Tuesday, August 28, 2007

300 (Part 1)

Flood Zone Recap
August 26, 2007

Do you know who invented the microwave oven? What about the cell phone? What about toothpaste? Are you appreciative of what they did in the past? Are you affected in any way by what they did in the past?

(if you are curious about the impact of toothepaste on your life, just thank Dr. W.W. Sheffield you don't look like this:

See, what you do now impacts the future. (Definition: Future-Any point after right now (so, that could be 15 seconds from now, 15 minutes, tomorrow, next month, or even 25 years from now...you know...the FUTURE!)

Let's think about that for a minute: Does what I do and who I am now affect the future, and how?

1. The amount you focus on your school work NOW (either a lot or a little), will impact your grades in the future (either positively or negativly).
2. The practice you put into playing an instrument now will affect your ability to play in the future.
3. Your obedience or disobedience to your parents now will impact their trust of you and your freedom in the future.

So, it is clear that the way we live and who we are NOW affect the future. If it hadn't been for those pioneering men in the past 150 years, we may be without the advanced technology we have today. What they chose to do then has impacted no only their life, but millions of lives.

What about in your relationship with God? Can what you do and who you are NOW affect how God can use you in the future? Does God even WANT to use you? I would say that YES, God definitely wants to use you. 1 Timothy 4:12 is an encouragement to live as an example to other believers of what being like Christ is all about. So, will he use YOU though?

What type of person does God use? Let's look at the first half of the story of Gideon in Judges 6. I think we will find 6 characteristics that Gideon displayed that God may be looking for in you so that he can use you to impact the NOW and LATER!

A little background: Israel was being oppressed by the Midianites because of their sin (sin brings conflict...just a little something you should remember). They finally cry out to God and God IMMEDIATELY responds to them and reminds them that he has rescued them in the past, and he'll do it again...if they obey. Then, he appears to Gideon. So let's see why he chose Gideon:

1. Gideon was already at work against the enemy of God and Israel (Judges 6:11).
-Gideon was beating out some wheat in the wine press to keep it away from the Midianites. He was already struggling against the enemy that God would have him fight. He was already working behind the scenes in his everyday life, doing what he knew he should be doing. In other words, he was well-directed in his daily activities before God even called him. What about you? Are you well-directed in your daily activities, working behind the scenes already doing what you know God would want you to do?

2. Gideon recognized the Problem: the People were Separated from God. (Judges 6:13)
-He knew the problem was that the people had abandoned God's law and so God had left them to captivity. He knew that relationship needed to be restored. We are living in a world that has abandoned God. Do you even care? Do you see the sin around you and desire to see the lost AND the church surrendered to God?

3. Gideon was Humble (Judges 6:14-16)
-Gideon was the youngest in the smallest family in their area. They didn't have much and he wasn't a big shot, and he knew it. If you think of yourself to highly, God is not going to be able to use you, because YOU will get in the way of HIM. In the grand scheme of things, Gideon knew he was really nothing apart from God.

4. Gideon was Willing to Sacrifice and Serve (Judges 6:17-20)
-Preparing a kid and baking the cakes was not necessarily an easy task. Gideon was ready to serve (in this case to confirm God's call which we'll look at in number 6). Gideon takes the time to sacrifice some of his own goods (remember...small poor family in the midst of a seige where he is hiding grain in a wine press). What are you willing to sacrifice? God can only use you if you are willing to put in the work and give up YOUR life for HIS life for you.

5. Gideon was willing to Start with Himself and His House (Judges 6:25-32)
-Gideon tore down the Baal and Asherah, built and altar to God and sacrificed a bull with the wood from the Asherah to God. He was willing to clean out his house first. Are you willing to let God clean you out? If not, he won't be able to use you.

6. Gideon confirmed God's Call (Judges 6:17, 36-40)
-We are blessed to have the Bible, the Holy Spirit and a great community of believers in H2O and at Water's Edge through whom we can confirm God's call in our life. That is one of the purposes of the church and the Word, to help each other know how God wants to use us. Gideon was not so blessed. He did, however, see the importance of confirming that this new and CRAZY direction for his life was from God and not from something else. He wanted to make sure that he was doing EXACTLY what God wanted him to do. How often do you take council in the Bible or the church for the direction of your life? Are you sure you are involved in the activities God wants you involved in? If you get involved in the wrong place, you may forfeit the opportunity that God has for you.

What you do now DEFINITELY affects how God wil luse you in the future. Not following God now wil lnot necessarily keep him from using you in the future (although it may), the future will just be further away.

So, be encouraged in this:


Wednesday, August 22, 2007


WNBS Recap
August 15, 2007
Characteristics the World Needs to See in Christians

Rate your knowledge of these subjects on a scale of 1 to 10 (one being no knowledge and 10 being deep, intimate knowledge)

The X-Men
Guitar Playing
Preparing Spaghetti
Traffic Laws
Cold Fusion
Putting on Pantyhose
Small Engine Repair
Snake Wrangling
Picking up Girls

Think about those areas that you rated highly in. More than likely you will rate highly in the knowledge of something if you care about that thing. Here, let me say that another way: We will take time to learn and develop a deep intimate knowledge of that which we care or have a passion about.

Think about your best friend: what they like to eat, their personality, their moods, their character traits, future goals and plans, etc. If this person is truly your best friend, then you will have a deep knowledge about them. Why? Because you care about them!

So, how is your knowledge of God?

I'm not just talking about your knowledge of the facts of the Bible, or knowledge of what God is "like", but how well do you KNOW God? How well do you know his character? How well do you know what he expects and wants? How well do you know the mind of Christ?

Here's your chance to rate your knowledge of God on a scale of 1 to 10. Use the same scale as before. (If you find yourself rating your knowledge of God above a 5, think seriously about it and respond honestly...do you reall KNOW God that well?)

