Good to Great

Good to Great

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father.”  John 14:12

John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that you may have life and they may have it more abundantly.” 

Because Christ is now seated at the right hand of God, through His death, burial and resurrection, He has empowered you and I here on this earth to not only do good works as Christ did, but to do even greater works than Christ did.

Question for you this morning; how many of us feel as though we are without question experiencing these truths in their fullness this morning?

Fullness is defined as: The state of being full, it comes with the idea of being at maximum capacity. Let me also ask you, how many of our lives are full of God this morning to the point of capacity or overflowing?

Illustrate: I gave Nathan a fishing reel some time back and he was taking the old, braided line off to replace it with new. When he got about two thirds into the reel the line (the good stuff) ended, and the cheap monofilament line started. He asked me, what is this? I said it’s just backer. You will never use more than two thirds of the reel, the good stuff, why waste it. I suspect many of our lives are just like that; we are not “full” of all that God has to offer but rather we have merely put the good stuff on the most exposed parts of our lives. How much more effective for the Kingdom would we be if the character and nature of Christ ran all the way to the core of who we are, not just two thirds deep?

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great stated “Good is the enemy of great” So many Christians are willing to settle for a walk that is good and in doing so we are giving away greatness.

Our walk in Christ…our service to the body, the church; our public display of the Gospel… our investment to study the word, so often is based on what is least expected of believers in this culture and social climate rather than what was exacted from Jesus Christ…His life! Therein is the standard of worth for all things earthly and heavenward.

I am convinced most believers are not in danger of ruining their lives by falling into some form of sin, more times than not we are more at risk of simply wasting it. We have amazing potential for greatness in Christ!

Are you experiencing God’s fullness in your life?

Barry Campbell

Corporate Chaplain

Spending Time with God

Spending Time With God

If there is one thing I learned from nearly 34 years of marriage is that when my wife and I failed to spend quality time together; our relationship suffered. Quality time which consisted of me and her time. Not, me, her and the television or the lap top. Quality time is that time we spend together without distraction. We had each other’s un-divided attention.

Let me ask you a personal question this morning, (rhetorical but personal) when is the last time you spent some quality time with God in which He had your un-divided attention? Time in which it was just you and God.

Listen, spending time alone with God is indispensable when it comes to growing deeper in our relationship to God the Father through Jesus Christ.

One of the hardest things to accomplish in life is finding time to just rest in the presence of God. We all have responsibilities, we all have those things which demand our time and attention. What amazes me is how when we become strapped for time, and the business of life has us by the ankles; we sacrifice the very thing that can bring calm and peace in the midst of unprecedented pressure from every side….time…alone….with ….God!

I am reminded of the passage of scripture in which Elijah is standing on the mountain looking for God. However, God was not in the strong wind, nor was he in the earthquake that came next, neither was he in the fire that followed. The Lord God did speak to Elijah that day, but He spoke to him in a still small voice. I wonder how often God longs to speak to His children but we cannot heart His voice of strength, the voice of encouragement and grace because of all the clamoring and business and noise of our lives.

The Lord Jesus knew the importance of getting alone with God. Often He would separate Himself from the crowds and even those closest to Him, His disciples; that He might engage in time alone with the Father.

When is the last time you spent some quality time with your heavenly Father? The Psalmist said “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I will pray. My voice you shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to you, and I will look up.”

Psalm 119:147 declares “I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in your word”

Pray!

Barry Campbell

Corporate Chaplain

Understanding Christmas

Merry Christmas, I want to share with you several truths as to why we even have a holiday called Christmas to celebrate.

At the close of the book of Judges the Bible reveals just how depraved mankind had become. Judges 21:25 states “In those days there was no King in the land; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

The Nation of Israel had stooped to the place of turning their back on the very God who had time after time rescued them, preserved them and made provisions for them.

At the close of the Old Testament the Prophet Malachi preaches a message of God’s love for Israel but he also warns against the ongoing sin. Such as polluted offerings, corrupt priests, and infidelity. However, Malachi prophesies of the answer and the coming messenger who will bring a message of Hope…John the Baptist. He will also tell of a Savior with a promise and provision, protection, providential care as well as prosperity.

Over 400 years passes from the time of the last prophecy of the Old Testament and the first occurrences of the New Testament. Over and over again we see how man failed to live in accordance to God’s law, how they failed to offer suitable sacrifice for sin. Over and over again mankind’s inability to do anything about their sinful nature and the debt of it becomes vividly apparent.

