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Sermons of the Day:

Piper: The God Centered Ground of Saving Grace

Macdonald: Bigger Than My Sin

2 Corinthians 12:9

 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Good Morning Men. Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

The video below was shown in a sermon I listened to last week from Pastor James. It is a video with some powerful truths. My prayer is that all of you will be moved and impacted by this video.

No matter where your at in your relationship with Jesus, know this men. Jesus will meet you right were you are, you do not need to earn or prove any sort of human worthiness. The grace of God is so abundant and radical all we need to do is turn to Him with a broken spirit that says ” I can’t do it, I need a Savior”.

May the God of all grace bless you with a heart that thirsts for more.

Big Picture God

Sermon of the Day:

Piper: In the Throne Room 

MacDonald: What to Pray About Part 1 -A

Esther 2:21-23

21 In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. 23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

Good Morning Men. Wait on the Lord, from Him comes our salvation (Psalm 62:1).

How many of you have done an amazing deed or act for someone, and gone unrecognized?

I am sure that we all could think of something were we feel at least underappreciated, and very possibly unrecognized completely.

Why do these things happen?

Honestly we could probably think of 5-10, once our hurt, pain and bitterness gets removed. However what I hope to illicit in your heart is that God literally has millions of reasons that we may never learn in this life.

In the above verse Mordecai saved the kings life and not one thing was done for Him at that time. We have to assume, like any other man there would be some hurt. However what I love so much about this amazing book in the Bible is God reveals His amazing sovereign rule over this entire earth. All the way down to the actions and reactions of one man.

You see God always has a greater plan and scheme in the background, God sees the big picture. We so often get bogged down with the small insignificant details of life. We forget the Sovereign God of the universe has everything under control, especially your good and well being.

For those of you that have not read through this book it is a great read and amazing story of God’s Sovereignty. Let me try to summarize it for you for some context before I draw out some examples of God using the small details of our lives to change the world.

In the beginning of this book queen Vashti rejects a request of the king. The king gets very upset, and banishes her from his presence. The king then hosts some intense beauty pageant and finds a young Jewish girl name Esther. Esther was led there by her uncle Mordecai who is like a father figure in her life. Esther finds favor with this pagan king and becomes queen. The king has a second in command guy named Haman who hates Mordecai and wants him killed so he deceives the king into a law that there will be a kill Jew day. Unbeknownst to the king his Jewish queen begins fasting and praying and finally builds the courage to host a banquet for the king and Haman. A rapid chain of events happens at this point that reveals God’s amazing fingerprints. Everywhere.

There are may things that happened within this book that reveal God’s sovereignty over this entire situation. Lets take a look at a few that happened after the above verse.

Esther 6:1

That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

If you read the rest of the chapter it will really fill you in. In a snapshot view, we see that just by chance the king could not sleep, then by chance he wanted to read a boring book about the minutes of the kingdom. Then by chance they turn to the page about Mordecai not being rewarded. Then by chance the king wants to reward Mordecai, then by chance Haman happens to be walking in. It goes on and on.

Men lets be very clear here, there is no chance. It is God. God is always working behind every scene.

God used everything that appeared to be bad and tragic and radically turned things for good. Mordecai became exalted and esteemed in the land, and of course was very influential in giving God all the glory. Haman’s evil plan backfired and ended up falling directly in his lap. The Jews were not harmed, in fact they were allowed to take out anyone that had evil towards them. They were victorious and many became Jews in the process.

When you feel as if things are not looking bright, when things are not going the way they should. Men we have to remember the many promises all through scripture.

God is for you and not against you. God wants to exalt you at the proper time. You are more than a conqueror. You are victorious in Christ. You are as bold as a lion. For starters.

Men, when things don’t go the way they should, God always makes them turn for good. Fight the good fight men, turn from sin and seek the Lord with all your heart. God has a plan and a purpose for your life, lets seek Him and pursue Him. Lets learn to trust Him with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding. Remember that God is always looking at the big picture, and the big picture is all about your good for those who love God and are called according to His name!


God Is Pursuing You

Sermons of the Day:

Piper: Adam, Where Are You?  (Recommended)

MacDonald: Breakthrough Prayer in Crisis

1 John 4:19

We love Him because He first loved us.

