Worried about What to Say?

We all do it.  We have an important meeting with an old friend or a time of encouragement with someone who is struggling, and what do we do?  We worry about what we will say.  When we are trying to witness to a lost co-worker or friend, what do we do?  We worry about what we should say. What did Jesus say about that?

“And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

Luke 12:11-12

It’s ironic to me that of all the things that Jesus says not to worry about, this is one that most Christians struggle with.  We want to know how to say the right thing.  Some of us worry about what to say so much that we don’t say anything.  Some of us have bought book after book on finding just the right thing to say.  Some of us are intentionally looking for the trendy or acceptable way to say what we want to say.

Did you notice what Jesus tells us to do?  He says – don’t be anxious about what to say.  In fact, He even tells us why.  He says that the Holy Spirit will teach us in that very hour what we will need to say.  Imagine that.  Instead of spending our moments being anxious or trying to use our minds to figure out the magic bullet that will lead someone to the truth of Jesus, we can trust that out of the well-spring of our relationship with Him that the Holy Spirit can and will show us what to say.

For me, this means that my study of the Bible and my reading of other’s thoughts about God shouldn’t be like cramming for a huge test.  I am not prepping so that I will have the exact right thing to say to that lost person or that hurting friend.  I am simply growing in Him.  I am soaking up Jesus.  For myself.  For Him.  Then, out of that pool of trust and love He will bring to mind what I need to say to that person to whom I want to minister.  How encouraging is that?!  It is a reminder for me that this relationship I have with Him is truly profoundly life changing.  Even what I should say is not about me doing it on my own.  He is with me.  He will use me.  I just need to rely on and trust Him.

Jesus will lead through His Holy Spirit when those I love are hurting.  He will give me words when they are lost.  He will even lead me when others are hostile to the gospel (which is the context of the passage today).  What hope! Let us trust in that.

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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At Calvary – Episode 55b – Revolution – No Debt Outstanding

How difficult do you find honesty and transparency to be? If you are like most people, you probably feel like you have to hide parts of yourself from others. It might be that those areas are too personal. It might be that those parts embarrass you. We all have those areas, but have we thought about how damaging such hiding is when we hide from God? It is time that we are honest, isn’t it. It’s time to be honest with God.

Part 2 – We join Steve, Ed, and John as they discuss being honest with God and carefully examining our struggles and sins.

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  2. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  3. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 56b – Revolution – Getting Real about Change

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At Calvary – Episode 55a – Revolution – No Debt Outstanding

How difficult do you find honesty and transparency to be? If you are like most people, you probably feel like you have to hide parts of yourself from others. It might be that those areas are too personal. It might be that those parts embarrass you. We all have those areas, but have we thought about how damaging such hiding is when we hide from God? It is time that we are honest, isn’t it. It’s time to be honest with God.

Part 1 – Cross Contamination in concert AND leading us in worship!

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  2. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  3. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 56b – Revolution – Getting Real about Change

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Understanding the Real Struggle

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. – Ephesians 6:12-13 

Our world is just so real.  There are real rocks, real trees, and real people.  Everyday, we get ourselves ready to deal with those real things.  We follow road signs.  We listen to people.  We use training and skills for work.  We feel ready. (for the most part!)

Unfortunately, all those real things distract us from seeing the other real influences in our lives.  According to our Scripture this week, there are forces in this world that are very real, but we just can’t see them with our physical eyes.  They affect us.  They influence the world we live in and try to mold our perspectives.  They try to point us in a certain direction.  How do we stand?  How do we stick with what we know is right and good?

God has told us – we need to prepare!  It isn’t about what we can see.  It is about who we are.  It isn’t about reacting.  It is about being someone.  It is about being someone who realizes there is a spiritual struggle above and around our physical one.  We don’t really wrestle with people.  They are fellow strugglers.  The true wrestling happens with the spiritual forces that are at work in the people.  Their doubts.  Their anger.  Their self-interest. All of that comes from the spiritual forces at work against God.

How do we overcome those forces acting on us?  It isn’t mere will.  It is preparation.  It is intentionally putting on the full armor of God.  It is this armor that will let us stand.  It is this armor that protects our hearts, minds, wills, and life.

Each of us faces evil days.  Those days are days of temptation.  Those days are days of personal attack or failure.  Those are the days we just want to quit.  Preparing with the full armor of God is what will make the difference.  Will we prepare?

