In Search of a Hero

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I love the first week of a series and I have been waiting to kick off Fight for months.

So excited about Sunday!

For the next 5 weeks, we will be looking at the life of Samson and learning about the battles that men fight and how to win those fights. The implications of this have huge ramifications on families, marriages and single men and women.

To start off, we will be looking at Judges 13 this week and the idea that all of us are looking for a hero.

Growing up, we maybe looked to a parent or a teacher or a coach as a hero. As we get older, we might look to our kids, spouse, a degree or career path, we may even look to ourselves to be a hero. A hero is someone who saves us, rescues us from our life and takes us to something new, something better than what we have at the moment.

This is natural. This is how we are wired. We are wired to look for a hero, to look for something more, we are wired to fight for it as well.

The problem?

All the heroes we prop up in our lives and in our culture fail us. 

If you or someone you know struggles to be the man they need to be, who is unsatisfied with their life and wish that it could be more than what it is, this is a great week to be at Revolution.

Remember, we meet at 10am on Sunday mornings at 8300 E Speedway Blvd.

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Top 13 Sermons from Revolution Church in 2013

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It’s that time of year again, time to share my top lists of the year. Below are the top 13 sermons downloaded from Revolution Church in 2013:

13. What Prayer Changes (John 17:6-26)

Big Idea: Prayer always changes someone and always does something.

12. For God So Loved You (John 3:16-21)

Big Idea:  God loves us before we sin, not in spite of our sin.

11. Designed for a Purpose (John 3:22-36)

Big Idea:  Everything is designed to point to Jesus.

10. Living with the End in Mind (Ecclesiastes 7)

Big Idea: Wise people live with the end in mind, not by the seat of their pants.

9. Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering? (John 11:1-57)

Big Idea: God breaks us to build us.

8. How to be a Man (John 5:18-47)

Big Idea:  Men who accomplish anything worthwhile are focused on the right things.

7. The Life God Created You For (Ecclesiastes 12:9-14)

Big Idea: Following Jesus means making Him first and living different from others.

6. Jesus and Miracles (John 2:1-11)

Big Idea:  Jesus transforms our shame and guilt into joy.

5. Seeing Clearly (John 9:1-41)

Big Idea: Jesus allows things into our lives so we see our need for him, so He can heal us and glorify God.

4. Seeing Jesus (John 1:6-18)

Big Idea:  Jesus came to show us grace.

3. Come Home (John 14:1-6)

Big Idea: Coming home means trusting Jesus as the way to life.

2. Finding Meaning and Purpose (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)

Big Idea: The search for meaning without God leaves us longing for more.

1. Jesus Loves Whores and Hypocrites (John 4:1-45)

Big Idea:  The labels people put on you could cause you to miss God’s plan for you.

I’m really excited for what 2014 holds for Revolution Church and what we’ll cover. For the first time, we will do a series geared completely towards women called Beautiful and one geared completely towards men called Fight. We are going to cover 1 Corinthians, do a relationship series called The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating, a series on the afterlife and to kick off the new year, we are doing a series called Breathing Room

Saturday Afternoon Book Review || The Shepherd Leader at Home

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One of the books that I read as I worked on my What He must be… sermon at Revolution Church was The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protection and Providing for Your Family (kindle version) by Timothy Witmer.

Here are a few things that jumped out to me:

  • If you are married, in order to accomplish what God has called you to do, you must understand that each of you brings strengths and weakness to the relationship for the benefit of one another and for the marriage.
  • Marriage is designed by God to be your primary human relationship.
  • The Hebrew word for sexual intimacy is the word translated “know.” Knowing your wife in the comprehensive biblical sense includes a relational union that implies physical, spiritual, and emotional oneness.
  • Wherever you find marital failure, you will find a breakdown in real communication. Wherever you find marital success, you will find a good communication system.
  • The objective of leaders is to influence their followers to accomplish their respective missions.
  • Marriage is a call to die to self, and a man who does not die for his wife does not come close to the love to which he is called.
  • The bible has a very high view of women. This can be seen from the very beginning, where creation itself was not deemed complete until the woman was made.
  • Those in leadership are always called upon to use that leadership for the benefit of those called to submit.
  • For a wife, following her husband’s leadership is an important aspect of following Christ.
  • When we submit to our spouses, we are once again agreeing with God that His beautiful ordered plan is worth obeying and the mystery worth preserving. By so doing we once again acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.
  • Part of the wife’s discipleship to Christ is to respect the position of her husband in the home.
  • Christ’s love is unconditional. There was nothing about you or me that deserved or required Christ’s love. Quite the contrary. Not only did we not love him, but also we were heading the opposite direction in our sin. It was the classic case of unrequited love. This is why our relationship with him is solely by his grace. Our love for our wives must be unconditional as well.
  • Christ’s love was sacrificial. To what extent did Jesus love the church? he gave himself completely for her. His coming was to give himself in selfless service.
  • The man who sanctifies his wife understands that this is his divinely ordained responsibility…Is my wife more like Christ because she is married to me? Or is she like Christ in spite of me? Has she shrunk from his likeness because of me? Do I sanctify her or hold her back? Is she a better woman because she is married to me?
  • You will show your love for your wife as you support her maternal instinct to nurture your children.
  • One sure way to fail is to fail to love her. Your number one responsibility, humanly speaking, is to love your wife to the extent that she has absolutely not doubts about it. Your expressions of love must be demonstrable and practical.
  • Another way to have a frustrated wife is to fail to lead. Christian wives hope that their husbands will be godly leaders. They hope that you will take the initiative.
  • The Lord created husbands with an innate sense of responsibility to provide materially for their families. Remember that work is part of the Lord’s original design for mankind. The newly created Adam was placed in the garden and charged with tending it (Genesis 2:15).
  • The happiest and holiest children in the world are the children whose fathers succeed in winning both their tender affection and their reverential and loving fear. And they are children who will come to understand most easily the mystery of the fatherhood of God.
  • The practice of participation with our children is an expression of the same principle. We get to know people by doing things with them.
  • Use your words to build up, not to tear down. If there’s anyone from whom your children should expect a word of encouragement, it should be you.
  • Communication is multi-faceted and richly textured. It must include encouragement, correction, rebuke, entreaty, instruction, warning, understanding, teaching, and prayer. All these must be part of your interaction with your children.
  • Your relationship with your children now sets the trajectory of how they will relate to you for the rest of your life. If you are unapproachable when they are at home, don’t expect them to be eager to approach you as adults. If you are highly critical of them as children, don’t expect them to be coming to you later for advice. But if you are ready and willing to talk to them when they are young, they will seek you out when they need advice as adults. Remember that you are not sowing the seeds of what you will reap from your adult children for the rest of your lives.
  • Whether you like it or not, you are the model for what they will be like when they become parents themselves. When you show your children that they are a priority, you are setting a good example for them when they have families of their own. If children are seen as hindrances by parents, this attitude is reproduced when they become parents.
  • You as their earthly dad are laying the foundation for their relationship with their heavenly father. You are their first exposure to a relationship of authority in the world. How you develop that relationship and wield that authority will either help or harm their view of God. There are countless examples of people who have difficulty embracing a loving heavenly Father when they have had neglectful, absentee, or even abusive earthly dads.
  • Your goal as you lead your children is to prepare them to follow the chief shepherd for the rest of their lives. Therefore, your leadership should point them to the One you are following.
  • Will your children think it is really important to read the Bible if they never see you read yours? Will they consider it a priority to go to church and be involved with God’s people if you send them but don’t go yourself? Will your children speak respectfully of others when they hear the way you speak to your wife? Will they deem it necessary to be honest if they constantly hear you shad the truth or mislead others? Who are you kidding? In reality, what we often communicate to our children is that it is more important to get to football, soccer, or baseball practice regularly than to church. what are you really communicating to your children?

As a father and husband, this book was really convicting and at the same time, incredibly practical when it comes to thinking about living out being the shepherd leader of my home.

Monday Morning Mind Dump…

  • What a day at Revolution Church yesterday
  • Got to preach on manhood
  • Preached from the same passage I preached from the day we launched Revolution Church
  • The topic of biblical manhood I believe has enormous implications on our culture and the redemption of the world around us
  • So much damage and pain has been caused by the sin of men not being who God created them to be
  • Got to pray with tons of people after the sermon and the heartache and pain in so many lives is overwhelming
  • Got to talk with several people who have been divorced about feeling convicted about reconciling with their ex-spouse and confessing their sin in the divorce
  • Love seeing the gospel work on hearts
  • If you missed today, you can listen to it here
  • Got to pray over Dave and Yvonne Barreras as they prepare to move to Prescott this week and start a mission for the homeless population there
  • Love seeing Revolutionaries live out the mission of Jesus
  • Also prayed over Mike Miller as he shared that he will be transitioning off of our staff
  • Really sad to see him leave his role on our team, but I know God is going to use him in the next season of his life
  • Came home to a sad day as my Steelers lost to the lowly Chargers
  • Really glad I didn’t bet Dave Goffeney anything about the game, that would have been even worse for me
  • Started reading a really helpful book today as I get ready to preach on parenting this coming Sunday at Revolution
  • Excited to cover what the goal of parenting is, how do you disciple your kids, how do you do family worship together as a family
  • Lots at stake when it comes to the discipling of the kids in a family
  • Been starting to prep for my sermons at the beginning of January
  • We’re kicking off a series at Revolution called Meaning on the book of Ecclesiastes
  • So much wisdom in that book and it is unbelievably relevant to our culture
  • My mom moved out to Tucson this weekend and my dad will be moving out as soon as he sells their house
  • Really excited about this next chapter of my life and having them near us
  • We haven’t lived near family for over a decade, so it will be a nice change
  • Our kids are super excited about it
  • Free babysitting!
  • Off to another busy week of all things Revolution

