November 5, 2017            Servant Leadership

Luke 22:24-30 “And they began to argue among themselves as to who would be the greatest in the coming Kingdom.  Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men order their people around, and yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’  But among you, those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.  Normally the master sits at the table and is served by his servants. But not here! For I am your servant.  You have remained true to me in my time of trial.  And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at my table in that Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”   NLT

Bullies AND   Spiritual bullies

  • Trying to affix blame where it doesn’t belong
    • YOU did this (no evidence required)
  • Trying to make themselves out to be better than you
    • I am the BEST – You are the WORST
  • Trying to make others bend to their will/plan
    • even if it means betrayal and bribery
    • even if it means arguing an fighting with your friends
  1. This all sounds so very…human
    1. One minute we are pointing fingers and assigning blame
    2. The next minute we are preening around like peacocks saying we are the greatest.
      1. Your horrible and I am great
      2. Sounds like election time!
    3. We need to see that we are NOT THE KING!
      1. Ours is to serve, not to be served
    4. The election “early voting” has begun.
      1. So many candidates arguing over who among themselves will be the greatest in the current kingdom.
        1. I would be better that they
      2. We shouldn’t be surprised
        1. Even the disciples argued who was the best, the greatest
        2. We play games like “King of the Hill” when we are little
          1. Our goal is to reach the top rung of the ladder
  1. Jesus sets them straight
    1. In THIS world it is the political leaders (Kings and great men) that order the people around and EXPECT everyone to BOW to them and meet their every DEMAND
      1. But they are called our friends
        1. They raise taxes – our friends
        2. The pile on regulations – our friends
        3. They can exempt themselves from these laws – our friends
      2. MOST are not our friends – SELFserving
    2. A true leader willingly takes the lowest place and holds up others
    3. A true leader sees everyone else as their priority
    4. A true leader sees those who elect them as their betters
    5. A true leader sees themselves as SERVANTS
    6. Jesus is the PRIME example of a Servant Leader
      1. He is God
      2. Yet, everything He did on earth and does now is FOR US!
        1. Teach
        2. Lead
        3. Suffer
        4. Bleed
        5. Die
  1. Jesus was a servant to His disciples (even Judas) and to us
    1. Christians are to stay faithful
    2. Our faithfulness as servants is seen by God
      1. He grants us eternal life
      2. He grants us blessing upon blessing
      3. He grants us whatever power/authority we have
  1. WE need MORE SERVANTS in positions of LEADERSHIP
    1. But we have a greater need for SERVANTS
      1. In our pews
      2. In our families
      3. In our communities
      4. A servant asks “how can I help”
      5. A servant sees a need and works to meet that need
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Priorities, Rights and Political Hay

(note:  DANGER – WORD PUKE Ahead – written quickly so grammar and spelling may not be perfect…or good…unedited)

Every time a person is murdered is a horrible crime.  This horror is multiplied inside us when we encounter events like the recent Las Vegas Shooting and other mass murders we see in our country.  These violent and horrific tragedies remind us that evil is very real and active in our midst.

Predictably a group of politicians and activists become very vocal, calling for more gun control because of these acts of evil that were inflicted through the barrel of a gun.

“Never let a tragedy go to waste” is a montra used by all sides of the political spectrum as they use a disaster or very public tragedy for their own agendas or political purposes.

But are their priorities right and consistent?

Or are they just making political hay on the heartstrings of hurting Americans?

Lets look at some rough numbers and see:

According to the CDC, every year approximately 88,000 Americans lose their lives due to alcohol, and 2.5 Million years of life are lost.  241 deaths per day due to a product that is not Constitutionally protected and is not a necessity for life.  Where is the outcry by our politicians and activists?  Maybe, just maybe, the 26 Million plus dollars of lobbyist money helps keep them quiet….or maybe we are just addicted to our alcohol.

According to the CDC, every year approximately 480,000 Americans lose their lives due to tobacco products  and the survivors lose 10 years of life.  1,315 deaths per day due to a product that is not Constitutionally protected and is not a necessity for life.  Where is the outcry by our politicians and activists?  Maybe, just maybe, the 19 Million plus dollars of lobbyist money helps keep them quiet….or maybe we are just addicted to our smokes and chews.

The Pharmacy, Health Professional, Hospital and Nursing Home lobbyists spend over 5 Billion dollars every year to influence the laws and lawmakers of our country.  Maybe this is why the outcry due to the deaths of medical malpractice, medicine issues and other like issues is not shouted from the wooden podiums of congress….or maybe we just like our meds because they are easier than lifestyle changes.

