Monday, October 10, 2016

Growing in the Purpose of God

Do you know the purpose of God for your life? Do you even realize that God DOES have a purpose for your life? I assure you - He does! No life is an accident. Every life is precious - and God has a plan for every life. Sadly, many people never discover it.

Part of the purpose of New Life Church is to help people discover their God-given purpose so that they can make a difference.

How do we grow in the purpose of God?

In Romans 12:1-18 we find 7 keys:

1. We must give ourselves to God - Romans 12:1

This is first. We will never fulfill all God has for us if we stop giving ourselves to Him. If you get stuck on your Christian journey at any point - if you stop saying, "God, my life is yours" - then you're stuck. This is what Step One of the New Life Growth Track is all about.

2. Don't copy the world - Romans 12:2a

Don't let the influences of our culture be your model. Even if someone is a great follower of Christ and a great leader - God only made one of them. He only made one of you. You are unique, special and loved. God made you to be the best you that you can be.

3. Allow the change that is needed - Romans 12:2b

Paul uses a word here that is the same for "metamorphosis" - like the caterpillar turning into a butterfly - let God bring dramatic change to your life. Always stay open to that! Get connected to godly people. This is what Step Two of the New Life Growth Track is all about.

4. Stay humble - Romans 12:3-5

Don't measure yourself against others. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking more of others.

5. Develop, use and excel in your gifts - Romans 12:6-8

Use what you have. Do you know what you have? This is what Step Three of the New Life Growth Track is all about. What is your personality? Introvert? Extrovert? People-oriented? Task-oriented? What are your spiritual gifts? Discover and develop what you have - then you will be in a position to make a difference (Step Four of the New Life Growth Track).

6. Practice godly character - Romans 12:9-15

If you throw away your character, you throw away your impact. Many lose their ability to impact people's lives because they lost their character.

7. Fight off cynicism, division and dishonor - Romans 12:16-18

No matter what happens, don't stop believing that God has a good plan!

Listen to the full message here:

The New Life Growth Track takes place each Sunday, the first four Sundays of each month, with Step One on the first Sunday, Step Two on the second Sunday, etc. Through the Growth Track people learn about Knowing God, Finding Freedom, Discovering Purpose, so that they can Make a Difference. 12:30-1:30 p.m. with lunch and childcare provided.

Thanks for the outline to Joshua Canizaro, Church of the Highlands, Birmingham, Alabama.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Grow or Die

As followers of Christ, we must continue to experience personal spiritual growth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us those whom Christ has given to the church as leaders have a responsibility to lead God's people to maturity & unity. This happens when each one does its part, using our gifts in ministry to serve Christ and one another. Simply put, if we don't spiritually grow, on a personal level, we die.

The goal of our lives must be maturity in Christ. There are three ways in which Jesus serves as our model for growth and maturity:

1. We mature by receiving from God - John 17:24

2. We mature by pursuing God - Luke 2:52

3. We mature by submitting to God - Luke 22:42

Jesus did all these things, as recorded in the verses listed above.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us "we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."

Listen to the full message here: and make it your goal to grow to maturity in Christ!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Making a Difference

God made you. He gave you the personality that you have. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) says, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

God has also given each one spiritual gifts and He places us - He gives us opportunities in which our personalities can shine and our gifts can make a difference! Are you extroverted or introverted? Are you task-oriented or people-oriented?  In any case, God made you with those qualities so that He could use you to make a difference for others. What an honor!

How can you discover this purpose?

First - listen to this message - "Making a Difference" - here:

Then, attend the New Life Growth Track. It takes place in 4 steps the first 4 Sundays of each month (we only skip when there is a 5th Sunday).

So - you can start this Sunday at Step One! We meet in the New Life Activity Center gym from 12:30-1:30 and lunch and childcare are provided!

I would love to see you!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Make the Connnection

You can read the Bible and come to the idea that God is not thinking so much about His found kids as He is distracted by His lost kids.

In the Gospel of Luke chapter 15 Jesus tells stories about lost things: a lost coin, a lost sheep, and a lost son. All three times the story ends the same say. He leaves the one He has found to find the one that's lost. That's how He feels!