Good Morning Men. Blessed is every man who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.

Amen(Psalm 128:1).

The above verse may have given the answer already, but did you find God or did God find you?

Many times I have heard people describe their experience of conversions or belief in Christ as they were up to no good and then they found God. To no ones fault, that does seem accurate, until we can fully understand who God really is.

I have a powerful truth to tell you that I hope you will never, ever forget.

God is always pursuing You.

Yup, its so true men. As we speak the God of the universe is on a personal vendetta to capture your soul, to fill your heart with  love and amazement for His glory. No matter how hard you try, no matter how far you run or stray. God will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). That is an absolute promise from God .

There are so many seasons in life of good, bad and sometimes ugly. I know with all my heart that this truth has to be an anchor in our hearts. The truth that God really is pursuing each of us.

There are to many examples to cover all through scripture of how this is true, so lets try to look at just a few.

First of all, for those of you that are born again believers of Jesus Christ. What made you believe in Him? What made you give your heart to God? Or in other words why do you love Him?

The verse above gives us one of those answers. Very straight forward, but how did we know He first loved us when we first gave our heart to Him? Of course this is a question that difficult to be completely answered here. However this truth came into the spotlight some 2000 years ago, when the Son of God, Jesus gave up His life for the world. Jesus lay down His life for the entire world in the most brutal, violent and painful ways humanly possible so that His love would be on display for all to see.

Fortunately for us we have tons of prophetic scripture that dates back thousand of years before that. Speaking of this exact moment and day so that we have confirmation upon confirmation of Gods reckless and relentless love for each and every one of us. A love that runs so deep, a love that started before the foundations of the earth were laid (Ephesians 1:4). That’s right men, before the foundations of the earth were laid God chose you. That is how special you are, that is how much He loves each and every one of you.

In fact God loves you so much that he formed every single part of you both physically, mentally and emotionally and everything else while you were still in your mothers womb. In fact He created you are so fearfully and wonderfully made that He has more thoughts about you than the sands on the seashore. How do I know this? Read all of Psalm 139.

Psalm 139: 17-18

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

Men, for God to love you this much, to create you and know you so intimately. What would He not give up so that you could know Him intimately and personally?

I will answer that for you. God will stop at absolutely nothing to save your soul and draw you into His arms. Nothing can separate us from the love God has for each of you. Absolutely nothing.

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Men, we will never completely understand God’s love for us in this life. We are incapable of fully understanding the depth of that kind of love. We are to finite to fully grasp it. However if you are going to get anything from this, please know that no matter where you are in your walk with Jesus Christ. God is in hot pursuit of you, to draw you closer than every before into His love, grace and mercy. God wants to reveal things to you that you cannot even imagine…and He will.

God is pursuing you.


Should I Pray First?

Sermons of the Day:

Piper: Present Your Bodies As a Living Sacrifice to God

MacDonald: How to Renew Your Mind, Part 1-A

Good Morning men. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

2 Samuel 10:1-7 NLT

Some time after this, King Nahash of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun became king. David said, “I am going to show loyalty to Hanun just as his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.” So David sent ambassadors to express sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death.

But when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!” So Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame.

When David heard what had happened, he sent messengers to tell the men, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out, and then come back.” For they felt deep shame because of their appearance.

When the people of Ammon realized how seriously they had angered David, they sent and hired 20,000 Aramean foot soldiers from the lands of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 from the land of Tob. When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them.


In this passage we see King David trying to do a nice gesture. As we can clearly see this nice gesture was not received and treated with the same respect. This obviously made King David extremely upset and he wanted to defend the rights and dignity of his people. So he calls his army to war. So far so good right?

The difference with this battle and almost all the other battles King David went into, is that he would “inquire of the Lord”. Or in other words he would pray about it before making a decision.

This time was different for one main reason, anger. The King allowed his anger to overcome him. The end result was good, Israel was victorious, King David made it very clear to all surrounding countries that they are not to be messed with.

However, if we look on the spiritual side this type of reaction in our own lives can be devastating in the long run. We start to put more confidence in our own flesh and decision making. Not sure about you, but my decisions are not always the greatest. I constantly need the Holy Spirit to direct my thoughts and mind toward the ways of God.

