The Right Motives


Proverbs 21:1-3 (NASB)

1The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.  2 Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,But the Lord weighs the hearts.  3 To do righteousness and justice is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice.


Solomon informs the reader that the Lord controls the king’s heart. (1a)

Solomon informs the reader that the king’s heart is like channels of water. (1b)

Solomon informs the reader that the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord. (1c)

Solomon informs the reader that the Lord turns the king’s heart wherever he wishes. (1d)

Solomon informs the reader that every man’s way is right in his own eyes. (2a)

Solomon informs the reader that the Lord weighs the hearts of every man. (2b)

Solomon informs the reader that righteousness is desired of every man. (3a)

Solomon informs the reader that justice is desired of every man. (3b)

Solomon informs the reader that sacrifice is also of importance but lesser than righteousness and justice. (3c)

Commentary:  Solomon reveals to us that good leadership is a channel of water that is controlled by God.  He directs it wherever He chooses.  Leadership that has the right motive is under the control and in the hand of God.  We often try to prove something is right by appearances, even if what we demonstrate is not our true intent.  God knows what we truly value.  We judge much by what we see, but God judges what we cannot see.  Living right before God and treating our fellow man in the same way, mean far more to God than religious performance.

 Living Word OP(portunity):

  1. Determine if your worship is a reflection of your witness.  If not, what needs to change?
  2. Pray to God that your praise and worship of Him is solely for Him.
  3. Ask God for what He desires of you in the worship setting.
  4. Examine your motives of worship.  Am I doing this out of routine or because of His righteousness?

iMPACT QUESTION (iQ): What Do I Have to Offer?

John 6:3-13  3 Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, *said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” 6 This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. 7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred [b]denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little.” 8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, *said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people [c]sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men [d]sat down, in number about five thousand.11 Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. 12 When they were filled, He *said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.

 For an answer key to the following questions, click the following linkWhat I Have to Offer – Key

  1. Is _____________ welcomed in your groups? (vs. 3)
  1. We are often led to believe that what we have is ____________________. (vs. 7)
  1. There are two types of people those who are __________ or  ____________. (vs. 7-9)
  1. Do the ______________ you can. (vs. 9)

         “My job is to do the best I can. The rest is in God’s hands.” -Martin Luther Jr

  1. Share what you have with a Godly _______________. (vs. 8-9)
  1. What you have been given is useful to the _________________. (vs. 11)
  1. _____________ what you have to God. (vs. 11)

     The Mathematics of Relationship:   I’m = me    Possible = Jesus

       ______  + ________ = NOTHING IS    IM+POSSIBLE

       ______  –  ________ =  IMPOSSIBLE NEVER REACHED

     iMPACT Challenge (i CHALLENGE):

  1. Define what are your talents or things that you do well?
  2. How are you currently using your gifts and talents?
  3. A) school?   B) church?          C) social media?    D) home?
  4. Do a friend inventory check.  Who is critical and who is creative?
  5. What do you consider impossible for you to achieve?  Have you placed it in God’s hands?  

Presence and Not Presents

iMPACT QUESTION (iQ):  Is the Christmas Holiday stressful or sacrificial for you?

Romans 8:32-33“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

I noticed a coworker who looked very distressed today and asked her what was wrong.  She said that she was stressed out because she’s having the family over for the holidays, wrapping gifts, and the only gift that her son had asked for was out of stock and that she was afraid that her son wouldn’t get what he wanted.  I realized that for those that I have spoken with, the Holidays happen to be one of the most stressful times of the year.  People run around frantically trying to find items that will soon be in the back of others closets, stored in attics, or in garages.  We can learn from God that our giving should be sacrificial and not stressful.  God has already given all that is needed for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).  Yet we are running towards stress when we search for temporary earthly pleasures.  There is nothing wrong with gifts, until the gifts start controlling the giver.  Our presence is one of the greatest gifts that we can give others.  Our Father gave Jesus so that we can have eternal life and also sent the Holy Spirit.  He wanted to give us the gift of His presence through the Holy Spirit being with us always.  Our Father knows how to give good gifts (Matthew 7:11).  Yet our Father’s greatest gift is His Son and Holy Spirit which is Himself.  Give gifts that will be remembered and cannot be thrown away.  


1. Resist the urge to shop for others contentment.

2. Recognize that people will remember a moment with you rather than a something made from you.

3. Rest from the obligation of trying to please people.

iMPACT QUOTE (i QUOTE): written by Rev. Eric Levels

Your presence is more important than your presents.

Your time is the most valuable thing you can give, but it’s also priceless to others.

iMPACT CHALLENGE (i CHALLENGE): Reduce the amount of physical gifts given and purchased, and spend more time with the ones you love.  

No Regrets

iMPACT QUESTION (iQ):  What are aspects of your current life that you regret and wish you could change?

Psalm 119:1-8  You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.  You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him.  That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set.  You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it.  Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.  I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.  I’m going to do what you tell me to do; don’t ever walk off and leave me.

There are a number of things that I regret and wish I could change about the things that I have done and said.  My life has had scattered moments of which I am not proud.  It is true that the imperfect actions of our lives teach us humility and hard lessons that are not easy to stomach.  Yet the road we travel does have the hope of signs that prevent us from making sporadic lane changes and premature exits.  Often times, we make those decisions before consulting the God of our inner-state.  God does not guarantee a life of cruise control, but He does assure that He is in control for those who will allow for him to take the wheel.  We cannot change our past, but we can allow for God to guide our future.  His road leaves behind no potholes of regret, for when you look back, those have been covered by Jesus.  Regret, for those who have received Jesus, is no longer necessary, because blessings await.


