Real Love


Real-Love

I am Looking so forward to starting this 6-week series called “Real Love”. Going to challenge us to really be “Compelled” by His love, be about His love, express His love, and also Abide in His love.  Bring your Bible, a journal, grab the notes and be ready to grow, receive, and I am praying God the Father gives us revelation on how much he loves us.  Then we will be secure, and not look for so much love and affirmation from others. We will not offend when others are not loving, and we will be generous with love because God’s love has been poured into our hearts.

We need more love in our homes.  We need more love in our marriages.  We need more love for our family. We need to learn to allow others to love us.  We need to stop hoarding Father’s love.  We need His Real Love.

We function too much in a love that is worldly, selfish, and dysfunctional.  Jesus wants us to love others the way He loves us and the key is to abiding in His love (John 15-1-10).  When we are not abiding in Christ, we get unlovely real fast.

My 5 goals for this teaching series:

  1. Love like Jesus
  2. How to “abide” in the Love of Christ.
  3. To rise to Christ’s standard of love, not our family’s or this worlds
  4. How To love well. How to be free to love.
  5. To teach from Scripture, how we can love others like Christ.

 

See you this weekend at Compelled Bedford or Holland. Click here for times

Our Compelled Community fills me with Gratefulness


I love our church. I love the heart of our people.  I love how we pursue the Lord and people.  I loved the Toledo Campus going door to door, and hosting a fall festival. I love our Children’s ministry and leaders,  and the annual chili cookout. So glad the Lord led Pastor Matt and Mandie to Compelled. I love Pastor Rick’s heart as we gathered for worship team training and he encouraged us. I love Pastor Dusty getting our students reaching out. I love filling shoeboxes for the Lord and operation Christmas Child.  I love that we are truly “Compelled by love.” I’m am grateful to be part of our Compelled Community.

At Compelled this weekend we stressed our Family Value of Relationships.  “People grow better in relationship than they do in isolation.” We had people stand and publicly  give testimony and thank those who encouraged them in the faith and brought them to Jesus.  This was moving, encouraging, and filled us with faith.  I loved it.  We heard powerful stories of people reaching out in friendship and love for Christ and lives were changed and of course eternities.

We must be those people that are the encourager now.  As we have received, now let’s give.  Make a difference in someone’s life.  Start a small group.  Call someone you have been missing. Write out a prayer for a struggling friend and mail it.  Send a text, buy a coffee, open your home and your heart and see what God will do.

Keep being missional Compelled Church!  We are making a difference.

(NOTE:  All the gatherings were awesome but the 11 am worship was amazing.  The place was packed and so many people were pursuing the heart of God.  It was so powerful.)

Stop being so unhappy and discontented


Why are so many people not content?  Unhappiness, anger, depression, and hopelessness seems to be much more prevalent than contentment.  Contentment is a state of peaceful happiness.  Few have it.  There are so many things that take peace and happiness away from us.  Most of these things are external or circumstantial, but some are rooted in attitude and world view.

  • Materialism steals contentment.
  • Sin Steals contentment.
  • Conflict resulting in bitterness and unforgiveness steals contentment
  • Neglected our spirit, and inner health steals contentment
  • bad eating habits, sleep habits, steals contentment.
  • Negative, complaining, and overall views of pessimism will steal peace for sure.
  • too much netflix and TV can steal contentment.

We get unhappy at our circumstances. Maybe life has not turned out the way you had thought, or someone is making rotten decisions in their life that is affecting yours?  Contentment can be evasive in a world of conflict, a life of hectiness, and a heart divided.

Many are discontent as the media continues to bombard us with ads telling us and reminding us we do not have the coolest and newest things, and we fall prey to feeling that we are not significant because we don’t own the new whatever and discontentment grips our heart.

True contentment, inner peace and happiness, comes when we our faith and hope is not in the external things, and circumstances we cannot control, but in an all-loving and unchanging God. He purchased a chance for us to experience His life and peace, through the life, death, and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ.  A life with Christ, is a life of contentment.

In a life full of people and circumstances we cannot control, we need contentment. In a life of stress, busyness, raising kids, paying bills, driving here and there, we need contentment. With hearts that  have been wounded, pasts that haunt us, consequences from past mistakes, remind us, we do need inner peace, happiness, and a sense that there is more to life than all of this.  We need contentment. We need faith to know, that no matter what, we are part of the plan God has for our lives. We need the peace and contentment from resting the hands and love of our Father in Heaven. Choose Christ’s presence, power, and peace in your life, and stop allow unhappiness to rule your heart and mind. With God’s help that is truly possible.

May I leave you with some ancient words from the 1 century found in the Scriptures.

“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.” (1 Timothy 6.6)

New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (1 Ti 6:6). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Decline of Compassion Must be Resisted


Anyone sense that the emotion and character attribute of compassion in our country is declining?  Racism continues to hurt so many, aggressive and angry political statements, violence and anger, the plot with so much horrible violence on too many shows and movies, and the consistent personal battle we all face with selfishness and self-attention as we strive for better hair, nails, bodies, money, cars and better houses, and the inward desire to have everyone think we are awesome. Many churches have bitter infighting, families continue to implode as spouses refuse to die to self and sin, abandon their vows, and random acts of violence fill the headlines of our newsfeeds.  We must resist the darknesses attempt to eradicate compassion from our lives.

