Calvary Church

Calvary Church

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Practice Unselfishness (3)

' one cares for my soul.' Psalm 142:4 NKJV

Let me ask you, are you an influencer? People you seek to influence in life always ask themselves: Do you care about me? Think about the best experiences you’ve had with people in your own life. What do they all have in common? They genuinely cared about you, right? And what’s wonderful is, you can broaden your ability to care about others outside your social circle, regardless of what you do in life. When you help people, you make your life and theirs better. Let’s listen to some observations by successful people from various backgrounds. Business: ‘You can’t make the other fellow feel important in your presence if you secretly feel…he’s a nobody.’ (Les Giblin, former national salesman of the year and popular speaker) Politics: ‘If you would win a man to your cause, you must first convince him…you are his sincere friend.’ (President Abraham Lincoln) Entertainment: ‘Some singers want the audience to love them. I love the audience.’ (Luciano Pavarotti, legendary Italian tenor) Ministry: ‘The “show business,”…so incorporated into…Christian work today, has caused us…to think that we have to do exceptional things for God; we have not. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things. ’ (Oswald Chambers, evangelist) The Psalmist wrote, No one cares for my soul.And deep down some of the people you deal with every day feel that way, too. Whether you’re trying to share your faith, do business with them, make friends, or help them in a particular area, you must prove to them that you truly care. It takes time, effort, and even sacrifice, but if you’re serious about connecting with others, you’ll do it. The chances are somebody did it for you, and it helped determine the person you are today. So do it for others!

You are Loved!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Practice Unselfishness (2)

'Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being.' 1 Corinthians 10:24 NKJV

  I read this somewhere and it has never left me, ‘No matter how much work a man can do, no matter how engaging his personality may be, he will not advance far if he cannot work through others.That requires you to see value in other people. This truth is understood worldwide by successful people from every walk of life. At an international meeting of company executives, an American business person asked an executive from Japan what he regarded as the most important language for world trade. The American thought the answer would be English. But the Japanese executive, who had a more holistic understanding of business, replied, ‘My customers’ language.’ Having a good product or service isn’t enough. Becoming an expert isn’t enough. Knowing your product but not your customers just means you’ll have something to sell and no one to buy. Furthermore, the value you place on people must be genuine. It should be know different in the church. One of the values we believe in at CFW is Belonging...  ‘You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but people know in their gut if you really care about them.’ If you want to connect with others you have to get over yourself, change your focus from inward to outward, away from yourself and onto them. That's what it takes to Belong, and the great thing is, you can do it. Anyone can. All it takes is the will to change, the determination to follow through and a handful of skills anybody can learn. The motivation to learn can be found in these words from the apostle, Paul:Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.’ (Philippians 2:4 NLT) When you look for opportunities to invest in others, you’ll find them.

You are Loved!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Practice Unselfishness (1)

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.’ (Philippians 2:4 NLT)

I love this scripture this morning because it reminds me that spiritual maturity is the ability to see and act in the best interests of others. That's a mouth full but immature people have difficulty seeing things from someone else’s point of view. They rarely concern themselves with what’s best for the other person. In many ways they’re like children.

In the book Property Law as Viewed by a Toddler, Michael V. Hernandez describes the world from a typical child’s viewpoint:
(1) If I like it, it’s mine. (2) If it’s in my hand, it’s mine. (3) If I can take it from you, it’s mine. (4) If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine. (5) If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way. (6) If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine. (7) If it looks like mine, it’s mine. (8) If I saw it first, it’s mine. (9) If I can see it, it’s mine. (10) If I think it’s mine, it’s mine.

Unfortunately, maturity doesn’t always come with age; sometimes age comes alone.
You must fight your inherent selfish attitude, and that can be a lifelong battle. But it’s an important one, because if you don’t win you’ll end up focused on your own agenda and overlook other people. Unless somebody’s important to your cause or your interests, they won’t get your time or attention. The Bible says, You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had,’ and everything He did, He did for others. It comes down to this: if you’re serious about following in His footsteps, practice being unselfish.