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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At Calvary – Episode 54b – Revolution – Getting Honest with God

Honesty. We all know that strong relationships are based upon honesty and truth. Yet, the most important relationship of our life – the one with God – often is filled with cover-ups and half-truths. The ironic thing is… God knows the truth! Unless we acknowledge and accept the consequences of the truth, there will be parts of our brokenness that we will carry around with us that will cause us unnecessary struggles. Will we be boldly honest with God?

Part 2 – Pastors Ed, Jeff, and John share from God’s Word how we can get honest with God

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  2. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  3. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 56b – Revolution – Getting Real about Change

Posted in podcast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

At Calvary – Episode 54a – Revolution – Getting Honest with God

Honesty. We all know that strong relationships are based upon honesty and truth. Yet, the most important relationship of our life – the one with God – often is filled with cover-ups and half-truths. The ironic thing is… God knows the truth! Unless we acknowledge and accept the consequences of the truth, there will be parts of our brokenness that we will carry around with us that will cause us unnecessary struggles. Will we be boldly honest with God?

Part 1 – Cross Contamination in Concert and Leading Us in Worship

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  2. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  3. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 56b – Revolution – Getting Real about Change

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Why We Need Others

I would imagine there are exceptions, but not many people plan to be heretics.  They don’t start out wanting to believe things that undermine the gospel.  They didn’t plan to lead others astray.  They didn’t start out hoping that they would be an enemy of the gospel of Jesus.  Yet, Paul declares that there were people that he weeps over who were that way.  Their god had become their stomach, and their glory was their shame:

Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

(Philippians 3:17-19)

What was his antidote for such a state?  Walk with others.  Notice who looks and acts like Jesus and walk with them.  Let them rub off your rough edges.  Be teachable.  Be correctable.

Why?  Why is that the antidote to wandering from the faith?  It is because we all have excesses.  We all lean a certain direction because of our personality or our background or our past struggles with sin.  We try to avoid sin, and so we make rules for ourselves.  Over time, unexamined rules become legalism. Zealous application of righteousness can become cruelty. We believe strongly in the principle that good deeds are rewarded.  Eventually, this belief in blessing becomes a prosperity gospel.  On and on it goes.  Little deviations can become big errors over time.

This is one reason we need each other so much.  We teach one another.  We rub off the rough edges.  We correct each other’s misconceptions.  The question is: Will we value this service we do for one another?  Will it matter to us enough that we will seek it?  Will we treasure it? Paul did. He invites us to do the same.

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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At Calvary – Episode 53b – Revolution – Yielded to God

Yield signs. They mean that we are supposed to let someone else go first. Have you thought about that with God? Do we yield to Him? This week’s invitation to be transformed by God is this – We make a conscious and voluntary decision to turn our life and will over to the care of God. What does that mean in real life?

Part 2 – Pastors Ed, Jeff, and John talk and teach together

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  2. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  3. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 56b – Revolution – Getting Real about Change

Posted in podcast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

At Calvary – Episode 53a – Revolution – Yielded to God

Yield signs. They mean that we are supposed to let someone else go first. Have you thought about that with God? Do we yield to Him? This week’s invitation to be transformed by God is this – We make a conscious and voluntary decision to turn our life and will over to the care of God. What does that mean in real life?

Part 1 – Rockin’ music and worship

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  2. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  3. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 56b – Revolution – Getting Real about Change

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Made Worthy

5 “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”

Isaiah 6:5-7

We all have that moment when we just don’t feel worthy.  Maybe it’s when we think about something we’ve done or someone we’ve hurt.  Maybe it’s when we think about a lack we have in ability or strength.  Whenever that moment is, what do we wonder?  We wonder if anyone is going to find out.  We wonder how anyone would ever listen to or trust us. We wonder if we are worthy.

This is where Isaiah’s experience intersects ours.  He felt something similar.  He declares, “I am ruined!”  Will we believe God’s response?  An angel comes to Isaiah.  He essentially erases Isaiah’s inadequacy.  In the next verses God asks who will be His witness.  Isaiah eagerly answers, “Here am I, send me!”  He believed that God had truly made him clean.  So, he was ready to go.

Are we ready to go?  Do we believe that God has made us worthy?  God offers to make us worthy in Jesus just like He made Isaiah worthy.  I want to take Him up on it.  Join me, won’t you?

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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