Monday Morning Preacher: Baby Christian


I want to tackle what I think is a very serious issue in the church, and it’s this idea of baby Christians.  I think we have done a great disservice to new Christians by labeling them this way.  We stop their progress in the faith by holding them back and letting them know that they first need to grow in their knowledge of Christ and show progress before sending them out into the world.

However, this should not be the case.  While this is something I know I have said over the years, I think we’re ending up having the opposite effect here.  Instead of people who take time to prepare themselves for ministry, we stifle their natural growth pattern and they never get to a point where they feel like they are truly ready to serve.

Will they need guidance and someone to come alongside them during this time?  Absolutely.  But who doesn’t need that?  This passage tells us that we all need help because gifts of given to us in different measures.  The five gifts he speaks about here are Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher. Now why aren’t we given all five gifts?  Because I believe God wants us to first rely on Him, and second, to rely on each other.  We must work together within the context of a church so that God’s ministry is accomplished.

But when it comes to new believers, I think we need a new approach.  Instead of making them wait, we empower them in the first moments of their new life.  When they come out of the water as a new creation, we give them a charge like this:

“You have just been baptized into a life with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  There have been people who have loved you, cared for you and invested their time, energy, and talents into you for this very moment. And now you are empowered with the same Spirit that stirred them on to take this action so you could be here today.  So now, filled with this same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, you are now commissioned to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ. So go and find that person who so desperately needs Him today.”

What would happen if everyone started out their new life with that calling?  What would happen if ministry started day one instead of some unknown date in the future?  It would fuel these new believers, when they are the most passionate in their faith, to go and make disciples who make disciples.  And I believe, it will also encourage those who have been in the faith for a long time to go and do the same!

Monday Morning Preacher: Love


How easy is it for us to limit God?  How easy is it for us to say that God would not be able to come through in a challenging in difficult situation?  This is something that has been real for me this past week.

This past week, I was trying to find a solution to a challenging problem I’ve been facing, but I have been getting nowhere with it.  Every person I reached out slammed the door shut without even a second thought, and my options began to run thin.

But I feel like the cause of my problem was in the paragraph I just wrote.  What did I say? …I was trying to find a solution.  I was trying to solve this problem on my own, under my own power, without anyone helping.  And honestly, I wasn’t doing a good job.

If I was being true to my faith, the first step I should have taken would have been the same as Paul – to fall on my needs in prayer.  To submit to the God of the universe because I know this is not something I can solve on my own, but is rather something I need Him to come through on.

By doing what I did, I was neglecting what God was teaching me in Ephesians 3:14-21.  We are called to be rooted and established in the love of God. That through God’s strength flowing within us, we can grasp how wide, how long, how deep, and how high it truly is.

And thinking about this, I have to ask the question: what if we can all learn this? What would happen if we all experience love in this way? What would happen if we could all be as bold as Paul was to go where God led Him without question, because we know how much God loves us, and we want to love Him back with reckless abandon?

What would happen if we fully grasp that God’s love knows no end – that we can’t get around it, we can’t run from it, and we can’t dig a pit far enough to escape it.  That no matter where we are and where we go, there is for us.  And all we can do is surrender to it, and love Him back because He first loved us. And what if we were the ones who would go and share that love through intentional action?

I believe our world would be changed for the better.  1 John 16b-18 says, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

The reason we usually don’t act is because we believe the fear Satan is spewing than the love God is pouring out over us.  Trust in His love, and then go, make disciples who make disciples, by loving others through your intentional everyday actions.

Monday Morning Preacher: Different

So we’re taking a little different approach starting this week.  When we read and process through Scripture together, we want to conclude by asking a simple set of questions.  And the question we want to focus on is this:

If what we just read and discussed is true, what does it mean for us in community and in fulfilling our mission?

Here’s the deal: We spend time reading God’s Word, but why do we read it?  Do we want to know more about God, or do we want it to influence who we are as people?  When we read it just to read it, it’s for head knowledge.  We know and understand who God is but on an intellectual level.  When we read it and evaluate our lives in relation to it, it becomes transformative and heart knowledge.  We don’t want to live a life that is leading down the wrong path, so we alter our trajectory to get back on the path Christ wants for us.

