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Keyword: ‘kingdom’

“You’re more than happy when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.” ~~Jesus

Jesus knows that following Him may not be a “bed of roses”. He tells us about it in advance. We may get persecuted. We may even be martyred. It happens every day. Will you “sign up” to follow Jesus if you know that tomorrow someone may kill you for believing Him?

Of course, living in America makes if feel like this isn’t an issue; that it can’t happen to us. Because of that we are lulled into thinking it doesn’t happen to anyone any longer.

Now here is the rub. Jesus also knows the benefit of being persecuted. Persecution drives (the deeply committed) deeper into His Father’s world.

“You’re blessed (more than happy) when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:10 The Message)

“You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works.” ~~Jesus

May 15, 2013 2 comments

God has a kingdom where he rules. It doesn’t work like any government we know in this world. He is in complete control. He is the eternal King. He is light. He is love.

He cares about us so much that He has given us insight into how His government works. Our mission is to bring to bring to earth His kingdom.

May I have insight into how God’s kingdom works.

“You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works.” ~~Jesus (Luke 8:10)

“Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.” ~~Jesus

February 21, 2013 2 comments

Do we have enough time? Jesus demands that we understand that time is up. Now is the time. We can’t delay understanding who is in charge. We need to change our mind. We must believe.

God’s world (Kingdom) is one where He is in total control. This requires that we change how we think and how we live.

“Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.” ~~Jesus (Mark 1:15)

“Take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom.” ~~Jesus

February 18, 2013 1 comment

Jesus demands that I take His way seriously. My job, my mission, is to show others His way. Later on He would say, as He rose to Heaven, to make disciples of all nations. That is how we find honor in His world (Kingdom).

May I take it seriously. May I do so today, right now.

“Take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:19-20 The Message)

“And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” ~~Jesus

September 2, 2012 1 comment

Jesus challenges us to live life urgently. He doesn’t have a “plan B” for us. We are His plan. We must deliver the message of how it works in God’s world (Kingdom). We must be “all in” for Jesus. He will accept nothing less. He is clear about that.

It is way too easy to let the concerns of this world outweigh the urgency of His world. Jesus knows that is a danger.

So let’s put this in context. A man wanted to be a disciple. Jesus said to him, “Come follow me.” The man said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.” Seems reasonable to all of us I’m sure. Not to Jesus. He refused and challenged him to decide what was more important, a funeral or following Jesus.

Jesus challenges us to go all in for Him.

“And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” ~~Jesus (Luke 9:60 The Message) 

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“Unless you do far better than religious leaders in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom.” ~~Jesus

Jesus is tough on religious leaders. He doesn’t cut them any slack.

He challenges us that we can do better than how religious leaders approach God’s world (Kingdom). He wants us to start from the knowledge that this is God’s world. He is in charge. It is not a democracy.

He wants us to love God more than anyone or anything. He wants us to love everyone we come in contact in a very real and concrete way.

Jesus knows we can do better and it doesn’t start by emulating religious leaders.

“Unless you do far better than religious leaders in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering God’s world.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5 The Message)

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it.” ~~Jesus

June 13, 2012 2 comments

Wow. Jesus is direct. Grow up!!

OK, that makes sense. We can be very childish. We live in God’s World (Kingdom). He is in charge. We know it. We need to act like it. We need to live like it.

May I live like I know I am living in God’s World, where He is fully in charge.

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:48 The Message)

“Did you have any idea that God’s kingdom was right on your doorstep?” ~~Jesus

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus has brought in a new World (Kingdom) and new agreement for how we are to live. We are His Ambassadors. We deliver His message to this world. We represent Him. When we aren’t received, people miss God’s World. Awesome responsibility for us and a challenge to those who don’t listen.

May we represent Jesus well. May those in need hear His message of Good News!!

“When you enter a town and are not received, go out in the street and say, ‘The only thing we got from you is the dirt on our feet, and we’re giving it back. Did you have any idea that God’s kingdom was right on your doorstep?’ Sodom will have it better on Judgment Day than the town that rejects you.

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“When you enter a town, heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, ‘God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep!'” ~Jesus

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus doesn’t make it complicated for us. He wants us to replicate what He is doing. He sends us out. We do the same things He is doing. The message to share? God’s government and complete rule is here. Our prayer? Our Father’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

It’s all about God. He is in charge. Completely. He is God, good and great!!

“When you enter a town and are received, eat what they set before you, heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, ‘God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep!’~~Jesus (Luke 10:8-9)

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” The kingdom of God is in the midst of

” The kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” ~~Jesus

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“Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Ch

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

“Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.” ~~Jesus

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“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidd

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment

“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field. The finder proceeds to sell everything to buy that field.” ~Jesus http://ow.ly/3DAml

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How much is it worth to me?

June 5, 2013 1 comment

Am I ecstatic about what I have found in God’s new plan? Am I prepared / willing to sell everything I own to follow Jesus? What is so precious in my life that I won’t give it up for Jesus? Questions that Jesus asks that demand an answer.

A small thing to note in this story that Jesus tells us. The man who found the treasure was a trespasser. He didn’t belong there but he used the knowledge he had to get the property. Even though a trespasser, he became the owner. Why? He knew something the owner didn’t. The owner didn’t know what his property was worth. The trespasser did.

God’s world is a treasure. I will give up everything for it.

“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 13:44)

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What is the good news today?

I love to hear God remind me that I have been changed from the inside out!! I am a new man. A new creation. I have been baptized for the changing of my mind about my missing the mark of God’s goal for my life and raised to a new life with our Master. I have also been baptized in the Spirit of power and changed completely.

The enemy reminds me of the opposite, accusing and condemning me at every turn. His message whispers in my ear. Twisting reality and seeking to steal, kill and destroy me.

I must choose to believe the reality of our Master. May it be so every day!!!

The good news of Jesus Christ—the Message!—begins here, following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Watch closely: I’m sending my preacher ahead of you; He’ll make the road smooth for you. Thunder in the desert! Prepare for God’s arrival! Make the road smooth and straight!

John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.

As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”Mark 1:1-8

 

 

 

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“You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business.”~~Jesus

April 10, 2013 1 comment

We always want to know when. Jesus followers wanted to know if Jesus was going to restore the Kingdom now. Would it be now? Will we get to reign now? Will we?

Jesus is always direct. There are things we don’t get to know. God is God. Timing is His business not ours.

