Overcome Day 1

For the next 10 days, I will be posting daily devotionals that correspond with each chapter in my new book, Overcome: How to Rise above When Everyone Else is Sinking, that is coming out this Monday, June 3rd. Also, all these devotionals will be available for free as well as a few other cool things on a new website for my book that will be officially launching on June 7th. Stayed tuned for more details on the new website and I hope you enjoy these devotionals.

Overcome Day 1: Firm Foundation

Read: Psalm 127:1 and Matthew 7:24-29

When you are going to buy a house there are a few questions that you want answered. The first is “Who is the builder?” and the second is “What is the house built on?” Based on the answer to those two questions, you will make a decision on whether or not you will buy the house. If the house doesn’t have a trust worthy builder and a solid foundation, nothing else really matters about the house.

David, who is known as a man after God’s heart, wrote that if God doesn’t build the house everyone’s efforts are wasted. In other words, if God isn’t the builder then nothing else matters. If God isn’t the builder of your relationship then all your efforts to hold it together will be in vain. If God isn’t the focus of your finances then all your efforts to build your bank account will be for not. If God isn’t the builder of your family then all your efforts to raise them is wasted. If God isn’t the builder of your life then your efforts to keep it together will fail.

Hundreds of years later, Jesus takes this truth written by David a little bit further in Matthew 7. Jesus tells a story about two houses. One house was built on the rock and one house was built on the sand. Both houses went through a storm. But the house built on the rock was the only one left standing. The reason why one house stood and one house didn’t wasn’t because of the material that was used to build the house, it wasn’t the location where the house was built, it wasn’t because one house went through the storm and the other house didn’t; the only difference was the foundation that the house was built on. The point that Jesus wanted us to see is if you don’t have the right foundation, it doesn’t matter what you use to build the house, it doesn’t matter what storm the house goes through, the house will not be able to stand. In other words, only a house that is built on the foundation of Jesus will be sustained through the storm.

Talking Points:

So who is building your house? Are all your efforts being wasted? What is your house built on? Who is your foundation?

Like these devotionals and want to get the book to go with them? Here is the links to where you can purchase it:

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Overcome-above-Everyone-Sinking-ebook/dp/B00CLVG7XU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368023273&sr=8-1&keywords=Overcome%3A+How+to+Rise+above+When+Everyone+Else+is+Sinking

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/overcome-aj-turner/1115231792?ean=2940016582689

Christianbook:

http://www.christianbook.com/overcome-above-everyone-else-sinking-ebook/a-j-turner/9781620203187/pd/40515EB?product_redirect=1&Ntt=40515EB&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

EChristian:

http://echristian.com/overcome-how-to-rise-above-when-everyone-else-is-sinking-a-j-turner-ebook

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/overcome/id643786874?mt=11

Kobo:

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Title/book-pDaE1wV_GUyVCXFV56CHOg/page1.html?utm_source=productlistings&utm_medium=g&utm_campaign=title-Overcome&gclid=COGC4dWdyLcCFQfl7AodMCMAcQ

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Silent Nights

Have you ever gone through a season where you didn’t hear God speak? Has there ever been a period in your life where it seemed like God wasn’t talking to you? Well take heart because you’re not the only one. I have been there myself. Actually I’m in one of those seasons now.

Yesterday I heard a message by Jeff Henderson, associated with Andy Stanley and North Point Church, at NewSpring Church that I desperately needed. Definitely a word in season for me and I believe it will speak to you as well. His main point was “When you hear God’s silence and you feel His absence, trust His presence.” In other words even though you can’t hear God speaking  and you can’t feel Him moving, He is still right there with you.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that God will never leave us or forsake us. (See Hebrews 13:5) Even in the silence God is working in the background setting the stage to show off in your life. His presence is always right there with you working to produce something through you. You just have to trust that He is there even when you can’t hear Him or feel Him.

God was there with the three Hebrew boys in the firery furnace. He was there with Daniel in the lions den. He was there with David when he faced Goliath. He was there with Paul and Silas when they were in prison. And He is right there with you.

I leave you with the words of the prophet Isaiah, who wrote this in a time of captivity where it seemed like God was silent and absent, “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:1-2 ESV)

FSKO

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, there is this movement that has been taking place called the Fuse Summer Kickoff the last two days. We have seen 8,183 students in attendance and 866 SALVATIONS!, 752 in one night, thus far in 2 days and we still have one more day to go! Oh yeah, that’s not a typo, 752 students met Jesus in one night! 

What is happening in the state of South Carolina these past two days, I believe will have a lasting impact not only on the state but the world. Brad Cooper, Family Ministries Director of NewSpring Church, said it best when he said “The wave starts in the student section.” But I believe this is no wave, this is a tsunami that is going to sweep across this state, this nation, and this world and consume everything in its path.

I have never been a part of anything like this. I have never seen anything like this. When people come up to me and ask me questions like “What do you think about this next generation coming up?” “Is there any hope?” “Is the church going to die off in this next generation?,” I look at what is taking place right now across the state of South Carolina and tell them “This next generation is hungry.” “There is hope.” “The church is not going to die off or just survive, but is going to thrive in this next generation.”

