Scriptures: Acts 12:1-7
Life is full of uncomfortable situations: dentist appointments, medical tests, job interviews, speeding tickets, conflicts with others, and the list goes on. But we have never faced the situation Peter was going through in these scriptures. Peter was arrested for standing up for Jesus and the truth. His friend James was just executed and Peter is thrown in jail, bound with chains, guards all around him, sleeping on a cold damp floor where it is dark and dangerous. The stench is probably awful, and yet Peter is resting peacefully.
Ask yourself: would I like to be able to rest peacefully when facing the hardships of life? Many times our discomfort is a direct result of what we value or don't value! Worry and stress come from seeing things the wrong way. We doubt God and forget about His deliverance.
How could Peter find rest in such a difficult situation? Peter believed in the power of prayer! Peter felt peace because he knew others were praying for him and prayer DOES make a difference! We need people on our side who will truly pray for us.
Peter knew he was doing the right thing despite what was going on: he was arrested for standing for God. We can find rest when we continue to serve God, serve others, keep on tithing, keep on praising and remain steady working in God's kingdom. Stay right for God and peace will rest on you.
Peter simply trusted God. Peter faced internal turmoil when in the past he did not trust God in difficult situations. Peter learned from his failures. Peter learned that it pays to trust Jesus.
Are you dealing with an uncomfortable situation? You need the support that comes from others praying for you! Do what you know is right: do not compromise or allow your emotions to control your actions. Trust Jesus with the outcome. Jesus promised to give us peace: "My peace I give unto you, my peace I leave with you."
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 12-17
Imagine you can hear the sound of clapping, and shouting. People have their hands raised up in the air. There is singing and cheering. People are laughing and hugging; people are crying. What is this event, where do you imagine yourself? A football game? A concert? A church service? To our world two of these are natural and the other is considered strange. We are taught to be spectators, but the human heart craves the opportunity to express itself in worship! We are encouraged to celebrated each other's achievement, but when we truly celebrate what God has done it is considered undignified.
We have been conditioned to be spectators. Spectators cheers when others cheer, wear their teams jersey, but never play in the game. Spectators shout and jump, dance and shake but leave the same way they came. Spectators scream and shout their opinions, but have no real effect on the outcome on the game. Spectators are trained to celebrate when their team is winning and "boo" when things don't go their way. Spectators are conditioned to be entertained.
Lucifer was created to be a worshipper and to lead others into worship, but something happened and he became a spectator. He lost his purpose in worshipping God and started to worship himself. He got out of the game and became a critic. As a spectator he felt he could do a better job than God.
David determined that being a spectator was not enough for him: he made worship a physical activity. Even though David did not fully understand God, he worshipped him because He was God. God called him: "a man after his own heart." David got in the game and off the sidelines.
God's plan for His people is to transition from spectators to worshippers! Worshippers express gratitude to God with all their energy and enthusiasm. A true worshipper forgets himself and the opinions of the spectators. Worship is a spiritual, emotional and physical activity that illustrates our love, gratitude and affection for God. Worshippers are not static, they are mobile! Worshippers celebrate God for who He is, regardless of their life's circumstances (no money, no sunshine, no job) they still worship because He is God! A spectator and worshipper can look the same, but only one really pleases God, are you ready to get in the game?
Scriptures: Philippians 2:1-4
There is nothing more motivational than to converse with an unstoppable Christian. Their words are full of faith. Their life is a beacon of blessing. Their walk with God is an exciting force!
There is nothing more powerful than an unstoppable church! An unstoppable church must have critical core values that define who they are, what they stand for and the mission they are on.
First, an unstoppable church turns guests into partners. A guest is someone who is invited, a visitor or a recipient of hospitability. A partner is a: teammate, colleague, associate, coworker and comrade. Partnership is lasting and unifying.
An unstoppable church turns spectators into worshippers! A spectators watches; they are a viewer, onlooker, bystander or observer. A spectator watches the action, but does not participate. A worshipper is an active participant engaged in the action!
An unstoppable church turns seekers into believers. A seeker is someone who is searching: a pursuant of truth. A believer has found what they are looking for! They are a person who believe that a specific thing is effective, proper and desirable. A believer is a: devotee, disciple, follower and supporter.
An unstoppable church turns consumers into contributors. A consumer lives their walk with God completely for personal success and personal growth. A contributor's relationship with God affects others. Their relationship brings about a positive results for the community of believers, they are effecting their environment.
Finally an unstoppable church turns the transformed into transformers. Transformed means: "to have a dramatic change in form, appearance and character." A transformer is a person that helps others to bring about a dramatic change in their lives! A transformer is a proponent for growth!
Are you ready to be unstoppable?
Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12- "Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
We have a calling from God to be partners in Christ. We are better together. The job we face, reaching the world for Christ, is bigger than all of us. We need to pull together in partnership. Partnership is: less "me" and more "we."
Work is done better when things are done together. People who are unified for a common goal accomplish so much more that those who are divided. Support is key! We walk better together: there is a personal and corporate success that is the by-product of accountability. Accountability keeps us focused and encourages us to fulfill our goals! We can overcome pride, loneliness, fear and social deficiencies together.
We witness better together: we need each other's support and encouragement. The people we are trying to reach need support and encouragement. We need each other! We worship better together. A worshipper is someone who admires God too much to recognize the faults in His children! There is so much power in praying together, giving together, celebrating together and encouraging each other together.
Life really is better when it is done together!