In 1978 in Honolulu, Hawaii the Ironman event was born.  This is a grueling endurance race that includes a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run.  The elite who finish join the rank of those who call themselves an Ironman.  If you are a follower of Jesus, you are called to join such a rank. 

No, I don't mean competing in the Ironman event.  I'm talking about being willing to hold those you love accountable.  

Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."  In a day where tolerance is preached and "live and let live" is the motto, accountability seems to be lacking from many relationships.  One in the relationship has a difficult time putting boundaries in the relationship while the other finds it challenging, almost impossible, to respect such boundaries. Relationships without boundaries are destined to suffer and fail.  Relationships without accountability opens the door for that relationship to become toxic.  

I think the biggest reason we don't do a better job at holding those we love accountable is because we tend to associate accountability with negativity.  Biblical accountability is not about lording over someone, being a "goody-two-shoes", thinking you're better than anyone else, or having a license to put others down.  Biblical accountability:

  1. Has no selfish agenda.  Holding someone accountable is making others take responsibility for their actions.  In the long run, holding someone accountable may actually save their life!  A friend of mine who is a police officer arrested someone one time for DUI (Driving Under the Influence).  As he was handcuffing the drunk person and putting them into the backseat of his patrol car he said, "I know you don't realize this now, but I'm saving your life."  My sober friend knew the drunk man was safer in the backseat of the patrol car than in the driver's seat.  Holding others accountable is not driven by selfish motives. 
  2. Seeks the other's best interest.  Since accountability is not driven by selfish motives, it seeks what is best for the other person.  Sure it's vulnerable to hold another accountable.  They may get mad.  They may reject you.  They may refuse to remain your friend.  That's the risk we take when we love others enough to hold them accountable.  
  3. Speaks the truth.  We have a saying in our home: say what you mean and mean what you say!  There's no room for "beating around the bush."  Be direct and to the point.  Speak the truth in love and with respect, but speak the truth!  Those you love deserve nothing less.  
  4. Always points the other person to God and His Word.  Accountability is not about imposing your opinion on someone else.  Accountability is about seeing something in another person you love that could bring harm or devastation to him or her and challenging that person to allow God's Word to intersect that behavior.  Not long ago I was counseling someone who was in a dilemma.  She said to me, "My coworkers think I ought to do this, and my family tells me I ought to do that...what do you think Pastor?"  I answered her, "It doesn't matter what I think.  My opinion is not really important.  What's more important is what does God think?  Let's see what the Bible says..."  If we really love others, we will point them past our opinions and to the truth of God's Word.

Do you want to be an Ironman?  Are you willing to hold others accountable and to be held accountable?  For more on this, please watch the full message.  

I love coffee!  Every day begins with a fresh, piping hot cup of the delicious beverage.  I've had it cold and I've had it hot, but never once have I desired to have it lukewarm.  Not too long ago I poured me a cup of coffee at work and set it on my desk.  Moments later I was interrupted and left my office for 30 minutes or so.

Upon returning to my desk, I flipped open my computer and still staring at the screen without looking at the cup of coffee, instinctively picked it up to take a sip.  As it touched my lips, I spit it out!  The coffee had become lukewarm.

In Revelation 3 we read where Jesus told a church that they were lukewarm.  He longed for them to be either hot or cold, but because they were lukewarm He was about to spit them out of His mouth!  Hot water kills bacteria and is useful for bathing.  Cold water is refreshing to drink.  Lukewarm water is useless.  Spiritual lukewarmness is just as useless.  Let's look at some dangers of being lukewarm:

