Have you ever read the Bible's plot in one sitting?  Here is the whole storyline of the whole Bible.  Take some time to become acquainted with God's heart.  It's the Grand-Narrative of God's Glory!  Enjoy!

Big Picture

God is in control.  Have you heard that phrase before?  Maybe you have thought it or said it from time to time as a reassurance that he is indeed sovereign.  I have.  I have needed to.  When difficulty comes your way, having an anchor to hold the boat from flipping over in the storm is important.  But, have you said that phrase, “God is in control” when life is going well.  When things seem to be working out, prayers seem to be heard, and your life seems to be lining up according to plan.  Maybe you have rejoiced at the goodness of God’s perfect plan in recent days.
1

Rick Warren has said, "All good leaders are good learners, and the moment you stop learning you stop leading."  I could not agree more.  I long to be a lifelong learner in a variety of areas.  Whether you are in an organization, business or church, leadership can be tricky.  Here are a few tips to grasp.

1. Begin at the Bottom.  Most leaders are in it because there is a personal passion.  The foundation of any leadership is servanthood.

Who leads the church?  Think about it.  Who?

This seems like an obvious answer for those who have been Christians for a time, but it is not just a cool bumper sticker for the back of our cars.  It is a profound reality.

Should Churches Be Growing?

As a passionate pastor and leader, I have been thinking and praying lots about this question and the local church. I have been thinking about the health and growth of local churches.  Some seem to be growing and some seem to be dying. I am concerned and I think all leaders should be concerned.

I have been asking why?

This led to another thought, although not new, just a re-thinking.  Let's start from scratch.

Sometimes circumstances have a way of challenging your joy. Every parent can relate to this picture trying to get the kids just right for the annual perfect picture. Life has a way of messing with us.

Reminders

If you are a follower of Jesus, the joy is already on the inside.  It is not something you try to manufacture.  The second word listed in Galatians 5:22 is "joy".  It is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of every believer.

I want to take Jesus' words seriously.  Don't you?

What would happen if we took Jesus' words seriously?  What would happen if the church took Jesus' words seriously?  You might be thinking as a follower of Jesus, as a Christian, I do take Jesus seriously.  You might, but I have found in my own life a disconnect at times with what I say and do with what Jesus told us to say and do.  I fall short of putting my heart on the things of Jesus' heart.

Our greatest purpose in life is to glorify God and do His will.  The supreme passion of your soul should be for God, but it can be for self.  We should be asking ourselves daily, "What does God desire most?"  Lets be honest.  There are moments and seasons when we are soaring with God and other moments when it seems difficult to give God all the glory.  As believers in Jesus, we have the promised Holy Spirit guiding us to bring God glory.

I like Isaiah.  He was a very public figure influencing Nobility and all others, but private in his time with the Lord.  Isaiah was a prophet of Judah who ministered to the people of the Southern Kingdom.  Because of Isaiah, Micah and the godly leadership of King Hezekiah (and Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz), there was a revival in Judah.  God intervened to turn back the Assyrian forces that threatened Judah.  Much of Isaiah's message focused on Judah's sin.

The Apostle Paul had quite the prayer life.  When you read his prayers for the churches (groups of organized believers), we discover they are specific and bold.  God has given us the gift of reading Paul's prayers.

Why not enter the New Year praying like Paul?

Think of people you would like to see come to faith in Jesus.

Think of others you wouldl like to see grow in Jesus.

Think of churches that you would love to see follow Jesus with faithfulness.

Pray back the prayers of Paul.

It is the last day of 2014.  As the question goes, "where has the time gone?"  As you look forward to tomorrow which launches 2015, have you made your New Year's Resolutions yet?  Will they involved diet, exercise, time, service, money and more?  All of these areas are important, but stop and think about it.

Are you a Follower of Jesus?

Do you believe in Jesus and have you received him as your Savior for your sins?

If so, there is nothing new coming in 2015.
Loading