You might be asking: "Why does it matter? Why do I need to 'know God'. If I have accepted Jesus as my savior, I'm going to heaven and that's all that matter."

Have you ever been blindfolded? Have you ever walked into a dark room that you were unfamiliar with? J.I. Packer descirbes life without knowledge of God in much the same way in his book, Knowing God:

"There is an assumption among many Christians that a study of the nature and character of God will be impractical and irrelevant for life. In fact, howerver, it is the most pratcial project anyone can engage in...if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it [then] the world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business."

"But", you might ask, "how do I know God?" The following 5 truths of how to know God are from Knowing God by J.I. Packer:

1. The Word: God has spoken to man, and the Bible is His Word, given to us to make us wise unto salvation.

2. The World: God is the Lord and King over his world; he rules all things for his own glory, displaying his perfection in al lthat he does, in order that men and angels may worship and adore him.

3. The Rescued: God is savior, active in sovereign love through the Lord Jesus Chrsit to rescue believers from the guilt and power of sin, to adopt them as his children and to bless them accordingly.

4. The Active Presence of God: God is triune; ther are within the Godhead three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and the work of salvation is one in which all three act together, the father purposing redemption, the son securing it and the Spirit applying it.

5. The Obedient: Godliness means responding to God's revelation in trust and obedience, fath and worship, prayer and parise, submission and service. Life must be seen and lived in the light of God's word. This, and nothing else, is true religion.

Once you understand the importance of knowing God and have the basic steps to knowing God, you need to return and examing that relationship. Packer also gives 4 Evidences of Knowing God, or 4 measuring sticks of the relationship.

1. Those who know God have great ENERGY for God. (Daniel 11:31-32)
2. Those who know God have great THOUGHTS of God. (Daniel 2:20-22)
3. Those who know God show great BOLDNESS for God (Daniel 3:8-16)
4. Those who know God have great CONTENTMENT in God. (Daniel 3:16-18)

How are you measuring up? Do you have a passion to know God? Would you ever expect someone to follow Jesus as a result of your life if you don't even know the God that you claim to be following?

Spend time this week getting to know God a little better. Dig into his Word and look for charateristics of his nature appearing in your everyday life. See how who he is applist to what you are and how you live.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What If...?

Flood Zone Recap
August 12, 2007

I know, I know...you don't want to hear it, but you can't deny it! School is starting SOON (if it hasn't already started for you). Yes, I used the "s" word. And I use it without apology. In fact, I'll say it again...

SCHOOL is Here...

and I bet there are a hundred questions running through your mind:

What will I wear the first day?
Who will be in my classes?
Will I like my new teachers?
Will I make any new friends this year?
Will I like high school?
What locker number will I have?
Will I remember the combination?

All of these questions are great and important (kind of), but what about the big questions? Have these questions crossed your mind as you prepare for a new school year?

What do I want to see God do at my school this year?
What do I want to see God do in MY life during this school year?

Take a minute to think about those questions. What do you want to see God do this year?

Have you even though that God might have specific plans and desires for you and your school this year? Have you even though about the POSSIBILITIES of what God COULD do this school year?

Check out Jeremiah 29:10-14. Here's a little background:

The nation of Israel is in captivity because of their refusal to serve the one true God. They keep forgetting God, and they keep paying for it. But, God is not through with them. He still has a plan for them, even though they are in exile.

"For thus says the Lord, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,' decleres the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you serach for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you,' declares the Lord, 'and I wiill rstre your fortuness and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' declres the Lord, 'and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.'"

Maybe you feel like you've been in exile and you haven't been focused on what God wants for your school years. God is saying, "get focused, and I'll do something INCREDIBLE."

Maybe you feel like the only Christian left at your school who actually cares about what God wants. God is saying, "trust me...cry out to me, and you'll see me bring back those other believers into a force of Christians that your school won't have a choice but to notice."

Mabye you feel like your school is so lost, so dark, that God has forgotten and given up on it. God is saying, "don't worry, I haven't forgotten you, I'm just waiting for the right time, and if you're ready to do something big, so am I."

Maybe God is waiting on YOU! No, he doesn't need you to change lives, but he wants to use you! He has a plan, and it involves you!

So, here's another HUGE question:

If you could see God do ANYTHING (and I mean ANYTHING) this year, what would you want it to be? A family member or good friend saved. A bible club started at your school. People flocking to you to ask you how they can have the joy that you have. Teachers sharing their faith in the middle of class. Principals allowing the Gospel to be presented at school assemblies. Parents rescuing their children from years of neglect. The hardest heart and most outspoken person against Christianity broken and weeping because of their sin and need for Jesus. Churches uniting for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

Now that something is in your head, think about this next question:

What are YOU willing to do to be a part of that plan and see it happen?

If you want to see revival in your school, family, and community this year, then you have to be willing to do something. Take action. Start praying.

That's where it all begins, with prayer. So, here is the challenge. Over the next 22 days until school starts in Mecklenburg county, pray daily for these 10 things. Then, continue to pray daily for them through the first month of school. And as you see God beginning to answer the prayers, JOIN WITH HIM and do the work of the ministry. Your school needs you. Your family needs you. Your friends need you. DESPERATELY!!!

Praying for Revival in our Schools:

1. Pray against unbelief.
2. Pray for brokeness over sin.
3. Pray for radical obedience.
4. Pray for outspoken believers.
5. Pray for well-guided zeal.
6. Pray for support for revival among teachers and principals.
7. Pray for humility among the proud and popular.
8. Pray for boldness among teachers despite restrictions.
9. Pray that opposition will be silenced.
10. Pray for humility and Christ-likeness among believers.