Well, it’s still chapter 3 and there’s something else that has caught my attention…and my heart. It’s verses 4 and 5. I want to share it with you from 3 different translations:
Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. (New Living Translation)
Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up, expecting to get something from them. (The Message)
Peter and John, looking straight into the eyes of the crippled man, said, “Look at us!” Expecting a gift, he readily gave them his attention. (The Passion Translation)
Peter and John stared at him. “Look at us!” Peter said. So the man watched them closely. He expected to receive something from them. (God’s Word Translation)
The phrases that the Spirit highlights for me in all these translations is the response of that man who was unable to walk since his birth. In each translation there is that word (or a form of it) EXPECTATION! And what caused that sense of expectation in this man who never expected to walk? This man who had begged his whole life and who had no hope of anything else but a lifetime of begging had more than likely looked at some people and knew, “Well, they aren’t going to give me anything.” Why EXPECTATION and why now?
It must have been THE LOOK! Not his looking at them, but THE LOOK that was in the faces of Peter and John. He must have sensed that these men had something for him, something he desperately needed. THE LOOK on their face stirred up something in the man unable to walk, and that something was EXPECTATION! Granted, he didn’t have a clue about what he was going to receive–nonetheless, he knew something was coming. And it was coming.
He could have not looked at them. Or he could have looked at them and missed THE LOOK. But he didn’t because he could not afford NOT to look. Some people live a life of hidden and quiet desperation but not this man. Desperation was written all over him. There was that billboard behind him that everyone could see. And his desperation led to his EXPECTATION when he saw THE LOOK!
And this had led me to today’s musings–actually it’s more like a deep sadness in my heart. It comes from that question that the Holy Spirit has put in my heart. Here is that question:
WHAT HAPPENED TO ‘THE LOOK’?
The western church, meaning in Europe and the U.S.A., continues to be in a state of decline in mainline protestant churches. All around us are people living in desperation just like that man unable to walk. They are LOOKING for answers to calm their deep-seated desperation. They long for EXPECTATION beyond their DESPERATION. So they LOOK anywhere and everywhere…except to the church.
Church, we are living in the perfect time–lives sinking in DESPERATION looking for EXPECTATION of something better. Local churches should be overflowing; instead they are struggling to survive. In a couple of weeks I will be attending another “conference” for my Tribe and there will be reports for disposal of congregations who have closed their doors since last year. What went so DESPERATELY wrong, Church?
It’s THE LOOK that we’ve lost. THE LOOK that says there’s more to living than DESPERATION! THE LOOK that opens eyes to the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God! THAT, my friends, is what Peter and John had. Oh, we have A look, but it’s not’s what Peter and John had.
Church, we have a history of a different look. Our culture has seen a different look–
the look of contempt for our culture
the look of judgment and condemnation
the look of disapproval
the look of “I’m much better than you”
the look of “You don’t belong with us”
And so, the lives of DESPERATION look away from us. And who would blame them. I once served a church that had beautiful, I mean beautiful stained glass windows. To protect them they had installed Plexiglas protectors on the outside. But over the years they were no longer clear, only a dingy yellow. It prevented those on the outside from seeing the beauty of those windows. The only way to see them was from inside. And that was the message that church was sending. “If you want to see these windows, you need to be an insider, someone like us.” I don’t know if they ever replaced them. So I’m guessing outsiders still can’t appreciate the beauty that has been hidden from them.
Church, we need to give up our look for THE LOOK!THE LOOK that says, “I’ve been where you are, and truth is, I still struggle at times. But I have found The Way out and I’m working on my journey out of DESPERATION. Tell you what, let’s walk out together!” THE LOOK is one of–
and so much more
In fact, THE LOOK is looking just like Jesus! The sick and sinful were drawn in to Jesus because of THE LOOK and they will be drawn in today when we have THE LOOK rather than our own look. Is your church declining? Then I would highly encourage you to find a mirror, and LOOK at yourself. If you don’t see a face that is broken, a face that is crying for all those people living in desperation, you need a face transplant–you need The Face of Jesus!
Remember, love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him!
