Biblical Living, Grand Point - Ship, Lessons for my crew, Purpose

Who are you?

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I get the privilege of meeting so many people. It’s become such a treasure to me to connect with people and learn some of their story and how the Lord is revealing himself to them. I’ve learned that when someone comes up to me in public and introduces themselves to just roll with it. I may not have met them yet, but they have met me through Grand Point. Every time it takes place I immediately go the same place you would–Stretch out my hand and say, my name is Kevin. Who are you?

You wouldn’t think that a question of just three words would produce such a difficult issue, but there it is. As it stands staring you in the face, you have to immediately come to a place where you can effectively articulate the depth of just who you are.

Typically, the answer that comes back is something predictable- I’m Kevin and I the Pastor at Grand Point Ship.

Do you see what I did?

And do you make the same fatal flaw?

You see, I’ve just tied who I am to what I do?

Why do we do that?

I wonder if it’s because we are still yet unsure of exactly who we are.

Think of it, of the last time you answered that question. The answer to who you are becomes your name and, without even having to be asked, we can launch into hours of what we do.

But what happens when what you do can no longer be done?

It rarely happens by your choice but nonetheless.

A simple accident, and the very trajectory of your life has changed because what you do can no longer be done and has become what you did.

You begin to find yourself living in the past and everything seems to be falling apart in your world because all you can think about is who you were.

In John 1, John captures the story and events around John the Baptist. He’s not rushed onto the scene, but has been working his angle for probably years up to this point. He’s gained a large following and because the climate, the culture is charged with the thought and anticipation of the pending Messiah’s arrival.

Here’s what the Author John captures about those moments:

“Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’

John 1:19-23 NKJV

When it comes to the discovery of who you are, it’s really important, also, to know exactly who are you are not.

In response to their questions JTB first mentions, “I am not the Messiah.”

Can I just relieve you today from the areas where you feel you need to be the Savior!?

You don’t need to be the Savior. He’s One of a Kind and irreplaceable.

He doesn’t need your help at His saving and in fact, is there a chance that you’re just making the Saving more complicated?

When it comes to your marriage that in trouble- Let Him be the Messiah.

About that really troubled relationship you are in panic about- Let Him do the saving.

After preaching through this concept, a man came up to me and let me know that he heard the message and connected it to his troubled marriage. He left with a sense of victory now realizing that he didn’t have to be the Savior of his marriage- it was the Lord’s job to do the saving.

Who are you?

Are you mom?

Are you dad?

Are you son?

Well, what you’re not is Messiah.

You’re more than employed. You’re worth so much more than just a job you do, a role you fill and a position you occupy.

Somebody testify to this truth!

Purpose

The Books of 2020

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Every year it’s my goal to be a reader and I set my goal is reading 20 books over the course of the year. I fell short this year because of a few things, but really there are and should not be excuses.

Biblical Living

Just Believe

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My greatest downfall is my skepticism. I really struggle to just believe. Do you?

I’ve always been that way. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned through life that there are many who just want to take advantage of you and they play to your easy belief. If we can become super trusting they can easily take us for what we are. See!? Right there in my statement, my skepticism is emerging. I struggle with trust in people!

Or I used to.

The older I get, the more I see that it doesn’t matter if people are worth trusting or not, if we lose in the end, what really have we lost? Even in the loss we are learning and learning is highly valuable and beyond that there’s a special grace that is found in the element of simple trust.

Recently, on a short trip out of town, the Lord really struck me with this simple phrase – Just believe. I really felt He was telling me to stop making Him prove everything over and over again and to learn to just take Him at His word.

Just trust me!

I felt Him impressing on me.

It scares me to think of what He is telling me to trust Him with and what might be coming that I need this impression and encouragement.

It came through a reading in Luke and it came with repetition.

Luke 1, the story of Zacheriah and Elizabeth. For context and so you don’t have to grab a Bible for the quick read, Zacheriah has been chosen for his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enter the Holy Place and be the one that offers the sacrifice for the people. What an incredible honor! One for which He’s been waiting literally for years. I’m sure with every step he’s thinking, don’t screw up it, don’t screw it up!

Once he’s there and doing his duty, to his amazement, an angel appears next to the alter and freaks him out so so bad. He offers Zach a promise, your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elizabeth, is going to have a baby. Count on it!

Now what happens next just blows my mind but I can totally relate because Zach and I both share the same skeptic brain.

His simple response that came through his cocked smile, you expect me to believe this!?

And there it is, the struggle of belief.

How is it that when we pray, we can do so with such fervor and expectation but only while we believe that God is able to answer in the season that we think is perfect?

As soon as we think that season is past, we believe that God has already answered with His quiet indifference and we are left hopeless and empty.

I bet you can identify with that, can’t you!? Your mind immediately races back to the last place, or most significant place, where you’ve been asking, pleading, begging and your heart is most tender and filled with belief, but day after day continues with no answer, no change and no hope that He even heard.

We have to understand that the Lord works in perfect precision and precision means timing.

Ours is just to believe that He can.

Even with this supernatural occurrence of an angel coming to him to reveal the hope-filled news of the answer they have been looking for, he cannot bring himself to face the possibility that this might be a hoax. And in that, we see ourselves standing there at the corner of that alter facing an angel and thinking I can identify with Zach. The hurt of empty hope is too much, it’s better to just not believe!

And because of that, something was stripped away from Zach that day. He left without the ability to speak. The angel had removed something from him until the truth would be found. And I’ve found that truth to be real as well. When we fail to follow with belief, with trust, we lose something in the process.

For so many today, the struggle to believe that Jesus would and could come to this earth to pay for the sins of all man is too much to bear and so they don’t believe. They are losing their eternity with Jesus. They are losing the actual presence of the Spirit of God in their lives every day.

Rest assured, you might not feel it, but you are missing something very significant because of your refusal to believe!

FF to the end of Luke and we find another occurrence of the same. Jesus, having just been raised from the dead, is walking on a road leading to nowhere. Isn’t it strange the places that we find Jesus? This is really another story for another time but as He’s walking on this road, He encounters two men who are going over the events of His death and His bodies disappearance on that very day as they walk that dusty road to nowhere.

As they encounter Him along they way, they don’t recognize Him and share their struggle to believe what has happened that day. Here’s Jesus response to them

So thick headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said?

Luke 24:25 The Message

And then, He shared with them, as proof, from Moses through the Prophets all that they needed to believe.

What do you need to just believe today?

I get it, the struggle is real! With all the garbage we deal with today, there is a clear and evident struggle to believe the simplicity of the message of hope that comes through Christ. But what if today, we just chose to believe?

What if you took that thing you are looking at, that thing that you simply cannot figure out and just believed the Lord over that thing?

Maybe for someone reading this message today, it’s the thing you needed to just believe in the hope-filled message of salvation.

Whatever the case may be, it’s time to Just Believe.

Lessons for my crew

Send it Back!

Have you ever received a gift that you wanted to just give right back?
We’re just a few weeks until Christmas and I imagine you have so many gifts that you have purchased for people you love. You are so excited and eager to be able to give those gifts and see the response and reaction on their faces as they open their new treasure that you worked so hard to figure out! And then, when that moment arrives, and they just don’t have the response you are looking for! Oh what pain!

Experience, Family

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I don’t know what it is about the day or time of year, but I have loved this day and everything it represents. The feels of the season are always well in place by this time and the world is about to collectively focus their attention on Christ’s coming.

Biblical Living, Leadership

Jif or Peter Pan?

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I get so paralyzed when I’m up against options. I’m not talking about big dynamic ones, I’m talking about the everyday ones you find in the grocery store. When my wife sends me to the store to get 5 things, I get stuck in the bread aisle wondering what the best option, Jif or Peter Pan! What that girl does with 20 minutes in a grocery store would be half a day for this poor boy.
I just get overwhelmed!
What if I make the wrong choice? My biggest plague is trying to save 15¢ so I’m always calculating options to see which is the best price!

And that brings up another huge ordeal. Why is it that we feel that the will of God must be cheap or free!? Tell me I’m wrong!