GET TOGETHER – DO GOOD TO ALL

GET TOGETHER – DO GOOD TO ALLGa 6:9,10 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Have you ever felt like what you do in the Kingdom is of little significance? Or let me ask you this question. Do you ever get to the point that you no longer feel like doing things in the Kingdom? The Apostle Paul encourages us not to give up. He also encourages us that nothing that we do in the Kingdom is insignificant.

Doing good is something that we as Christians are called to do on an everyday basis. Sometimes when we do good people will greatly appreciate it. At other times when we do good there may be people that are not so appreciative. Never the less as Christians we are called to do good.
I remember early in my Christian journey I was at a training event for lay – people in the part of the Body of Christ that I was serving in at the time. The leader of the training event said something that I have never forgotten. He said that a good remedy for feeling down and out was to do something good for someone. I have found this to be quite true. Not that this will get us to Heaven, but because as redeemed children of God on the way to Heaven it is a blessing that we can partake of.

There is a good chance today that there will be someone around you that you can do good too. Many times, a good word of encouragement and affirmation will bless someone and help them. There may be opportunities to bless someone in a material way. I have found that praying for people no matter where that I see them when they ask for prayer is a great way to do good to people.

Paul stresses how important that it is to do good to those who are of the household of faith. The Greek term here for household is oikeios, oy-ki’-os. That term means one who belongs to a household, or extended family. It means a relative. So not only are we called to do good to those outside the church, but even more so to our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Today ask the Holy Spirit to help you to not get discouraged when it appears that your doing good is not seeming to matter. Because my friend it does matter. Ask Him to help you to see opportunities among non-believers to do good. It is one way that they become believers. Also ask Him to help you to have a greater desire to bless those in the household of faith in some way. Remember Paul says that if we do this that we will in due season reap a reward. 
Let Us Pray 

Lord we thank You for all the people that have done good to us. We ask You today to help us live out this passage. Help us to do good to all people, but especially to those who are of the household of faith.

In Jesus Name

Amen
J.J. and I are so thankful for all of you who have done good to us.

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- Give Cheerfully

GET TOGETHER- Give Cheerfully2Co 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
Let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you give to God! Do you give to others for the Glory of God! Do you give cheerfully? Although certainly this passage has to do with the giving of money. I believe that this principle found in this verse could also be applied to how we give of our time as well as of our financial resources.

In this passage we see that we have the freedom to choose to choose to give. And just as we have the freedom to give with our finances we also have the freedom to choose to give with our time. By the way neither one I don’t believe is a substitute for the other. But we do have that freedom.

The Greek term here for purpose is proaireomai. It means to come to a decision beforehand. Certainly, there are some things that we would not want to give of our financial resources, or time too. On the other hand, there are many wonderful ways to give of our financial resources and our time in the Kingdom. That is why we need the Holy Spirit to help us to be sure that our giving of resources and time is going into good ground.

And we certainly don’t want to have a bad attitude when we give. The Greek term here for grudgingly is lupe, loo’-pay. It means a state of unhappiness, grief, or pain. I pray that none of this describes us as givers. I pray that whne we serve with our time that we don’t do it grudgingly. I pray that we do it cheerfully. The Greek term here for necessity is anagke, an-ang-kay’. It means a general state of distress and trouble. This person never enjoys giving of their time, or their resources. 
Let us look at the cheerful giver. The Greek term here for cheerful is hilaros, hil-ar-os’. It means to be cheerfully happy. Who said that God didn’t promise to make us happy? Today if you are not a cheerful giver would you pray and ask the Lord to help you to become one. He wants to bless you. He will bless you when you give of your resources and time for His Glory in the Kingdom.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You for the blessings of giving. We thank You for those who have given to help us to advance the Kingdom. We thank You for us being able to give to others through our resources and time. We thank you that You gave the greatest gift ever given when You gave your life for us to be forgiven of our sins. It is a blessing and an honor to give in every way into Your Kingdom

In Jesus Name

Amen
PS I do believe in tithing and that should be done cheerfully as well. 
Please pray for the upcoming Kairos weekend at Hamilton A&I and for the beginning of the Upward Sports Flag Football Ministry this weekend.

