Author: Corey Jones

Waiting with Great Anticipation For The Savior

Can you remember the anticipation and excitement you felt as a child waiting for Christmas? You saw Christmas lights popping up around town, you heard parents whispering about gifts to come, and you counted down the days until Christmas morning would finally arrive. This nervous anticipation caused you to be on your best behavior as you yearned for Christmas day. Before the birth of Jesus, mankind was waiting for the Messiah or promised anointed one to come and save them from their sins. Prophecies were written 200 to 1000 years before Jesus was born and the people anxiously anticipated His arrival. They knew prophecies such as Isaiah 7:14, “All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” Because of Micah 5:2, they knew the Christ would come from Bethlehem; “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of …

Valuable Life Lessons from Mom: Yes Be Yes

Did your mom say short repeatable statements that have stuck with you through the years? Maybe they were just silly little phrases like, “Someday your face will freeze like that,” or  “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Growing up my mom quoted either the Bible or Benjamin Franklin. She would quote Franklin saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” “A place for everything, everything in its place,” “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” And she would quote the Bible saying, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’” These were simple phrases, but over time they shaped my character. James 5:12 says, “But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.” This verse teaches the value of our …

The Truth About Adulting in the Workplace

The work you do matters, but your attitude at work matters even more. Whether you are counting numbers on a computer all day, teaching elementary students how to read, or working outside under the sun, when you step into your workplace you can choose to work with an attitude of self-pity or an attitude that worships God. One of my all time favorite scriptures is found in Colossians 3:23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Here Paul is saying to commit your work, labor, or trade to God who is the master of your life. And as he adds the words “rather than for people,” he reminds us that while we have a boss in the workplace, he or she is not our ultimate boss. Part of adulting in the workplace is realizing that the work you do isn’t to please a boss or get a paycheck, but rather it’s an act of worship.  Jesus’s parable of the three servants in Matthew 25:14-30 …

Are You Accepting These Gifts from Christ?

Have you ever given someone a gift they truly appreciated? You see their eyes light up with excitement, they wonder if it is truly theirs, and their heart is full of gratitude. Or maybe, you’ve seen the opposite to be true. You find the “perfect” gift for your loved one, but then realize you were far more excited about the gift than the person to whom you gave the present. We would all rather the person receiving the gift genuinely appreciate and love it. I imagine this was how Jesus felt when He met Zaccheus and offered Him multiple gifts. We must be like Zaccheus and accept the gifts Jesus generously gives. The Gift of Acknowledgment In Luke 19, we see that Zaccheus climbed the tree to get a better view of Jesus. As Jesus came to the tree, He greeted him by name, acknowledging him despite his reputation. On his own, Zaccheus would have just been another member of the crowd, but with Jesus’ gift of acknowledgment, everything began to change for him. Being …

Are You Satisfied With Your Prayer Life?

And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. – Jesus, Luke 11:9-10 Are you satisfied with your prayer life? Or to put it another way, do you rely more on your cell phone or your Heavenly Father for answers, security, and direction? When Jesus taught on prayer in Luke 11, He gave three visuals to clarify what it means to bring a request to God. As you go into your next time of prayer think about these three aspects that Jesus taught: ask, seek, knock. ASK: When you ask, make sure your motives are pure. James 4:2c-3 says, “Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give …

How to Create a Better Foundation for Lifetime Change

You have set goals, made promises, and worked to change but unfortunately, you find yourself in the same place day after day. Why do we get stuck in a rut, repeating the same mistakes despite a true desire to be different? What if our thoughts hold the key to create a better foundation for lifetime change? Here are four challenges to your thinking to make the changes you desire in your life. Meditate on what is true. Your thinking guides your response. If you go through the day thinking about grilling on the back deck and when you get home it’s raining, your response might be to complain and have a bad attitude. Whereas if you go through the day thinking about how you want to serve your family, the rain will have a far less impact and you will find another way to serve them. To lay a solid foundation for change, find times throughout your day for focused thinking on Biblical truth. Meditating on God’s truth will create a heart that is pleasing …

Who You Are Matters! 3 Ways To Develop Your Character

If you were promoted based on your character, how far would you go? Or to put it another way, if someone were to look at your heart, what would they walk away thinking about your character? If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of me. – Dwight L. Moody But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. – Jeremiah 17:10 Our character matters to God and he knows who we really are. One of the keys to living a fulfilled life, and a life that with a solid reputation, is developing your character. Here are three easy to read but hard to apply steps for developing your character. Change your thinking – Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” …

How Can You Leverage Technology With Your Child?

Are you amazed when a young child knows how to use your smartphone better than you? Have you ever asked a teenager to fix a computer problem? Kids and students growing up today are referred to as digital natives. A digital native is defined as a person born or brought up during the age of digital technology and therefore familiar with computers and the Internet from an early age. For this next generation they have never needed directions to get somewhere, just an address, and if you asked them to grab a tablet they would never go to the medicine cabinet. Technology is being integrated into every facet of their lives. So how do parents leverage technology to build relationships with their kids? With the help of the reThink Group, I want to share with you how to leverage technology through the different phases of childhood. In the preschool phase, we embrace their physical needs. When it comes to technology we need to enjoy the advantages of technology so they will experience boundaries and have a positive …

Are You Prayed Up in These 4 Areas of your life?

“Are you prayed up?” This question caught me off guard when I found myself complaining to my high school teacher. When I was younger, I began a Bible study with the goal of reaching my entire school for Christ. As you can imagine, progress was slow. There were times when huge crowds gathered to study and other times when there were just a handful of students. During a busy season, I found myself sitting alone with Mrs. Francisco waiting for someone, anyone, to show up for the lesson. When I began complaining, she cut me off and asked, “Are you prayed up?” Honestly, I wasn’t, and I found my motivations getting out of line. That evening I began talking with God about my discouragement, purpose, and motivations in leading the study. Throughout the years, I’ve seen God move in big ways to answer prayers from His followers. Here are a few challenges to get you prayed up in these 4 big areas of your life. Are you prayed up for your personal walk with God? …

You Can’t Do It All, But You Can Do Something

We all want to make a difference in this world and we hope that 2017 will be the year that takes us one step closer. Instead of attempting (and yet again failing) to change the world, what if we focused on changing the world of one individual? Andy Stanley put it best when he challenged the church to, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.” This year really can be the year that you make a difference! I want to challenge you to complete one of the following tasks to practice doing for one what you wish you could do for everyone. Give time to one person in need.  It’s not possible for you to sit and talk with every elderly person in the nursing home. You can’t attend every child’s baseball game in your small group. You don’t have the margin to pray with everyone before they begin chemo. But this year it would be possible for you to give your time to one person going through a hard time. …