Christ is Our Vision


I just can’t get this stuff out of my head.  Paul’s words haunt me to the level of wanting more of Jesus in every way, every area of my life. I am quickened in my heart by the Spirit to “press on”. To not allow the present challenges, or attitudes to trump that Jesus Christ is my Vision.

Paul’s Words in Phippians 3:   8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;
16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Php 3:8–16). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Don’t Spend Your Life on the Worthless, God has more for you.


broken cistern Jeremiah 21.13 “For My people have committed two evils:
“They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns,Broken cisterns  That can hold no water.”

Cisterns were very important in ancient times. They stored water for the season of drought.  God is speaking to Israel that they have worked hard, but what they are working for is worthless.  He compares it to a cistern that can hold no water, therefore worthless. The application to us would be working and striving fo things in our life, that are the same as broken cisterns…worthless.  We get deceived that the things of this earth are so worthy of our time, our money, our affections, and our attentions.  We strive for acceptence and love from coworkers, friends, and family, even if we must compromise our faith convictions.  We strive after self, to pursue youth, beauty, and popularity, often times pouring great attention and time into a broken cistern.  We look for something to “hold us”.  We hew out cisterns in our life that hold nothing at all that God wants for us.  We hew out and pursue lust, addictions, peace through booze, relaxation through wine, or tobacco, and escape through TV, internet, and avoid. we pursue God in religion and not relationship.  Our world consider all of these things normal.  But God had more for his people.

He wants us to make a cistern that holds water. That is YOU.  As we surrender our lives to Christ and pursue Him, we will hold water, the living water.  Jesus will grow in us and we will be found in Him.  He screams this out and invites us. Consider the world of Jesus in John 7.

37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ”
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Jn 7:37–38). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

An open letter to my mom on Mother’s Day


nateelarton:

Another Mother’s Day. I honor my mom once again.

Originally posted on nateelarton.com:

Dear Mom,

It is Mother’s Day again this year and you are not here but with the Lord.  I won’t be able to bring you a bush, flower, or pick your lilacs, but I miss, honor, and love you.  I want to thank you for being a great mom.  You were not a perfect mom, but I am not a perfect son, and there are no perfect anyones out there, but you were a great mom.  I am going to tell you why I am thankful for you.

  • Thanks for kissing me a lot, even though I acted like I did not like it…I did.
  • Thanks for spanking me when I needed it.  I probably needed more of them, but you still don’t know the things I did that merited a spanking, if you would have known, and I am still not telling.
  • Thanks for not letting me quit Little…

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My opening remarks from the message this weekend on Philippians 3.1-11


Christ Is2Several have asked for the remarks I made as to what I felt the Lord said to me for the series this month.  Here they are.  Blessings Nate

Why take a month or more on one chapter of the Bible?  On Philippians 

  1. The same energy Christ gave on the cross to redeem us is the same effort the enemy is doing is best effort to destroy us.
  2. Kingdom Impact will be multiplied when we are radical for Christ.
  3. God has a plan for Compelled Church and for your life and a prerequisite for the plan is that we/you will be so committed to Christ that you/we will obey Him, as He is our everything!
  4. We must have an encounter with Christ. We have to deal with our dark side and flush it out by the power of the Spirit and by the Word.
  5. The people of God need spiritual courage. This only comes from a real, true, relationship with Jesus. Believer are walking in too much fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear.
  6. Our vision hinges on the reality that we know Christ, not know about Christ.
  7. The storms of life, the rough spots in our faith are only endured and become platforms to grow, as we grow in Knowing Christ.

Amazing quotes from the Leverage Conference


  I and some of our team, went to a conference in Fairview Park, OH (Cleveland) Thursday and Friday.  We downloaded a lot of nformation, received encouragement, laughed, and sought the Lord.  As I pour over the notes let me share some amazing quotes from this wonderful brothers that helped teach us and sit around table sand share with us.

Joe Champion=jc.   Pierre Du Plessius=pdp. David Crosby=dc. Jim Wilkes=jw

Growing servant leaders does not happen by accident/jw.

After hearing from God for the ministry the most important task of the church is leadership development/jw.

How you lead must change at each level of church growth/dc.

We need each other to become our best for God/pdp.

Only hire emotionally healthy people in your church staff/pdp.

Your staff our a solution to a problem. Staff are to help the lead pastor not the other way around. You should not have to prop up your staff so they can do their job/pdp.

Do not hire good and faithful people, hire capable people that can multiply/pdp.

Do not celebrate your staff’s gifts, celebrate multiplication for the Kingdom/pdp

Your soul is more important than your leadership/dc.

The backstage of your life will influence your front stage/dc.

On our staff we love everyone but we do not protect dysfunction / jc.

Don’t let money go to your head or it will invade your heart/jc.

