Archive for October, 2010

Thinking Outside the Box

by Rick Robinson

God has given us wonderful facility to think of creative ways to accomplish a task or goal. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s there were creative thinkers working on all types of projects to make life better. By 1909 there were already hundreds of automobile manufactures in the United States, so a creative thinker in Chicago, tried to take his place in a competitive market. A new car company named “Auto Parts” was born. The Auto Parts was a 23 horsepower automobile that sold for $600.00. Where is the creativity in that, you say? Well, the car was available with a payment installment plan. The thing is, the car was shipped to you in pieces you had to assemble yourself. The payment plan was simple–they would ship parts as they were paid for. The name of the car makes sense now, doesn’t it? The Auto Parts Automobile Company was born and died in 1909. Not enough people took them up on the idea, and tweaking the business model of the company never happened.

Other ideas seemed worthy of tweaking. During the First World War, air combat was developing into a valuable asset. At first, guns were carried along to shoot at enemy planes. Some creative thinker came up with the idea to mount a machine gun on the top wing. Aiming the gun to shoot an enemy aircraft down was not an easy task. The creative thinkers went to work and mounted a machine gun in front of the pilot so he could take aim. The trouble with that was, the guns shot the propellers off, and we lost as many planes as were shot down. “No problem!” said the creative thinkers. They added a piece of steel on the propeller blades to stop the bullets that did not pass between the blades from damaging the wood propellers. It didn’t take long to realize the bullets now ricochet back onto the pilot. Finally, a German by the name of Fokker, came up with the idea of a cam shaft to control the trigger of the machine gun to only fire between the propeller blades. Pilots were now free of the Hanna-Barbara cartoon effects of air combat.

When it comes to creativity, God has given us an incredible gift of thinking. Are you thinking you should give up right now, or are you thinking of new ways to accomplish your goals? If God has given birth to an idea in your mind, no matter if it may be ministry, business, or otherwise–He will guide you through the process of how to accomplish His will.

Proverbs 8:12

I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

Dwell means to inhabit, so wisdom has taken up with prudence. Prudence is right knowledge for special times, which can better a man’s position in human affairs. Wisdom’s possession of knowledge and ability to construct witty inventions, or well-thought-out plans, makes a grand gift from God.

It is a good thing to be able to think outside the box, but we must never forget what is inside the box. That is, do not forget the creator when you need to be creative.

Deuteronomy 8:17-19

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.

In the midst of being creative and working hard, you should find the peace of God in your life. You may find yourself feeling at times as though there aren’t enough hours in the day. God created the day, therefore, there are just enough hours in each day. We must learn to be good managers of the greatest commodity God gave us, which is our time. I think the words of Marion Harland, in her book, “The Secrets of A Happy Home”, leave us with a proper thought toward stress.

Our Heavenly Father would have us carry one stick at a time, and for this task has regulated our systems-mental, moral and spiritual. We like the presumptuous bunglers that we are, bind the sticks into faggots, and then whine because our strength gives out. The lesson of unlearning what we have practiced so long is not easy, but it may be acquired. In your character as a day laborer, sift carefully each morning what belongs to to-day from that which may come to-morrow. Be rigid with yourself in this adjustment. If you find the weight beginning to tell upon bodily or mental muscles, ask your reason, as well as your conscience, whether or not the strain might be from to-morrows log. – The Secrets of A Happy Home, 1896, Marion Harland

This is what I mean by thinking outside the box without forgetting what’s inside the box. Always give thought and much prayer to your activities. It could be the difference between giving up on an idea, experiencing more failures than necessary, or allowing God to provide what is needed, including creative ideas to accomplish His will.

copyright 2010 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

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Worrying is Easy … You’ve Already Got the Problems!

by Rick Robinson

One of the easiest and most natural things to do is to worry. You did not have to take worry lessons, or even ask advice on how to properly use worry to defeat yourself emotionally. Satan did not have to put a brochure in your hands to sell you on the idea of worry. It seems to be more intuitive than anything Microsoft could dream up. There is no learning curve, and aside from the devastating emotional price, it is free with upgrades for life. Face it, worry is easier than the alternative, and you already have enough trouble to get you started. Jesus said every day has it’s own share of trouble and told us not to worry about tomorrow. The alternative He gave us to that option, is to place our lives and well being into the hands of God.

Matthew 6:25-33

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

You may not be worried about something specifically on this list Jesus used to teach us not to worry, but the problem you have does not justify the worry. Worry is a distraction from the things of God. It keeps you from seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and it places you into a survival mode. Worry will not let you rest, do not embrace it as a friend. The only selling point worry has, is it is so downright easy. Trusting God is not easy, but it is a genuine solution to the problems you have. There is a learning curve, but you have a guide for life and 24/7 support. This genuine solution is free, in fact you cannot buy it. Any doubts you have about the effectiveness of the Jesus solution can be traced back to worry itself. Ask yourself, do you want easy, or do you want genuine solutions? God wants to have a deep relationship with you. Jesus died for you personally. you are not getting into heaven because you were standing next to someone God likes in church. This passage in Matthew talks a lot about “stuff.” Life is not all about “stuff” it is about a genuine relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In the second chapter of the book of Job, we see a point made about “stuff”.

