At Your Service Lord

shutterstock_184909931What is the secret of greatness?  If you went to the people of Wall Street and asked them this question, they would say “money.” If you traveled to Hollywood and asked the stars, they would say, “fame.”  Yet the greatest Man who ever lived, Jesus Christ, had a very counter cultural answer when asked about the secret to greatness.
In Matthew chapter 20:26, Jesus said, “whoever wants to become great must be a servant to others.”  Christ reiterated this truth when He said, “For even I didn’t come to be served, but to serve others and give My life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
You see, as a follower of Christ, you were saved to serve.  That is the very definition of a “follower;” you follow. You imitate your Master.  Think about it this way: why didn’t God take you to Heaven the moment you got saved?  There can only be one explanation.  He has a job for you to do here on earth!  And that “job” is to be a servant to Christ and the people around you.
This is why Cross Pointe Church exists.  We believe we are called to lead people to be different through knowing Christ, growing in Christ, and impacting the world through serving Christ and sharing Christ.  That, my friend, is your purpose.
The opportunities and options are endless when it comes to being a servant in God’s Kingdom.  Today, ask God to create in you the attitude of a servant.  Ask yourself, “how can I be a servant to others today?” And, “how can I be involved in serving the Church of Christ?” It may be Jesus’ most difficult attribute to embrace, but the call to service is the greatest call of all.
–James Merritt

God’s Favorite Day

Do you know what God’s favorite day is? I can tell you unequivocally, and without hesitation, that God’s favorite day is today. Now I don’t mean Sunday. I would say that if today were Monday or Thursday or Saturday.

You see, I trust that God did work in your life yesterday. I know He wants to work in your life tomorrow. But the only day He can work in your life is today. The only day you can better the past, or prepare for the future, is today. Listen to this statement:

Our Lord knows that the most important period of time is always “the now.” He knows that your “nows” will soon become your yesterdays, and that if you live each “now” well, you will have no regrets. He also knows that your “nows” determine your future, and that when the future becomes “now,” it will be good if you have lived each past moment well. –James Lord

I hope you served God yesterday, I pray you will serve Him tomorrow, but the only day you can serve Him is today.

Today is the only day you can enjoy. You can’t enjoy yesterday, it is only a memory. You can’t enjoy tomorrow, it is only a possibility. You can really only enjoy today. Whether or not you enjoy today is up to you.

–James Merritt

We Can Know God

If there is anything this post-modern culture that we live in is sure of it is that you cannot be absolutely sure of anything. You can believe in many things. You can be passionate about a lot of things, but nothing can be known absolutely, especially in the area of spirituality and morality.

I discovered this quote by Gandhi that serves to emphasize the almost universal uncertainty that is associated with religious belief of any kind. When he was asked why he tried to persuade people of his political beliefs, but not his religious beliefs, he said this – “In the realm of the political and social and economic, we can be sufficiently certain to convert; but in the realm of religion there is not sufficient certainty to convert anybody and therefore, there can be no conversions in religions.”

The post-modern view of God–that is if there is a God–is that nothing certain can be known about God and you certainly cannot know Him personally. Let me make a concession here. If the Bible is not God’s word and if God has not spoken to us and revealed Himself through His word, then the post-modernist is absolutely right.

But the idea that we cannot know God is simply not true. The Bible says in Jeremiah 9:23-24: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom or the mighty man and his might, or the rich man and his riches. Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know Me and understand that I am the LORD… I, the LORD, have spoken!'”

God not only says that we can know Him, but that we can brag about it! Now if the biblical world view is true, then we can know God personally. We can know God eternally and we can know that we know God now and forever. I find it incredible that God not only says that we can know Him, but that we can indeed boast about it!

–James Merritt

There is a business man in India by the name of Bahadur Chand Gupta. He has developed a very unique business. He bought an old Airbus 300 and parked it in the city of Delhi. Each week this disabled airplane is opened for tours so Indians, who have never flown, can pay the equivalent of about four dollars, U.S. money, to sit on an airplane that is no longer in operation.

Customers get to relax in a seat, listen to a pilot make announcements over the sound system and even be served by flight attendants. The jet never moves, but these so called “passengers” have the experience of being inside a plane as if they were flying. They will never know the thrill of seeing the clouds from beneath them rather than about them. They will never have the experience of flying through the air at hundreds of miles an hour. They will never experience the thrill of a take-off or the joy of a landing.

These people walk on to this plane, buckle themselves in, watch a safety demonstration and when they look out the windows the landscape never changes. In fact, the airplane they use has only one wing and a large part of the tail is missing. In a country where 99% of the population have never been on an airplane, this business has proved to be extremely successful.

To so many people church is really no different. People come into a church and they sit in a comfortable seat, listen to music, hear a pastor give a message and they let other people serve them, but all the while they are never going anywhere. They never really worship. They settle for a second rate experience–never really connecting with God and wonder why worship for them is so boring.

When you realize that you can come into the presence of God as one of His children and that the God who created all of this wants to lead you and love you and live inside of you and spend eternity with you, we ought to be excited about who we worship. I realize that we are so self-conscious and we are so afraid of what other people might think if we show any expression, any emotion, or give off any energy in worship. All I am saying is if we started thinking less about what other people might think about us and more about what God thinks about us it might completely change the way we come into His presence and worship.

–James Merritt

Heirs to the Kingdom

Experts now say that even without a documented connection to some notable ancestor, the odds are virtually one-hundred percent that every person on Earth is descended from one royal person or another. It works the other way as well by the way. Anyone who had children more than a few hundred years ago is likely to have millions of descendants today – quite a few of them famous.

For example, King Edward III who ruled during the 14th century had nine children and counts among his descendants: presidents–George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Zachary Taylor, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, authors–Lord Bryon, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barret Browning, General Robert E. Lee, scientist Charles Darwin and actors–Humphrey Bogart, Aubrey Hepburn and Brooke Shields. Think about that. You may be a royal blue-blood right now and not even know it.

You get into the human family, the Adam family, by the same way Jesus did by physical, biological, birth. But to get into the Jesus family, it has to be through means of a spiritual birth. The first time you are born, you are born into the family of Adam, but when you are born again, you are born into the family of Jesus Christ.

In the genealogy of Jesus, God shares with us an unbelievable truth that anyone can become a part of the greatest royal family of all–the family of not just “a” king, but the “King of Kings.” Anyone can have as their father, not just a king who sits on an earthly throne, but “the” king who sits on the throne of the universe.

–James Merritt