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” He said. 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand into the wound in My side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”28 “My Lord
and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You
believe because you have seen Me. Blessed
are those who believe without seeing Me.”
Doubt can be called the leprosy of
faith, eating away at our hearts until we are unable to sustain that
Doubt can be called a thief,
robbing us of the truth of God’s unfailing grace.
Doubt can be calledblindness, causing us to believe that God doesn’t love
Doubt can be calleddemoralizing, making us feel unworthy to ask God to forgive
Doubt can be calleddeafening, denying us the ability to hear God calling us to
Doubt CAN Be All Of This WHEN We Refuse To Acknowledge It And
Deal With It In The Presence Of God.
This leads me to the one thing you need to remember:
Knowing About Jesus Is No Substitute For Knowing Jesus In Our Heart.
It seems that after I turned 50, a lot of my notions
and ideas began to change, and one of them is about Thomas. When someone doubts something, we often say,
“Oh, don’t be such a doubting Thomas.”
Doubting Thomas. What a moniker
to be stuck with nearly 2,000 years later.
Now I have come to a different opinion of Thomas.
Some of it has come out of my own personal
experiences, and some of it has come by reflecting more on the Scriptures
without the usual and typical comments people make about him. I have found that Thomas’ strength comes out
of what WE
Be fair to Thomas.
He wasn’t there the first time Jesus appeared to some of the disciples—the
same disciples who Doubted the report of Mary and the
other women. And don’t make a big deal
about him not being there. The
scriptures do not say why he wasn’t there.
Maybe the others sent him out to Burger King for some
food, or to Publix for some groceries.
They were afraid of the Sanhedrin, but it was Thomas who said, “Let
us go to Jerusalem with Jesus that we may die with Him.” He’s not afraid of the Sanhedrin, send him
out. And we don’t know When
Thomas was back with the other disciples.
And it doesn’t matter When he came back. Point is, He Came Back!
Now they are telling him, “We saw Jesus and He’s
alive! Isn’t that great Thomas?” And Thomas should believe them, right? After all, these guys believed the women’s
report from the cemetery. I mean, James
and John were fishermen and we all know fishermen never lie.
And there’s Matthew who was a tax collector and
everyone knows how truthful and honest tax collectors are. And there’s Peter telling the same story and
we all know how reliable and stable Peter is.
And Mary Magdalene is saying the same thing, and everyone knows she’s
always been the sanest person around. I
mean, with these kinds of witnesses, Thomas should be saying. “All right!
I just knew Jesus would do something else!”
But Thomas doesn’t say that. His response to all these witnesses is: “Unless I see . . . I won’t believe it.” I have come to like Thomas and even more—I
love his response. Of all the
things said by them after the resurrection, Thomas makes the most profound
statement of all. His Heart Is The Heart Longing
For Faith. He does not want
to be known as the doubter. His heart
wants to believe in the deepest way possible.
So I have sat in the class taught by none other than
Thomas, and I want you to join me as Thomas teaches us some powerful lessons
about what it means to be a Real
Disciple of the Risen Jesus! Don’t
call him the Missing Disciple. Simply mark the role of who is there and who
is not present. Don’t read more into
this than what’s here.
Sure, he may have had his doubts about why Jesus had
to die, but so did all the others. They
have been on a roller coaster ride. One
day Jesus is hailed as King, and a few days later called a criminal.
Each of them had their own notions about what Jesus
should do. Each of them was weighed down
with the traditions they had been taught about the Messiah. And Jesus met none of their expectations or
traditions. It was bound to be
disappointing. But none of them seem to
say what they are feeling. None of them
seem to be willing to deal with their doubts.
Only Thomas has the courage And The Faith to deal
with his doubts. And here is the first
lesson Thomas teaches us:
1. Doubting Can Be The Most Fertile Ground For
Faith To Grow.
When We Seriously Deal With Our Doubts Before God, It’s Ripe For
Growth. Why do you try to hide your doubts from
God? Do you honestly think God doesn’t
know when you doubt? Life can be tough
and there can be lots of things that make us question our faith and even
question our God’s goodness and love.
A child is stillborn.
