Jesus is Lord!

Christianity is Jesus Christ.

We try to make Christianity a philosophy, a religion, a set of ethics or rules and regulations when it is simply a relationship with Jesus. Christianity is unique and different from all world religions because of Jesus!

Jesus is without a doubt unique among all persons who have ever lived. Jesus lived before He was born. Think about that!

Jesus was both fully man and fully God. Jesus lived a simple life. Jesus made claims and demands unlike those made by any other person. Jesus said He was God. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the central figure of the world’s history. History is His story.

C.S. Lewis has identified three valid options concerning Jesus:

Option 1 – Jesus was a liar.
He knew He was not God but He deliberately tried to deceive people into thinking that He was God.

Option2 – Jesus was a lunatic.
He wasn’t God, He was crazy and delusional. He just thought He was God.

Option 3 – Jesus is Lord.

“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

Jesus is referenced as the Lord in 30 passages and 700 times in the New Testament.

He is Lord!

Make the Right Choice!

Yesterday I celebrated 30 years of being a Christian.

I am still overwhelmed and grateful. I haven’t gotten over Jesus! I made a decision that day that not only changed my life but changed the destiny of my entire family!

Every day we are confronted with make the right choices and what path we will take.

Today, you are going to be confronted with a choice. You are going to have to choose what path you are going to travel on. You are in the driver’s seat. You get to choose what path you are going to take. Now, you do not get to choose the roadblocks, the detours or the potholes. But you do have the free will to choose your path.

Do you need a course correction? Do you need to realign your priorities?

In chapter 8 of the book of Joshua, the people of Israel are given a clear object lesson. The tribes were all standing in the front of two mountains – Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal. Gerizim was a place of blessing and Ebal was a place of curse. Joshua tells the people that they have a choice. The choice was blessing or curse. The choice was to live for Christ or live for themselves.

The choices are the same for you and me. You only have one life so live it full on for God’s glory. Choose Him, choose life abundantly, choose wisely…your life depends on it!

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Tomorrow I celebrate 30 years of being a Christian. It is unbelievable to me that 30 years ago, I was a lost man with no relationship with God and I was on my way to hell.

I remember so vividly sitting on a bleacher in Legion Stadium in Wilmington, NC listening to Dr. Freddie Gage preach the gospel. (Freddie is with the Lord now) I was struck with such deep conviction as he shared. I realized that night that I was lost in my sin and that I needed Jesus to forgive me, clean me up and give me a new life. When Freddie gave the invitation and told people to come forward if they wanted to receive Christ and His forgiveness, I didn’t walk down the aisle, I ran! I jumped over a 5 feet concrete wall and ran to the front to receive the gift of eternal life that he spoke about. I experienced salvation! That was in Legion Stadium in Wilmington N.C. (I was just there a couple of weeks ago)

The word salvation means, “to restore or deliver.” I was living a crazy life and making one bad choice after another…I desperately needed to be rescued. I was in bondage and needed to be delivered.

There is no greater feeling on the planet than to know that your sins have been forgiven, to know that you have power to live in victory everyday and to know that heaven will be your home when you die. I know what it means to be lost and to be separated from God but I also know what it is like to be saved and forgiven – to have an intimate relationship with Jesus and be the recipient of His grace and mercy.

Tomorrow I celebrate and thank God for new life. I have never gotten over the fact that God gave me a new life that evening in July of 1985. I am overwhelmed just thinking about God’s grace in my life and all He has done for me. My wife and my children have all been saved and are serving Jesus because of that decision that I made. My grandchildren are being raised in church and taught to love Jesus!

Thank you Lord Jesus for saving me.

Thank you Johnny Hunt for inviting Freddie Gage to preach that crusade in Wilmington, NC 30 years ago.

Thank you Freddie Gage for preaching the gospel and sharing your story with such passion.(you are missed but I am eternally grateful to you for your investment in my life)

I am forever grateful!

If you are reading this and you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal savior, please contact me and let me know. I would love to share with you.

If you do know Him, tell someone about Him today!

legion Stadium Legion Stadium, July – 2015

The Next Generation

I have been attending student camps for 25 years now. I love to watch God move among our students.