Believers, we cannot lose our compassion. It is critical to the mission of Christ that we stay connected to the heart of God, and compassion is the manifestation of His love.  Compassion is the fuel for action. Compassion keeps us thankful, keeps us caring for others, keeps us sharing faith, keeps us loving our families and spouses.  Compassion keeps the church on the tracks of mission, so we don’t end up arriving somewhere we never intended to go.

A community without compassion is more concerned about home values than the people.  A church without compassion becomes a social club of individuals agendas and power, forgetting the mandate of mission of Jesus. We become without love and without biblical direction. Judgement and critical attitudes push out compassion, and our worship disappears in multiplying areas of our lives. We lose our first love, and then the world loses, as another church becomes a religious, lifeless, closed, clique of the community void of the love or power of Christ.  If we lose compassion we will not be Compelled to do anything with eternal implications, and to manifest the love of Jesus to those who need Him.

A school without compassion becomes a place where students are required to learn for testing, not cared about, for life-long impact, teaching, and discovery.   A government without compassion becomes a burden to it’s citizens and a only financial entity, void of  care for the people. Leaders without compassion, become dictators, and power goes to their head with disastrous results.

We need more compassion as a people. I think it’s safe to say that.  I rejoice when I see people, groups, and communities pull together to show love and compassion to a family, group, or cause. We need more of those tangible expressions of love and compassion.

Compassion requires your time, maybe your money, maybe even your reputation as others will questions self-sacrifice. Compassion often requires us to get out of what we are comfortable with. Most importantly, compassion will require your heart.  We want to move with compassion because we are “compelled by His love” not our desire to earn brownie points with God, or to be seen by men.

Compassion as a people, starts with an honest look at our own compassion.  Jesus had great compassion for other’s. He gained nothing in return. His compassion moved him to heal, to feed the five thousand, and to suffer on the cross for the sin of humanity. His compassion continues to help us through our life, as we trust him through all of our challenges.  How compassionate are you? I believe true compassion comes from the heart of God.  We must look to Him, connect to Him, and ask Him to impart His great love and compassion to our hearts and lives.

I struggle with being compassionate like anyone, but the struggle diminishes, and my compassion grows,  as I connect with the Lord, and allow His love and compassion to be revealed fresh in me.  Let’s commit as a people,to be more like Christ, to be more Compassionate, to be more loving, and people will be changed forever, and we will be part of their story. Let’s search our hearts and lives with Holy Spirit help and honesty.  Rid the attitudes, things, desires, greed, self-attention, or whatever is stealing our compassion and resist the decline of the greatest motivator for the love of Jesus that we have….the compassion of Christ.

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

The Challenge of Love


“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! ”  John 6.23 New Living Translation

I love being loved!  I feel a pit in my stomach when I know that people are upset with me. I feel defensive when people are unkind.  I fight resentment when people don’t love me at all, and their lack of love is manifested in what they have said to me or slandered me to others.  What do you do when you are confronted with the unhappy fact that someone does not care for you?  Most people return the “favor” and don’t love back.  We withhold love from those who don’t love us, are unkind and uncaring to us and have made it clear we no longer are on their list of favorite people.

When we come to Christ, Jesus makes his home in us by His Spirit.  we know the Bible says God is love. Not the kind of love that exists without God. Loving those who love us. That is conditional love. God’s love is unconditional.  Simply meaning, He loves without certain favorable conditions.  He loves no matter what.

For us to love people like that, we need God. We need Jesus in us and we need to let His love flow through us.  We have to allow the love of Christ to manifest through us. This might mean not giving up on someone. this could be that we need to grant forgiveness.  This would require us to abolish bitterness in our heart toward someone.  I can see that this implies we would have to stop with holding love from someone whom we have determined no longer qualifies for our love.  You see Jesus told us, we need to love those who may not love or even like us.  We can only do that through Christ.  Let’s stop withholding love, no matter what way we are doing that. Life is too short. Relationships are too important and God forgive us for being so stubborn!  May we love like Jesus, unconditionally.

Christmas Series at Compelled Church


Christmas can be a great time. It can also be a tough time. The brokeness of relationships and past hurts rise to the surface with more obviousness at Christmas more than any other time of the year. Christmas can be a painful reminder that all is not right, that the past still haunts some families and that we are in deep need of God’s grace.
The whole Advent of Christ is about Grace and forgiveness. As we begin to talk about God healing hurts, forgiveness fro us and to others, and the blessings of relationships, I pray freedom and relational health on us all.

Compelled Christmas Teaching Series.
Compelled Christmas Teaching Series.

He is all you have, and he is enough today


Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
26  My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27  For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who care unfaithful to You.
28  But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

As the Psalmist whines for a whole chapter of the wicked being blessed, prosperous, arrogant, and fat, he comes to his senses.  He realizes the treasure in know God!  He realizes the strength and goodness of the Lord and his faithfulness.  This chapter ministers to me this morning.  I love verse 26, “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  We need nothing else.  He satisfies if you let Him.  Take your eyes of all the things and distractions this world deems valuable and simply just love Jesus!  He is our portion.  The world may get the material possession, but our spiritual prosperity in Christ is satisfying. We are blessed to have that portion.   Press on.

New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ps 73:25–28). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Up ↑