Archives For March 2010

On My Way to Paradise

March 30, 2010

When Jesus was on the cross, the second statement he made was to one of the criminals hanging beside him. When the dying thief asked Jesus to remember him in Heaven, Jesus assured, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Jesus was giving His life so that anyone who trusts in Him can spend eternity with Him in a literal perfect place called heaven.

I’m going to spend a lot longer on the other side of eternity than I will on this side. As a Christ-follower, if we know that we’re going to spend forever (a very, very long time) in heaven, what difference does that make today? That reality changes everything! Once I understand it, I will live my life in light of eternity.

My Time

First, I’ll invest my time in eternity. There’s a huge difference between spending my time and investing it. My time is my life, and I have a limited amount it, only 24 hours in a day. When I live to make a difference for God’s Kingdom, my time isn’t wasted, it’s invested and will have a huge return.

My Treasure

Next, I’ll invest my treasure in eternity. Everything we have is a gift from God. You can’t take it with you when you’re gone, but you can send it on ahead. How do we do that? By generously giving to a local church that is focused on mission to Go and Tell the Good News of Jesus. Where do you have the biggest savings account? On Earth or in Heaven?

My Talent

We’ll also invest our talents for eternity. You’re unique and have something to offer the Body of Christ as you serve in ministry. I have to ask myself, “Is what I’m doing with the gifts and abilities God gave me really making an eternal impact?” Even the smallest act of selfless service can make a difference when you do it in Jesus’ name.

My Testimony

Finally, I’ll invest my testimony in eternity. In court, you testify about what you have seen or experienced. To make a difference in someone’s life, you can show and tell them about what you’ve experienced Jesus do in your life. You might not be a Bible scholar, but no one can argue with your personal experience. Who do you know who needs to hear your story this week?

The issue isn’t, “Will I live forever?” It’s “How will I live forever?” This week is the perfect time to make a difference for eternity.

The Easter List

March 29, 2010

to-do-list-padAre you a list person? Do you like to check off your to-do list? Do you make a shopping list? Do you enjoy a funny Top 10 list? You might have a bucket list of things you want to accomplish in your life. And hopefully, you don’t have a hit list. ☺ Lists help us keep track of important details and info.

A lot of people make Christmas Lists, but we also need to make an Easter List. Colossians 2:14 reminds us of a list that Jesus dealt with when He was on the cross: “He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross.” When it comes to the cross of Easter, there are 3 important lists that we need to remember.

Our Forgiveness

The first list is the list of our sins. Isaiah 65:6 says, “Look at this! Their sins are all written out— I have the list before me. I’m not putting up with this any longer. I’ll pay them the wages.” Everybody has a record of sins we’ve committed. Since none of us are perfect, we all fall short of the high standard of God. The price of our sin is a huge disconnect between us and God.

Our Future

But there’s another list that’s written in the Book of Life talked about in Revelation 3:5. This permanent list is a record of everyone who has trusted in Jesus as the Forgiver of their sin and the Leader of their life. And if your name is on that list, then the first list, the one with all of your wrongs, is shredded and your future home in heaven is sure and secure.

Our Friends and Family

Which brings us to the last list: the list of people that you’re praying for to trust in Jesus. When Jesus was on the cross, He wasn’t thinking about Himself. He was thinking about others who needed God. And we need to be thinking about others too. We don’t want to come to church on Easter and hear the greatest news in all the world without bringing someone with us!

Make a list right now of people in your circle of influence who need a connection with God through Jesus and start praying your heart out for them. Make it a priority this week to invite them to church with you on Easter Sunday to give them the best opportunity to connect with God. When you do, you will have made an eternal difference in their life!

How Many Services?

March 24, 2010

How many Celebration Services will we be offering on Easter Sunday?

Let’s see if you can guess:

Yes, the answer of course is “3”! At 9, 10:15, and 11:30. With a 15 minute passing period in-between.

And we’re going to continue offering these 3 service times throughout the “CHAINged” series for 5 weeks. Then, our prayer is that we’ll be ready to move into the new building on Mother’s Day and move back to 2 services.

Why 3 services when we’re so close to moving locations? Well, when you get down to it, that’s the reason! It would be easy to just coast until we make the move. But now is not the time to slack up or be comfortable. We have to make room for the people who will be coming for Easter and as a result of our connections through The Big Hunt. Our setup time will still be at 7am, we’ll just need all hands on deck to hustle to create the TCC environment.

You can commit to come to the early service (9am) so we’ll have the seats available during the prime times of 10:30 and 11:15. You can even stick around for one or both of the other times to serve.

So how many services? Bottom line: We’ll have as many services as it takes to see Hays County changed one life at a time!

Gift Bible given to me by my Grandparents

Gift Bible given to me by my Grandparents

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♪♫ Happy Spiritual Birthday ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♪♫ to me!!!!

The greatest gift that I ever got was when I received the gift of salvation 32 years ago on March 23, 1978. That’s when I was born for the second time!

I heard about Jesus during the first years of my life, and when I was 7 years old, God got a hold of my heart and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Even though I knew about Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection, it wasn’t until I trusted that He actually gave His life for me that I became a Christian. And even though I didn’t understand it all, I came to Him with the faith of a child (Mark 10:15), and God brought me into His forever family.

I’m thanking God today for all the incredible birthday gifts that He has given me:

  • Forgiveness for all my sin
  • A personal friendship and relationship with Jesus
  • The presence and filling of God’s Holy Spirit in my life
  • Freedom from the power of sin and the power to have victory over sin
  • Spiritual gifts like leadership, evangelism, and teaching
  • An abundant new life with purpose and meaning and a mission to live for
  • Hope for my future including eternal life and a home in heaven

WOW! How could I ask for more?

After I trusted in Christ, I went public with my faith by following Jesus in baptism. That was my first step of obedience to show that I was serious about living for Him.

This Sunday, we’re going to be baptizing at The Connection Church. If you have trusted in Christ, I want to challenge you to Go Public and be baptized this week. There’s no greater time to take that step than now, during the Easter season. Check out this page for more info and sign up today.

Deuteronomy 6:9 says that God’s Word is so powerful that the children of Israel were to write His commands on the doorposts and gates of their homes. Today, as we were working on the new TCC location, we wrote Bible verses that are foundational to what we’re about on the metal studs that will be in the walls of the building. If you come up in the next week or so to serve, feel free to bring a sharpie and add scriptures to the walls. Because, one thing that will never change is our commitment to the unchanging truth of God’s Word!