[Image Credit]

Top Blog Posts for November 2012

In case you missed them, here are the top blog posts for the last month:

  1. Accountability
  2. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  3. My Journey of Losing Weight
  4. The Role of Men in the Family
  5. Why We Sin so Easily
  6. 10 Ways to Know if You’re Putting Your Kids Before Your Spouse
  7. Is Love a Choice or a Feeling (And Why it Matters)
  8. Losing Weight Part 2: The Idol of Food
  9. 10 Gospel Truths about Homosexuality
  10. Why a Pastor Should be in a Missional Community or Small Group

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like
  1. Leaders must slow down when things speed up. Great reminder.
  2. Jeff Vanderstelt on What a Christian man is to be.
  3. The life of an NFL undrafted rookie. This is simply interesting, especially if you love football.
  4. Walt Mueller on Kids and viewing pornography.

Top Posts of March 2012

In case you missed them, here were the top posts for March 2012:

  1. How a Wife Handles Her Husband’s Sexual/Porn Addiction
  2. Preach Better Sermons
  3. The Next 100 Days
  4. Book Recommendations for Dealing with Porn, Sexual Addiction, and Adultery
  5. The Role of Men in the Family
  6. What Attracts People to Church?
  7. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  8. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
  9. Truth
  10. Q: Preaching to Believers & Seekers

Kingdom Man

Just finished reading Kingdom Man (kindle version) by Tony Evans. It was a book that I pulled a few ideas from for my sermon this past weekend at Revolution Church on “Marriage & Men.”

One of the driving forces of Revolution Church from day one has been to challenge men to step up to the plate and be the men God has called and created them to be. Dr. Evans gets it right, you can trace many of the problems and issues in our culture back to the home and absence of men.

Here are a few stats:

  • 70% of all prisoners come from fatherless homes.
  • 80% of all rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes.
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
  • 63% of all teen suicides occur in homes where the father was either abusive or absent.
  • Virtually every adult social pathology has been linked to either fatherless homes or homes with a father and/or husband who was absent, abusive, or neglectful.
In this book, Dr. Evans looks at this problem, but unlike many authors he doesn’t stay at the problem He quickly moves to the solution, and that’s what the book is about. He traces the biblical story, how men are created to lead, have dominion under God’s authority. The reality that we see in Genesis 3 and then in Romans 5 is that men are primarily responsible for what happens on their watch. They are given primary responsibility for their families, to lead them well. As Dr. Evans says, “As a man, you are ultimately responsible for those within your domain.” The concept of domain or dominion is important and easy to misunderstand. The biblical concept of dominion, or rule, is neither a dictatorship nor a posture of domination, but rather it entails exercising legitimate authority under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Legitimate authority entails all that God provides for and permits a man to do, but not all that a man wishes to do. Dr. Evans is calling men to fulfill their biblical calling, step up to the plate and lead and oversee as God has called them to do.

Here are a few things that jumped out from the book:

  • A kingdom man is the kind of man that when his feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh crap, he’s up!”
  • When a kingdom man steps out his door each day, heaven, earth, and hell take notice. When he protects the woman under his care, she can do little to resist him. His children look to him with confidence. Other men look to him as someone to emulate. His church calls on him for strength and leadership. He is a preserver of culture and a champion of society to keep out evil and usher in good. A kingdom man understands that God never said a godly life would be easy, He just said it would be worth it.
  • If you are man, like it or not, you are a leader by position. It could be that you are a horrible one by practice, but by position, you have been called to lead.
  • Every area of life should feel the impact of a kingdom man’s presence.
  • Any man who blames his wife for the chaos in his home without simultaneously accepting responsibility for addressing it is publicly declaring his lack of biblical manhood.
  • Pornography use is one of the greatest indicators that a man has lost touch with his own manhood since he has to piggyback on the intimacy of others.
  • When a kingdom man rules his realm well, everyone benefits.
  • As a man, when you have demonstrated to a woman, children, or people within your sphere of influence that you are dependable, responsible, and that you take ownership to fix, solve, or simply carry the burden of that which cannot be solved, you have freed them to rest. You have freed them to relax because they know that they can trust the man who has proven to them through past actions that he’s got it.
  • If a man is out of alignment with God’s prescription for kingdom manhood, it not only messes him up, but it can also mess up anyone or everyone else who comes into contact with him, especially if they fall under his authority.
  • Being a kingdom man involves exercising authority and responsibility along with wisdom and compassion. A kingdom man intentionally aligns his life, choices, thoughts, and actions under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
  • While it is the rare woman who will admit her age, it has become the rare man who will act his age.
  • What woman wants to be intimate with someone whom she has to clean up after, wake up for church, and babysit. Her rationale is that if he can be a man in bed, then why can’t he be a man in the living room, at the office, with the finances, as a father, or in the marital relationship?
  • Headship isn’t about essence or being; it is about function.
  • Headship and covering work both ways. A man covers a woman because Christ covers a man. To hold a woman accountable to something that you yourself are not willing to do is a double standard, and it is one of the major reasons that cause the breakdown of the family. If a man is expecting a woman to be answerable to him, she should see him modeling that same principle by being answerable to God’s headship as well.
  • A husband is to be his wife’s savior in the sense that he sacrifices his life for her well-being.
  • Along with being your wife’s savior, a husband is to sanctify his wife.
  • To sanctify something means to set it apart as special and unique. A man sanctifies his wife over time through discipling her and providing a place where she is safe to grow and develop into the creation God made her to be.
  • A kingdom husband satisfies his wife.
  • The first step to learning how to satisfy your wife is in understanding her. Study her. Get to know her. Find out what makes her tick, what motivates her, and what inspires her. Discover what her dreams are and how they connect with your own.
  • The time you spend with your family as a man should never be a second thought. It should always be your first thought.

While there are more and more books on what biblical manhood is, this one hits it on the mark. Definitely worth picking up if as a man you are struggling to figure out how to lead your family well.

Top Posts of November

To help you stay up to date on things, here are the top posts from the last month:

  1. The Role of Men in Family
  2. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  3. Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries
  4. Planning a Preaching Calendar
  5. Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All
  6. Is Love a Choice or a Feeling (And why it Matters)
  7. Love Your Wife
  8. Planning Christmas
  9. Interacting with the Opposite Sex as a Pastor
  10. This is our City

Don’t Apologize for the Bible

I preached on Titus 2 this past Saturday at Revolution. Admittedly, it can be uncomfortable preaching on what God calls women to be. For one, I’m not a woman, so I feel a little out of my comfort zone challenging women to do something I’m not called to do or be. It is easy to call men to be men. You also need to be more gentle with women, especially being a man. I believe respond to challenge (women does as well, but differently), call them out, grab them by the throat, they respond and want to step up. As Mark Driscoll says, “Preach to men like a coffee thermos, throw it off a building, drive over it and it does its job. Preach to women like a beautiful wine glass, one that must be handled with care.”

But I’ve noticed something since we started Revolution. One of the things we’ve preached on a lot is marriage, dating and biblical manhood and womanhood. I believe it is one of the most crucial issues in our culture, because no one is sure how to do it. On top of that, the Bible talks about it in numerous places. Most New Testament letters touch on it to one degree or another.

After Saturday and in the past after preaching on this topic, particularly biblical womanhood I get the same comments, “I had no idea that was in the Bible.” Or, “I never understood what that meant.” In most of the reading I’ve done in books or commentaries, or sermons I’ve listened to on the topic of submission or, “working at home” from Titus 2, most of the material is, “Here is what Paul is not saying.” Now, that is an important part of the text. We need to explain what submission is not, the dangers of sin when it comes to submission or male headship, but at some point, the man preaching has to say, “But this is what Paul means, submission means this, male headship means this, working at home means this.”

It isn’t just this topic, it comes out when someone is preaching the idols of the heart, sin, heaven and hell. Don’t apologize for the Bible. Study up, pray up, confess your own sinful motives, then stand up, say what the Bible says, don’t apologize for it, then sit down and let the Holy Spirit does what the Holy Spirit does.