So that is what we want to do here as we discuss and recap our sermon from yesterday.  We want this to be transformative rather than informative.  We want our lives to change because of what we hear on Sundays and read throughout the week, not get some more knowledge about God and think of it as an interesting thought.

The questions we were left pondering yesterday were these: How far are we willing to go?  What are we willing to lose for our Savior?  What are we willing to give us or deny to make sure that one person we love, or that one person who lives down the street, or that one person in the cubical next to us at work doesn’t end up apart from God forever?

It’s a tough question and if I’m being honest, I think most of know the right thing to say in response to a question about it.  “This means everything.  This is what Christianity is all about.  This is what we should be doing so I would give up everything.”  But then when you look at your life, are you really doing that?  Is what you know in your head, have studied over time through God’s Word changing your heart? If someone looked at your life, would they say, “Now here is a Christian who is on mission and gets it.

Being honest, I know I’m not where I need to be.  I know I have failed to do what I need to do.  I see a need, I see a situation I need to step into, and I will walk away and stay silent when God is just saying, “Go! I’m right here and I will be in it.”

And when I look at Paul and all He was able to do.  So many lives won by Christ because he was willing to do anything and never worried about the cost. How at one point, he was beaten almost to death, and got up the very next day bloodied, bruised, and probably with some broken bones, and went 30 miles to the next town so that they could hear Christ.  And I’m too introverted to walk across the street to the neighbors.

Paul was willing to give it all.  Paul did in fact give it all, being executed for His belief. How far are you willing to go? Whose life are you willing to impact at any cost?  And is the God who has loved you with an endless love, covered you with immeasurable grace, and has placed in you a Spirit of unlimited power, is He worth doing whatever it takes so that one more can come to know Him more?

My hope and prayer is that we will answer yes to God’s calling in our lives.  We have all been sent out into the world to seek and save the lost.  And I rather continually go, plant a seed, and fail every time than be successful at doing nothing, and failing the one who has given me everything so that I can risk it all for Him.  My hope and prayer is that you join me in stepping up your game.  And as we process through the Scriptures together, we don’t just read them to say we read them, we read them with the passion and desire to be transformed into Christ’s likeness.

Monday Morning Preacher: Unity

Our passage yesterday was primarily about unity.  Paul was writing this to try to bring the Jews and Gentiles together under one Jesus.  In the past, the Jews would have nothing to do with Gentiles.  They would isolate themselves from the Gentiles because they were seen as defiled and unclean.  And these types of squabbles still continued even after both sides have been washed in the waters of baptism.

And we look at what the Jews and Gentiles have done in the past, and we wonder why they didn’t get it.  Why both sides coming to Christ wouldn’t settle their differences and help them to realize they are all under the same God who wants the same thing from them all.  And we think to ourselves, if we were in their shoes, we wouldn’t act like this.  We wouldn’t cause such hostility.

But, then we look at the church, collectively, today, and realized that we are no different and no better.  How many different denominations are there?  How many times have churches gone through church splits?  How many times do we argue about what’s the best way to worship? And I could go through the list of things we, as Christians, fight about, but I think we all know them already.  And if that’s not bad enough, we also question the faith of those in other churches because of their church practices as well.

How is this a spirit of unity?  How is this going to win the world for Christ?  Let me just ask the most simple and basic question here:  When you read the Bible, and you read a passage like this one on unity within the church and among believers, is how we’re acting today what Jesus truly intended?  I don’t even think we’re close.  I think we do more, as Christians, to undermine other churches to get already believing Christians to join our churches, that we fail at our true mission to be one in Christ and work together to reach the world of Him.

Satan has done an amazing job with the church today.  And the sad thing about it is, we’re so focused on growing our own church and our own brand that we will cut other churches down in the process. I’m a pastor and I will admit I have done the same things I am writing about.  I am guilty of this as well.

But it’s time to stop.  It’s time to stop looking at other churches as the enemy and start looking to them as what they truly are.  Our brothers and sisters in Christ.  The sad thing is about this is that we are hurting our own family.  We are all part of Christ’s family, and here we are, spending more time and energy attacking each other, rather than attacking the mission – to go and be disciples who are making new disciples.  And imagine how much more of this world would know Christ if we just all agreed to shift our focus from hurting the family to hurting the true enemy, and winning souls from his grasp!

