What is your “WHY?”

Each year during National Police Week, the church I am privileged to pastor hosts an appreciation and memorial banquet. We do this to honor the service and sacrifice of Law Enforcement Officers currently serving, as well as those who have given their lives in service to their communities.

Coin and Flowers Police Memorial

With our nation more divided than ever, I sensed the need to inspire and encourage the men and women who put on the uniform each day to protect our communities, as well as those serving around our country.   It is in that effort, that I share the remarks that I presented to our gathering of local law enforcement officers and their families this past week.

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While many of you already know this, Peace Officers Memorial Day was established by a joint resolution of the United States Senate and House of Representatives in October of 1962, which directed President John F. Kennedy to designate May 15th of each year as the day we honor those who have given their lives in the line of duty.

Each year since May of 1963, as many as 40,000 surviving family members, fellow officers, and elected officials have gathered in our nation’s capital for a candlelight memorial to honor all those who have given their lives—AND to read the names of recently lost officers whose names are being inscribed on the memorial wall. This past Saturday—at this year’s gathering—144 officer’s names were read in honor of their sacrifice in 2016.

As a Police Chaplain of many years, I often hear a familiar question asked of those in Law Enforcement – “WHY?” The question is not so much in regards to why so many Law Enforcement lives were lost (which is certainly a valid question)—or even why someone would commit such an act as to take their lives (also a valid question)—but another “why?” Why do you do it? Why do you put on the uniform, step into a patrol car, conduct traffic stops, or fight against crime? Have you considered “WHY” you do what you do?

I can’t be the money, right? I don’t need to remind any of you in this room (except maybe those elected officials among us…lol), that your compensation isn’t what got you into law enforcement—OR what KEEPS you in law enforcement. It’s got to be something else.

It’s not the occasional free meal. They’re nice when they come along, but they are often few and far between…and sometimes “free” doesn’t end up to be much of a bargain anyway.

It’s certainly not the public support and accolades, is it? Unfortunately, that rises and falls with whatever media storm or “trending topic” we’re facing at the moment.

I doubt it was for the uniform, either. After all, who wakes up on a 100 degree day with a burning desire to put on a bullet proof vest AND a DARK BLUE uniform and chase down a wanted fugitive in the woods of Missouri (or wherever you are)?

For most of you, you entered the life of law enforcement because you wanted to SERVE…and to make your community a better place to live. The reason you became a Law Enforcement Officer is your “WHY?”   And if you are going to stay in it…or be successful at it…you have to figure out the WHY.

The “WHY” is what keeps you going when you’re behind on the reports you’re required to complete at the beginning…middle…and end of your shift. Your WHY is what keeps you going when your supervisor is on your back, or there’s been a citizen complaint from someone you were trying to HELP. Your WHY is what keeps you on the job when something ELSE…ANYTHING ELSE looks better than what you’re doing at the moment.

I have discovered, that anytime any of us struggle with the job we are doing (officer and civilian alike), it is because we question our WHY. You need to REMIND yourself WHY you got into this in the first place. And when you remember, I would challenge you to embrace that WHY again.

If you have ever questioned whether what YOU are doing is making a difference or is even worth it anymore? You need to be reminded—YEAH! It’s worth it!

It’s worth it to the husband, the wife, or the entire family you spared when you removed a drunk driver from the streets or highway. It’s worth it to the store owner, when your presence was the difference between their store being broken into or vandalized because you were driving by that night. Or when you answered their alarm call for the fifteenth time only to find out that it was the neighbor’s cat. It was worth it then, too.

I know you KNOW these things…but sometimes we have to REMIND ourselves don’t we? That’s the purpose behind the safety campaigns like, “Click it. Or Ticket,” or “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” They REMIND the public to do the things they already know they should be doing. It is that same reason, YOU need to REMIND yourself why you do this job.

When you put on the uniform, you represent the Rule of Law. Criminals don’t like that, but those of us who try to live within our boundaries…those of us who respect that law…those of us who prefer order over chaos…we LOVE it! We LOVE that you put on the uniform each day, because we feel safer knowing that YOU are there.