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

Get Together    Our  Labor Is Not In Vain

Get Together    Our  Labor Is Not In Vain

1Co 15:58 ¶ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

 

            This coming weekend is what we here in the United States call Labor Day weekend. Without getting into all of the history of this holiday I will say what it does mean for many of us who live here in the United States now.

            We for the most part see it as the last holiday of the Summer. Some people will be cooking out.  While others will be chilling out. College football will have some great games scheduled for this weekend.  Schools are closed Monday and the  beaches and resort towns will be full should the weather permit.

            In this Get Together I want to focus on our labor as Christians in the Lord. The Apostle Paul is writing to the church at Corinth.   This is a church that Paul has had to do some correcting in.  He has also taught them many Kingdom principles.  Now he is giving them a word of exhortation to encourage them. He assures them that he loves them.

            Now he tells them to be steadfast. He is really emphasizing this. They live in a very sinful, and sensual city. A city that resembles a lot of our culture today. When sensual things are always being made available to you as a Christian you have to make up your mind that you will be steadfast.   The Greek term for steadfast means to be settled, to be immovable. The Greek term here for immovable means not to be shaken in one’s opinions, or beliefs. Never in my life have I seen such an assault on and temptation to Christians to abandon our basic beliefs.

 

            The enemy wants us to quit. He wants us to pack it in. Paul has a good word for all Christians when the enemy comes in that way. He says keep going in an even greater way.  The Greek term for abounding here means to exist in abundance with the consideration of being considerably more than is expected.  So as a Christian we can be thankful that God offers us the opportunities to be involved in His work. And that he gives us opportunities that are considerably greater than what is normally expected.

            Paul tells them that their labor is not in vain in the Lord. The small things that God calls us to be involved in will not be in vain. The tough things that God calls us to will not be in vain. Nothing no matter what it looks like right now that you are doing in the Kingdom will be in vain. That is good news! Don’t let the enemy convince you otherwise. Believe what God has to say about it!

 

Let Us Pray

Lord we thank You that You involve us in Your work. We thank You that none of it will be in vain.  Today let us hear and obey Your voice  and be about Your business.

In Jesus Name

Amen

 

 

 

Have a great rest of the week. Pray for Texas and Louisiana.

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- MOVE FORWARD WITH THE GOOD NEWS

GET TOGETHER- MOVE FORWARD WITH THE GOOD NEWS
Ps 112:7,8 He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established; He will not be afraid, Until he sees his desire upon his enemies.
As Christians, the only enemy that we really have is Satan and the demonic forces that are under his control. Those forces will often try to get us to give up. They will also try to wear us down and get us focused on them rather than being focused on the Lord Jesus. One of their chief tactics is fear. The Psalmist has some good advice for those who trust in the Lord in Psalm 112. I am only using two verses, but there is more good news in the rest of this Psalm if you choose to go there and read the rest of it. But for now, let’s look at the good news in these two verses. 
First, as a child of God we do not have to fear bad news. We don’t have to be afraid of evil tidings. When the enemy threatens us, our hearts can be steadfast. When our hearts are set up and firm we know that we can stand firmly as children of God and trust God in every situation no matter how unpleasant that it may be. 
We don’t have to walk in fear. This is a consistent promise throughout the Scriptures. Isa 43:1-3 ¶ “But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.” (NKJV). God gave Jesus His only begotten son for our ransom! 2Ti 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
There is also promise for us that we will see our desire upon our enemies. Now remember who our enemies are. They are not people. There is a woman in the Bible that got to see her desire on her enemies. Mr 16:9 ¶ Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. Those demons that had tortured her for so long had to leave. There could have been a spirit of fear in those seven. The Bible doesn’t say, but whatever they were Jesus set her free from the oppression that she was under.

How about you today? Where is the enemy trying to beat you down? Is he telling you that God has left you? Don’t believe that lie. Keep your eyes on Jesus and move forward with the Good News! Don’t let the bad news of the enemy hold you back.