A promising high school student dies in an automobile accident. A trusted spiritual leader falls flat on his
face. Someone’s son commits
suicide. A faithful leader and servant
in church dies from ALS. My Mother
suffered from dementia. Bad things,
horrible things happen to good people.
So we seek God’s counsel. We pound on the doors of heaven but there’s
no answer. But because of the seed of
faith that God put in us, we keep on pounding. And It Is Faith Making Us Pound On Heaven’s Door
Because We Know There’s No Other Place Where We Can
Find The Answer. It is
in these moments that our faith can grow the deepest—when we know that we can
keep coming back and that God will not stop loving us. Where else can Thomas turn with these
Their word about the Resurrection is not enough for Thomas.
Their experience does not satisfy the hungering and thirsting of his heart.
Thomas is living out one of those beatitudes: Blessed Are Those Who Hunger And Thirst For Righteousness For They Will Be Satisfied! In my imagination, I can just see Jesus doing a fist pump when Thomas makes that declaration and saying, “He gets it! I’m proud of Thomas! Just look at that hunger of his!”
So Thomas says out loud for everyone to hear: “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands,
put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe
it.” And if you are paying attention,
you will hear the second lesson from Thomas:
2. You Can’t Live On The Experiences Of Others!
Some people never get close enough to God, they never surrender
their heart completely—in order to have a faith story about
God in their life. They Want Just Enough Of God In
Their Life To Feel Comfortable In Their Complacency.
They listen to the stories of others and protect the
traditions and say “This is enough! This
is all I need!” And Those Without That Genuine
Experience Will Fight For Those Traditions More
Than They Will For The Message And Ministry Of Jesus Christ. Our culture is sick to death of precious
traditions and ancient stories. They told
their story. But Thomas wanted more.
And the good news for those witnesses is this: They Were So Genuine, So Convincing That Thomas Wanted That Same Presence In His Life! No Bible stories about Jesus for Thomas, no sir! He wanted the real presence. And our culture wants none of the traditions and ancient stories—
But They Do Want A Genuine, Authentic Story Of What Jesus Is Doing Right Here And Now In Relationship With Us.
The Greek word for I see is eidō. It means more than to see with the eye. It Means: To Cherish. To cherish means we recognize the real value. There are many things we cherish which have little or no monetary value. But they are important to us because they have personal meaning.
Resurrection Had To Have Personal Meaning For Thomas Or It Was Nothing.
To cherish the Resurrection, it must have personal
meaning for us. Thomas wanted the
relationship, not the Cliff Notes and not the Readers’ Digest version. And if you are paying attention to Thomas,
you now know the third lesson he teaches us:
3. He Stayed Until Jesus Came To Him!
Even with those doubts Thomas stayed with it for 8 days. And because he did, he was there when Jesus came again.
Our Doubts Never Disqualify Us From The Relationship God Seeks To Have With Us.And Our Doubts Do Not Disqualify Us From Serving God.
Thomas chose to hang in there, to wrestle and struggle and seek for himself the reality of the Risen Lord. His hunger for God couldn’t be satisfied with “their” story—he knew that the only way his hunger would be satisfied is through HIS own story.
Personally, I would rather go into battle with 1
Doubting Thomas than 100 comfortable pew sitters. There are too many sitting in churches this
morning who want an Easy Faith, so easy even a caveman can do it. They want it to be neat and tidy. But life isn’t so neat and tidy, and Jesus
That’s why Jesus came back 8 days later for Thomas, to
bless Thomas with His presence. Some
people look at verse 29 and think Jesus is chastising Thomas: “Why couldn’t you believe without seeing?” But most of the ancient manuscripts do not
use Thomas’ name. The pronoun used by
John can be plural: Jesus said to THEM.
Literally it says: “Blessed
are they, believed, and now you (plural) are blessed; yet no less blessed those
be who believe in my resurrection, without the evidence.”
Now I understand: the blessing is equal for Thomas and the others and for us. Their blessing is not greater than ours, nor is ours greater than theirs.
The Blessing Is In Coming Face To Face With Jesus.
