Walking By Faith or By Sight?

Date November 1, 2016

2-corinthians-5_7

All this past week I have been thinking about this verse. Perhaps I should say, I have been thinking about the reality of this verse. And maybe its been longer than the past week. Either way, what does “walking by faith, not by sight,” look like?

In the midst of my ponderings, I have come to the following conclusions. See if they don’t resonate with you.

  • Much of my complaining is related to my “walking by sight.”

Let’s be honest, when I complain its because I have taken my eyes off of the Lord and put them back on myself. Like Peter, I’m taking a plunge into self-pity. Whining is the evidence of my walking by sight.

  • Choosing to please me instead of sacrificing for others pegs me as “walking by sight.”

After all, selfishness is the highest form of “sight-walking” for me. It involves taking my eyes off of the Lord who sacrificed his life for me and putting them back on my situation and somehow thinking I’m at Burger King: I deserve it my way!

  • Being intentional about doing what’s best for the Lord and His family shows my compass is pointing to faith once again.

You know the scenario all too well, as do I. We all ask all too often as Americans, “What’s in it for ME?!” While this is natural, it is not spiritual. We are told to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2.1-11) who did not focus on what was in it for Himself, but he chose to give away everything – no matter the cost, even His brutal murder – so that He could forward the work of God.

When I choose to set aside my desires for His Kingdom, when I decide that there is something more important than my preferences, THEN I am walking by faith. As I was reminded this past week:

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Luke 9:24, ESV)

Faith walks into the sacrifice for the benefit of others. Faithlessness walks by sight, feeding my desires, my pleasures and my benefits. These two are constantly different, easy to see and always my challenge. What say you?

 

Eagles In Leadership is a consulting, training ministry targeted to the next generation. Developing young eagles is our passion as we “Encourage Achievement in Godly Leaders by Emphasizing Servanthood.”

Discerning Hearts Through Questions

Date October 17, 2016

questionmark_fullOften, as servant leaders, we try to be nice. And that’s a good thing. But, there are some nasty people in our lives, and they don’t all come with signs around their necks saying, “I’m nasty!” or “I’m out to get you!”

So, what is a good way to discern between the genuine and the malicious?

Questions Clarify Motives

When Jesus was trying to gather what was in the heart of the questioner, he simply asked them questions. This is a great method for all of us. Notice …

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”” (Mark 10:35–37, ESV)

And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.”” (Mark 10:51, ESV)

I have discovered that questions to me have different motivations and I need to clarify what is being asked OF me before they are responded to. Using Jesus’ response, “What do you want me to do for you?” is a great way to hear the heart of another (Mark 10.36, 51).

Questions Reveal Motives

In another encounter, Jesus was being challenged (as he often was by so-called, “religious authorities” … if you’ve been in ministry for long, you know the type). In order to expose the true nature of their request,

Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Mark 11:29, ESV)

The wisdom of this method allowed everyone around (hypocrites love to “test” the servant leader in public so as to expose them to ridicule) to see that the question wasn’t genuine. It was a trap.

In my experience answering those who pose questions to us with focusing questions allows us to discern motives and see teach ability (or lack thereof) in the questioner (Mark 11.27-33).

As you lead like a servant today, remember: Not everyone is pleased with you. Motives and suspicions can be exposed. However, many just need something to make their lives work. Clarifying questions can help us get them exactly what they need.

Serve well today. Follow the model Jesus gave us.

What say you?

Studying 1 John 1.10!

Date September 7, 2016

Liar - Never Know Where You Stand

Welcome back! We return to our study of what it means to walk in the faith by walking with Jesus today here on the Transformed Podcast!

We are here to guide you through this intensive, verse – by – verse study of one of the Christ-follower’s most life-changing Biblical journeys!

As we open the first chapter of 1 John, remember that this small letter was written as a discipleship manual for those in the Apostle John’s home church while he was away. While we don’t know for sure, it is possible that it was written while he was in exile on the island of Patmos for his bold and daring faith. As John writes, he calls his flock, and every one of us, to live boldy and unashamedly for Jesus in these last days.

In this first chapter of our study, we come to see that fellowship with the Father, has been made possible through the incarnation of Christ, the eternal Word. It can only be maintained by walking in the light, which means recognizing our daily sins, honestly confessing them quickly and forsaking them as they are revealed to us. This is faith in Christ who was crucified as the remedy for our sin.

Let’s listen in as Dr. Matthew Lee Smith teaches his seminary students what it means to truly walk in the faith by walking with Jesus.

Studying 1 John 1.9!

Date August 31, 2016

1_John_1_9-1024x768

Welcome back! We return to our study of what it means to walk in the faith by walking with Jesus today here on the Transformed Podcast!

We are here to guide you through this intensive, verse – by – verse study of one of the Christ-follower’s most life-changing Biblical journeys!