That is all there is to it. We need to focus on what God wants us to do right not. That is all.

“You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business.”~~Jesus (Acts 1:7 The Message)

Some great Easter quotes: He Is RISEN! He is Risen indeed!

March 31, 2013 5 comments

He Is RISEN! He is Risen indeed!

Christ the Lord is risen today, Sons of men and angels say. Raise your joys and triumphs high; Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply.
– Charles Wesley

Quotes about Easter ResurrectionGod proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’
– Billy Graham

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
– John 11:25-26

If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.
– Timothy Keller

Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.
– Clarence W. Hall

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
– C.S. Lewis

The devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast, the pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but don’t worry; the forces of evil are breathing their last. Not to worry…He’s risen!
– Charles R. Swindoll

The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s kingdom. . . . It is the decisive event demonstrating thet God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven. The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.”
–  N.T. Wright

A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.
– Mahatma Gandhi

The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.
– Basil Hume

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
– Romans 10:9

Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor.
– Charles H. Spurgeon

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf of springtime.
– Martin Luther

Salvation is the root–the resurrection is the fruit.
– T.D. Jakes

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
– 1 Corinthians 15:3-6

We are adopted into God’s family through the resurrection of Christ from the dead in which he paid all our obligations to sin, the law, and the devil, in whose family we once lived. Our old status lies in his tomb. A new status is ours through his resurrection.
– Sinclair B. Ferguson

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
– Romans 6:8-11

Before the Resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit came upon individuals only on certain occasions for special tasks. But now, after the Resurrection, Christ through the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer to give us supernatural power in living our daily lives.
– Billy Graham

In short, I didn’t become a Christian because God promised I would have an even happier life than I had as an atheist. He never promised any such thing. Indeed, following him would inevitably bring divine demotions in the eyes of the world. Rather, I became a Christian because the evidence was so compelling that Jesus really is the one-and-only Son of God who proved his divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following him was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take.
– Lee Strobel

Two thousand years ago, in the Middle East, an event occurred that permanently changed the world. Because of that event, history was split. Every time you write a date, you’re using the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the focal point.
– Rick Warren

Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer; Death is strong, but Life is stronger; Stronger than the dark, the light; Stronger than the wrong, the right; Faith and Hope triumphant say Christ will rise on Easter Day.
– Phillips Brooks

It was inevitable that Jesus Christ should be crucified. It was also inevitable that He should rise again.
– H.R.L. Sheppard

We live and die; Christ died and lived!
– John Stott

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
– Romans 6:9

Because of the empty tomb, we have peace. Because of His resurrection, we can have peace during even the most troubling of times because we know He is in control of all that happens in the world.
– Paul Chappell

The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation.
– John MacArthur

Let us consider this settled, that no one has made progress in the school of Christ who does not joyfully await the day of death and final resurrection.
– John Calvin

The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions.
– Pastor Adrian Rogers

Whoever reads the New Testament seriously, or gives thought to the impact which the apostles made upon their generation, must acknowledge that one outstanding historic event alone spurred that small band of 11 ordinary men to an amazing task of evangelization in their generation. Defying every obstacle, loss of home, persecution, even death itself, they evidenced the supreme relevance in their ministry of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
– Erling C. Olsen:

The atonement, or forgiveness of sin once and for all achieved on the cross, weighs in, and heavily. But the atonement is onfirmed, ratified, sealed, and made enduringly good by virtue of Christ’s rising from death. Our justification hinges on a risen life, present in us now because Christ is present with us now.
– Paul F.M. Zahl

Categories: Personal Tags: ,

What is your God-created identity?

March 25, 2013 1 comment

Jesus had a great way to simplify what He was saying. He was very direct and didn’t beat around the bush.

So, He challenges us to grow up. We know we are children of God and live in His World (Kingdom). We know He is in charge of our lives when we let Him be. So what is holding us back? Actually doing what we know to do. Jesus challenges us to live out our God created identity. We are His children. Are we living like it?

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:48

May we grow up and live our God created identity every day.

Categories: Personal Tags: , , ,

Who is my healer?

Jesus is my healer. He heals my heart and that is always so important. He heals my soul and my connection with Him. And He heals my body. That is it and all there is to it.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-3).

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. (Jeremiah 17:14)

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. (Malachi 4:2)

He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. (Luke 9:11)

Why did Jesus get indignant?

I am not sure I would have wanted to have been a part of this. But then again, I know I don’t always do what I should either. I miss the mark. I miss the point.

Of course, this started when THEY decided to be mean to children. But, they did it in front of Jesus. There is this side of Jesus we don’t always want to talk about. He could get angry. He could get indignant. He had real feelings for how His Father wanted things to be done. God’s way of doing things (His Kingdom) is not ours. We must learn it. He knows how to make the point with us, even if it is forcefully some days. It is out of love.

He loves me and because He does, He can take me to the woodshed.

This is what He said to His disciples. They were VERY close to Him. Hmmm!!!

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16

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Be childish or grow up? Which is it?

We have heard from Jesus to be like a child. We also hear Him challenge us to grow up. Which is it? Be a child or grow up?

Well, I think it is yes / and Yes, we need to have the faith of a child and we need to grow up. It isn’t either / or. We need to live generously and not focus on ourselves (like children can). Just the way God lives toward us.

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:48

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Do you have the simplicity of a child?

Remember the song: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”? The simple song of a child. Oh how we used to love to sing that song over and over again. The simplicity of a child.

Jesus beckons us to start over like children. Can I have that level of faith and simplicity? Can I humble myself so I can get a good look at the Kingdom and His new plan?

May I become simple and elemental again. May I have the faith of a child.

At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. Matthew 18:1-5

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Is there anything wrong with being a “character”?

February 13, 2013 4 comments

The disciples of Jesus were all for the most part what we would call “characters”. Take James and John, for instance, “the sons of Zebedee.” You might remember them as the ones who cornered Jesus to angle for the choice seats at his right and left hands in the kingdom. That was their great concern. They wanted to sit next to Jesus in all of eternity and have the greatest authority. They asked for it outright.

Or there was the time they wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy a village that wouldn’t offer Jesus a place for the night. That was their solution and they weren’t ashamed of it. Their buddies called them idiots; Jesus called them the Sons of Thunder (Mark 3:17). He saw who they really were.