And if you are struggling to believe, then remember
He Stayed Until Jesus Came To Him, And Jesus Did. And Jesus Will Come To You.
life can be a real mess and the upheaval can feel like an erupting
volcano. What do you do when life is like
that? What do you do when there are more
questions than answers? What do you do
when the neat answers don’t fit the messy questions?
Be a Doubting Thomas.
It’s looks like this:
Refuse To Settle For Neatly Packaged Answers That Rarely,
If Ever, Satisfy The Heart.
Don’t Be Content With What Someone Else Says About Jesus.
Yearn For Your Experience—Know That The Force And The
Power Of Resurrection Can And WILL Have Meaning For You!
Have That Unquenchable Thirst And Appetite To Cherish
The Living Presence Of Jesus Himself.
Our culture isn’t interested in our traditions or
stories told of long ago. But they are interested
in and are hungry for a relationship. Be a Thomas—and hang in there, because Jesus
is coming to you. A lot of people know
ABOUT Jesus, and that is good—But…It…Is…Not…Good…Enough!
The Gospel insists and demands that you KNOW Jesus
personally. Have you been
struggling? Doubts can only lead to
growth when we bring them into the presence of God.
The Good News about bringing our doubts to God is
this: Jesus is coming for you, and He’s
coming with the blessing. Will you
accept Him today?
Do You Know More About Jesus In
Your Head Than You Have Experienced In Your Heart? Then today is
the day like Thomas had—to experience the Risen Lord and fall in love with
Him—and His beauty. To give up WHAT you
know, for the One who knows you and desires for you to know Him!
Are You Having Any Doubts
About The Future About This Place? Thomas was looking for a future with Hope And
Promise. He would not have
found it unless he brought it to Jesus.
When he brought those doubts to Jesus, everything changed. I’m asking you to bring your doubts about the
future of this place to Jesus. It
changed the outlook of Thomas—it will change your outlook, too!
The Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles Hummel is a
small booklet with a big punch. Written
for the business world its message rings true in the Kingdom Life. As a pastor I understand how the urgent
becomes a tyrannical dictator of my time.
There have been times I felt more like a firefighter in the church, than
when I was in the fire department; running here and there putting out fires
caused by human friction. At other times
I felt more like a referee than a coach, separating players rather than
directing them. If for no other reason,
I understand how mothers and fathers can fall victim to the tyranny of the
There is one sentence which really hits me hard, and maybe some of you. And it’s the one thing you must remember this morning:
Don’t Let The Urgent Take The Place Of The Important In Your Life!
Charles Hummel, The Tyranny of the Urgent
For you mothers, let me give
you some examples of the urgent: getting
supper on the table on time; the unexpected guest who arrives at supper time;
those stacks of clothes by the washing machine; that spider web in the corner;
paying bills; the Mom Taxi; and in the summer time putting up those vegetables
for later consumption.
These are a few of the
urgent things which we think require our immediate attention. Believe me, the urgent will really fight,
claw and scream for attention. It will
plead for our time and make us think we’ve done the right thing by calming our
nerves when we give in to the urgent.
But the tragedy of this is
that while you and I were putting out the fires of the urgent, the important
was left in a holding pattern. It’s Interesting
To Me That The Tyranny Of The Urgent Will Scream And Shout For Attention, But
The Important Is Neither Noisy Nor Demanding. It patiently and quietly waits for us to
realize its significance. In this
moment, let’s forget the urgent and ask ourselves: “What’s
really important to me?” Say
it out loud.
This is a big question,
maybe one you need some time to think about. It’s one I need to think about often, but not
until I get so many irons in the fire that I find myself like the person
standing on the stairs wondering, “Was I going up or down?” Then I have to separate the important from
Let me give you some insights into real life:
1. We tend to lose vitality as individuals and as the church rather than gain it as time passes.
2. We tend to give greater attention to what we WERE rather than what we are BECOMING. It’s easier to look back and smile on yesterday’s accomplishments rather than look ahead to the future and think about tomorrow’s possibilities.
God’s people are not meant
to be museum pieces placed and anchored on a shelf to collect dust. We are
alive, moving and active people called by God to make an impact on a world that isn’t quite sure which end is up
and it certainly doesn’t ask for our help, and often treats our help with hatred
and contempt. To move forward
as a family and as The People Of God, we need to determine to keep our lives in
step with where God is active and moving!
