Submitted by jimmybritt on Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:30am.
If you have been to Rocky River Church over the last few weeks you know we are in a series called "Conquering The Giants." We've been learning from the life of King David how to conquer some of the major giants we all face in our lives. For example, we've learned how to conquer the giants of fear, failure, sexual temptation and financial difficulties. But there are some other giants that are common to us all that we haven't dealt with - and honestly will not have the time to during this series.
One of the giants I wish I had made time for is the giant of difficult people. We ALL have to deal with difficult people from time to time (maybe even day after day). The thing is that there are healthy ways of dealing with difficult people and there are unhealthy ways. Here a few things I've learned from the Bible (and from David's life) that I think will be helpful whenever you face a difficult person.
Context: David's difficult person was King Saul. Here are some things he did when dealing with Saul.
1. Focus on God - not your giant (the difficult person). God saturated David's mind and thoughts. This is SO important. It is important because it helped David focus on God - not Saul. If you focus on your giant you will become vengeful. The problem with vengeance is that it rots your mind and life because you replay and relive those ugly moments of life again and again. The Bible teaches us to "marinate" our minds on the Scriptures, which is to say, focus on God. Focus on God - not your giant.
2. Turn the other cheek. An "eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" will recreate the Hatfield's and McCoy's in your life. You are probably familiar with this infamous family feud. That war destroyed two families (and a lot of other people too) was fought one eye, one tooth, one neck and one dead son at a time. Most of us are familiar with the Scripture that says "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." The problem is that we usually ignore the rest of it. Here's the full teaching by Jesus in Matthew 6:38-39. “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.'"
If you live by an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth - only - when does it stop? It stops when a mature person says, "That's the end of it." David had several opportunities to kill King Saul and no one would have blamed him for doing so. In fact, his soldiers thought he was crazy for not killing Saul when he had the chance. But David knew that the killing and hatred and bitterness would only grow from one generation to the next. In 1 Samuel 24:8 David literally bows before Saul when he could have slit his throat just minutes before.
Face God - not your enemy. Let thoughts about God's goodness, grace and mercy fill your thoughts rather than being consumed by revenge and "getting even".
3. See the difficult person in your life as God sees him or her. How is that? When God looks at us - THANKFULLY - He doesn't see all of our faults. God sees us as His projects. So, that difficult, imperfect person you are dealing with is also God's project - NOT His failure. God is still working on that person just as He is working on you and me.
This is where forgiveness begins. That's the fourth thing we must do when we are dealing with difficult people. (KEEP READING!)
4. Work toward forgiveness. Forgiveness IS NOT excusing. Forgiving does not mean that you are glossing over your hurt. Forgiveness is not pretending that everything is okay or that there are no consequences for a wrong. Nor does forgiveness mean that you stay in a situation for someone to continually hurt you. For example, after David forgave Saul he also made the decision to stay clear of him. (See 1 Samuel 24:22)
Forgiveness simply means looking at your difficult person through "God's eyes." That means that you recognize that person is imperfect - as we all are imperfect. It means that you have decided to see that person as God's project and leave any revenge to God. It doesn't mean that you endorse, embrace or excuse that person. But it means that you are no longer going to let your life be mired down in that person's meanness.
One more thing....
Like Saul, we have been given forgiveness. Like David we should also freely give forgiveness.
Hope this help! God bless.
Submitted by jimmybritt on Mon, 07/09/2012 - 10:53pm.
Right now at Rocky River Church I am in a LifeTalk series called "God On Film." (BTW, I call my sermons "LifeTalks." Why? Because in my sermons I teach people real life "stuff" right out of the Bible. I like to teach what the Bible says, what it means, and what we do with it.) Anyway, this is a fun and engaging summer series where we look at some of the faith themes in this summer's blockbuster movies. This Sunday we are going to look at the new Batman movie called "The Dark Knight Rises." I am calling this week's LifeTalk "How Can I Change My Life."
One of my favorite people in the Bible is a man named Jacob. BTW, his name means "cheater." He was known all over as a swindler and a cheat. You can read all about His life beginning in Genesis chapter 25. It is a fascinating read. Anyway, in Genesis 32:22-32 Jacob encounters God in such a way that is changes his life, even to the point where God gives him a completely new identity. This weekend I will be teaching you four life principles for how God can change your life too. It should be a powerful weekend at Rocky River Church. I don't miss it! Make plans to attend and be sure to invite a friend to join you as our guest.