Monday Morning Preacher: Grace


One of the questions I asked all of us to answer for ourselves yesterday is this: What is our response to that grace?  The grace that saves us?  The grace we don’t deserve?  The grace that was lavished on us when we deserved to be lavished with judgment?

What’s so confusing to me is that many respond with the wrong motive.  We were saved by grace.  We were saved because there was absolutely nothing that we could do, nothing we could offer, nothing that we could give God which would fully release us from our debt.  The debt that was caused by our sin when we willingly chose to follow the ways of this world and to live in disobedience, rather than to trust that God knows best. It was a free gift that He chose to give to us. Not because we were good or we were worthy of saving, but because He chose to love us, and He made that decision before He even created the world.

And yet, once we see that it’s a free gift, and there’s nothing we can do to earn it, some of us respond the wrong way, with the wrong motive, and the wrong idea of what He wants. We can’t earn salvation, but yet, now that we are saved, let us begin to pay God back.  “Let’s do things for Him so that we could show Him that we are good and our actions will prove that we earned this eternal life and paid Him back for all He has given to us.”  But that’s not how it works and it shouldn’t be why we act.

When we do what Ephesians 2:10 says, when we do the good works God prepared us and created us for, we do not do it as a form of payment.  It didn’t become an installment plan to pay God back.  He didn’t ask for the rest of our life of service as a way to say we deserve it.  That wasn’t the point.

What does God want from you more than anything?  A relationship.  He wants you.  That’s what all of Ephesians 1 was telling us.  He blessed you.  He loved you. He chose you, even though you shouldn’t be. He lavished you with grace. He gave us hope.  He gave us an inheritance.  He gave us wisdom and knowledge.  He gave us power.  All this was given to us not so we can earn our way to Him, but so we can have a relationship with Him.

What God wants more than anything is your heart. When we come to Jesus, it sometimes speaks of a wedding, that the church, the body of believers is the bride of Christ.  Think about a marriage.  Once the wedding is done and over with, do the new couple do things out of duty for one another, or out of love.  Hopefully, out of love.  They do things for one another because they love one another.  Yes, they made commitments to do so, but it’s not about the commitment as much as it is that they care deeply about each other.

Likewise, when we make that decision to follow Christ, when we are baptized into His family, our actions should not be out of a sense of duty but love. Christ loved us so fully that He died on the cross for our sins, so that we would have a way back to God, and there is nothing else we can do but love Him back in return.  That because He loved us so completely, we, in turn will love Him.

Everything we do should be out of a heart of gratitude and love towards God.  We don’t do things because it’s forced on us.  We don’t do things so we can earn a free gift.  We do it because we love Him for loving us first. And when we truly grasp this, it will change the way we see the Lord.  We will want to obey Him, and follow His will, and make new disciples, because it’s how we show love, just like a husband may plan a romantic date night, buy flowers, or spend an evening talking to His wife with no interruptions.  He doesn’t have to, but He wants to because He feels the love she gives in return.

So how have you responded to the grace God has given you?  My hope and prayer is that you act from a place of love, and not payment or obligation.

Monday Morning Preacher: Power


Question of the day: Are you using all the power Jesus has given you through the Holy Spirit?  And my follow up question is this:  Do you fully understand the extent of His power?  Just listen again to the words Paul writes in Ephesians 1:18-21:

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”

Just take a moment and allow that to sink in. Do you believe that power is flowing within you right now? Everything Paul wrote in that passage, is that the God who is living inside each and every one of us who is baptized in God’s family?  I pray the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Here’s the problem.  When this is the power flowing within us, why do we make excuses when it comes to being on mission for Christ?  Why do we diminish His power and say it’s not enough by saying things like:

  • I can’t make disciples because I don’t know enough about the Bible.
  • If the situation came up, I’d have no idea what to do.
  • I’m just struggling in my faith right now.

When we make excuses like this, what we end up doing is diminishing God.  We say His power is not enough.  He’s not with us.  He didn’t give us what we need.