I believe our ceiling is this next generation’s floor. We are going to reach 100,000, they’re going to reach 100,000,000. We are not going to fight them, but we are going to fund them. I believe in this next generation. And I think you should too.

For more on what’s happening across the state of South Carolina at the Fuse Summer Kickoff check out http://www.fsko.cc and http://www.bradcooper.us and on Twitter: #FSKO

Houston We Have A Problem

I heard it said before “You’re either going through a storm, coming out of a storm, or about to go into a storm.” In other words you are either facing a problem, just overcame a problem, or about to run right into a problem. This can sound very discouraging. It did for me until I began to have a new perspective on my problems. How many of you can legitimately say that you are facing a problem right now as you read this? Probably the majority of you fall into this category. Well I got some good news for you. There is hope.

This past weekend I had the privilege of sitting in on a Launch event held in Anderson, SC at NewSpring Church. It was a Friday evening into Saturday afternoon event consisting of six sessions, three on Friday and three on Saturday. Perry Noble, Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church, spoke for all six sessions and he opened up the event with this very point “A problem is a prerequisite to a miracle.” In other words, having a problem just means that you’re a candidate for a miracle.

You can look all throughout scripture and see a trend of someone having a problem and then that same someone experiencing a miracle. In fact if they had Twitter back then, it would probably be trending #problem=miracle. Someone was blind, problem, then they received their sight, miracle. Someone couldn’t walk, problem, then they are jumping up and down, miracle. Five thousand people need to be fed and there is only five loaves and two fish, problem, after everyone has been fed there is still twelve basket-fulls of leftovers, miracle. Someone is sick, problem, then they are healed, miracle. Someone dies, problem, then they are raised from the dead, miracle. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. If you have a problem, it just means that you are about to experience a miracle.

God turns problems into miracles. Problems just mean that God is setting the stage to show off. Most of the time when you go through your biggest bout with discouragement it is because you’re about to experience your biggest breakthrough.

So if you find yourself in the midst of a storm, if you’re facing a tough circumstance, if you’re in the middle of a problem open your eyes because you’re about to see a miracle.

For The Men Only

Paul writes to Timothy:

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (2 Timothy 1:5 NIV)

Paul credits Timothy’s coming to faith because of his grandmother and mother. No where does Paul ever mention the men in Timothy’s life. Where are the men? Because of this Paul feels obligated to step into Timothy’s life as a spiritual father.

The problem with the absence of men didn’t just start with Paul and Timothy; this problem dates all the way back to the beginning of time in the garden. In Genesis 3, Satan comes to deceive Eve and this is what is recorded at the end of their conversation:

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3:6 NIV)

I was always under the assumption and taught that, after Eve ate of the fruit, she went to Adam, brought him some fruit, and he ate. I always thought that Adam wasn’t there when Satan was talking to Eve. But that is not what is written in Genesis 3. Adam was right with Eve the whole time Satan was conversing with her. Why didn’t Adam stand up and shut down Satan? Why did Adam just sit in silence? Because Adam was silent, sin entered into the world. Because Adam was silent, Satan was able to deceive Eve. Because Adam was silent, sickness and death are now prevalent in our world today.

From the garden to this present generation, men have sat in silence while sin has rampaged society. How many times do you hear of a testimony when the men stood up? It’s always “Our mom brought us to church while dad stayed home in his recliner” or “I ran away from God, but my mom never stopped praying for me.” It seems like all I hear these days is something similar to what Paul wrote about Timothy. Always about the godly matriarchs. Never about the godly patriarchs.

Now don’t get me wrong. I praise God for the moms who stood up for their family. I thank God for the women out there that took a stand while the men sat in silence. If it wasn’t for women like Lois and Eunice, there would be no men like Timothy.

But it’s time for us men to rise up. It’s time for us men to take our place as the head and not the tail. No longer can we sit on the sideline in silence, but we need to stand up in the strength we have been given in Jesus. No longer can we sit back in our recliners. No longer can we stand in the background. We need to take our stand in the forefront. And proclaim “No Satan you will not have authority in my garden. No Satan you will not deceive my wife. No Satan you will not control my children. No Satan you will not reign in my house.” We need to take our stand and say like Joshua:

Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14-15 NIV)

Men it’s time to choose. Are you going to remain seated in silence or are you going to stand up in the strength you’ve been given in Jesus? Society is counting on your decision. Take your stand!

Cut It Off

How many of you remember Uncle Joey from the TV show Full House? You probably remember his famous one-liner that he would always say “Cut it out.” Right!? Remember the hand motions that he used to do to go along with what he was saying?

Well in Joshua 5, we see God ask Joshua to do something very similar to the children of Israel. For all the men out there you might not want to read the next few sentences. Because God commands Joshua to do something very painful, if you’re a man, to the children of Israel. He commands Joshua to circumcise all the men of Israel that were born in the wilderness. This was the physical act of the covenant that God made with the children of Israel. In other words God was saying “I need you to cut off what is unnecessary in order for you to take the land that I have promised to you. I need you to cut it out in order for me to let you in to the land that I am giving you.” God was telling Joshua that He needed the children of Israel to get rid of what was unnecessary in order to move into what was necessary.

