Regardless of where you are in your parenting journey, this message is for you. You don’t have to parent long before you realize you don’t know how to parent. Parents need training. My wife and I bought a dog before we had kids and learned that we had to be trained as owners, along with the dog. If an owner is not trained, they will destroy any work a trainer has done. Parenting is important and we need to get all the knowledge and wisdom and understanding that we can.
You’ve heard it said that we are to write the vision and make it clear. Have you ever heard it said this way, “Clear your vision”? A lot of people don’t reach their potential, not because they’re not talented enough or don’t have the favor of God. It is because their vision is limited, blurred or hindered. They don’t see themselves living healthy, accomplishing their dreams, happily married. They will never rise any higher than the way that they see themselves.
Expectancy is the key to receiving. Have you ever felt the whole of hell is coming at you? You may be tempted to ask “Why me?” I would ask, “Why not you?” Jesus told us we would have tribulation. Satan thinks he still rules so don’t be shocked when it happens. The good news is that you don’t have to put up with it. Be of good cheer! Trouble is coming, but get excited. You’re about to see another testimony develop! Jesus has made sure you are positioned for victory.
I ended my recent series on prayer by teaching a personal pattern of prayer that we find in Matthew 6. “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven’” (Matthew 6:9-10 NASB2020).Remember, God‘s will and what God wants for you is always better than what you want for you. “May His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” is “heaven on earth”.
Did you know, your tomorrow can be better than your today. I’ve been going through a list of words that will help each of us make the rest of our year, the best of our year. The tenth word on my list is “expectation”. What are you going to do with the days you have left this year? Let’s start with what you are expecting.
Have you ever been in a season of life where everything just felt like too much? Too much to carry, too much to deal with? Well praise God for Jesus, because I’m certain we all have been. Through the blood of Christ we have hope and a future. We can come into the presence of God with whatever we’re carrying, and lay it at His feet.
I am continuing with my list of 10 words that will help you make the rest of your year the best of your year. First of all, be reminded that everything that happens to you is not God’s will. What will be will be is not a true statement. Our decisions determine where we’re going. Our choices matter.
We are halfway through the year and I want to pause and help you understand that no matter how your year has gone, whether great or terrible, you can make the rest of your year the best of your year. God works all things together for your good and no weapon formed against you will prosper. All things are made new in Him.
A couple of weeks ago, we talked about humility - what it means to be humble. Today, I want to continue on that topic. A lot of people have the wrong idea of what humility is. They think being humble means you have to let people walk all over you, that you can’t do anything, or that you don’t have anything nice.
Philippians 2:13 says “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” Happy Father’s Day! Dads, be encouraged. Faith doesn’t make things easier. It makes them possible. Your past doesn’t define you but rather prepares you. The lid on your life will always be the mirror. Don’t go through it. Grow through it.
What an incredible week it has been in my church! God has done amazing things in the past year and a half since Trinity in Louisville became part of our Motor City Church family. Our vision has once again expanded as we merge with Royal City Church locally, because we know we are better together. The pastors at our Troy and Louisville campuses, as well as other leaders who have reached out to us to celebrate with us, believe this is an incredible kingdom move.
Today, I want to talk about pride. A message on pride, for purposes of actual change in people’s lives, is a frustrating topic because the people who need to hear it don’t think it’s for them. I want to challenge you as you read this article to be open to considering that you have a little bit of pride. Keep in mind that if you’re not open to receiving this message you probably need to hear it.
Do you feel like you’re in the middle - emotionally, financially, relationally? Your situation is better than it used to be, but you’re not where you know you’re supposed to be. In James 1:2-4, James tells us “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
So, what made Jesus mad? I've been processing this the last few weeks in my series “Angry Jesus.” I saw a church sign the other day. It said, “We love hurting people.” I realized as I read it that if you accent different words in the sentence, you get a different message.
