What’s your attitude?

When we were on vacation a few weeks ago, my sister Ashley treated the girls (Zoe and her three Drake cousins) to airbrush tattoos. As is clear in the picture above, Zoe loved getting hers. That attitude of excitement was true of all four girls, from the process of picking out the tattoo to getting it applied to their skin.

While every single one of us is uniquely designed by God and not meant to be the same, we are to have the same attitude when it comes to following Jesus Christ. Does it mean we will look the same or be the same? No. But, it does mean that, by the grace of God and the work of His Spirit in our lives, we will have a biblical attitude.

This morning during our worship service with Richland Baptist Church, I preached on “The Attitude of Discipleship” (Mark 9:33-50).

Below is the entirety of a video I showed a portion of at the beginning of my message, illustrating what happens when we begin to have backwards thinking (or a backwards attitude).

God created us for Himself, and if we try to live for another purpose, we will never be satisfied. What is your attitude when it comes to following the Lord?

Understanding: Essential but Limited

Although Silas learned how to ride a bike a few years ago, he did something new a couple weeks ago – he rode an adult-sized bike. Clearly, Silas already understood how to ride a bike. And, with a little explanation and demonstration, he was able to understand how to use those same skills to ride a much bigger bike than the one which he is accustomed to riding.

In order for Silas to actually successfully ride that bigger bike, though, he had to not only understand that it was possible; he had to embrace the task.

Similarly but in a much more important way, we must both understand and embrace the message of the gospel. We must understand who Jesus is and what it means to be His disciple, and we must choose to follow Him (to embrace who He is and what He has called us to be and do).

During our worship service this morning with Richland Baptist Church, I preached on “The Message of Discipleship” from Mark 8:27 – 9:1. Will you consider both seeking to understand and choosing to embrace the message? It all begins HERE.

Below is a one-minute video of Silas riding Grandma Jo’s bike (and Micah trying to tag along on a trike).

The Heart of the Matter

What is the root of our most important calling in life? What is the reason someone faithfully follows Jesus? How is someone able to do so?

During our morning worship service at Richland Baptist Church today, I preached through Mark 7:1-23 on “The Heart of Discipleship.” My challenge: does your heart gladly reflect the heart of discipleship?

Frankly, one can “successfully” come across as a faithful follower of Jesus in the eyes of others. He can be devoted, zealous, consistent and committed. Yet, he can be headed straight for hell, relying on himself and looking “good” while doing so.

That is what I addressed in my message this morning. We need to understand the heart of discipleship, knowing that a genuine relationship with God is not earned by our obedience but rather a result of our humble surrender. Salvation from sin and death is not a result of what we can do, but rather the result of trusting in what Jesus Christ has already done.

When we were on family vacation at the beginning of this month, one of the fun things we had the privilege of doing a few times was a ropes course. The “Leap of Faith” was one of the obstacles at the course, and there were seven of us from our group of 27 who attempted the “Leap of Faith.” Four of us were able to complete the task, which involves climbing up a 20-foot telephone pole, figuring out how to turn around and stand on the top with only a rope on your back, and then leaping as far as you can to grab a trapeze bar.

If someone can successfully complete the “Leap of Faith” as seemingly easily as 13-year-old Noah did (see the below video), then it might be assumed that person is not afraid of heights. What we cannot see when watching someone do the “Leap of Faith,” though, is the condition of his heart.

There might be adventure and excitement consuming someone, and/or there might be fear and dread. There might be confident assurance, or there might be absolute horror.

The reality is that life is a lot like the “Leap of Faith,” but much harder. Really, we cannot do anything by merely “willing ourselves” to do so. We may be able to appear as if we have it figured out and are confidently moving along, but we are never at a point where we do not need the Lord.

Sure, you might successfully complete several “leaps of faith” along the way, but you also have several failures (We all do!), particularly when compared with a perfect, holy, righteous God.

So, what is the condition of your heart? Are you trusting in what you can do, or are you trusting in what Jesus has already done? Are you depending on your own abilities, or are you humbly surrendering to the Only One who paid it all?

The orphans blessed us!

During our mission trip to Guatemala June 1-8, we expected to be an encouragement and blessing to the children of Casa De Mi Padre, an orphanage and ministry of Child Rescue. Well, we might have been somewhat of a blessing, but it truly was the orphans who were a blessing to us. This was the common sentiment among our team of 17 who went on the trip. Praise the Lord for how he has delivered these children from some horrifying situations and placed them into a Christian home with people who love them, care for them and disciple them in Christ!

You can see photos from our trip HERE and even more HERE.

This past Sunday, Noah shared a brief testimony during our morning worship service, explaining some of the highlights from our trip. You can listen to the testimony HERE (best sound quality) or watch the video below.

Are you interested in going on a mission trip to Guatemala June 1-8, 2019? If so, you will have the amazing privilege of ministering to orphans, doing evangelistic outreach in public schools and the local community, worshiping and serving alongside a local church, and growing in your faith in Jesus Christ. Contact Richland Baptist Church for more information.