March 24, 2009
Faith like a child
Yesterday, we spoke of the spiritual life that our Messiah calls us to. Today Jesus teaches us how to seek and find Him and then to achieve a peace and rest in Him. I think this is what many in the world are looking for…a life with less stress, more peace and rest!
The key to faith and growth in Jesus is childlike faith. A big problem in the Church is our constant wrestling over and obsession with complex theology. This blog is no exception. We posted an interview with brothers of the Chinese Church a week ago, and what we see of them who are experiencing an incredibly rich walk with the Lord is the simple faith and trust of a child to his parents. The complex theology does not bring us close to Him, the absolute devotion and commitment of our lives does. Read the rest of this entry »
March 23, 2009
The Kingdom life taking root
After training and sending off His disciples, which we discussed Friday, Jesus went to preach in the towns of Galilee. It’s interesting that John the Baptist and the disciples were key players in the ushering in of the Kingdom Jesus came to bring, and yet they didn’t really have a clue what God was doing.
Each was an important part of God’s plan, and He worked through them. John heralded the coming Kingdom and yet he did not know what it was. They could not see beyond their own simple understandings. Their world revolved around their own lives and their own deeply ingrained misconceptions. They believed that Jesus would come ahead of an army to kick Rome out of Israel and restore its sovereignty. They had no understanding of the new spiritual life that God wanted to breathe into His people and that He is very patient to bring about the ultimate conquering in order to foster this life within us. Read the rest of this entry »
March 19, 2009
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!” (Matthew 10:24-25)
Powerful transformation can occur within you when you yield to being discipled
We’re continuing the discussion from yesterday that began here about how to be His disciple. Far too many of us desire to be true disciples of Christ, but either don’t know to, or don’t follow through to put ourselves in actual discipling relationships. A follower of Christ Jesus should position himself or herself rightly in spiritual relationships. There are teachers of the Kingdom of Heaven and they need to be received as such. We can’t receive them until we honor and relate to them accordingly.
There is something unseen that happens in a relationship such as this. Read the rest of this entry »
March 18, 2009
17″But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; 18and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19″But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. 20″For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” (Matthew 10:17-20)
Do you depend on God as fully as a child depends on his father?
We spoke yesterday about the need to be innocent as the dove in our dependence on God as we move through Jesus’ teaching on how to go out into the world which we started here. This scripture is really a great relief! He tells us that we do not need to worry about what to say when we find ourselves in a critical situation representing our Messiah. The Holy Spirit will step in and speak for us. Read the rest of this entry »
March 17, 2009
“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. 15″Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of
Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.” (Matthew 10:11-15)
Innocent as a dove
God’s sending of His Messiah was the greatest blessing that God had given the world since it turned against Him. Through Jesus we can have Life! He offers us true peace as we discussed yesterday. But this comes with a catch. God is restoring the world back to Him through us as His servants and as much is given to us, much is expected. Read the rest of this entry »
March 16, 2009
One final word: you should pray diligently to God for where your tithe should go.
Give back to those who've helped you grow spiritually
I personally believe that for most everyone it should go to those who are responsible for your growth in the Kingdom. Those pouring into your life spiritually must be supported financially. For most people, that is your local church. They are also the best at distributing your gift to the community. You should give additional offerings directly to areas of need that you see fit.
Not only does your local church know the local needs (or should), but by giving this to someone else to distribute, you are truly giving it to God. If your entire tithe goes to a pet project that you are fanatical about, then I think the line begins to blur between tithing and discretionary spending. This is not a biblical mandate. Feel free to disagree. If you have been scarred by the idea of giving to a church for some reason, then I would say give it somewhere else rather then not giving at all. There are many ministries desperate for this help. Read the rest of this entry »