Job 9:12

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

You can read that entire story to see the details of what Job lost, but Satan did not want Jobs stuff, he wanted to break the relationship Job had with God. Satan does not need or want your stuff either, he is after your relationship with Christ. God does not want your stuff either, He wants you. One of the reasons the Bible was given to us is to help us develop a relationship with Jesus, by showing us the character of God. We get to know God in this genuine relationship as we read what He thinks about us and the problems we face every day. As we get to know more about God, it becomes easier, but not always easy. Your problems will come and go and they will alternate and change, but they are not going away, but neither is Jesus.Victims of worry tend to get so discouraged, they feel like God does not hear them and does not care. Some people may have thoughts like; May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, ‘A boy is born!’ Or “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?”. More commonly might be something like, What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil. These are all words Job cried out in the third chapter of Job. He was so discouraged, he wanted to die. He was also caught up in worry, and said the thing he feared most came upon him.Just because you do not seem to be hearing God right now, does not mean He does not care about you. God did not choose to let Job know what was happening. In the first two chapters of the book of Job, we see what led up to the emotional breakdown Job was experiencing. After he lost his stuff, he did not turn his back on God. Now, Job had more problems come about to steal his relationship to God.

Job 2:4-10

“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

God did not tell Job what was going on in his life, and God does not always explain things to you either. He is not obligated to do so. Nothing happens to you without the knowledge of God. It is impossible for God to allow something in your life that would place you beyond His reach.

God had a lot of confidence in Job, and He expressed that confidence to Satan. God has confidence in you too. Sometimes you may mistake the silence you experience as shunning, when it may be God’s confidence in you, or a call to move closer to God. If you are going through something right now that seems overwhelming, God will provide everything you need for you to benefit from it. Your relationship with God, and with other believers can really grow through this time. There are people that God wants to use to help you through these times, and He will also use these experiences in the future for you to help others. Satan wants to discourage you from a relationship with God and with other believers. Six out of ten adults drop out of church for at least two years of their life. Years ago, I was one of those statistics myself. I was discouraged, and mad at God because I thought He let me down. I felt betrayed and alone. I have heard people say they don’t go to church because of all the hypocrites. Well, those people don’t let those same hypocrites keep them out of the grocery store, ball games, movies and the like. Satan will always give you reasons to break fellowship, because it is important. Next time you are tempted to worry, don’t take the easy way. Stay in the safety of God’s word and the fellowship of believers.Yes, worry is easy but it is not really free. Your freedom is waiting in Christ and is not dependent upon your circumstances at all. The simplicity of worry can not compare to the simplicity of the gospel. One yields nothing while the other yields all.

Galatians 5:1

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Copyright 2010 Church Growth Associates

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Basic Principles in Recruiting Workers

By Rick Robinson

Strong leadership is essential for church growth. I have seen far too many churches, where a pulse and a Bible can get you a volunteer position. If you don’t have a Bible they will get you one, but the pulse is not negotiable. If this is somewhat how you have been recruiting workers, you are building a foundation for disaster. When you are working on your church growth strategies, do not be afraid to expect commitment and to set a standard of expectation for leadership. Remember these simple instructions from Paul to pastors about leadership.

2 Timothy 2:1-2

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

Titus 2:1-3

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.

Building your leadership may start slow, but God will grow your church when you are being obedient to the instructions outlined in His word. You cannot expect God to bless something He has not established. When building your leadership, keep in mind this simple church growth principle; churches tend to grow in homogeneous units. That is, churches attract people that are most like the leadership you have in place. When you put weak leadership in front of the congregation, it communicates something contrary to God’s word. You send a message of how easy it is to become a leader, and there is a low standard of expectation. This will attract people who do not like commitment, and it will repel people who believe God has a standard of expectation to become a leader. If you want to attract qualified leaders, set this standard in place and watch how God begins bringing qualified leaders into your church. If you don’t have anyone qualified, then do not go back to the “pulse and a Bible” standard. God will begin sending the workers He wants you to have so you can get things done, but you must have a high level of commitment also.

I want to give you five simple things that are needed for enlistment of workers into any ministry area in your church.


