Learn To Follow Beyond Your Ability

What did you think you were getting into when you decided to follow Jesus? 

Did you imagine He would forgive you of everything that needed heavenly forgiveness - past, present and future?  He has! 

Did you imagine He would help you perceive life, not through the lens of your familial distortions or wounded soul, but instead from God’s Kingdom perspective?  He’s doing that even right now!

Did you imagine that He would use you to reveal His glory, grace and truth to others that you were uniquely created to help?  This is His plan for you!

When Jesus sent the 70 to go ahead of Him, as recorded in Luke 10, they quickly realized they were in over their heads.  Jesus gave them authority to do what was impossible amidst a hostile crowd.  He sent them, and they went because they believed He was backing them.  They were amazed at what happened. Demons responded to their voice/authority and miracles took place.  The 70 disciples...

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You May Have More Authority Than You Realize

Does it ever seem to you like nothing much is really happening in your neck of the Kingdom of God? 

How long has it been since you have seen significant transformation in the lives or health of people you personally know? 

Does it feel like you are just going through the motions of faith – which quite possibly is not faith at all?

Jesus lived an expression of faith that made a difference.  He seemed to engage heaven and earth - the spiritual and relational, to great affect and effect.  Paul referred to Jesus as the second Adam because He walked in the purposes of God’s created order. 

God formed people in His own image, and intended them to rely upon His wisdom and direction, and to represent His will, in His authority, on the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-20)  Jesus understood this and lived accordingly, saying,

“By Myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and My...

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Power for Kingdom Living

If you want to experience God’s presence, if you want to understand His ways and counsel, and if you want to live in His power, you are going to need the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit.  For some this statement sounds boring and theological.  For others it might be off-putting, and sound too “charismatic.”  For yet others, it is intriguing and enticing.  For everyone – it’s true. 

Only the Holy Spirit can reveal, communicate and empower the Kingdom of God in and through you.

The book of Luke makes it clear that Jesus did His ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He was/is the Son of God – fully God.  And, He was/is the Son of man – fully human.  He lived and experienced life just like we do – Jesus was fully human.  However, He was also anointed (enabled) by the Holy Spirit to experience, understand and live in the Power of the Kingdom of God. 

“God anointed Jesus...

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How To Be Lifted

As people get older, they are prone to “soften” in more ways than one. Most importantly, people’s hearts tend to get softer – and they become humbler as the decades start ticking away. Much of our culture looks at this softening process with suspicion, wondering if it’s the fruit of humility or lack of backbone and/or drive. Even if it is humility, the public square often doesn’t honor the character of humility. Yet, God’s economy is quite different.

Both James (the brother of Jesus) and Peter (one of His closest followers) wrote, “God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5) God opposes those who exhibit pride – because they are opposing Him. When people act in a prideful way, they are not seeking God – and Scripture declares they are also not making room for Him in their thoughts. (Psalm 10:4)  If not seeking God, and not including Him in our thoughts are marks of pride...

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Stir & Spur to Greater Life

When you say, "How are you doing?" people usually give a quick (positive) answer, and the conversation moves on. If you slow things down and pursue a more thoughtful answer, you can usually expect a pause - as the person takes stock of their emotional condition and reviews their recent performance. Their status will often be expressed in terms of a treadmill week. And life goes on.

This need not be – there is more to life than a weekly treadmill. Jesus came that our lives may be abundant and full. (John 10:10) We must remember that we will be most fulfilled and alive when we are most spiritually alive. Paul reminds his younger friend Timothy to stir up (the fire of) the spiritual gifting within him. (2 Timothy 1:6) Sometimes we have to intentionally stir ourselves up to rekindle that fire. 

  • What kind of things fire you up?

  • When was the last time you were on fire?

  • This might be a good time to put yourself in a setting or two that are likely to stir you...

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Who Are You – Really?

At different points in our lives we are confronted with different forms of the same question –

“Who are you?”

Often the question comes as a challenge to our competence. We are tempted to define ourselves by what we are able to do and/or how well we can do it.

Sometimes we are enticed to delineate our lives in terms how well regarded, received or "important" we are. The eyes and approval of others become our measuring stick.

Alternatively, we may be incited to understand ourselves and portray ourselves in terms of power – how much (or who) we can gain and control for our own purposes.

These three false measurements of identity are common to all of us. Different ones will be weighted in different ways, nuanced with different language and tailored to fit/attack our specific personalities and susceptibilities. However, these kinds of temptations are bait for the traps of pride or self-condemnation for all of us. 

  • Which temptation bites more deeply...

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How to Connect with God

When you hear the words, “Spiritual Disciplines,” what comes to your mind?  For many, feelings of religious striving start to envelope their thinking.  They may have difficulty listing many of the disciplines, but they don’t have trouble experiencing guilt, boredom, dryness or tiredness that the enemy wants to associate with these practices.  Maybe it's just the word “Discipline” that sounds odious.

In reality, spiritual disciplines can be an incredible means of accessing God and experiencing His grace. Maybe it is more comfortable for us to call them practices. They are like maps that point us in the direction of God. They help direct our attention toward Him, and they can bring us a sense of closer proximity.  Some of the practices that many find helpful relate to the Bible (reading, study and/or meditation); Prayer (silence, stillness, solitude, listening, dialog); Reflection (personal awareness, examination of conscience); ...

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Helping One Another Align With God

Do you walk through life with your head held lower than is needed?  Are you hindered or tangled up by accusations, misunderstandings and/or sin? Have you somehow come to believe that this marred, somewhat hopeless life must be all that God has for you? Deep down – often deeper than you'd like to go – do you feel harassed and helpless?

It might be that you have tried to address your “stuff.”  Possibly you’ve acknowledged your need and/or errors to God, and even tried your best to change and walk in a better direction.  Yet, somehow, you keep finding yourself back in the mud.  The enemy may taunt you with Scripture, saying, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” (Proverbs 26:11)

Often the way out of bondage is simple, but a little scary.  We may need to involve others in the process.  James encourages us to "confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed. The...

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Move from Fullness to Abundance!

How full is your life? Let me put it another way, how abundant is your life? The questions sound different, don’t they? Many of us have lives that are full, but not as many have lives that feel abundant.

In John 10:10, Jesus is recorded as saying “… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  Other translations say, “Have it abundantly.”  The point is that Jesus came into the world to free us from all that binds us, and to release abundant spiritual life in our souls and in our midst.  We are tempted to think that the life Christ has for us is smaller than the lives we are trying to carve out for ourselves, but actually the opposite is true.  He who created you wants to give you the best and fullest life your frame can handle.

In a related way, Paul exhorts us to be “Filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) The full and abundant life that Jesus provides is realized through the filling of...

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Navigating God's Purpose and Your Desires

Can you articulate some of the primary needs, desires and burdens that you are carrying these days? 

God wants you to express, to Him, the things are important to you.   He is often more interested in our needs than we realize.  You may not have what you want “Because you don’t ask God.” (James 4:2)

Our desires can become problematic, however.  When we become obsessed with our “stuff,” when our concerns become too much of a priority, they can become toxic and destructive to our souls.  Our wishes may seem harmless at first, but as they become a fixation in our lives, they begin to diminish our world.  It is as if can only see the object of our obsession. God wants to raise our eyes.

1 Kings speaks of a widow who, along with her son, was starving . She was about to prepare her last meal for the two of them when she met the prophet Elijah. He said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do what you have...

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