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Don’t Bite the Hook

A couple of weeks ago a lady came up to me, and she was sharing her heart about how she’s been struggling with resentment. And believe me in the natural she had every reason in the world to be resentful based on what has happened to her, what someone has done to her and her family. She’s trying to process and sort through this thing called resentment. In Job 5.2 (HEV), “For resentment kills the foolish man, And jealousy kills the simple.

Wow…resentment, in other words, is a killer according to Job. What is resentment? Resentment is bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly. A lot of people go through life, and they are filled with resentment. They resent their parents, or they resent their church, or they resent a friend, or they resent their spouse, or the resent their former spouse they resent their boss they resent their co-workers. Whenever we bite the hook, and sometimes it feels good in the natural to feel resentment, to feel the inner rage against someone because of what they did, it’s like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. Resentment does so much damage inside of us, and when we resent someone, we’re allowing that person to live rent free in our heads in our hearts. There’s got to be a better way. There are people in our country today who resent the wealthy. Whatever you resent you resist and repel in your life. If you resent someone that is successful, guess what? You’ll never be successful. If you resent someone that has more than you, then you will repel you will resist allowing God bringing more blessing in your life. For example, if you resent someone that is thin you may never be thin because what you resent and what we resist we repel from our lives. So resentment has a high cost, it has a great price. Oswald Chambers said, “It’s never the big things that disturb us but the trivial things.” many times when we’re dealing with resentment it’s interesting, it’s the little things the trivial things the small things that someone said we take it as a slight. When I was doing some reading and research about this topic on resentment, you know what all world dictators have in common? They’re full of resentment. They remembered every slight that someone did to them, and they internalize that, and it drives them to reach this pinnacle of power so they can pay everyone back that did them wrong. That’s a horrible way to live your life, but it is the little things that can annoy us. “We can sit on a mountain but not on a tack.” You can sit on top of a glorious mountain but not a small little tack, we jump up. See it’s the little things. As the Song of Solomon says, “it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.” I don’t want your life spoiled. I don’t want your sense of joy interrupted. I don’t want you going through life collecting other peoples grievances, others people’s slights. I don’t want your heart and life filled with resentment. We have to learn to let it go. Don’t bite the hook! Jesus said, “the sins that you retain shall be retained, the sins that you release shall be released.” The power of releasing another human being that has done you wrong, forgiving people forgiving and letting it go isn’t so much about they deserve it but because God deserves it and you deserve it. You deserve to live every day with your heart free from bitterness resentment envy and jealousy. You’ll be healthier. You’ll be happier. You’ll be holier. Don’t bite the hook! When someone’s dangling the hook of resentment, and they baited it well, go the other way. Keep your heart right before God.

Oswald Chambers said, “It’s never the big things that disturb us but the trivial things.” many times when we’re dealing with resentment it’s interesting, it’s the little things the trivial things the small things that someone said we take it as a slight. When I was doing some reading and research about this topic on resentment, you know what all world dictators have in common? They’re full of resentment. They remembered every slight that someone did to them, and they internalize that, and it drives them to reach this pinnacle of power so they can pay everyone back that did them wrong. That’s a horrible way to live your life, but it is the little things that can annoy us. “We can sit on a mountain but not on a tack.” You can sit on top of a glorious mountain but not a small little tack, we jump up. See it’s the little things.

As the Song of Solomon says, “it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.” I don’t want your life spoiled. I don’t want your sense of joy interrupted. I don’t want you going through life collecting other peoples grievances, others people’s slights. I don’t want your heart and life filled with resentment. We have to learn to let it go. Don’t bite the hook! Jesus said, “the sins that you retain shall be retained, the sins that you release shall be released.” The power of releasing another human being that has done you wrong, forgiving people forgiving and letting it go isn’t so much about they deserve it but because God deserves it and you deserve it. You deserve to live every day with your heart free from bitterness resentment envy and jealousy. You’ll be healthier. You’ll be happier. You’ll be holier. Don’t bite the hook! When someone’s dangling the hook of resentment, and they baited it well, go the other way. Keep your heart right before God.

You’re God’s Best

-Carl

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It’s Your Move

Every day is a gift from God and we can’t take anything for granted. Every moment of life counts. As the Apostle Paul said, ” To live is Christ, to die is gain.” Either way, we win. Every day we need to live life. Don’t let a day pass without Capra Diem – seizing the day.    

I want to talk today about It’s Your Move. Life really does resemble the game of chess. I remember growing up and playing chess with my friends. It was a fun game to learn. When you make strategic moves in the game of chess, you advance your position. Eventually, you can checkmate your opponent and win the game. Life is like that. Your life is like a game board. The strategic moves we make will determine whether we will chalk up more wins or losses.  In life, we want more wins.

Let me give you three key strategic winning moves you can make in your life today that can help you have more wins than losses:

1)Forgive
2)Forget
3)Move Forward.  