  • Workers should be given a job description. Workers must understand what is expected of them. Don’t be afraid of frightening potential workers off with the word “commitment”. Workers without commitment will only cause more work for you, and give poor testimony of what a leader in your church is.
  • Workers must be provided with appropriate training.Some workers God brings into the church will know exactly what to do. God has their heart and has given them experience. Don’t assume they know what to do in your church. When I became a deacon in my home church, (Idlewild Baptist Church) I had been ordained as a deacon for almost thirty years and had been an ordained minister for almost twenty years. I still was asked to take training classes to be involved. That excited me, because I was thrilled to be a part of a church with a high standard for leadership. I don’t want to go into spiritual combat with deacon brothers that only have a pulse and a Bible.
  • Workers should be given a name of someone to go to for support. Even if getting started means you are the only one to come to for help, people need to know what to do when they have questions or need help. Don’t throw them to the wolves.
  • Workers should be given a date the responsibility will end. Workers burn out when they feel they have an eternal job. When the last feelings they had of ministry work is how bad they felt when they quit; you will find it difficult to recruit them in the future. I always recruit workers from January to December. If someone in November, I still re-enlist him or her for the next year starting in January. This can protect you in the event that if you have a worker misplaced; that is they cannot do the job effectively, it is easier to replace them at the end of the year without hard feelings. You can then place them where God has called them to serve.
  • Workers must have an understanding why the role is important. No ministry can be successful when it is viewed as busy work, or non-essential. If it is important enough to ask people to commit to, then we should be responsible enough to tell them why.

Follow these basic church growth ideas as principles in recruiting your workers, and see how God begins bringing the work force into your church.

Matthew 9:37

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.


To see if Church Growth Associates can help your church, click here;  Can Church Growth Associates help my church? A consultant will contact you to hear your story.

Rev. Rick Robinson is a church growth consultant helping churches of all sizes with church growth strategies and evangelism ideas.

Copyright 2010 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

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Living in the Past

by Rick Robinson

If you look at the things I enjoy in life it would be easy to think I live in the past. I like Christian music from the eighties. I like automobiles that are older than I am. I like black and white movies and classic TV generation shows like I love Lucy. Nostalgia is big right now with a lot of people. Maybe there is a part of us that would like to go back in time to a place we think was simple.

Was life as simple as we remember it? Would you really like to exchange your cell phone for the phone booth you can step inside of and close the door? Would you trade your computer for a typewriter? Would you miss your microwave and the hundreds of TV channels you can get?

I hear people say about automobiles, “They don’t build them like they used to!” That part really is true. I have a 1929 Pontiac with 33,000 miles on it. In 1929 it was recommended to change the oil every 500 miles. The life expectancy of a car in 1929 was 50,000 miles. My Pontiac is not air-conditioned, and does not have power windows, although the windshield cranks open. An automatic transmission was not an option in 1929, but bumpers were. The windshield wipers work on vacuum, so the faster you drive, the faster they wipe. In a downpour, speed up! The Chevy I drive every day has 185,000 miles and still has not had its first tune up. People are right, they don’t build them like they used to, and the windshield does not even crank open.

You may remember many good things that happened to you in the past. I look back at my past and the two biggest and greatest events I will ever experience happened there. In July of 1977 I married the love of my life, Victoria. The other major event in my life happened around November of 1981. That is when I met Jesus Christ and He revolutionized my life forever.

Song of Solomon 3:4
I found the one my heart loves.

Even though many good things may be remembered from your past, It can be dangerous to live in the past. So how can you know if you enjoy antiques and nostalgia, or if you live dangerously in the past? Do you find yourself thinking “If only I had done this.” or “If only I hadn’t done that.”? These are thoughts of regret you can do nothing about. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes and regrets. If you need forgiveness, Jesus Christ offers freedom from your past. If you need to ask a person to forgive you, or to forgive someone, do it without hesitation.

Matthew 6:14
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Don’t get caught up in the “if only” of the past. When those words pop into your mind, you can bet they will lead you in the wrong direction. You will tend to make more wrong decisions and be unable to remain clear minded. Those two little words will stop you from achieving what God has for you. When you look at the past, keep in mind all that Christ has done for you.

Living in the past may not be as big of a problem for you as living in the fear of the future. Two more little words, “what if”, stop people from becoming all they can be. When you have thoughts like “What if I fail?” you may want to consider the reason. Many people suffer from what I call a “low spiritual self-esteem”. This is a condition that exists when we don’t see ourselves the way God does. Why would Jesus Christ die for you, then leave you to be on your own?

Hebrews 13:5-6
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Why would Jesus tell you to forgive seventy times seven, but use a different standard in His forgiveness to you?

Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Once I was sitting on the shore of a lake, looking out across as the sun gleamed off the ripples on the water. The effect of the sun was like the twinkling lights on a Christmas tree, Illuminating, but for a second, then gone. As I looked out across the lake there were thousands of sparkles appearing and disappearing just as quickly. That is how a timeless God would see our lives.