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus we thank You that we can stand on these promises that you paid for with your own precious blood. Today help us to look through the windshield where the Good News is and not in the rearview mirror at our sins and mistakes of the past. 
In Jesus Name

Amen
Blessings to all of you!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- USE YOUR GOOD LOOKING FEET

GET TOGETHER- USE YOUR GOOD LOOKING FEETRo 10:14,15 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Well I am just about to get my strength back after getting back from Guatemala and playing catch up last week. We had an awesome time in Guatemala. Tinsley Gregg became the first person besides J.J. from our congregation to go with me. We entered into the labor of Daniel and Brandi 

McIntyre with Eyes Wide Open Ministries. Their children are also involved in the ministry that they are doing there. We had a powerful time!
While we were there the Lord gave me the blessed opportunity to teach the Pastor’s Seminar. One day I remember using the above passage and I told the Pastors to look at one of their fellow Pastors and tell them that they had some good-looking feet. They looked at me a little weird, laughed and then did it.  
Well we all know that for most of us in the natural our feet aren’t that pleasant to look at. But we are not talking about the natural appearance of our feet here. We are talking about how our feet look once they are washed in the blood of Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit. 
I believe that this passage is not only speaking to Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, but to all Christians that have been born again by our faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
There are people that may not hear unless you tell them. They can’t believe unless they hear. And certainly, preachers and Christian leaders are sent BY God to various places where we are called. But on the other hand, all Christians are sent somewhere. There are some of you reading this that God has sent you to your place of employment. All of have been sent to our families. And there are various other places that God sends us to. It may be the place where you spend your recreational time. It may be the place where you go for coffee. It could be lots of places. 

      

The good news is that we have The Good News! We see so much bad news that it appears that there is no hope for humanity. There is a Hope. His Name is Jesus Christ! Tit 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (NKJV) 
One of the things that challenges me when I go to Guatemala is the commitment level of the Christians there. For them the most important thing going on in their lives is getting the Gospel out. I realize that we live in a different culture. On the other hand no matter what culture that we live in our commitment level should be no lower than those Christians in any other country. So sometime today why not take some time to let the Holy Spirit speak to you about how and where that He wants those good-looking feet that you have to serve Him in the Kingdom. Somebody around you is needing to call on Him. Somebody around you is needing to hear about Him. Somebody around you is needing to believe in Him. Ask Him where He wants to send those good-looking feet. He does have somewhere for you to go . Ps 37:23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.”
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus Lamb of God forgive us for being hesitant to tell others the Good News about Your plan to save us from our sins, heal us from sickness and so many more things that You do for your children. Today give us the words to say to those who need to hear about you.

In Jesus Name

Amen
      

                       Now tell yourself. Self you sure do have some good looking feet!
                        Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

Get Together Your Father Wants to Talk To You

Thanks to all of you who prayed for our trip to Guatemala last week. It was a very fruitful trip. What an honor to get to serve with Brandi and Daniel McIntyre with Eyes Wide Open Ministries in El Morral ,Guatemala. They truly have an awesome Christ centered, Spirit filled ,accountable Ministry there. I am still trying to let the Lord renew my strength today. So with that said here is another Get Together that I did a few years ago. I pray that it is a help to you in this season that we live in. 
Get Together Your Father Wants to Talk To You
Joh 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Be encouraged, I have some good news for you! Did you know that God speaks to people today? There are several ways that God speaks to people. He speaks to them through His Holy Word. He speaks to them through other Christians. He speaks in visions and dreams. Some people that I know and trust have testified that they have heard God speak in an audible voice. I have not, but I don’t believe that it is impossible, because the Scriptures tell us that with God nothing is impossible. He also speaks through that small still voice; “Isa 30:21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.

At one time in my life I would have thought this was way out there somewhere. I remember the first time that someone told me that God had spoken to them about something. A friend of ours by the name of Leslie Glover told me one time that the Lord had told her that I was to attend a three day weekend called the Walk to Emmaus. I thought Leslie was crazy and dodged her at church for several weeks. Finally I went and I realized that God does speak to people and I began to hear the Lord speak as well. That weekend I was born again and life has never been the same.

