Feb 27 2015

Kingdom Culture

Have you ever noticed that when you travel to a foreign country the culture of the people is often different from the culture you are used to? And the more remote of a location you travel to tends to have even more extreme cultural differences. It might seem strange to us but we generally accept these differences because of the different environments people are raised in. I have found that cultural differences even exist between different churches. This is why you can see God do amazing things in one church and then see nothing supernatural happen at all in other churches. I grew up believing in the supernatural power of God but would only see it on occasion and now I see his power on display all the time. What’s the difference? I changed my culture.

Jesus often used this phrase, “the kingdom of heaven has come near” and I tend to think that he was trying to show the people that the culture of his kingdom is different from the culture they were living in. Kingdom culture is different. It is foreign to those who aren’t familiar to it and it may even look a little strange to those who have not been exposed to it before. We often say things like “this might sound a little weird” when we approach a total stranger to demonstrate God’s love through healing, prophecy, etc. That’s our way of making people feel a little more comfortable with the supernatural but once they have an encounter with God it starts to change their culture and it doesn’t seem so weird anymore.

What we need within the church is a change of the cultural mindset. But changing a cultural mindset, especially within the church, is a tough job. It can’t be forced. It has to be done in a loving way that invites others to explore the more of God that they have been missing out on. God has so much more for all of us and if we would simply embrace the notion that “the kingdom of heaven has come near” we would start to witness even more of what God wants to do in us and through us.

Maybe it’s time for a cultural revolution.

@genelloyd
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Feb 20 2015

Pruning adventures

John 15 is my favorite chapter of the Bible. I find Jesus’ discussion about the vine and the branches so fascinating because he gives us this key to success by telling us to stay connected to him. It’s such a vital piece of understanding how to live a supernatural lifestyle; we can do nothing without him. A few days ago I was reading verses 7-8 when I realized something new. It says “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit…” The first part is already intriguing because Jesus tells us that if we stay connected we can ask for anything and it will be done. The possibilities are endless. Praying for the sick, praying for your family, praying for finances, praying for anything and expecting it to be done because of this intimate connection. But the fruit piece is a little confusing and doesn’t seem to fit and the receiving piece is also a little confusing because we have all had times when we asked for something and didn’t receive it (or are still waiting for it). But if we go back a few verses to what Jesus said in verse 2 it helps us to see this statement in context. Verse 2 says “…every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” If we are fruitful we are guaranteed to go through a pruning process so that the fruit will increase. And, when we ask the Father for something he takes us through this pruning process so that we will be able to carry what he gives us. It seems that God invites us to ask for what we need so that it creates the opportunity for him to reshape something in our lives. Of course the frustrating part in all of this is that the pruning process is different for everyone so we rarely know when the things we ask for will be released. But there is joy in the journey so we just have to remember that the process gets us to the place where we can bear more fruit and see more people blessed.

@genelloyd
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Feb 13 2015

Shifting atmospheres

When you turn the light on in a dark room the darkness in the room doesn’t get to decide whether or not it wants to leave. It cannot exist in the same space where light exists. So when you, who Jesus called the light of the world, walk into a room full of spiritual darkness the same result should occur. Darkness should run from you because you carry a great big light. But, most Christians do not walk in the authority they have been given. I don’t think it’s a lack of belief, I think it’s a lack of understanding. Honestly, I think we add complication to the bible when we create a lot of theological viewpoints. It makes more sense to just read what Jesus said and then replicate that everywhere we go. We literally have the ability to shift the atmosphere of every house, school, business, government office, church, park, street…you get the point, when we show up everything should change for the better. Creation is longing for us to fully step into the role we have been created for. Shifting atmospheres should be an everyday part of life for anyone who follows Christ. Let’s start shifting atmospheres, change the world, and get Jesus everything he paid for!

@genelloyd
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Feb 6 2015

No little gifts

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Rom 12:4-5). And though we have many parts, each and every one is important. Look at one of your fingers for example. A human can easily survive if a finger is removed but it would create some difficulties in everyday tasks. We often don’t realize how much we rely on something until it is taken away and losing something that isn’t necessarily life threatening can still have a major impact on how we function. And the concept is the same within the church. Everyone is not called to the same task, if we were all pastors there would not be anyone to teach on Sunday morning (or Saturday night). If we were all apostles there would be no one for us to lead. Does that make the pastor better than the person sitting in the congregation? No. It’s simply another way to serve the body. We can all prophesy. We can all pray for the sick and expect healing. We can all passionately pursue more of God’s presence to carry to those in need. Verse 6 of this same passage says “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Some people carry a greater measure of specific gifts because of the task they have been given. But we tend to highlight the gifts of healing, prophecy, etc. without also recognizing the importance of the gifts of serving, encouraging, or showing mercy for example. Each of these gifts can be supernatural when the person is anointed by God for that function. There are no little gifts in the kingdom. There are no unimportant missions in the kingdom. Everyone has a critical role to play.

@genelloyd
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