We’ve all heard of the THIN BLUE LINE. It’s that line between order & chaos, and good & evil. It is the line that separates PEACE from FEAR. Some speak of that line in an IMAGINARY sense, but there is NOTHING IMAGINARY about that line. YOU are that line!

You might say, “Well, I patrol the mean streets or lake roads of rural America. That’s not anything special.” Let me remind you, that it doesn’t matter whether you serve in the back roads of Missouri, the suburbs of the Midwest, or in New York City itself—we MUST have that LINE. Without that line, we will never FEEL safe or BE safe again.

As the pastor of a church in a community where you serve, I say Thank You. On behalf of all the pastors and churches in communities around our nation, I say THANK YOU for all you do to keep us safe.

As a chaplain, I CHALLENGE you to STICK WITH IT!  This is NOT the time to give up–we need you.

As our communities change, I know that policing has become a LOT more complicated than it used to be, but the need for policing has become increasingly important. YOU are a key ingredient of that process, and we are all grateful that you chose to SERVE in the way you have. Because you CARE about your community, you SERVE.

We honor your SERVICE tonight, but we also honor the cost associated with your service. That cost is SACRIFICE. Each of you have SACRIFICED pieces of your life—pieces your self—in SERVICE to your community. Those we also honor tonight with our candlelight memorial in a few moments SACRIFICED everything to SERVE their communities.

What Is Sacrifice? One writer (Brett McKay) shared this:

When we hear the word sacrifice, we often think of completely selfless acts in which someone does something for another entirely for the other person’s benefit. The image of a soldier sacrificing his life for his comrades frequently comes to mind.

But sacrifice isn’t purely altruistic. The best definition of sacrifice is this: “To forfeit something for something else considered to have a greater value.” (American Heritage Dictionary). Sacrifice does not mean giving up something for nothing; it means giving up one thing for something else we believe is worth more.

This does not at all take away from the virtue of sacrificial acts. Instead of locating the merit of sacrifice in unselfishness, we can find it in a man’s (or woman’s) chosen value system. The man who lays down his life for his family or for his comrades has chosen to place more value on their lives than on his own. What is more praiseworthy than that?

If you’re not sure what your “WHY” is, can I offer you a suggestion? The answer to “WHY you Serve” and to “WHY you Sacrifice” is that you BELIEVE that WHAT you are doing, and WHO you are doing it for is of GREATER VALUE than what you are giving up.

You do not SERVE alone…nor do you SACRIFICE alone. Your family serves along with you AND sacrifices along with you. Tonight, we express our appreciation to all you who faithfully and selflessly serve us, and for the sacrifices you make each day to do what you do.

And finally, I wouldn’t be a very good Pastor or a Chaplain if I didn’t remind you of something that gives purpose and meaning to all of this for us. Your Service and Sacrifice is very much like someone else in human history. HE set the example of what it means to SERVE and to pay the ULTIMATE Sacrifice. His name is Jesus Christ, and he wrote the book on what it means to SERVE others, and to lay your life down for something you believe to be of more value. Jesus allowed himself to be crucified on a cross in our place….because He valued US!

He gave meaning and context to the verse in John 15:13 when He said:

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

We pause to say thanks, but ALSO to honor the 144 brave men and women who gave their lives in the line of duty in 2016—as well as the 44 officers who have already made that sacrifice for 2017.

Whether you light a candle this year or not, I would encourage you to take a moment of silence and reflection to say thanks to God for their sacrifice, and for HIS. I would also encourage you to take another moment of silence and reflection and find your “WHY” again. And when you find it…embrace it…and stick to it!

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Make the MOMENTS of your life count this week!

Greg Perkins

© 2017 Moments of Destiny – Greg Perkins

Facebook Christianity – Part 2

It Wasn’t Meme! (Think Before You Post)

LIKE Image

We’ve all heard the stories of someone that lost a job opportunity, or someone that was terminated for their comments or questionable photos on social media. By now, most of us know that nothing is completely private and that colleges and/or employers see what we post. Have you ever thought for a moment that God sees our posts (public or private) too?

