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At Mars Hill, “we become all things to all people that we may win some to Christ.”
Therefore, we decided a long time ago to use technology as another tool to help people find their way back to God. Before you write me off as a heretic, Christianity was, in a very real sense, the first technologically driven religion. You can read more about it HERE.
Welcome to Live Streaming
With Facebook’s newest feature Facebook Live, you can start a Live broadcast that’s posted to the News Feed, watch comments overlaid in real-time on their stream, and then make the recording permanently available for viewing. I’m using Facebook Live to review the previous Sunday message and live stream a video devotional. I’m calling it Rewind.
REWIND is a live stream (Facebook Live and Periscope) designed for us to look back to Sunday’s message and allow God’s Spirit to prompt us in areas that need to change in our lives (before we shelve the thoughts in the archives of our mind).
There are three sections to it:
- Recall: a quick blurb about the big idea of the previous Sunday message along with links to the audio/video/transcription of the message (in case you missed it or want to go back to it),
- Reflect: some key questions to digest as a group, family, or individual, and
- Respond: action steps that might be helpful to pursue a healthy change in our daily lives.
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “I’m All In or All or Nothing?”
Originally and still a poker metatphor, ‘all in’ has also come to mean a situation whose subject is unreservedly involved, without qualification. Fully committed. In this sense the term “all in” is almost the same as its denotative opposite, “all out,” as in all-out warfare.
When many people think of church membership, they may think that it just means their name is on a roll at a church. And in some churches it means you were baptized or dedicated at that church. But it’s actually much more than that.
It’s about an attitude, not an action.
In my new message series for 2016, I’m laying out the basic principles for what it means to be “ALL IN.”
- All In
- It’s Not About me…It’s All About Him
- In Order to Go Up, I Must be Prayed Up.
- As For Me and My House, It’s Settled.
- Sit or Serve…It’s a Choice
Why waste your life when you can make something of your life? If you wait, life will probably pass you by. But if you go out and do the things you want to, take the risks you fear, you may just find that everything falls into place. Join us each Sunday in January at the Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago at 8 AM or 10:30 AM. It’s a safe place to hear a dangerous message.
Question: What would it take for you to be “All In” in 2016 Share your answer on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Question for you: What would you have done differently at age 25? Would you have paid off credit card debts? Would you have started some kind of exercise program? Would you have gone to college/grad school? What exactly?
Living in Chicago is, as Charles Dickens says in the Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
It is the best of times (at least for Christians) because there’s a dark political, moral, and corrupt cloud hovering begging for light (Matthew 5:13-14). It is the worst of times because we’re witnessing some activists, politicians, glory-seekers, and even preachers/pastors clamoring for the spotlight to build their platform. It’s sickening.
Watching this tragic drama unfold reminds me of Tony Gaskins’ quote:
If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.
According to this quote, if don’t wake up and begin pursuing your dreams, someone will recognize your abilities and recruit you to help build theirs. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong, improper, or illegal about helping others fulfill their dreams, remember God has something He wants you to accomplish that only you can accomplish.
However, it’s possible to work on both at the same time. Everyone has the same thing in common: 24 hours in a day. Since time is passing, why wouldn’t you be working, at least, part-time, on your dreams.
In 2016, our country will elect a new president, and many speculate what America will look like after President Obama’s term expires.
Since I can’t predict the future, the one thing I know for sure is that economic power comes through business ownership, and pride in ownership of property and neighborhoods. Everyone wins when this happens. That’s why I’m compelled to share one of the most amazing TED talks I’ve ever heard by Margarita Anderson.
My Black Year: Margarita Anderson
Margarita Anderson and her family were featured in national headlines as they lived exclusively off Black businesses, professionals, and products for an entire year. Her stand, chronicled in her book, “Our Black Year,” was called The Empowerment Experiment.
Now, she tours the country to increase awareness about economic inequalities that starve Black neighborhoods and deny Black businesses, and how proactive support of these businesses can create jobs and curb crime in America. Check out her video explaining her family’s experience supporting black businesses.