James 4:13-15
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

As a Christian, your life should reflect the Son to a world that is watching how we face our trials. We never know when that light reflecting the Son, will be called to the other side of eternity, and the people we come in contact with may not realize how short and significant life really is.

Ecclesiastes 7:2
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.

Perhaps that is how we should see our trials. It seems like it takes forever to get through a trial, and the torment of the “if only” can become an extension to the pain. Whatever you are going through in your life right now, you don’t have to beat yourself up, and think back on a time when things were better or simpler. The past may be a great place to be from, but the present is where God has you at this time. As far as the future, anticipate what God is going to do in your life if you will yield to Him. Don’t try to tackle the problems of the past, present, or future alone. Let the grace of God sustain you as you walk through each day, and let the Son reflect a positive witness through your trust in Him.

Matthew 6:25-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Copyright 2010 Church Growth Associates

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What’s on Your Mind?

by Rick Robinson

How can you have peace in time of trouble? What is the key to hearing God? How can you make the right decisions in life? As a pastor, these are among the most common questions I get all the time. I am going to use a military principle known as intelligence, to answer these questions. Military intelligence does not only consist of gathering information about the enemy, but also consist of distribution of false information to mislead the enemy. Some of the greatest military strategists in history have written about the principle of intelligence. In the book “The Art of War” you will find the following instruction on the subject:

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected. These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

This instruction on the subject should seem familiar to you, since these principles have been used on you all your life. God has given us the greatest insight into this key to victory that has ever been written. He has divulged the enemy’s strategy to us in the Bible. The Bible gives us many examples of Satan using these strategies, but we also find solutions to win this spiritual battle that some are unaware of, and others don’t believe in. Satan employed these principles of intelligence from the beginning.

Genesis 3:1-6

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

In this example, we see the deception “Did God really say?” and the bait, the fruit that was pleasing to the eye. We see separation of forces, setting aside what God said, and building false pride, “Your eyes will be opened” and you will become wise. These were all used in the attack to cause disorder, and deliver the crushing blow. We find the tactic was still effective when Paul warned about it in his letter to the church at Corinth, and it is still deployed on all of us today.

2 Corinthians 11:3

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

The mind is where you test and approve what God’s will is. For this reason it is such a strategic battlefield. Your mind must be protected and fortified by God’s word to survive the attacks of the enemy.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Any military offensive would be launched on the most advantageous battlefield. If you do not think you can win by selecting the battlefield, then you should not be planning and leading the attack. You will not win on a battlefield you do not control.

Romans 8:6

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

2 Corinthians 10:5

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.

You will not win on a battlefield without following the strategy laid out for you in God’s word. Satan will lie to you and try to lure you into sin by making it look attractive. Even if you do not believe you are involved in a spiritual war it does not change the truth. It is a most dangerous place to be.

John 8:44

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:31-32

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 17:17

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

Your strategy must be to use the truth to fight against the false information of the enemy. If you do not know the truth, how can you recognize the lie? We have already seen how knowing the truth is still not a defense by itself against the lie, but it is the foundation. You don’t have to be an evil person to become deceived. When I was a Mormon, I served a Jesus who I thought was a created being. Mormon theology does not teach Jesus is the infinite God–man. In their theology, Jesus is a created being not the creator, yet most of them are good people.

Romans 1:25

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

John 1:1,14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

No one is exempt from the attacks on the battlefield of the mind. Make certain everything you believe is based on God’s word, not on what you see or are told.

Matthew 24:24

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.

The key to victory is what’s on your mind. It has to be truth to succeed by God’s standard. Satan loves people to get head knowledge without a heart experience. If Satan can make you ignorant of God’s will, he will rob you of what God has planned for your life. You will make bad decisions, get involved in wrong activities, and build the wrong kind of life. It will not stop there; you will influence others to go the wrong way too.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Determine in your heart that you will allow the Spirit to help you live this, you cannot do it alone. What’s on your mind?

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Adding A Worship Service

By Rev. Rick Robinson

Adding an additional Worship Service may not be “The Final Frontier”, but it may be a place where no man in your congregation has gone before. This material is designed to help you understand the effects of what some may consider a radical change. No consultant should presume to tell you when to add a service, God’s wisdom overrules mans wisdom, experience and statistics. I want to help inform you about this process because facts can be a great tool, but you must get your direction from God. There are many reasons to consider an additional worship service, but the motive must be reaching out to a greater number of people, that is what God blesses.

Many churches decide to add an additional service because they are out of space. When it comes to space, if your church is eighty percent filled during worship, an additional service will likely help you reach more people for Christ. Some consultants believe you should have about fifty people, before adding a service will work. I have seen a church with less than twenty people start a second service and now they have well over one hundred people in worship. The decision was made first to reach more people for Jesus. They prayed for God to work through them, and added the early service in advance as an act of faith. Now, they are praying about a third service. Don’t let your numbers be the final answer for action.

