Avoiding the Trash Heap

It’s spring cleanup week in my community, meaning that if you can drag it to the curb someone will haul it away free of charge. Our family took this very seriously this year, using it as an opportunity to pitch three TV’s, a hot tub, two mattresses, a couch, and more. As I looked at the rather large pile on my lawn I thought about how much money I had spent on stuff I was now happy someone would take to the dump for free {my rough estimate is well over $5,000 sat on my lawn}. I remember taking a deep breathe when we bought the one flat screen TV, buying it rather impulsively without really processing if we could afford it. I can remember saving up months to buy that hot tub, then investing considerable money and resources into it {not to mention the time when my negligence led to it flooding our basement, but that’s another story…}. I also remember being so proud of those things, inviting friends over to watch the Super Bowl on my brand new flatscreen, and seeing the jealous looks on faces when I spoke about our hot tub. Yet, not that many years later, here they all lay on a scrapheap.

You probably all know where I’m going with this story, yet it seems to be a lesson we struggle to truly live out. We spend so much of our time, energy, and talents pursuing things that are extremely temporary, especially when we look at the whole of history. Jesus puts it this way:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

 The term treasures in heaven refers to things done in this life that are of good and eternal significance. Here’s the big question: what are you doing in your life that is actually of eternal permanence? These are actions such as sharing the gospel, supporting mission work, confessing your sins, and building up others to be disciples. All of these have the potential to have an everlasting effect. The person you share the gospel with comes to have eternal life by God’s grace. The missionary you support leads an entire un-reached people group to Christ, saving generations. The young adult you disciple not only turns their life around, but over the course of their life leads others to Christ and builds up additional disciples. Friends, those are the things we need to really be investing our time, energy, finances, and talents in, because they will truly last forever. Stop spinning your wheels to acquire things that will end up on the scrap heap, but instead take proactive action to make an eternal impact on the world around you.

Making A Man Takes Honor

Isaiah 43:20New International Version (NIV)

20 The wild animals honor me,
    the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,

Define the meaning of HONOR?

A man’s sense of honor affects his life and his legacy. We like the word, HONOR. It shows strength and respect. We all like to receive it, but I hope we all like to give it. We are going to look at three ways to show HONOR in what the Bible says.

  1. Honor Your Parents: The Bible says in Exodus 20:12, ‘Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you’. We often find that we do at times the opposite. Disrespect amongst teenagers, and even adults can happen. Trashing parents on Facebook, texting, and even on snap chat is a poor choice. What is the purpose in it, and it sure does not show the honor that God asks us to do as men or young men. My dad always reminds me that honor is a choice, and God commands us to honor parents regardless of the circumstances.
  2. Honor Those In Authority: The Bible says in Romans 13:7, ‘Give to everyone what you owe them. If you owe taxes, pay taxes, if revenue, pay revenue, if respect, then respect, if honor, then honor’. I am going to use our highest authority in our land as an example. I did not vote for President Obama. He is the elected official of our nation and holds the highest authority. What will my choice be: honor or disrespect? We do not always agree in the decisions that are being made by our president, but his position creates honor and respect. The Bible commands us to do so. How is your honor? I will be honorable toward our leaders.
  3. Honor Church Leaders: The Bible tells us to honor church leaders. In 1 Timothy 5:17 it says, ‘The elders who direct the affairs of the church are worthy of double honor, especially those who work in preaching and teaching. When you decide to honor those who lead you spiritually, I guarantee you that they will take very seriously the role that God had placed before them. How do I do that? I go out of my way to honor them. I honor them in my words and my actions. Give the honor freely. Treat honor like it is the most valuable resource in your possession.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

 

 

Vital Ministries News

Up Coming Vital Events and News

New Series:  Making Men

We will be studying what it takes to have HONOR.

 

Vital Men Event May 2 – Quarterly Men’s Event

Vermeer Pavilion

Doors Open at 5:30

Guest Speakers: The Schmidt Brothers

Music By: Now Serving 7

Food Served By: Country Catering

Fun Feature: Men’s Obstacle Course

 

Fellowship of the Sword Midwest Quest Coming in September

Be in prayer about going.

Go to Fellowship of the Sword’s website for more information.

 

Coming! New Logo Design with T-shirts, Hats, and Polo Shirts

 

In Need of Revival

Revelation 1:10-11

10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

Ever feel like you need a spiritual awakening from the state of dormancy or stagnation? Revival is the place in your heart that encompasses the love of God. In essence, it is the passion that is within our souls.

I hunger for that place of revival in my heart. In the need of revival in my own self and among men. We have been battling against the enemy and his legion, but I believe a great awakening is coming!