  1. You lose connection with Jesus and others.  This doesn't mean Jesus doesn't love you.  But it does mean that the relationship suffers.  Lukewarmness allows you to be spiritual and shallow at the same time.  Lukewarmness allows you to be non-commital in your relationship with God and God's people without ever desiring to go deeper.  
  2. You lose credibility.  Lukewarmness offers you comfort when the potential for having to sacrifice is on the horizon.  Lukewarmness points you to the path of least resistance and aids you in bailing out when the going gets tough.  Lukewarmness allows you to go back on your word and never allows you to call that a lie.  Because of this, others begin to lose trust in you and your word begins to mean little to nothing.  
  3. You lose battles in spiritual warfare.  Let me be clear:  our enemy is not our spouse, our friend we've had a fallen-out with, an unfair boss or a grumpy person working behind the counter at our favorite store.  Our real enemy is Satan.  Jesus calls him a thief that comes only to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).  Lukewarmness handicaps us in our efforts to pray and seek God's wisdom, strength, power, and plan.  Lukewarmness convinces us that spiritual warfare is not real.  Therefore, we fall victim to Satan's tricks and suffer devastating consequences.  
  4. You lose safe ground.  Walking with Jesus may not be easy but one thing is sure: He carries us so we don't step on land mines.  But lukewarmness focuses on convenience instead of commitment.  Therefore, we go the way we think we should go without ever consulting the One who can carry us safely around land mines such as: addiction, apathy, a joyless life, passionless pursuits, unrepentant sin, lack of forgiving others, unwholesome talk, rote prayers, pride, worry, fear, hypocrisy and half-hearted worship just to name a few!

Did you notice lukewarmness makes you a LOSER?  But Jesus wants you to be VICTORIOUS!  And you can be:

  1. Heed conviction from the Holy Spirit.  If you are a Christ follower, you have the Spirit of God living within you to give you wisdom, direction, and to gently remind you of His Word when you step out of living within its boundaries.  Don't resist taking the right action when you know in your spirit you need to make necessary changes.
  2. Be honest about your sin.  Don't make excuses, blame others or call your sin by a cute name so you don't have to deal with it.  Gossip is gossip, not sharing.  Lying is lying, not "just protecting their feelings."  Addiction is addiction, not "just having a good time" or "indulging once and awhile."  Until your honest about your sin, you will do nothing about it.
  3. Step off the mine field!  Determine today to trust in Jesus and let Him carry through the things that have been "blowing" you up.
  4. Engage in prayer.  The Bible says in James 5:16 that the prayers of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  Prayer should never be a "go to" when all else fails.  Prayer should be our first response to situations that arise.  Prayer is seeking God.  While prayer may not change our situation we're in, it always changes our heart and positions us to accept God's will.

For more on this, please watch the full message

I live in the Sunshine State, but it's not always sunny!  Along with the beaches and beautiful sunsets, we also have to endure our fair share of storms and even hurricanes.  From June to November we live with an awareness that one could strike any time.

Part of being a Floridian is being prepared for storms.  To not be prepared would simply be foolish.  In life there will be storms.  We need to be prepared so we can not only survive but thrive.  Let me give you 4 keys to getting through adversity:

  1. Prosperity is temporary, so be thankful.  Many times friends in other states will ask me, "Living in Florida, aren't you afraid of hurricanes?"  To be fair, if we dealt with hurricanes everyday of the year, I'd be moving!  But thankfully we enjoy great weather most of the year.  Hurricanes are interrupted by months of sunshine, warm days, water sports, beach walks, seashell collecting, and fresh sea food!  I never take those incredible moments for granted.  I'm very thankful for the abundant sunshine.  So when storms do happen, I simply reflect on the advantages of living here.  
  2. Adversity is inevitable, so be prepared.  Hurricanes will happen.  Every June we're reminded to be prepared: have plenty of water, non-perishable goods, batteries, a generator, and when all else fails, a good evacuation plan!  When I mentally prepare for a storm, I remove the surprise element from it and am able to use good and sound judgement.  I don't react out of panic, but simply put my plan in motion when appropriate.   This alleviates stress and anxieties and allows me to function in a healthy manner without obsessing that I may blow away with the storm!
  3. Failure is not always failure.  When we look at our failures through the eyes of our enemy, the devil and his legion of demons, we see nothing but our own inadequacies.  Our focus is on ourself and we wrestle with self-condemnation.  However, when we look at our failures through the eyes of Jesus, we experience grace and mercy and we see our need to abide in Him.  When we look at failure through His eyes, we see an opportunity to grow, learn and mature in our faith.  True failure would be not learning from our failure.  
  4. God is faithful, so you be faithful and DON'T GIVE UP!  II Corinthians 4:16 says in light of our adversity, we do not lose heart!  Jesus said in John 16:33 that we can expect adversity, but not to lose heart because He has overcome all adversity!  