Some consultants think the traditional church is too ineffective to revive. The statistics they use as proof do not say, “quit” to me, they just reveal we need a renewal of God in our hearts. It is our hearts that need change more than our traditions. During our consultation process we use a tool we call “Thoughts & Perceptions” surveys. These surveys include questions that refer to adding an additional service. This gives us a good idea what type of receptivity there would be to the concept while we are discovering your growth mix. We ask these questions because you may want to use an additional service as part of a new growth strategy even if you are not out of space. There are many variables in your growth mix that contribute to the growth of your church, adding a service is only one idea.

If you do want to add a new style of worship service to reach more people, I have this advice. Separating evangelism and discipleship is like slicing a quarter and thinking you have fifty cents. You do not. Jesus told us to go make disciples.

Matthew 28:19-20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus said “go” here, not that we should just expect them to “come” to us. He also said we are to teach them, not simply make them feel comfortable with how they live just now. Think outside the box without forgetting what’s inside the box. It’s all about making disciples, not just gaining converts.

If adding a second worship service is expected to increase attendance by fifteen percent in the average church, does it make sense that the devil will want to fight such a significant decision? Each church will have a different set of objections that will present themselves to confront any change. Some of the most common objections to adding an additional worship service are:

That idea will never work here.

We can’t get enough workers for one service.

We still have plenty of seats in the sanctuary except on holidays.

Two services will split the congregation.

Many of our leaders, “big givers” or most of the congregation will oppose the idea.

There won’t be enough people in the early service to make it worthwhile.

The cost of heat/air and lighting will put us over budget.

Most churches do not have enough people that feel this way to stop the excitement of reaching new people. I have found the biggest barrier to adding an additional service is the pastor and staff willingness to commit to the additional time required. This is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Adding a second worship service can be advantageous for many reasons:

It is an opportunity to have multiple worship styles to appeal to more people. (Remember what’s in the box!)

It can free up valuable space to make room for new people.

It will create more jobs and thus combat “spiritual unemployment”.

It is more cost effective than remodeling, relocating or building a new worship facility.

This goes back to the heart of your people. Our iConsultation will help you discover and deal with emotional and spiritual barriers effectively. Church Growth Associates can help you grow your church with a clarified vision and hope for the future.

To see if Church Growth Associates can help your church, click here;  Can Church Growth Associates help my church? A consultant will contact you to hear your story.

Rev. Rick Robinson is a church growth consultant helping churches of all sizes with church growth and evangelism strategies.

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Did You Forget Something?

The animated movie,“Chicken Run”, is a story about a bunch of chickens trying to escape from a chicken farm, where their destiny is a chicken potpie. After many unsuccessful attempts to escape, two hens stand inside a coop having a discussion. One hen looks at the other and says, “Let’s face it, our chances of escaping are a million to one”.  The other hen replies, “Then we still have a chance.”

Do you want change, or feel dissatisfied with the way things are going in your life? Are you afraid of the peril you must face in the future? When you look at your chances to see anything positive happen, does it seem almost impossible? Which one of those two hens do you relate to most?

Christ never told us to take the gospel to chickens. They don’t know there is a great God to listen to and trust in. The animals are doing just fine trying to live by instinct. You on the other hand, are not expected to live without the help of Jesus in your life. If you feel you have a chance at a thing, is it because of your own creativity, or by the power of Christ?

Hosea warns of the consequences for those who forget God. You may forget God without realizing you are even doing so. The people of Israel had all their needs met, and in result, they became independent.

Hosea 13:4-6
“But I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me. I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat. When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.

Do you see the process of forgetting here? You may have forgotten God if you become independent enough to rely upon yourself to take care of your daily needs.

Proverbs 30:8-9
Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

You may have forgotten God if you have become dependant upon an employer, the government, or any other person or thing. Those things will all pass, but the peace and government of God will experience no end.

Isaiah 9:6-7
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.

Have you noticed how much the trials in life tend to increase your attention toward God? God wants to have a deep relationship with you, and if something gets in the way of that relationship, it must be extracted. When we forget God, He has ways to remind us. We are warned not to forget the things of God.

Deuteronomy 4:9
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

If we are to take hold of the relationship and benefits of Christ, there are also things we should forget, however difficult that may be. When we do not, we become an enemy to the God who called us, each one without exemption, to a higher purpose.

Deuteronomy 6:12
be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

2 Kings 17:38-39
Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods.  Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”

Philippians 3:12-21
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.  Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

God does not see things the way we do, and we must desire from Him to see things more in the light of His word. I trust you know how that must come about, or you would not still be reading this.