The truth of the matter is, I have heard so many stories over the last few weeks, and of course over 30 years of ministry, of how the church has hurt people. Ironically, that's what was going on back in Jesus' day. Today I want to focus on John 8, my favorite story. It's about a woman caught in the act of adultery. We do not know who she was, but for today, I’m calling her “Janice”.
On this Mother’s Day, regardless of what this day means to you, we can agree that children are important to Jesus.
Throughout history, people have attempted to paint the perfect portrait of Jesus. Sometimes, He's smiling. Sometimes, He's crying or praying. We all have our gentle, sweet image of Jesus, but that picture isn't complete. If we're really going to understand the Savior of the Bible, it's time to take a fresh look. For years, Christians have asked, "What would Jesus do?" But what if we asked a more illuminating question, "What made Jesus mad?"
Today, I continue with a message on things that made Jesus mad. Anytime there's blocked access to God, it makes Jesus mad. If you haven’t seen my message on Jesus’ temple-tantrum from last week, please go back and read/listen. So, legalism… I hate it. If you've got a stupid rule, I'm going to want to challenge it. I want to know why the rule is there and if it makes sense! Rules are never going to be able to cover every scenario we could come up with and an effort to try to make rules that do so results in stupid rules.
Everybody loves Jesus, right? I've never ever had a conversation with anyone who thought he was a jerk. He healed people, loved people, and cared for the outcast. He died a horrible death because he believed that he could save our souls. Even if someone doesn't believe the story at all, you can't not like Jesus.
I’ve been abused but you won’t see any scars, used but you won’t see the wear and tear, lonely when surrounded by my closest friends and blackmailed but I will not negotiate with terrorists. We must wake up to the fact that the enemy is at war with us. Everything that happens in the natural is impacted by things in the spiritual. It is time to wake up in the spirit.
There is a war going on and a lot of Christians are just simply not engaged in the fight. The Bible has a lot to say about this. Ephesians 6:10 teaches us, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Picture this, the devil is at the drawing board trying to come up with a way to trip you up, or mess you up, or destroy your life (John 10:10). Sometimes I think the devil is working harder to destroy us than we are working to keep it from happening.
Happy Easter! This is the day we celebrate Jesus conquering death and the grave. During our service today at MCC, we heard an amazing testimony of redemption and restoration, literally a story of a life bound for death and destruction to a life of promise and hope. It reminds me of God's goodness. It makes me crazy about God. I want more of Him. On Easter, there is so much pressure to preach well in hopes that people will love the message and return for more. How do I get this message right today? If I do well, maybe people will come back for Christmas. How do I make Jesus’ torture, crucifixion and death exciting? How do I explain the resurrection which is the most exciting part? All of this is hard for some to believe because they don’t understand. But actually, people believe a lot of things they don’t understand and can’t explain. God wouldn't be a God worth believing in if we understood Him completely. He is a big, amazing God. We just need to ask the right questions.
Palm Sunday occurs every year on the Sunday before Easter. Today, we remember Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The account is in all four of the gospels. Jesus entered the city, knowing that he was going to be tried, and then crucified. But, he also knew he would be raised from the grave to save us from sin. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week or Passion Week, which is the remembrance of the last days of Jesus..
Today, I want to talk to you about trusting the process. Do you have kids? Things change rapidly with kids. Sometimes it feels like you are in a place where nothing will ever change. You have a two year old that throws a fit about everything. But give it two weeks. Things will change. Maybe you have an eight year old who is so enjoyably pleasant and cooperative. But…give it two weeks! Things WILL change. Life can be crazy. Sometimes we fight the process. We kick against the goads I’ve heard it said. But we need to trust the process.
Today, I will continue my series about habits. I am introducing habits that we don’t often think of and this week I wanted to talk about the habit of excellence. Excellence is doing the best you can with what you’ve got. The key is to treat what you own and live your life with excellence - make it a lifestyle.