I look forward to camp each year… hanging out with our students and getting to know them. We have swam in the ocean, we have played football in the pool, we have laughed, talked and played around. I have had the privilege to watch these young men and young women coming together to praise and worship God freely and unashamedly.

God is raising up some leaders in our Student Ministry. It is amazing to watch these young people hunger after the things of God.

85% of all people will give their lives to Christ before the age of 18. We must invest time, energy and money into this generation.

If you want to help with this next generation, I encourage you to do the following:

1 – Encourage them and believe in them

I didn’t say understand them, you and I probably never will. Let’s not be “those” people who tell them their dreams are too big and they can never do what we did. Let’s tell them to dream BIGGER dreams and do much more then we could ever possibly do. Let’s be the adults who trust them and believe in them. They won’t do it all right and they will make plenty of mistakes along the way.

2 – Learn from them

We are not Yoda, we are not the one with all the answers. Let’s stop pretending that we’ve got it all together and got it all figured out…we don’t! Only arrogance and pride say we cannot learn from those who are younger than us.

3 – Fund them, not fight them

Will they do ministry different than we do? YES! They are living in a different world than we grew up in. Student Ministry will look different than anything we have ever seen before. What we call contemporary today, they will call traditional in a few short years. Let’s help them and set them up for success.

Join me in praying that God will touch this next generation!!

Drifting

It happened yesterday…

I am at the beach with our students for camp. I love the ocean, I love to swim in the ocean.                

I placed my towel and belongings on the sand and headed into the water only to discover after about 30 minutes that someone came along and stole my stuff! I also noticed that the buildings that were around me were gone and all the people who were nearby had been replaced by new people! Actually what happened is that I drifted. I wasn’t paying attention and the current carried me off course so I were headed in a different direction.

Once I realized what happened, I made my way back to where I started out. If you don’t make the necessary adjustment, you could end up in real danger.

Hebrews 2:1 says, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” The word ‘earnest’ here speaks of a sailor trying to bring a ship safely into a harbor during a storm.

It is going to take hard work, it is going to be difficult. He is not talking about ignorant believers or even rebellious believers. He is talking about careless believers. If you are not careful, you will drift into sin by simply being careless. Have you felt yourself drifting lately by being careless?

Perhaps you have drifted from Bible Study and prayer and your relationship with God seems distant.

Maybe you have drifted away from communicating with your spouse. You no longer date, you no longer work on your relationship. As a result, your marriage is in trouble.

Maybe you’re not engaged in your job and your performance is drifting.

Today let me encourage you to watch out for the current and the drifting. You could really end up in a bad place.

How To Get Out of the Funk and the Fog

All of us have had a shattered experience that we can speak of. We all have been disappointed and frustrated by the circumstances of our lives. I would never pretend to know exactly what you are going through. I wouldn’t dare to assume that I understand your unique set of circumstances or the pain and confusion you are feeling right now. But, I do know pain, I know hurt, frustration, sadness, dark times and even depression. I have personally experienced shattered dreams, bad decisions, bumps and major roadblocks.

I have caused many of my shattered experiences myself. That really hurts!

I have also been on the end where someone else’s decisions or responses have caused major heartache and the pieces went everywhere. I have been stuck in a rut, a hole, and I felt like I could not climb out. There was a time in my life a little about 9 years ago when I wore my pajamas every day for months. I have lived in the “funk and fog.”

I also came to that fork in the road…you know, that critical crossroad where you know you can’t figure it all out or you really can’t do anything about your circumstances, but you can make a decision. A decision that says “I’m tired of being this way, feeling this way, and living this way. I’m tired of being sick and tired. I’m fed up with life as it is.” Then do something about it!

Let me give you five things that you need to do to start fresh.

1.       Throw yourself at Jesus                                                                          Surrender everything you are, everything you hope to be, confess, repent, experience his cleansing, and forgiveness. Trust Jesus to give you a new start.

2.       Constantly renew your mind                                                                        Feed your mind the right things every day. Read, pray, listen to sermons, get a healthy diet of good things in your life.

3.       Spend time with positive, faith-filled people                                               Who you associate with will be extremely important. Who you hang around or do not hang around with will “make or break you”. Surround yourself with positive, faith-filled people. It will make a difference!

4.       Know that God is working                                                                               Knowing that God is working causes you to trust and to depend on Him. God is not finished… what He starts, He finishes. He is molding you and sculpting you into a trophy of grace.

