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Inspiring Generations

The Power of Love

October 20, 2014

If I speak in the tounges of men and of angels But have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have a faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I posess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.   1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Huey Lewis and The News had a song called The Power of Love. In the song it tells us:

It don’t take money and it don’t take fame
Don’t need no credit card to ride this train
Tougher than diamonds and stronger than steel
You won’t feel nothin’ till you feel
You feel the power, just the power of love
That’s the power, that’s the power of love

The power of love says if we don’t posess love we are clanging cymbals, nothing. Thats powerful. That we gain nothing from our “doing” if we don’t do it in love. That should be something to make you go “Hmmmm.”

In many ways this tells us that our “doing” lovely things doesn’t matter if our “being” is not centered in love. So what do we do? Do we stop doing? Doesn’t our doing do good even if our being is not good? OK, now my brain hurts! I would contend that our doing out of wrong motives can still do good but I have to wonder how much more good could be done if our motives were centered in love. I don’t know about you but I ahve heard way too many gongs and cymbals. I have seen too many people left empty from doing out of self vs love. They gained nothing and felt nothing after the initial “fuzzies” wore off.

Love….it’s powerful. It;s tougher than diamonds and stronger than steel.

Personal Application: Are you so busy “doing” that you have forgotten how to just “be?” It is in our “being” that we learn how to “do.” How are you practicing being with God to learn how to truly love?

Home Application: Take time with your family to slow down and be with God. Help your children slow down from so many activities and look at how Jesus did things in love and the impact that it had.

Based on the concept of being vs doing, what changes do you need to make? What has been motivating you in your “doing?”

Devotional written by Chris King

Pastor Search Team Update (October 17, 2014)

October 17, 2014

Dear BBC Family,

Last Sunday we verbally communicated that we would be rolling out a survey for church members. Please join us this upcoming Sunday for information related to taking the survey next week.

As a reminder, the purpose of this survey is to give the church members an opportunity to provide input regarding the ‘qualities and attributes’ of our next senior pastor as a requirement of our bylaws. Since this survey will also be asking for your views of BBC and your own spiritual walk, we are also encouraging non-church members to participate.
The survey will be confidential and anonymous and will take about 15 minutes. Please make every effort to participate. We want to hear your input.

In the meantime, we ask that you to join us this week as we pray for God’s clear direction in completing the surveys:

“Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.” Psalms 25:4-5

 

“For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name’s sake You will lead and guide me.” Psalms 31:3

Finally, the daily devotional books that the Pastor Search Team is committed to using during this journey (Face to Face, Vol 2: Praying the Scriptures for Spiritual Growth, by Kenneth Boa) will be available for sale at all BBC campuses. Cost is $8.

Should you have any questions, concerns, or encouragements, please feel free to drop us an email at pst@bbcfamily.com.

In Christ,
Pastor Search Team

What’s Love Got to do With It?

October 17, 2014

And now I will show you the most excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:31

In Tina Turner’s hit song “What’s Love Got to do With It?” it says “What’s love got to do, got to do with it?
What’s love but a second hand emotion?” What do you think about this? Is love just an emotion or as a DC Talk song says…”Love is a verb.”

The word “love” gets thrown around very casually these days. As friends we often say “love ya” but do we really? As spouses we should be saying “I love you” but do our actions reflect this? And in our world today love is often confused and interchanged with lust. Love has lost it’s meaning and purpose in this world. It has taken a turn toward the casual and lost its serious side. So how do we, as the church, reclaim love in its original design? Is it too late….have we missed the boat?

At the end of chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians we begin the “love” chapter. It starts with a bold yet simple statement…”And now I will show you the most excellent way.” WOW!!! Not just any old way but the MOST EXCELLENT way. Makes me wonder if there is a connection to Jesus saying He is the way. Hmmm. The rest of the chapter…which we will explore over the next few days…shows us (another verb) what love should look like.

Personal Application: How do you define love? Is it casual or serious? How do you express love towards others?

Home Application: What are you teaching your children about love and how do you model it for them? Our children are watching to see how we love one another.

What is one way you are expressing love these days? Let us know.

Devotional written by Chris King

Give Me Jesus

October 15, 2014

“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6)

One day while heading to the temple for prayer, Peter and John came across a man begging for money. This beggar had a real need: his life long handicap prevented him from earning a living any other way. I suspect he had deeper needs as well. Since birth, he was different. His broken body separated him from others. Certainly he wondered why. Why me? Why can’t I just be like everyone else? Does anyone care? Will I ever experience true love? And where is God anyway? For over forty years, this lame man thought he just needed money. I’m sure he had long given up on being healed. But Peter and John knew better. They knew he needed Jesus.

