Archive for June, 2008

30
Jun
08

The Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

I have an awesome JUST ONE MORE story to share.

A few weeks ago I met a guest of a CrossPointer.  The guest attended due to an invitation from his CrossPoint friend.  The CrossPointer informed me that his friend had not been in church much during his lifetime, and that worship was a relatively new experience for him.

If memory serves me correctly, our guest’s first Sunday was when I preached the message “Practicing Holy Living” from Ephesians 4:17-24.  During the message I recognized our guest was struggling with the double-edged forcefulness of God’s Word.  At the end of the message this individual was very emotional and seeking counsel from his CrossPoint friend.

Since then our staff has made several contacts with this guest.  Additionally, and more importantly, the CrossPointer who invited him to worship has consistently prayed for, discussed salvation with and repeatedly invited him to worship.

This afternoon I received a phone call from the CrossPointer.  He called to inform me that his friend had just sent him a text message saying he had been born again and that he was now calling CrossPoint his home church.  The CrossPointer admitted that he had little or nothing to do with this friend’s salvation.  He also added how excited he was to be a small part in something so big.

The CrossPointer said he was more than willing to do anything necessary to help his new brother grow in Christ.  The visionary CrossPointer added, “I am going to start with the John 8 passage you read last week in worship.  That pretty much sums up what it means to follow Christ.”  He’s got that right.

I am convinced this man’s salvation is due to three factors.

First and foremost, this story is the result of the sovereign will of God.  God does the saving, we do not.  God calls men and women, boys and girls to salvation.  When God calls, people repent and are saved.

Second, this situation was made possible because a CrossPointer took serious the vision of JUST ONE MORE.  The power of CrossPoint’s vision is so simple a first grader can understand it.  What makes it even more powerful is when an adult CrossPointer understands it and puts it into action.

Finally, the story reveals the saving power of the Gospel.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is called Good News.  It is Good News because through Jesus Christ our sins are forgiven.  That, my friends, is the saving power of the Gospel.

Who have you invited to worship?

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27
Jun
08

It Could Be Your Last

I called my brother, Rhett, the morning my Papaw exerted influence over me.  We both expressed thanks for our Mamaw and Papaw.  Before ending the conversation Rhett reminded me of a statement one of his business friends often says,

Live each day as if it were your last, because one day it will be.

If you knew you had a month to live, what would you do differently?  If you knew your life-clock was about to strike midnight, what would you change?  If knew the day of your death, how would things change?

Remember, Proverbs 27:1 says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

Today is the only day you have to live—not tomorrow, not next week, not next month or next year.  So, live today as if it were your last, because one day it will be.

26
Jun
08

Boast Not Thyself of Tomorrow

My grandfather exerted tremendous influence on me this morning.  A grandfather’s influence is not all that uncommon.  However, what makes my Papaw’s influence unprecedented is that he is in heaven, and he has been there for more than two decades.

My Papaw was an incredible man.  Yes, he had his flaws, as we all do.  Yet in spite of his shortcomings I learned much from him.  By his example I learned how to pray.  He also taught me the importance of studying God’s Word.  He modeled for me how to share the gospel.  Most of all, he taught me how a disciple for Jesus Christ should live.

This morning, my Papaw’s persuasion came while reading my Bible.  CrossPoint’s Bible reading plan required for me to read Proverbs 27 & 28 for the day.  The first verse of Proverbs 27 reads,

Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.

This verse may not mean much to you, but it speaks volumes to me.  Proverbs 27:1 might be the first Bible verse I ever memorized.  I know a Southern Baptist pastor should cite John 3:16 as his initial memory verse, yet I earnestly believe Proverbs 27:1 is mine.  My Papaw recited Proverbs 27:1 to me over and over again, along with many others.  I put the verse to heart in the King James Version, which reads, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

So how did my Papaw influence me?

Soon after reading that verse I considered for a moment the many times I spent with my Papaw (and Mamaw) on his farm.  I recalled how he would make us rise early in the morning to work the garden before the heat of the day set in.  I remembered riding atop his tractor as he plowed a garden or mowed a field.  I reflected on our walks in his woods.  In every setting, my Papaw discovered a way to teach me Scripture.

On some occasions he would quote a passage to teach me something.  At other times, he would ask me to restate a passage with him.  Proverbs 27:1 was one of the many Bible verses that stand out above the rest.

I am not sure why this passage rises to the top.  Perhaps I was a worrier.  Maybe I spoke too much about what we would do the next day, while not enjoying the present day.  I do not remember the first time I heard him quote Proverbs 27:1.  But I do know he often reminded me that verse.

After several minutes of considering Papaw’s life, I gave thanked the Lord for his influence, influence that continues to effect me today.  Then I committed not to boast about tomorrow, knowing each day has enough trouble of its own.

25
Jun
08

Lawn Care Therapy

So, I’m cutting my mother’s yard.  My mind is wondering.  I’m thinking and praying simultaneously.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I enjoy yard work.  I solve more problems, pray more prayers, answer more questions and discover more solutions working in the yard than any other time in my week.  I guess you could call it Lawn Care Therapy.

Let’s return to my mother’s lawn.

So, I am mowing her lawn and pondering.  I’ve got Vonda, Taylor, and Kelsey on my mind.  I am wrestling with our needs.  I am also considering some of our wants.  My mother’s needs are in my thinking.  There are always the pressing concerns of CrossPoint and our staff pervading my mind.

“Okay, Father, how are you going to meet these needs?” I ask.

There is a moment of contemplation.  Then the Holy Spirit gives me His Prayer,

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory,
forever.
Amen.

There it is, as plain as can be.  Make note: Give us THIS DAY our DAILY bread.  His message is loud and clear.  “Father, you want me to trust you today, this day, just today for these many needs?”

Once again, the Lord’s Prayer speaks to me.  The Prayer reminds me my Father will meet all my needs today.  There is no need to fret tomorrow.  My job is to trust him for today.  Trust the Lord to give you this day your daily bread.

I wonder what I will learn on my lawnmower next week.

24
Jun
08

Praying the Lord’s Prayer

I am curious to hear if any of you are using the Lord’s Prayer in your daily devotions. I continue to use it as my prayer guide.

The following is another use of the Prayer:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name – give Him PRAISE.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven – seek His WILL.
Give us this day our daily bread – present your REQUESTS.
…and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors – confess your SINS.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil – ask for PROTECTION.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen – seek His GLORY.

23
Jun
08

The Don’t Song

Okay, why did I not have access to this video a few weeks ago when I was preaching “Building a Godly Marriage” from Ephesians 5:21-33.  Men, you need this video.  Enjoy!

20
Jun
08

More from Sunday

Zach W. couldn’t stand it.  He wanted to sing with his daddy!