Category Archive: faith

On The Road Again

Hey Friends,

This week has been awesome! I’m still soaring over all the Lord did through Easter. We at Faith Promise make a great team. I am now excited about what is coming up this weekend. We are starting a new series from the number one illustration in the whole Bible. That would be the Exodus! Our Bibles would shrink greatly if that story and all the times it is used, talked about, or referenced were taken out.

We are going to focus on one major issue in the Exodus and that is the wilderness wandering. It was an 11-day journey from Egypt to the Promised Land and yet it took 40 years and everyone died on the way. That is a bummer deal. Not only did they die wandering in the wilderness, but they also missed God’s will and all He had for them. God had planned a land of plenty and they died in the desert.

Could it be that most Christians do the same thing?  We have been saved and yet we wander in the wilderness. It is God’s revealed will that we walk in victory after we are saved, rescued from the slavery of sin. As you look around do you see believers living in victory? Nope, and why not? The same reasons the Hebrews wandered around complaining until they died.

In the new series, Road Trip, we are going to learn how to live in victory! We are going to learn how to enter our own personal Promised Land purchased by Jesus on the cross. This is His will for you to walk in. The choice is yours. Life or death, blessing or cursing?

As a pastor of thousands of people I stay burdened and broken by how believers live. I watch them wander in their own personal wilderness and never achieve what the Lord had for them to do. If this might be you, I challenge you not to miss a message in the new series starting this weekend at Faith Promise. The door to your Promised Land is standing wide open. By faith, walk in.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Wilderness Living is Unacceptable!

 

Hey Friends,

February has been a blur. I have been on the road so much that I have not written many blogs. Sorry! I can tell you it has been an amazing month. I have been to two conferences and my cup is truly running over.

I write these blogs by faith because sometimes I wonder if anyone reads them. I was in Dallas last week and a pastor told me my blog kept him going in a horrible time in his ministry. I was blown out of the water. God is good! Let me ask you a strange question:

ARE YOU WALKING IN THE WILDERNESS?

As I talk and minister to people it seems many are just “wilderness living.” Read the story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. They never seemed to walk in continual victory. You are an overcomer and you have the victory, so what is the problem? I can tell you, for many it is DOUBT and UNBELIEF.

Peter could walk on water as long as his focus was on Jesus but when he focused on the storm and the waves, he sank. The war that rages is in our minds. We are taught in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to: “Take every thought captive.” In the war of our thinking we need to cinch up our belt of TRUTH!

James tells us not to be “double-minded.” Double-minded is a person stuck between two thoughts or opinions. Elijah asked the nation of Israel “how long they would be stuck between two opinions?” In Hebrews 4 we are taught of our place of rest. God has a place of rest here for us. It is found in our minds.

The question is, who will you believe? God or the Devil, the Word or the world? The demonic twins of doubt and unbelief will steal all your power and joy. The choice is yours!

By faith stand in and on the Word and walk in the victory purchased for you on the cross! You are an overcomer so believe it and receive it!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S.  Please pray for  me this week as I preach a revival for The River Community Church in Cookeville.  Over 60 salvations on Sunday already!  Praise God for Pastor Steve Tiebout and a church that is making it hard to go to hell from Middle Tennessee!

 

Busting Bearriers

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Extraordinary Favor Requires Extreme Faith

 

Hey Friends,

We all want God’s favor to rush over us like a raging river! There is only one problem with God answering our prayers – we will have to have our faith increased to match the new challenges! Having our faith increased requires gut-wrenching prayer and some stressful situations. When we are in a position that requires faith and there is nothing we can do about it, it is uncomfortable. We do not like uncomfortable!

Being in a position of faith puts us in a place of utter dependence and total desperation. We realize and recognize that we are not in control. As I look back over almost 30 years of ministry, the things I asked God for years ago look small today. I can promise you they were not small then! As God continues to pour His favor on me I have to have more faith.

In the last few weeks I have been in crisis mode. Josh Whitehead, our Executive Pastor, showed me the budget for Faith Promise for 2012. Let me bottom line it for you – a 21% increase! $3,000.00 dollars a day more. The increase is due to the launching of the North Knox Campus in March and the expanded Pellissippi campus. Gut Punch!  What do I do? This is huge… a time of stress, freaking out, etc., then time to remember all God has done.

Expanded Favor Requires Extreme Faith!

