secure enough to serve

05/11/2006   |      |       |    1 Comment

how can the church proper serve like the savior?  how can we really securely on mission serve those around us?  i believe the father wants to see incarnational service to our culture.  there are lost people around us who need their souls regenerated by the spirit of God.  However, the scripture teaches that it’s a invisible thread between the feet and the heart.  something happens in the heart of mankind when an incarnational representation of Christ washes their feet.  the question i’m challenged to answer in my own life is “whose feet am I washing?”  let’s ask the father to show us what insecurities are hindering us and whose feet around us need to be washed .

jesus knew that he was sent from God, was going to God and all things were given into his hands.  in this reality, he served those around him.  the expectations of the triune God is that we do the same.  let’s transform the culture, one set of feet at a time.

john 13:3-5

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a spoken example

05/02/2006   |      |       |    0 Comment

wouldn’t it be astonishing to speak only out of the father’s resources?  just think about it… everything that comes out of our mouths would have an authorized signature stamp from the father.  with this said i need to stop typing right now and call a host of folks, asking them to forgive me.  we do so many things in the name of “fun”, to get back, to stay one-up, to defend, to prove a point, off the cuff, for no reason at all…  God help me watch what i say!  someone’s eternal destiny could be contingent on what i say. 

being interrogated by those hard-hearted pharisees to prove his identity, jesus said, “when you raise up the son of man then you’ll know who i am and that i do nothing on my own but speak just what the father has taught me” (v28).  when you read this don’t you just want to say to yourself, “just shut up sometimes?”  it is humbling when you count how many times in an hour you’ve blown it.  jesus was always in submission to the father even in his speech.  his speech was always an indicator of the father’s presence because he always sought to please the father.  in the text it even says. that even as he spoke many put their faith in Him.  even as he spoke?

oh, how he reminds me to desire to draw people closer to him by what i say.  not that what i say is so clever or unique but as i seek to please the father my words will communicate his presence to those around me.  let’s live out jesus’ spoken example so that many in this “voice-full” culture will put their faith in Him.  Deal?

john 8:27-29

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hold the applause

04/29/2006   |      |       |    3 Comments

father i want to be so consumed with doing your will that every time i open my mouth it honors and glorifies you.  i never want to demand splendor from any word that i would ever say.  i deplore the time that i would ever speak out of my own authority.  i want to proclaim and live truth not because of myself but because i allow you to live through me.  help me to never settle for being a “celebrity” or yearn for the applause or the standing ovations of men.  yet help me pant for the day that you can say, “well done my good and faithful servant…”  to you alone receive all glory and honor.  in the name that is above all names – jesus the christ, amen!

john 7:17, 18

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secrecy?

04/26/2006   |      |       |    2 Comments

in an age of communication the word “secrecy” is oftentimes related more to whether you can keep confident or secure something that someone else has told you or something that people don’t need to know.  we rarely think of secrecy as a discipline to practice.  growing up we developed secret pen pals who received “private” letters from us personally without anyone ever knowing what was written in them. 

in a world that thrives on “showing off” we as followers of jesus christ could benefit from practicing the discipline of secrecy.  not only are we following the trends of attaining to celebrity status, we also are way past our quota of showing off.  no, we aren’t showing off jesus, we are showing off ourselves and what we do before men. 

jesus was a master at living out the spiritual discipline of secrecy.  note – jesus never did anything to show off himself.  everything he did was to show off the father and to authenticate that he proceeded from the father as the messiah sent to redeem lost men.  secrecy was at the core of his nature because he flowed according to the will of the father.  jesus was always motivated out the interest of the father.  however, even his brothers who didn’t believe him wanted him to prove himself with miracles in jerusalem.  in other words, they were saying if you are going to authenticate yourself as the messiah then jerusalem is the place to do it.  “for no one who seeks to make a reputation for himself does anything in secret.  if you are doing these things show yourself to the world (john 7:4).  jesus said, “my time has not arrived, but you are ready at any opportunity (7:5).”  jesus was never out to show off; he was always in submission to the father’s will.

let’s not show off to build a reputation for ourselves, let’s show the world a savior who excels in secret for the glory of God.  make a conscious choice to do things for the glory of God that people can’t see…

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reflecting his glory

04/19/2006   |      |       |    3 Comments

never underestimate where God has placed you to tabernacle.  rest assured that the father intentionally constructs real life billboards within social contexts in order to reflect his glory.  God is never solely concerned with our comforts, only his glory.  just as christ tabernacled or took up residence among the folks of his day, so as well he sends us into new places, neighborhoods, workplaces and different states.  we are not rubbing shoulders with those around us for our own purposes but for God’s purposes.  remember christ’s reflection was full of loving-kindness and truth.  as you abide as a billboard missionary wherever he’s placed you embrace it until the father’s purposes are revealed and satisfied.  represent the incarnational love and truth of a savior worthy to emulate.  show him off where you are.