You see God gave the law not that man could achieve a more holy or lofty nature but that we would realize that we are helpless to deal with spiritual things apart from the love of God. Remember this; in spite of man’s attempts to derail the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in spite of man’s hard heartedness and unwillingness to surrender to the calling of God, man has not evolved to a place in which we have risen above sin and a charge of guilty by the one who created us. We still need a Savior. The Gospel of Luke 2:4-14 records the ushering in of that hope and answer.

God did not send His only son to earth to boost the economy through holiday expenditures. Jesus didn’t come to institute a policy of gift giving, Listen close; Jesus Christ did not come to this earth to sanctify family time. Christmas is not for the purpose of family…It’s about the birth of a Savior for a lost and sinful people who were without hope! Christmas is about mankind’s need for a Savior! It is about that which sets the precedence of for love, sets the precedence for family, and sets the precedence for gift giving.

Christmas is about the coming to life of Emanuel which means “God with us” Christmas is about the coming to life of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus! The hope of mankind. A people of no hope now have an eternal future through the love of God! The greatest gift!

There is so much confusion today even among Christians as to what the Gospel is.

The Bible says in Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed man out of the dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” We must resolve that God created us, therefore I am His.

The Bible also proclaims in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” You see we all have to resolve that we have a sin problem that must be dealt with.

Something else we must resolve in our heart, soul and mind. The only solution to his or her sin problem is the only solution offered by God…Salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ. John 14:6 Jesus proclaims “I am the way the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

The Apostle Paul in Acts 26:18 shares with his readers exactly why he is called to preach. The message of his calling is true for all those called to the Gospel Ministry. Listen to what he says “To open their eyes so that they may turn (repentance) from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Christ.”

Through faith and repentance a person is forgiven their sin and granted eternal life. This is Christmas, this is why we gather and celebrate…the Birth of a Savior!

Merry Christmas!

 

Barry Campbell

Newby Management Chaplain

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

 

When we say thank you to someone for something they have done for us, the thank you is to be reflective of our gratitude.

 

God has accomplished much on our behalf! Our thank you to Him should always be more than token. They should be reflective of what God has done for us. He gave His Son that you and I might not suffer eternal judgement. God promised a comforter (Holy Spirit) to teach us, guide us, and encourage us. He did this that we might know life and know it more abundantly. Our thanksgiving ought to be quite in the morning, bold in the evening, our thanksgiving ought to have the voice of praise, the power of love and the ring of enthusiasm and sincerity.

 

But that is not all, if our thanksgiving is going to be reflective of the gratitude and thanks God deserves, there ought to be some labor attached to it, sacrificial, sweat popping, fruit bearing labor! Not because we owe Him, not because He needs our help, but rather because He deserves the glory!

 

So much of our thanksgiving is token. You don’t think so; when is the last time your prayer was full of “thank you” rather than “may I?” How often does our praise outweigh our requests? If thanksgiving is to be reflective of what God has done for us it ought to have the value of a soul attached to it.

 

How can this be accomplished you ask.

 

Take a look at what the word thanksgiving means. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it this way:

  1. The act of giving thanks.

Now consider the word “act” – A thing being done or deed.

  1. An expression of thanks to God in the form of prayer.

Now consider the word “expression” – A pressing or squeezing out a showing of feeling, character.

 

At its core of meaning thanksgiving is the combing of simple thanks with the act of giving. Thanksgiving is an expression that rises above thank you. We need to examine our lives to insure that our thanksgiving to God is more than a token statement.

 

This holiday season I wonder; what can we do to take our appreciation for God and those around us to the next level?

 

Have an awesome Thanksgiving!

Barry Campbell – Newby Chaplain

My Grace Is Sufficient

My Grace Is Sufficient

When confronted with someone struggling in this life, it is easy to quote the scripture found in II Corinthians 12:7-9 that states, “My grace is sufficient…” What does that do for the hurting? What does that do for the person dealing with a broken marriage or finances that are in shambles? What does this do for the person who is struggling daily to simply hold it all together? What does it do for the person who cannot bear one more negative thing in their life? What does it do when it seems that, with one more wave, the ship will have taken on more water than she can hold and stay afloat. Down we go into the depths of despair and discouragement. It would seem a bottomless pit with no way out, ever sinking deeper and deeper.