There is a high value placed on the dying words of a person. If you have been with a loved one as they were ready to pass from this world to the next, you probably remember the last thing they said to you. The value of someone’s dying words is even legally valuable. We have the Apostle Paul’s last words in 2 Timothy. This book is known as the last writings of Paul. It is a pastoral book written to his spiritual son, Timothy. It was written during the time of Nero who was violently against Christians, blaming and killing them for things he did. Paul had been released from prison but was in prison again for preaching and teaching the Christian faith. In filth, in a cistern, his thought was to write a letter to Timothy to challenge and encourage him. Paul knew his next step was his end, his death. It’s important for us to hear the passion and urgency Paul wants to press into Timothy.
We have been in our series called “Make That Break That” talking about habits that we need to develop and habits that we need to get rid of in order to live a year of unlimited possibilities. I would like to consider a habit today that I call “The Happy Habit”. Proverbs 3:13 AMPC says, “Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is the man who finds skillful and godly Wisdom, and the man who gets understanding [drawing it forth from God's Word and life's experiences].”
I have been doing a series “Make That Break That” about habits that we need to develop and habits that we need to get rid of in order to live with unlimited possibilities. One of the bad habits we should break is being selfish and self-centered, and the best way to do that is to form the habit of being generous.
I’ve been talking about the habits that will help us make this year a year of unlimited possibilities. I’ve written about the habit of putting God first and the habit of speaking right words by changing our thoughts. My purpose in these messages is to highlight habits we need to make and habits we need to break. We will find as we make better habits, like the habit of faith, that we overcome the bad habits like worry and fear.
Today is Super Sunday. The Super Bowl is the culmination of what teams aspire to. One of the most important things on a football team is the relationship between the quarterback and the center. This relationship is a delicate balance between trust and intimacy. Their relationship is so intimate, that the center knows the touch of his QB and understands the message of the pressure in that touch, causing him to know when the quarterback is ready for the play.
I have been discussing the topic of habits the past few weeks with a focus on spiritual habits - habits that will change you, such as putting God first in your day, in your service, and in your finances, aligning yourself with God’s purpose for your life, and living a life of faith, a habit of faith that overcomes fear and worry.
If you have ever raised or helped raise children, there comes a point when you realize that much of their tension and frustration are self-inflicted. If you take it a step further, you realize we, having started out as children, often don’t change much over the years. Much of the time, we are the source of our own angst.
We’ve been talking about habits the past couple of weeks - putting God first and discovering your purpose. Today, I want to focus on the habit of faith. The Bible says that we are to live by faith. Living by faith in God takes the pressure off of us and allows us to enjoy life in a much greater way.
“Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:1-2 MSG).
This will be a year of unlimited possibility. Declare it with me! Right here at the beginning of this new year, let’s consider our habits.We are what we repeatedly do. If you haven’t read my book, Make That, Break That, this would be a great time to get a copy!I desire real change this year, a transformation. In any area of life, if you want to see something new, you’ve got to make a change. The way to live life the way God has for us is challenging; it’s doable but it’s challenging.
I want to declare this is a year of Unlimited Possibilities. When a woman is pregnant, for the first few months, she doesn't look any different. She's the same size, wears the same clothes, and has the same amount of energy. From the outside, there's no sign that she's going to have a baby, and if you just look at her naturally, you could think, "You're not pregnant, there's nothing different about you".
It's been quite the build up: you’ve put out decorations, you’ve planned events, you’ve purchased gifts, and many of you have prepared meals. Let’s take the next few moments to ensure you can enjoy Christmas.
One of the first decorations I think about during this season is the nativity set, a miniature manger filled with characters from the first Christmas story. Although they’re intended to paint the picturesque night of Christ’s birth, as a kid I saw them as nothing more than toys.
Think about clapping a simple beat. Then imagine hearing a drummer performing a more complicated sequence. When we hear these different beats, we’re experiencing rhythm. In terms of life, think about the pace, the rhythm your life is following. The pattern. The sound. The tempo. You can tell a lot about where a person has been and where a person is going by their rhythm.
