I remember being in high school wanting to graduate and get on with my life. I was antsy, ready for college and wanted to spread my wings and fly. Looking back on my life there are some things I wish I was more disciplined in as a younger person.
When I married and graduated college, I had a choice to make. What type of life did I want to build? Our role is to teach the Next Generation key building blocks in life. This Sunday at 217church, we will share our vision for reaching the generation. Our hope is they will surpass anything we have been able to accomplish!
I made a decision from the age of eighteen to Live Differently and build a life that was centered on key things my parents had taught me, and twenty years later, I am glad I made those choices. Now I am committed to develop these building blocks in others.
“He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” Luke 6:48
Over these years I have watched people (including myself) make terrible mistakes in the following four areas. I am convinced, if we can get control of the below areas, our lives will begin to look more like a disciple of Jesus. These are benchmarks that will reflect a well built life!
Four Building Blocks of Life
1. Spiritual Fervor – Are you listening to the Spirit of God?
This week I was listening to a very thorough explanation of how Jesus left with us the Holy Spirit and how He still works. I was reminded of how much we can ignore God in our every day life because of all the distractions that get in the way. Sometimes the Spirit tells us to do something and we are a coward, and other times we just have too many other things in our life to listen to Him. Every major decision in life needs to be made by listening to the voice of God. This means, we pray, read the word, write our thoughts, take sabbath, and overall learn to be in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Your life begins with a relationship with Jesus. Your very life depends on the Holy Spirit!
2. Relational Cooperation – Do you forgive others and keep short accounts?
This starts with your spouse, kids, parents, brother, and sisters, your nuclear family, and extends to those you work and do life with. Bitterness and un-forgiveness will ruin your life and destroy your soul. We need to learn to forgive those we live and do life with. No matter how much you have been hurt, it isn’t worth holding a grudge against anyone. Jesus forgives and we are instructed to forgive. It doesn’t mean we enable abuse and neglect, but we always seek the path to forgiveness. Recently after preaching on forgiveness, a woman came up to me and told me God was telling her to go to her husband who cheated on her and tell him, “she forgives him.” My jaw dropped and I told her, “listen to God and do it, we’re here for you!” If you fail to have this block, your moral authority crumbles away and your credibility disappears.
3. Financial Integrity – Are you generous in giving?
Every Christ follower should be on the road to be what I call an “irrational giver.” I believe this starts with giving away 10% of your income. Not for legalism sake, but as a starting point of telling God you trust Him. When you give you emphasize He is the provider of all the resources. We are simply managers. I have referred to giving the first 10% as “training wheels.” When we look FIRST at other’s needs and the advancement of the Kingdom of God, we become aligned with God’s purpose and he WILL USE US! Selfishness and irresponsible financial management will lead to your ruin. Our giving should be joyful, regular, and sacrificial. Give, provide for your family, pay your taxes and always seek to ask, “how much should I give?”
4. Physical Disciplines – Are you intentional about how you treat your body?
Food, exercise, sleep and our mental health are spiritual issues. Many people eat whatever they want, fall prey to addiction both substance and sexual, over work themselves, and fail to exercise. This is a recipe for premature death and a toxic life. Your body matters to God! The bible says our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. This means we should be paying attention to taking care of our physical health. It doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon and bench press 400 pounds, but it does mean you should ask God how He wants you to take care of the body he gave to you.
Build it smart, build it steady and it will stand.
It’s going to be an INCREDIBLE weekend!
217church is a multi-site church in Mercer County NJ with small groups for families in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater. Our new East Windsor Campus is meeting Sunday November 10th. If you are looking for a church in Mercer County NJ, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services in Hamilton at 9:30 or 11 am! Visit www.217church.com. If you want to be in on the ground floor of a new exciting church plant, contact our East Windsor Campus Pastor Justin Bronson at firstname.lastname@example.org.