For directions from your doorstep to ours, go to http://www.rockyriverchurch.com/directions. We have two identical services at 9AM and 11AM. Hope to see you there!
Jimmy Britt, Lead Pastor
P.S. Here is the trailer to the "The Dark Knight Rises."
Submitted by jimmybritt on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 2:13pm.
Here are some really important things I've been learning lately.
1. Don't confuse God's silence with absence. God is right where you "left" Him.
2. Just because a dream has been delayed does not mean it has been denied.
3. Quote: "One war at a time." -Abraham Lincoln
4. Just because you are in a hurry does mean God is. What is He trying to teach you in the season you are in right now?
5. New levels bring new devils.
6. Drama reveals your heart.
7. Sometimes you have to go "through" before you can go "to."
Submitted by jimmybritt on Wed, 02/01/2012 - 10:01am.
90-Day Tithe Challenge
GOAL: We want to challenge you to start tithing and see God begin blessing your life as you commit to healthy financial stewardship.
How? We’re asking you to commit to give 10% of your total income for the next 90 days and give it to God through the church. If not a full tithe, then just give something to get started.
Submitted by jimmybritt on Tue, 01/17/2012 - 8:42am.
The religious leaders of Jesus' day had classified over 600 laws. It is a head-scratcher to think that God gave us 10 Laws (or ten words) to live by and human beings have to complicate it by adding to the list. Anyway, there were so many "man-made" laws that even they couldn't figure out which ones were most important. One day one of the "experts of the Law" asked Jesus to identify the most important law. Jesus responded by quoting from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 and said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment."
But how can that be proven? How can a person demonstrate that he or she loves God with everything they have? Who would really know? How is this lived out? Where is God that I can feed Him, or clothe Him, or hug and kiss Him? How do I tell Him that I love Him? How could I EVER demonstrate, quantify or qualify my love for Him? So before the "expert" could walk away or even ask his next question, Jesus cleared up the mystery of loving God and said, "And the second [commandment] is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." And so there would be no confusion, Jesus said, "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Here is the commandment for how to live your life today, tomorrow and every day going forward: Love God and love others. It might also by stated this way, "Love God BY loving others."
What God wants for our lives is as simple, and complex as this.
Submitted by jimmybritt on Wed, 12/28/2011 - 12:30am.
[A long post but worth the time!]
From Pastor Jimmy – Wrap Up AND Ramp Up
Wrap Up 2011 And Ramp Up To 2012
Submitted by jimmybritt on Tue, 12/06/2011 - 5:28pm.
I am on the "Breaking The Top 3 Growth Barriers" tour across Texas with Nelson Searcy and Scott Whittaker. Currently we are in Fort Worth, Texas. It is amazing how much God speaks and how clearly I can hear Him when I'm away from the everyday grind and responsibilities back home. Of course, I miss Karen and the kids though. :)
Anyway, here are a few quick learnings God has spoken into my life over the last couple of days.
1. What others do against you for evil, God turns it into good. That's not always immediate though; often it takes time to realize. Read through the stories of Joseph and his brothers in the latter chapters of Genesis. What Joseph's brothers meant to destroy his life, God used it for his own good. Joseph went from being a slave to the number two man in Egypt - the most powerful nation on the planet at the time.
2. In a giving contest between you and God - He wins! You simply can't out-give God. We've been trying to at RRC but can't! Try it and see for yourself!
3. Purity in your life leads to maturity. Remember from last Sunday, you become what you focus on. If you focus on filth, guess what you'll become.
4. God will never hitch His vision and blessings for your life to the people in your life who are trying to walk away. Truth is, sometimes you need to "get shed" of some of the people in your life. It may be painful to watch them go, but pruning usually is painful. But pruning today makes future growth tomorrow, possible. (PASTORS, BELIEVE ME ON THIS ONE).
Anyway, just some thoughts I've been having and things I'm learning. Hope they encourage you! God bless!
Submitted by jimmybritt on Wed, 11/09/2011 - 7:54am.
==> 90 Day Tithe Challenge <==
We want to challenge you to start tithing, and see God begin blessing your life as you commit to healthy financial stewardship.