Maybe you are reading this and you or someone you know can relate to what I have written. I want you to know that there is comfort in these words; there is peace and assurance in these words. How? Why? Because Jesus Himself spoke them. Jesus didn’t just cast these words out on the sea of generality. He said them specifically to a man who was broken, who had reached the end of himself. This man was broken physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He was desperately calling on God as a last hope.

In the hour of his despair, in the hour of his discouragement, in one of the greatest struggles of the Apostle Paul’s ministry, Jesus Christ says “no” to Paul’s request for deliverance, but He says “yes” to an abundance of His grace.

It may be today, it may be tomorrow, or it may not be until next year. Despair and discouragement, trial and tribulation, unrest and dissatisfaction will all find you. And when it does find you, where will you turn? To the world for another temporal fix? To yourself to try and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps? When this great disturbance comes, is your relationship to the Lord Jesus one that will allow you to find rest in the sufficiency of His grace?

 

Barry Campbell

Corporate Chaplain

Newby Management

Gratitude Is A Choice

Psalm 103:2-5

 

I met a man this past Friday who had lost his wife of 59 years just three weeks prior. She went in for surgery and never left the hospital. I was very impressed that, even in the wake of the loss of his wife— the confusion, the brokenness, that he had a heart that was so grateful to God for all the many blessings throughout his life. He repeatedly made the statement, “God is so good,” and he said this— not in a manufactured way such as we might experience at a Christian conference or a church service— but emphatically and in a deep satisfied way.

 

Gratitude such as this is a choice. It is fostered through looking beyond the hurt and pain, looking beyond the struggles and strife, and focusing on all that God has blessed us with. It is to allow those things to fill our heart and to give voice to our praise. 

 

Fostering a heart of gratitude prevents negative behaviors such as complaining, gossiping, anxiety, anger, and bitterness. 

 

Kenneth Boa wrote, “Gratitude is a choice, not merely a feeling, and it requires effort especially in difficult times. But the more we choose to live in the discipline of conscious thanksgiving, the more natural it becomes, and the more our eyes are opened to the little things throughout the day previously overlooked.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 103:2-5, “Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion; who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

 

Henri Nouwen wrote, “Every gift I acknowledge reveals another and another until, finally, even the most normal, obvious, and seemingly mundane event or encounter proves to be filled with grace.”

Be an Encourager

One doesn’t have to look far in today’s world to find someone who is discouraged. Loneliness, depression, and the like are of epidemic proportions today.

In his book Live Not by Lies, Rod Dreher writes “Americans attend fewer club meetings, have fewer dinner parties, eat dinner together as a family less, and are much less connected to their neighbors. They are disconnected from political parties and more skeptical of institutions. They spend much more time alone watching television or cocooning on the internet. The result is that ordinary people feel more anxious, isolated, and vulnerable.”

Add to this what the world is experiencing with Covid 19 and the economy and you have a real quagmire full of depression and discouragement.

I wrote previously “Never assume you know another person’s situation or can understand what they are going through at any given moment.”

Think about this for a moment; does the fact that someone appears happy, joyful…appears to be okay, or doing good negate our responsibility to be an encourager? As you ponder that question consider a passage of scripture written by the Apostle Paul in Romans 15:1-2 “Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weakness of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

Here we have a biblical mandate to be an encourager to others. “Through the years I have said many times there is nothing that soothes one’s own soul like serving others.” I wonder, how might you use your strength, your possessions, your understanding of scripture to bring encouragement to someone else today?

Life Is Fleeting

Life is FleetingWhy does it, oftentimes, take a serious trial or even great tragedy for us to recognize the brevity of life? To recognize the importance of family and the relationships we share.

What if we knew specifically, the end was coming? What if we could see the tragedy before it hits? How would it affect us? How would it impact our lives? What about our families…the relationships are most important to us.

In Psalms 39:4 The Psalmist wrote: “Lord, make me to know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.” Later in Psalms 90:12 he writes “Teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom.” 

If only we had that kind of foreknowledge, how might it impact the things we do, the things we say, how might we guard the relationships we have?

I remember the day almost 13 years ago to the month my wife and I sitting together in the doctor’s office learned she had a rare disease that had a life expectancy from the time of diagnosis of only five to ten years. The next several weeks were a blur of emotions. But when the shock wore off and the roller coaster of emotions played out, we began to re-evaluate every facet of life. We were left with a greater passion and commitment for those things that mattered the most to us in life.

