Nov 29 2019

It’s all for you

Did you know that everything Jesus promised is for you? Did you know that you have access to everything in his kingdom? It’s hard to keep track of every word Jesus has spoken, everything that he has promised and everything that has been made available to us. It’s a really long list! As I ponder what I am most thankful for in this season, the promises of Jesus easily are in a category all by themselves at the top of my list. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these” – John 14:12
  • “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” – John 14:13
  • “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” – Acts 1:8
  • “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” – Mark 11:24
  • “your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” – Luke 12:32

It’s important for all of us to constantly remember what has been promised to us and to live with the realization that these promises are not just for a few chosen people, but for everyone who chooses to follow Jesus. Everything in his kingdom is available to us right now. You don’t have to wait to get to heaven to have joy. You don’t have to wait until eternity to receive peace.

It’s all for you! It’s all part of your inheritance! You don’t have to wait until heaven to experience all the goodness of God. It’s for now. Right now!

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Nov 22 2019

Shiny Distractions

The world is full of shiny distractions. Everywhere you look, there is another thing, idea, or perspective that can distract us from where we should be focusing our attention. We have found that in today’s environment of having everything at our fingertips, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking for quick fix solutions instead of going to Jesus–but he is the best one we can ever go to for advice. We meet with different people every week who have questions about their faith, questions about how to navigate current culturally popular topics, and questions about what they should or shouldn’t allow in their lives. These are all important questions and sometimes, we as believers, need someone else to confirm that we are headed in the right direction, or help to point us in the right direction. Often times the only advice we need to give comes in the form of a simple question: Why is Jesus not enough?

Sometimes we get distracted by the systems of the world which can cause us to look to those things to discover who we are, to find solutions for problems, or to receive advice. But why isn’t Jesus enough? I have found the simple answer to this question is that it is easy to be distracted when our focus is not on Jesus. But the more we focus on him, the more we focus on who he is, the more we focus on who he says we are, the more we realize that everything we need is in him.

I had a conversation with Jesus earlier this year about his attributes and I asked him to reveal his different attributes to me in a way I haven’t experienced in the past. His answer was simple and straightforward. He told me to read the book of John; so, I did. As I read through each chapter, I intentionally looked for anything that stood out as one of his attributes and wrote each one down. My list quickly grew to almost 100 different attributes that are revealed in this single book! Here’s just a few of the ones I found:

  • He doesn’t apologize for the truth
  • His truth sets people free
  • His words are eternal life
  • He desires for us to be with him
  • His words bring peace
  • His questions pierce our hearts

The more I learn about him, the more I am attracted to him! Have you ever thought about what it is that attracts you to Jesus? Have you wondered what is it about Jesus that makes you want to follow him?

I encourage you this week to think about these questions and go on your own journey through the scriptures to discover the attributes of Jesus. He really is enough for us!

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Nov 15 2019

Intense Focus

Throughout our lives, we tend to focus on the things that are most important to us in any given season. Sometimes we are focused on getting through school. Other times we may be focused on finishing up a project at work. We focus on relationships, we focus on life goals, and sometimes we just we focus on survival; focus is a great because our focus helps us to achieve our goals. But what happens if we shift our focus to view things through the eyes of Jesus? What happens if we ask our King what he is intensely focused on, and reorder our priorities to have the same intense focus on what our King wants accomplished in this season of our life? Of course, this will be different for everyone because our roles in the body of Christ are different, but when our focus is in alignment with His focus, our impact increases exponentially. It’s easy to get sidetracked on the current popular thing or the shiny new idea we see in the culture around us, but we need to remember that focusing on the systems of the world takes our eyes off our King. I am confident that there is a supernatural solution to every problem on earth, and those solutions are in the heart of our King. Part of our job as followers of Jesus is to align our perspectives, ideas, and focus with what he is doing, so that we can partner with Him to accomplish the work of His Kingdom being established on the earth. Because when His Kingdom shows up, everything else immediately bows before the King of all Kings. I want nothing more than to see the Kingdom of God firmly established on the earth. That should be our primary focus, because it is His primary focus.  

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Nov 8 2019

Inheritance

I tend to put followers of Jesus into two categories. One is the everyday Christian who lives a good life, goes to church, and volunteers in different capacities, but never fully realizes who they are in Christ. The other is the Christian who does all of these things, but also goes after everything that God has for their life and refuses to settle for mediocrity because they recognize the only thing that can transform the world is the power of God working through believers. Have you ever thought about the inheritance available to you as a follower of Jesus? Ephesians 1:11 tells us that we have obtained an inheritance; some people think that is just talking about heaven, but let me tell you, it is so much more that what you receive after you die. Romans 8:17 tells us that we are co-heirs with Christ. Heirs receive something after someone dies. When Christ died, something amazing became available to all who chose (or will choose) to follow him. Salvation is the major component of what we receive, but there is so much more. We become ambassadors of Christ. We step into the role of representing our King to everyone we meet. When Jesus told us in John 14 that those of us who believe in him would do greater works than he had done, he was talking about us! Our inheritance is more than heaven. Our inheritance is a new identity that only God can give to us. It is an identity that, if we fully grab hold of it, positions us to heal the sick, raise the dead, free people held in captivity by demons, release the goodness of God, and the list goes on. There is no such thing as a mediocre Christian life in the mind of God. We were created and destined for so much more. Many viewpoints have stifled the work of God through believers in the name of good theology. Well, some theology is actually bad and should be thrown away. Especially the pieces that lie to believers about their true identity in Christ. The body of Christ has the answer the world needs. We need to stop allowing the systems of the world to influence us, and instead, take the systems of the Kingdom of God into the world to influence and transform everyone else’s way of thinking. The Kingdom of God will not stop advancing. We can choose to play an active role or passively sit on the sidelines. I choose to be active. Come join me. Let’s change the world together.  

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