It is God’s desire to commune with His children. The following passage from the Book of Genesis records how when God created Adam and Eve they had perfect communion with God, but they lost that perfect communion. God desires to restore that communion with those He has created. Are you walking in communion with the Lord and hearing His voice? Read this passage and see if there are any principles there that will help you to walk in communion with God through a relationship with Jesus Christ. I also have listed some principles from the passage that I believe would help us all to walk in communion with the Lord moment by moment and day by day as He desires.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;

“but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'”

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate. “And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:1-13 NKJV).
• The enemy came to interrupt communion with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there are any ways that the enemy has interrupted communion with God in your life.

• The enemy calls God a liar and begins to undermine Eve’s trust in God. Have you allowed the enemy to undermine your trust in God? God wants to restore your trust in Him.

• She falls into a trap that all sin flows out of Ge 3:6 ¶ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise,

Lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life are the three categories that all sin falls under. Is the enemy trying to trap you in any of these areas? Ask the Lord to empower you with the Holy Spirit to resist “Jas 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. See also 1 Peter 5:8-9

• Shame now enters humanity. Are you operating out of a shame based lifestyle or mindset? I once did. There is good news!!!! Look to Jesus Ps 34:5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.

• Rather than desiring fellowship with God, they began to flee from God’s presence. Rather than fearing God, they become afraid of God. Do you desire fellowship with God, or are you fleeing from His presence?. Do you fear God or are you afraid of God? There is a difference. You don’t have to be afraid of God “Mt 11:28-29 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

• They now become excuse makers rather than accepting personal responsibility. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. Our society has taken on an excuse maker mentality. How about you? Are you an excuse maker, or do you accept personal responsibility before God for your actions? David was honest with God. Guess what God forgave him. Ps 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Stand on His word. Be honest with God receive His forgiveness 1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Again be encouraged that you have a Heavenly Father who desires to be with you no matter where you are. He desires to speak to you and commune with you. Today rejoice knowing that Your Heavenly Father loves you that much.
Let us pray:

Father we thank You that You are a good God. We thank You that when our first parents sinned you made a way for fellowship to be restored. Father we thank you today that You have made the way for us to have communion with you according to Ro 5:11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Teach us to hear your voice. Give us the desire to obey Your voice. Empower us to walk in your ways.

                                                                                IN JESUS NAME

                                                                                Amen

Be Blessed 

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- GOD WILL TAKE YOU WHERE FEAR SAYS YOU CAN’T GO

GET TOGETHER- GOD WILL TAKE YOU WHERE FEAR SAYS YOU CAN’T GOIsa 43:1 ¶ But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

God is in the business of allowing His children to partner with Him in advancing His Kingdom upon the earth. He didn’t have to do it that way, but He chose to out of His great love for us. Fear is a tactic that the enemy will try to use to hinder the child of God from accepting the assignments that God has for us.

 

Often the voice of the enemy will come and try to paint a picture that if you step out in faith this is going to happen, or that is going to happen. He will try to get us into so much fear that we become spiritually paralyzed and will not heed what God is calling us to do.

 

The Hebrew term for fear in this passage is yare’, yaw-ray’. It can have a good meaning like showing reverence toward God. But in the context of this passage it means to be frightened, or terribly afraid.

 

When the enemy tries to attack our minds with the spirit of fear we have to prayerfully walking by faith stand on the promises of God. God redeemed Israel from Egypt. He also brought them out of the Babylonian captivity. He is in the restoring and delivering business.

 

You and I need to stand on what God is saying to us in these two verses. First, He created us. He created us for Him and to advance his Kingdom upon the earth. He tells us not to fear. He would not tell us that if He weren’t going to give us reason not to fear. As born-again believers in Jesus Christ we can stand on His words in Lu 12:32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (NKJV)

 

He promises to be with us when we pass through the waters. Sometimes the waters may be swift. Sometimes water can be very unpredictable. Sometimes waters can be murky and we don’t know what is lurking in those waters. Sometimes water can be very powerful and sweep everything away in its path. But He promises us His children that they will not overflow us.

 Sometimes the fires of life can be very hot. We make be facing challenges at our job, profession, or whatever our calling is. The heat can get real hot and the enemy will try to convince us that those fires of life are about to destroy us. But listen to what God says: “When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”

We have to make a decision. Are we going to believe the lies of the devil, or are we going to believe what God has promises us in His Holy Word?