It’s their mythic name, their true identity. They looked like fishermen out of work; they were actually the Sons of Thunder. Jesus saw them for who they could be in God. He saw their heart. His view won out. Aren’t we glad for that?

“You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it.” ~~Jesus

December 29, 2012 3 comments

Jesus knows us. He challenges us to not “be religious”. If we say we will pray, we must do it earnestly. We must do it often. We must go after the victory with our brother and sister. Jesus demands it. It is the way in His new agreement with God, our Father.Pious

Jesus challenges us to be genuine in Him. Being pious and phoney makes things worse not better. We don’t make our words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making our speech sound more religious, it becomes less true.

“You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:33-37 The Message)

Very creative Hallelujah Chorus from Alaska

December 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Very creative Hallelujah Chorus from Alaska

Hallelujah Chorus -Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat 5th Grade – Quinhagak, Alaska

I just love this.

|: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 😐

|: For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 😐

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
|: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 😐

The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever,

King of kings, and Lord of lords,
|: King of kings, and Lord of lords, 😐
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings, forever and ever,
And Lord of lords,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

And He shall reign forever and ever,
|: King of kings! and Lord of lords! 😐
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Will we follow God’s new plan?

November 26, 2012 3 comments

Jesus habit was to teach about the way God intended things to be. He had a huge number of people that always showed up to hear what He had to say. He knew what He was talking about because He didn’t do anything but what He saw and heard from His Father. And like so many times, the religious scholars of the day tested him and tried to trip Him up. They tried and tried but it never worked.

He was educating us about the new plan. Not the way of Moses or the prophets and the old plan. Much of the old plan was because of the us not God. Jesus had a message of good news and the way it was intended to be all along.

Jesus challenges us to understand the way God wants things in His world (Kingdom). Let’s get moving with God’s new plan.

Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.

Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking …

“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.

“But at the beginning of creation God …” (Mark 10:1-5)

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We have someone guarding our heart. It is Jesus the Messiah. Now that is some good news.

November 18, 2012 Leave a comment

We all know it deep down. Our hearts are very fragile. They can be broken.

We are people with hope. Jesus has won the day. He is guarding our hearts.

We have someone guarding our heart. It is Jesus the Messiah. Now that is some good news.  ~~Michael Wilson

“You know both God and how he works.” ~~Jesus

November 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus challenges us to not worry and live for what God wants to accomplish today. God takes care of the flowers and the birds. We see that and know that. And yet we get focused on the wrong things.

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—Jesus wants us to know that God will attend to us, take pride in us, do his best for us? God is the loving Father who has our best in mind all the time.

Do we know God is in a good mood? If so, we know how he works. We need to understand in our heart the very nature of God. Once we get that, we will always know how He works.

“You know both God and how he works.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 6:33 The Message)

“These fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!” ~~Jesus

November 13, 2012 2 comments

Jesus knows things we don’t. He challenges us to wake up. He looks out and doesn’t just see people. He sees a field that is ready to be harvested. He sees people who are ready for God’s world (Kingdom).

Jesus challenges us to see the same things. We can’t be complacent. We must not think someone else will do what God wants us to do right now.

We must rise to the challenge Jesus has for us. It is harvest time.

“These fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!” ~~Jesus (John 4:35 The Message)

Feel like you are missing God’s blessings? Try stepping out in faith on what you have already heard Him say.

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

God is talking to us. Just like Jesus did with Peter when Jesus was walking on the water in the middle of a storm. They all saw Jesus but thought it was a ghost.  But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come ahead.” Two words. “Come ahead.” Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”

Peter received the blessing. First doubt, then faith, then fear, then restoration and then the lesson that leads to maturity.

Water longs to be walked on again. Will you step out? Will you receive the blessing? Be bold!! Have courage!!

Feel like you are missing God’s blessings? Try stepping out in faith on what you have already heard Him say.

“The simple moral fact is that words kill.” ~~Jesus

November 4, 2012 7 comments

Jesus warns us to be careful about what we say to others. Our mandate is to love. Anything other than that is not acceptable. Our words to others is a reflection of life or death. This is stark but He gives a whole new way to live through His Holy Spirit.

In His world (Kingdom) there is no loving your friends and hating your enemies. It is only love. What we say to others should reflect that. He demands it.

“The simple moral fact is that words kill.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:22 The Message)

Do I deserve being mocked?

October 23, 2012 1 comment

I am very fortunate when I take grief because I follow our Master Jesus. Those who insult me cast blame  – thinking that I am really guilty and therefore deserving punishment. Maybe I am guilty. Maybe I am not. It doesn’t really matter why they think that way.

Those who make fun of me don’t know it is the Spirit of God bringing notice to His work in me. I shouldn’t give it a second thought. I should be proud of His absolute perfection.

May derision bring me happiness.

If you are mocked and insulted for the name of the Messiah, you are more than happy, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 1 Peter 4:14

“If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal?” ~~Jesus

October 22, 2012 4 comments

Sometimes we get so proud of ourselves for doing what anyone can do. Jesus challenges us not to see things that way. That isn’t the way it is in God’s world (Kingdom).

Jesus challenges us to love like He does. He was ridiculed, humiliated, killed and yet did it all for love. He empowers us to do it. He gives us the Holy Spirit and a completely new heart.

“If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5 The Message)

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Don’t ask the easy questions

You’ve been with Jesus for a while now. And, you have been through a lot with Him. His ministry. His death. His resurrection.

And yet you don’t fully comprehend what is happening. You revert to easy questions. You won’t get the answer you think. And, something else is about to happen to rock your world. Jesus will complete His mission here and ascend to heaven to be with His father.

It turns out to be the last time together. They won’t forget His answer.

When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”  (Acts 1:6 The Message)

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Should I be “self confident”?

September 16, 2012 1 comment

The enemy is constantly trying to find ways to trip me up. God is strong and He wants me to be strong in Him. I  have the most amazing  weapons. He has shown me the way. The victory is His.

This is a challenge in a world where we are encouraged at every turn to “self confident”. It is considered a strength. In God’s world (Kingdom) it is not a strength. Our confidence should be in God. It is His strengths that are important.

 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Ephesians 6:10

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Who is in control?

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

He has already won the victory. He is seated on the throne. It is done. There is nothing left to do to establish who is in control in God’s world (Kingdom). It is clear it is Jesus.

And, this is a reality. Not a promise. He is making everything new. It is not something for me to get later in heaven. It is now. He is in the process of doing it and will finish it.