You need help getting through adversity.  Psalm 121 reminds us that our help comes from God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.  We're not meant to do life alone.  We need God and we need God's people.  If your in a storm right now, I hope you'll take a few minutes and watch the full message!  

Recently I was in Wal-Mart and was paying for my goods with cash.  I handed the cashier a $50 bill.  She looked at me strangely for a moment as if to say, "Where did YOU get THIS?" and then held the bill up to the light glaring at it with her X-Ray vision.  She then proceeded to take out a marker of

some sort and draw a line on it.  After enduring her scrutiny, she placed the bill in the cash drawer.  I had just come from the bank so I wasn't too concerned with the authenticity of the bill, but apparently Wal-Mart was!  And who can blame them?  Counterfeit money is no good and neither is counterfeit humility! 

In Colossians 2:18-23 we find that there were those who had a counterfeit humility: they appeared as a humble follower of Jesus but their following Jesus stopped at appearances.  According to this passage of Scripture, people with counterfeit humility claim supernatural experiences apart from Jesus, have lost connection with Christ and His Body, the Church, and cling to human ordinances and ceremonialism for redemption while nullifying the atoning work of Jesus.  Unfortunately, there are those today who fill churches every Sunday that have counterfeit humility.  Let me give you 10 signs of a person with counterfeit humility:

  1. Uses religious terms to justify cruel or inappropriate behavior.  One example of this would be "sharing a prayer concern for someone" when in reality you're gossiping about that person.  
  2. Participates in good works to promote one's own agenda.  Here the motivation for doing good is not for the simple pleasure of serving, but for gaining leverage to promote selfish agenda.  When I was in younger, I agreed to cut my neighbor's yard because I wanted to date his daughter.  I didn't care about helping him, I only cared about impressing him.  He allowed me to cut his grass but denied my request to date his daughter!
  3. Listens to others only in order to speak into their life.  Counterfeit humility has no genuine concern for what the person is going through; it seeks only the opportunity to impress with its knowledge and experience.  
  4. Admits small sins but ignores major sins.  Counterfeit humility blinds the person to the reality that all sin breaks fellowship with God.  We are accountable for all of our sin.  Redemption from all sin requires confession (agreeing with God you've messed up!) and asking for forgiveness through the atoning work of Jesus.  
  5. Publicizes one's own sacrifices to impress others.  Counterfeit humility fuels one to brag about amount of time or money spent to help others.  
  6. Uses himself as the standard for others' performance.  While we can encourage others to follow our example as we follow Christ, true humility understands that Jesus is our standard for how we live our life! 
  7. Affects a humble tone of voice while saying proud things.  Counterfeit humility loves to "softly brag."  
  8. Professes love for God and neighbor but acts in a cruel manner.  True humility sees value in others and responds accordingly with words used and actions taken.
  9. Delights in debate rather than dialogue.  While counterfeit humility enjoys a good fight, true humility seeks to learn from others even from others with a different point of view.  
  10. Is easily offended!  When we operate in counterfeit humility, we exalt ourself.  Therefore, we take everything personally.  When we operate in true humility, we die to self and are hidden in Jesus.  Therefore, we take nothing personally.  

So, is your humility counterfeit or the read deal?  When we operate in true humility, it will enable you to desire and follow God's will for your life, it will enable you to love and serve your family and others, and it will position you to receive God's greatest blessings!  

For more on this, watch the full message!

A couple of weeks ago my family and I were eating at our favorite pizza joint.  When our server took our drink order I asked for water with lemon.  A few minutes later she returned with a glass of water and several little packages of lemon powder.   I didn't receive a real lemon, but an artificial one!

When Kristin and I first married we would keep two jugs of tea in our refrigerator.  Because she grew up on unsweet tea and I grew up on sweet tea, we would keep a jug of each.  After several months I decided to wean myself off of sweet tea, so I would add artificial sweetener to unsweet tea.  I'll admit while the sweetener added a "sweetness" to the tea, it wasn't like drinking sweet tea made with sugar.  There was a bitter aftertaste that I couldn't get used to.  Finally I gave up and relented to drinking unsweet tea.  If I couldn't have the real thing, I didn't want a cheap imitation.  

