Friday, November 15, 2019

Increase Is In The Decrease

John the Baptist was so powerful & dreaded by kings & yet he spoke only of Whom he was called to represent.
John would model the PRINCIPLE of decrease. He would become hidden so that Christ would become seen.
This PRINCIPLE must remain in the life of leaders. Our FLESH, WILL & PRIDE must decrease so that Christ in us can be seen. This is called consecrated living.
Consecrated living takes ownership for it’s ACTIONS & refuses to blame others for uncrucified PATTERNS of the flesh.
Friend, the danger of BLAMING others for our failures is that we never make adjustments. So, we’re destined to fail repeatedly.
We can't keep hurting ourselves & BLAMING others. We're grown & know better. We can't do wrong & expect right to come of it.
Coach Wooten said, “You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes.”
At times, we can all give in to the fickle feelings of the flesh. Even John The Baptist did. However, while modeling a life of decrease, he followed the instructions Jesus gave him...and today we celebrate John’s leadership.
Friend, increase is in the decrease...if you can discipline yourself to seize it.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thankful For Good Men

There's a lot of negative attention given to men who won't "man up", take care of their families, do right, hold a job, crucify arrogance & pride, serve the Lord, etc., But today, I give a SHOUT OUT to the guys who are...
  • SUBMITTED to spiritual authority
  • Being DISCIPLED while discipling others
  • LOVING their wives/families
  • PROVIDING for their families
  • LEADING their families
  • Are walking FREE from addictions & vices
My thoughts on some GOOD MEN...
---> Nehemiah didn't survey the wall alone. A few GOOD MEN went with him "in the night." (Nehemiah 2:12)
---> Good men die for their families. Good men sacrifice, not regarding themselves, regarding others before themselves.
---> M.L. King, Jr. said, "When evil men plot, good men must plan." Good men plan.
---> "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way." (Psalm 37:23)

IF YOU ARE A LADY, who is looking for a GOOD MAN, look for these attributes...
  • A good man is a SAVED man
  • A good man is a GOD-FEARING man
  • A good man loves GOD'S WORD
  • A good man is a man of PRAYER
  • A good man wins SOULS
  • A good man WORSHIPS God
  • A good man goes to CHURCH
  • A good man PROVIDES for himself & his family
  • A good man will LEAD his family
  • A good man SERVES The Lord
  • A good man is a WISE man
  • A good man is HUMBLE
  • A good man WAITS on God
Shout out to all the GOOD MEN who are here shaming the devil with GOOD CLEAN LIVING & LEADING!

Stay strong!
Hold each other up in prayer!
Keep going!
Raise the bar!

"I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it...."

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Ask Jonah

If we are WILLING & OBEDIENT, then we can eat the good of the land. If we refuse & rebel, we are devoured. (Isaiah 1:19-20)

Jonah refused to do what God had instructed him. He & the people whose boat he got on lost a lot in the process.

Not every storm we encounter is one that we cause. Sometimes God allows the storm. If you’re in one...check for any areas of disobedience. Rectify that & not only will the storm cease...your family & friends won’t lose everything they’ve worked hard for...trying to keep you afloat.

Victory is on the other side of our obedience.

“Take my heart and form it
Take my mind transform it
Take my will conform it
To Yours, to Yours, oh Lord”

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"I Love Jesus, But I Don't Do Church"

