I would like to talk to you about things in our life that we don’t like or can’t accept. Do you know there are things we can change? Are there things in your life that you don’t like right now? That you can’t accept? Are there things in your life that you haven’t liked but you’ve changed? Things can change. Shakespeare said, “We know what we are but not what we may be.” Think about that quote. Think about the possibilities of what we can become through Christ when we identify who we are in Jesus. If you would have told me 36 years ago that I’d be doing what I’m doing today, I would have laughed at you. If you would have told me that I would be married to a beautiful woman, have an amazing family, that I would be living in Lubbock, TX, that I would be apart of a great church like Trinity, doing what I am doing – speaking the truths of God’s word to thousands of people every single weekend, I wouldn’t have believed you in a thousand years.
Many of you are doing things in your life right now that you never dreamed or imagined you would be doing and it’s all because of the God Factor. Sometimes we minimize what we can do and what we can become with God. I look at all of these young people who are graduating from high school and college; their whole future lies ahead of them. A lot of them may be unsure about themselves and about their future. The one thing you should not doubt is that God can accomplish anything through you. That’s right, God in you can accomplish anything. It’s a matter of – Do you believe? Do you believe that God can work His wonders in you and through you? We don’t recognize what we are or what we may be. You know what you are today. You know your age, where you live, where you work and who your friends are. You know a lot of things about yourself. You don’t know what you can be a year from now, five years from now or 10 years from now. The Bible says we are all being changed from glory to glory; from faith to faith. This process of change is God’s sovereign power at work through us.
What are you doing today that 5-10 years ago you wouldn’t have dreamed you would’ve been doing but you find yourself doing it now? What might be in your heart today, that might be about your future – something you could be doing 5-10 years from now? I think life becomes mundane and boring when we stop dreaming; when we stop envisioning a better tomorrow. Or maybe a better marriage. Maybe a better expression of who you are and what you are doing at this particular time in your life. Never underestimate what God can do in you and through you. If there are things in your life that you don’t like, you can change it with God’s help! Maybe they don’t change overnight. A marriage doesn’t change overnight. Being a parent, instructing your children and raising them up in the right ways – those kids aren’t going to change overnight either. But, things can change. They can change for the better if we simply ask God for His help. Not only ask but believe and trust in Him. Once again, we know what we are but not what we may be. I hope you begin to realize not only what you are but what you may be as God’s grace continues to work through you!
I want to say, as we are beginning to celebrate Memorial Weekend, to all of you that may be in the military, or you that have loved ones in the military; we can’t say Thank You enough. Many times, those in the military are definitely underpaid and under-appreciated. I want you to know we love you and appreciate you. We pray God’s protection upon you and your loved ones as you are serving our country and defending our freedom abroad. We can’t take for granted the ultimate sacrifice that so many have paid and are paying to defend our freedoms. So, if you are in the military – Thank You! If you have family serving – please tell them Thank You from Carl Toti at Trinity Church. I have a couple of nephews serving in the Coast Guard who I pray for and appreciate them very much. I give thanks to my father who served in the Korean War. It’s a great honor and it’s a great service to God by serving in the military. We pray God’s peace as we move towards Memorial Day weekend.
Thank you so much for taking time with me today. I hope you have an awesome rest of the day!
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Today I want to talk to you about the “Myth of More”. Think about it, life isn’t about getting more; life is about giving more. I know that’s a lesson that I have to learn on a daily basis sometimes and sometimes on a moment by moment basis. It’s not what we get in life, it’s what we are able to give that’s important. So this “Myth of More” is the constant saying “If I could just have more; if I could have more friends, if I could have more money, if I could have more fame, if I could have more Twitter followers or Facebook followers, I can get more likes on my Facebook if I can just get more. More is better!” But that’s not always true. It’s not about getting; it’s about giving.
Jesus said it is more blessed to give than it is to receive. So here’s the deal, if we want to create more in our life, it has to come out of a place of deep contentment, first and foremost, with who we are and where we are today.