If you have ever lost something, you understand this. If you are a parent, have you ever lost a child? You are in the mall with your kids, you turn around and one is gone. This happened to us once. We freaked out! It turned out that our little daughter was hiding among some dresses in the dress racks, but for a few minutes there we were so concerned and our entire focus was on finding her - NOW!

I believe this is a window into how God feels. When people don't know Him, something that He loves is lost and missing. He made it very clear in Scripture that He wants those who are already following Him to reach out for His lost kids. He says if we do, He will be with us always (Matthew 28:19,20).

If you have four kids and you lose one, do you think, "No problem! I've got three more!" I don't think so! What if one of the remaining kids comes to you complaining about not having dinner yet, or wanting ice cream, or to go to the toy store, when you're still looking for your lost child?

Think of how our prayers must sound to God sometimes. Are we praying for His lost kids to be found? Are we involved in helping Him to find them? Or are we only concerned for the things we desire?

Since bringing people who are far from God to come to know Him is the priority reason why Jesus came and was brutally mutilated and crucified on a cross, it must be the priority of the church.

Once we connect with people in this way, we need to get them connected with others that will strengthen their lives as they follow Christ. In these relationships people can connect with others, protect each other, and grow together.

I encourage you to listen to "Make the Connection" here:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Coming Sunday: The Plan - Part 3!

This Sunday at 9:30 & 11 a.m. at New Life is Part 3 of The Plan - Make the Connection! 

We're learning that our purposes are to Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose, and Make a Difference! How can we connect with others in a way to help them come to Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose, and Make a Difference for their lives so that there is connection, protection and growth? That's the focus of the message. 

Step 3 of the Growth Track happens in the gym from 12:30-1:30 - Remember, you don't have to come to 1 & 2 to come to Step 3. You can attend the Growth Track in any order, but each step is important - whether you are new to New Life or a long-timer, these sessions will be great! We'll also have a great lunch for you! 

This morning I laid my hand on every chair in the Worship Center, so you can come expecting the presence of God to make a difference in your life Sunday! Let's come to worship Him and hear from His Word! 

See you Sunday - this is a great weekend to bring a friend! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Growing Begins with Knowing

In Ephesians 1:16-18, the Apostle Paul lays out a 4-step Plan for our spiritual growth.

- Step One - Know God - "knowing him personally"
- Step Two - Find Freedom - "your eyes focused and clear"
- Step Three - Discover Purpose - "see exactly what it is he is calling you to do"
- Step Four - Make a Difference - "grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians" (quotes from The Message).

These four steps are the four steps of the New Life Growth Track. Each Sunday, from 12:30-1:30 you can discover how to grow in your relationship with God and learn exactly what it is He has called you to do so that you can find your ultimate fulfillment in serving others and making a difference!

It is our desire that each one we come in contact with comes to know God personally, intimately, and grows in a genuine relationship with Him. I can do more, or I can receive what has already been done for us. I can try to earn God's approval, or I can receive God's love for me. I can obey God out of duty, or I can obey God out of delight.

What about you? Do you know God ... personally ... intimately? Have you taken the first steps in knowing Him and growing in your relationship with Him?

I invite you to listen to the message, "Growing Begins with Knowing" here:

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Coming Sunday: The Plan Part 2 & Growth Track Step 2!

We are so excited about what is happening at New Life! This Sunday we will continue our series, "The Plan" with the message, "Growing Begins with Knowing!"

We will be having baptisms, so if you have not yet done so and would like to profess your faith in Christ publicly through baptism, wear to church dark clothes to be baptized in, bring a towel and a change of clothes - but if you forget to bring those or make your decision on Sunday we will have everything you need and be ready for you!

We will also be having Step 2 of the Growth Track from 12:30-1:30 - Come to the west entry doors of the gym at 12:30 - lunch is provided so go ahead and pick up your food as you enter - we will start on time so we can end on time!

You don't need to sign up, just show up! You don't need to start at Step 1 - you can start on any step, as long as you come to all four!

I'm looking forward to seeing you Sunday! Bring a friend!