King Jesus, the Messiah, God in the flesh “with us,” loves you and wants to have a relationship with you, no matter what idols you’ve worshiped, your lifestyle, past choices, or beliefs about yourself or others. That’s the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel of Jesus.
If you accept that GOOD NEWS, here’s the even better news. He forgives you, His Spirit comes to dwell in you, regenerates you, redeems you, reconciles you back to Himself, and restores you to His original design before sin broke you and your world. Here is His ask — maybe not so much an “ask” but His “conditions” for becoming a citizen of His Kingdom, a member of His royal family:
In the same way that He died for you, you must die for Him – deny self, take up YOUR symbol of death and follow Him. Die to your will, die to your agenda, die to your self-worship, die to your desires, die to your way.
He is Messiah. He is Lord. He is King. We’re in His Kingdom now. This is His family.
Most of us have been there…we made a decision (big or small), launched an initiative or a project, stepped outside our comfort zone, volunteered for something, shared a concern, etc., and we felt primarily unsupported…unheard…unseen. This happens in the context of our homes, relationships, workplaces, churches, teams, organizations, etc.
I’m an introspective person. I’m not an over-thinker, but I am constantly evaluating and assessing, taking inventory, and surrendering more of my flesh, my ego, my will, and my plans to the control of the Spirit of God. When I find myself in the above scenario, I start asking questions. Why? What went wrong? What could have been done better? What did I miss? Is it me?
Here’s what I’ve found to be the case in the many times I’ve experienced a lack of support. I hope it helps you today.
- My communication was unclear. Communication is paramount to garnering support. You cannot over-communicate. But it’s also important to understand that the quantity of words does not guarantee the quality of the message sent or received. Sometimes too many words can make the message more confusing, but not enough words will guarantee a failure to communicate and as a result, a lack of support.
- My motives or intentions were unclear or divided. I failed to connect with the people that I was trying to engage and enlist because they either saw misplaced motives or doubted the source of my passion. Sometimes I had to admit my motive was self-gratifying or self-centric and good reason for lack of support.
- Blind trust and authority are evidence of poor stewardship on the part of others. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Trust is developed and earned. Authority is given and established through being faithful over a few things. When we try to engage and enlist the hearts of people in whom we have not mutually invested and impacted in the little things, we cannot expect to be given blind trust and authority over other things. Trust and authority given to me by my close friends and family carry little weight with strangers…nor should they. When I’m engaged in authentic community with others, we meet real needs for the right reasons in the right ways together.
- I procrastinated. A failure to plan on my part does not constitute an emergency for others. That doesn’t mean that we can’t be spontaneous or “present in the moment.” See a need, meet a need. But I can’t be upset with others who are more structured and have made plans to do something other than what I want them to do at the spur of the moment.
- Some people just didn’t connect with my mission, vision, or passion. I have to be okay with that. If it’s something that God has laid on my heart, I need to pursue it and accept the fact that maybe He didn’t lay it on the heart of others, or maybe one of the other points in this list applies.
Ultimately, my sworn allegiance to Jesus as King leads to loving Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Loving Him leads to trusting in and obeying His commands and walking faithfully and authentically in His Spirit with others who have the same mind, which was also in Christ Jesus. When I’m doing this, I can trust that I have all the support I need for what God is calling me to do.
This is the day of the week that has been set aside for two millennia by followers of Jesus to gather together, in the bonds of the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, to exalt the person of Jesus Christ, to engage in fellowship, equipped by His Word, empowered through exercising our spiritual gifts within the body and encouraged to live another day in the name of Jesus!
This is a day that the Roman empire acknowledged in the 3rd century as vital to the expression of faith in the triune God Almighty. For nearly two centuries, these United States set aside this day for the assembled worship of God by His followers in fellowship.
It is the pinnacle of the week of the Spirit-filled follower of Jesus, the priority of those who have sworn allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords, and the absolute privilege of those who walk in trust and obedience to Christ our Lord and Savior.
Even so come quickly, Lord Jesus!!!!
“Check your schedule with your calling.” OUCH
Before I excuse my absence of attention or my absence of being present and engaged “I don’t have the time”, “I’m just so busy” or “I just have a lot going on right now” – I need to FIRST put down my device (phone, tablet, computer), my TV remote and my gaming controller…and put on the armor of God.
We are in a battle for the eternal, but we are far more dedicated to the temporal.
Our lives are in overload mostly because of our personal choices and preferences and not because of our personal responsibility or obligation — and certainly not out of any God-given responsibility.
“Check your schedule with your calling.”
*as with all things, there are some exceptions. But as a rule for the majority, and certainly, with my own life, this is often more true than not.
Entering into a relationship with an agenda or expectation to change or “fix” the other is NOTHING SHORT OF DECEPTION and will always end in painful regret for both parties.
My wife accepted me and learned to love the person whom she met and entered into relationship with. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t grow together in the ways that we think and behave, impact and influence one another over the years. It doesn’t mean that neither of us changed (for better or worse), but our relationship was not predicated on an expectation or a vision of altering something we didn’t like in or about the other person.
This applies to friendships.
This applies to marriages.
This applies to employment and partnerships.
This applies to teams and organizations.
This applies to covenant partnerships with the local body of Christ.