And yet, even though that power is flowing within us, we like to place it in a box.  We stifle it.  It’s like a baseball player making a half-hearted swing when they could be swinging for the fences.  And it always comes back to why?  Why is it that way? The truth is, God’s power will only come out when we want it to.  God will only work when we have the desire to use that power to further His name and give Him the glory.

If we do not have the faith to believe that what God has given us is sufficient, He will not come through.  He answers us according to our faith.  Let me give you an example. Open your Bibles and read Mark 5:21-43.  This story is of two people. Jairus, who said his daughter was sick and needed Jesus to come right away to heal her, and a woman who has been sick for 12 years.

The woman thought if she just touched Jesus, she would be healed, and she was.  And with Jairus, he asked Jesus to come to where his daughter was.  My question is: who had more faith?  Jesus could heal with a single word.  He didn’t need to go to Jairus’ house, but He healed the girl based on the faith of the one asking.  Jairus thought Jesus had to go to her, so he went, but his disbelief almost cost his daughter her life since He was delayed by the crowd.  But we see here that even death didn’t stop Jesus from healing this young girl.

We have found the One who has loved us so completely and has empowered us so fully that we should do whatever it takes to do whatever He wants of us. We should never say no because we are His, and we are part of His family, and we will do the work He asks of me without question and without hesitation.

It says we are the body of Christ.  To be the ones who represent Christ in this world, we love the people of this world as much as God does, and is it more loving to sacrifice our excuses to share the truth, or to say nothing so that they can die apart from Him?  And how do you think Jesus would answer that when He was willing to lay down everything for you?

Make Ephesians 1 a part of who you are.  See God for what He has truly done and how deep His love is for you.  And then go out in that same power and make sure no one has to live outside that love ever again.

Monday Morning Preacher: Chosen


I feel almost everyone has a story about being picked last.  Something comes up where teams are necessary, and so two people are designated captains and they go through person after person, choosing who they like or feel would be the strongest competitor until there is only one person remaining.  And that person is you.

What rushes over you in that moment is the feeling of being unwanted.  Yes, you end up on a team, but not because you were chosen, but by default.  The one who picked last must take you to keep the teams even and fair.  And if this is something that happens to you over and over and over again, it can really wear down your self-esteem.  Thoughts like, “No one wants me.  I’m not good enough for anything.  They would probably rather not have me on the team.” begins to creep into our minds.

But there is a time when you were chosen, and that was by God.  Our passage from this past Sunday tells us this.  Before God even created the heavens and the earth, before everything we know came into existence, God chose us.  He chose to create us.  He chose to place us on His creation to live as His image bearers.

But then we failed Him.  Adam and Eve chose the forbidden fruit over God. They chose to try to be like God rather than obeying Him.  And it caused this rift between humans and God forever.  One action destroyed everything.  And even though that happened, God still chose us!

I just can’t wrap my head around how deep God’s love is for us.  Ephesians 1:5 tells us: “In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—“   Because of His pleasure and His will he adopted us into His family again through Jesus.  How is this a sign of love?  Let’s go to Ephesians 1:7: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Jesus died for our sins.  We fail.  We make the mistakes.  We should face judgment.  And yet, God knew this would happen before we were even created.  And on top of that, He created us knowing that the only way to get us back would be for His Son to die on the cross.  How many of you would be willing to make that type of sacrifice, knowing to start something and it costing you the life of your child, your only child?

That is how God lavishes us with love, grace, and acceptance.  We don’t need to feel unwanted because God has wanted us from the very beginning.  God wanted us before He even created us, even if it meant suffering to make sure we would be chosen.

But it’s more than that, we need to think about the next step: What should be our response to this?  How should we act because we are chosen?  We should go what God commanded us to do – go and make new disciples.

I’m going to push and challenge you a little more today. We were not meant to sit on the sidelines. If we sit on the sidelines, we do not fully understand this passage. We do not understand all Jesus has done for us. We have minimized what it means to follow Jesus, because if we truly grasp the grace and the love and the blessing He has poured out on us, how He has lavished us, I wouldn’t have to persuade anyone to go and make disciples. We would be supernaturally compelled.