We all want His blessings, favor, Hand, and increase of so many things, but what of the feeling and the faith required? This is why so many shrink back at the blessing of the Lord.

As I write this blog I have just finished my prayer time. I am asking the Lord for a million dollar month this December. December is a great giving month, but 1,000,000.00? Extreme! This is what we need to finish the year and be in shape for 2012. So, I need extreme faith for all that we are asking the Lord to do.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Would you pray with me and agree for God to move? In what area do you need favor and then faith? To have one, the other is required!

How do you see it?

Love Ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S. I would love some help getting the word out about the new book.

 

I Hate Feeling This Way!

 

Hey Friends,

I think I have found out why we don’t want to live by faith. We hate the feeling! Let me explain. At Faith Promise we are in the budget process. In 2012 we will complete the expansion of the Pellissippi Campus and we will add the North Knoxville Campus. We also have increased numbers in every aspect, driving up the cost of ministry.

So now, for 2012 we are looking at a budget increase of approximately 22%! Scary to say the least. Not to mention we are about out of space now at the Pellissippi Campus. How can the money increase when we have precious seats for new souls? A dilemma, without question.

So as I pray and consider the cost of the increase, I have the feeling of utter desperation and total dependency on our Lord. I have to say I’m not thrilled by the feeling in the pit of my stomach. It just hit me a few minutes ago that I don’t like this. Who does? Feelings like these are totally against the flesh. So what do we do? We move to a position where we do not have to feel like this. Guess what that means? We quit walking in the Spirit and by faith. “Those that walk in the flesh can’t please Him.”

So, what will we, I, you, do? I am going to push through and learn to like utter dependence and total desperation. I can promise you it affects my prayer life. Are you in a position where God has to move? Are we afraid to place ourselves on the line? Where is the line between presumption and faith?

All hard questions, but what is undeniable is the fact we do not like the feelings that walking by faith bring. Growth requires discomfort and means facing difficult issues. Are you ready? In what area do you need to step out of the boat? Are you walking by faith?

There is another way to look at it: It is a journey and we are to walk it with excitement and anticipation. The journey of faith with Jesus is true living; it is life indeed. Are you alive? Yes, it is scary walking on the water, but what a story we will have to tell!

Just a thought from my prayer time this morning…

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

 

 

 

 

What Lights Your Fire?

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Limited?

Hey Friends,

The Lord has been speaking to me lately about some areas in which I have been limiting my ministry! I’ll bet the same could be said for every leader reading this blog. Let me explain. Jesus said, “Let it be done according to your faith.” The Scripture also records, “I can do all things…” and, “Nothing is impossible with God…” I am sure you could quote other verses affirming the power that works in each of us.

At our Pellissippi Campus we are just about out of space, or are we? I determined that 500 was the maximum we could run at our Saturday night service. The truth is, we have 1,050 seats. Why did I SELF-LIMIT our potential? As a matter of fact, I did it years ago. I heard it said that 50% was capacity on Saturday night and I just bought it. I also said 300 was our maximum attendance at our 9:00 am Sunday morning service. Why? Because we had struggled at 8:30 and so many people love to sleep in on Sunday mornings. So, I just confessed that 300 was our max, self-limiting our ability to reach more lost people.

In 12 months we will move into 600 additional seats in our Pellissippi Worship Center and have more space for kids and fellowship. So, we can quit and say we can’t grow until we have more room, or we can believe God will maximize all our services. That means we must hit 750 or more on Saturday night. It also means we have to grow the 9:00 am service. Our God is able and we must believe by faith He can do it and He will use us to accomplish His will.

If we get real, it us usually the leader that is the bottleneck to growth or forward momentum. We can’t allow the gospel to be stifled, stopped, or slowed down! God can burst through the barriers that we all face. What barrier is blocking you? Is there an area in your ministry you are self-limiting?

By faith you can win and go to the next level!

Praying for you.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

I Don’t Get It!

Hey Friends,

Have you ever heard this said or maybe said it yourself: “I JUST DON’T GET IT!”  We have all felt the frustation of not understanding why something is happening. As time goes by we finally get it. Hindsight is 20/20. This is a fact. Are we really supposed to get it? I think not! If we got it all then we would not need faith. Wayne Cordeiro said, “Faith is living in advance what we will only understand in reverse.”