Today if the enemy is throwing fear at you to inhibit you from fulfilling what God is calling you to do whether it be as a parent, executive, political leader, Pastor, Teacher, or any other assignment that is from God. Stand on His promises. You are created! The waters will not overflow you and you will not be burned! May these words from the Apostle Paul become so alive in our lives “2Ti 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” that when the spirit of fear comes the Holy Spirit will release the power to withstand that assault and we with a sound mind will walk in the love of God in a great and mighty way!(NKJV). When we believe this God will take us to the places that fear didn’t want us to go to.

 

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus we thank You that You have made us people of destiny and purpose. We thank You that You defeated the spirit of fear at Calvary’s cross. Today Holy Spirit help us to stand upon every promise of God that is yes and amen in Christ Jesus . Yes, Lord we will go where you send us.

In Jesus Name

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

Would you ask Holy Spirit to give you some names off this list and pray over those names the next few weeks. And if you don’t mind pray for me when the Holy Spirit brings me by you.

 

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

 

 

 

 

 

 

GET TOGETHER – Others Are Important

GET TOGETHER – Others Are ImportantMt 7:12 ¶ “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
I must admit that some of my weakness and shortcomings that the Lord is healing me from are people pleasing, performance, and the opinion of man. And yes, I have been delivered from those demonic spirits, but we also must learn how to walk in a way where we are not only free of those, but realize that we are still called to love and value people.
Sometimes on the other hand we can often go to the other extreme where we don’t value people and we can become self-centered and forget that Jesus has commanded us to love others and to care for them. When Jesus was pressed by the Pharisees about what was the greatest commandment here is how He answered Mt 22:37-39 Jesus said to him,” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The Greek term for like in verse 39 is hom’-oy-os. It means being like something else in some respect. As some of the billboards on the highway used to say Jesus is serious about that loving your neighbor thing. It is a commandment from Him. 
Here are a few questions that I need to ask myself. When I am tempted to fault find another Christian would I want them to fault find me? When I am in the company of a non-Christian can I win them better by treating them as I would want to be treated, or by being a jerk to them? Wasn’t that what Jesus was trying to teach us when He taught the Parable about the Good Samaritan ( Read Luke 10:30-37) ?
One of my favorite passages is Php 2:3” Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” With that said I pray that for all of us in the Body of Christ we will know that just because we are not supposed to be man pleasers, or perform so that we can get the approval of others we are called to love, serve, and value others without any other motive, but loving God, and loving our neighbor. When we do we are obeying what Jesus said to do and we will be about the business of advancing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

Let Us Pray

Lord today we thank You that you have called us to be a people that love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. You have also commanded us to love our neighbor sa ourselves and to do good to them. We need Your help. We also know that some will need Your help in loving us. Help us to love, serve, and treat others the way that you have commanded us to do.
In Jesus Name  

Amen
Please pray for our outreach Mission Hamilton 316 as we go to Chestnut Circle Apartments Friday Night and Key Branch Apartments Saturday morning.
Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- LET GOD DO THE PROMOTING

