“Tempted to Gush & Rush?”

The time is approaching when the gates that have held us in will be opened, and like the mighty steed in a Kentucky Derby pen, we will burst out! Gushing and rushing forward to catch up on all that we missed in our locked down, stay-at-home, quarantine restrictions. …

…and perhaps like the out-of-shape weekend-warrior-athlete, we will pull something, probably a hamstring…

So how do we handle this sudden “return” of freedom? My suggestion—and caution—is with self-controlled moderation. The Gush & Rush is like getting off a diet. It will only make you sick. But as we reenter the “new normal”, make it as “old normal” as possible, with a dash of wisdom and common sense added. But in all wisdom, do not try to catch up all at once. It will only result in more heartache and frustration, and maybe a little social “impact”…. Think about it.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. … . [Galatians 5:22–23]

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. [2 Peter 1:5–7]

Will you join me in practicing a self-controlled reentry?

Peace,

Pastor Mike

“Are You Full of It?”

As I was growing up, one of the common insults I would get is, “You’re full of it.” Not sure what “it” was, but when I would say something rather outlandish, back shot the retort: “You’re full of it, Rossmann.” (Even to this day I’m not quite sure what they meant, except that they didn’t believe what I was saying was true or accurate—humph!)

But as I read this morning’s main text, I would gladly receive the tart retort, “You’re full of it” as a badge of honor and not shame. Here, “it” is the Word of Christ. I would like to be so full of “It” that my teaching, coaching and correcting were indeed full of “all wisdom”! …

And since the Lord Jesus Christ has become my Wisdom (1 Cor. 1:30, as I yield to His presence, this wisdom can be overflowing….

How do I get “full of it”? I know one way is not laying my head on the Bible—though some may think this is possible. I have learned that when it comes to the Word, there are two major ways to get “it”: I see it or I hear it. I see it in printed form or modeled in another’s behavior; and I hear it read to me. Personally, I set aside some time in the morning to read the Word beyond my sermon prep. This has been a challenge over the years, but during my convalescence, I have made this a high priority. Sometimes, my reading often overlaps with my sermon prep, but this I expect, since I am preparing a messenger as much as a message. Another way, I “get full of it” is listening to other sermons in podcasts, and, yes, the old fashion way, on CD’s. (I even still have a CD/Cassette player in my car!) Since I’ve started back driving, I have covered a lot of ground in the Word….

What do you do “to get full of it”? Your thoughts?

Main Text— Colossians 3:16–17 (NIV84) 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Additional Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts

I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.1 John 2:14 (NASB95)

If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.—John 15:7–8 (NIV84)

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.— Deuteronomy  6:6–9 (NIV84)

Heavenly Father, fill me with the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. May my ‘cup’ overflow. Stir in me a hunger for Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Pastor Mike

“Does Human Wisdom Exist”

Date: 9-23-14

Text: James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  [NIV84]

The Big Idea: True wisdom is seen in a good life that is marked by humility.

My Thoughts: 

We learn from the verse above that true wisdom is seen in a good life that is marked by humility. I use the adjective, “true,” because there appears to be false wisdom all over the place. But the question I have seen being discussed these passed few years is: “Does human wisdom exist?” The argument goes something like this: Since people are so warped and twisted in their fallen state, they are completely incapable of doing anything right or wise without ‘borrowing’ from the Lord’s wisdom. Thus, any apparently wise ‘thing’ that is done or said is actually not from human origin, but divine inspiration….

Lifestyle worshipers, how do you understand the uniqueness of wisdom? Do we need to use adjectives, like “true,” “divine,” “from above” to set the Lord’s wisdom apart from earthly wisdom? Does human wisdom exist at all? Does this distinction matter?

Your thoughts?

Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts

 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.  — 1 Corinthians 2:6 (ESV)

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” — Luke 7:33-35 (NIV84)

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. — Colossians 2:2-3 (NIV84)

Lord Jesus Christ, be Wisdom in me as I follow in Your steps to please You in all I do. In Your Name Amen.

Pastor Mike

“If You Lack, Ask”

Sermon Title: “The Testing Lab for Wisdom Part One: Trials”

Series: Families Grow Up In Wisdom: The Book of James

Date: 9-11-14

Text: James 1:5-8  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.  [NIV84]

The Big Idea: Instead of asking, “Why,” perhaps asking “What, Lord?…”

My Thoughts: 

If you are like me, it is hard not to doubt when someone gives me advice. But the more I trust the expertise of the one giving the advice, the less I doubt. …

Lifestyle worshipers, the same is true with the Lord. Too many times we project onto the Lord His children’s unfaithfulness or poorly offered  counsel. But when we seek His Face through His Word and prayer and the counsel of those who do the same, their counsel/wisdom is just as trustworthy as if it came from the very mouth of God Himself… Oh, it did, when it comes from His Word….

 So the next time you are in a trial, challenge or difficulty, instead of asking, “Why,” perhaps asking “What, Lord? What would You like me to yield to You this time? What aspect of my life am I not trusting Your Life to empower me in?” So if you lack, ask. … Then trust the expertise of our Heavenly Father’s Wisdom….

Do you think these questions will be answer more readily than the “why”? Your thoughts….

Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts

“Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment.

Proverbs 9:4 (NIV84)

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

— Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV84)

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord,…

Jeremiah 29:12-14a (NIV84)

Heavenly Father, as I encounter these various trials, I ask the Lord Jesus Christ to make clear to me what aspects of my life He would desire me to surrender to Him. I realize that this journey with Jesus often goes deeper the second and third time around. May His Peace guard my heart and mind by the power of Your Holy Spirit. In Your Jesus’ Amen.

Pastor Mike