As some have said, ‘A career is what you are PAID to do, but a calling is what you were MADE to do.’ At Motor City Church we have engineers who volunteer with our Parking Lot team and we have Kidz volunteers who are accountants and communications specialists. When you find your calling and start operating in that calling, there is satisfaction that brings a sense of fulfillment like nothing else. In addition, your calling builds God's house and this is what makes a difference in our church, our city, and our world. Your calling is a central piece to what God wants to do in this world.
We are in a season we call Heart for the House here at Motor City Church. There are many ways we can show our heart for God’s house. Many serve on the Dream Team, our volunteer teams, and many tell others about Motor City Church. We also show our heart for the house through our giving during the year. But, once a year we get together and imagine what we could do to help bring about the vision for the future.
At Motor City Church, we are in the season we call “Heart for the House.” Heart for the House is all about making a difference together by giving our time, talent, and treasure.
Matthew 6:25-33 is a classic passage and ends with, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (things we tend to worry about) will be given to you as well.” The focus according to this verse is God’s kingdom. Have you ever asked, “What can I do for God?” Yes, we are His kids and He has amazing things He has given us in the past and wants to give us in the future, but we are also His servants and He has a Kingdom focus. What does it mean to have a heart for the things God has a heart for?
“I expected more.” That’s what Jamey’s new wife said to him on their honeymoon when they couldn’t afford to go on an excursion during the cruise they were on. The trip was all-inclusive, except for excursions. There would be no extras but Jamey’s wife had expected more.
We’ve all heard of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE… But what about MISSION: POSSIBLE? Today I want to share with you your mission…should you choose to accept it. You are an agent, and you have a mission. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but there is a greater purpose in this mission than just going to church, seeing your friends and hearing a nice little Bible message. This mission is not merely a matter of life or death…this mission is about eternity.
Today I want to talk about what God is calling us to do as the church. I call this Vision Sunday. My focus today is on Motor City Church, but it is applicable to THE church, the universal church. We are people that are leveraging our influence and our lives and our gifts to bring Jesus the most glory AND MAKE HIM FAMOUS. God has enlisted each of us to be a part of what He wants to do in our cities, our regions & countries, and around the world.
I Kings 20:35-43 is an interesting account of a prophet. “And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow at the command of the Lord, ‘Strike me, please.’ But the man refused to strike him. Then he said to him, ‘Because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as you have gone from me, a lion shall strike you down.’ And as soon as he had departed from him, a lion met him and struck him down.
We are talking about mindset in this series. What we think about is essential to what our lives become. Our choices impact our behavior and our situations. Changing our mindset means changing what we are thinking about. To help you with that, text ‘godspromises’ to 689-214-5554. As you meditate on these things that God has in His mind for you, you will get hold of them in YOUR mind for you.
Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”We have a choice to allow God to change the way we think. If we pay attention, we realize choices shape a lot of our life, even more than circumstances. We are a byproduct of our past but we're not a prisoner of our past. Choices have consequences so if we change our mind, we can change our world.
There is a significant difference between setting goals and setting goals with a God-given purpose. In 2 Timothy 1:9 we learn God has saved us and called us with a holy calling not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. We are saved, called and graced for PURPOSE. Purpose is all that God created you for, called you to and graced you for. It is what life equips you for.
Do you remember how we learned fractions in school? One number over another number means a particular portion of the whole. And, if you have 5/3rds for instance, it actually converts to 1 and 2/3rds or more than a whole. That’s the way I want to look at the concept of God’s promises vs. our problems. If we put the promise over the problem, we will come out with more than whole!
So, how do you know if it's God talking to you? 1 John 4:1 teaches us to test the spirits. Have you ever had someone tell you they believe God is telling them to tell you something? If what they say confirms what God has been impressing upon you, then it is a good chance they have heard from God and are speaking truth to you. Cool. But, sometimes, a message such as this is obviously off base. And, sometimes, if you haven't got a confirmation but you also think it’s possible, you can put a message such as this on the shelf. I had a message like that. It took 17 years, but what I was told did come to pass eventually and it was truly exciting when it did!