How? We’re asking you to commit to give 10% of your total income for the next 90 days and give it to God through the church.
Who? Tithing is God’s plan for every follower of Christ. However, the 90 Day Challenge is for individuals or families that have not been tithing in at least the last two months. Tithing is 10% of your income, not just regular or spontaneous giving in the church offering.
Why? The only thing in the Bible that God says to test Him on is tithing. At Rocky River Church we believe in this so strongly that we want to give you the opportunity to take God at His Word. God promises to take care of your financial needs when you trust Him by giving Him the first 10% of your income.
Why now? For sure, it would be easier to do something like this after the first of the year once Christmas is over, and who knows, the economy might be a little better too. The leadership of our church feels very strongly that with the holidays approaching it is the perfect time for us to be reminded of what is important – and Who – and also that it is God we trust for provision and not the stock market, the economy or even ourselves. Instead, we trust in God for provision and resources.
Then What? We understand that giving away 10% of your income can be a big – and often frightening – commitment! That’s why we created the 90-Day Tithe Challenge. It’s more of a dare than anything else. We dare you to put God to the test on His promise in Malachi 3:10-11. We are challenging you to believe that God will meet your needs and beyond.
[A personal note from Pastor Jimmy]
Oh yeah, and at Rocky River Church we are practicing what we preach. While we have always done a great job at helping those in our church and community in need, we are taking our giving to the next level. Over the next 90 days (and beyond) we are giving the first 10% – our tithe – to further the Gospel by helping new church plants and missionaries in our community and around the world.
I believe that over the next 90 days we are going to have great testimonies about how God has shown Himself to be faithful in providing for those who trust Him. IN FACT, we are ALREADY hearing stories about what God is doing in the lives of those who are trusting God with the first of their income.
So, will you take the Tithe Challenge? Will you take this 90-day journey of faith and growth? More than 70 families in our church have signed up to say, “WE ARE IN!” Will you? If you will, shoot me an email that says in the subject line: “Tithe Challenge.” Include in the body of the email your name and address so we can support and encourage you over the next 90 days. My email address is Pastor@RockyRiverChurch.com.
God bless you!
Jimmy Britt, Lead Pastor
PS. You can give ONLINE right now at http://www.rockyriverchurch.com/give.
PSS. Click here http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=malachi%203&version=NIV1984 to read Malachi 3. This is one of the many great promises of Scripture.
Submitted by jimmybritt on Tue, 01/18/2011 - 7:43am.
I have been dealing with some BIG things in my life over the last year to 18 months. Specifically, I've journeyed to and through Gastric Bypass surgery. I've lost over 100 pounds. And that alone has made for some big changes. But there are more changes coming...
I am learning (and I've heard this for years but it is like I'm hearing recently like it is a brand new concept) that my number one job as a pastor is to stay connected to God. Sounds like a no-brainer doesn't it? But I have started to realize over the past few weeks and months that I am more connected with people who attend Rocky River Church and people who follow me on facebook and Twitter than I am to God. I'm realizing that my priorities as a pastor/Christian, husband, dad, and so on...are just out of whack. Maybe even out of order!
So, I'm working on reordering those things and my life so that I can be more connecting to God than other things and other people.
When I get this sorted out I'll let you know my plan...
Submitted by jimmybritt on Thu, 01/06/2011 - 8:06am.
[Mission / Purpose / Calling]
[Growth / Leadership]
- At every new level there are new devils (next levels mean new devils - TD JAKES). Specifically, there are three different kinds of devils (obstacles / opposition): Spiritual devils (“we wrestle not with flesh and blood”), strategic devils (such as logistical or systems problems), and relational devils (chemistry / people problems).
For example: When you teach on Stewardship (finances), don’t think of it as what you can “get from” people. Instead, you teach on stewardship because giving financially to the church is a discipleship issue. So you teach on finances because your job is to grow people, not just so you can grow your ministry. If you focus on growing people, your ministry growth will take care of itself.
Who's Jimmy Britt?
Jimmy Britt is the Lead Pastor at Rocky River Community Church in the Charlotte Metro area. R2C2 is a place for people, no matter who they are or where they’ve been. We are a church for people; that’s it, plain and simple.