My encouragement to you today is to learn to trust God more than you trust yourself. I hate the saying of the world today; believe in yourself or be proud of yourself. Although there is a tiny fraction of truth, it is not biblical in the context of self. Self talk, gratitude and a positive mental attitude and great however when we do this increasingly more without the Word of God and prayer we can get into a very gray area.

As a christian God is our source. We believe in God, and we boast only in the things of God.

Practice turning to God in all things. Start asking yourself, should I pray first? Big decisions and small decisions. Make it a constant habit to be leaning on the Lord seeking His way.

Look at what Proverbs teaches us:

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

This verse says it all, the complete recipe for having a life guided by the Holy Spirit of God. There is no promise of a problem free life. However there is a promise that God will make your paths straight.

With all the bumps and detours I have taken so far in my life, and the many more to come; that promise sure sounds great to me!

May the Lord richly bless you all this week. Cling to Him and seek Him like never before! God is waiting for you.


Change Through Thinking

Sermons of the Day:

Piper: Build Your Life on the Mercies of God

MacDonald: Repentance Breaks Strongholds A

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Good Morning Men. This is the day the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24).

In today’s email I wanted to dig into the topic of our thought process. This has been a reoccurring theme for me recently and something that I am learning that I need lots of help with. The need to correct and align my thoughts with God’s word.

I have been learning a lot about the power of not only our thoughts, but our self talk and how we talk to others. Unfortunately if the thought process we have is not good, the talk we have to ourselves and others will not be good.

I believe that the verse above is not talking about renewing our mind one time. I believe that scripture points to a constant renewing of our mind, which in turn leads to a constant state of repentance. In fact in a sermon I listened to last week from Pastor James MacDonald he said something along the lines that repentance is not a place we go to, but a place we live.

Men this kind of repentance doesn’t happen unless we start to change the way we think.

In fact a question I have really been asking myself over the last few weeks is: could it be possible that some of my thinking is wrong? Could it be possible that some of my strongly held opinions, feeling or beliefs are wrong and need change?

If I could be completely honest I think I can honestly say that my answer too both of those questions is; Yes, absolutely.

God’s Word is the measuring stick, or the standard. However we have so many thoughts, feelings and emotions that constantly run through our minds that we cannot always run to the Word of God for correction, reproof or alignment. How do we fix this?

Pastor James said in his sermon that nothing changes until we start to think differently.

Do you feel your life is kind of in a rut? Have you been struggling with the same sin or feelings for a while now without any real progress or change? Are you easily offended? Are you easily irritated? Do you feel that you are always correct and everyone else is wrong (in certain topics)?

I can honestly say yes to every single one of those questions, some of them are more prevalent today than others. Although all of them have been present in my life, and I know that if I do not guard my thinking with the Word of God my thoughts could go downhill fast.

How do we change our thinking?

This is a difficult answer because number one it needs to be constant. We need to commit to a lifetime of change, transformation and renewing of our mind. We have to learn how to have empathy, perspective, grace and of course humility. We also need to know that although the journey of change is difficult, it is well worth it.

For some scriptural directions lets look at a few verses on thinking and change:

Proverbs 23:7 a

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

This verse couldn’t be more true. We think junk, we say junk and act junk. We think pure, we say and act pure. Start to change the thinking, we start to change the heart. We start to change the heart, we start to change the man. Many times the Bible refers to the heart being synonymous with the mind, they are interconnected. If we can learn to guard our thoughts we can learn to guard our heart.

Psalm 119:9

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.

This passage actually continues through verse 16. I love this passage, it is so powerful and such a strong desire of mine to learn how to be this type of man for Christ. In this passage I see 9 answers to the question about cleansing our way. Check it out.

2 Corinthians 10:5

…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…

There is so much going on in this passage, I dare not try to take this out of context. However through prayer, through the weapons we have in Christ Jesus we must learn to take every thought captive. Not captive to our opinions, feelings and selfish desires, but to the obedience of Jesus Christ.

Men this is a tremendous task to take on. To go against decades of how you think. My encouragement for you today is to start by asking yourself three simple questions.