In every circle of friends and every church family there is that one “individual” that posts EVERYTHING on Facebook, seemingly forgetting that EVERYONE can see what they are posting. For better or worse, they feel it is their duty to let everyone know what is going on in their world, and what they think about what is going on in YOUR world. It’s usually the same friend or church-goer that posts a “Gospel Meme” on their wall about how God has blessed them and how great it was at church that morning…only to be followed a few hours later with a profanity-laced rant about someone that did them wrong, cut them off in traffic, or broke up with them. Is it just me, or does that bother anyone else?

On some level, I admire a person’s ability to be vulnerable with the social media world, but I do cringe a little when I see that someone has found “the love of their life” on date # 2. It seems almost inevitable that I will see them post the messy details of how they were cheated on and lied to a day or two later and have ended the relationship.

In many ways, I think we have become a “pendulum” culture as it relates to the expression of faith and emotion. In one moment, we profess our undying love and allegiance to God—and slander others, gossip about friends, or tear down His Church in the next. We proudly post our rapidly changing emotions and opinions on our Facebook wall with no regard for the mixed-message it sends to those who see it displayed. With such extreme and contradictory expressions, is it any wonder that people are indifferent or even hostile toward the sharing of our faith?

Did you know that God’s Word has something to say about this very subject? James makes this SAME observation nearly 2000 years ago, which means that mankind hasn’t changed that much since then. Listen to what he says and see if it doesn’t sound familiar.

James 3:7-12 (NIV)  All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

So, what is the solution? Listen to what James had to say just a little earlier in his writing.

James 1:26-27 (NIV)  26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Whether we write them or speak them, our words matter! The things we say or post have the power to build up OR to tear down. People do see your posts—and so does God.  It is important to remember that if we fail to keep a tight rein on our tongues, our “religion” is worthless to those we interact with. We must make every effort to look out for the welfare of those in distress and to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world. So, let’s THINK about this, BEFORE we post!

Make your MOMENTS count this week!

Greg Perkins

© 2016 Moments of Destiny – Greg Perkins

Facebook Christianity – Part 1

Navigating the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Facebook!

Let’s face it, Facebook can be both good and bad. People use the public forum that Facebook provides to share their favorite recipes, their child’s most recent academic or athletic achievements, or to express their thoughts, feelings, and struggles about politics or any number of issues. For many, Facebook is used as a means to stay connected with family and friends who live far away and to re-connect with old friends from college, high school, or childhood. While I think that most of the ways people use Facebook are good, we all have to admit that isn’t always the case.

facebook like

For all its positives (and who doesn’t love the food and puppy videos?), there is obviously a negative side to Facebook, and to the internet for that matter. The “virtual” nature of social media gives people a sense of anonymity, which sometimes allows for some very harsh and hurtful things to be expressed that would never be said in person. Facebook allows each of us to portray an image of life that may only be part of the real story because we get to choose what people see and what they don’t.

Of course, there are also the scams and hoaxes that seem to re-surface every few months. I’m sure that most of us have “shared” some inspiring or gossip-filled story about a hero, a villain, or a celebrity who died…only to find out that it wasn’t actually true (embarrassing).

Social media seems to bring out the best AND worst in all of us. But isn’t that also true about life itself? Daily, we are all faced with situations and circumstances that encourage AND challenge us. We encounter people that are both inspiring AND difficult. Each of our days are filled with experiences that will often reveal the best AND worst in us.

As followers of Christ, it is important to remember that while we are NOT perfect, we all ARE BEING PERFECTED—if we are YIELDED to God’s leading in the MOMENTS of life.

Here are a couple of passages of Scripture that will help you navigate “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of Facebook…and everyday life too! Both are from the writings of Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles (that’s us…if you’re not Jewish).

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)  15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15; 21 (NIV)  12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.  16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good22 reject every kind of evil.

Paul obviously wrote these words before the invention of social media, but his words still apply to us…as we navigate Facebook…AND as we navigate every MOMENT of life.