Righteousness can be like the lemon powder or the artificial sweetener: it looks like the real thing but it's not.  Artificial righteousness can fool some, but after awhile it becomes apparent that it's simply a cheap imitation of the real thing.  

In Matthew 7:15-27 Jesus spoke of those who had artificial righteousness.  They appeared to be holy, but it was just that: an appearance.  In addition to Jesus calling these fakes ferocious wolves, he said their artificial righteousness would be obvious by simply looking at the "fruit" of their life.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit.  A righteous life bears good fruit.  Jesus said there are many who have artificial righteousness and base their goodness on their deeds, but in the end they will die and slip into a Christless eternity.  

5 takeaways from this passage:

  1. There ARE people who have an artificial righteousness, so be on guard.  We must avoid being impressed by someone's words and instead observe their actions.
  2. What's on the inside will eventually come out.  Jesus said what is bound up in one's heart will eventually proceed from their mouth.  How true, how true.  Anyone can put on an act, but over time the true person begins to emerge.  
  3. Artificial righteousness is ME-focused.  In verse 22 "many people" were showing off to Jesus:  look what we've done! they exclaimed.  Look how good we are!  Hey Jesus, you should be impressed!  
  4. Authentic righteousness is Christ-focused.  Any righteous deeds done are for the glory of Christ and not for self-gloating. 
  5. Authentic righteousness is reading, hearing and doing God's Word.  Jesus said anyone who hears His words and obeys them are true believers.  Authentic righteousness is accompanied by humility that points others to Jesus.  

So, do you have an authentic relationship with Jesus or are you settling for artificial sweeteners and lemon powder?  

For more on this, watch the full message!

Who are what do you run to when you are really scared?  In those crucial moments of your life, when you experience an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety, who or what do you run to?   Whatever your answer, that's where your faith is.  God wants us to run to Him, but we don't always do that.

Sometimes we find it easier to run to another person, vice or habit to comfort us.  Some "lose themselves" in their work or hobby.  At any rate, when we are gripped by fear, we need to run to God.  However, when we run TO Him, we need to have faith IN Him!  

The disciples were on a boat with Jesus when a storm blew up.  Fear begin to grip the disciples as the waves grew bigger.  Jesus was sleeping.  The Creator is never threatened by His creation.  In a panic, the disciples woke Jesus!  Indeed they ran to Him, but they were gripped with fear and had lack of faith.  In their fear, they began to question Jesus' character!  "Don't you care that we are drowning?" they cried out!  In this moment, Jesus demonstrated His sovereignty: he commanded His creation to be still, and it obeyed.  Then, turning to His disciples He asked, "Where is your faith?"  

Friend, where is YOUR faith?  Who or what you run to first when you are afraid is where your faith lies.  God wants us to run to Him, but many choose to run to addictions, careers, people, and the list goes on.  While it would be easy to focus on "bad things" one should not put their faith in, I want to focus on something even more challenging: resisting putting faith in "good things" instead of God.  What do I mean?  Let's look at some GOOD THINGS that compete for our focus and faith in God:

  1. Religion.  We can be religious without having faith in God.  When our faith is in "keeping the rules" in order to gain favor with God instead of responding to God out of an authentic heart of love for Him, we can miss Jesus, not by a mile, but by an eternity!  When I was in elementary school there was a section of my report card that had a place for the teacher to comment on my character and conduct.  When I received good marks, I would be so excited to show my parents!  I just knew they would be so proud of me for "being good."  Indeed, I would gain favor and they would love me more.  However, they loved me just as much when I didn't receive good marks.  I learned that my parent's love was unconditional.  God is not impressed with our "good marks."  He loves us unconditionally and proved that love that while we were in sin, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).  If your faith is in "doing good" and "keeping the rules" instead of Jesus, you will miss Him by an eternity!
  2. Religious symbols representing God.  God commanded us not to worship idols.  An idol is anything we esteem more than God.  In the Old Testament, King Hezekiah destroyed Moses' bronze snake because people looked to it for healing instead of God.  In I Samuel 4 we read where the Israelites lost 4,000 men in a battle.  Afterwards they reasoned, "we need to bring the Ark of God here so it will save us from future defeat."  The next battle they lost 30,000 men!  They looked to an object representing God for their salvation instead of putting their faith in God.  Do you have a "lucky cross" you carry in your pocket?  How about an angel hanging from your rear view mirror to protect you while you drive?  God wants you to look to Him for your protection, not symbols representing Him.  When our faith is in religious objects and not God, we miss Him by an eternity!
  3. Good deeds.  In Ephesians 2:8-9 we are told that we are saved by God's grace through faith and that salvation is a gift from God and not a result of anything we can do.  In Ephesians 2:10 we are told that as a result of our salvation our good works come from an overflow of a changed heart.  When our faith is in our works, we negate the work of Christ on the cross and we miss Him by an eternity!

When our faith is in Jesus, we gain a true perspective of God, ourself, and everything around us. Like a snow globe shaken, circumstances in our life can block our view from reality.  But like a snow globe that is still long enough, when we learn to be still and trust God (Psalm 46:10), we begin to see more clearly how God is sovereign over our life and working for our good (Romans 8:28).  

For more on this, watch the full message.  

Think of a time your life was really chaotic.  Nothing seemed to make sense.  You felt beaten and battered.  You wondered where God was.  For many of us, three common questions were uttered out of our despair:  Why me? Why this? Why now?  But there are two problems with these questions.

First, these questions are "me" focused.  Secondly, these questions call into question God's character.  A mark of spiritual maturity is arriving at a point where our attitude declares: Why NOT me?  Why NOT this?  Why NOT now?  It's an attitude that understands God's sovereignty and is willing to cry out, "God if this (chaos, storm, unpleasant situation) is your plan for me right now, then why not?  So be it!" 

Instead of wasting time trying to figure out WHY the chaos, let's approach it from another angle and consider the WHAT...

1) What if God has something to teach you?  The chaos you find yourself in has the potential to teach you valuable lessons about God, yourself, life, and others.  In times of struggle you learn the sustaining power of God.  You learn your true character.  You learn who your friends really are.  

2) What if God has something to teach others and He's using your situation as the shining example?  Several years ago my then 8 year old daughter had open heart surgery.  It was a very stressful time for my wife and me.  We spent many hours in prayer asking God to bring complete healing and for Him to get the glory regardless of the outcome.  Several weeks after Miranda's surgery we were able to bring her to church and celebrate her recovery.  In addition to the many doctors and nurses who we had the opportunity to witness to, a lady in my church came up to me and said, "I've heard you preach about faith, but for the last several months I've watched you live out faith.  Your faith in God has inspired me and given me encouragement to do the same..."  I was humbled beyond words, and immediately said to her, "To God be the glory!"  You see, our situation positioned us to point others to Jesus!  

3) What if God is protecting you from something you can't see right now?  Several years ago Miranda had two pet rats.  Don't worry, these were the pet store type!  She kept them in a cage in her room.  We also have a very hyper Boston Terrier that would have loved nothing more than to get her grips on them!  When the rats weren't sleeping, they were climbing all over the cage seeking ways to escape.  Had they been able to talk I am convinced they would've cried out, "Let us out of here!  We don't like our situation!"  However, I knew if we let them out of the cage, Rosie would attack and their little rat lives would be lost!  I had a much broader perspective than the rats!  Sometimes we beg God to let us out of our situation, but God knows more than we do and can see what we can't see.  In His wisdom he will sometimes let us stay in our current situation to protect us from greater danger. 

4) What is God's goal for you?  To be like Jesus.  As we grow in our relationship with God, chaos gives us the opportunity to learn valuable life-lessons, strengthen our faith in Jesus, grow in our character, and mature in our being.  

God is sovereign through the chaos!  He has a plan for your life.  He can use the good and the chaotic for your growth and for His glory.  Choose today to align your thinking with God's Word (Romans 12:2), to align your feelings with your aligned mind, declare the truth of God's word resisting the urge to doubt God's character, and walk by faith, not by sight.  

