I was preparing to preach about the birth of John the Baptist and I was reminded of another birth announcement in the Bible.
Although the announcements were similar, the subsequent lives definitely were not.
The similarities in their announcements (Judges 13 and Luke 1)
Both mothers were barren before the announcement.
Both had the good news announced by an angel.
Both babies had God’s calling on their life for a specific purpose before they were conceived.
Both babies were greatly influenced all their life by the Spirit of God.
But that is where the similarities end.
The differences in their lives
One ended his life blinded because of sin and the sport of his enemies. The other had his life ended by his enemies for his stand for God.
One had his life controlled by the flesh, the other cared little for the things of the flesh.
One had his life wrecked by women, the other was called the greatest born of women.
In case you have not figured out yet who the other man is, His name was Samson.
So what made the difference between these two men, John the Baptist and Samson? I believe it to be the same thing that makes such a difference in the lives of men and women today.
Character is different from personality. It not the same as preferences. Is not determined by the giving of or the withholding of privileges. So what is character?
The word character comes from the Greek, kharakter, meaning “engraved mark,” Thus true character is not something that can be painted on, nor easily removed.
It also has in roots in the Greek word that means “to engrave” referring to the tool to scrape or scratch. So we learn also that real character is not born in us, but rather chiseled into us.
So in summary, our character is what we sculpt onto ourselves. In turn, character then describes, identifies, and controls who we are and what we do. So is character our master or slave? If find it both.
Watch for future posts describing the importance of character and how we can develop it in ourselves and how we can help develop character in others.
Check us out at www.LBCEastBay.com
Gerber once had a slogan, “Babies are our business, our only business”. This slogan made a strong statement making them one of the largest baby care companies of the time.
This slogan spoke to people telling them that;
Babies were their sole focus
> It gave you the idea that if it did not concern babies, then it was not their area of business.
Babies were their core interest
> You felt that It was their interest in babies that drove them to develop new and better products and improve the ones they had.
> It made you feel confident in their products, because it was obvious that they wanted only the best for the babies.
We should be focused and concerned about the same things Jesus is, people! People are our business! As a church, we want people to know we care about them. We want them to feel that care we have for them, much like parents felt that Gerber cared about them and their babies.
Let’s make sure we do care and that people know it. In this era, many folks feel the same as the psalmist did when he said,
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. (Psa 142:4)
This is one area I often struggle with. I love people, and want to be a blessing, but, if I am not careful, the work will replace the ministry.
Here are four ways we can help keep people the focus and help people feel our concern.
Show folks you C-A-R-E:
C – Connect – often and personally
> Go out of your way to connect with people, not just greet them. Do not look past their shoulder when speaking to them as if you are already in touch with the next “friend”. Look them in the eye.
> Listen and respond to their conversation and concerns.
A – Accessible
> Be accessible personally – let you walls down a little. Be a friend.
> Be accessible to help meet their needs and support them. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.
R – Remember them
> Remember them in prayer. Lift their name to the Lord often. I try to prayer through the church directory regularly on a schedule.
> Follow up on their concerns and needs they share with you. This may mean texting or emailing them to let them know you have prayed for them. Drop them a note later about the concern, asking for an update if they feel comfortable doing so. Remember important days and events in their life with a call or note.
E – Evangelize and encourage
> If we care, we will be concerned about their soul. How sad it is to know someone and even call them our friend, yet not even know if they are saved. If we care about people, we will care about their soul! Ask! Too timid to ask? “From caring comes courage”. Therefor CARE.
> Find ways to build and encourage them up in the Lord and their spirit. Give them a smile. Give them multiple touches, call, emails, etc. Give them a small gift to let them know you were thinking of them. It does not need be something big or expensive. It can something like my grandfather used to give me when he dropped by. He would say, “Here is a little something that ain’t nothing”.
Who can you care for this week? Today?
Check us out. Visit us at http://www.LBCEastBay.com
Lighthouse Baptist Brings a Spiritual Awakening to the East Bay
Ten years from now, if Time Magazine did a lead article on our church, this is what we would want the cover headline to say. I believe God can and desires to bring such an awakening to our area. How can this happen? How can we be used to help bring this to pass?
It starts by us focusing upon and constantly working our purposes. We purpose to:
Inspire people to developer a heart for God
Through personal evangelism and soul winning
By bringing the lost and backslidden into our evangelistic and uplifting church services.
By using heart stirring, and God honoring music to warm the heart and focus minds on the Lord.
By being part of the local visible church body that expresses the joy of salvation through a personal daily walk with Christ
Include them in the Lighthouse Baptist Church family
See those saved follow the Lord in believer’s baptism and join the church
Plug them into our small group Adult Bible Studies and Care Groups
Instruct them in Bible doctrine
Through strong and doctrinally sound Bible preaching
Helping them be faithful in attending an appropriate Adult Bible Class
Enroll them in our Multiplying Disciples – Discipleship program.
Involve them in the work of the ministry
Help them identify their gifts and talents and find a place of service to the Lord through our “Every Saint a Servant” (ESS) program.
Each one of us can be part of bringing this Spiritual Awakening in the East Bay. Will you join us?
Check us out at http://www.LBCEastBay.com
Why devote time and energy to blogging? Here are a few of the “short answers” on why blog.
- There is simply not sufficient time during the regular church services to adequately promote our God given vision to the extent that all members catch the vision of “Bringing a Spiritual Awakening to the East Bay“. By regularly blogging about our vision, I pray we will be stirred by the Spirit to own the vision God has shown us and give ourselves to it.
Communicating with my people
- Our folks are on-line much of the time. It behoves us to use the technology and lifestyle to make their time on line more profitable.
- Provide vehicles for training. Areas for Biblical training will include marriage building, child discipline, ministry helps, etc.
Promoting Soul Winning
- Keeping the main thing the main thing is a constant focus and work. We need to be reminded regularly to keep the Gospel light shining from the Lighthouse!
- Posting sermon notes, illustrations, and quotes from great men and women of God will help keep our hearts soft before the Lord.
- To offer to people insights and spiritual helps that they would not get from my sermons, essentially acting as a fireside chat, or a “Time with the Pastor”.