Fast forward to 2018 to a dimly lit, cold hospital room. While the news was terrible, it was not a surprise. I remember distinctly the conversation my wife and I had concerning the fact that we knew this day would come. Knowing is what made us focus more on the important things in life.

More often than not our daily lives were driven by family, and our relationships rather than what Charles Swindol calls the “Tyranny of the Urgent.” That is the pressing in of life all around us.

There is great wisdom in the words of the Psalmist. 

First, make every day count. When speaking about life he used words like brevity and fleeting, his point…life is short, make every moment count. Secondly, life is precious. Biblically speaking you “measure” things of value. Items such as grain, gold, silver, and life. Life is precious we should enjoy it with the ones we love.

And lastly, how we do life matters. Look again at the words used; know is used twice, number, measure, and heart. The Psalmist wants you to contemplate how you are going to spend your time here on earth doing this thing called life.

Have a blessed day, make it count!

Embracing Change

Embrace Change

There are a few weird people in the world, however, most do not enjoy change in their life.

Here at corporate, we have been hearing a lot about change as we set our sights on the future and a continued legacy of positive growth. We can all share changes we have experienced in our own lives. It has been said that “Change is the only constant in our lives.”

The reason change is so difficult is because we have programmed our lives by our desired outcome. When those goals, achievements, and benchmarks in life are not obtained or become threatened due to change, change or the author of that change becomes the enemy.

How do we embrace change with a Christian mindset? It begins with our mindset toward accomplishment. 

James 4:13-14 states “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”

When we read and understand this passage of scripture we see that we are not as in control of our destiny as we think we are. Several obvious truths pop out, God is in control, life is short and God’s will is higher than my own. 

As I wrote this devotion I repeatedly was reminded of something I have heard Todd Newby discuss many times throughout the years of my employment. When asked about the future business and growth of Newby Management, he always states that we trust God for that. We allow God to bring the business to the company. This ensures we have the right business and avoid the wrong business. This does not mean we sit back and do nothing toward gaining new clients. It means we trust God for the direction.

Listen to James 4:15, the verse following what I previously read: “Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

I think about the number of people in our corporate office alone who have lost a spouse in recent years. The change they have gone through as a result. I think of Joel Weaver and the change from the mission field of Africa to a secular job in America after 40 plus years. Embracing change means first understanding the Lord has a “will” a desire for each one of us. The closer we live in accordance to His will for our lives, the more purpose-driven we become, as His desires become our desires. 

Understanding change and the “why” is a futile search. What we should remember is the promise of Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Do not fear change; fear the inability to embrace it.

Finding The Right Motivation

Motivation

Finding The Right Motivation

Colossians 3:23-24

What motivates you in your work? Is it merely the paycheck you receive? Is it the pursuit of something more in life…material possessions? Maybe it’s nobler than that, perhaps a better future for your children.

I guess none of these in and of themselves are wrong or bad. However, when they are our sole motivation they can lead to great resentment which leads to disappointment when things don’t go the way we think they should. But when our motivation comes from the proper place, disciplined appropriately it can bring great satisfaction and success regardless of the production of our work good or bad.

The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church of Colossae this instruction “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as to the Lord rather than men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

This passage gives us several axioms of truth enabling the ability to find joy in your life, motivation for life, and so on.

Notice first the importance of your work: “Whatever you do…” this is a great equalizing statement.. it brings great equality and importance to all conditions. 

Notice second how you are to perform your work:  “Do your work Heartily” 

Thirdly who you are working for: “As to the Lord” Vs 24 “it is the Lord Christ you serve”

Fourth your true paycheck: “You will receive the reward of your inheritance.”

When these principles become the driving force or motivation for our work and life, whatever it is we then can discipline ourselves with daily regimens that help us achieve those more earthly and personal goals of success, accomplishment, material gain. 

Four such disciplines come to mind:

  1. Energetic
  2. Enthusiasm
  3. Commitment
  4. Excellence

Supposing that we can be honest with ourselves, here’s a little test. Put these disciplines in question form and ask them of yourselves.

  • How is my energy level when it comes to my work and life?
  • How is my enthusiasm for my work and life?
  • How is my commitment level?
  • Am I producing to my highest ability?

Often times the daily grind of work, the daily issues that we deal with, the constant bombardment of people with attitudes, the list of negatives goes on and on, the daily noise of these can rob our joy and steal our focus. 

It is imperative to remember:

Your work matters to God, whatever you do!

Your work is to be done heartily!

Your work is for Christ alone!

Your work will not go unpaid!