For more on this, watch the full message

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I just returned from Haiti after another life-changing trip.  I have the joy of partnering with Truth Evangelistic Ministry ( and its director, Chuck Martindale to go to the valley of Z'Orange (Z-rhan-jay) Haiti where Bro. Chuck has been ministering for 15 years.  I took a team from my church 

 (pictured above) and had the opportunity to set up 4 different "mobile" medical clinics.  70% of Haiti has no access to healthcare.  So it is such a joy to be able to be part of a team that provides much needed medicines, ointments, creams, bandages and so forth.  

As always, I'm the one who walked away from that experience with the blessing.  Jesus told us that as we do to the "least of these" we do unto Him.  When we acknowledge others, we acknowledge Him.  When we love others, we love Him.  When we ignore others, we ignore  Him.  When we are willing to be emptied out, to serve, He pours back into us and replenishes us in such an amazing way.  To be with my Haitian brothers and sisters, who have so little yet have so much joy, demonstrates that when you have Christ you have what really matters.  

I know a lot of you reading this follow me on FaceBook and see my pics and posts.  If you don't, please "like" my FB page to receive pics, posts, and videos.    

The Mission House and Grounds 

(Notice the well in the background.  This and three other wells within a mile or so, are the only sources of fresh water for thousands of people.)  Therefore it's a gathering place and a great opportunity to get to know the Haitian people.  

My family visiting a near-by orphanage.  These children are taken very good care of and we've become close with the pastor and his wife that run it.

Medical clinic set up in a local church

Medical clinic set up at another local church.  This church is only accessible by foot, so the medications and gear have to be carried by foot.  Many of the Haitian children come alongside us and carry our bags and gear for us.  We don't have to ask them to, they just willingly do it and with a smile! 

After a two hour hike up a mountain that can only be climbed by foot, I stopped and took a picture of the valley of Z'Orange below me.  This is always an awesome site for me to see.  Haiti is a beautiful land with beautiful people.  Despite the incredible poverty, the joy I find there among the people and being with the people is like no other.  

The fact that you're reading this may answer the question posed in the title.  You may not be losing your eyesight, but you may be going blind.  Even more shocking, you may be blind right now!  I'm amazed at the power of perspective.  It's been said "one's

perspective is one's reality."  I would agree with that.  And unfortunately many bad decisions are made because of lack of perspective.  So how can we keep from going blind?  How can we keep proper perspective of what's really going on?

Years ago I was a huge fan of American Idol.  My favorite part of the show was the auditions.  I was amazed at how many people couldn't sing to save their life but refused to listen to the truth when the judges would clearly say, "You can't sing."  Or maybe you've sat with a friend who is down or depressed over a situation.  You may actually see something positive come from your friend's situation, but they don't.  They're too focused on their hurt or pain to see anything good come from tragedy.  A friend of mine called me and was very upset because he was fired from his job.  But his boss was very difficult to work for and even harder to please.  I explained to my friend he now had an opportunity to find a better job.  At first he was so mad and hurt he couldn't fathom the possibility of finding a better job.  Several weeks later he called me with good news:  he found a better job with better pay, better hours, and better management.  It's easy to look at others and say, "Don't you see the obvious?!  What's wrong with you?"  However, if we're not careful, we can be blinded to the truth as well. 

In Isaiah 43:18-19 we read where God was doing some amazing things in the midst of His people but they weren't seeing it.  They were blinded to the truth around them.  They simply weren't getting it.  In this passage God gives some very simple instructions on how to prevent being blinded to His activity:

1)Forget the former things.  Think about your "former things."  Failure.  Guilt.  Mistakes.  Ignorance.  Hurt.  God says "Move on!  Don't stay stuck in your past."  Past failures don't dictate future failures.  It's healthy to learn from our past but very unhealthy to stay stuck in it.  

