This Week in San Antonio we will be hosting the FINAL 4 College Basketball Championship. The Final 4 is a big deal. Some say it is the greatest American sporting event of the year.
For the Church Easter is probably the greatest celebration of the year because it highlights the greatest event of Christianity. The resurrection of Jesus is huge.
Just like this weeks Final 4 so there was a Final 4 that took place some 2000 years ago. Jesus came into holy week the undefeated 1st seed of the universe. He had three top contenders trying to unseat Him. These other teams were seeking to bring an upset.
Up first was satan himself. All through the earthly life of Jesus, satan had tried to defeat Him. With Jesus hanging on the cross and then buried in the tomb the devil thought he had won the game. When Jesus came out of the tomb alive the devil was soundly defeated.
Up second was sin. Jesus went to the cross never having disobeyed the Father even once. When Jesus died on the cross the perfect and holy life that He lived as the God man proved that He indeed was the the perfect lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Sin was defeated through Jesus death.
Up third was Death. Death though it had won because Jesus breathed His last but the game had gone to overtime. Jesus died on friday but came back to life on sunday defeating death once and for all.
The cosmic Final 4 ended and Jesus is and forever will be the Champion.
2017 ends with a greater hope of things to come. I am encouraged as I look to 2018 for many reasons. Here is my list: 1. We have a group of leaders that want to see greater things. 2. We have a vision that reaches out the next generation. 3. We have a conviction that the message we speak is truth and life.
As 2018 approaches I am thankful that God has allowed us to move forward with likeminded partners and friends. I am thankful that we have an attitude that says the best is yet to come.
Happy New Year to everyone who reads this post and to those who don't.
Over the past several months we have experienced some pretty massive storms here in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and California. Not to mention Mexico and the earthquakes. Along with the devastating natural disasters we have experience the storms of tragedy in Las Vegas, Hollywood and political turmoil.
Personally we have all had our storms when trouble has shown up at our doorsteps unexpectedly. Storms are part of living in a fallen world and when dealing with fallen people. I wanted to take a few moments and talk about how to weather the storms of life.
When you are going through a storm keep in mind that all storms have beginnings and endings. Every storm mentioned in the Bible concluded at some point.
What is God teaching us through the storm. Many times God will reveal things about those around us concerning motives and actions. When God shows us things don't be afraid to step forward in faith and trust God for the right outcomes and decisions.
Be like the wise man who built his house upon the rock. Root yourself in the things of God so that you are not shaken by the schemes of satan and the opinions of man.
Storms come and go. People disappoint, but God is always faithful.
The Bible teaches us that Jesus is our foundation( 1Cor. 3:11). Today, early this morning, they poured the foundation of our Student Building. While the foundation they poured today is concrete the foundation we laid today was all for Jesus. The reason we are building this new building is to spread the good news of the gospel to our community. Our prayer is that we will have an impact on the children that are all around us.
This past sunday I brought a word to The Springs Church in honor of our graduates. The message I brought had these three points. First, we must all be dreamers. We must dream dreams that allow God to move us forward into our purposes and destiny. Secondly, we must all be learn to be people who defy the doubters, the critics. Everything we do for God will have those who will speak the negative against them and the work. We on the other hand must speak the word of God. We must defy the enemies of our faith and move forward with the plans of God. Thirdly, we must move forward by doing our part. God will be faithful and we must be faithful. We must be people of action. We must take the land and fight the good fight of faith.
We have been working with General Steel Corp concerning our new building. I get the call letting me know that in 2017 prices are going up. I have already done my research on building cost so I know that the price they have given us is good. If we wait until January 1, we will pay several thousands more for the same building. I ask how much do we need to secure the building to keep the price the same. He gives the amount which happened to be the exact amount we had just received from an unexpected source. I ordered the building and got the price before the hikes went into effect.
The building is secured we took the step of faith. The journey for the rest is ahead of us. I look to the future knowing that GOD ALWAYS COMES THROUGH. I am confident that the victory is ours.
I love the sunrise because it brings in a new day. I love January 1 because it allows us to start again. Let me encourage you to put the past in the past. Put your sin under the blood of Jesus. Encourage yourself to do better this new year. Dream again.
Here are a few things we can do to start off right in 2017.
1. Start every day with prayer
2. Make time to read the Bible daily
3. Forgive anyone who needs to be forgiven
4. Build your relationships with love in your heart
5. Keep close to the Lord
This time of the year we can forget what Christmas is all about. We can learn alot from the Wise Men. This is what we find in Matthew 2: 1-15. The Wise Men were seeking. Seeking is Biblical. God is a seeker. Jesus left the 99 sheep to seek after the one that got away. Jesus came to "seek and save that which was lost". God wants us to be seekers. Jesus tells us to "seek first the Kingdom of God..." If we seek after HIm we will find Him.
The Wise Men knew what they were looking for. It is all about Jesus. They were looking for Jesus. When you cut through everything the only thing left is Jesus. A true disciple looks to Jesus. As we live our lives Jesus is our only true hope. All else will fail but Jesus never fails. Keep your eyes on Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith.
The Wise Men gave. Learning to be a giver will change you. Becoming a giver will bring meaning to your life. You might ask what can I give? Here are just a few things to consider. You can give love to those around you. You can be kind to others. You can help somebody in need. You can forgive. You can share the good news of salvation. Merry it's all about Jesus Time!
I am very excited about what 2017 will bring. The new year has many challenges and oportunities. From the begining of our relaunch, here at The Springs, we made it a point to instill a culture of change. Change is part of growing and taking our next steps. We are building new bridges and partnerships with people God is putting in our path.
As we enter a new year it is time to close some doors and open new ones. In a new year it is time to break free from anything that has run it's course. In the new year it is time to catch a new wave that will allow God to do a new thing.
I am thankful that God reveals His plans and purposes to us as we seek Him. The Vision of the Springs burns brighter today because we know that our best days are before us.
Let me encourage anyone who reads this to not let the negative of others influence your faith in what God is calling you to do. People will try to disrupt you with there agenda and ideas but remember to keep your eyes on Jesus and Jesus alone. Keep yourself in the Word of God and He will direct your steps. Keep praying and believing God for greater things.
During the Christmas season we place our attention on the powerful story of God becoming man. We read in the word of God all the supernatural things that took place leading to the birth of Christ. What seemed impossible with man became possible through God.
The impossible becoming possible is a theme that runs through all of the scriptures. As I thought about this I was reminded that the reason Jesus came to this world was to seek and to save the Lost. Everything that Jesus did was to point men to salvation. With that in mind I want to pose the question, who do you know that is the least likely to every respond to the gospel message of Jesus Christ? Is it a family member? a celebrity? a politician?
One day Jesus was talking to a rich young ruler. This man walked away from Jesus because he could not give up what he thought was important. Jesus said those who rely on themselves have a hard time entering heaven. When the disciples heard that they said who than can be saved? Jesus reponded "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible".
Jesus was reminding us that there is no one so far from God that they cannot be reached and won to Christ. What should be our response?
1.Make a list of those who seem unreachable
2. Pray for them daily to come to Christ
3. Have the faith that nothing is impossible for God
4. Thank God before hand for the miracle
Starting at the end of 2016 and as we get ready to enter 2017 I am relauching my blog. In doing so I have renamed it THE SPRINGBOARD. In my new blog I want to share my thoughts and ideas as well as comments on ministry stuff. My goal is to post something weekly if possible but for sure once a month.
I am very excited about the future of The Springs Church. We want to build a local church that will make a difference in the lives of families across our city. As we begin the new year we "...forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead." Philippians 3:13