It is true. I can count on it. He can be trusted.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.” ~~Jesus

September 10, 2012 3 comments

Jesus challenges us to focus on what God is doing today, right now. That is all that Jesus did. He focused like no one else on that one thing. He gave it His entire attention. Nothing else matters. This is not easy at all. It is not the way of this world. It is the way of God’s world (Kingdom).

In our culture, we are big on planning. It is an obsession. It is big business. We all want to be strategic. We miss today’s opportunities as a result.

Jesus knew that if we did today what God wants us to, tomorrow will take care of itself.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 6:34 The Message)

Who is in charge of God’s world?

September 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus is both Savior and Master. Who He was yesterday is who He is today and is who He will be forever.

His power has not changed. His love to redeem, heal, and restore is the same today as it has always been. His defeat of the enemy has not changed. I can count on it. He is the real deal.

He is the anointed one who God has appointed to be in charge of His world. He will be in charge forever. He hasn’t been elected. He has been appointed.

 Jesus the Messiah is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

 

 

 

Being “religious” carries some weight with God doesn’t it?

September 6, 2012 1 comment

Being “religious” carries some weight with God doesn’t it? Unfortunately, not a bit. Not even a little. Being Jewish or Baptist or Muslim doesn’t do it.

There is nothing we can do, even being religious, to get in right standing with God.  Out of sheer generosity God put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus the Messiah.

“And where does that leave our proud religious claim of having a corner on God? Also canceled.” ~~Apostle Paul (Romans 3:29 The Message)

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Is it all still a mystery? Will I hear God?

Is it all still a mystery? No, it is not at all.

Much about God’s world came seem mysterious. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Jesus got it out in the open. God’s word helps us understand what seemed vague before we came to God and got on the road to know Him every day.

Jesus is clear that he came to make known to us the mystery of how things work in God’s world (Kingdom). He does make everything crystal clear. Will we hear him? That is his challenge to us.

God is open. He wants us to be just like that.

“This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open.” ~Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:26 The Message) 

“Don’t say anything you don’t mean.” ~~Jesus

We say something we regret. We excuse it by saying, “I didn’t mean it”. That doesn’t cut it in God’s world. We need to control what we say and only say things that we mean.

We also need to keep our promises. If we say we are going to do something, we should do it. If we can’t, we shouldn’t say it.

If we love someone, we should only speak words of love and caring. And, Jesus challenges us to love everyone.

“Don’t say anything you don’t mean.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:33 The Message)

What is Jesus’ favorite thing to talk about?

August 28, 2012 2 comments

What is Jesus’ favorite thing to talk about? It is the way things work in God’s world (Kingdom).

This is core of the message of Good News. God’s world is real. God is in control. God wants us to be loyal and do what He wants. He has a plan to be implemented.

So, after His resurrection, he met with the disciples face to face. The had no doubt about the resurrection. They saw him and talked with him for 40 days.

He lives!!

In face-to-face meetings, Jesus talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:5 The Message)

Is there a whole lot of shaking going on?

There is a whole lot of shaking going on. It isn’t about the economy or politics. The shaking is God’s World (Kingdom) being established. The shaking is God establishing His new agreement with a people after His own heart. The shaking is His light driving out all darkness. The shaking is His love binding up the broken hearts and healing our bodies. The shaking is His Spirit moving in power.

In God’s Kingdom, there are no political parties. In God’s Kingdom, there is no need for bailout plans, He has all the resources He needs. In God’s Kingdom, there is no need for medical insurance because He is our insurance. In God’s Kingdom, all His benefits are available for us every day.

Clearly, His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. He knows what He is doing. He is shaking things up and that is a VERY good thing.

 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 NIV

 

How did Jesus present himself?

August 11, 2012 2 comments

The Apostles were absolutely convinced of Jesus resurrection from the dead. Luke, the author of Acts, is careful to document it.

Jesus presented Himself. Not as a ghost. Not as a spiritual being. He presented himself alive. He did it over and over. He did it for forty days. He did it many different places.

He is alive!! He lives. He sits at the right hand of the Father, in control of God’s World (Kingdom).

After his death, he presented himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. (Acts 1:4 The Message)

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Did He bring me this far to leave me now?

August 9, 2012 2 comments

How is it that I persevere? My will power can get me so far. That is dangerous in the long run. My will power isn’t good enough though. It is God who gives me the endurance to go all the way. God is in control. This is His world (Kingdom). Do I trust Him? Did He bring me this far to leave me now? No, He did not.

All along, He is there with me encouraging me. He cheers me on. He whispers in my ear. He holds my hand when I need it. He picks me up. He claps when I keep going. Loud “Whoo Hoos” ring in the air as shouts when I make it. He is steady in such a deep way.

Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement … Romans 15:5

Where will I find God’s wisdom?

We don’t find God’s wisdom in the popular philosophies that are floating around. This is not about the “success mentality” we hear so much about. This is not about our mission statement.

It is about what the Holy Spirit will reveal to us. It is about know what God wants us to do. It is about hearing His living word, right now. We won’t find it lying around on the surface.

May I know God, what He wants me to do and understand that is wisdom.

You don’t find God’s wisdom lying around on the surface. (1 Corinthians 2:7 The Message)

Am I a failure?

Some people hear the message in their mind. “I am a failure”.  Hearing it doesn’t make it true. We don’t want to go there. God is not that way. It is not in His nature.  He doesn’t see us that way at all.

God is perfect. His love for me never ever fails. His heart is to love me no matter what. He gave me his son Jesus who died and rose up from the dead conquering death for me that I could be a new creation in Him. I don’t have to keep repeating the failings of the past.  I am not a failure in Him and His kingdom. His perfect love of me banishes fear from me completely.

May I experience His love that never fails. May I know who I am in Him. May I love others the way He loves me.

Love never fails .  1 Corinthians 13:8

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Should I try to read between the lines?

Paul is clear about Jesus. His writing is clear about God. God’s word is clear.

There is no “I wonder what he meant” kind of stuff with God. He is in charge in His world (Kingdom). He always has been. He always will be.

What God wants to happen will. There is no doubt about that. It is clear that His desires will be achieved.

It is clear that nothing is impossible with God. He can do anything. He is God.

He is our loving Father. He has wonderful things in store for us. He is in a great mood.