Having an identity in Christ, being a disciple is not about sitting comfortably on the sidelines. The cost of being comfortable is far greater than the cost of going out into the world. We are in far greater danger of being safe than we are of being reckless for God in the modern church. We do not bow down at the altar of safety because we die to self. We die to sin. And we risk our whole lives for Him. We have found the One to lose and risk everything for.

So find them. Find those that God has placed in your lives and serve them in love and share with them the love of Jesus, so that they can be blessed by the God who has chosen to love them since before the world was made.

Monday Morning Preacher: Ecclesiastes 12:9-14


I want to continue on a thought from our sermon yesterday.  This idea of doing the right thing is hard.  We make it out that there is a war going on in our minds between the thing that God wants from us and the thing we want to do.  And yes, it is a spiritual battle, and we need to confront it with the power of God and overcome it.

However, the problem lies in the power we give to temptation.  We allow it to be this overwhelming, unstoppable force that we cannot overcome.  And we can’t.  But the power of God can.  The power of God that is flowing through us, that dwell within us through the Holy Spirit, has the power to take down any temptation that comes our way. And so what we end up doing is giving more dominance to the temptation, while limiting the Holy Spirit.  We essentially say, “I’m not going to use the power God has given me to overcome this, and so I will just give in because it’s just too hard to fight.”  Honestly, this is an excuse.  An excuse many of us, myself included, has used to justify our actions.

Here’s the crazy thing.  The thing I didn’t realize for so long in my life. Do you want to know how to stop doing something you shouldn’t be doing.  You stop.  It’s not challenging or rocket science.  You just stop.  You choose not to do it anymore and not allow it to have control over your life.  The woman who was caught in adultery in John 8:1-11, when Jesus chose not to condemn her, what did He say to her? “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  Do you realize the implications of this verse? He said “Do it now. Don’t wait!  Just stop!”  There’s no manual to follow, or some book that needs to be read to overcome sin.  All He said was “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

We foolishly make overcoming sin this overwhelming complicated process.  The only thing that’s complicated is sin itself.  If you’re sin is lying, what happens?  Tell a lie to person A, and now you must tell it to person B, C, and D, to make sure person A doesn’t find out.  But unfortunately, you told the truth to person E, who knows person C, who told person A, and your lie has been exposed.  Isn’t trying to follow that confusing.  What’s not confusing?  Telling the truth, doing the right thing from the beginning, no matter how challenging it may be, because then there is nothing that could come back to hurt you later because there is nothing to expose.

Struggling with sin is a struggle with fearing God.  If you fear God, the fact that He will judge you and hold you accountable for your actions here on this earth, and has the power to send you to heaven or hell, you would do what He says.  But if we fear the world more than we fear God, if we lessen our fear of God and heighten our fear of the world, and we do what the world says over what God commands.

It’s really simple to follow God.  It’s the simplest thing we can do if you think about it.  Sin complicates things but the truth sets us free. It’s time to stop the excuses and find our healthy fear of the Lord.  Let us fear the Lord so that we can easily do what He says and not fall into the trap of thinking that the things of this world are more powerful than our living God.

Monday Morning Preacher: Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8


My sister, if she reads this, may be upset that I told this story, but when I was growing up, she decided one day to make brownies.  She mixed all the ingredients together, placed them in a baking pan, and threw it into the oven to bake.  About thirty minutes later when they were finished, she looked in the oven and asked my mom, “Are they done when they’re bubbling?”

Why were they bubbling?  She forgot the eggs, and that one ingredient missing caused the brownies to not only cook improperly, but they caked themselves onto my mom’s favorite pan which took a long time to scrape off.

I tell this story because one missing ingredient is all it takes to ruin a batch of brownies, and as we discussed yesterday, one missing Creator is all it takes to ruin one’s life.

Solomon’s message to us was a simple one:  Remember Him, remember God, remember our creator, remember the one who gave us life.  Not only remember Him but do it while you’re still young.  Why?  Because at this point in Solomon’s life, writing the book of Ecclesiastes, he was an old man who lived a foolish life.  And being given wisdom by God, he now sees where he went astray, chasing after the things of this world while neglecting the God who was always with him.