Without trying to sound super spiritual, I believe that if we want to continue to move in the right direction, we can’t get stuck in unforgiveness. We have an incredible memory to be able to recall the people that have done us wrong in life. A lot of times, people get stuck in the area of unforgiveness. This could be with a marriage, a relationship, a child, or a co-worker. So many people can’t move forward because they can’t forgive. I want to encourage you of the importance of moving forward in your life.  Number one, you have to forgive. You have got to let it go. It’s not worth it! Don’t allow whoever that person may be to live, rent free, in your mind and in your heart.    

Then, after you forgive, you have to forget. So many are unwilling to forget the bad things others have done to them or the bad things that have happened in their life. Or, maybe, the bad things you have done. We’ve all made mistakes.  The Apostle Paul talked about forgetting those things which are behind. Too many people are stuck in the past because they’re stuck in life looking through their rear view mirrors and they don’t remember the good things that are happening in their life. Instead, they are looking at only the bad things that have occurred.  So, we need to let those things go and know what’s ahead of us is far more important than what’s behind us.  Granted, we want to learn the lesson of the past experience and learn from that failure that may be occurred in our life. These are strategic moves that are going to move you forward in life.  

And the final thing you need to do is to move forward. There is really only one direction in life and that is one step at a time; continually moving forward.   So, what’s the next step that you are needing to take to get unstuck and move your life forward?  What’s that next step spiritually? What’s that next step financially? What’s that next forward step in your relationships? What’s that next step in your career? So many get to the border of God’s full blessing in their life and they’re unable to take that next step.  

You know, it’s crazy that the children of Isreal wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years and when they came to the border of the Promised Land, they were unwilling to go forward! So, they had to take another trip around and around in the wilderness because they weren’t willing to take that step across the border into the Promised Land that God had for them.    

So, what’s your next move? What’s the strategic move in your life that’s going to push you forward in the direction God has for you? I want to encourage you to forgive whoever you need to forgive; forget what has happened (Paul said to forgive those things which are behind, I press toward the quest of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus) and take that next step. Move forward!  

I hope you have an incredible rest of the day. Don’t forget that some exciting things are starting THIS weekend! Palm Sunday! Churches all around the world are going to be celebrating Holy Week. We hope you will be apart of an awesome Palm Sunday service in your home church. If Trinity is your home church then we look forward to seeing you this weekend.

Take care and God Bless!  

Carl

Let It Go!

I wanted to talk today about letting it go.

There was this child playing outside and he ran into the house frantically and he was upset. His mother asked him what was wrong and the little boy said that the neighbor boy was teasing him and called him a bad name. The mother asked if he hurt him in any way or was injured. The boy responded he wasn’t hurt. Then the mother said, “Then let it go.” What advice! 

Many things happen to us in life and we do the opposite. We hold on to it. Someone may cut us off in traffic and we can’t let it go. Maybe someone at work made a snide comment and we can’t let it go.  Maybe our spouse isn’t having a good day and maybe our words cross and instead of letting it go, we tend to hold on to it. Maybe your boss did or said something and instead of overlooking it, we hold on to it. The Bible says, “Great peace have they which love thy law and nothing shall offend them.” Ps 119:165.  

We get offended so easily. Instead of letting it go, we hold on to it. How many of you guys have had your wife hold up this jersey that you use to wear back in high school or in college and tells you that you have to let it go?  You tell her no and tell her how long you’ve had it and it really doesn’t look that bad. Then she tells you how terrible it looks on you. There’s things like that in our life, like that old jersey, that we just can’t seem to let go.

I’ve known people during football season whose favorite team is having a losing year or their fantasy football team is flopping and it ruins their day. (Or two or three or their whole week!) They are down in the dumps until next week. Now, if you’re a player on that team or the coach or the owner of that team, I can see how it’ll affect you; but if you’re just a fan, are you kidding me? We have to learn how to let things go.    

Here’s the thing that can hinder us if we’re not careful; if we hold onto something we should be letting go, then we aren’t letting “come” into our life (something God wants to bring into our life). Until you let go, you can’t let come. By holding on to the things we shouldn’t be holding on to, we are then not holding on to the things we should be holding on to.      

I think the advice to take from this message is: do you have anything in your life right now that you are holding on to? Do you have a grudge, unresolved issues that would be better if you were to just let it go? Maybe you put in for that job promotion and it didn’t happen. Let it go. Maybe you were looking to start a new career and went through the interview process and it didn’t happen. Alright. Learn whatever lesson you need to learn and just let it go.  

I want to give you a quote from A.W. Tozer ” In the kingdom of God, the surest way to lose something is to try to protect it and the best way to keep it is to let it go.” That is powerful!  Sometimes it seems like a slogan that Christians use but “We got to let go and let God!” I think there’s a deep spiritual truth to that. I think there’s a time when we need to just let go of something and let God come in and work.    

