#RelationshipGoals

Posted: February 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

Stop for a moment and let this powerful statement sink in:

SHOW ME YOUR FRIENDS, AND I’LL SHOW YOU YOUR FUTURE.

 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

Influence is a powerful thing. Who we choose to spend our time with directly effects how we think, where we go and the destiny we will arrive at. If you just take a moment and reflect on the relationships you’ve had in your life over the last few years you’ll begin to see the pattern. We begin to become the people we hang out with.

I want you to agree with me right now over this statement:

It’s Impossible To Live The Right Life When You Have The Wrong Friends

 I don’t need people in my life that are distracting me from living for God and following His plan for my life. I don’t need people in my life that are tempting me to sin. I don’t need people in my life that have a negative and critical spirit.

 

I need people in my life that are going to encourage me. I need people who are going to challenge me spiritually. I need people in my life who are going to tell me the truth. I need people that are going to help me raise my game to live a life that honors God and accomplish the purpose God has put me here on this earth.

 

You Might Be One Friend Away From Changing Your Destiny

 

 

Relationship Reset

Posted: February 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

Social media is changing the landscape of relationships. The average American has a little over 300 friends/followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, but in a recent study sociologist found that people feel more alone than ever before. On average people could name only two people who they considered to be close friends and 25% of people revealed that they had no close friendships at all. Twenty years ago the same study revealed people could name on average six close friends.

 

The rise of technology has changed the definition of friendship and has given us immediate access to people. When we feel a little bit lonely we can just grab our phone and share how we are feeling, what we are eating or take a picture. Then in an instant the likes and comments come rolling in. The affirmation releases chemicals in our body that makes us feel good for a moment. We are addicted to this immediate feedback! What we are doing is meeting a short-term need, but we are deferring a long term deeper need. There is a new term that sociologist use to describe this feeling called “deferred loneliness”. We are living for likes, but we’re longing for love.

 

The word of God reminds us about how much we need real relationships with one another. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “ And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.”

 

Here are some great practical ways to live these verses out:

  1. Practice the Power of Presence
  • Choose to build relationships with people “face to face” rather than “thumb to thumb”.
  • Build quality time with people into your schedule (date night, dinner around the table, making memories)

 

  1. Be Fully Engaged When You Are Sharing Life With People
  • Look people in the eye
  • Use words of encouragement
  • Put your phone away

 

Connect With Me:   Jeff Hickman

Website: www.lifesongchurchonline.com

Email: Jeff@lifesongchurchonline.com

Cell: 864 216-9982

Connect with us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LifeSongChurchOnline

Come see us on Sunday at 9:30 or 11:00am. 12481 Greenville Hwy Lyman SC 29365

Where Do I Go Next In My Life?

Posted: February 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

A few weeks ago I had to venture out late at night to get my 15 year old from a birthday party. With only an address and the confidence of the one other time I had been there, I set out. Once I exited off the main road and got onto the side roads I had an overwhelming feeling hit me that I had no idea on which road to turn. I found myself sitting in the dark at an intersection wishing I had not forgotten my phone. I was slightly lost. I needed to talk to somebody. I needed help to get to where I needed to be.

As I reflected about this event I thought about how often this happens to people I encounter. We don’t get lost in the middle of the night without a phone sitting at an intersection in the middle on nowhere, but we do face what I call God’s moments of intersection in our life.

God ‘s moment of intersection in our life is when something happens and all of a sudden we realize we can’t handle it on our own. We can’t fix it. Maybe this intersection comes in the form of an unexpected health problem, a relationship that is falling apart, financial problems or an addiction. Whatever it is has got our attention and we are looking for help and answers.

I find that the valleys of life, while they can be the most fearful and painful times in life, can be the moments that we look back on and point to as the greatest time of personal and spiritual growth. These difficult times make us humble, open, and ready for change.

Consider this verse, Jeremiah 29:13, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Maybe you are ready to search God with your whole heart today or maybe it will come 5 years from now when God’s moment of intersection arises in your life. Regardless of when it is, I pray God will remind you of this devotion and you will know that LifeSong Church is here ready to help you get where you need to be.

Here is how to get in touch with us:

Website: www.lifesongchurchonline.com

Email: Jeff@lifesongchurchonline.com

Cell: 864 216-9982

Connect with us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LifeSongChurchOnline

Come see us on Sunday at 9:30 or 11:00am. 12481 Greenville Hwy. Lyman SC 29365

#IBELIEVE

Posted: September 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

The ability to be successful is not about what material things I can gain it really is about my internal state of peace, joy and fulfillment in how I live my life. If I can thrive on the inside then that abundance will push its way out into every area of my life. But it starts on the inside, in my heart. So when things get difficult we often have to stop and check our directions. We have a internal compass, it is called our heart and the heart that is surrendered to the Holy Spirit has a huge advantage, a supernatural guiding by the God who made a life plan for us. Psalms 45:1 “My heart is overflowing with a good theme;
I recite my composition concerning the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