Over 40,000 people died on the roads of our country in 2016, that is 110 per day.  Where is the demand for the elimination of private transportation in favor of public?  Or do we simply love our cars so much we would refuse to get rid of them, reguardless of the risks?

Every year over 900,000 American lives are thrown away by abortion, yet certain political and ideological groups fight for them and demand they be more available.  That is around 2,500 Americans trashed every day, gone for largely non medical reasons.

75 plus lives were lost in the Hurricane Harvey tragedy, where is the out cry to move people and cities off the coast 150 miles or so?

Between 2011 and 2015 an average of 1,564 people were murdered every year with a gun.  4.28 Americans every day lost their life because someone used a firearm to murder them.  Each one is a tragedy.  Every person who murdered someone by any means should be held accountable!  But, will more laws prevent evil from committing acts of evil?

Every 31 days the same number of people who were killed in Las Vegas are murdered in Chicago and they have very strict laws.

Every 15 days the same number of people who were killed in Las Vegas are murdered in California by a firearm and they have very strict gun laws.

Every 20 days the same number of people who were killed in Las Vegas are murdered in Texas by a firearm and they have less restrictive gun laws than California and Chicago.

Every life is precious and the taking of a life by murder is a horrific action.

We should raise our voice and our culture against evil and death.  We should encourage a culture of life.

But let us start with the biggest issues first, where are the largest number of Americans dying from unnecessary activities occurring?

If we look at those numbers, even quickly, it becomes obvious that our constitutionally protected firearms would be way down on our list of priorities.

We should look at tobacco, alcohol and elective abortions (not medically required) long before we begin to look at other issues.  These are not necessary, not constitutionally protected and could save millions of American lives in just a few years.

As we look at our laws, let us remember that evil can not be legislated under control.  Evil will find a way to perpetrate it’s evil plans.  Evil will seek to steal, kill and destroy; these are the nature of evil and laws will not change the nature of evil.  Evil will use firearms, knives, bats, hammers, water, rocks, sticks, pipes, food, poison, motor vehicles, fuels, explosives, statues, knick-knacks, computers, scissors, paper, rocks, ropes, heights, clothing, and; in the absence of any type of tool, bare hands to commit evil acts.  You can never outlaw evil.

Murder, conspiracy to commit murder, abuse, assault and other like forms of violence are already illegal, more laws will only add to the charges if they are caught but will never stop the evil activity.

Let us get our priorities right.

Let us take a good hard look at our rights

Let us take a good hard look at the biggest issues in America

Let us stop just making political hay out of Americas Heart strings.

August 21, 2016     Super Summer Sunday      Teachers and students

This has been a good summer!

I have dipped my little toes in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, The Frio River and the Cement Pond!

But, alas, Summer time is drawing to an end.

ICS began school last week, RGCCISD this week and STC next week.

It is a time to reFOCUS

Luke 9:10-12 “On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.”  ESV

Bethsaisda – Desert place and fishing village.  HE took them to the beach fishing.

But there soon came a time to end their fishing trip at the beach and REFOCUS on their work.  The work of ministry.

Today, we find ourselves at that time.

As we refocus I have some good words for Teachers, students and maybe even parents.

TEACHERS

Teachers bear a great responsibility

James 3:1-2 “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”   ESV

Teachers face a great many enemies

Parents who believe little Johnny is always right and truthful

Curriculum

TIME

Kids who would rather play and disrupt than learn

An overall general lack of respect from parents, students, ALL

Deuteronomy 20:1-5 “When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.”    ESV

Philippians 4:10-13 “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.  Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”   ESV

Teachers NEED the LORD!

STUDENTS

1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,  and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.            

 Be at peace among yourselves.  – No bullying, division, gossip, DRAMA!

 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

 Get to work and encourage others to work hard with you.

Help everyone succeed and excel

Encourage

Help

Be patient

STUDENTS NEED THE LORD!

PARENTS

Hebrews 13:7-9 “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.”   ESV

They held YOU accountable as students.

They were tough and you learned.

Let your kids teachers do the same for them

THEY ARE NOT BEING TOO TOUGH ON LITTLE JOHNNY!

He needs homework

He needs you to work with him.