I hope this was of some use for you today. Maybe if something happens later in the day, you can think about it and tell yourself to just let it go and not let this fester inside of you. There are more important things that are happening in our lives than being put on pause because of something that occurred that we didn’t enjoy.    

As always, if you are in the Lubbock area and don’t already have a home church, come to Trinity Church this weekend! One of the most important messages that I’ve ever preached is going to be this weekend. We are going to be talking about “Partial Victories – How to Avoid the Passivity Trap”.   Have an awesome rest of the day. Go out and win for Jesus. Remember, learn the lesson of Letting it Go

 

God Bless!

Carl

Resistance

Something on my heart today is resistance you experience anytime you are moving towards a goal in your life. We all should have goals. Set a goal, revive your soul. I was thinking of the importance of setting goals.  By doing this, you can revive your soul. We get to where we are just going through the same cycles and end up just going through the motions in our life, in our work, in our relationships, in our marriages, in our friendships and even in our relationship with God. It’s like we put ourselves and our relationships on “autopilot”. 

I was thinking of the importance of setting a goal. A goal can re-energize us. For example, you should have a goal related to your health. Maybe you’re not at the place in life where you can exercise 30-45 minutes per day. Sometimes small goals can lead to bigger goals. But you have to start out with a goal. Where do you want your health to be in the next month, 6 months or a year from now? Sometimes it’s as easy as standing in front of the tv and marching in place for five minutes. Do that every day and work up to 10 minutes; then 15 minutes. It’s kind of like the “snowball effect.”

Do you have any financial goals? Do you want to save towards your future? Do you want to begin practicing generosity more often? Would you like to give to the Lord’s work? Sometimes you have to be willing to work small and work your way up. 

How about goals in your career? It’s important that we set goals for our personal careers. The Bible talks about this. The Apostle Paul said to press towards the prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus. He urges us to be more like Christ. It’s good to set goals for your career.  I had a goal to be in ministry and I thought how I would achieve that. I knew I would have to attend Bible School. Then, I felt I was called to be a pastor so I had to get involved in a good church and begin to serve. I did this in Albuquerque, NM. I volunteered, I was a home fellowship leader and then became a Singles Pastor for 10 years. My next goal (call it a Holy Ambition – I wasn’t trying to climb the ladder but I knew I had to show myself faithful in different stages of my ministry) was to be an Executive Pastor. I knew I was gaining experience so that one day I could be a Sr. Pastor. Low and behold, 15 years year ago this past weekend I became the Sr. Pastor of this great church, Trinity Church here in Lubbock, TX.

Once you’ve achieved your goal, it doesn’t mean you stop setting goals in your career. Do you have any career goals? Maybe it’s to get through high school, college, or your post grad work. Then what’s your goal? What’s the dream career you want to have and once you get there, you have to continue to set goals. Continue to set goals that challenge you. 

For those of us who are blessed to be married or those that one day would like to be married, you set that goal to one day, get married. Then in your relationships you have to set goals. This is so you don’t get stagnant and stay in one spot. 

Spiritually we should set goals. Remember, I started out saying – “Set a goal, revive your soul.” There’s something about moving towards your goals in life. It’s important to set spiritual goals; to pray every day, to spend time in God’s word consistently. For some of you, a goal to read through the Bible for the very first time.  Maybe it’ll take you two years. Most people have reading plans where you can do this in a year. These are important goals.  

Once you’ve set a goal and begin to move towards it, there can begin to be this force that starts working against you of resistance. It seems like the closer you get to achieving your goal, the more resistance you will begin to experience. We see this even in the life of Jesus. The closer He got to His Heavenly goal, which was Jeruselum and dying on that cross for us, the greater the spiritual attacks and resistance He had to push up against. So sometimes if you are facing resistance in your relationships, your marriage, at work, in the pursuit of your career, your educational goals, your financial goals, or generosity goals, you’re going to face resistance. There’s going to be some headwinds. That could be a sign you’re getting closer to fulfilling those goals. Keep in mind the old saying, “Persistence wears down resistance.” I want to encourage you, whatever your goals may be, continue to be persistent because it will wear down the resistance. I was thinking about Nehemiah in the Old Testament, the closer he got to finishing his goal, to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem (completed in 56 days!), the greater the resistance. Greater were the attacks from the people, greater the attacks from within, greater the scandals, but he had to push through the resistance. 

I want to encourage you, if you are encountering some resistance in the pursuit of your goals, I want to breathe life into those goals and those dreams. That resistance isn’t a bad thing necessarily. It can be what helps strengthen us and develops character. It can actually better prepare us to step into our bigger self when we actually reach those goals. Once we reach those goals, we begin to set new ones. 

So, set a goal and revive your soul! Remember, persistence wears down resistance. I pray God’s best over you. 

God Bless!

Carl