As we open the first chapter of 1 John, remember that this small letter was written as a discipleship manual for those in the Apostle John’s home church while he was away. While we don’t know for sure, it is possible that it was written while he was in exile on the island of Patmos for his bold and daring faith. As John writes, he calls his flock, and every one of us, to live boldy and unashamedly for Jesus in these last days.

In this first chapter of our study, we come to see that fellowship with the Father, has been made possible through the incarnation of Christ, the eternal Word. It can only be maintained by walking in the light, which means recognizing our daily sins, honestly confessing them quickly and forsaking them as they are revealed to us. This is faith in Christ who was crucified as the remedy for our sin.

Let’s listen in as Dr. Matthew Lee Smith teaches his seminary students what it means to truly walk in the faith by walking with Jesus.

Transformed #295: How God Transforms Our Future!

Date August 28, 2016

future

Nothing stirs the heart to do more than when one reaps a good harvest from their previous labors.

Welcome to the Transformed Podcast. I’m your host Mike Powers, the executive vice president of media here on the Eagles In Leadership network.

We are happy to know that you have chosen to listen in as we continue our series entitled, Embracing the Presence of God. Today, Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Lead Pastor at Woodland Drive Baptist Church in Visalia California drives home the issue that for every harvest that we experience today, there was a planting of the seeds of today’s crop some time ago.

As you sit back and get comfortable, please open your Bible to Galatians 6 as Pastor Matt opens the Word and encourages us to plant the seeds of an amazing future!

Have you opened a good book lately?

Are you seeking to bring Jesus to your family, your neighborhood, your community?

May we suggest thinking about two books that will stir your soul and provide you with practical ideas to accomplish your goals?

Growing Missional Leaders provides you

  • with stories of opportunities lost and captured,
  • with Biblical support time and again
  • and stepping stone discussion questions that will allow the Spirit of God to focus your heart and soul (and that of those who study with you) on the people all around you for whom Christ died!

The other book is …

Gathering Missional Leaders which takes our passion for reaching others to the next level by exploring the elements necessary to building a strong and vibrant coalition of men and women who will reach their world in their generation!

  • Part 1 provides direction in gathering the leaders you need
  • and part 2 shows how to focus these Great Commission men and women for even greater effectiveness.

You can order either book, or both, from Amazon by clicking the link provided in the show notes.

 

Now, until the next time, this is Mike Powers reminding you that we, at Eagles In Leadership, are dedicated to helping you Encourage Achievement in Godly Leaders by Emphasizing Servanthood.”

God bless!

Studying 1 John 1.8!

Date August 24, 2016

Deceived - cartoon

Welcome back! We return to our study of what it means to walk in the faith by walking with Jesus today here on the Transformed Podcast!

We are here to guide you through this intensive, verse – by – verse study of one of the Christ-follower’s most life-changing Biblical journeys!

As we open the first chapter of 1 John, remember that this small letter was written as a discipleship manual for those in the Apostle John’s home church while he was away. While we don’t know for sure, it is possible that it was written while he was in exile on the island of Patmos for his bold and daring faith. As John writes, he calls his flock, and every one of us, to live boldy and unashamedly for Jesus in these last days.

In this first chapter of our study, we come to see that fellowship with the Father, has been made possible through the incarnation of Christ, the eternal Word. It can only be maintained by walking in the light, which means recognizing our daily sins, honestly confessing them quickly and forsaking them as they are revealed to us. This is faith in Christ who was crucified as the remedy for our sin.

Let’s listen in as Dr. Matthew Lee Smith teaches his seminary students what it means to truly walk in the faith by walking with Jesus.

Transformed #294: How God Transforms Our Present!

Date August 21, 2016

Thinking.44121810

One of the great hindrances to growth in a church is the mindset of the people within the congregation, starting with the leaders and flowing to every person in the flock.

Welcome to the Transformed Podcast. I’m your host Mike Powers, the executive vice president of media here on the Eagles In Leadership network.

We are grateful to know that you have chosen to listen in as we continue our series entitled, Embracing the Presence of God. Today, Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Lead Pastor at Woodland Drive Baptist Church in Visalia California shares the 7 peace giving actions that are crucial to the future of any individual or church’s health, and thus their growth!

As you sit back and get comfortable, please open your Bible to Philippians 4 as Pastor Matt opens the Word and talks about the transformative seeds we should be sowing into our lives right now.

Have you opened a good book lately?

Are you seeking to bring Jesus to your family, your neighborhood, your community?

May we suggest thinking about two books that will stir your soul and provide you with practical ideas to accomplish your goals?

Growing Missional Leaders provides you

  • with stories of opportunities lost and captured,
  • with Biblical support time and again
  • and stepping stone discussion questions that will allow the Spirit of God to focus your heart and soul (and that of those who study with you) on the people all around you for whom Christ died!

The other book is …

Gathering Missional Leaders which takes our passion for reaching others to the next level by exploring the elements necessary to building a strong and vibrant coalition of men and women who will reach their world in their generation!