And so Solomon writes this as a warning to remember God, especially if we’re young.  Why?  What do we do when we’re young? We choose the path we will take for the years to come. “Will I go to college? What will I do for a career? Who will I marry?” When we make these life-altering decisions, if we are not remembering God, we may end up making the wrong career choice, learning the wrong major at school, ending up in the wrong relationship. I ended up going to college for Biology and Chemistry to become a doctor, when I finally listened to God and went to seminary instead.  I keep asking myself how much easier life would had been if I had remembered by Creator and went to a Bible college for a ministry degree instead.

According to Solomon, our life is an attempt to find joy, and our initial instinct is to not go to the One who created us but to chase after everything “under the sun” or the things of this world to give us the joy, the happiness, the enjoyment we crave.  But whenever this happens, whenever we run from God to chase after the things of this world, we end up more broken, beat up, abused, and shattered, and yet, we keep going back for more hoping the next time it will succeed.  It’s insanity: doing the same things and yet hoping for a different outcome.

But joy is in found in the Lord.  When we accept God for who He is, accept how He made us as a fearfully and wonderfully made person, we get close enough to Him that His will becomes our will and His desire our desires, all that changes.  When we become the men and women He destined us to be, we have a new passion, a new drive, a new joy that can never be extinguished because we have a God who gives us opportunities through the good times and the bad to find joy!

If you’ve been chasing the wrong things, the things of this world, to find joy.  It’s not too late.  Yes, this message was intended for the younger generations, but you’re never too old to turn your life around.  Some, like me, waste more years than others, but God can still help you enjoy the life that’s left in front of you.  You don’t have to hurt and keep chasing after the things that have failed you over and over again.  It’s time to turn to the God of this universe who will never let you down.

If you want to talk to someone about what it means to turn back to your Creator, you can write me here.

Life is a vapor.  Like seeing your breath on a cold morning, it’s gone as fast as it was created. Don’t waste another second, another moment running from God. Remember Him, turn back to Him, and let the joy you have been seeking become complete!

Monday Morning Preacher: Ecclesiastes 10:8-11:7


I want to use this time to write about the last thing we talked about yesterday: excuses.  We make excuses all the time in our everyday life, for why we didn’t get something done on time, why we faltered and did something we know was wrong, and why we didn’t do something we knew was right.  In fact, if I want to be real and transparent, in writing this post, I made excuses all week for why I didn’t write it earlier.  And if I was truthful, I was lazy and didn’t feel like doing it because I knew I had more time until time was up and it was either get it done or send it out late.

But here’s the thing, excuses shouldn’t be driving our lives.  Excuses shouldn’t be the thing that is stopping us from living a full life of Christ.  And part of the problem is we’re looking for perfection.  As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 11:4: “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”

If we’re always looking for those ideal conditions where everything must be perfect before acting, they will never come.  There is no such thing as a perfect condition because Satan will not allow it.  If just a small little attack can through us off our game, he wins.  He gets the better of us and God’s work goes unfinished.

But Solomon doesn’t leave us hanging.  In verse 5, He tells us that we do not know the work of God and how the wind blows, or how a baby is created in the womb and gives life.  And then he says in verse 6: “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”

Translation: You don’t know what’s going to happen.  You don’t know what will be successful and what will fail.  But still do it anyway.  Why?  Because maybe, just maybe, it all will succeed.  And even if it doesn’t, you are still honoring God with your actions.

Excuses should not be found in God’s people.  Excuses are a sign of doubt and a lack of faith.  Yes, it may not (and probably won’t) go exactly as you designed, and may be deemed a failure, but at least you did something to honor God in the process.  Only God can make a seed grow, our role is to plant the seed so it has the opportunity.

What happens next depends on how each and every one of us responds to this message.  There is a lost and hurting world out there who needs Jesus, who desperately needs to hear the Word of God be proclaimed and shouted from the rooftops.  But if all we do is make excuses, and hide Christ within ourselves, those we love and care about may not get to hear this important message that has radically transformed who we are.

So no matter how challenging it may be, we must remember one thing:  Fools continue to make excuses, while the wise rise up and repent. Let’s make progress.  Let’s get moving.  Let’s win this world for Christ.  Let’s be an army of believers who don’t let the fear and insecurities of this world get the better of us, but rather ones who will always take the hill and speak about the God who we believe with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is above all.