Look at today’s
passage: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13 (NLT)
Even though Paul’s visit was
brief, his coming was not a wasted effort.
It may have been brief, but it was not in vain. Paul pinpoints the characteristics of his
life and ministry there. In doing so, he
gives us 4 essential steps for every mother, parent, in fact, for all of us.
1. Our First Step Is To Be
Biblical. verses 2-4
You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition. So you can see we were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives or trickery.For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the
Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.
I am confident that there was a constant barrage of urgent needs pounding away in Paul’s mind, but he made sure that his life and ministry were firmly fixed first and foremost, on the Scriptures. Did you catch his thoughts as we read:
►When he faced strong opposition, it was the Gospel he proclaimed. ►His motives were not impure but driven by The Truth Of The Word. ►And he considered The Word Of God something entrusted to him and that Word gave him such peace and confidence that he didn’t feel the need to be a people pleaser.
Even though it may sound old
fashioned, the first and most significant step we must take is to make the
Scriptures a part of our lives. A Word
mentality is the secret to being able to turn a deaf ear to the shouts of the
urgent, and hear the soft voice of the important. We must daily soak ourselves in the Word—not
by dissecting it piece by piece, but by seeing the magnificence of the whole
For sure it’s rare, and it
leads to a great deal of self-examination.
But did you catch the end of vs.
4? “He alone examines the motives of our hearts.” As we soak up the truth of God’s word, it
goes to work on us. It goes beyond what
the surgeon’s scalpel can touch—the soul, the spirit, thoughts, attitudes—the
very essence of our being. God uses His
truth to shape us and mature us in our walk with Him. Be determined that we are not going to allow
the tyranny of the urgent to steal from us all those important moments with God
in His Word.
2. The Second Step Paul Gives Is
Be Authentic! Verses 5-6
Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know. And
God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get
your money! As for human praise, we have
never sought it from you or anyone else.
For a moment, Paul moves the
emphasis from the Message to the messenger.
Even though he was an apostle, a genuine first century big shot, he did
not push for the spotlight. He resisted
being a power abuser. He used the
authority of Truth, Wisdom And Experience.
This was the type of leader Paul was.
He did not take advantage of his role.
Right alongside his desire to be biblical was his desire to be
The dictionary defines authentic by suggesting 3 things it is NOT:
►it’s not imaginary;
►it’s not false;
►it’s not an imitation.
Today we would say that being authentic means not being phony; free of the hype that so permeates our world. Let’s make this a priority in our homes and our churches. In the midst of all that’s called fantastic or super or awesome—let’s work hard at being real.
This means we are free to
question; to admit failure or weakness; to confess wrong; and to declare
truth. Great mothers, great Christians,
great saints are not those who look super pious. Dr. David Naglee, in whose classes I learned
so much about the Bible, once said: “The more I study the Bible, the more I
realize how much I don’t know!” You
don’t have to be perfect or expect perfection, just be real. Authentic people enjoy life more. They don’t take themselves so seriously. They actually laugh and cry and think more
freely because they have nothing to prove—no image to protect—no role to
play. They have nothing to
hide. As we study the Word, let’s also
be committed more to being authentic and less to being superficially pious!
3. The Third Step Is To Be
Gracious! Verses 7-11
Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among
you? Night and day we toiled to earn a
living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good
News to you. You yourselves are our
witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all
of you believers. And you know that we
treated each of you as a father treats his own children.
Paul had a Grace-Filled
Spirit! Did you hear his word
pictures? He cared for them like they
were his children. He didn’t want to
dump a truckload of theological data on them.