I accept you – as a person and to be my spouse – with your strengths – and with your weaknesses – to be loyal to you in health or illness – to share what I have and who I am – to love enough to risk being hurt – to trust when I misunderstand – to weep with you in sorrow – to celebrate with you in joy – and to enjoy life with you in reverence. This is my vow to you – and to the God we serve.
– for better, for worse
– for richer, for poorer
– in sickness or in health
– to love and cherish
– ’till death do us part.
Whether in a society, an organization, a business, a team, a church, or a family…CONSUMERS NEVER BUILD OR LEAD ANYTHING.
A CONSUMER cannot be depended on as a foundation for anything…by definition, they will only consume, take, and receive for their own benefit and when they no longer find personal benefit, they move on to consume elsewhere.
A society is built by CONTRIBUTORS and plundered by CONSUMERS. CONTRIBUTORS are the foundation of any society, organization, business, team, church, or family. CONTRIBUTORS invest through radical generosity of their time, their talents, and their treasures (their possessions and money).
I’m extremely grateful for the sacrificial generosity of those who have contributed to my family, my church, and my society. I’m grateful for the examples God has placed in my life to teach me to pay that same generosity forward.
If you go into any place or gathering with a critical spirit, you are sure to leave with your expectations met. That includes the gathering of the body of Christ.
Looking for imperfection, you’ll find it.
Looking for hypocrites, you’ll find them.
Looking for fault, you’ll find it.
Looking for insincerity, you’ll find it.
Looking for pain, you’ll find it.
Looking for ignorance, you’ll find it.
The same is true for a hospital…if you’re looking for it, you’ll find pain, sickness, and death. You’ll also find novices and ignorance.
But if you’re looking for obedience, trust, surrender, and allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords, you’ll find it in the gathering of the body of Christ. If you’re looking for resurrection power, you’ll find it in the body of Christ. If you’re looking for healing, you’ll find it in the body of Christ. If you’re looking for joy, peace, love, community, purpose, and meaning, you’ll find it in the gathering of the body of Christ.
Searching the scriptures, trying to find where God instructs us to send our children of early elementary ages into the clutches of the world’s education system to be missionaries, many having not reached an age of understanding the gospel themselves. Do you know where I can find this instruction in scripture – book, chapter, and verse?
As I often say to our church body, “Hear what I’m saying…not what I’m NOT saying.” Don’t try to read between the lines…I didn’t write anything there. Don’t add tone to what I’ve said…If I wanted there to be an emotional tone, I’d have clearly stated it. Don’t read in what you think I’m implying. I am speaking exactly what I want to say with clarity…there’s no deeper message.
I’m not talking about our regenerate young men and young women in secondary school whose parents have invested years of instructing them morally, socially, and spiritually as children through diligent repetition, having God’s instructions spoken to them while sitting in their house, when walking on the road, when lying down, and when getting up. I’m not talking about young men and women who have walked in the footsteps of their godly parents, having tied God’s Word as a sign to their hands and as frontlets on their foreheads, coming from homes where God’s instructions have been written on the doorposts of their houses and on their gates.
I’m also not debating the merits of public, private, or homeschool education in this post, though I can and do. I’m specifically addressing the idea that our little elementary-age children should be sent into a secular, sometimes pagan environment so that they can be missionaries of a Gospel that they may or may not yet understand.
Extremism is the rule in the United States today, socially and politically. Common sense, common decency, common courtesy, collaborating for the good of the NATION rather than a special interest group – these are ancient practices that are foreign to those who govern today.
If you don’t believe it, watch what is shoved in your face (and your children’s) in prime time commercials and programming on HALLMARK Channel (for crying out loud), social media, the classroom, the marketplace. If you don’t believe it, ask another foreign power. Your country is the laughing stock of the world.
Protecting your liberty, your values, your family are not the agenda, even if you happen to line up with their brand of extremism. You are being used. Anarchy is the goal. If anarchy becomes the state then massive control becomes the answer. This is the goal.
Praising God today for a Kingdom and a King who reigns and will one day crush all corruption. Until then, I will exercise my privilege and my responsibility to vote my values and serve my King. I may not be woke. I may not be liberal. I may not be an elite or an intellectual, but I am filled with the Spirit of the Sovereign and Holy God Almighty, King of the Universe, Creator and Savior of my soul.
We have spent the last several years in our country listening to leaders make gaslighting accusations that have transcended into base levels of society and even into personal relationships. Gaslighting has become a common word and a common sport. The ultimate gaslighting – accusing the other party of gaslighting them. It’s genius.
This pretense is for a limited time only, though. Gaslighting is not a forever game—it is merely a transitional game. There comes a point when everybody quits pretending that the LIE is TRUTH. There comes a time when the LIE stops masquerading as TRUTH and embraces the once-masked agenda that intelligent observers had identified as present from the beginning.
Before that moment of embrace, you are a hater if you identify the presence of the lie. After the embrace, you are a hater if you fail to recognize the supposed goodness of the lie that was told in the first place.
The lie is that it’s possible to dance around the golden calf without actually listening to the lyrics or embracing the idolatry, because the bass line is really stellar. The pretense of truth did not cover up what was actually going on, but the pretense nevertheless worked as a form of gaslighting other people.
But, there comes a moment, after it is too late to do anything about it, when the music reaches a throbbing crescendo and the clothes start coming off, and the thing turns into an orgy and the truth-tellers are just out of touch.
*storyline borrowed from a friend and then altered