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”  declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

When you think about which of the hens in my first story you are most like, don’t forget you have hope, even when all the odds are against you. God can work with less than a one in a million chance. You are the most valuable thing to God, and he wants you to feel the same way about Him.

Luke 12:24-26
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

The easier said than done lesson in this is, if you forget the power of Christ, you will stumble. If you remain in Him, there is a rich relationship and a full life ahead of you.

Hosea 14:9
Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.

There is nothing you can do to impress God to save you, or to receive something you may need. It is all in the power of Christ, and your trust in Him. The actions of your obedience demonstrate you believe what you heard.

Galatians 3: 2-5
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

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Living in the Shadow of Knowledge

In the 1947 movie, “It Happened On Fifth Avenue”, Victor Moore stars as Aloyisius T. McKeever, (sounds like a name from the book of Acts, doesn’t it?) a hobo, who finds winter lodging by waiting for millionaire families to lock up mansions and migrate south for the winter.

The hobo moves into a mansion and soon begins taking in homeless WWII veterans, the first played by Alan Hale Jr., you may remember as “The Skipper” on Gilligan’s Island. Eventually the millionaire’s daughter comes home, and the hobo mistakes her for an impoverished runaway from an abusive father, so he offers to take her in. She goes along with the masquerade and falls in love with one of the displaced war vets living in her father’s home. There are now nine people living in the shelter of the Fifth Avenue mansion, and the daughter gets her father to meet the “squatters” incognito, in hope that he’ll take to the man she likes. Things get pretty funny when the hobo agrees to be generous enough to take in the real owner of the mansion as a benevolent tenant.

In 1947, Americans for the first time since the Great Depression had an optimistic approach to life. This movie is a funny look at the people and the feeling of renewal and hope that was in the air in the immediate post-World War II era. I think this movie also parallels the story in the book of Acts, as an example of someone trying to do the right thing, living as though he knows someone he does not.

The book of Acts is a record of the early church and it is filled with some of my favorite stories. There are several lessons the church today can learn from this story in Acts. I want to focus on the one lesson in my mind that is the most important. Living a life in the light of a real relationship with Jesus Christ, not in the shadow of the knowledge of Christ.

Ephesus was a city filled with people practicing magic and witchcraft. It was a city full of wayward, well meaning priest, living in the shadow of a knowledge of Christ, but not in the light of a relationship with Christ. Traveling Jewish exorcists were common in the ancient world, and many would invoke the names of a false god or an accepted god of the region when they performed magic or cast spells. Here we see a family of vagabond Jews composed of Sceva, a priest, and his seven sons, who had been watching Paul, do miracles. Listening to the name of Jesus, which Paul used to command evil spirits to come out of people, they attempted to use the same name as a sort of magical charm. The knowledge of Jesus did not help them because the evil spirit knew there was no relationship to stand on.

The contrast of ministry through the light of a real relationship with Christ, and the shadow of the knowledge of Christ, is seen here. Paul was in that region for two years serving God while he was tent making. The tent maker would wear a handkerchief around his head for a sweatband and an apron, which also would get very sweat soaked. God was working through Paul in such a way that his sweat soaked handkerchiefs and aprons would bring healing and drive out demons when they touched people. God wanted to make it clear to this deceived region; they needed to have a relationship with Christ, not just knowledge.

Acts 19:11-12
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

The city was in an uproar over the power of God as opposed to the power of sorcery and many people were being saved. They brought stacks of very expensive scrolls they owned that taught them how to cast spells and perform magic and they burned them publicly. If you have ungodly literature of any kind in your home, you should destroy it also. (Don’t start a fire downtown, you will be arrested.) Regardless of what you paid for it, it may be costing you more than you think. After I came into a real relationship with Christ, I destroyed my Mormon literature and the freedom I experienced took my spiritual walk to the next level. (That’s another lesson for latter.)

Many of the people in that day were well meaning people who thought they were doing things for God. Others were in it for the money, yet still many had two reasons for being upset with the light of a relationship with Christ. In any case, they were each and all, well deceived.

Acts 19:23-27
About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: “Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

Most of the psychics and witches I have talked to, believe the power they get is a gift from God. It is not. The power comes from elsewhere. God’s word is very clear about such things.

Acts 16:16-18
Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her

Acts 8:9-13
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is the divine power known as the Great Power.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

Movies like “The Wizard of Oz” show the power of a good witch and the power of a bad witch, but there is no such contrast in scripture. The deception of good without God will take people where they do not want to go. It is because the knowledge of Christ is not enough, there needs to be a true relationship with Christ. Most people I share Christ with think as I used to. They think to get into heaven, you have to be a good and decent person. Compared to what? Are you good and decent because of the knowledge of Christ, or are you trying to be good and decent because you want to have a true relationship with Christ?

