obedience

What do I do when I am afraid to chase my dreams?

When the image of a man-eating beast travels through the optic nerve and into the visual cortex, the brain sends the body an urgent message: run! That’s what normal people do, but not lion chasers. Rather than seeing a five-hundred-pound problem, they see an opportunity for God to show up and show His power. 

Has God given you a HUGE dream for you or your church? Has He given you a HUGE dream for your community? This is what Chase the Lion is all about.

Centring on 2 Samuel 23, Chase the Lion tells the true story of an ancient warrior named Benaiah who chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day—and then killed it. This series also recounts the miraculous stories of David’s other mighty men, and their exploits for the Kingdom of Israel. This 5-week series, springboarded off the Mark Batterson book, Chase the Lion, will help you unleash the faith and courage you need to identify, chase, and catch the five-hundred-pound dreams God has given you to reach the world.

Text: 2 Samuel 23:20-23 NLT

Watch the message:

The Main Points:

  • The only way to be used by God to your full potential is to chase lions.

  • God-sized dreams often seem impossible: because that’s what they’re supposed to be without his help!

  • Too often, you lose out on the full dream God’s given you because you choose to chase kittens instead of the lion God put in front of you.

  • God is more interested in your obedience than in your success.

  • The only way to start chasing the dream God’s given you is to put one foot in front of the other.

  • Count the cost, and then add the power of God into the equation.

  • Action Steps:

    • Commit to chase your God-given destiny. Don’t be ruled by fear, be ruled by the power of God.

    • What can you do this week to begin chasing your dream?

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How to be Joyful AND Obedient at the Same Time

Secret #1 for finding joy in your life

Joy comes from putting Christ ahead of everything in your life and being unified with others who do the same.

As Pastor Chester Miller finished preaching and readied to dismiss his congregation at a morning worship service on March 1999, one of his church members, Victoria Smith, pulled a gun on him during the closing prayer.
Why? Because Pastor Miller had not preached from the book of Revelation that Sunday. The 58-year-old woman in Saddle, Arkansas said a sermon from Revelation was “important for her feud with another church member.” McHenry’s Stories for the Soul, 2001 p.13

While it is jarring to think an incident like this could happen involving church people, the fact is that whenever people gather together, things like this happen. What is supposed to be a place to care for each other and find belonging becomes a place of division.

We often approach things like church with an attitude of What can I get out of this? Rather than what can I give to Christ and others.

Despite what we so often see within Christian community, Jesus followers are meant to live lives characterized by joy, which is what we'll be looking at the next few weeks in the book of Philippians.

Today's Text: Philippians 1:1-11 NLT

Things to note:

  • Paul and Timothy forego giving their honorific titles of Apostle and pastor and instead call themselves slaves of Christ Jesus. They humbly acknowledge that they are completely open to following the will of Jesus.
  • Paul is joyful at the Church of Philippi's willingness to work toward the spread of the Good News of Jesus.
  • Paul encourages the Church to overflow in love and care for one another as they push each other toward a greater knowledge and understanding of Jesus' commands and to focus on building each other up for the sake of the Good News.

Here it is quite apparent that Paul believes Christian community (ie, Church) is very important, yet over the past couple decades we have seen the average regular church attender drop from gathering with believers three times a week to 1.8 times a month!

This isn't the problem we're tackling today; rather, it is the symptom of a greater problem. Now, rather than focusing on Jesus and on others, everything has to filter through our own selfishness. On a Sunday you may ask yourself, "Is church really the most entertaining or productive use of this 1-2 hours?" Suddenly, kids' sports, sleeping in, mowing the lawn, going on a weekend trip, or just staying home to relax may take priority over gathering to worship Jesus and encourage each other!

This is one reason why joy, which is supposed to characterize those who follow Jesus, seems so hard to attain:

When your focus is on yourself, happiness is dictated by your situation. When your focus is on Christ, joy is found in every situation.

Other points:

As you learn to put others’ best interests ahead of your own for the sake of the Gospel, you learn to value others.

As you get involved in partnering together for a common goal, you are bound together by purpose.

As you love one another as Christ loves the Church and lovingly help each other pursue Jesus, this will be a healthy family.

When your focus is on yourself, happiness is dictated by your situation. When your focus is on Christ, joy is found in every situation.

When everything centres on Christ, we will care more for each other and, in turn, our unselfish obedience and care will result in more Christian joy.

Action Steps:

  1. Identify one area where you have been pursuing your own interests at the expense of loving others and make it right.
  2. Encourage each other to become more like Jesus.
  3. Confront sin with love.

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