For the sake of clarity I think it is super important for us to draw a distinction between a Christian home and a Christ centered home. In many Christian circles it seems to be enough to simply believe in God, acknowledge that we need salvation through Jesus Christ and once our household has made that decision we check it off as a completed task. That is what I would define as a Christian home. Yet in this home there is dysfunctional Christianity. Very little prayer except maybe over meals. Very little conversation about Jesus. Jesus is rarely considered in decisions. Church is attended but very little life change comes out of it. In short, a peek inside the home would reveal that this family is not much different than a non-believing family.
In comparison a Christ Centered home also believes in God and that salvation comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but the approach to how they live their Christianity is much different. Just as the name implies Jesus becomes the center of the home. There is a belief that following Jesus and His ways results in spiritual power. There is faith in the prayers of the family believing that a great and powerful God hears their prayers and will answer. There is prayer for miracles. Prayers of surrender. Prayer over daily decisions. The Word of God is honored and talked about in terms of how to live life and how to make decisions. There is a love for the bride of Christ, the church. It is not a question of will we go to church, but our love is compelled by the love of Jesus for His church. We serve, love, give and honor the bride out of honor, love, passion and respect of Jesus. In short, in a Christ centered home Jesus is first. The relationship with Jesus Christ is alive as if He is living in the home just like any other family member. Do you see the difference? What are you going to do about it?

How do we know if we are growing in our relationship with Christ?

For every Christ follower that desires to be transformed by the power of God that is an important question. It is also an important question for the church, especially in a church culture that heavily celebrates salvation, but does very little to celebrate spiritual growth. This can leave the impression with a lot of people that once you “pray the prayer” you are good. I have witnessed first hand how dangerous it is for us to celebrate the starting line of a relationship with Jesus Christ like it is the finish line. Salvation is not a momentary decision that now all of a sudden makes you “arrived” or “complete”.

I recall of a conversation with a guy who would call himself a “Christ follower”. He was in church every week and faithfully serving. He was living and sleeping with a woman that was not his wife. Left her and starting doing the same with another women who was married. When I brought it up with him there was no conviction that this was sin, but rather, he was offended and continued his behavior and celebration of this sin on social media. While this is an extreme circumstance it underscores what I am seeing from many in this current church culture that celebrates salvation, but not holiness. Salvation comes through repentance and submission of life and will to follow Jesus Christ as Savior and, don’t miss this, Lord. Making Jesus Lord in every area of  life is what the Bible describes as “transformation” or “sanctification”. Transformation occurs along the journey of life as we willingly submit to conform to the nature and character of Jesus Christ.

So how can we know if we are growing in our relationship with Christ? I wanted to try to make this helpful as possible so we could examine the difference between a life controlled by flesh vs. one controlled by the Spirit.

Spirit-Filled Mind Sin-Filled Mind
Forgiveness Unforgiveness
Humility Pride
Hope Evil Thoughts
Thankfullness Ingratitude
Confidence Covetousness
Faithful Faithless
Impartial Arrogance
Gratitude Greed
Appreciation Heartless
Willingness Selfish-Ambition
Self-control Haughty

Spirit-Filled Emotions Sin-Filled Emotions
Love Hatred
Joy Anger
Peace Rebellion
Patience Bitterness
Long-suffering Unloving Attitude
Gentle Spirit Jealousy
Gladness Malice
Compassion Bad Temper

Spirit-Filled Mouth Sins of the Mouth
Truthfulness Lying
Praise Slander
Tact Complaining
Thankfulness Disputing
Gentle Answer Yelling; Quarrelsome
Encouraging Backbiting
Pleasant Words Gossip

Spirit-filled Behavior Sins of Behavior
Kindness Fornication
Gentleness Adultery
Courage Brutality
Righteousness Murder
Self-Control Revelry
Obedience Drunkedness
Cooperation Stealing
Servant Violence
Submissive Favoritism

I love the way Paul described this process in us that changes our old self (the right column) to the new man (the left column). Phil. 3:13-16 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,[a] let us be of the same mind.”

It doesn’t happen in day and it doesn’t happen if you are not pursuing being transformed by Christ.

Here is a question that every Christ follower ask and wants the answer to, “How do I Spiritually grow?” So let me first give you a couple of verses:
“Since we are all one Body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.” Rom. 12:5b NLT
“We who believe are carefully joined together with Christ as parts of a beautiful, constantly growing temple for God.” Eph. 2:21 (LB)
“Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more…” Heb. 10:25
The Bible describes each Christ follower as a member of His body. He tells us that we belong together and that we need each other. Let’s be honest it takes hard work to build healthy relationships, to build fellowship and to build community. So why should I put forth the effort? God’s design is that we grow faster and we grow stronger together when our relationships push one another toward being like Jesus. Think about it like this, a hand or any other part of the body can’t grow when it is disconnected from the body. The truth is, you can’t grow by yourself. You can gain knowledge by yourself but the body part grows when it is connected to a healthy living body. The Bible teaches us and I have discovered in these last 20 years of ministry that people who grow the most in their relationship with Christ are the most connected into a healthy body of believers. Disciples of Christ are made in living life with the body of Christ. Hope this encourages you and helps you today!