“I love Jesus, but I don’t do church.”
This is the beginning of a conversation that I have had countless times with people of all different ages, backgrounds & experiences. As well as: “I’m a Christian, but I don’t have to go to church in order to love Jesus.”
It’s true. We definitely don’t have to do anything for God, nor is our salvation based on our works or church attendance. But it’s also true that when we surrender our lives to Him, we naturally desire to learn more about Him, to be a part of the body of Christ & to be held accountable & pointed toward sanctification. We are called to live out an active faith.
One of my favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 5:17,“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.“
When we truly repent, surrender & choose to follow Jesus, we are given a new heart, one that desires godliness & holiness. We are given the opportunity to make the daily choice to leave our past lives behind us & move forward toward the righteous life that He has set out for us.
“If anyone claims to live in Christ, he must walk as He did.” 1 John 2:6.
I was saved at the age of 8 years old. I've been in church all of my life. I've seen the good, the bad & even the ugly side of ministry. I've seen people leave the church because of disappointment, hurt, affairs, divorce, hypocrisy, greed, pride, etc.  I've seen people refuse to repent, refuse to forgive & hold on to hurt that made them bitter, angry, suspicious & broken.
So, as I write to our BFWC Family today, I'm not sitting behind a computer screen, lacking empathy or compassion toward the hurt or the disappointments that anyone has ever experienced. It's real & I have felt it too.
I'm also not ignoring the fact that the church is full of sinful people nor that there is hard pain & baggage to come along with it.  I'm simply turning my eyes to Jesus, the author & perfecter of my faith & hope!
I have made the choice to not allow the sinful, broken people of the church (those who look just like me) to be a stumbling block that keeps me away from my sinless, perfect & loving Heavenly Father who simply wants to draw us to Himself.
The church isn’t primarily a building or a set of programs or events. It’s a family.  A broken family, yes.  But a family all-the-more, seeking God to love more, serve more & share light in a super, super dark world.
We see throughout the Bible that Christ Himself was part of the church. His apostles were as well.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.“
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:11-12
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:9“You were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I fully understand that the ‘American Church’ with massive buildings, coffee shops & rockstar worship leaders with too-tight-skinny-jeans may not be what Christ had in mind. And we must be wise & discerning when choosing a church to ensure that it is bible-believing and bible-teaching.
But although some church buildings themselves may not be the same as the church in Jesus’ day, it is still made up of people who love the Lord (although imperfectly) & come together to hear His word.
While the context has changed, the mission remains the same – to glorify God & make disciples. Though the way we do things now may look a little different than first century Rome, it’s the same mission & strategy that propels us forward; assembling for worship, connecting in community, training up disciples.
I can almost hear some of the excuses as I type this:
  • The worship is too cheesy.
  • The pastor isn’t available enough.
  • I have too much going on in my life.
  • My husband/wife doesn’t want to go so I don’t go.
  • People aren’t welcoming.
  • It’s an awkward experience.
  • It’s not the church that Jesus designed it to be.
  • Having kids makes it too hard to get there.
  • And, of course, the most popular: Church is a corporate design created by man for the consumption of money; it is a place which promotes religion rather than faith and relationship.
I’ve heard it all. And, to be honest, many of these things I have thought myself until I came to a prayerful understanding by the Spirit of God.
Here are a few questions:
  • How will we fix what is broken in the church or help the people of the church if we refuse to be a part of it?
  • If you evaluate your life today, are you choosing busyness or bitterness over worship?
We can sit behind the scenes criticizing or we can live out an active faith – serving & getting involved – making real changes, loving on real people, living life alongside real pain.
The Enemy is strategic. He has come to steal, kill and destroy your faith, relationship with God & relationship with other believers.
If we constantly choose sleeping in on Sundays & breakfast with our family over church, if we choose a night out of entertainment over genuine community, sharing real life with one another & holy living, then we aren’t making a difference in the church that we may or may not see so many problems with.
We’re simply allowing the issues that we feel so strongly about to perpetuate as we carelessly look on.
I’ve witnessed church-hopping where people treat church like Goldilocks treated beds. People want that “just right” perfect church, but when they can’t find it, they simply walk away. All the Enemy had to do was distract them.
To that I say: Choose a place and stick with it. You’ll never find perfect. We should not be looking at what we can GET from the church, our hearts should be set on what we can GIVE the church.
As a reminder, the Enemy has the power to use both good & bad things to keep you from God things – but only if you let him. He uses distraction, bitterness, hard-heartedness, pride, awkwardness & even feel good/treat yourself days to his advantage.
C.S. Lewis said it perfectly“The perfect church service would be the one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God. But every novelty prevents this. It fixes our attention on the service itself; and thinking about worship is a different thing than worshipping. It is mad idolatry that makes the service greater than the god.”
My dear friends, God is the focus of the church. The service nor the people need to be perfect for you to hear His life-changing word. True life change happens in the church. We truly grow when we connect with every-day people, pour into them & allow them to pour into us.
The local church, led by Jesus, is the hope of the world & God’s means to disciple the nations & hasten his return. Matthew 16:18 says, “…On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
How can we despise or resent the church when Jesus not only said He was going to build it, but that He would use it to storm the gates of hell? That’s something I want to be a part of! Don’t you?
It’s true that there are churches out there which have fallen into the trap of trying to accumulate numbers rather than turning hearts toward God. But this isn’t the healthy church that God intended for it to be.
A bible-believing, bible-teaching church comes together as a reminder that we can only experience fruitful mission when we are fully abiding in & drawing strength from the true vine (John 15). His word is our daily bread.
And in a world offering countless different perspectives, there is one place that people can find truth (John 8:26). The church is a lighthouse in an ethical & immoral fog (Matthew 5:14–16).
If you claim to know & love God, yet do not have a desire to be a part of His church, I lovingly implore you to evaluate your relationship with Him. Get in His word & read what He has to say about His calling for us.
There are hundreds of things that we could do that would hinder us from sharing life with God’s people.
If you’re hesitant, I challenge you today to choose intentionality & join in worshiping God with a local church this week! I promise you that as many reasons as you might have not to go, there are even more reasons to trust God & pour your life & heart out for Him alongside His people.
Loving & Serving,
Pastor Hylton

Monday, July 22, 2019

Ten Things Your Team Needs

1. You need people on your team who help you win & can withstand the weight.
2. You need people on your team who talk more about the vision & dream than they do about taking more time off.
3. You need people on your team who work hard, run with the vision & who are self motivated.
4. You need people on your team who know when your hands are tired & rather than load you down more...they lighten you up.
5. You need people on your team that you don't have to constantly remind to do what they say they are called to do or what you're paying them to do.
6. You need people on your team who practice spiritual disciplines in private so that they can handle the pressure in public.
7. You need people on your team who don't wear you out mentally.
8. You need people on your team who are passionate about what they do & work harder than you!
9. You need people on your team who are gathers & builders not microphone holders & platform seekers.
10. You need a team that doesn't compete with you...but completes you.

• #DearPastor One negative person on your team can uproot everything you've built! You need the right people representing you!
• #DearPastor Build your team intentionally. Some want a spot on your roster because you're winning. Not because they're called to you.
• #DearPastor Remove negligent leaders from your team ASAP. If they can't be adjusted, they won't be effective.
• #DearPastor You have to know how to pick your team! You have to hire according to Purpose not friendship.
• #DearPastor No one on your team should be less motivated than you are. If they don't value your assignment, they're on the wrong team.
• #DearPastor If you are liberal with praise in your team it will bless you. The more you give it away the more it comes back to you. (Proverbs 11:25)
• #DearPastor There is a time when you must (in faith) stand up for yourself & stop letting people take advantage of your kind heart.