  1. Does my thought process need to change?
  2. Is it possible that some of my thinking is wrong?
  3. Am I willing to change?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then we are off to a great start. Men to change the way we think will take years. It will take tons of growth, tons of time with God in His Word. Developing an attitude of gratitude. Endless amounts of reflection, honesty and repentance. This is a massive topic that could never solve all your problems today. My hope is that we were able to accomplish the goal of at least bringing some enlightenment and perspective to what I like to call “stinkin thinkin”.

Men I hope and pray you have a desire to start putting in good things to what you look at, listen to, and sing about. So that what comes out will start to get brighter, holier and more Christ-like. From the joy in your expressions and face, to the words you speak to your wife and children all the way to work on its most stressful and hectic day.

May the Lord richly bless you all and shine His face upon you.




Praying for Wisdom

Sermon of the Day:

(Deeper Listening) Piper: The Supremacy of God in Prayer

(Lighter Listening) Macdonald: Promise #4 God is Always Watching – A


2 Chronicles 1:10-12 NIV

10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king,12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

Good Morning men. God’s mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

This week I wanted to share a passage of scripture that has always been dear to my heart.

Solomon is the son of David and has become the new king over Israel and over God’s people. There is so much we could draw out of this transitional time of kingship, however I would really like to focus on the request made by Solomon.

This request has always blown me away. I have always been so intrigued by the heart and character of Solomon when he became king. It really takes a pure and humble heart to be made king over a powerful nation and then ask God for help.

As we see in the verse above, God was also pleased with this request and answered in abundance. Although this was an amazing request that most people would not have sought after, I do believe there is still more we could learn from this.

Unfortunately for Solomon his heart and mind did not remain steadfast to the Lord. In fact Solomon was a very big contributor to the spiritual and physical divide of the great nation of Israel. God truly did bless him with wisdom, honor, fame and wealth which led Solomon to break several of the laws God set in place for kings of Israel.

So how does this happen?

Solomon requested wisdom, however he greatly lacked spiritual discernment. This led to great success in the world, but a decline in his relationship with God. Also as king, responsible for the nation, it led to the start of a dramatic decline of the people’s relationship with God.

On the surface all of us are pretty aware that the more comfort, wealth and success someone has the easier it is to become distracted. Unfortunately in today’s society you can still be broke and struggling with many distractions. Either way, distraction will lead to less time spent with God. This will lead to us worshiping other things. Spiritual decline is sure to follow. The worst part is, this never happens overnight. It’s not like you wake up and say: “Wow, yesterday I sure didn’t think or spend anytime with God. I better get on track.” Spiritual decline is so subtle, it is a slow fade. Usually we do not notice until everything falls apart. The follower of Christ is given many examples all through scripture on how to guard against this.

So what can we learn from Solomon?

For Solomon to have this intimate encounter with God is so amazing, because God didn’t do this in that day. God spoke through the prophets in Solomon’s day, and God speaks through His Word today. However I really wanted to know how I would have answered that question from God, the question was in verse 7: “Ask! What shall I give you?”

I spent some time thinking about this, and I really tried to be honest with myself. Learning from Solomon’s life I have compiled a request into the form of a prayer using several verses from God’s Word. I would like to share it with you in hopes you will make it a part of your life. My prayer and hope is that you would also desire this type of life, this type of fruit and know that if you believe this and pray this faithfully  I believe with all my heart that God will absolutely answer every single word.

Father help me to trust You with all my heart, to lean not on my own understanding. Father help me to acknowledge You in all my ways and please, direct my paths. Help me not to be wise in my own eyes, but help me to fear You and depart from evil. Teach me how to honor You with my possessions and the first fruits of all my increase. Father equip me with the full armor of God, and teach me to stand against evil. Father teach me to not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. Help me to delight in Your law and meditate on it day and night. Father that I may be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water with fruit in it’s season, and leaves that do not wither, and whatever I do I will prosper. Father help me to seek You first, to seek righteousness so that all things will be given to me. Father lastly teach me to be a follower of Your Son Jesus, teach me to deny myself and to take up my cross daily and follow You. In Jesus name, Amen.