Greg Perkins

© 2016 Moments of Destiny – Greg Perkins

Wait…What? (Finding God in the Unexpected)

Have you ever seen something that stopped you in your tracks to take a second look? When something defies logic or is totally unexpected, it intrigues us to the point that we feel compelled to look again. Whether it’s a double rainbow after a storm, or a smile on the face of someone experiencing tragedy, things that are out of place tend to get our attention more quickly than the things we see every day. In the midst of the noise and chaos of life, it is the whisper that causes us to stop and say, “Wait…what?”

desert flower

There are dozens of stories in Scripture where people expected something to happen a certain way, but the result was quite different. Noah may have expected God to ask him to perform some great act to call the people back to righteousness, but was asked to build an ark instead. When God called the Elijah to stand on the mountain and meet with Him there, the prophet expected God to appear in the wind, the fire, or the earthquake—not the still small whisper of The Creator.

I believe God still uses these same techniques to get our attention in midst of our hectic lives, but we often miss His efforts because we’re too busy being disappointed things didn’t turn out like we expected. In his first letter to them, Paul reminded the church in Corinth that God always seeks to use the unexpected things to bring about His purpose.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NIV)  27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

One of the best illustrations of God using the foolish, weak, and simple things to reveal Himself was the story of the 120 believers on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. God baptized them in the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in languages they didn’t understand (tongues), but the people who had gathered “from every nation under heaven,” heard them declaring the wonders of God in their own languages. They all stopped to listen and were amazed to hear these uneducated, common people from Galilee. In Acts 2:12 it says, “Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’ ”

They were ready to write the experience off as just a bunch of drunk people carrying on because they didn’t understand how this was possible. That isn’t what they expected to see or hear, but it was the simple thing that God used to get their attention. Peter seized the moment and shared the meaning of what had taken place. He told them the story of Christ’s ministry as well as his death, burial, and resurrection. Peter invited them to receive this message and follow Christ and 3000 people came to faith in Christ at one time.

My challenge to you in the “moments” of life is to pay closer attention to the things that don’t turn out like you expected. It might be that God is whispering to you in the midst of the noise. It is very likely that God is trying to get you to turn your attention to Him in those moments to teach you something amazing about Himself or something about you.

Be careful not to miss what God is doing in the moment while you are distracted by the noise and chaos around you. Remember that God will not always meet your expectations—but He will EXCEED them if we will simply turn our attention to Him.

Make your “moments” count!

Greg Perkins

© Moments Of Destiny 2016 – Greg Perkins

Even GREATER Things (Spirit Empowered Series)

Have you ever read the miraculous accounts in the Gospels and wondered what it must have been like to see them first-hand? I have. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see these same things happen in our day and time? I have too.

Greater Things 2You might be interested to know that Jesus said something recorded in John’s gospel that addresses that very subject! It is found in chapter 14.

John 14:12 (NIV)  Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Jesus was in the process of telling His disciples He was going away soon, but that He would not leave them alone. No doubt there was a look of fear in their eyes, so He wanted encourage them by telling them of God’s plan to send the Holy Spirit to be a source of comfort and help to them. It was during this encouraging discourse that he uttered the words, they will do even greater things than these…”

These words were spoken directly to Jesus’ nervous disciples, but they are also intended to encourage us today. As I have read this verse many times, I came to notice that there were three very important things for us see in verse 12.

FIRST is the PROMISE in Christ’s words. “…whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing.”

Jesus is telling His followers that if they believe in Him, that they/we would do the SAME things that He had been doing on earth. Basically, Jesus was promising that YOU and I would be able to do the same miraculous things He did—which is something that He echoed in His final words to His disciples recorded in the Gospel of Mark.

Mark 16:15-18 (NIV)  15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Basically, Jesus tells His disciples that this type of behavior would be NORMAL for those who put their faith in Christ for salvation. Something tells me that we have not been living up to the aspirations Jesus had for us. Sadly, the church of today isn’t doing a lot of these things in the course of “normal” ministry.

The SECOND important thing to see in John 14:12 is the CHALLENGE found there as well. they will do even greater things than these…”

This statement might be difficult for us to grasp because we aren’t even doing the things He did, let alone the “greater things.” In fact, we do not even have a complete record of all the things Jesus did because John 21:14 (NIV) tells us:

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

I believe the challenge for us today is this: Don’t settle for less than what God intended for us to experience!

We often wrongly assume that we aren’t spiritual enough to see the miracles of God to flow through us, so we defer to pastors or others that we deem “spiritual enough” to do those type of things.