You are Loved!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Do You need Motivation? (3)

'...a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it... dies...then it produces many grains.' John 12:24 GNT

Here are two more areas in which God created you to flourish:
(1) Your relationships. Relationally, your languishing self is often troubled. You’re undisciplined in what you say, sometimes reverting to sarcasm, gossip and flattery. You isolate. You dominate. You attack. You withdraw. Whereas your flourishing self seeks to bless others. They energize you. You’re able to disclose your thoughts and feelings in a way that invites openness in them. You’re quick to admit your own mistakes and to freely forgive others.
(2) Your experiences. God grows you because He wants to use you in His plans to redeem His world: that’s why you find Him changing your experiences. Your flourishing self has a desire to contribute. You live with a sense of calling. Indeed, your inner longing to become all you were meant to be is a tiny echo of God’s longing to begin the new creation. The rabbis spoke of this as tikkun olam—‘to repair the world’. Focused on yourself, your life is as small as a grain of wheat. Given to God, however, it’s as if that grain is planted in rich soil, growing into part of a much bigger project. Jesus said: ‘…unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.’ (John 12:24–25 NIV)

You are Loved!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Do You need Motivation (2)

'...They will flourish in the courts of our God.' Psalm 92:13 NIV

Inside you there’s a battle between your flourishing self—the person you were created to be—and your languishing self. ‘What’s that?’ you ask. Your languishing self feels uneasy and discontent. You’re drawn to bad habits like mindlessly watching TV, drinking too much, misusing sex, excessive spending—things designed to temporarily anaesthetise pain. Your thoughts automatically drift in the direction of fear and anger. Learning doesn’t feel worthwhile. You think about yourself most of the time.

Whereas flourishing [thriving, blossoming, and prospering] takes place: (1) In your spirit. You sense you’re beginning to receive ideas and energy from an outside source. And you are. You’re being empowered by God’s Spirit. We talk about being inspired, which literally means ‘God–breathed’. God breathes into you; you come alive and feel like you’ve a purpose for living.
(2) In your mind. Your thoughts are marked by joy and peace. You have a desire to love and to learn. You’re literally being transformed by ‘…the renewing of your mind…’ (Romans 12:2 NIV)
(3) In your time. You wake each day with a sense of excitement, and you realize you’re never too young to flourish. Mozart was composing brilliant music when he was five. Paul told Timothy, Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young…’ (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV) You also realize you’re never too old to flourish. But once you accept that and seek to maximize what God created you to be, you start flourishing.

You are Loved!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Do you need Motivation? (1)

'...It is [God] who has made us, and not we ourselves...' Psalm 100:3 NAS

Do you need motivation today? Take a look at the palm tree.

(1) You can cut it, but you can’t kill it! The minerals and nutrients most trees need to survive are found on the surface, just below the bark, so, when you cut them, they die. But not the palm tree. Its life comes from within, so it flourishes, even under attack. Paul said: ‘...we have this treasure in earthen vessels...’ (2 Corinthians 4:7 NAS) How wonderful; even though the earthen vessel without may be cut and wounded, the treasure within is secure, beyond the enemy’s reach! There is nothing the enemy can do to you if you Trust in Jesus.

(2) It will bend, but it won’t break. Tropical winds can blow most trees away, but not the palm tree. The stronger the wind, the further it bends—sometimes all the way to the ground. Yet when the storm ceases, it straightens up again and is actually stronger in the place where it bent. What a picture! We were made to bend, but not break, because God strengthens us ‘...with His glorious power so [we] will have all the patience and endurance [we] need.’ (Colossians 1:11 NLT)

(3) Its depth always exceeds its height! While the roots of the average plant go only a few feet under the ground, the palm tree’s roots can go down hundreds of miles in search of water. David said, As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you...’ (Psalm 42:1 NIV) Go deep, work on your own connection to God and you’ll never be uprooted or barren or blown away!

You are Loved!

Monday, April 13, 2015

We Are Created...To Do Good Things!

'...We do good works, which God prepared in advance...' Ephesians 2:10 NIV

God created you, and He knows what you were intended to be. He has ‘good works’ for you to do, but they’re not necessarily the kind of ‘to–do’ things we put on a list for ourselves. They’re signposts to your true self. Your spiritual life isn’t limited to certain devotional activities. It is about being empowered by God to become the person He envisioned when He created you. But just as nobody becomes happy because their goal is to be happy, becoming the person God intended you to be won’t happen if your focus is always on yourself. Flourishing is tied to a nobler vision; it doesn’t happen by ‘looking out for number one’. People who flourish bring blessing to others, and they do it in unexpected and humble circumstances. Every once in a while you catch a glimpse of the person you were made to be. You say something inspirational. You express compassion. You forgive an old hurt. You give sacrificially. You refrain from saying something you’d normally blurt out. And as you do, you glimpse for a moment the reason God made you. Only He knows your full potential, and He’s always guiding you toward the best version of yourself. He uses many tools, He’s never in a hurry—and that can be frustrating. But even in our frustration He’s at work producing patience. He never gets discouraged by how long it takes, and He delights every time you grow. Only God knows what his intended transformation of you is, and He’s more committed to it than you are. (Philippians 1:6)

You are Loved!