The Process (Message)

This morning I preached out of my pain. I can’t explain it any other way. It was God appearing strong in the midst of my weakness. And I was humbled to be used.

I was also the first among the congregation to be convicted of the core content – essentially preaching to myself. In need of renewed perspective, in need of renewed motive.

I promised to put my notes on my website after a few people asked for them. If you’d like to watch the message, our wonderful production team has made it available here.

For his fame. ch:

The Process

• Life very often seems to be composed of one pressure after another. But what if these pressure had far less to do with Satan, sin, and ourselves than we thought?

Luke 19 • The Parable of the Ten Minas

11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.[a] ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’
15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.
16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’
19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’
20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’
22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’
24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’
25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’
26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

The Process: Pressure Points

20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’

• The pressure of the Master’s hand was meant to qualify his servants for greater responsibility.

• Instead of rising to the challenge, we often will blame our Master as the cause of our irresponsibility.

• Don’t put off your future fortunes by failing to miss the point of your present pressures.

The Process: Getting Qualified

Genesis 37-50 • Joseph: from the pit, to the prison, to the palace.
Luke 22:41 • Jesus: embracing the will of his father

• The Father is not nearly as interested in our happiness as he is in our fulfilling of his purposes for us. Joseph could not be entrusted to bless Israel until he could be proven to serve Egypt. Jesus had to be faithful to the Father before he became faithful to the Cross.

• If the Lord is truly sovereign, then he’s intimately aware of our circumstances, and not only knows the way out, but knows why we’re in.

2 Timothy 3:1,2a,4b

1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2a People will be lovers of themselves, 4b lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

• For Christians that love pleasure, circumstances dictate happiness.

• For Christians that love the Father, only relationship provides satisfaction.

The Process: Born to Resolve

Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson

• The very things that try to destroy us are refining us to tackle the issues we were born to resolve.

The Process: Accepting A New Perspective

• If life was about making us happy then he would have to make our wills superior to his.

• Our greatest lessons are not learned in our successes, but in the trials that lead to our success. God is far more interested in the process of developing us for future usefulness than he is getting glory for “blessing you” in the present.

• This kind of Kingdom perspective can only come through adoption and impartation: adoption by choosing to embrace the perspectives of Christians more Godly than you are; impartation by meeting with God and letting him deal with our hearts.

The Process: Meeting With God

Realign your motives:

1.) If you’ve been more focused on resolving frustrations than you have finding contentment in God within your frustrations.

Realign your perspective:

2.) If your perspective is more temporal than eternal.

• What if you only came into your inheritance on the other side of this life? Could you wait that long?

Psalms 84:10
10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

And Out of Season

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Sunday morning I did a very bad thing.

It was the final keynote address to the teens gathered at the Watson conference and I introduced Pastor Joseph Gilchrist as the speaker.

Why is that so bad?

Because he found out he was speaking as I introduced him.

While Joseph is a dear friend and brother in the Lord, he’s also someone I mentor. And as such putting him in safe but precarious situations is part of my job.

There is no teacher like experience.

We can prepare, practice, and plan all we want, but we as humans learn things faster and more deeply in moments of real-world, first-time pressure than we do in any classroom.

God understands this too. That’s why we normally don’t get a heads up when testing comes. It simply arrives. And how we respond under pressure is who we really are. (Thanks to Joseph’s dad, Pastor Kirk Gilchrist, for burning that one into my head).

God is after our authentic response and our genuine growth. He’s not into the superficial, the temporary, or the transient. He wants long-term development enough that he’s willing to risk short-term setbacks.

So how did Joseph handle it? After a minute of humorous shock – which he played very well – and a brief moment of strategizing, he pulled it off in style and shared a powerful message on one of his trademark themes “Going Public” for Jesus. Everyone was inspired and challenged to resist the fleshly urge to remain selfish with the Gospel.

I’m very proud of him and believe he’ll make a better Youth Pastor than I ever was.

Be on your guard, you’re probably “out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2) in some area that’s about to get called on. ch: