The Excel Still More podcast is designed to help Christians excel in their faith, their relationships, and really every part of their lives. If you are interested in growth in your faith, this is the show for you. If you want to see yourself reach greater heights, achieve powerful spiritual goals, and be a better servant of Christ, we are here to help. Each episode introduces a proven principle for achieving more. Then we show how the Word of God amplifies the idea. Finally, each episode will leave you with at least one practical project so you can put these tools into action today!Thanks for joining! Live your best life in Christ, and in whatever you do: Excel Still More!
Pride Prevents Promise
Israel was baptized through the Red Sea. They sang a song of victory and rejoiced in the grace of God. But... most of those celebrating that day did not make it home to the promised land. Why not? Pride. They began to feel entitled, and that caused them to turn attention from God to themselves.
Part of our episode today will investigate the mistakes of Israel in I Corinthians 10. How can we be less like them, more dependent on God, and beautifully humble?
We will also list 8 things from Kevin Deyoung's book, Crazy Busy. These words, all starting with the letter P (its a Letter P day!) represent more subtle ways that pride sneaks into our lives. Having sought humility in these things, you and I will be better positioned, at the foot of God's throne, to be more useful to Him.
"A Manifestation of the Many Manifestations of Pride" (pg 35-38)
- People Pleasing
- Pats on the Back
- Performance Evaluation
- Proving Myself
Ooh, I see some of my own pride in that list. But what does our year look like if we know where we need to be humble? If we ask the question: "is this about me? And if it was about God and others, how different would it look?"
May the Lord, who has blessed us in His grace and Spirit and Son, use us well and give us a life of gratitude, thankfulness, and service.
Eliminating "Crazy Busy"
Crazy Busy Book
Let's turn our attention back to planning through the end of the year and preparing for an amazing 2023. Part of this is spacing out your goals to avoid being "crazy busy." That is not a compliment. Crazy busy people make unneeded sacrifices and end up not enjoying the journey nor the destination. Let's examine how to be more like Jesus. Part of that is knowing your limitations, finding humility, and being ready to be what God wants you to be.
7 Thoughts from Crazy Busy: Calming the Crazy Man Inside (pg. 47-50)
1) I am not the Christ
2) There is Good News
3) Care is not the same as Do
4) I can always Pray Right Now
5) We have different Gifts and different Callings
6) Remember the Church
7) Jesus didn't do it all
Can you lay out a few things that represent your most crucial priority?
What matters most and can you attach actions and growth to those things?
Be prepared to have a "posteriority" list. Things that belong at the bottom.
The [Adjective] Baptism
"Denominational" Baptism. "Church of Christ" Baptism. We come up with lots of adjectives before the word baptism that are not found in Scripture. This often leads us away from the simple truth of the Gospel. It leads to labeling, party system, and sectarianism.
The temptation to implement our judgments on a person's baptism is strong among God's people. We want to know who baptized them. We want to know who the teacher was. What church they were in. And other factors to decide if they are like us. All of those are factors. But be careful. Anyone, anywhere, anytime, can read the Scripture and obey it, without asking your permission or using your local church's baptistry.
We want to know: have you submitted to God in the One Baptism:
- Full Immersion in Water - John 3:23. Acts 8:35-39
- To Follow and Obey Jesus - Matthew 3:15; Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-20
- For the Forgiveness of Sins - Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16
- Uniting with Christ's Power - Romans 6:3-7
- To be Added by God to the Body - Acts 2:47
- To Begin a New Walk in Faith - Acts 2:31-47
How much did they know beyond this?
- Some say a whole bunch - Acts 2:40
- But Scripture argues differently - see Acts 8 and Acts 16
- But what about the Baptizer?
- And what about the Teacher?
- Or the Church they came from?
- How will our Church handle that?
Let's dig in - cutting through sectarian and denominational thinking and getting back to the Word and the simple connection between and Individual - the Gospel - and God.
Reverse Bucket List
We are getting down to the last couple of months in 2022. This is an outstanding time to evaluate the year and start working on plans for 2023. I don't like waking up in January jumping in to something new. I want to work on it, plan it, and get it set up now... so the New Year starts with excitement and structure.
A fun way to get into this way of thinking is The Bucket List. So let's spend some time on that. But there is a really cool, perhaps even better, list to examine: the reverse bucket list. What if we look backwards to assess where our attention should go in the future?
- Are you ready to do some work now to make 2023 the best year of your life?
- What is a Bucket List and why are they so fun to make?
- But what are some drawbacks of putting our joy and hope in a list like that?
- What is a Reverse Bucket List and how does it give us deeper perspective?
- How can you plan 2023 with reachable goals that deepen things you know you love?
Where's the Grace?
"Where's the beef? - Do you remember the old Wendy's commercials from the '80's? An older lady sees a tiny patty and asks where is the rest of it!? Sometimes people say that about grace, when referencing the preaching, teaching and Christianity they grew up with.
But maybe that isn't a fair judgment. Grace can be preached without mentioning the word. In fact, the substance of grace is not found in a word, but in a story: the story of Jesus. Let's explore the depth of the nature of grace and how we can know it well and be filled with it!
To be sure, some shied away from focusing on grace and Jesus - for whatever reason much more emphasis was put on actions, authority and patterns. Those things are really important, but they mean nothing without the story of Jesus and the power of His mercy in your heart and life. Let's explore that today!
- Were you taught grace where you worshipped growing up?
- Does that mean mentioned the word, or is it more about the biblical idea?
- How does the story of Jesus represent the deliverance of God's grace upon this earth?
- What happens in my heart and life when I am connected to Jesus every single day?
- Will others see grace when they encounter you? And how do you make that happen?
The Wedding Sermon
Today is wedding day for some great friends of ours: Beau Barnes and Hannah Holt. I have been asked to officiate and I'm up here at the building practicing! Right in the middle I thought - Hey I want to share this with all my friends! So, here's my wedding sermon.
First and foremost, we need much more optimism! God's picture of marriage is very good, a great reward and the answer for loneliness! If this isn't your marriage - all I can say is that it was designed to be and has the potential in it somewhere.
But we need to talk about some tips and strategies. Three things will make a huge difference and we talk about them today: all in allegiance to God's right to govern your home, all in commitment to oneness from now until the end of your life, and three really beautiful words: love, love, and love.
- What do you remember about your wedding day?
- Do you remember the optimism for the future that filled the room?
- How does commitment to God's government of your marriage a powerful start?
- What happens when we have no option but to get through trouble together as one?
- Have you looked at love in three, distinct and important categories?
Life gets better every time I listen
Guaranteed best podcast you’ll ever listen to. Start with number 1. Your life will improve immediately.
God has been very patient with me. He has tried for 67 years to draw me to him. Now that I am finally listening, He has blessed me with the Excel Still More podcasts. I am so thirsty for more, and Kris Emerson helps to fill that void by bringing up intriguing points that drive me happily to the Word to learn. I have yet to hear a podcast that didn’t strengthen me! God is in this project and I am eager to Excel Still More!
I wish to thank you I normally do not do these reviews and things like that usually you’ll get a star rating and a simple disappointment or a simple thank you I’m not good at these things, but over my life especially the last eight years or so things have changed for me so dramatically and you have been a tremendous inspiration and example that I pray I can continue forward with.
God bless you and your family stay safe and well.