We will not get some things until we get to heaven, and other things time will expose. The question is, do we really trust the Lord enough to walk with Him even when we do not get it? When you don’t understand His hand you can always trust His heart. There have been times in my life when the circumstances did not make any sense. Where was God in the midst of the mess? I’m sure Joseph asked the same question as a slave or as a prisoner in the dungeon who had committed no crime.

Faith is trusting that God is, and that He is with us and He loves us! Without question! One day we will get it. I do not want to face the Father and hear Him ask why I did not trust Him.  Far too often Jesus questioned the faith and trust of the disciples. How is your faith?

Maybe you are in a situation right now that is more than you can bear and you don’t get it. Wait and worship! Trust that the Lord is close and He has your back. Many times I don’t get it and yet He always comes through. I am a satisfied customer and a happy camper. He is too good to me to question Him.

What are you facing right now that makes no sense? God can make sense out of chaos. He is in control. If you are His, He has your back.

Just a thought…

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Are You Ready for a Miracle? (Guest Blog from Michele Stephens, Worship and Creative Arts Director)

Are you ready for a miracle?

I remember last year trying to explain to the Worship Ministry what Miracle Month and the Miracle Offering was, what it looked like and what to expect.  The problem was that I didn’t know for myself.  I knew that God had spoken to Chris’ heart and led him to do a month of miracles as well as include a miracle offering to financially support FPC’s initiatives.   Some people thought we would we be dancing around the offering boxes, offering our first born, and every other crazy thing they had seen on TV or read about.  I had no idea what it would look like.  As the weekend drew near we anxiously awaited to see what God was going to do.  The stock market had hit an all time low, people were not sure what to think or expect….God gloriously came through exceeding our prayer goal of 1 million dollars to the extent that we also were able to adopt an orphanage in Haiti.  Many people throughout the month prayed and believed God for physical healing, jobs, and restoration of relationships. As a result there were physical healings of Lupus, seizures and cancer.  Many people received jobs, marriages were restored and prodigals came home.  Was this all because they gave money?  No, it was because they had faith.

So, now there is this year.  We do know what last year looks like; however, we do not want yesterday’s manna.  There are still questions and fears.  Miracle Month at Faith Promise Church is a time where we concentrate on the word “miracle” – something that can only be explained by God.  If we could explain financially, physically, or spiritually our goals and expectations, they would not be considered miraculous.  It will be a miracle for people to be healed of cancer and other diseases. It will be a miracle for the people I’ve been praying for to get through some of the financial situations they are facing. It will be a miracle for family and friends to be saved, and in our current economy, it will be a miracle to have an offering of 2 million dollars – but that’s just it – a miracle!!!!  Something that can’t be explained by what we can do.  Instead of being worried if it can happen based on what you personally can do, begin praying about what He can do.  There is no way to accomplish it with the resources inside of the people at Faith Promise Church – there is a way with the resources of Jehovah Jireh – the Lord our Provider.

I want to be a part of something that can only be explained by God so that He gets all the credit, glory and honor and not me, my family, or Faith Promise Church. Rather than be worried if I can come up with a certain dollar amount, or if the people I’m praying for will receive their miracle – I am praying that God help my faith to trust and believe Him.  There is no pressure or guilt on me, just expectation and wonderment.  What are you believing God for?  Step out there.

 

God’s Kingdom and the Current Economic Meltdown!

Hey Friends,

Look anywhere and all you see is fear and questions about the future! Where will the stock market go? What will we do? What is next? The questions swirl around us on every possible media outlet. As Christ-followers are we supposed to live in fear? Has God got this or what? Where is our faith, or what have you put you faith in? As I read the Word we are not supposed to focus on the circumstances, but the Christ over the circumstances.

At Faith Promise we are two weeks away from what we call a Miracle Weekend and our Miracle Offering! This timing could not be worse by the world’s standards, but from God’s vantage point the timing is great. We get to show the Lord where our faith and trust really are. The Kingdom continues to grow and go regardless of the economics. Lost people are still heading to hell and we must make a difference. I have no problem asking God’s people to sacrifice and give by faith even as the stock market rolls down the roller-coaster!

Our God is bigger than the economic problems we face. Most Christians seem to focus on the natural and the physical, when we are commanded to focus on the Christ over the circumstances.  What an opportunity to show the world we have faith in God and we will not be afraid! Not only that, but we are going to continue to march off the map in service to our Lord.

Are you afraid? Remember God holds the world in His Hand. He holds you and you are to rest in Him!

Just a thought,

Pastor Chris