This brings us to the THIRD important thing we need to notice in this verse–the REASON these things are possible. The power to experience and participate in the miraculous things God desires to do IN you and THROUGH you is the result of these words: “…because I am going to the Father.”

Why did Jesus go to the Father? So that the Holy Spirit could come and take up residence in our heart. This is significant, because ALL of the things Christ did on the earth IN the church and THROUGH the church, He did because HE was empowered with the Holy Spirit! He is our source as well.

The Holy Spirit is how we are set free AND how we impact the lives of others. According to Romans 8:11, the SAME SPIRIT that raised Christ from the dead, DWELLS in (INHABITS, FILLS, and EMPOWERS) you in the SAME way that He did Jesus. YOU and I cannot do anything in our own strength, but when we allow God’s Spirit to flow through us, we can experience the miraculous!

We must be careful that we do not ASSUME God’s power cannot flow through us because we are not spiritual enough. We must also be careful that we do not IGNORE or REJECT the reason this power is possible—the EMPOWERMENT of the Holy Spirit.

Read the words of Paul to a young pastor named Timothy and you will read what sounds like an eerily familiar description of what we see unfolding around us IN the church and IN our communities today.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)  1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Paul is warning a pastor of what he would see occur in the church and the world in which he served. He is also warning those of us who read it today of what we would see around us as well. We see these things manifested every day, and they are alarming—but not nearly as much as the words found in verse 5. “…having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

I believe this describes those who either IGNORE or REJECT their need for the Holy Spirit to EMPOWER them to live each day. They are content to attend church, post encouraging Scriptures and poems on Facebook, and do their best to look the part of a Christian—but never operate in the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul told Timothy that those people are dangerous and should be avoided.

Consider asking yourself the following question: Do any of Paul’s descriptions apply to me? If so, then I MUST turn back to God (repentance), and invite the Holy Spirit to empower you to live the life He wants you to live.

Make your MOMENTS count!

Greg

 © Moments of Destiny 2016 – Greg Perkins

Not By Might (Spirit Empowered Series)

Have you ever been asked to do something you weren’t sure you were capable of doing? I think most of us have felt that way at some point in life. While I may appear to be confident most of the time, in my role as a pastor, I admit to feeling that way quite often.

Warrior 2When faced with a seemingly insurmountable task, many people become overwhelmed and give up before they start. For others, their sense of human determination causes them to research possible solutions, summon all their personal knowledge, skills, and resources—and to call for additional assistance from family and friends to attack the task with everything they can muster. I know this because both of these scenarios describe how I have responded in similar situations.

The prophet Zechariah relates part of the story of how God’s people returned to their homeland after their time of Babylonian exile in Persia. Ezra had focused on rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, and another had been charged with re-building the Temple of God. His name was Zerubbabel. This was not a popular move with the other countries around them—they knew what God had done with and through them in the past and they didn’t want them to reclaim their position in the region. They fought them at every turn. This had to be an overwhelming task to Zerubbabel. God knew this, so he gives this word to the prophet Zechariah:

Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)  So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.

Zerubbabel was being asked to re-build the Temple (which was the forerunner or a prototype of the church). God was both reminding and reassuring him that the Temple would not be built, raised up, or re-established by MIGHT or by POWER, but through the Spirit of God! One Bible scholar phrased it this way: “The Temple would be build, but not by the MULTITUDE and STRENGTH of men.”

The word “MIGHT” in this passage refers to the “numbers” or “multitude” of people that you would accumulate to solve or accomplish something big. The word “POWER” speaks of “strength” or a stockpile of “weapons” that would be used to overtake or conquer a foe or a problem. God was trying to remind and reassure Zerubbabel that NEITHER of these things would be able to help him accomplish God’s plan. ONLY “’by my Spirit,’ says the Lord almighty.”

The Apostle Paul spoke of the inadequacy of our own power in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

The reminder to each of us as we face the seemingly insurmountable task God has placed before us to grow and raise up a mighty church in our community is this: Your might, and your power are NO GOOD in the work we have been called to do in our community. The kind of church that God desires will NOT be built, raised up, or re-established by the MIGHT and POWER WE have, but “’by MY Spirit,’ says the Lord almighty.”

