Archive for February, 2015

Daring Love: Pursue It!

February 16th, 2015 No comments

I recently began an exciting sermon series called Daring Love. Christ’s love is daring – it’s bold and courageous; it’s fearless and adventurous.

It’s also supernatural. It’s beyond the grasp of human effort and willpower. To love like Jesus, we must allow Him to transform our hearts and to empower us with His Holy Spirit.

The good news is that he loves to transform our hearts and to invite us to enjoy and share His daring love with others!

The Bible commands us to “Pursue love…” [I Corinthians 14:1a]

That’s a strange command isn’t it? In our culture, love is something that happens to you, not something you go after. Love is a noun, not a verb. Love is a feeling, not an action. So this command seems a bit odd at first.

God is telling us if we want to experience His love, it’s something that requires intentional effort on our part. This word “pursue” in the Greek means to aggressively chase, like a hunter pursuing a catch (prize). And this chase is not casual, rather it suggests a pursuit with all haste, earnestly desiring to overtake that which you are pursuing.

So Paul is telling us to earnestly, passionately chase after love until to catch it!

And our pursuit is critical because Daring Love inspires others to love boldly and courageously. When we love like Jesus, it impacts those around us, calling them to action.

The Bible commands us to “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”
Hebrews 10:24, NKJV

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. (NLT)

So in addition to pursuing love ourselves, we are called to motivate our brothers and sisters to commit daring acts of love!

This verb “stir up” means to stimulate, provoke, arouse and excite a person to action.

This is one of the reasons we are commanded to be a part of a local church. We can’t stir up love in others or stimulate good works while we sit at the kitchen table having our personal quiet time!
Love requires a family! You can’t do it alone.

How awesome would it be to be a part of a church family filled with believers who were bold and daring in their expression of love and good works?!

Be intentional today in your pursuit of love. Consider how you might motivate others to live a lifestyle of daring love for Christ and for others.

Resolutions: The Power of Plodding

February 12th, 2015 1 comment

turtle and hare

Here’s my final word on resolutions. Life is messy. Our best laid plans seldom happen, at least in the way we envisioned. Life, like algebra, is full of unknown variables. Trust me. I have eight children. I am an expert on managing chaos.

But chaos, uncertainty, mayhem or whatever you call it doesn’t mean we stop pursuing God-given goals. We press on. We plod ahead. We adjust our plans.

I love this reminder from the Apostle Paul:

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

Pursuing godly resolutions requires perseverance. And sometimes the best strategy is to plod on. I love what Jon Bloom has written:

Today is going to be a challenge.

You will not make perfect plans. You will not work your plans perfectly. You’ll find a bog of ambiguity that you’ll need to step through carefully. There will be detours and delays. There will be equipment failures. You will spin your wheels. There will be unexpected phone calls and undesired emails. Social media will keep poking you for attention. Your indwelling sin and others’ indwelling sin will throw you curveballs. There will be some swings and misses. Your creativity won’t flow like you want it to when you want it to. And when you actually get to the project that you’ve scheduled time for at the time you scheduled it for, you won’t feel like doing it.

So what will you do when faced with these challenges? Plod on.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. The older I get the more I admire those who have chosen to stay in the race. They don’t quit. They remain steady throughout life’s many challenges.

Their secret?

Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

In the end, you’ll be amazed at the ground you’ve covered and the goals you’ve achieved.

Plod on!

Resolutions: Make Your Goals SMARTER (3)

February 9th, 2015 3 comments

oreo cookie

In this blog series, we have been discussing how to rescue our dreams from the fog by making our goals SMARTER. Let’s discuss the final three characteristics necessary for bringing clarity to your resolutions.

• Time-bound

Good goals have timelines. They come with a deadline. Financial expert, Dave Ramsey, says a goal without a deadline is just a dream.

“I need to lose 20 pounds,” is a bad goal. Do you mean over the course of your life?

How about by the end of March? Now that’s a good goal.

I once had the privilege of touring the Chicago Board of Trade. The last minute before the closing bell is mayhem. Why? Because time is running out. There’s a sense of urgency. Deals must be made.

Deadlines create urgency. Urgency gets us moving forward.

• Exciting

Do your goals grip you? Are you excited to pursue them?

Every goal has what has been called the “messy middle.” After the honeymoon season wanes and you reach a few speed bumps in the pursuit of your goal, you’ll be tempted to throw in the towel.

What pushes you over the hump? Getting re-connected with the excitement of the original vision. Make sure your goals excite you!

• Relevant

Relevant goals are appropriate for the season you are in. Goals aren’t like Oreo cookies. When you open a package all the cookies are identical. Thankfully, human beings aren’t like Oreos!

We are all in different seasons of our lives.

Marion and I used to spend a couple of weeks each year leading teams on the mission field. We loved taking our children with us. It worked great when we had two kids. Not so great with 4 kids. And incredibly challenging with 8 children. It wasn’t the right season. Our focus needed to shift to the home front. We shifted our attention to making maximum impact in the lives of our children. We didn’t lose our passion for the nations. We were just entering a different season with new opportunities.

Know the season of life you are currently in and establish your goals accordingly.