5.       Share your story                                                                                                  Tell others how faithful God has been. Tell them how He has worked in your life. Don’t waste your pain!

Urgency

This Sunday at both of our Georgia campuses, I will be preaching a message explaining what happens to people when they die. (Believers and non-believers).

This will be the most evangelistic message I have preached this year! I am asking you to do whatever you can to get people here this Sunday!

I’m asking God to give myself, and every member of New Season a renewed sense of urgency when it comes to reaching people. There are times in life when action must be taken. Passivity has no place in the Kingdom of God!

God give us a passion and an urgency for people! People really do matter to God. Everyone you see today… EVERYONE you and I come in contact with today will spend eternity somewhere.

Heaven is real, and hell is real and people will spend eternity in one or the other. This is why we exist… so that people far from God may experience  life in Christ and become a fully engaged follower!

At New Season we create environments where you can bring people who are far from God. We will present the Gospel in such a way that they will clearly understand it. 

Do you have a since of urgency? Will you do anything short of sin to get people to church?

Text, email, Facebook, call, go visit – whatever you must do! Do whatever it takes to get people to church this Sunday!!

Believing the Impossible

I believe what Napoleon said, "Impossible is found only in the dictionary of fools."

How many times have we said that something is impossible or that it will never happen? We have convinced ourselves to give up before we even try.

As you think about your life and the dreams you possess, or maybe once possessed, you need to re think possible. Maybe you think, “I’m not good enough, I’m not skilled enough, I don’t have enough resources, nobody will support me or believe in me, I’ve made too many mistakes in my life, or I don’t have what it takes.”

Basically, you think it’s impossible. Excuses keep you from the life you desire most. Setbacks and failures paralyze you in fear and prevent you from trying. So you sit, you wish, and you never dare. Consequently, you miss out on what could be because the belief of what should be has been drowned out by what you perceive is the hopeless despair of what is.

What is it right now that you are facing in your life that you have attached the word, “impossible” in front of? Maybe it’s a job situation, maybe it’s a family situation or maybe it’s something in your church.

Today, I want you to have more faith than AT&T, more faith than Apple, more faith than Microsoft…today, I want you to believe the impossible!

We MUST Change!

The world we live in today is so much different than just a decade ago.

Significant changes seem to be happening every day. Technology changes, politics change, economics change and culture changes. The way we did things 10 years ago doesn’t work in our modern day culture.

We must adopt better practices of the way we do things or we will die.

Charles Exley, former CEO of NCR Corporation said, “I’ve been in business thirty six years. I’ve learned a lot and most of it doesn’t apply anymore.”

John Maxwell said, “The question should not be will we ever change, but when and how much will we need to change.”

There are psychological barriers to change. The change makes sense logically and intellectually but psychologically and emotionally, it brings anxiety. We are afraid of change. We are afraid of the unknown. How will this affect me, my family, my life?

We all must change. You can resist change or embrace change. Change really is inevitable. So let’s embrace change and change!

Lifeline

I am convinced that 99% of people today need a lifeline. Most people are tired, frustrated and confused, wandering around in a fog of discouragement. The battles of life are intense and many people feel they are losing.

Most people are not happy. Their relationships with their spouses, children, family and friends are not satisfying. They are not in positions of financial security. The opposite is true. People are broke and are losing things. Many people feel alone, alienated and stagnant. We are living our lives in desperation. We are in need of a lifeline

Let me suggest three ways for you to experience a lifeline or to throw one out to someone.

I. Know your purpose, your mission
You must know the “why” you are here. God has a specific plan and direction for your life. There really is a unique reason that you are alive. You must be on mission. You will never experience a lifeline without knowing your purpose.

II. Get rid of the junk
We all have sin and we all fall short. What is that sin that you are holding on to? You must get that mess out of your life for you to experience a breakthrough. It’s called repentance – turning away from sin. Forsake and renounce these things that are hindering you from a lifeline.

III. Persevere
We all face challenges in life. We all have things come against us. We all feel like giving up. Many times, we take two steps forward and three steps back. We get so frustrated that we end up quitting or lying down. In order to have that lifeline you are going to have to persevere.

Jesus is our lifeline and He is willing and waiting for you to call out!

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