Aaron Ivey’s song “Jesus is Better” sums it up nicely. In all my sorrows? Jesus is better. Every victory, every comfort? Jesus is better. Riches? Jesus is better. In case you missed it: Jesus is better!  I’m sure Peter and John felt sympathy for a man lame since birth. But, wisely, they were able to move beyond the outer appearance to his heart and soul. He needed to meet the one who could heal him eternally. Don’t we all? And once we know Christ, shouldn’t we too share the goodness of His love with those around us?

Personal & Home Application: Do you often get distracted by physical needs such that you fail to introduce Jesus to hurting and broken people?

Would you rather help solve a friend’s problem, or introduce them to Jesus?

Devotional written by Clay Barton

Come and See

October 14, 2014

“Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (John 4:29)

Those familiar with the Bible may know her as “the woman at the well.” Others refer to her as “the Samaritan woman.” Both accurately label her, for she was both a woman from Samaria and Jesus met her at a well. Yet many only recall that she was “one of those kinds of people.” You know they type. Full of sin. Living a life that was most disgraceful. After going through five different husbands, she was now living with a sixth man. We think of her as a prime example of a life full of mud and dirt, yet redeemed by a loving savior. She deserves a better label: extraordinary evangelist.

After meeting Jesus, she said to anyone who will listen “come and see.” For she had experienced love like no other. Living water was offered to her at the well. Spiritually speaking, she would never thirst again. Eternal life was found in Jesus. How could she keep it a secret? She couldn’t, and scripture tells us that many Samaritans from her town believed in Jesus because of her words. Her words weren’t fancy. She lacked a seminary degree. But she could tell others about her encounter with the Messiah. And it all started with “come and see….”

 

Personal Application: Consider the simplicity of this woman’s approach. All she asked was that her friends consider Jesus for themselves. Does it have to be more complicated than that?

Home Application: Discuss with your family the boldness of the woman at the well and how many came to Christ because of her words.

Is it possible to be a follower of Christ and yet never tell others to “come and see?”.

Devotional written by Clay Barton.

Pastor Search Team Update (October 10, 2014)

October 10, 2014

Dear BBC Family,

This Sunday (10/12) a representative from the Pastor Search Teach will be at each Bannockburn site for an update on the search for our Senior Pastor.

This week our request is that you pray for powerful unity and oneness of Spirit among our body: the staff, the church, the committees that govern the church, and the Pastor Search Team.

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” 1 Corinthians 1:10

 

“I in them and You in Me.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.”   John 17:23

Thank you again for your continued prayers and support towards this effort.

Should you have any questions, concerns, or encouragements, please feel free to drop us an email at pst@bbcfamily.com.

In Christ,
Pastor Search Team

Listen, or Wait to Talk?

October 10, 2014

“… let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…” (James 1:19)

Years ago, someone asked me a profound question: do I listen, or simply wait my turn to talk? Wow. Great question. For it caused me to think hard about how little I actually listen to people. And God. I suspect I am in good company, for we all seem to fall into this trap. Our minds race along, generating the next thing to say, the perfect come-back, the witty reply… as we are pretending to hear what our friend is actually saying. I might dazzle you with my quick response, but it came at a price. I really didn’t pay any attention to what you said. My conversations with God? Too often, they are one way streets. I do all the talking while never even pausing to hear what he has to say.

Does it surprise you that God has a better plan? Be quick to hear and  slow to speak. That is simply what he commands us to do. He wants his followers to be known as people who truly listen. In fact, we are supposed to be quick to do it. Listen for what is actually being said. Give my undivided attention to the person speaking. No more anticipating my response. No more finishing their sentences for them, because they are sooo slow to finish. Listen. Listen some more. Rarely has God shouted over my words and thoughts so that he can be heard. Instead, he patiently listens. Shouldn’t we?

Personal Application: Today, try to listen as you never have before.

Home Application: Even though they seem to have so many words, listen to your children with your full attention. Then model that as you pray as a family.

So, do you listen, or simply wait to talk?

Devotional written by Clay Barton

I know that voice

October 9, 2014

… and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” (John 10:4)

NBC’s The Voice is an Emmy award winning reality TV singing competition. Unlike other singing shows, the judges on The Voice initially determine the skill of the competitor simply by listening to his or her voice. Novel idea, huh? They do this by turning their chairs away from the singer as they first begin to sing; physical appearance, dance skills and wardrobe mean nothing. All that matters is your voice.

