Jun 26 2015

Value of miracles

I’ve been thinking about the value of miracles lately and how the church really needs to value the miraculous more if we want to be relevant in society. Much of the church is focused on being relevant today, and by the church I mean all of the church and not just one denomination or stream. And so we want to be relevant but I think that our desire to be relevant has brought us to this place where we want to be accepting of everyone, which is great. But we are also hyper sensitive about not offending anyone, which is not so great because it can keep us from teaching on topics that might scare away some of the congregation. So what’s interesting to me is that a large and growing section of society is interested in the supernatural and this is an interest that I think we can capitalize on by teaching on and operating in the gifts of the Spirit. But this is an area that can be offensive to some people and maybe even scare them away, especially if they are not used to it or if they had bad experiences in the past at churches that had a skewed view of how to partner with God. So think about this for a minute; God could speak one word and every sickness and disease would vanish off of the earth. So why doesn’t he do it? Because he put the responsibility of the earth firmly in our hands and he gave us both the authority and the power to take care of the earth and everything on it. We can quickly increase our relevance in society by following Jesus’ model of ministry and giving our communities exactly what they need.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I unpack this idea by sharing ways you can partner with God to restore hope to your communities.

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Jun 19 2015

Supernatural Strength

In 2 Cor. 12:9 the Lord said his “strength is made perfect in weakness.” We have access to his strength just as we have access to anything else in the kingdom. Being seated with Christ (see Eph. 2:6) means that we already sit in a position of authority. From that perspective all we have to do is reach over and grab hold of what we need (notice I said need not want—-this isn’t about greed). So when we need his strength it is readily available just as words of knowledge or prophecy are available for us to minister to others. Samson’s strength came from the Lord, it was not his own. And he lived under an inferior covenant (see Heb. 8:6) so what does that mean we have access to? We can also draw on God’s strength to sustain us through any situation. It’s not about staying weak because he is strong, it’s about accessing his strength when we are weak so that we can overcome. Weakness is not a virtue! When trouble comes, when problems arise, or when we find ourselves completely out of strength then we go back to the source to recharge so we can keep moving forward. His strength is perfect even in the midst of our weakness.

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Jun 12 2015

The Invitation

Sometimes being a Christian can look like a life full of obligation; going to Church every week, tithing from your paycheck, and avoiding all the “bad stuff” every day. But really, it’s not an obligation, it’s an opportunity. It’s an invitation into an amazing relationship with the most amazing person in the universe. Everything God does in our lives is either an invitation for us to draw closer to him or a response to our response to his invitation. Living a Christian lifestyle isn’t the mindless following of a bunch of rules, it’s the awesome privilege of hanging out with the one who created the universe. And it’s not just about the prize of going to heaven when this life is over. Heaven is just the icing on the cake. We get to partner with God. Think about that for a minute. He wants us to partner with him. It’s like a dad teaching his kids how to do something and then taking great pleasure in watching them succeed in that task. 1 John 2:6 tells us that we know we are connected to him if we are doing the same things Jesus did (paraphrased). So what does that look like? What did Jesus do? Everywhere he went he healed the sick and set people free from all kinds of oppression. I love doing what Jesus did, I love seeing lives forever changed by one encounter. And it all started with an invitation to join him on this great adventure. But it’s something we only get a short time to do on earth because there won’t be anyone sick in heaven that we can heal. So join us in getting Jesus everything he paid for. Don’t trudge through your Christian walk just trying to get to heaven. Get out and have some fun and accept the fullness of the invitation God has offered us.

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Jun 5 2015

Press in

It’s so easy to get distracted or discouraged when life isn’t exactly how we imagined or hoped it would be. And staying focused on the truth of who God is can be tough when we spend many years waiting to see a promise fulfilled. Philippians 4:12-14 gives us this idea that we need to press on towards what God has for us while we set aside everything else. It’s not always easy and may even feel like a difficult task at times but when we are intentional about focusing on Jesus all the other issues of life become a lot smaller in comparison to our big God.

And as we press into his presence we will find the peace that we need and the strength to keep moving forward. Life should never be lived outside of the presence of God. Jesus’ discussion with the disciples in John 15 is such an amazing example of how we must stay connected to him at all times. Everything we need in life flows through that relationship. We can’t do anything without him but with him we can do anything.

Press in, you’ll be glad that you did.

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