Many believe the next Civil Rights Movement will be one of economic empowerment. What do you think?
We all do it: we look at what others are doing and wish we were doing that too.
Truth be told, you cannot be happy and envious at the same time. In fact, one of the greatest secrets of having happiness in your life is learning how to eliminate comparisons.
Why Do We Make Comparisons
Our brains have a natural tendency to make comparisons as a system of developing logic and reasoning. And all the ways we compare ourselves to others are the same ways we find value in our lives. The answer isn’t to stop making comparisons, but to remember what God thinks about us.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
David, the author of this Psalm, declared that God is present at conception and birth. Since we are made in the image of God and God has a special purpose for each person who is born. We live in and with our bodies all our lives, and we know how amazing they are. God formed us as He wants us to be, and we must accept His will no matter how we feel about our genetic structure, our looks, or our abilities.
Made in the Image of God
God’s character goes into the creation of every person. When you feel worthless or even begin to hate yourself, remember that God’s Spirit is ready and willing to work within you. We should have as much respect for ourselves as our Maker has for us.
Check out today’s #MotivationalMoment: The Real Reason Why Comparisons are Dangerous and Useless.
Motivational Moment | The Danger of Shortcuts
So many people are in such a hurry to success that they eagerly take any shortcuts that come their way. In reality, shortcuts usually lead to disappointments rather than quicker success.
The key to any long-term success is to take the necessary steps to steadily progress rather than skip any of them.
Remember: What comes easy won’t last long, and what lasts long won’t come easy.
Welcome to Day 8 (the FINAL day) of our #PrayFirst Campaign!
For One Week, we will pray for One Minute every hour about One Topic as One Church to One God! Pray for the first 60 seconds of every hour and watch God bless the other 59 minutes! There is power when God’s people pray in unity. Join us as we answer Jesus’ prayer “May they be ONE” (John 17:21).
If you’d like to know more about our #PrayFirst Campaign you can:
- Click HERE to read the overview
- You can read our Day One Devotional on Faith HERE
- You can read our Day Two Family Devotional HERE
- You can read our Day Three Finance Devotional HERE
- You can read our Day Four Facilities Devotional HERE
- You can read our Day Five Fulfillment Devotional HERE
- You can read our Day Six Family Devotional HERE
- You can read our Day Seven Devotional on Finishing Strong HERE
God Helps Those Who Help Themselves…Really?
Although it sounds great, it’s not in the Bible. No matter how good it sounds, if we demonstrate some effort to improve, God will give us a little push in that direction. So we decide to make it by sheer willpower and discipline. The problem is, we run out of steam and lose focus.
Next year, millions will make and break resolutions because they’re trying to solve a spiritual problem through earthly means. The challenge we all face is that we want to be transformed. However, we tend to look within ourselves for the solution. The solution resides outside of ourselves. The solution is God.
Transformation is a problem that we cannot solve. That’s why God sent Jesus! Apart from him, we can do absolutely nothing! In Galatians 3:3, Paul reminds the Galatians that God has given them His Spirit and with this – combined with their faith, they can make it.
Who Does God Help?
God doesn’t help those with themselves. God helps those who abide with Him and those who walk with Him in faith (John 15:1-5). Our efforts were never the impetus for God’s transforming grace. Nor will they be the impetus for our changed hearts.
The Bible says that we are justified by faith. We don’t need willpower or self-effort as much as we need faith that God will accomplish in us and for us what we can’t do ourselves. He is the source of what we long for and need. Willpower and self-effort can only take us so far in our desire to change.
What’s The Point?
Change is Possible
Focus is Required
Dependence on God is Foundational
Focus requires discipline. As the famed personal finance guru Robert Kiyosaki defines it: Follow One Course Until Successful.
Prayer of F.O.C.U.S (Follow One Course Until Successful)
Lord, right now, eliminate all distractions for the time it takes me to complete my priorities. Help me to turn off the wifi, silence cell notifications, and schedule F.O.C.U.S. time with you. Help me to stay on task and Follow One Course Until I’m Successful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.