1.   Receive revelation from the Word regarding your next faithful steps.

2.  Recognize that you no longer walk alone.  The Holy Spirit is with you.

3.  Remain consistent with your resolve to trust His direction.

iMPACT QUOTE (i QUOTE): written by Rev. Eric Levels

Don’t let regret bind what Jesus has already freed you from.


Write down your regrets on a sheet of paper.  Pray to God regarding them and allow Jesus to forgive them.  Forgive yourself, then rip and throw the sheet away.  God has forgiven you, so do the same for yourself.

Keep It Real

iMPACT QUESTION (iQ):  What would your life say about your faith?

Matthew 6:1 Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. (Message version) I love watching movies. When I see that the actors from my favorite movies have their own lives outside of them, I have a tough time realizing that their written character is not who they really are. Could the same be said of our Christian walk? Is our actual and actor one in the same? We must remember that we are only performing for an audience of One. There is nothing wrong with receiving compliments from God’s creations, but they are just that. Comments from people that compliment God’s concrete character within us. If we really want an Oscar, don’t worry about that because instead of holding gold, we’ll be walking on it in eternity by total dedication to God through the acceptance of Jesus. That’s what amazes people. People see actors every day and are not shocked by them. As a matter of fact, most are considered fake until proven the real thing. However, when the reality of our actions extend beyond cut, those watching, are in awe. That’s when faith has a face.


1. Set a consistent daily appointment in prayer with God.

2. See God’s love for us in His Word shown while we were yet sinners.

3. Squash the need for people approval.


iMPACT QUOTE (i QUOTE): Written by Rev. Eric Levels

God specializes in the real thing. Don’t waste your time with an imitation of life.

We Should Share

  iMPACT QUESTION (iQ): What are you willing to share?

1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Often when I was a child I had a problem with sharing.  I didn’t like sharing anything with anybody because I was afraid that I could never take it back, or if it came back to me, it would not be the same.  I find this very similar to the way we Christians feel about our mistakes.  We have a problem sharing our mistakes because once we tell them, we can never take them back and we are afraid that things will never be the same.  The reality is that we would be right, but that it is beauty of transparency.  Our sin-story is meant to make others sin His-tory.  Sharing our story is meant to change the current condition of someone else’s life.  The wonder in sharing our missteps is that we keep moving in the victory of Jesus instead of defeat.  Love has no room for fear.  Its plate is too filled with a double portion of compassion and forgiveness.  This is lacking in the lives of most because many are starving for that portion.  We would never call someone healed unless at some point they were broken.  We must not forget our past, because it was meant to help someone in the present, in order to introduce them to their future.  Don’t be afraid to share what hurt you, but also don’t leave out Love who healed you.


1.  Confess your secret sin to someone else who needs to know.

2.  Create a safe place in you for people to share their predicament.

3.  Conquer your fear of judgement from those who hear your mistakes.

4.  Capture this moment to open the door to introduce Jesus to others.

iMPACT QUOTE (i QUOTE):   Written by Rev. Eric Levels       

1.  “Pain was often the pathway that people took in order to seek Jesus.  Don’t let the pride of our past pain keep someone from Him.”

2.  Being human is a dirty business, but don’t let the rain in your life cause you to be stuck in the mud of your mistakes.

3.  Don’t worry about your resume`.  You’ve got the best reference in Jesus Christ, because He’s all you need.

Looks Can Be Deceiving


 Hebrews 12:2

 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Impact Question (IQ):  What are current dilemmas that are placed before you?

I have found that often the dilemmas that lie in front of me are the same circumstances that produce victories and strength behind me.  When faced with adversity never get sidetracked with the difficulties of life.  Have eyes for the purpose behind the pain.  God never plans a harsh reality without a hope-filled rescue.  Your faith may become blurred by life’s tragedies, but don’t let it blind you.  Even if it does, God specializes in giving new vision.  The eyes of faith have a prescription that is designed to prepare us to see a promised future.

Impact Fulfilled (IF):

1. Resist the urge to create pity parties for yourself.

2. Reflect on what God may be trying to reveal to you in this season.

3. Read God’s Word to determine biblical relevance to your current


4. Rely on God’s assurance of an expiration date to burdens now and later.

Impact Quote (I Quote):  “Set your sights on the Master’s plan within the messy predicament.” – Rev. Eric Ryan Levels

“Know that your story has already been written.  Just be sure to read the lines and cues that God intended and don’t get creative and improvise, or add to what’s already there.  Trust the divine Director’s vision.” – Rev. Eric Ryan Levels

What a Man Has to Do


What a Man Has to Do

Read Philippians 2: 1-11.


MEN-tal Hook:

1.  God calls us to look to others interest instead of our own.  Describe a time when the concern of another changed your perspective about your current situation.(vs 4)

2. The responsibility of mankind lay squarely on the broad shoulders of Jesus.  What responsibilities do you currently have that may not go noticed but are necessary? (vs 8)

3.  How can considering oneself a slave-servant as Jesus did be a key component to His mission?  (vs 7)

4.  Jesus was right even though He was treated as though He were wrong?  How might the example of losing battles but winning wars be helpful to us as men? (vs 8)

5.  Jesus had to make the ultimate sacrifice as a man.  What sacrifices do you believe men have to make? (vs 8)