Lives will not be transformed because a church attracts a lot of people. HIS Church will be built on the Good News of Jesus Christ AND by the EMPOWERMENT of the Holy Spirit!

Make your MOMENTS count…by His Spirit to empower you to accomplish His plan!

Greg Perkins

© Moments Of Destiny 2016 – Greg Perkins

You Will Be My Witnesses (Spirit Empowered Series)

Even if you’ve never been called upon as a witness in a court of law, most of us have seen enough episodes of Matlock or Law & Order to have an idea of what is involved. For most people, that is a nerve-rattling thought.

Witness Photo

I contend, the words of Jesus to His followers in Acts chapter 1 are both encouraging and terrifying for that very reason. Encouraging—in that He says that they would receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon them. Terrifying—in the responsibility that comes with being empowered by the Spirit—to BE witnesses of Him to the world around us.

Acts 1:7-8 (NIV)  7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

A witness is not just someone who observes and then does nothing. A witness is one who sees and shares! I’ve often thought of it as being a COURIER to DELIVER His message to others, or as a CARRIER to SPREAD His message just as someone spreads an infectious disease to everyone with whom they come into contact.

Keep in mind that God NEVER calls us to ANYTHING we could accomplish without Him. He calls us only to DO and to BE that which requires FULL DEPENDENCE upon Him to accomplish.

Our responsibility to BE His witnesses should not terrify us because He has promised to empower us—which means that He will also equip, enable, strengthen, and propel us to accomplish His plan. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit is intended to more than offset any anxiety or apprehension we have in fulfilling our responsibility—IF we will RECEIVE!

God does not expect, nor did He ever intend that you would represent Him in your own power and strength. You MUST be empowered by HIS Spirit to do all that He wants to accomplish because you are not strong enough, AND He doesn’t want you to steal the credit.

Make every MOMENT count…and move forward in HIS power!

Greg Perkins

© Moments Of Destiny 2016 – Greg Perkins

“The Lake Life – Part 1 – 7-12-15”
by Greg Perkins

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

lake life 4x6

Listen as we celebrate the life-altering miracles on and around Lake Gennsaret (a.k.a. Sea of Galilee) and hear Christ’s call to “get out of the boat…and into the life God has for YOU!”  Experience “The Lake Life” each week at First Family Church through Aug 9th.

Check out the church web site for more information about service times and directions to find us at The Lake of the Ozarks!  www.myfirstfamily.org

 

Redeeming The Time…

Each Spring in our nation, we participate in something called Daylight Saving Time when everyone sets their clocks forward one hour to take better advantage of the hours of sun light that are increased during the Summer Solstice. This event takes place on the second weekend of March each year, and although we are getting more daylight in each of our days, we probably dread losing an hour of valuable sleep the most.

The idea behind Daylight Saving Time was originally proposed by Benjamin Franklin, but not implemented in the United States until March of 1918. After only two years the Congress of the United States repealed the law because of its unpopularity. President Franklin Roosevelt reinstated the measure during World War II, but it did not become permanent until 1966 under President Johnson. While not popular with everyone, the intention was to make the most of the daylight hours available—which is not a bad concept. In fact, it’s actually a Scriptural one. Look at these verses from the New Testament:

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV)  15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Colossians 4:2, 5 & 6 (NKJV) 2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; …5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

In both passages, the Apostle Paul is urging his readers to be careful about how they are living and interacting with others and redeeming the time—or “making the most” of the “opportunities” that are afforded.  Paul is reminding us all to be “circumspect” in our daily routines, which means that we must watch carefully how we conduct ourselves in every day life. We should be vigilant in prayer, seek to walk in wisdom with our neighbors, and be FULL of grace in the way we speak to others.

It is important to make the most of the time we are living in now, because we are not assured of any more time in the future.  Paul said the “days are evil,” which means that things will not be any easier as we move forward. In light of this fact, we must make the most of the time we have NOW.

Read the Scriptures above and ask yourself these questions:  1) Are there ways that you could use your time more effectively for the sake of God’s Kingdom?  2) Through prayer, wisdom, and grace, how can we minister to those around us before time (ours and theirs) runs out?

Make your MOMENTS count!

Greg

© 2015 Moments of Destiny – Greg Perkins