“Don’t try to read between the lines or look for hidden meanings in this letter.” ~~Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 1:13 The Message)

Who am I? What am I living for?

August 1, 2012 2 comments

Who am I?

What am I living for?

These are essential questions. Questions that we want answers for. And so we have good news. In Jesus, the Messiah, we find the answers to these questions. He makes it all clear to us. We are living for God. It is our mission to love Him like we love nothing else. Our focus is on what He wants today. He wants us to love everyone we meet or know. Friends, enemies, strangers. We are to love them all.

It’s in the Messiah that we find out who we are and what we are living for. (Ephesians 1:11 The Message)

“Wise son, glad father; stupid son, sad mother.” ~~King Solomon

July 30, 2012 2 comments

Wisdom is so important. When Solomon was asked by God what he wanted, he responded wisdom. To know and understand God’s world (Kingdom) is essential. It makes our parents so very happy.

Stupidity is another thing altogether. Not knowing what God wants makes our families very sad.

May we all choose wisdom.

“Wise son, glad father; stupid son, sad mother.” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 10:1)

“Some of the seed fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it.” ~~Jesus

July 29, 2012 10 comments

Jesus knows that God’s word isn’t always received well.   The seeds on the road are those who hear the Word of God, but no sooner do they hear it than the Devil snatches it from them so they won’t believe and be saved. It is hard to understand all of this. The Disciples struggled as well.

We don’t have to understand how or even why the Devil snatches up God’s Word but we know, from Jesus, it happens. We have to be careful. This message is for us not someone else. Jesus said this to His disciples. He said it to give us insight. We need to take care with God’s word.

We are challenged by Jesus to have good-hearts. He wants us to seize the Word. We need to hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest. That is how it is in God’s world (Kingdom).

“Some of it fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it.” ~~Jesus (Luke 8:5 The Message)

What does God have in mind for us?

God is good. There is no doubt about it. The Apostle Paul starts out his message to the Colossians with a blessing. May every good thing be ours.

Is that what God has in mind for us? Yes it is. Is that our blessing to others? Yes, it should be.

May everything good from God our Father be yours! (Colossians 1:2 The Message)

What should I ask God?

July 25, 2012 1 comment

Jesus wants me to ask the Father. I should not be shy. In fact, boldness helps. If what I ask for is consistent with God’s principles for His World (Kingdom), asked in His name and His will, He will give it to me. He delights in giving me what He has in heaven. It tickles Him pink!!!

Wow, what joy that is when it happens.

This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks! John 16:24

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“Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.” ~~Jesus

We live in a world where we think we can get the answer to anything automatically. Technology has changed how we see things. It is useful but dangerous. GOD’s World (Kingdom) doesn’t work that way. GOD demands a different way of seeing things.

You have met people who absolutely focused. Wow, what they can do. And, you have met people absolutely focused on God. They are so powerful because GOD is so powerful. Got to love it. They know that GOD is GOD. He is in complete control. Always has been. Always will be. The trust Him and Him alone.

May I be focused on Him. He is the only thing. His plan compels me to execute what He wants. His government (Kingdom) is supreme. Nothing else deserves my devotion. Nothing else. Jesus got it. May I rise to the challenge Jesus lays out in front of me. This is the main thing about the main thing.

I need to be single-hearted. That is it.

“Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.” ~~Jesus

“Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” ~~Jesus

July 15, 2012 6 comments

Our heavenly Father is in a good mood. He always is and never waivers from that feeling. No ups and downs with Him. Always excited to see us. Loves us even when we ignore Him.

Jesus challenges us to know that in our soul. Why?

Many of us have an image of fathers, maybe even our own, that doesn’t match that.

Jesus is God’s Son. He knows the Father. We can rely on what He says. He says that GOD is generous and gracious. Always in a good mood. So, it is true.

“Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5 The Message)

“No more tit-for-tat stuff.” ~~Jesus

Our culture tends to be one of retaliation. Someone hurts us, we envision a way to get them back. There is no thought of taking one for Jesus.

Jesus challenges to live in GOD’s World (Kingdom). In His world, we are to represent Him. He is love. Love acts differently. Love doesn’t retaliate. Love doesn’t plot on how to get even. Love looks for an opportunity to do good no matter what the other person has done. Love rules!!

“No more tit-for-tat stuff.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5 The Message)

“Up, God! My God, help me! Slap their faces, First this cheek, then the other, Your fist hard in their teeth!” ~~King David

July 8, 2012 4 comments

King David had real enemies and he was a warrior for GOD. He knew GOD was the only one who could win the battle. He had a heart for GOD. He called on GOD to strike down his enemies.

Jesus challenges us to know that we have an enemy. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy us. Jesus has defeated him and we can walk in His victory. We have to know we have an enemy. We have to walk in the “new life” of Jesus and His victory. Our focus has to be on GOD’s world (Kingdom) and not our enemy, the devil in this world.

God is great and He is GOD. He is in complete control.

“Up, God! My God, help me! Slap their faces, First this cheek, then the other, Your fist hard in their teeth!” ~~King David (Psalm 3:7 The Message)

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“Listen now, all of you— take this to heart.” ~~Jesus

July 5, 2012 1 comment
English: Sacred heart of Jesus Español: Sagrad...

English: Sacred heart of Jesus Español: Sagrado corazon de Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus challenges us to understand that it is not what we eat that is the problem. The problem is our heart. The problem is what we think, do and say. That is the real pollution in our life. Jesus is clear that it’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart in GOD’s world (Kingdom).

We need to know this about our self so that we can take advantage of Jesus redeeming us from the price we have to pay for what is in our heart. Jesus gives a new heart. Now that is good news.

“Listen now, all of you— take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit—that’s the real pollution.” ~~Jesus (Mark 7:15 The Message)

“The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” ~~Jesus

July 4, 2012 6 comments

Jesus challenges us to look beyond a cool bottle of water. This world and all it offers doesn’t satisfy. Jesus brings to us satisfaction and a life that never ends.

Jesus challenges to look around us, the bread we eat, the water we drink, the clothes we wear and see them for what they are. Temporary items of this world that never satisfy us. We consume and always want more. It is never enough. In GOD’s world (Kingdom) we are always satisfied.

