Hour of Power

Always Seek Knowledge

“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9 Today I want to share with you how important it is to seek knowledge! It’s something you should never stop doing. Whether it’s sermons, books, speeches, classes, mentors, or friendships — all of these are essential. Take advantage of every opportunity to obtain knowledge and experience.  In high school, I heard a story about a poor Englishman who wanted to come to America, the land of opportunity and freedom. He saved for years for the transatlantic voyage. After saving up, he decided he had enough for the ticket but not enough to purchase food for the two-week trip. His plan was to fast for two weeks and get through it. He plunks down all his money and buys the ticket. He boards without a cent in his pocket and his

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Success is Within Your Reach

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…”.” – Deuteronomy 30:19 Yesterday, I described how Caleb and Joshua believed that God could accomplish anything. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses prepared them for life in the Promised Land. In a famous speech, he encouraged them to choose life! According to Moses, success was within their reach. The words they needed to guide their success were already in their hearts; they just had to obey them. Also, more prosperity and blessings would come as they continued to love the Lord!  It is often asked, “What is the “big thing” that is before you?” But the real question is, “What is the big thing that is within you?” More than ever, I am convinced

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Do You See What God Can Do?

“…and said to the entire Israelite assembly, ‘The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us…’ ” – Numbers 14:7-8 I have a question for you: Are you able to see what God can do? In the Book of Numbers, God prepared the Israelites to transition to the Promised Land.  After the Egyptians enslaved them for hundreds of years, God frees them and they become wealthy. He not only performs miracles, like the 12 plagues against Pharaoh, but also the parting of the Red Sea. As they travel, God is guiding them. Manna, a type of food, falls from Heaven every day. They don’t fully trust God despite these miracles. We also trust God’s goodness, but not fully. During the transition to

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The Lord’s Work Starts at Home

“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” – 1 Timothy 5:8 Not only am I a pastor’s kid, I’m the grandson of a pastor. I also have a great grandfather who was a pastor as well as a great uncle and many siblings who have been in ministry. That said, I know what it’s like to be a “PK,” and I’ve established a special kinship with others who are in the same club. As I have gotten to know the children of pastors, I’ve discovered that the problems they face have to do with feeling that they are second to their parent’s ministry. The lack of attention in favor of the church can be perceived as hypocrisy on the part of the child, and the resulting psychological wound can lead to rebellion. For

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The Road That Leads to Life

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7:14 There is a teaching by Jesus in the book of Matthew that describes two roads. One is narrow and the other is wide. Jesus expounds by saying the narrow road leads to life! There is also a wide road to destruction/death. Notice that Jesus doesn’t use the words “should” or “shouldn’t” in describing what path to take. He merely presents us with two choices. Christians often focus on the words should and shouldn’t. However, I have a really hard time finding Jesus telling us anywhere that we “should” or “shouldn’t” do anything. Yet as Christians, we tend to overemphasize the words should and shouldn’t. We often tell ourselves, “I should read, go to church, and pray.” Or “I should visit my neighbor and be kind,” and “I should

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Don’t Miss Your Opportunity

“Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.” – Proverbs 25:12 We live in a fast-paced and technologically rich world. Today I challenge you not to miss any opportunities to be a disciple of Jesus. I saw a video of a young man playing video games on PlayStation 5, I think. PlayStation 5 costs around $500. As he played, his girlfriend recorded it on her phone because that’s the world we live in. Then she proceeded to turn the console off as a joke. Her goal was to get his attention. He responded, “No!” He threw his controller down and said, “Why did you do that?” She said to him, “It’s all you ever do!” And he replied, “It’s all I have!”  I thought, wow he thinks all he has is a video game? This man is going to lose

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The Cost of Discipleship

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’ ” – Matthew 16:24 Yesterday, I discussed the price we pay as Christians. There is a huge cost to discipleship, but there is an even bigger cost to non-discipleship. It is more expensive to take our eyes off the life we’re called to live. “The Cost of Discipleship” is a famous book written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor from Germany during the second world war, and I recommend you read it. In this wonderful book, we are challenged to consider the high toll and the high price of discipleship. Dietrich, also a professor and committed Christian, started an underground seminary and was outspoken against the Nazi regime. He spoke out against Hitler and stood up for the Jewish people who were being persecuted. Sometimes the cost of

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The Cost is Worth It

“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 10:38,39 One thing about becoming a Christian is there is a price to pay, but the cost is worth it. The good news is that the biggest price was already paid by Jesus, but there’s another price we pay, and that is the cross that we must take up. It’s easy to look at that price and say, “That’s expensive. It’s expensive to forgive people, it’s expensive to spend my time studying scripture, or to be part of a church.” But if we don’t do these things, there is also a downside. In other words, the “cost” is worth it!  I remember when I just started college and earned $6.25 an hour at Barnes and

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Live An Unhurried Life

“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” – Proverbs 12:15 I challenged you yesterday to serve your neighbor, which I consider anyone within 15 feet of you. And a good rule of thumb as you live your life and interact with those in your sphere of influence, is to try to be relaxed and unhurried. Being in a rush and stressed out makes it difficult to love others well and enjoy your surroundings. Take for instance, one night I forgot I promised Hannah I would be home at a certain time. I often ride my bike for 45 minutes along a beautiful bike path to the church from my house. I realized I was running late so I pedaled as hard as I could, and I tried to turn a 45-minute ride into 15/20 minutes. I went as fast as humanly possible, sweating

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Who Do We Reach?

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31 This past week I’ve shared that Jesus encourages us to become salt and light to those around us. The next step in this process would be to ask, “So, who do we reach?” It is not uncommon for many of us to think that God is calling us to go to the other side of the world to serve. And some do go there. But God is calling you to love your neighbor. Who are your neighbors or your near-dwellers? I consider anyone within 15 feet of you as your neighbor. Imagine a 15-foot invisible hula hoop around you. Wherever you are, anyone inside it qualifies as your neighbor. It’s easy to only select certain people in that loop. However, you should consider everyone in your hula hoop space of 15

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