Inner Strength



Impact Question (IQ):  Where do you draw strength to keep going?

Impact Text: Colossians 2: 6-7

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.

It’s hard to trust something when you’re not sure that it’s going to work.  I was a part of a team project and the idea that one of the members had seemed too unbelievable to be effective.  However, the member said that he’s done it before and that gave the rest of us confidence that it would work.  Confidence in the face of the unknown is quite difficult and causes many of us to hesitantly engage life.  We don’t want to mess up or make a mistake.  That’s understandable, but costly.  I’ve learned in construction that if a foundation is not firm, it can destroy an entire building (dream, company, industry, people).  Yet Paul let’s the Colossians know that they’ve got the right root and foundation, so get building.  God intends you to build the life of His dreams.  Remember His plans for you are your heart’s desires. God didn’t promise us that we wouldn’t get splinters, but he promised that if we established an edifice of our lives that edifies Him, we would reap an eternal reward.  Don’t doubt the foundation in Jesus that you have.  The power that lies within will help you withstand any outward forces against you.

Impact Fulfillment (IF):

1. Trust the Word of God to shed light on what you wish to accomplish.

2. Thwart the fear of failure.    

3. Thank God for the overflow of blessings that come from living the Word.  

Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing. ~Steven Grayhm

Word to the Wise


 Word to the Wise

1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (Message Version)

1-2 You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.

3-5 I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.

6-10 We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text:

No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.

But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.

10-13 The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it.


MEN-tal Hook:

1. Describe a recent circumstance/trial that you faced?  Do you believe you faced it physically or spiritually?

2.  What was the best plain and simple advice you ever gave?  Received?  Why might plain beat deep wisdom?

3.  As men, God calls us to empower and not impress each other.  What ways have you experienced being impressive get in the way?

4.  Wisdom given through scripture is God’s way of bringing out His best in us.  How is God’s best demonstrated through Jesus Christ?  Our lives?

Hello Trouble


 Romans 15:4

 That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us.

Impact Question (IQ):  Have you been trying to avoid trouble in life?

Growing up I would always try to avoid getting into trouble.  I would watch my older brothers and try to make sure that I wouldn’t do anything that would disappoint my parents.  I realized that this was the beginning of right living.  Keeping this consistent pattern allowed for my life to be ready for trouble.  Righteous living is not meant for avoiding trouble, but being able to handle it.  Jesus did not avoid trouble.  As a matter of fact, he went towards it and picked it up for us all.  God is capable of carrying the weight of the worlds sins and troubles that weigh us down.  So when we are mature in our faith and confidence in God, we literally go looking for trouble having on the whole armor and protection of God.  God will lift what we let Him.

Impact Fulfilled (IF):

1.  Greet trouble with a pre-planned winning strategy.

2.  Gain new perspective and strength from the new challenge.

3.  Gather the courage to look your dilemma in the face and trust God to

handle the details of its defeat.



Impact Question (IQ):  What effect has God’s Word had on your life?

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

I consider myself blessed to walk in the light of the Lord.  I cannot say that this path has not had its hills and valleys, but I am reaping the benefits of a lighter life filled with the joy of Jesus by my side.  Today is my birthday and I recognize and have lost count of the prosperity with which I have been given.  I realize that my growth is all a result of reading the Word, communication by prayer to God, and a community of people who are in pursuit of His promises.  I’m thankful for the results of the seasons of my life submitted to God.

Impact Fulfilled (IF):

1. Thank God for the prosperity that you have experienced

2. Tell others of the joys of His service and rewards you’ve received which were unmerrited.

3.  Trust that a new season is promised on the horizon and that blessings come with a God centered


I Can

I can

Impact Questions (IQ):  How do we develop an “I can” mentality?

Josh Billings wrote “Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.”  There are some things that come natural to us, but there are aspects that can be reached with perseverance that starts with the phrase I can.  We get a lot more accomplished with thinking on the things that God enables us to do than on focusing on our difficiences.  I can promises potential action.  I can’t promises an abundance of absolutely nothing.  When faced with what God said you cannot or should not do, rest in the freedom of walking in what God allows.  Within His will awaits endless opportunity to enjoy life-giving options without the fear of regret and shame.  The All of God promises all of who you were meant to be instead of the struggle to become something that you’re not.  Just stick to the promises that God gave you until it gets there.

Philippians 4:11-13  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Impact Function (IF):

1. Write down what gifts and abilities that you are able to do and, when your feeling negative about yourself, read these things aloud.

2. War against the tendency to compare yourself with others.  God blesses all His children uniquely.

3. Welcome the abundance of a life lived in Jesus without the side-effects that come with decisions made without Him.

Holding onto Grace

shieldRomans 5:20-21 All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

Impact Question(IQ) :  In this life are we fighting while holding onto grace?

For those who believe and accept Jesus Christ are forgiven, covered, alive, and winners.  In the fight for our lives we often operate as if we are covered by a veil of grace when in fact grace functions as a shield.  I did a little research and found that in warfare the shield was prized by a soldier above all other pieces of armor. He counted it a greater shame to lose his shield than to lose the battle; and therefore he would not part with it even when he was under the very foot of the enemy, but esteemed it an honor to die with his shield in his hand. It was the charge which one mother laid upon her son going into war: “Either bring your shield home with you or be brought home upon your shield.” She would rather have seen her son dead with his shield than alive without it.  Similarly, in this life are we fighting while holding onto grace?!  We find that, in the war of sin versus grace, grace wins hands down.  Yet it’s the battles that we fight that give us trouble, because we often forget grace.  Forgetting grace leaves us vulnerable to any attack great or small.  When we meet God, He won’t ask to see our battle scars, but He will want to see evidence that we put up a fight.  I’m so thankful that even though I may forget about grace, it is something that once I’ve accepted, it can’t be lost.  I would rather be dead with it than alive without it.

The Mathematics of Ministry


Impact Question (IQ):  What does the Bible really add up to?

In the mathematics of ministry the equation of the Word of God equals love.  When we take away love we’re left with selfish emptiness.  If we desire a balanced approach to life,  love is what is found on either side: death or life. -Rev. Eric Ryan Levels