With Great Emotion We Sang “The Star Spangled Banner”

bannerI know there seems to be a lot of unrest in our country at the moment. Just remember, there always has been. Sometimes it just seems a little more blown up than others. We live in a time where we see and hear much more than we used to and most of the time it is spun in the subjective direction of the person doing the reporting.

I was recently at a rodeo with some friends from England. At the beginning a cowboy on a horse carrying an American flag came out of the gate and circled the arena to “I’m Proud To Be An American” by Lee Greenwood. The flag was blowing in the wind made by the speed of the horse. As the song played the rider went faster and faster. At the end of the song with the audience on their feet cheering, He made a dramatic dirt throwing stop in the middle of the arena.

The flag came to a rest and the crowd cheered like crazy.

With great emotion we sang “The Star Spangled Banner”.

After the rodeo my young English friends said the flag presentation was amazing and emotional. One said, “I have never known anyone who was that proud of their country.”

America is still a great country and as Christians who love God and love people we can help make it even better. We know that love is contagious. As we take the love and the comfort gifted to us by God, we can offer it to others, and if we grow the love we can change the world.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Cor 1:3-4

Dear Christians, When you get mad or upset about the way your world is going, remember, we are citizens of heaven, and while we are here we need to make a difference in the name of Jesus.  If you are not a Christian, as an American, we have much for which to be grateful.

Have a great, safe, and grateful Independence Day weekend.

Life Of Devotion 101 (Video/Notes)

Devotion: zealous, love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.

But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.  Acts 13:22

LEAP – Listen – Engage – Apply – Produce

I will sing of your love and justice, Lord. I will praise you with songs. Ps 101:1

1) Devotion of the heart.

2 I will be careful to live a blameless life—when will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home.

• Heart condition more important than actions.
• God’s representative
• A life that glorifies God
• Holiness in private and public life.
• Blameless is not sinless.
2) Devotion of the eyes.

3 I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.
4 I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.

The eyes will seek what the heart loves.
Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. 11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. Ecc 2:10-11
3) Devotion to supportive community.

5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride.

6 I will search for faithful people to be my companions. Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me.

4) Devotion of the will based on Truth.
7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence.
8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the Lord from their grip.
But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. 2 Cor 11:3

Royal Farris … Life Connection Church Euless, TX

Don’t Wait To Leave Your Legacy

“There is a choice you make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.” ~ John Wooden

Are you living the legacy you want to leave behind? You can start now.

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. James 4:13-14

You can choose to make a positive influence on the lives of people after you are gone by living a positive influence life now.

LEAP – Listen – Engage – Apply – Produce

What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:15

If there are end of life regrets, they are usually relational.

You only have control over now. You don’t have control over the future. So pass on the best legacy you can by being the best you can be now.

It’s pride to believe you are in control of tomorrow.

Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. James 4:16

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. James 4:17

It’s sinful to not be who God wants you to be.

How To Leave A Positive Legacy

  • Live what you say you believe.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:5-8

  • Be an encourager.

When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. Rom 1:12

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Eph 4:29

  • Be responsible for your actions.

So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. Matt 5:23-24

  • Make every failure a positive experience.

Learn from your experience and persevere.

  • Be a learner for life.

Put all of life with in the context of God.

Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” 1 Kings 3:9

We Learn To Earn Approval – That’s Not Grace (Video/Notes)

We learn to earn approval.  That’s not grace

We learn early to earn our approval.

We naturally seek to earn God’s approval.

We naturally want to measure our success.
• Religion
• Comparison

Our response to the burden of not measuring up is typically to pull away.

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.
Isaiah 64:6 NLT

LEAP – Listen – Engage – Apply – Produce

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Eph 2:8-9

God’s grace is a gift for believing.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Rom 3:23-24

God’s grace is misunderstood as
• Cheap grace
• Earned grace
• Partial grace
• For special people (Judaizers)

Grace Life vs Law Life

Freedom Trapped
Forgiven Condemned
Assurance Doubt, fear, uncertainty
New You Old You
Faith Works
Holy Spirit Law
Relationship Religion

Your religious motivation can be for the wrong reason.

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ Matt 7:21-23
Religion says do in order to win God’s favor.
Religion is man seeking God.

How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Gal 3:3
Jesus’s grace says done.
Jesus is God saving man.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Impress For Success -Video

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and all impressions are important.

Impress: to affect deeply or strongly in mind or
feelings; influence in opinion

When you impress, you influence.
When your influence is the love of God, you will influence people toward God.

Problem: Your default nature is to please people.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Phil 2:3

Solution: Love and be obedient to God.

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

LEAP – Listen – Engage – Apply – Produce

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Phil 2:4

Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. 1 Pet 2:12

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matt 5:16

Five Ways to Impress For Success

1) Commit to God’s truth as your foundation for living.

But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.
1 Cor 12:31b

If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 1 Cor 13:3

Demonstrate life change. Butology

23 All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!” 24 And they praised God because of me. Gal 1:23-24

2) Develop your listening skills.

a) Turn off mobile phone.
b) Practice making eye contact
c) Give speaker undivided attention
d) Ask questions
e) Smile and nod
f) Be impressed – See conversation as a learning opportunity.
g) Don’t interrupt to talk about your self.

3) Accept people for who they are. They are not you.

4) Remember and use the person’s name and life situations.

5) Be the love list. 1 Cor 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Cor 13:4-7

Myth: It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe As Long As You’re Sincere (Video/Notes)

This High Priest of ours (Jesus) understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings (temptations) we do, yet he did not sin. Heb 4:15

People say, “It doesn’t matter what you believe about God, as long as you are sincere.

By definition it’s impossible to be sincere.

Sincere: free of deceit, hypocrisy, or falseness;
pure; unmixed; unadulterated.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Rom 3:23

God’s standard is purity. Righteousness. Sinless

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Cor 5:21

Pride and religion cause most of the anxiety between believers and pre-believers.

Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. Rom 8:27-28
Three Things To Consider About Jesus

1) Consider how Jesus lived his life. He came to love God and love people.

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

He came to love all people.

But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” Mark 2:16

When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:17

2) Consider that Jesus resurrected from the dead.

He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 1 Cor 15:4-7

3) Consider the Good News of the new birth and righteousness that comes with believing in Jesus.

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. Rom 3:22

We become sincere with God through the only living person who was ever born and lived a full sincere life.