Spiritually speaking, all that matters is His voice.

Jesus tells us that the good shepherd knows his sheep by name. He calls them out and leads them where he wants to go. He tells us that the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Literally, the sheep know the voice of their shepherd. Should a stranger call for them, the sheep do nothing except flee. Having grown up in Austin, this whole sheep/shepherd/pasture metaphor is somewhat lost on me. But I do get it enough to understand that knowing the voice of my heavenly father is critical. For God alone is the good shepherd. All other voices fall very short of his perfect plan and protection.

Personal Application: Of all the voices you hear in a day, can you pick out the Heavenly Father’s?

Home Application: Today, challenge your family to spot one time during the day that they sensed God talking to them. Discuss it and share your stories at dinner.

Do you know how to distinguish the voice of the Good Shepherd from all other voices?

Devotional written by Clay Barton

Who is your sponsor?

October 8, 2014

“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.  But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.   Matthew 10:32-33 (NLT)

Who is your sponsor?

NASCAR racing is becoming a very popular sport.  It is amazing to think that 212,585 people can gather at the Texas Motor Speedway to watch their favorites drive at speeds in excess of 200 MPH.

As with most sports, the drivers of the race will be asked by reporters to comment on their racing.  One of the first things a driver is quick to do is acknowledge their sponsor.  Whether it is the Little Debbie/Kingsford/Clorox Toyota, or the FW1 Top Secret Wax/Blu Frog Energy Drink Dodge, each driver knows how important it is to publicly acknowledge their sponsor if they want their sponsor to acknowledge their driving with continued support.

Have you considered that things we now do on earth will be reflected later in heaven in various ways.  Today’s passage is one where Jesus gives us a clue about how we should now be living.  Publicly acknowledging Christ means that we let people know of our connection to Him.

  • If He has saved us from our sins, we need to acknowledge that to others.
  • If He has enabled us to accomplish something, we need to acknowledge that to others.
  • If He has given us wisdom or strength, we need to acknowledge that to others.
  • If we are making a choice based on His revealed will through the scriptures, we need to acknowledge that to others.

Personal and Home ApplicationIs Jesus truly your Savior?  Does He really give you wisdom, strength, ability, and passion to accomplish your daily tasks?  If the answer is yes, then do the people you are racing through life with know who sponsors you?  Is your acknowledgement of Jesus Christ bold and believable?  Talk to the Lord today about a “holy boldness” in acknowledging Him before others, so they might know your sponsor and His interest in taking on new “sponsorships” as well.

How often do you find yourself referring to your sponsor?

Devotional written by Jeff Humphrey

The attitude and message of sharing Jesus

October 7, 2014

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.    1 Timothy 1:15 (NLT)         

God puts someone on your heart that needs to hear the message of Jesus.  You begin to pray and ask God to bring together circumstances so that you might have the opportunity to share.  God is faithful and that moment has come.  How can I make the most of this opportunity?

Sharing the gospel begins with connecting heart to heart.  The saying… people don’t care what you know till they know you care is especially true when you are sharing the gospel.  Being truly interested in them will help you to plant the seed of faith deeply into the life of the one you are sharing with. The apostle Paul always did a great job trying to get heart to heart with people, so that he would have a platform to give them the info they needed to be saved.

But the ultimate goal is not just to get to know them.  At some point in the conversation, God wants us to bring up the topic of the ONLY thing that keeps us separated from God and out of heaven… sin.  Today’s verse shows us the attitude and message we need to have when we talk to others about sin.  Paul’s message was…  Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  Paul’s attitude was… I am the worst of them all. 

Paul didn’t say YOU have a sin problem, but WE have a sin problem and I AM WORSE THAN YOU!  Paul’s willingness to be transparent made people willing to listen and be open to hearing how Jesus died on the cross to take away their sin.

Application for you and your home If you have never come to terms with your sin problem, why not join those of us who have prayed and asked Jesus to take away our sins and entered into the forever family of God?  If you are a believer in Jesus, who do you need to share the message of Jesus with?  Are you praying for God to open the doors of opportunity?  When that door opens will you get heart to heart and share with them honestly and transparently about your need for a Savior as well as their need for a Savior?

When is the last time you talked to someone about Jesus?

Devotional written by Jeff Humphrey

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Guiding generations to become passionate followers of Jesus Christ, one home at a time.