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GET TOGETHER- LET GOD DO THE PROMOTING
Lu 14:7 -11¶ So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; “and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.
“But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Our culture often puts a big emphasis on promoting ourselves. We see athletes often do this when they make a big play. At other times, we see people running for office having to sell themselves to the voters. Businesses must promote their products. So not all of those things are wrong. But as Kingdom people serving in the Kingdom Jesus has a valuable lesson for us in how we can advance in our walk with Him and we can be used to advance His Kingdom upon the earth.
This past week as a Pastor I took great joy in seeing one of God’s servants advance in a good way. This person serves the Lord in our congregation in several ways. Her name is Cheryl Ortiz. She prints our bulletins, runs the sound booth and serves in several other ways.
The Lord put it on her heart for us to have an evangelism training day. She organized all of the lessons. She taught the classes and prepared the food that we ate. As her Pastor that day I saw her grow as a Christian. As she taught the class she shared how at one time in her life she was terrified to get up in front of her class in Middle School and High School. She would often throw up and not do well on the assignment because of this fear. She got set free of that fear this past Saturday. I believe in the future the Lord will use her to teach other occasions.
I thought about what a good example this was of what Jesus was talking about. She took the lower seat. God gave her an opportunity to move forward this past Saturday and to me it was a good example that if someone humbles themselves they will be exalted. By the way the training session was awesome and the Lord used that time to give us a heart for souls and to also draw us closer to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ!
Yesterday as I was talking to her about how God used her and about leadership she shared with me how that Jesus was a servant leader. He never stopped serving while He was on the earth. He gave us the perfect example. The Bible tells us how he humbled Himself. Php 2:5-7 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
You might say I thought Jesus said that He no longer called us servants, but now He calls us friends. That is true and what a blessing it is to serve a Friend who loves closer than a brother, to serve a Friend who would die for die hard sinners like I was and like you were at one time, or may still be. That is the uniqueness about having a relationship with the King of Kings! What a blessing to serve a Friend who heals, sets captives free, and is coming back again to get us one day. Humble yourself take the lower seat and serve the Lord with gladness and watch what God does in your life.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You that when we take the lower seat that we are not forgotten about. We thank you that we can be at the wedding feast because of your sacrificial death on the cross. Help us to take the lower seat and to serve you knowing that one day we will hear your voice saying , “Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In Jesus Name
Amen
Blessings to all of you!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- BE COUNTER CULTURAL PUT OTHERS FIRST

GET TOGETHER- BE COUNTER CULTURAL PUT OTHERS FIRST
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
 We live in a culture that is often me, myself, and I. Athletes often leave a school that they have committed to if they don’t become the stars they were projected to be immediately. People get very impatient in drive through lines at fast food restaurants. Others cut people off in traffic, or ride peoples bumpers until you almost feel like they have become attached to your vehicle.  
Well you have heard the negative so how about a little positive here. I can think of at least three occasions in the past week that someone volunteered to let us go ahead of them in the checkout line at the grocery store. One time the lady even had a much smaller amount of good than we had. 
Sometimes in the church we may not consider others before we do ourselves. Some people like it real cool. Others don’t seem to have a problem with it being a little warmer. I could make a long list of things that challenge relationships between Christians in a congregation, but I won’t hang out there. Instead let us look at what advice Paul gave the church at Philippi
Some feel like Philippi could have been Paul’s favorite congregation. He didn’t have to do some of the major correcting like he did with the church at Corinth. He is able to do a lot of exhorting to the church at Philippi. It appears that they were in one accord and he wants to help them to remain in one accord. 
He reminds them let nothing be done out of selfish ambition. The Greek term here for selfish ambition is eritheia.. It means a feeling of resentfulness based upon jealousy, and implying. rivalry. Remember other Christians that God may be blessing with greater attendance are not our rivals. Remember that we are all part of the Body of Christ. Remember that when we have small group ministry, youth ministry, or music ministry it is for the Glory of God and not to establish factions.  
The Greek term for selfish ambition here is kenodoxia. It means a state of pride without a basis for justification, cheap pride, vain pride, empty pride. So on the other hand when God is really moving in our services and doing awesome things among us we can take no pride in that, because it is God doing it and it is for God’s glory. This doesn’t mean that we don’t encourage one another, but we encourage one another so that the Holy Spirit will continually use us for the glory of God.  
The Greek term for lowliness of mind is tapeinophrosune. 

 I’m glad that I am writing this one and not trying to pronounce it. It means humility without arrogance. A lot of Christians confuse boldness with arrogance. Boldness is walking in humility, speaking the truth in love. 
When we esteem others, we are modeling what Christ commands us to do. We are also showing others that we value them. We are showing them that God values them. Sometimes I have to preach this message to myself. My prayer for all of us today is that we will do this. When we do we will show the world that there is a better way than the me, myself, and I culture that is so prevalent today.
Let us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You that You have given us the perfect model on how to do this when You came to earth in the form of a man. You have also given us the perfect Helper in the Holy Spirit to help us to do this. We believe that You will do this work in our lives for the glory of God and the advancement of Your Kingdom here on earth!

In Jesus Name

Amen
Still playing catchup, but we will get there. We love you all with the love of Jesus Christ!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston