we view the universe.

So, what does all this have to do with the red Tesla Roadster?  The Roadster became the first automobile in orbit.  The Tesla had absolutely nothing to do on the trip.  It set back in its custom-made cargo area and let the well-engineered rockets take it to its destination.  It has the capability of going 0-60 in 1.9s and a top speed of over 250mph running off a battery that has a range of 620 miles. Yet, on this journey it found itself a passenger.

The church is called to be “intent on one purpose” and “the body of Christ.”  It is made up of individual members with different abilities and gifts working together to accomplish this purpose.  Too many times those who have great ability to be used in the church find themselves a passenger of a ministry in which they are not well-equipped to help.  What is your place within the body of Christ?  God has made you special with a unique purpose.  When you find that purpose you help the church live its purpose as you excel for the glory of God.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Run the Play

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have had two of the best offenses in the nation for several years.  It is only possible because of the ingenuity of the coaches.  It is amazing their ability to call the right play at the right time.  They design plays that are able to catch the defense off guard.  They get the ball into the hands of their playmakers with the right blockers in front of them where they turn a short run into a long touchdown.  However, no matter how great the play call was it is up to the players to run the play and make the most of it.

One of the struggles in churches is we have lots of ingenious plays being called.  We dream up great ministry and outreach ideas that are certain to draw many to a place for them to hear the Gospel or a new discipleship class that we think could help people grow in their walk with Christ.  The problem becomes that they are never run.  We hold on to the ideas because we think they need more planning, better funding or we are not sure we will have enough workers to pull it off.  So, these great ideas are sat on and the play is never run.  Bob Mayfield posted on his blog, www.bobmayfield.com, a great video clip of J.D. Greear encouraging us to run the play.


This is what it means to have faith.  James said in James 2:17 “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”  Faith is action.  We can talk about ministry, plan ministry and even budget ministry but if we do not take action we are not living in faith.  Let us not think we have to have every question answered and every scenario accounted for before we step out in faith.  If we had all the answers it would not be faith.  The only way we will accomplish big things for God is to listen to the plays he calls and run the play.

Anticipate Jesus!

We have learned through the years that the anticipation of children can drive you absolutely crazy.   It is good for them to have things the...