Sober Minded

Posted: February 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

Dear Loved Ones,

If you have been watching the news over this past week you have seen the awful images of 21 Egyptian Christians kneeling before they were executed by the radical Muslim group known as ISIS. While our stomachs turn at such a hideous action, there is some degree of disconnection because these events are occurring in another country. We need to be aware and reminded that the same enemy that is operating in the Middle East is the same enemy that is operating in our community, in our church, in our homes and in our lives. Eph. 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Satan is very real and on the attack. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” A lion attacks by pouncing on unsuspecting prey or running a flock and then separating one from the rest. Once he has captured and killed his prey he then stands over the kill and roars.
I want to encourage you today to stop and take an inventory. What plan of destruction has the enemy designed for you? Regardless of whether you aware or unaware he is at work and his end game is to separate you whether it be in your mind, heart or body away from Jesus Christ and other Christians.
Here is the good news! Jesus is greater than Satan. Jesus is greater than anything that Satan can throw at you. Make Jesus Christ #1 in your life. Let me encourage you to take a stand and embrace these 5 habits:

1. Put on the Full Armor of God Everyday! I literally pray through these verses.
Eph. 6:10-18 “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
2. Have a Dedicated Time Each Day To Pray and Read God’s Word
Eph. 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

3. Go To Church Every Week
Seek to be with God’s people to be uplifted and encouraged. Be where people know your name. Communicate with people about what is going on in your life. Be present when you are there. Sing, look up the Scriptures, take notes, listen for the Holy Spirit speaking and obey Him.

4. Don’t Compromise
Follow Jesus with your whole heart! Don’t cut corners. Obey the Word of God. Stay away from people who tempt you to do things the Word of God tells you not to. Let everyone that knows you know that you are an unashamed Christ follower and then live out that love for Him. Don’t be a show, just be rock solid day in and day out.

5. Stretch Your Faith
God uses people who put their “Yes” on the table. Consider these verses, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.” Heb. 11:7 “Noah did everything as the Lord commanded him.”Gen. 6:22 “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”Gen 6:8 Most of us never stretch ourselves beyond what is expected, what is normal and what has already been done. Noah was willing and God used his faith to do something seemingly impossible. My simple challenge to you is to put your “Yes” on the table. Lord whatever you ask, whatever you want, that is what I will do. Lord no matter what it will cost, where it may take me I will do “Whatever it takes” to follow.

I write these things to you today because I love you! I know that if you will do these 5 things you will be spiritually healthy.

In Christ Love,
Pastor Jeff Hickman

WHY I PRAY FOR YOU BY NAME

Posted: January 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

WHY I PRAY FOR YOU BY NAME

(This next 2 minutes may change your 2015)

I often send out messages to our LifeSong family and my friends via Facebook, text or email to encourage them, but most of all to tell them that I prayed for them that day. Every day I pray for my wife, children, family, staff and myself. Why is this so important? We live in a world where most of our attention and time are spent reacting to the physical world around us. The events of our relationships, jobs, finances and environment affect us on every level. I want you to consider a verse that if you take some time to reflect on it will rattle you to the core and drive you to your knees.

Eph. 6:12 “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

Behind the veil of this physical world is a world that is even more real than what we can see and touch. The spiritual world is not a world filled with ghost and goblins trying to scare people like some would suppose, but rather, it is a war. Right now there is a war happening in the spiritual realm for your heart and mind. They are fighting for the heart and mind of your children, your friends and your family.

Stop for just a moment and consider the evidence of how this war is affecting you and the people around you.

John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

This verse tells you the enemy wants to steal your life, destroy your life and ultimately separate you from God forever. The second half of this verse tells us that Jesus came to give us life and the opportunity to live life to the fullest.

How do we do that?

-The voice of God has to be louder in our life than the voice of the enemy.

-The truth of God has to be implanted in our heart.

-The Holy Spirit has to be in control.

-We need personal spiritual leaders in our life.

-Be on mission with other Christ followers in church using your spiritual gifts

-Give yourself to prayer

I pray for you because I believe it is a game changer. Often times as I listen to the Holy Spirit He tells me specifically how to fight for you. I believe as your pastor and because I love you it is one of the greatest ways that I can minster to you. When I pray on your behalf I believe that I am standing in the gap in the spiritual world and it is making a difference in your life. In 2015 I am committed even more to praying for you and ask that you go war with me. I hope you will develop your own prayer strategy and add my name to your list. I love each of you with all my heart and I am rooting for you each day to win spiritually!

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.

Psalms 4:1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: you have enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

Psalms 145:18 The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth.

Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Luke 18:1 And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

James 4:3 You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it on your lusts.

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.