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Living in the shadow of the knowledge of Jesus Christ does not pertain only to salvation. Many Christian people live in that shadow in certain parts of life. Deception does not reserve itself for those without a relationship to Jesus. Don’t just take time to read Gods word and pray. Do you believe what you read, or is it just knowledge? If you believe it, then you should try living in the light of your relationship with Jesus and not be satisfied with the comfort and deception of the shadow of knowledge. If you are not consistently in the word of truth, you should know, ignorance is not a safe alternative either.

James 1:22
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Knowledge without a relationship will disappoint you in the end. It is empty and unfulfilling because something is missing. How about you? Are you living like the hobo in that movie, pretending everything is fine because you have some knowledge? At the end of the movie as the hobo walks down the sidewalk away from the mansion, the millionaire says to his wife, “Next year when he comes back, he will come in through the front door.” Have you been living as an unauthorized party in Gods house? Use the front door that is provided for those with a relationship. You are the one who opens that door, not Jesus.

Revelation 3:19-22
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Which one of the characters in the Bible verses above are you most like? All the characters living strictly in the knowledge of Christ, are not reaping the benefits of those living in the light of a true relationship with Christ. Do you live like God is able to change your life, or have you deceived yourself through religion? That can all change right now, it is up to you. Open the door of your heart, Jesus is always there.

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The Simplicity of Writing a Mission Purpose Statement

Rev. Rick Robinson

Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The mission purpose statement of a church is a very important part of your church growth mix. One of the reasons people drop out of church is from a lack of affinity. When people don’t know what the purpose of the church is, it will lead to confusion, fragmentation, and disappointment. This lack of affinity goes virtually undetected and cost the church unknown times in members, because it is often an overlooked part of the growth mix.

Philippians 2:1-2

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

So what is a mission purpose statement? Before making church growth plans for the future we must have an understanding of where God wants us to go. The direction God wants us to go, is our mission purpose statement. Isn’t that a simple enough concept? Don’t get the mission purpose statement and the plan or church growth strategies of accomplishing your mission confused. This is where most churches go wrong, and why most mission purpose statements are of no use. Your mission purpose statement is a very important part of your church growth mix, since it is the anchor of what you do. All your church growth ideas and strategies will be based on that mission.

In my home church, Idlewild Baptist Church, we have four words that explain our mission. This is the best example I can give you, and I didn’t write it. (I wish I had.)

The four words are:

  • Attract
  • Connect
  • Grow
  • Serve


Wow! What more do you need to communicate your purpose as a church. Not only is it simple and easy to remember, it is also in order of a continuous cycle. Notice how short and simple this example is. How does it compare to others you have seen or heard?

You may be asking if the mission purpose statement is really that important. Would you buy property, build a factory, and hire a thousand workers without telling them what they were to build? Keep in mind, telling the factory workers what they are to build and how they are to build it, is two different things. In the same way, we cannot expect to mobilize a church by letting everyone presume what our joint purpose is.

I want to share this story that was first published about fourteen years ago in one of our church growth newsletters. In my daily travels I am in hundreds of churches each year for various reasons. During the week I was gathering notes to write “How To Write A Mission Purpose Statement”, the Lord gave me an interesting experience. As I entered one church office, the secretary asked me to wait a moment while she answered the phone. I could not help but hear the answers given promptly by the secretary to the obvious prospective visitor on the other end of the line. The time of worship, the location of the church, the style of worship, and the mission purpose statement. Yes, they asked the mission purpose statement of the church. The secretary answered all the questions with enthusiasm, even that last one about the mission purpose statement.

I wondered how many secretaries, receptionist, even ministerial staff around the country would have been able to answer that question? Could your staff answer that question? How many of your members could answer that question? Could you even answer that question?

I felt as though God had put me there in that church at that very time to hear this conversation. It was a great experience, although I have opportunity to see many mission purpose statements throughout the year. Some are very good, and others, an attorney and an insurance agent together would have trouble reading those documents. (No offense to you professionals!)

Sometime last year as I worshipped in a Wednesday evening church service with excess of 1,000 in attendance, the pastor did something I had never seen before. He took some money out of his wallet, held it up and said, “If anyone can quote the mission purpose statement, I will give this to you.” The response would have made an extremely boring episode of the game show, Jeopardy. This church has published the mission purpose statement on every bulletin, so it is available to all members and guests. The “winner” of the pastor’s money was only “close enough” to the idea of the mission purpose statement.

Why could so many people not respond? In my estimation the mission purpose statement of that church is too long. In writing a mission purpose statement, don’t make it difficult to remember. Don’t use reams of paper, just keep it short and simple. You don’t want to confuse your mission with your technique or tactics.