If we’re not content with who we are and where we are today then what gives us the assurance that a week, a month, a year from now; when we reach that next goal, we will be fulfilled?
In Ecclesiastes 4:6, Solomon said, “Maybe so, but I say it’s better to be content with what little you have otherwise you will always be struggling for more and that’s like chasing the wind.” Think about how many people in our culture today are struggling for more. Example: more advertising. All about more. It’s like chasing the wind. Have you ever tried chasing the wind in West Texas? You know you can chase the wind but you’re never going to catch it. That’s the way it is in so many people’s lives. They are always chasing after something and it’s always the next thing and the next thing.
What do you think about the “Myth of More”? Do you think society is constantly telling us we have to always have more and we need more? Why do you think so many people are so discontented? I think they are at a place in their life where they are not happy with who they are and what they have in their lives. This “Myth of More”, makes people think, “If I could just get this next thing. If I could just live in a different city. If I could just get a different job.” I think the Lord is saying we can be happy with who we are and where we are in our relationship with Him. Listen, we have two choices every day: we can either enjoy life and enjoy what we have in our life today or we can we can fret and we can worry about what we don’t have. I’d rather be focusing on the former rather than the latter. I hope you realize and recognize what you have and how special you are to God. Realize how much he loves you and that your life counts and your life matters. Let’s focus on the good and let’s reject the “Myth of More” that is sometimes fed constantly in social media, television, and entertainment/movies. Don’t buy into the “Myth of More”. Be content with who you are, where you are and what you have. That way, God is always able to bring more into our lives. Have a great rest of your week!
I went to a 35 year anniversary celebration of a friend who has been pastoring a church for 33 of the 35 years and one of my favorite pastors was talking about being faithful in the little things.
Zechariah 4:10 says, “The people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant.”
Think about where your life is right now. Your life is a series of small starts that have lead up to something big. Sometimes we look at our life and we think our life is small and unimportant and insignificant, especially if we spend all day looking at everybody else’s Snapchats and everybody else’s Instagram and everybody else’s Facebook posts.
It seems like everybody’s life is more exciting than than our own, but God tells us not to despise small beginnings. God cares about small things. Jesus came to us in the form of a baby. Some of the greatest blessings in your life come in the smallest of packages. In fact, the Bible tells us that a sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground without your Father knowing it (Matthew 10:29-31). God attends the funeral of every sparrow.
If you look through a microscope, you see that there’s another world inside of this big world. Small things matter. In Matthew 13:31, Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed!
How small a mustard seed? It is among the smallest of seeds, but when it grows up, it becomes one of the largest garden plants, growing up to about 8 feet high! Things that are seemingly insignificant can become big, so don’t despise the day of small beginnings. Your life is really a series of beginnings and endings, a changing of seasons, so everything we do in a given day is significant and important.
If you run a business, it’s the small things that you do for your customer that make the difference. If you’re married, it’s the small things you do in your marriage that make a huge difference. The small compliment, reaching out to help your loved one… The old saying is true, “Large doors are opened by a small hinge.”
There’s a parable of that’s called, “The kingdom was lost for want of a nail,” in which a king was getting ready to go out to battle. While preparing the king’s horse, the shoe smith forgot just one of the nails. When the king went out to battle the shoe fell off the horse, the horse slipped and threw the king off the horse. The king fell and broke his neck. The kingdom was lost that day because of a very small thing – a nail that someone forgot to put on the horse’s shoe.
What are the small things in your day today? What are the small things in your life that God is reminding you not to consider unimportant? An email that you need to send? A phone call you need to make? That contact or connection you need to make? Jesus said, “If we are faithful in the little things, God will make us ruler over much.”
Let’s take the words of Jesus to heart and be faithful in that which is little today. He will be faithful to make us ruler over that which is much.
How many of us have been living a mistake free life?
Nobody lives in mistake-free life. Look at the word mistake: there’s “mis” and then “take.”