john 1:14

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healthy regret

04/14/2006   |      |       |    1 Comment

that adam thing runs so deep within us.  i’m noticing in my own life how easy it is to work so hard in life not to be wrong.  it’s really bondage!  it doesn’t help that we live in a culture that aspires to be perpetually right all the time as well.  who is wrong enough from time to time to admit it?  we christians have been deposited into this “right” all the time culture in order to communicate humility, healthy regret, confession and grace.  when you’re wrong today what are you going to say and do? 

in order to stay consistent in the father’s will we must develop a healthy regret response to life versus living a lie.  God is pleased with a regretful, changed heart.  Christ came to seek out after lost people who have the capacity to repent and come to him.  let’s model a “regretful change of heart” lifestyle when we sin so that the world can come to an open-arms savior. 

matthew 21:28-32

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turning over tables

04/11/2006   |      |       |    3 Comments

father, please have your way in the temple of my heart.  feel free today to turn over any tables or things that i may be disguising or hiding that may hinder anyone around me from growing or accepting jesus christ as savior.  i surrender to your authority and power over me. cast out the “robbers” of my heart.  in jesus name i pray - amen. 

matthew 21:12-17

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reaching the unchurched

04/11/2006   |      |       |    0 Comment

God has really been dealing with me over the last few months concerning defining the people group known as the “unchurched.”  as I think of the word I am prone to boil it down to a simple meaning of “not churched.”  i am convinced it’s more than “not churched.”  there are “christians” and non-christians who don’t go to church because they don’t think church is real, needed, worth ones time, safe, relevant to life, etc.  there are some christians who have been burnt by insecure, scandalous and dictatorial leaders, fake christians, bureaucracy, etc.  there are even christians as well who are merely saved without a daily christ-like lifestyle.  and obviously people who haven’t accepted christ as their savior are unchurched; however, many lost people attend churches every week.  for whatever reasons for being not churched my scope and the church at large has to broaden in order for us reach them. 

the book of acts has been blessing me tremendously.  in acts 16 paul was on a prayer walk.  as he was walking along the river he shared the gospel with a “spiritual” woman named lydia and she became a follower of christ as well as her family. 

here is paul’s divinely appointed path to this unchurched woman:

 1.  he was sensitive and obedient to the holy spirit. (v6)

2.  he was yielded and open to the holy spirit thus receiving a vision. (v9)

 3.  he immediately responded to the vision based on God’s call. (v10)

4.  he lived out his calling establishing relationships with the unchurched. (v13)

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authority as king and lamb

04/11/2006   |      |       |    0 Comment

in matthew 21, jesus approached jerusalem 5 days before his death to proclaim to the nation of israel that he was the king of the jews as well as the passover lamb.  everything was now pointing to him as the “son of David” about to be offered up for the sins of the world.  prior this event 3 events take place in chapter 20 to prepare for his triumphal entry:  v17-19 – his predicted death/resurrection; v20-28 – his suffering/reigning discussion with Zebedees mom and v29-34 – his giving sight/salvation to the blind.  he was going to die but rise for the salvation of mankind.  however, as we look at the text in chapter 21 there are 3 gold nuggets that leap of the pages that gives missional Christians the keys to introducing jesus to a world that rejects him.  the first is humble service (v1-5) – jesus selects a humble/patient beast to ride when kings typically choose chariots and horses.  obviously, he didn’t need a ride but did seek to fulfill zechariah 9:9 predicted the coming messianic king on a donkey.  also, jesus’ disciples demonstrated humility in fetching the best option for their king – a donkey and a colt.  secondly, personal sacrifice (v6-8) as jesus sacrifices his reputation by associating with a stinky field beast.  notice unlike us, he wasn’t trying to impress anyone with his “ride.”  notice the disciples personal sacrifice in being willing to sacrifice their cloaks on the saddleless donkey as well as on the ground in honor of their king.  are you characterized by sacrificing your possessions in honor of the king?  before you answer recognize that the dusty streets of the middle east are totally different that the roads and floors of today.  if you want to introduce your king to hostile culture then it’s going to take personal sacrifice.  notice the response of the crowd.  those around watching took note and did just as the disciples did in honor of the messiah.  they even climbed up into trees to cut down palms in order to lay down to form the “red carpet” for jesus.  lastly, unashamed worship echoed throughout the land.  did he look like a king?  no!  it wasn’t about looks, it was about a heart the cried out – praise the Lord.  they proclaimed loudly that this was their long awaited messiah.  they continued to shout, praising God for sending the messiah.  wow!  wouldn’t it be phenomenal if we would live a life of unashamed worship before our world?  we should be telling the world with our praise that this is the KING – his name is jesus.  let’s introduce jesus to the world looking for opportunities to humby serve, to make personal sacrifices and to proclaim unashamed worship-filled lives.  happy palm sunday from the well.

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too much reputation

04/11/2006   |      |       |    1 Comment

it’s easy to live the christian life based upon ones evolving reputation.  i’m challenged today to pursue God not because i desire to enhance my reputation but based upon my incredible neediness for him.  everyday i’m learning more and more about the power of being needy.  i praise him for a relationship today that is beyond the trophies of yesterday and full of trust for today.  paul said it this way in philippians 3:7 “but what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.”  it’s liberating and humbling to be in the center of his will, naked and unrelying on the applause of the past.

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