“The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” ~~Jesus (John 4:14 The Message)

“If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it.” ~~Jesus

Jesus challenges us to have a GOD World (Kingdom) approach to retaliation. Our normal approach to being sued is to defend ourselves or counter sue. Jesus challenges us to give our enemies what they want and then overwhelm them with love and generosity by giving them something precious they didn’t ask for. GOD’s way is love. GOD’s way is generosity. Our heavenly Father doesn’t want us to retaliate. Being generous gains attention for GOD where retaliation is expected.

Jesus sets a standard for us that requires us to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the power of love.

“If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:40 The Message)

“My mother and brothers are the ones who hear and do God’s Word. Obedience is thicker than blood.” ~~Jesus

Jesus challenges us to see the reality of GOD’s World (Kingdom). Who is our family? Who are our mother’s, brothers and sisters? What is family all about?

What is that reality? Obedience is the only thing that matters. Who is obeying GOD? They are our family. We need to be loyal to them. We need to love them.

Jesus throws conventional wisdom on its ear. Blood is not the thicker than water.

It is all about who is doing what GOD wants to have done today. Find them. Connect with them.

“My mother and brothers are the ones who hear and do GOD’s Word. Obedience is thicker than blood.” ~~Jesus (Luke 8:21 The Message)

“Don’t load yourselves up with equipment.” ~~Jesus

Jesus has powerful but simple things He wants us to do. We don’t need a lot of equipment to complete His mission today. He will supply us everything we need. He does His work through us. We are the equipment.

This is hard to keep in mind. In our world, we think the more we have, the better the buildings, the better off we are. In God’s World (Kingdom), He doesn’t need our equipment. He is God. He can do anything and takes pleasure in turning water in wine. I think it may even amuse Him to confound us. Just saying!!

“Don’t load yourselves up with equipment.” ~~Jesus (Luke 9 The Message)

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“The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” ~~King Solomon

I am thinking how true this is. The more we bless others the more we are blessed. And it is an abundant blessing. More than we could ever imagine. Our mission is to help others. Our Father has sent us into His World (Kingdom) to love everyone we come in contact with every day. That is our job. When we do it in His name, we are helped as well.

May I bless others today. May I be of help.

“The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 11:25)

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“Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again.” ~~Jesus

Jesus challenges us to not be deceived by things in this world. In God’s World (Kingdom), you can drink water and be satisfied. Thinking that water in this world really satisfies us is a deception. It is the Spirit of God that satisfies us. We must drink of that water. We must be thirsty for that water. We must focus on God’s World not this world.

“Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again.” ~~Jesus (John 4:13 The Message)

“Keep it simple; you are the equipment.” ~~Jesus

June 10, 2012 1 comment

Jesus challenges us to not get wrapped up in all “stuff” that keeps us from fulfilling His mission for us. He sent His 12 disciples out to proclaim the good news of God’s World (Kingdom). He told them to not take any equipment with them.

In God’s World, we are the equipment that He uses to reach others. He is radically transforming our lives and that is what people see. People are longing to see the power of God, not the paltry equipment of the failed churches that we build.

We must keep it simple and not forget what transforms us all. It is Jesus not the buildings.

“Keep it simple; you are the equipment.” ~~Jesus (Luke 9:3 The Message)

Ecclesiastes and the world view of Mad Men

I discovered the series “Mad Men” recently. I think this sums it up pretty well. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”  I like the show but it is sad.

In Don Draper’s world, “Everything is meaningless”. But it is not just him. All the characters lack a moral sense of balance. Last week saw the suicide of one of the main characters after Don confronted him for embezzlement. Symptomatic of what Jesus encountered when the religious leaders brought him a woman caught in the act of adultery. They wanted to stone her. Don Draper does the equivalent. That is not the way in God’s world (Kingdom). Jesus forgave her and sent her out to not miss God’s goal for her life anymore. Even though Don lives in a world of moral failure, he can’t forgive.

Jesus offers the way of hope. Now that is good news.

“The author’s cool skepticism, a refreshing negation to the lush and seductive suggestions swirling around us, promising everything but delivering nothing, clears the air. And once the air is cleared we are ready for reality – for God.” Eugene Peterson in his introduction to Ecclesiastes.

I wish I could call upon Peterson to pitch his contemporary paraphrase of Ecclesiastes to the denizens in the disturbingly materialistic and misogynistic world of “Mad Men,” which has its season finale Sunday. It seems especially fitting to a 1960s advertising agency, with its ad-friendly colloquial phrases and repeated imagery of smoke. (Lucky Strike, anyone?)

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity … Everything is meaningless … chasing after wind. These are anti-taglines that protagonist Don Draper (Jon Hamm) could use. He’s had a few decent – even tender – moral turns this season, but he is still very much vainly chasing the altars of power and wealth.

via Ecclesiastes and the women of Mad Men – Think Christian.

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“Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” ~~Jesus

Jesus challenges us to not worry. God is God, in control and in a good mood. God will take care of us. He has our best interest at heart. Do I believe that? Does what I say reflect that? Do my actions make it clear to everyone that is my reality?

At our core, we are concerned we are missing out on something. By trusting in God, we are getting everything God wants us to have.

This is tough but it is essential in God’s World (Kingdom).

“Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” ~~Jesus

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“The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started.” ~~Jesus

Jesus challenges us to focus on the main thing. It isn’t about what our next meal will be or what will be on the menu. It is about doing what God wants us to do right now. Doing God’s will step by step, every day. All those steps add up to His grand plan for His world (the Kingdom).

Doing what God wants right now is our source of energy.

“The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started.” ~~Jesus (John 4:34 The Message)

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.” ~~Jesus

What does it mean to be a part of the Kingdom of God? It is hard for us to understand the role of a King. It means that Jesus is in charge.

Jesus challenges us to know and act like he is in charge. Why? Because He is.

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.” ~~Jesus (Luke 9:23 The Message)

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Today God is First

The list of things I can worry about is pretty long. My heavenly Father knows I need stuff. I have to have faith. It is all about faith. Do I believe He loves me and has every good thing ready for me? Will He not do His best for me? I have to be going after His Kingdom. I have to seek the right standing He can bring to me. The other stuff will come.

May I pay attention to what He is doing now and not worry about what may or may not happen tomorrow!!!

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life …. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow ; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34

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The Jesus Manifesto

February 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus demands we become radically committed. Check out the Jesus Sayings blog posts for all of His words to us. Here are some that stand out.

“Do you think you’re about to be promoted to heaven? Think again. You’re on a mudslide to hell.” ~~Jesus

“If an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him..” ~~Jesus

“Don’t listen to them; just trust me.” ~~Jesus

“I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me.” ~~Jesus

“It’s not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.” ~~Jesus

“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” ~~Jesus

“The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath.” ~~Jesus

“Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself. ” ~~Jesus

“Did you have any idea that God’s kingdom was right on your doorstep?” ~~Jesus

“God’s Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet.” ~~Jesus

“When you’re celebrating a wedding, you don’t skimp on the cake and wine. You feast.” ~~Jesus to religious leaders

“But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John’s witness. It’s the work the Father gave me to complete.” ~~Jesus

“Fortunate the eyes that see what you’re seeing!” ~~Jesus

“Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working.” ~~Jesus

“Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” ~~Jesus

“I’m not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. ” ~~Jesus

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“It’s not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.” ~~Jesus

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus reminds us it’s not about us. That comes as a shock because we love to live like it is. In God’s world (Kingdom) it is all about God. It is all about what He wants and what He does. Need an agenda for today? Listen and act on what God wants. That will lead to a whole lot of rejoicing.

“It’s not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.” ~~Jesus

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“When you’re celebrating a wedding, you don’t skimp on the cake and wine. You feast.” ~~Jesus to religious leaders

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The religious leaders of the day were constantly trying to trap Jesus. It didn’t work but it didn’t keep them from trying. They wanted to know why Jesus didn’t have His followers fast. His point. You don’t fast when it is time to celebrate. You celebrate. Later on you can fast. Jesus is not about rituals for rituals sake. His new world is one where we listen to God, our Father, and do what He wants us to do when He wants us to do it. It is not about rituals. It is about obedience.

The disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees made a practice of fasting. Some people confronted Jesus: “Why do the followers of John and the Pharisees take on the discipline of fasting, but your followers don’t?” “When you’re celebrating a wedding, you don’t skimp on the cake and wine. You feast. Later you may need to pull in your belt, but not now. As long as the bride and groom are with you, you have a good time. No one throws cold water on a friendly bonfire. This is Kingdom Come!”~~Jesus to religious leaders

“It’s hard to be ready for the jungle when you train in the zoo!” ~~Kris Vallotton

February 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Now this is a good and convicting word from God. Jesus calls us to be passionate and all in for God. He shows us the way and promises we will do greater things than He did when He was here.

I am desperate for God. I want more of Him. I am lost without Him every minute of the day.

It’s hard to be ready for the jungle when you train in the zoo! We have domesticated the Lion of the tribe of Judah, which has caused us to loose heart for the call of the wild. Jesus took water and turned it to wine. 2000 years later we have turned the wine into grape juice. We have proactively organized risk right out of the Gospel (Good News) and wonder why we are bored out of our minds. Religion has left us starving for the great adventure. Where are the Believers that rock kingdoms and sent demons on a screaming exodus? ~~Kris Vallotton

“We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.” ~~Jesus

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

There are times Jesus will do things and demand that it not be shared with others. It is a God thing just for that person.

Jesus does want us to be public about God’s World (Kingdom). It is not to be hid. We are to be a light in darkness. We must go public.We must be open. We must be transparent.

This world (not God’s World) needs to hear the good news about what is like to be restored by Jesus.

“We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.” ~~Jesus

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Bill Johnson – Reformation Through Loyalty

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Bill uses Daniel as an example of how we can bring about transformation in a corrupted kingdom, how we are called to be light on a hill, leaven in a lump of dough, and salt that preserves the world we are in. Bill talks about Daniel’s radical loyalty and it produced a radical redemption in Nebuchadnezzar’s life.

At the heart of it, it’s about not holding people’s sins against them (2 Cor 5:18-19), it’s about loving anyone that crosses our path, meaning, we want nothing other than to serve and benefit them, because it’s kindness that draws repentance (Rom 2:4)

Check out Bill Johnson’s site:
http://bjm.org/home.html
The full version of this message can be found at:
http://www.ibethel.tv/watch/23
iBethel.Tv is a production of Bethel Church,
http://www.ibethel.org

“The one who rejects you, rejects me.” ~Jesus

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus has given us His authority. We are His ambassadors to His world (Kingdom) here on earth. We fully represent Him. If this world rejects Jesus they reject God who sent Him. Jesus calls on us, in fact demands us, to get this deep in our souls. When we command things to happen, in the name of Jesus, they happen. We represent Him. Lock, stock and barrel.

“The one who rejects you, rejects me. And rejecting me is the same as rejecting God, who sent me.”~Jesus

Am I humble enough?

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Am I humble enough? Not yet and that is important to understand.

Who gets the credit? That is a central question. In God’s world that He rules (the Kingdom), God gets the credit. The victory belongs to the Lord. Humility is central to relationships. Central to my relationship with Him. Central to my relationship with others. Love does not boast. That is how I bless others and receive a blessing.

May I always give the Lord the credit. He is God. He is good. He is great.

Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-12

“Let me tell you why you are here.” ~~Jesus

January 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus is very clear. There is no doubt about what we are to do. The choice is will we obey Him.

Jesus calls us to go on a mission for Him and our Father. We are the seasoning of this planet. We must bring out God’s flavor and bring His Kingdom into all the countries. We are His light to shine the way to others. We must speak out. We must show His love. To choose otherwise is to abandon His way. The consequence of not being His seasoning for he world is to be useless and end up in the garbage. Not a pleasant thought.

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” ~~Jesus

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“Learn to question the status quo without rebellion and arrogance in the heart.” ~~Bill Johnson

“Learn to question the status quo without rebellion and arrogance in the heart. In the kingdom a hungry heart is a humble heart. It’s hard to recognize answers without questions.” ~~Bill Johnson

Categories: Personal Tags: , ,

Giving Thanks

November 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Now this is something to be thankful for. I am qualified. No doubt about it. God has done it for me. He sent His Son, Jesus the Messiah and it is now complete. Nothing else for me to do qualify to be a child of God. He has done it all. It is finished.

In my “work” and sometimes “family” life, I have to qualify myself. I have to prove myself. I have to demonstrate I can get it done. That is the way it works.

God’s world is different. It doesn’t make sense to us but it is reality. I can share in the inheritance that my Father is preparing for me and all the saints. He has done it. There is nothing I can do to make it happen myself.

This is some good news.

Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Collosians 1:12

Against the grain

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

In listening to Jesus, much of what He is saying (see Matthew 5) goes against the grain of what I have thought brings happiness. Here are some of the things that don’t make sense in this world but lead to happiness in His Kingdom:

  • With less of me there is more of God and his rule.
  • I have to lose what is most dear to me.
  • I must be content in who I am in His kingdom.
  • I must be a glutton for Him spiritually. Hunger for Him more than food.
  • I must care for others, not myself.
  • I must get my inside world, mind and heart, right first.
  • I must show others how to cooperate not compete.
  • I must be comfortable that my commitment to God will provoke persecution.
  • I must please Him first.

So, there it is. It is not conventional wisdom at. It is God’s way.

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Mere busywork

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Not all work is the same. Some things are much more important in the Kingdom than others. I shouldn’t waste my time on useless work. Am I just doing busywork? Do I see that as a sham? How would this look in the light of Jesus and His glory?

May I know what He wants me to do and may I do it with enthusiasm!!

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them–Ephesians 5:11

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Always in control

I need to change my mind (repent).

His government (Kingdom) is not a democracy. I have been raised to see democracy as the best form of government. And for us, it is. But He wasn’t elected. His way isn’t determined by a majority vote. He has always been in control. He doesn’t need our permission to make a decision. It has always been that way. It always will.

He has a new plan. It isn’t based on anything we know. Jesus put an end to that. No more trying to do good to please him. He is in charge of His country. He is in a good mood as a Father would be toward His children.

A mere stagehand

John was doing some amazing things. People were coming out to see him in droves. He was clear and he was careful. It wasn’t about him. It was about Jesus. He saw himself as the stagehand. His message about Jesus was amazing:

  • He would ignite the Kingdom life in us.
  • He would bring a fire within us, the Holy Spirit.
  • We would be changed from the inside out by Him.
  • He would make a clean sweep in our lives.
  • He puts everything in proper perspective.
  • Everything in our life that is trash is burned in the fire of His Spirit.

But John intervened: “I’m baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.” Luke 3:16-17

May I see who this drama is about. May I know I am the stagehand.

We have a place

We have a home that God is building and we are the bricks He is using us to make His building magnificent. He is making it in His country of supernatual courage (faith). What is amazing is that He is using us to create a place for Him to dwell. We all have a place there and He wants to live in it. He has given us great gifts to benefit His people.

So … In God’s country:

  • We don’t have to wander around not know if we belong.
  • His country of supernatural courage is where we fit in.
  • We all have a place of honor in His world.

That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home. Ephesians 2:19 -22

May I find my place in His building and fit in the right place.

God's world is here now

We keep looking. We think, some day we will go to heaven. We hold out hope.

We don’t get it.

God’s world is already here. We must live it now. We must stop looking for a day when things will get better.

Grilled by the religious leaders on when the kingdom of God would come, answered, “The kingdom of God doesn’t come by counting the days on the calendar. Nor when someone says, ‘Look here!’ or, ‘There it is!’ And why? Because God’s kingdom is already among you.” ~~Jesus (Luke 17:20-21)

May I see God’s world today. May I know it is already here.

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God doesn't need a bailout

Jesus paints an amazing contrast on priorities. Most of us are worried about our 401k. Our treasure is in our retirement fund. Our perspective is how the stock market is fairing.

Jesus demands we invest in God’s Kingdom not our 401k. Our retirement is in heaven with Jesus. God doesn’t need a bailout.

“Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” ~Jesus (Luke 12)

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The Normal Christian Life

“‘For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.’

1 Cor. 4:20 NKJV

“It is abnormal for a Christian not to have an appetite for the impossible. It has been written into our spiritual DNA to hunger for the impossibilities around us to bow at the name of Jesus.

The lack of miracles isn’t because it is not in God’s will for us. The problem exists between our ears. As a result, a transformation, a renewing of the mind, is needed, and it’s only possible through a work of the Holy Spirit that typically comes upon desperate people.

Stories of the impossible are becoming the norm, and the company of people who have joined this quest for an authentic gospel, the gospel of the Kingdom, is increasing. Loving God and His people is an honor. We will no longer make up excuses for powerlessness because powerlessness is inexcusable. Our mandate is simple: raise up a generation that can openly display the raw power of God.”

Excerpts from When Heaven Invades Earth chapter 1
by Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson Ministries – Ministry of Bill Johnson, Senior Leader of Bethel Church, Redding, California

We're not keeping secrets; we're telling them

Jesus was into full disclosure and transparency. What He saw His Father doing is what He did. No cover ups. No secrets.

In fact, He came to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. His Message is all about revealing secrets. He calls on us to do the same.

“We’re not keeping secrets; we’re telling them. “ –Jesus (Luke 8)

Another stunning day in paradise

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Our heavenly Father is so AMAZINGLY good. He is just good all the time. He doesnt know any other way to be.

 

So . It has been another stunning day in paradise. On earth as it is in heaven. His Kingdom come. That is what He wants me to experience. All the time. 24/7. With no end in sight. The same a billion years from now. And then a billion after that.

AMEN!!!

Just a little lower

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment

I am stunned at how our Father sees me compared to how I see myself. He sees me as a friend who He loves to crown with His glory. He honors me. He has made me a ruler in His Kingdom. Not how I see myself some days. Everything He has for me is mine.

May I get in my heart God’s reality. May I see myself as He sees me!!

You have made them a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Psalm 8:5-8

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Status Update by Bill Johnson on Facebook

“In the world feelings precede actions – in the kingdom feelings follow actions – rejoice if you want joy” ~~ Bill Johnson
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Hope

HOPE

by Max Lucado

It’s one of the most compelling narratives in all of Scripture. So fascinating is the scene, in fact, that Luke opted to record it in detail.

Two disciples are walking down the dusty road to the village of Emmaus. Their talk concerns the crucified Jesus. Their words come slowly, trudging in cadence with the dirge-like pace of their feet.

“I can hardly believe it. He’s gone.”

“What do we do now?”

Read more…

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What matters

In thinking about politics, I think it doesn’t really matter who is President, Senator or Congressman. There are three things I know. Those haven’t changed and are more important now more than ever.

  1. God is God. He is in control, not our government or anyone in our government. We are citizens of His Kingdom.
  2. God is great. Nothing is impossible with Him.
  3. God is good. He has some really great stuff in store for us.
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The Whole Picture of the Message of Good News

Matthew

Matthew 5

Categories: Personal
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