He wanted to share not only the Gospel, but his life with them as
well. As parents, and especially as the
church, we have to be careful not to become so judgmental that we forget to be
compassionate. Yes, there are times to
be firm, but we must remember to weave the thread of grace into our talk and
We must remember that people
are far more important than rigid rules and demanding expectations. Somehow, we must regain The Idea That People Are More Important, PERIOD! If my children can’t remember all the rules I
laid down, that is all right—as long as they can remember the sound of laughter
in our home. This point was driven home
when Leslie once wrote an essay for her high school English class, on ME! It ended up in the teen section of the Times
Daily. Now, I don’t remember exactly
what she wrote, probably because I chose to forget it—but I do remember the
laughter we shared over it. Be
gracious! Now, one more step to bind all
4. Our Fourth Step Is To Be Available! Verse 13
We never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us,
you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of
God—which, of course, it is. And this
word continues to work in you who believe.
Make yourself available
wherever people are. If we are going to
reach our children, grandchildren and society in this 21st century,
we must make our presence a high priority!
That’s exactly what Jesus did. He
met people as they were, not as they ought to be. Angry young men, proud politicians, loose
living street walkers, dirty and naked victims of demonism, and grieving parents
all received equal time, and because He did, they hung on every word Jesus had
Even though He could have
blown them away with His power and authority, Jesus intentionally related to
them on their level. And I am concerned
that it is we, the Church, who have hauled His cross out of sight. It is we, the church, who have left the
impression that the cross belongs only in the sophisticated halls of academia
or surrounded by beautiful stained glass.
We must bring the cross out where people live! Before God can raise them up, we must reach
out to them on their grounds—to literally take the cross into the world!
Now, let’s go back to something I said at the beginning:
The Tyranny Of The Urgent Will Scream And Shout For Attention, But The Important Is Neither Noisy Nor Demanding. It Patient And Quietly Waits For Us To Realize Its Significance.
The tyranny of the urgent will always out-shout the essential nature of the important—if we let it! The secret in is taking the right steps:
Set a firm foundation—Be
Apply the truth of
Develop a compassionate
Meet people where they are—Be
When we do this,
Christianity becomes something that is absorbed, not just worn. It is more than believed, it is
incarnated. Are you imprisoned by the
tyranny of the urgent? Then be set free
by what’s really important—this life in Christ—the Kingdom Life!
Are you consistently taking
all 4 of these steps? If not, God
invites you to His altar to confess it—agree God is right; and to repent—turn
away from it. If you are not already
doing it, come and renew your commitment or make your first commitment
to—Scripture, Authenticity, Graciousness, and Availability—the children in your
life, and to a world that desperately needs you to be this!
3 Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.2 Timothy 1:3-7 (NLT)
Does anyone here know The
Chaos Theory? No, it’s not a
way to describe what happens daily in Washington D.C. and Montgomery, though we
could make a good argument for it. Chaos
Theory is the science of surprises, of the unusual and the unpredictable. It Teaches
Us To Expect The Unexpected.
most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like
gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with things
that are practically impossible to predict or control, like turbulence,
weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on.
Theory maintains that a very small change will make a system behave completely
differently. Very small changes in the
starting position of a system that is subject to chaos, make a big difference
after a while. Something happens at a
certain point in time that will produce much bigger result than can be
Norton Lorenz was an American mathematician, meteorologist, and a pioneer of The
Chaos Theory. It started out as a
mathematic theory, but before long, it was being applied to every aspect of
science, economics, human behavior, and social development. He noticed it by rounding decimals—that even
rounding a number up or down by 1 one-thousandths will create an entirely
introduced and coined the term The
Butterfly Effect to explain The Chaos Theory. In an over-simplification, The
Butterfly Effect states that if a butterfly in Africa flaps its
wings at the right moment, the air it moves will lead to the formation of a
hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Meaning,
had the butterfly NOT flapped its wings, the hurricane would not have happened.
insane, doesn’t it? But there are
scientists who insist it is true.
bring The Chaos Theory and The Butterfly Effect and apply it to nations. Anyone here know the name Gavrilo Princip? Well you should. Gavrilo hated a certain man and his pregnant
wife. He went up to them, pulled out a
gun and killed the man, his wife and their unborn baby. Now do you know him? His act of killing Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his
wife, Duchess Sophie, led to 37 million people either being killed or
wounded. It was called World War 1. Butterfly Effect
Butterfly Effect into another realm—the realm of people, society and
culture. Who here knows Philo Taylor
Farnsworth? He grew up in a home that
did not have electricity until he was 14.