What is a mistake? It’s a miss. You try to do something and there was an error.
In life we all make mistakes, but I thank God that it’s not the mistakes we make, but what we learn from those mistakes that determines where we end up.
Proverbs 28:13 says, “a man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful,” but if he confesses, then he gets another chance. If we refuse to admit we made a mistake then we can’t be successful.
Sometimes we make mistakes in relationships and it’s difficult for people to admit they made a mistake. People make mistakes at work. I’ve had employees make hug mistakes in the past. The important thing is that you don’t keep making the same mistake over and over again, but that you actually learn from the mistake.
I think the first step in correcting a mistake and allowing it to become a learning experience is to admit it. As a public speaker there are times when there was something I wanted to say and it didn’t come out the way I wanted to say it. Later on you go back then and think, “I can’t believe I said it that way! I can’t believe it came out that way!” When you’re on a live broadcast, you can’t take it back. How many of you have misspoken in a relationship? Maybe you’ve sent an email or text message and once it’s sent, there’s no there’s no turning back.
Let’s be those in life who can admit when we make a mistake because in the end, we will pay a bigger price if we go through life denying our mistakes. Those mistakes take courage to admit. We should be wise enough to benefit from the mistakes that we made and then determine that we’re going to correct them moving forward.
Everyone who has ever lived made mistakes, with the exception of Jesus Christ. He is the only perfect standard and perfect example that we strive for. Up to this point, you’ve made some mistakes; some bigger than others. The important thing is: What have you learned, and what are you going to do with what you learned moving forward?
James 3:2 (paraphrased) says, “if people never said anything wrong they would be perfect and able to control their entire selves,” so we all make them, but it’s not all about the mistakes that we make if we are learning from those mistakes.
I want you to know, you are not a mistake. You are not an accident. Your life has purpose. Your life has value.
There is something you can do to make somebody’s life better today, so go out there and share a smile, an encouraging word, let the Lord speak through you and use you to brighten up somebody else’s day.
If you wanted change in your life, what would you do?
Do we change everyone around us? Do we work on changing our spouse, our boss or our friend? How would you go about changing a life?
The reality is that we can’t change anybody else. You can’t change your spouse, and the more you try to change your spouse, the less likely it is they’re going to change. The more you try to change your kids, the more likely they’re going to resist change, and they may actually run in the opposite direction. You can’t change your boss either.
The person you can change is you!
How do we begin the process of changing self? If you want to have a whole new identity you can change your name, you can dress differently, you can color your hair, change your hair style, change your friends, even change where you live. But the reality is that all those things are cosmetic changes. If we really want our life to change, there’s only one person that can accomplish it, and that’s God.
God changes us from the inside out, not from the outside in.
How does God change your life?
He changes your identity. He changes your situation so that you go from being a stranger to becoming a member of God’s family. He calls you a child of God.
The Apostle Paul talks about “taking off the old man and putting on the new man,” taking off the old garments of the old lifestyle, the places we used to go, the people we used to hang around with and getting a new identity by putting on the new man that is clothed in righteousness.
When you surrender your life to Christ, you get new friends, you begin to attend Bible study, you go to a good church, and you begin to connect with people that share some of the same values that you share. God changes us – not from the outside in cosmetically, but from the inside out.
Trying to change other people is just not going to work. I get people who call me or come up to me at the end of church service, and they’re having trouble. They say, “If my spouse would just change…” I tell them, “You can’t do anything to change them directly, but you can do everything to change your self,” and the amazing thing is that when we begin to allow God to bring about change in us, that frees other people in our life to begin to make positive changes in their own lives.
Maybe you have a boss that’s just wearing you out. What do you do in a situation like that? You can change your attitude and not give that other person control over your life from moment to moment or from day-to-day.
Allow God to help you remember, He always changes us for the good and He changes us from the inside out. So we’re all changing and we’re all moving in a direction. I hope that the changes taking place in your life are influenced by God. If so, they are for your benefit and for your good.
You are God’s Best!!