• The Practice of Submission - Day 31

    Give in to someone today! That’s right let someone else win! Oh, what a feeling! Practicing Submission eventually frees us to “Give In!” This freedom allows us to not have to have our own way all the time. It’s not weakness! It’s the ability to put others needs before our own. This freedom helps us to genuinely love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. Without the practice of submission, I don’t think we can do what the Bible says is one of the “Greatest Commandments; Love your neighbor.” Mark 12:31 at the end of the verse says, “There is no greater commandment than these.” How can I love my neighbor if I don’t even think about them? If I only think about my needs, I will never have time to think about their needs.  


    Today: Try to spend some time (maybe at a stop light) to think about the needs of someone other than you. Do you know any of their needs?

    1. The Practice of Submission - Day 30

      Has anybody ever said you were “stubborn?” My parents said my brother was really stubborn; not! Maybe he was a little stupid, but I was the stubborn one! Which makes me stupid. It’s a combo! Stubborn means you are dogged and determined in spite of good reasons not to be! What? You have no smart reason to be headstrong about what your saying or believing, but you do it anyway. Brilliant! I think “dogged” has something to do with dogs. If you love animals, please close your ears for a few minutes (What?). Dogs are not the brightest creatures God created. I think we can all agree on that. Agreed! (I can hear some of you thinking bad thoughts! Dog lovers!) The idea of being “dogged” about your own stubborn will is, well, stupid! I know we can all think back on when we were stubborn about something and it totally blew up in our faces.  


      Today: Proverbs 3:4-5 are great scriptures to memorize and DO! Wisdom has never been so sweet!

      1. The Practice of Submission - Day 29

        One of the key scriptures that deals with Submission is found in Mark 8:34, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” What do me, myself, and I really know about life? Do we know what will happen in the next 5 minutes, 3 months, or in a year? NO! The Practice of Submission frees us from trusting “me, myself, and I” and start trusting the only One who knows, God our Good, Good Father. You don’t have to search high and low to figure out something you and I will never figure out. What a waste! What a stressful thing! Taking up your cross is all about that “living sacrifice” thing in Romans 12. We’ll talk about later. Jesus knows where you’re going because He has already been there.  


        Today: Think about what trusting your plans and ideas really means. Do you really trust you or your friends to guide you where you’ve/they’ve never been? Start trusting God with your day. See what happens!

        1. The Practice of Submission - Day 28

          Have you ever known someone who would spend weeks, months, even years fuming about some little thing that did not go their way? They get stressed out just thinking about it or when something reminds them of it. In the end, whatever they are consumed with controls them. I received a traffic ticket for an accident that happened on Portland Ave. and 164th. You know it wasn’t my fault! The police officer gave both of us a ticket because he didn’t want to talk about it. I got ripped off! What? The point is that every time I went on those roads, I thought about it, then I would get angry about it, and then I would stress out over it! EVERY TIME! Isn’t that stupid? Just a traffic ticket! It wasn’t life or death! Submission says, accept what I did wrong (did I not mention I got into the turning lane early?), learn from it, and…sing it with me, “Let it Go! Let it Go! (come on, you know the song!)  


          Today: When we get angry, we often get stupid. It’s a combo! Stupid confuses what’s not important for what’s important. Think about it today and Let it Go!

          1. "...the coldnever bothered me anyway!"
          2. never let your yesterdays problems effect you today and tomorrows blessings.
          3. Ouch!
        2. The Practice of Submission - Day 27

          Jesus gave up His will (what He wanted to happen) to God. Instead of doing what He wanted to do, He did what His Father wanted Him to do. I hope that makes sense. As you already know, each Spiritual Discipline has its freedom. That’s right! These Spiritual Disciplines bring freedom to our lives! When we first think of the word “discipline” we think about something difficult like work, or something negative. Drum roll! Practicing the Spiritual Disciplines brings FREEDOM to your life! It’s true! Submission brings the freedom of being able to lay down the terrible burden of always needing to get our own way. “The obsession to demand that things go the way we want them to go is one of the greatest bondage's in human society today!”  


          Today: I hope that during the day you will read that 2 or 3 times. Let it sink in. Have a great day! There is incredible freedom in letting God have control!

          1. Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
        3. The Practice of Submission - Day 26

          Hey All, Pastor Kevin here.


          Are you ready to practice Submission? Here is the example Jesus gave us the night He was betrayed…Luke 22:42 says, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” What do you want (will) to do today? What do you want (will) to have happen today? (Too many questions already!) What if, what you want to have happen today, is not what is best for you? What is best for us is to do what God wants (will) us to do. What (you use that “what” word too much!) He wants us to do is in the Word. We’ll talk more about that latter. The big question is, whose will is perfect? Before you answer take a look what following the will of man has done. Submission has a lot to do with whether or not you believe God’s will is the best plan for you.  


          Today: Try thinking about what God would want you to do versus what you want to do. If you journal, write them down. Remember, He is a “Good, Good Father.” He wants the best for His children! (That’s you and me!)

          1. Thank you!!
        4. Love Your Neighbor

          Hey Church, here's the form that I was talking about in service today. We will get some printed out for you, but don't wait on us if you wanna get a head start. Let's be the church and love like Jesus would today!

        5. 30 Words Daily Devotion

          WORD 30 - SAFETY


          “The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you. To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.”

          —Bernadette Devlin


          Have you ever been so scared that you couldn’t move, talk, or even breathe? Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t think you would make it out alive? Or have you ever been in a scenario where your worst fears became a reality?


          All of us have imaginary situations we pray will never come true. Some of us have even seen them come true. But what if I told you that you didn’t have to fear anymore? What if I told you that you have someone on your side who overpowers any opposition that comes in your sight? And what if I told you that the same person who is here to protect you is actually the same person we didn’t protect on the cross? Ironic, huh?


          Psalm 91:1–6 provides us with a description of God’s protection:

          Those who live in the shelter of the Most High

          will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

          This I declare about the Lord:

          He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;

          he is my God, and I trust him.

          For he will rescue you from every trap

          and protect you from deadly disease.

          He will cover you with his feathers.

          He will shelter you with his wings.

          His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

          Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,

          nor the arrow that flies in the day.

          Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,

          nor the disaster that strikes at midday.


          God is our lifeboat in a raging ocean, our shield against a powerful army, and our light amid the uncertain darkness. God is our safe haven in our times of trouble. And in reality, the closer we are to the Shepherd, the safer we are from the wolf. This isn’t to say bad things won’t happen, because they do. Although Christ has saved us, we still live in a broken world—one that awaits Jesus’ return when all things will be made new.


          Because of God’s promise of eternal life with him, we know that despite the terrible things that happen here on earth, everything will ultimately work out for us.


          In the meantime, we are called to be dependent on God alone. For only God is faithful in all things, present at all times, powerful in all places, and mediator between earthly and heavenly realms. Do not fear the past, present, or future. Instead, throw yourself upon the mercy of our faithful God and know, deep in the core of your soul, that whatever happens—expected or shocking, next to you or on top of you, today or tomorrow—that you are safe in the arms of God.


          VERSE OF THE DAY

          “The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).


          CHALLENGE

          Share: “My safety is found in the arms of my Father in heaven. #30WordsBook”


          DISCUSS

          1. What does being in the safety of God mean to you?
          2. Discuss an instance where you truly felt the safety and comfort of God’s presence.
          3. In what ways does God provide safety for people throughout Scripture?
          1. 30 Words Daily Devotion

            WORD 29 - RISK


            “Radical obedience to Christ is not easy … It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.” ―David Platt


            Did you know?

            • Roughly 163,000 Christians die every year for their faith.
            • In the 20th century, more Christians died for their faith than in all the other centuries combined.
            • The year 2015 was “the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history,” according to the leading organization that monitors Christian persecution.


            What does your relationship with Christ really mean to you? To what degree do you care for him? And how far would you really go to share his love? Our natural instinct as Christians is to express that we love Jesus with our hearts and that nothing will stop us from proclaiming his name. But when it really comes down to it, is that true?


            Our love is a fairly easy thing for those of us in the United States to proclaim. Most Westerners don’t face active “persecution.” But for Christians in North Korea, the Middle East, and other tempestuous areas of the world, the risk is real.


            Here’s a contemporary story that offers just a taste of what risk looks like today: In 2015, an ISIS-linked group executed 21 Christians on a beach in Libya. A gruesome persecution video was released to intimidate and scare others who call on the name of Jesus. Less than 36 hours later, in Egypt (next door to Libya), Ramez Atallah, the director of the Bible Society of Egypt, told his staff, “We must have a Scripture tract ready to distribute to the nation as soon as possible.” Just one week later, the group distributed 1.65 million copies of a tract to encourage Christians and challenge Egypt’s Muslim population to consider Christianity. That’s a big risk, underscored with incredible faith and trust in God.*


            Risk and trust are two themes that followers of Christ have been learning ever since Jesus first called upon his 12 disciples. Paul, an apostle of Jesus, was a man who was beaten, stoned, and imprisoned for more than five years because of his proclamation of love toward Jesus. Nothing could break his love for Christ because a true foundation in Christ cannot be broken.


            Is your life so saturated with the love of Jesus that you would be willing to endure beatings, mockery, and even torture? Are we truly sold out for the one who paid the price? And are we as Christ followers ready to die for the very person who died for us?


            These are not hypothetical questions. They are real—just like the love of Christ.


            Take a minute and evaluate: How much is your relationship with God worth to you? Are you willing to risk everything for the sake of Jesus?


            VERSE OF THE DAY

            “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” (Matthew 5:10).


            CHALLENGE

            Take time out of your day to pray for those who are being persecuted in the name of Jesus, and evaluate how much your relationship with Christ really means to you.


            DISCUSS

            1. Why is taking risks important to our relationship with God?
            2. What lessons have you learned about taking risks and stepping into God’s plan for your life?
            3. Discuss examples of people throughout Scripture who took risks in the name of Jesus.


            * Story summarized and quote taken from Jason Casper, “How Libya’s Martyrs Are Witnessing to Egypt,” published at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/february-web-only/how-libyas-martyrs-are-evangelizing-egypt.html.

            Wilson, J. (2016). 30 words: a devotional for the rest of us. (2nd Edition, Ed.) (pp. 170–173). Bellingham, WA: Kirkdale Press.

            1. 30 Words Daily Devotion

              WORD 28 - SERVANT


              “I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame, and I choose it above all things on Earth or in Heaven.”

              ―A. W. Tozer


              Consider these three questions:

              1. Do you call yourself a Christian?

              2. Do you believe in the power of God’s word?

              3. Do you believe the Bible is the inerrant and inspired word of God?

              If you answered “yes” to these questions, congratulations! You’ve just applied yourself to a life of full-time ministry.


              Some of you are thinking things like, “But I don’t work at a church,” or “But I don’t work for a Christian company,” or “But I don’t have time.” Let’s study what it means to live a life for Christ.


              Philippians 1:21 offers this definition: “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” If you claim to be a Christian, your life is meant to be lived for him. Meaning, you have all the time in the world to do what you’ve been called to do in the first place.


              Galatians 2:20 states, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” If you claim to be a Christian, then it is no longer you who lives, but Christ who lives in you. It’s his agenda, not ours.


              Finally, Romans 8:28 reminds us, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” If you are in Christ, God can use your current situation and workplace for his purpose, with no exceptions.


              Some Christians I know call this “missional living.” The idea is that that you adopt the mentality and behavior of a missionary no matter what you’re doing in life, whether that’s talking to your next-door neighbor, attending a business meeting, or going on vacation. “Missional living” doesn’t mean you’re constantly interrupting every conversation with, “Do you know Jesus as your personal savior?” But it does mean that you’re living a life that actively shares the gospel with everyone you encounter.


              The reality is, we are all called to full-time ministry, no matter where we work. Jesus isn’t hiring part-time followers. Make it count.


              VERSE OF THE DAY

              “O Lord, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household; you have freed me from my chains” (Psalm 116:16).


              CHALLENGE

              Don’t let anyone tell you that full-time ministry can only be found within the confines of a church building. God is bigger than four walls and a steeple. Take your current situation and workplace as your personal mission field. Why? Because you can reach people a church can’t. You’re on the front lines! And make it personal. God has put the people around you in your life for a reason. Find out what that reason is, and make it your mission to empower people’s lives with Christ.


              DISCUSS

              1. Discuss ways we can serve others in the likeness of God.
              2. How does serving others provide meaning and purpose to you?
              3. How does serving others provide meaning to the people you serve?


              Wilson, J. (2016). 30 words: a devotional for the rest of us. (2nd Edition, Ed.) (pp. 164–167). Bellingham, WA: Kirkdale Press.