Plan For a Great Year

22 days in to 2010….how is it so far? Have the resolutions stuck?

To have a great year you need to be INTENTIONAL.
To have a great year you need to have a PLAN

‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’

How do you know whether you have progressed in life, grown in maturity if you don’t know what you are wanting to see? What are the identifiable markers for growth in 2010 that you are setting for yourself?

Take up the challenge of changing some habits in your life with the purpose of seeing different results. Don’t travel round the same mountain in 2010, why not try & conquer it this year.

Use a Personal Growth Plan – set some goals, have mentors in your world
Identify your Core Values – make decision based on these
Build the Disciplines – what should you be doing
Create some Margin – make space for the doing of them

There’s lots of things you could do. The key is to do something!

Why not share some of your goals & vision for 2010 on here…

How To Walk Into Your Future…Pt3

Final instalment of the message I preached across Xcel Church recently as part of our Flash Forward Series…check out Pt1 & Pt2.

When it comes to walking into our futures, with God at the centre of that future, then we need to be walking into it in a certain manner.

Changing
Whatever your future may hold I hope that you will be different? You NEED to CHANGE

New years are opportunities for you to reflect but also look ahead and decide today that you will not be the same this time next year. That you will be closer to God, that you will have worked on your spiritual disciplines, that you will have changed in your relationship with God.

Hebrews 5:12-14
‘For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil’.

If you are expecting God to do great things with your life then you need to change, I need to change. Part of its God, part of its MY RESPONSIBILITY. We should be showing signs of growth and maturity.

Here are the difficult questions…
How are you changing?
Are you still needing to be taught the same things?
Why haven’t you moved on and started to pass on what you know to others?
What will you do to change this year?
How about a Personal Development Plan?
How about a Bible reading plan?

Consistency
You cannot build a great life in a hurry. Too many people can live for a moment but we are called to live out a great life – to build for a lifetime, to leave a legacy. As a leader I have seen many people come & go – people who were full of potential but could not wait, could not build slowly.

Consistency = the state or quality of holding or sticking together and retaining shape- doing the right thing at the right time as often as you can – that’s what God is looking for. It can seem humdrum but its vital.

Matthew 7:24-27
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Building consistently & deliberately makes you strong, which means you will stand. Which means you will be around to take up the opportunities that God brings your way. Don’t be like some who are ALL FLASH BUT NO FORWARD.

Anyone can build something for a moment, look good for a moment but it seems that not everyone can be bothered to build something over the long haul. BE BOTHERED. You have more time than you think!!

Challenged
Don’t know what you think your future will be but to become all that you want to become for God – make space for him to move in your world. You cannot live out your Christian walk on positive thinking, leadership development & motivational seminars alone – you need God to move in your life.

Put something in your way that only God can meet. Pastor Matthew Barnett calls it ‘miracle space’. Make some. Pray like your life depends on it. Believe. Fast. Don’t give up. Be expectant of God doing something.

Your future in God is there for the taking.
Make sure you do all you can to stay ‘locked on’ to that destiny and not miss out.

[Let me know what you think]

How To Walk Into Your Future – Pt2

Continuing the FlashForward series at Xcel Church, here goes with some additional ways we should be walking into our future with God at the centre of that future…check out Pt1

Compassionately
Jesus was always thinking about his future. Amidst the busyness of being Jesus – he still had time for people, he was moved with compassion, he saw need, he met that need. The same must be true for us. We need to not only profess our faith but it must possess us so that we put it to use.

James 2:14-19
‘Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup – where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.” Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them?’

Make sure that as you journey throughout this year that you walk with compassion and make a difference

Courageously
If you live with Jesus at the centre of your life then you can become one of the most courageous people other people come into contact.

To be courageous requires no special skill
To be courageous requires only to be available
To be courageous requires you to be ready & willing
To be courageous as a Christian – just stay close to Jesus

I love that Joshua was told to be of good courage but he was always reminded that God would be with him. He could be full of courage though becuase he had stayed in the word, meditated on it. Same is true for us today.

Acts 4:13
‘When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus’.

Ordinary people. Their only qualification for changing the world was time spent with Jesus. Here’s the challenge as you step into your future: Get some backbone. Improve your mettle. Add something to who you are so you can withstand whatever heads your way.

How To Walk Into Your Future – Pt1

Shared these thoughts last Sunday as my first venture into our new Preaching Series at Xcel Church about walking into our ‘flashforwards’. Whatever we see in our future – the best part about it is that we can have God right at the centre of it. This means we should be walking ahead…

Confidently
This is a confidence not based on getting the answers we want all the time but based on the knowledge that God will do what is right for us. The two invariably are not always the same. We may not always know our own thoughts on things but God is never uncertain. His thoughts are always working towards the expected end.

As Jeremiah 29:11 says ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.

God wants us to be able to move ahead with confidence. By His grace & Holy Spirit he directs the thoughts, affections & designs of all. We can take confident steps into our future knowing that He has already thought about them. (Psalm 37:23)

Carefully
Paul wrote in Eph 5:15 (NKJV) ‘See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise’

We want God to use us in the future – thenwe need to watch how we walk, to have a walk worthy of the calling to which we are called. The calling is to that of being a Christian and the opportunities that living out that calling may unfold.

Look at Noah – the Bible says there was something ‘different’ about him. He was a man right with God, careful to keep that relationship right, to always do what God asked him to, to keep his integrity. Maybe that is why God could open up what can only be described as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity.

To walk ‘circumspectly’ literally means to walk accurately, in the right way, frequently consulting our rule – so that we don’t act as fools but rather as people who are wise. Too many give no thought about how things look, about protecting their integrity, to think about how their actions represent God.

Instead of getting frustrated with God and wondering why He hasn’t noticed us yet, perhaps we should take more care how we walk, what we fill our time with and give ourselves greater possibility of ending up where God needs us to end up.

So where do we need to take care? How can we improve your walk?
What are we going to do this year to help us walk more carefully?