Build a church from the pulpit not the platform/jc.

Good leaders cannot be over sensitive or mopey/jc.

Call people out of the darkness, don’t try to drag them out/jw.

Your multi site campus cannot be substandard to your first campus/jc.

Push authority down to servant leaders/jw.

Count is not going to count your success He is going to weigh it.  How much Christ was in it/jc.

Don’t let people you do not know discourage you or get in your head/ jc.

You are responsible for the next generation/jc.

Never forget that you were once lost/jc.

So many quotes, so much the Lord is teaching me. I so thankful for our Compelled team. The ones that could come and the ones that could not. I am thankful for Jesus and the honor and privilege to be a spiritual leader.

My 7 Mission Convictions


Here are the 7 convictions I shared this weekend for Compelled Church.

Conviction #1  God’s goal for mankind is a missionary goal as God is a Missionary God.

Conviction #2 All People Matter to God

Conviction #3 God has called the church to sacrifice to take the Gospel to the World.

Conviction #4 We want the name of the Lord to be known and praised by all People, languages, skin color, and nations.

Conviction #5 God blesses the church that blesses the lost.

Conviction #6 We all are called, but we all can’t go to foreign nations, so we are responsible to send.

Conviction #7 God has called, will call, and is calling our people to world missions.

Good Friday Prayer


As I think about the price that Christ paid for our salvation, as I read the week of the passion, and as I think  about what it cost, to redeem us from sin, the curse, and our own arrogant stupidity, I ask this from my God in Christ……

  • Let me not live like this did not cost a lot.
  • Let me never to compromise whose I am now, I am a child of my Father in Heaven in Christ.
  • May my life never compromise the directives and teachings of Jesus my Savior.
  • Let me live in abandonment to the will of God on this earth and may my pathetic will be obliterated.
  • Let me never pity myself, my lot in life, and may my feelings that are selfish not rule my self or kick Christ off the throne of my life. He must always be my Lord.
  • Help me never Father, to take for granted your gift of salvation through your Son.  May I never go a day without expressing my praise, thanking you, and bowing my life, heart, will future, at your Lordship.
  • May the love you had for a sinful humanity, flow from me, to every race, to the hurting, the poor, the rich, the bound, the lost, the found, the kind, and the mean.
  • May Christ’s example of sacrifice and servanthood be manifested in my life to my God, my wife, my kids, my friends, my church, and to strangers.

Because of Jesus,  Amen

My brother Steve’s revealing question


My hero, Steve LeVeck

I am teaching on the Holy Spirit on Wednesdays until summer and I must mention what the Lord taught me through my brother Steve as he was suffering with cancer.  I was visiting my amazing big brother at his home, on a day when the symptoms were manifesting in his balance.  We were talking and he looked right into me and He asked me a question, Steve asked,  “Nate, it’s not how much of the Holy Spirit we have, but ask yourself, how much of us does the Holy Spirit have?” Steve was within days of being with the Lord, and his heart and mind were filled with giving more of his life to His King.  His thoughts were on making sure his life was yielded to Christ and filled with the Spirit. He was still surrendering what life he had left in him, as he was transitioning to the presence of God.  This moves me deeply.

We want to be filled with the Spirit of God, but honestly we resist yielding completely to Him.  We don’t like giving up and letting go.  We must give more of ourselves to the Spirit.  Let go our past, shame, anger, fear, resentment, unforgiveness, irritations, sin, selfish habits, and addictions.  How easy it is to be filled, when we are emptied of the things that interfere with our spirit and mind being filled and controlled by God’s Spirit.  This question will be with me until I see Jesus and Steve again.  This question changes my life. I believe this was a question from Heaven, and glimpse into the heart of God, and my brother’s.

So, How much of you does the Spirit of God have?  What say you?

Compassion is so Critical


I have never spoke on Compassion before as a topic.  This is the first in our new series on “Building and Battling:  Kingdom lessons from Nehemiah”  This first message on Nehemiah’s compassion is really moving me.  The Lord seems to be downloading a lot of thoughts about Compassion, and the need for it. It is so critical in the life of the believer and the church.  here are some thoughts.

  • The world hardens us and hard hearts become uncaring and selfish people.
  • Without compassion, we cannot fully connect with the Father, hear His voice, sense His Spirit or respond to His presence.
  • Compassion leads us to action.
  • An Husband without compassion with hurt and wound his wife.
  • Anything for Jesus starts with a touch from heaven, that ping of compassion.
  • Compassionate people care a lot about a lot.
  • People with compassion tell others about Jesus.
  • Compassion is the spark to love which is the action of Christ.
  • Missional churches are compassionate churches.
  • Compassion from Jesus will drain us from self.

This message will be taught on Feb. 21,22, 2015. If you are reading this after that, you can listen to the message at Our Compelled Church Website, click here. 

L