The out pouring of the Holy Spirit is the evidence of revival which creates changed lives. How do we get that revival out pouring? Great movement toward righteousness requires spending time in prayer, reading, and obeying God’s Word. By doing so will have confession of sin and ask for repentance.

Let’s be in prayer together as we make ready for our Vital Men night on May 2. It will be a night of ‘guys’ growing up to be MEN. Bring your sons, bring your fathers, and invite a friend. Trust the Holy Spirit for His outpouring as we come with expectancy of revival.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

“Give Me Liberty…”

He already did.  From the first breath He breathed into Adam, created in His image, with a mind, will and capacity to make his own choices, with liberty we were created.  We chose death.  That’s right, liberty, free will, Adam chose sin and death entered the world.  

I believe in American exceptionalism.  I do, but not because Americans are exceptional.  I believe America is exceptional because God is.  Because the men of colonial America knew this and were willing to act on this knowledge, God blessed their undertaking.  Our founding fathers had a solid grasp of the divine source of liberty and the importance of its preservation.  On July 4, 1776, at the Second Continental Congress, our founders adopted The Declaration of Independence.  The second sentence has resonated through this country and the world ever since.  It states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, LIBERTY and the pursuit of happiness.” Endowed by their Creator…    

War with England had begun over a year prior to the ratification of the Declaration of Independence.  On March 23, 1775, in a speech to the Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry proclaimed, “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!”  It’s a great quote, as inspiring today as it was then.  Those men believed in God’s sovereignty, His justice and that liberty was a divine gift.  In liberty, they chose sacrifice of self for others, for a greater purpose, a Godly mission, for… love.  God’s reply, liberty.  Over the past few days I’ve been contemplating this idea of liberty or death from a Christian perspective.  God granted liberty to us, but we chose and continue to choose, death.

From the very beginning, God chose to create us in His image, breathed life into us and allow us liberty and a mind of our own.  He allowed us freedom to think and do as we please.  Why?  The only rationalization I can come up with is love.  He is love, the ultimate embodiment of it.  He wanted someone to love and someone to love Him in return.  The only way that love can be true and powerful is if it is chosen.  It has to be freely given.  He knew the pain this liberty would produce, but it was a price worth paying for that greatest reward, love.

So, God grants us liberty, which I gladly accept.  Next thing I choose is life, Jesus Christ.  I choose to accept His great gifts of grace and love.  I choose to receive His salvation.  I choose life.  Finally, casting a broad blanket, I will exercise the liberty He provides and choose to show God and the world the love He so wants and deserves.  I choose to serve something greater than myself.  With liberty, I choose love.    

Galations 5:13 (NKJV) For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  

 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

Potential

Within each of us is the potential for great good or great evil.  The only thing that seems to determine how that may play out in our lives are some of the influences and opportunities we have to lead us down one path or another.  Just watch a 2 year old for a few minutes and this may become quite obvious.  Every child born defenseless and dependent on others has the potential to do great things, no matter how long or short that life is.  Did George Washington, Mother Teresa, Hitler, or any one of us fully realize how our lives would play out when we were a toddler, or did that become more and more clear as we learned who we were? 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

When you were young, did anyone ever see something developing within you that you did not even realize yourself?  Whether it was a parent, a teacher, a coach, a pastor, or someone else who knew you enough to call out a particular strength that they saw developing in you.  They encouraged you to be all that you can be, and called out a particular talent or skill within you that they saw the potential to become something good.  When we are young, the words from a peer or an adult we respect can be very significant in the development of our value and self-confidence, either in a positive or negative manner.  Can you recall the words someone said to you years or decades ago that seem as if they were just yesterday? 

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.  Ephesians 1:4-5

Isn’t this the true nature of God…To redeem what was once worthless and make it into something valuable?  How often do we let discouragement and lies lead us to believe that we are not worth the price God paid for us?  Once you have been redeemed with Christ’s blood, know that you are worth more than you will ever realize or fully understand.  When you realize this value, both in yourself and others, it is much easier to live out the potential you have within you and to encourage others to do the same. 

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20

Throughout scripture, we are reminded of our inherent worth as humans born in the image of God, and the value he placed on a people damaged by sin, enough to send his Son into a broken world to redeem us.  When we realize, or even partially realize how precious we are to God because of the price he paid for us, we should be encouraged by the Spirit to live up to and to live out our full potential.  Granted, we may never live up to our own expectations, but if we are striving in the right direction, we will still have opportunities to fully realize much more of the potential God has given to us than we could have ever imagined as we live for Him.

So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:31

Strength and Courage in Christ,
Clark

 

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