How does a church get started? The first thing I would suggest is preaching sermons dealing with the subject. This will prepare the church for the process. A scriptural basis, is a must. There are resources available to help with this important task. One resource is the workbook, “Planning For The Next Five Years In A Southern Baptist Church”. If your not a Southern Baptist like I am, it will still be a useful resource, but this article may well be enough to help you.

Next, prepare a tentative mission purpose statement. You may be using a long range planning committee to do this depending on how your church is structured. If a committee of sorts will be preparing the statement, each member of that committee should write their own statement to be reviewed and edited later in the group.

Here are some suggestions for editing the statement:

  • Does your statement match the mandate of Jesus Christ?
  • Be certain the wording is simple.
  • Will this statement communicate clearly the direction the church will take in the future?
  • Is the statement brief enough for the average church
  • Be certain the statement defines the direction God wants the church to go and not the methods to be used to get there.


Once the process is complete, more ownership should be generated through circulating the statement to deacons, church counsel, and other groups. Discuss with them the tentative statement.

We have a great statement, now what? You are ready to present the mission statement to the church for adoption. Once approved, publish it on everything possible. Above all, use it to determine actions the church will participate in. If the action does not work toward accomplishing the mission, then it should not be considered as an official activity of the church. Imagine every activity of the church working toward your mission. Would your church become less like a club house and become a more powerful force in your community? The answer is yes!

I pray this lesson will help you to understand the mission purpose statement and bring a confidence to tackle the task of revising or writing a mission purpose statement for the first time. You can use it as a guideline, adjusting the details to fit your church environment. Following these simple guidelines, you will be able to lead your church in creating an effective and useful mission purpose statement.

To see if Church Growth Associates can help your church, click here;  Can Church Growth Associates help my church? A consultant will contact you to hear your story.

Rev. Rick Robinson is a church growth consultant helping churches of all sizes with church growth and evangelism strategies. Check out our iconsultations and Onsite Consultations


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Where the complexity of church growth intersects with the simplicity of the gospel

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Jailhouse Rock

In November of 1957 the movie Jailhouse Rock was released. In addition to Elvis Presley, the film cast a young Dean Jones as a radio disc jockey. (Dean Jones was the guest star in our Christmas presentation a few years ago at Idlewild Baptist Church.) Leading Lady Judy Tyler was killed in a car wreck just three days after the filming was completed. That is a sobering thought about the uncertainty of life.

Jailhouse Rock is a story of a man (Elvis) who has a change of character. While he is in jail for manslaughter, he performs in the prison show. Elvis decides to make a career of music after his release, but success goes to his head. Through bad decisions and circumstances, he learns about relationships and what is really important.

This is not a movie review of Jailhouse Rock, but a story of the original “Jailhouse Rock”. Paul did some of his best work while he was in prison. Though he previously was responsible for the death of many Christians, he committed no crime until he began to preach the gospel. The strength Paul experienced while he was in jail came from Jesus Christ, the “Rock”. The Lord was Paul’s jailhouse Rock.

Isaiah 26:4

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

God doesn’t protect His servants from trouble, but it is His character to preserve them through trouble. Sufferings or troubles are not always the chastening of God or the result of sin or bad decisions. Look at the attitude of Paul while he writes to Timothy while he is in jail for preaching the gospel. He wanted his jail time to encourage others to believe on Jesus, and he wanted those who already believe, to be inspired by his trials.

2 Timothy 2:8-10

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

Paul wrote that even though he was in chains, God’s word is not chained. Even though he was in chains, Paul’s tongue was not chained either. He led the jailhouse guards to Christ every chance he got. Sometimes, I confess my tongue is in chains, and that I don’t speak up for Jesus Christ, as I should. Even though I am faithless, He is still faithful because that is His character.

Are you suffering from being chained by finances? Are you in chains because of a health issue? Are you in prison, hurting over relationship problems? These can all leave you feeling like you are locked in a jail. These will tend to make your tongue act as though it were also in chains when it comes to sharing Christ’s love. Do your circumstances need to change or does your character need to experience a change?

We miss out on many blessings because of our lack of faith, but I have discovered many times, when I do not believe–God is still faithful. He will not change His character based upon my own.

2 Timothy 2:13

if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

The word of Rick Robinson depends upon my character. The word of you, dear reader, depends upon your character. The word of God then, depends upon the character of God. How many times are you guilty of not knowing the character of God? Not knowing the character of God will lead to uncertainty in your prayer life, fear to take action, abuse of your freedom in Christ, and a host of other failures. Your character may change, but the Lord’s character will remain faithful.

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

You might do your best work while you are in that prison if you trust in the character of God instead of your own. The word of God is with you, but not in chains with you. Even when your character fails to shine in your circumstances, the character of God is to bring peace, and grace to sustain us when we trust Him. Is Jesus Christ your jailhouse Rock?

Psalm 18:2

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Deuteronomy 32:4

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

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