Yet he successfully demonstrated the first television signal
transmission on September 7, 1927. Who
can deny the impact of TV?
Now let’s look at The Butterfly Effect within the spiritual context. Remember the point of it: “Small Causes Will Have Large Effects”. And to bring this home, let me ask you a question:What Are You Doing To Change The Lives Of People Around You? Think long and hard on that question.
Your Life Has The Potential To Change Another Life—And The Culture Around You.
yes you, can be a mover and a shaker in our community and culture. You can be responsible for The Butterfly
Effect in a person who needs it so much.
God has a purpose for your life—to bring Him Honor and Glory. When you genuinely bring God Honor and Glory it will impact another life. This Is How His Purpose For Your Life Works. Remember that: His Purpose Is HIS Purpose For HIM!
It Is Not To Make Your Life Shine—But To Shine The Glory Of HIS Life Through You! But you must be deliberate with your life. These are serious times, my friends. God has never been, nor will He ever be looking for a casual relationship with anyone. God is looking for serious people who want more than an hour or 2 on Sunday morning.
about Timothy’s grandmother and mother.
We don’t know a lot about them, but there were a lot of people who felt
the impact of their lives. Their impact
continues to be felt today. Their impact
continues to be felt all around the world.
It’s here today, and it will be here the next day and the next—until the
end of time.
Here’s the thing about God’s Glory: Anyone Can Reflect It, And When Someone Reflects That Glory, It Becomes The Butterfly Effect That Reaches Out And Changes Everything. But it takes 3 key, let’s call them, “Immoveable Commitments” By You. Here they are:
1. Make An Immovable Commitment To Be Hungry For God’s Grace!
your ordinary daily life knowing that real life is found only as we live it in
life show others that Grace is what
overcomes the power of sin.
life show others that Grace is what
overcomes the damage of sin.
life show others that Grace is the
place to go when you fail.
life show others that Grace is what you
need when life gets hard and difficult.
life show others that when the
questions of life arise, Grace holds the answer—whether you find the answer
here and now—or you reveal the confidence that one day God will make the answer
We equally need Grace, and if are going to see lives change and cultured transformed—we need to recognize our need for Grace. We often say our world to change, it needs to know its need for God. But I would say it this way: For Our World To Change, The World Needs To See Our Need For God! And when we recognize our need for Grace, it’s easier to then share that Grace.
Grace Does Its Best Work When One Person Transformed By Grace, Shows Grace To Another Person. Butterfly Effect
2. Make An Immoveable Commitment To Live Into
The Bigger Purpose
with the sense and expectation that you are part of something much bigger than
anything else. What Would Jesus Do is a phrase most of us are familiar with.
comes from Charles Sheldon’s book “In His Steps”, where he told
stories of people facing a dilemma between choices, and he would ask the question: “What Would Jesus Do?” The answer to that question is our purpose. And that purpose is to love God and honor Him
by becoming the reflection of Jesus with our attitudes, words and actions.
Our Purpose Is To Think In Ways, Act In Ways, Speak In Ways That Reflect The Real Jesus To The World. To do this you need to Expand your capacity to enjoy God’s presence and reflect His Heart.
3. Make An Immoveable Commitment To Be Get
Involved With God’s Mission
yourself as part of an unfolding story—an ongoing narrative. And the narrative is about God reaching out
into the world to redeem and restore the broken and fallen lives. Too many are living out a story that is way
There’s a word being said frequently to churches wanting to grow. The word is WIG! Not hair! WIG stands for Wildly Important Goal. It’s so wild, it’s impossible for us to do—but it’s possible with God! It comes from that sense of urgency that the Holy Spirit is working in our culture. Without that W.I.G. here’s what we do:
We Dream Too Small.
Our Vision Is Too Short Sighted.
We Muzzle Our Imagination.
It’s time to set our hearts and minds free because we are in the middle of God’s Story! We make a difference in our community and culture—By Our Need For Grace—Through Our Purpose—With Our Mission.
Your Life Has The Potential To Change Another Life—And The Culture Around You. The Butterfly Effect!