He needs a good spanking from time to time

EVERYONE

Mark 12:28-32 “And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.   And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” ESV

IF our politicians loved their opponents

IF our students loved their teachers

IF the teachers loved their students

If all the parents loved their school

IF the community loved their neighbors

IF all of us truly oved GOD and EACH OTHER

WE could end this summer with a REFOCUS on the truly important work of the kingdom of God and watch our community flourish.

Will you be a part of God’s Work of MINISTRY as we REFOCUS after our SUPER SUMMER SUNDAY?

Praying for Milwaukee and Louisiana this morning. Mercy.

I am horrified as I watched film and looked at photo’s from Milwaukee today. The natural disaster of Louisiana is horrible, but the manmade disaster is beyond simple understanding.

Why? I know the “spark” was an officer involved shooting that we know very little about at this time, but why burn your city? It is you and your neighbors that will reap the added pain of lost revenue and homes.

I am surprised at this, but not shocked. Maybe that should be the biggest surprise. We see this kind of thing far too often.

In a decade and a half where our country faced tremendous loss due to terrorist attacks on our soul, war on several fronts, devastating storms and drought and frightening disease we have chosen division over unity.

When we chose division we chose a path of destruction and downfall. We see this in scale in Milwaukee, Baltimore and other cities across our land.

When we chose division we chose failure. We chose to disallow the rule of law, redemption or recovery.

Matthew 12:25 “Knowing their thoughts, He (Jesus) said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” ESV

In our news coverage today we see the results of the division we chose. Cities laid to waste. Government so divided it is not able to complete even the most basic tasks without erupting in partisan/prideful infighting. Loss of respect for authorities both in and outside our country.

America seems to be on the verge of either collapse or civil war.

The time to unite and begin the hard work of restoration and rebuilding is now! Tomorrow will be far too late! Please do not depend on politicians in your city halls, county courthouses, state capitals or Washington D.C. to fix our country! 240 years of downward spiral is what has left us in the predicament we are in today!

Elect better people. Elect patriots. Demand change that reflects the very best America has to offer!

Stand up in your community and demand better.
Stand up in your pulpits and demand better.
Stand up for your Country!

or watch it burn.

Choose unity over self.
Choose humility over pride.
Choose servanthood over arrogance.
Choose to give instead of greed.
Stop demanding your own way.

Love your neighbor.
Love your country.
Love God.

The Best Defense is a Good Offense   Luke 6:27-36          (quick sermon notes) 

Last week we talked about the reality of evil in our world.

Today – how we should live in a world polluted with evil

In our world we tend to see a “default setting” of evil

We are quick to anger, but slow to forgive.

We would rather tear down than build up

We would rather talk about someone than to someone.

Our human nature is on full display right now in our election season.

Finger pointing, back biting, gossip, jealousy, anger, suspicion, greed, conspiracy, fighting and MORE are what we do.

As CHRISTIANS these should NOT BE who we are.

We are redeemed.

We are set apart.

We are THE CHILDREN OF GOD – and we should act like His kids.

What if our politicians, corporations, community leaders and/or US acted like God would have us to act?  Especially in times of trouble, competition or Holiday Family Get Togethers?

What if we attacked with an OFFENSE OF GOOD?

Maybe we wouldn’t have to play DEFENSE quite so much

Luke 6:27-36

“But                I say to you who hear,

Love your enemies,

do good to those who hate you, 

bless those who curse you,

pray for those who abuse you. 

To one who strikes you on the cheek,

                        offer the other also,

and                              from one who takes away your cloak

do not withhold your tunic either. 

Give to everyone who begs from you,

and                              from one who takes away your goods

do not demand them back. 

And                             as you wish that others would do to you,

do so to them.

“If you love those who love you,

what benefit is that to you?

For                  even sinners love those who love them. 

And                       if you do good to those who do good to you,

what benefit is that to you?

For                              even sinners do the same. 

And                             if you lend to those from whom you expect to

receive,

what credit is that to you?

Even sinners lend to sinners,

to get back the same amount. 

But                  love your enemies,

and                  do good,

and                  lend, expecting nothing in return,

and                  your reward will be great,

and                  you will be sons of the Most High,

for                                           he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” ESV

1 Peter 3:13-22 “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”

Be Good.

Be BETTER

Trust God

Live for Him – Holy – CLEARLY separated from the evil of the world

BE DIFFERENT

Stop playing so much DEFENSE

Mount a GREAT OFFENSE for the KINGDOM …knowing that VICTORY is Jesus is ASSURED.