We have been instructed to do the same. Although it is not an outwardly painful process as circumcision, all the men said “Amen,” but it is an inward process, that at times can be painful, but is necessary for us to move into what God has called us to. The writer of Hebrews says it this way “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (See Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV) In other words the writer of Hebrews is conveying that we need to cut away everything that is going to hold us back and is unnecessary and fix our eyes on, pursue, cling to the only thing that is necessary, Jesus. Everything else will hold you back. Only Jesus will propel you forward. Everything else will prevent you from what God has promised you. Only Jesus will bring you into what God has called you to.

So what is it in your life that you need to cut away? What is preventing you from the promises of God? Cut away what is unnecessary and hold onto what is necessary, Jesus.

Overcome Update

Here is the latest update on my new book Overcome: How to Rise above When Everyone Else is Sinking.

You can now pre-order a paperback copy of my book on Amazon right here:

http://www.amazon.com/Overcome-above-Everyone-Sinking-ebook/dp/B00CLVG7XU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368023273&sr=8-1&keywords=Overcome%3A+How+to+Rise+above+When+Everyone+Else+is+Sinking

If you have a Nook, you can download my book on Barnes & Noble right here:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/overcome-aj-turner/1115231792?ean=2940016582689

You can now get the E-book version of my book on Christianbook right here:

http://www.christianbook.com/overcome-above-everyone-else-sinking-ebook/a-j-turner/9781620203187/pd/40515EB?product_redirect=1&Ntt=40515EB&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

If you shop on EChristian, you can get the E-book version of my book here:

http://echristian.com/overcome-how-to-rise-above-when-everyone-else-is-sinking-a-j-turner-ebook

If you have an Apple device, IPhone, IPad, IPod, Mac; you can download the IBook version of my book here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/overcome/id643786874?mt=11

Website coming soon with all sorts of exciting things about my book on it. If you’re on Twitter, please feel free getting the word out on my new book by using #OvercomeBook when you tweet. Also feel free to get the word out on Facebook by sharing these links to your friends, tagging posts of my book, and by liking my posts of my book on my Facebook page.

I’m really excited that Jesus allowed me to write this message in my new book because I believe it is a message for everyone and a message that will impact and change people’s lives.

Jumper Cables

The other day I got up and went out to start my truck, but it wouldn’t start. So I called up one of my friends to see if he could come and jump off my truck. He came and we hooked up the jumper cables to each battery. We waited for a few minutes and I tried starting up my truck again, but it wouldn’t turn over. So we waited a few more minutes, but still nothing. After a few more attempts and still getting the same result of nothing, my friend pulled his truck a little bit closer to mine in order for us to get a better connection with the jumper cables. As soon as we got a better connection, my truck started up right away on the first try. We realized that we didn’t have a connection at first, but as soon as we did, there was no problem starting up my truck.

In John 15, Jesus talks about a similar thing. He starts out saying “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (See John 15:5-7 NIV) In other words, Jesus is saying “Stay connected to me, because when you’re not, you won’t be able to get started.” Apart from Jesus you won’t be able to do anything. He is your source of power. He is your source of strength. He is your source of joy. He is your source of hope. He is your deliverer. He is your healer. He is your provider. He is your protector. He is your Savior.

When you’re not connected to Jesus, you are connected to something else. Everything else you connect yourself to won’t be able to satisfy. You can connect yourself to your career, but that won’t satisfy you. You’ll always be striving for the promotion. You’ll always be looking to move up the corporate ladder. You’ll always be seeking after that big corner office with the view. You can connect yourself to your bank account, but that won’t satisfy. You’ll always want more money. You’ll always strive for that bigger paycheck. You’ll always spend more when you get more. You can connect yourself to your toys, but they won’t be able to satisfy you. You’ll always want the biggest house on the lot. You’ll always want the nicest car. You’ll always want the bigger flat screen. You’ll always want the better looking yard. Only Jesus can satisfy. Only Jesus can sustain. Only Jesus can save.

So how is your connection? Who or what are you connected to? Get connected to Jesus because when you’re disconnected from Him, you’re disconnected from life.

Overcome Book

Here is a quick update on my book Overcome.

Recently Overcome has been put on Amazon to buy. If you have a Kindle or the Kindle app, you can go here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CLVG7XU and purchase my book now.

For those of you who don’t have a Kindle, Overcome will be available to download on Itunes, Nook, and Kobo soon. And for others of you who would like a paperback copy of Overcome, it will be available to buy on June 3rd.

Also I’m working on a website with a promo video, a 7 day devotional that corresponds with the book, video devotionals that go along with the book, and some free stuff.

Stay tuned to my blog http://atoj247.com , my Twitter @atoj247 , and my Facebook http://www.facebook.com/atoj247 for more updates coming soon.

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