  • Part 1 provides direction in gathering the leaders you need
  • and part 2 shows how to focus these Great Commission men and women for even greater effectiveness.

You can order either book, or both, from Amazon by clicking the link provided in the show notes.

 

Now, until the next time, this is Mike Powers reminding you that we, at Eagles In Leadership, are dedicated to helping you Encourage Achievement in Godly Leaders by Emphasizing Servanthood.”

God bless!

Studying 1 John 1.7!

Date August 17, 2016

1_John_1_7-1024x768

Welcome back! We return to our study of what it means to walk in the faith by walking with Jesus today here on the Transformed Podcast!

We are here to guide you through this intensive, verse – by – verse study of one of the Christ-follower’s most life-changing Biblical journeys!

As we open the first chapter of 1 John, remember that this small letter was written as a discipleship manual for those in the Apostle John’s home church while he was away. While we don’t know for sure, it is possible that it was written while he was in exile on the island of Patmos for his bold and daring faith. As John writes, he calls his flock, and every one of us, to live boldy and unashamedly for Jesus in these last days.  

In this first chapter of our study, we come to see that fellowship with the Father, has been made possible through the incarnation of Christ, the eternal Word. It can only be maintained by walking in the light, which means recognizing our daily sins, honestly confessing them quickly and forsaking them as they are revealed to us. This is faith in Christ who was crucified as the remedy for our sin.

Let’s listen in as Dr. Matthew Lee Smith teaches his seminary students what it means to truly walk in the faith by walking with Jesus.

Studying 1 John 1.6!

Date August 10, 2016

Fellowship Circle

Welcome back! We return to our study of what it means to walk in the faith by walking with Jesus today here on the Transformed Podcast!

We are here to guide you through this intensive, verse – by – verse study of one of the Christ-follower’s most life-changing Biblical journeys!

As we open the first chapter of 1 John, remember that this small letter was written as a discipleship manual for those in the Apostle John’s home church while he was away. While we don’t know for sure, it is possible that it was written while he was in exile on the island of Patmos for his bold and daring faith. As John writes, he calls his flock, and every one of us, to live boldy and unashamedly for Jesus in these last days.

In this first chapter of our study, we come to see that fellowship with the Father, has been made possible through the incarnation of Christ, the eternal Word. It can only be maintained by walking in the light, which means recognizing our daily sins, honestly confessing them quickly and forsaking them as they are revealed to us. This is faith in Christ who was crucified as the remedy for our sin.

Let’s listen in as Dr. Matthew Lee Smith teaches his seminary students what it means to truly walk in the faith by walking with Jesus.

Lessons From the East – A Book Review

Date June 30, 2016

Lessons from the east - cover225x225Disturbing. Dynamic. Directional. These thoughts ran through my mind as I read – strike that – devoured this book. I am not one to gush over a book, but Lessons From the East is a must read this summer!

With Post-it® notes sticking out of so many pages, highlights and comments graffitiing my tattered copy of Bob Roberts, Jr.’s book on Finding the Future of Western Christianity in the Global Church, I want to heartily recommend it to passionate men and women of God at any level of faith and ministry.

If you are as disturbed as I am that we have more resources than any generation of the church in the past two millennia, and yet, we are slipping quietly into oblivion as we increasingly make little or no impact on our culture, then THIS is a must-read and must-apply book!

Bob taps into all the key elements of a dynamic, influential church in a local community and a global world – truly what glocal is all about … what Jesus envisions your church to be! He turns our hearts to …

  • Partnership in the local church – working with God to accomplish the real-time imperatives and directives of the Kingdom of God through His people
  • Discipleship of the local church – refocusing God’s people on the 1st Century mission and vision that beats in the heart of the Great Commission of King Jesus
  • Gift Mix resourcing the local church – evaluating the kind of ministry God is calling specific local churches to and breaking free of the “cookie cutter” assembly line methodology of religious programming that we are drowning in today all across our country
  • Abandoning one’s life to the ministry of the glocal church – shedding self-indulgence and a “me-oriented” religion for a King-oriented faith that sees the neighbor across the street and across the ocean as their responsibility

Buy this book! Absorb this book. While I don’t agree with everything in this book – and you won’t either I guarantee – we need to listen to the whispers of the Spirit as we read, get alone with the Father and take our directions again, afresh, from the King of the kingdom, the Lord Jesus Himself. This book will surely be one of the vehicles God uses to refocus your soul on the heart of God for the world we live in … it has been for me!

* indicates required

Like what we do? Donate!

Listen to Pastor Matt's Sermons on the Transformed Podcast via iTunes for free!
Click here to Subscribe
(link opens iTunes, click on the "subscribe").
Click here to sign up for the blog via our RSS feed.
Click on picture of the book cover to purchase

Follow Pastor Matt by clicking the logos below: twitterlogo

friendfeed

facebook