May the Lord give all of us this heart as it aligns with His Word to be prosperous in every area of our lives for His names sake.


The Pathway to Humility

Sermons of the Week:

Piper Sermon: The Demonstration of God’s Righteousness Part 1

Rogers Sermon: How to Be the Father of a Wise Child

Good Morning Men. I have decided to attach two sermons. I know that Pastor John Piper can be very meaty and deep, so I wanted to make sure there was something more palatable for everyone from the new believer to the non-believer to enjoy. From now on I will be attaching two sermons, one from Pastor John. The other from Pastor Adrian Rogers.

Also, this weeks devotion was something my wife shared with me from her women’s ministry. I thought it was really powerful and decided to share it with you all this week.

Praying for this ministry, praying for all of your relationships with Christ and for the marriages in this group. Men, I really just long and desire for all of you to know God intimately. To fall so deeply in love with Him and learn about Him more and more each day.

Just know that my heart is filled with so much love and hope for each and every one of you.

The Pathway to Humility

May 18, 2017

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” Deuteronomy 8:3 (NIV)

Devotion Graphic

A friend of mine who is a young leader at a growing organization recently confessed to me some discouragement he’d been wrestling through. Basically, he’d been working so hard, seen great success, but was given no recognition or encouragement by his leaders. And hardest of all, due to some transitions in the company, he’d been demoted to a lower position.

I asked him a seemingly strange question on the heels of him pouring out his heart to me: “Do you know what the opposite of pride is?”

He tilted his head and asked his own question, “Do you think I’m struggling with pride?”

I wasn’t trying to imply my young friend was prideful. I was setting the stage to help him see his circumstances through a different lens.

So I simply stated, “I believe the opposite of pride is trust in God. Pride begs us to believe it all depends on us. Trusting God requires us to place our dependence on Him. And the pathway that leads us away from pride and into a place of truly trusting God is paved with humility. Humility is never bought at a cheap price. It will always cost us something but will be worth the price we pay.

“Might God be using these humbling circumstances to get you to a place of deep and unshakable trust in Him? If God sees big things ahead for you, and I believe He does, then He must remove all hints of pride. Even if pride is but a tiny thorn in your heart now, when you are given a bigger position with more recognition, that pride will grow from a thorn to a dagger with the potential to kill your calling.”

In the Old Testament, we see God revealing this same kind of pride-stripping process by feeding the children of Israel manna in the desert for the purpose of humbling them. It was crucial that God prepare them to trust Him as they stepped from the desert into their destined Promised Land.

Deuteronomy 8:2 says, “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”

And then our key verse Deuteronomy 8:3 goes on to reveal, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”

So why exactly was having to eat manna so humbling? And what can we glean from Deuteronomy 8:3 for our own lives today?

Here are three things I think we can take away from today’s key verse:

  1. God is our provider.

The children of Israel were used to looking down at the ground in Egypt and working the land to provide for themselves. They trusted their own hard work for their provision. Now, they would need to look up and trust God for His provision.

  1. God’s provision is what we need but not always what we want.

This manna God provided was not like the normal food the Israelites were used to providing for themselves. But God knew it was the perfect nourishment for those in the desert. He knows our needs better than we do. God is more concerned about our ultimate good than our temporary pleasure.

  1. God’s provision protects our heart. Our desires have the potential of corrupting our heart.

Man-made bread is not what gives the fullness of life God desires for us. Man-made success, riches and popularity are the same way. They will not fulfill us like we think they will. Only the Word of God can seep into the hungry places of our souls and make the dead and discouraged places within come fully alive and deeply satisfied. We must want Him most of all. And then He will see our hearts are prepared and trustworthy to handle other things.

At the end of our discussion, my young friend thanked me for helping him see that in each hard step of his journey as a leader, he’s either walking the pathway of pride, by trusting himself, OR the pathway of humility, which is trusting God. And the same is true for each of us.

May we all choose to trust Him and let that be the lens through which we process our circumstances. May we see how God isn’t trying to break our hearts but rather make us ready for what He sees just ahead.

Lord, thank You for always having my best in mind. Search my heart for any shred of pride. And help me live a life of humble and complete surrender to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

James 4:6, “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” (NIV)

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