Why do you do what you do? WRONG question! For whom do you do what you do? RIGHT question!
As Pastors, Teachers, Chaplains, we are taught to prepare for our audience, so much so that they can become the focus.
They are only secondary to the one for whom we should be doing everything. It takes an intentional effort to live our lives so that we live for an audience of One.
He had attended a Christian college, had a Christian roommate, talked to pastors, but in all that time, no one had ever asked him if he wanted to become a follower of Christ.
When I asked him if he wanted to give his life to Christ and become a follower he said, "Yes"!
When I asked him why he hadn't done so already, he said, "because I don't know how".
So I shared the truth of Jesus with him and then we prayed together.
Don't miss God given opportunities, when all it takes is a few simple questions.
Last week I asked whether God passed the interrupt test in your life. Chris Briscoe, a missionary pastor in Korea, made an excellent point in a comment. If we don't start our day, tuning our ear to listen for His voice, then chances are that the cacophony and confusion of the world will drown out His voice when He does speak.
We need to start our day focusing on Him, then everything else will fall into its' proper place.
So, before you look at your phone, workout, read your emails, check your texts, get breakfast - go meet with the Savior. Praise Him, thank Him, offer Him your day, bring your questions to Him, then watch how He moves through you, around you and for you.
God has made it clear. "You shall have no other gods before Me."
Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength."
God has said that he is a jealous God and that He will share His glory with no one.
But are there things in our lives that we have allowed to become more important than God Himself? Spouse? Children? Ministry? Work? Anything can become a god to us, if we are not careful.
How do you find out? Ask yourself, "Does God pass the interrupt test in my life?"
If He does, your priorities are straight.
We want people to change.
We hope that people change.
We teach them the truth.
We pray for them.
And sometimes people change.
But there is an easier and more direct way of doing things.
This is it.
Effective preaching is not just about giving people the facts of Scripture.
Effective preaching is not just about using great stories so that people remember the facts you have given them.
Effective preaching and teaching must be coupled with application in such a way that the hearer is changed.
This is our responsibility so that we work hand in hand with the Holy Spirit.
As pastors and teachers, words are our stock in trade, but they are often the very things that can trip us up.
Do you exaggerate? Kids will catch this immediately and your integrity will be damaged.
Do you commit and not follow through? Your people will know this and your reputation will be shot.
Do you show up on time? Businessmen will see this and wonder what else is "off" in your life.
People should be able to count on every word you say, because if they can, they will listen far more closely to the truth you give them from the pulpit.
Mothers are the foundation for their children's domestic success or failure - for generations to come!
This is not sexist - this is statistical. Research shows that mothers, rather than fathers, have a disproportionate impact on their children's future success in the home. It seems that children take their cues on how to act at home from their mothers.
Moms impact generations with their behavior and attitude. Hard work to do it right? Absolutely! Worth it? Are you kidding? Who doesn't want kids with strong marriages and their own successful children!!
The stats prove it!
Physically or emotionally absent fathers have kids with much higher rates of pregnancy, drug use, school drop out and the need for counseling.
Only 2% of children whose fathers do not attend church end up attending church themselves. Only 2%!!
94% of fathers who follow Christ lead their wives and children to Christ.
Though our society would like to say that the impact of fathers and mothers is the same, the statistics prove that the impact of fathers on their children for good or bad is disproportionately greater.
Men - you make a huge difference. But you must choose the type of difference you make!
Losing your audience's attention? Here's the fix.
No matter your topic, or your audience, no one wants to spend all the time in preparation only to look out and see people dozing, talking, texting or moving around.
Because your topic is so important, you want them with full attention, listening to every word God has given you.
If you will take care of these two areas, I can promise you that you will have them on the edge of their seats.