2)Don't dwell on the past.  In other words, don't live in the past.  If you were a teenager in the 80's like me, living in the past would dictate that we still wear spandex and sport a mullet!  MYTH EXPOSED: there is NO SUCH THING AS THE GOOD OLE DAYS.  Sin and evil have been around since Genesis 3.  We can read stories in the Bible of deceit, murder, jealousy, rage, sexual immorality, lying, cheating, etc. and that's before we're out of Genesis!  Someone who is well up in their years said to me the other day, "I miss the good ole' days."  I replied, "You mean the days of WWII, concentration camps, and the holocaust?  Or are you talking about the days before women could vote?  How about the days when white people and black people were segregated in public places?"  The truth is, the good ole' days are only the good ole' days because we're years removed from them and memory has a way of blocking out the bad stuff.  When we dwell on the past, we don't embrace what God has for us right now.

3)Open your spiritual eyes.  Ask God to give you His perspective.  See people as He does.  See the world as He does.  See time as He does.  See tragedy as He does.  When you see as God sees you will do what God does.  

4)Trust God.  He has your life and your future in His hands.  You may not understand your circumstances right now, but trust will fuel you to keep running back to God and not from Him.  If you really believe His word, then you'll accept that He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11; John 10:10).  Trusting Jesus will give you proper perspective and keep you from going blind!

Let's move forward!  Let's keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author of our faith and the One who perfects it as each day passes (Hebrews 12:2).

For more on this, watch the full message


When everyone else says, "You can't!" you say, "I CAN!"  Why?  Because you have passion!  Passion is what fuels our desire to accomplish something great even when our circumstances seem overwhelming.  If you work in a job where you constantly count down the days until pay day, you may be in  

the wrong profession.  When you get paid and your thought is, "I get paid for doing what I'm doing?!?" you are serving and working with passion!  

So many people see life as a list of tasks to accomplish in order to realize a certain end.  Unfortunately, the end never comes and the person spends his days toiling with a loss of joy and passion.  But this isn't healthy, and it's certainly not God's desire for anyone.  He wants us to enjoy this life He's given us.  He has great plans for those who trust Him (Jeremiah 29:11).  The plan for enjoying an abundant life begins with knowing Jesus.  From that, God puts passions and desires in our heart that if we will live them out, we will experience the best life ever!  

Instead of doing something out of mere obligation or for some ulterior motive, we should live our life and do what we do because we have passion!  We all want to feel a sense of purpose and that our life counts for something.  We all desire more out of life than being stuck in a rut of work, eat, sleep, and do it all over again tomorrow.  When we are fueled by passion, 5 amazing things happen:

1) We sense God's prompting.  We feel compelled to do and act, and we take initiative.  We sense that what we are doing is motivated by more than just our own will.  When we sense God is leading us to take action, we can rest in that fact that He will provide.  We don't have to stress over making sure we're going to have everything we need to accomplish what He's prompting us to do.  And that leads me to...

2) We see God's provision.  The Bible says in Philippians 4:19 that God will supply all of our needs.  If He's given you a passion to do something, don't waste time stressing over how you're going to make ends meet.  God's got that figured out.  He put the desire in you, remember?  So He will provide for all your needs.

3) We realize God's power.  As you are living out your desires and accomplishing God's plan for you, being fueled by passion, you will realize a strength you've never had before.  God's power will sustain and keep you.  What others would say is impossible, you see as an opportunity to accomplish greatness.  As you are doing that, you will realize God's power.  Give Him the credit!  Give Him the glory!  And let your strength be a witness to all that there is a God!

4) We feel God's presence.  Fact: you're not alone.  God is with you.  He is providing for you.  He is strengthening you.  And He will never leave you.  When you realize you are not operating alone, you will draw great comfort in knowing that God is aware of your situation.  He sees and knows your challenges that lie ahead.  He's already provided the solution for you.  Just stay focused on Him.

5) We fulfill God's plan.  The greatest achievement in all the world is coming the end of your life and hearing Jesus say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."  Your life mattered.  You counted.  You affected others for good.  You made a difference.  You left a Godly legacy.  You fought the good fight!  You finished well!  

Don't waste your life.  Go out there and live!  Fulfill God's plan for you!  Serve, work, and live with passion!  Resist ruts.  Don't serve out of obligation but out of joy!  Say YES to the BEST and NO to the REST.  

For more on this, watch the full message.