Depend on God (Mt 10:17-23)

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?

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 »

Is the Law inside you? (Mt 5:17-48)

February 13, 2009

Matthew 5:17-48

Yesterday we finished discussing the heart attitude we must have to approach God. Please read the introduction to the Sermon on the Mount before reading this if you have not. It’s important that you understand Jesus is not talking about Salvation in this topic which is another subject. Here, Jesus is teaching us how to enter His Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and all the Prophets. He begins this section by telling us…Yes, I am a King and I am bringing a new Kingdom reality, but I did not come to undo the Law given to you by God through Moses. And in fact, His requirements are more strict than that of the Law. But where the Pharisees were unable to teach the people how to actually live the Law, Jesus tells us that He enables us to live this life through His Holy Spirit. Read the rest of this entry »

The spiritual world around us is real: Mission Trip Excerpt

February 6, 2009

(WEDNESDAY, even later that day – Reynosa, Mexico, 2006)

Our impromptu movie theatre

Our impromptu movie theatre

That evening we went to the Colonia. We were going to show the movie The Passion of the Christ after a short service. I went down the potholed dirt street to invite people to come. I played some soccer in the street with some boys and waited for the movie to begin. We had an overheating problem with the projector and it kept going out. Eventually we stopped the movie half way through and gave up. Afterwards, a man and woman came forward to be prayed for. I was supporting Deanna and Karin with prayer, who were in turn, praying for the woman. I could also hear Rabbi David praying for the man. He finished his prayer and moved to the woman we were with. He later told me that he could hear Holy Spirit telling him that this man was not willing to let go of his pain (alcoholism), but then turned and saw that the woman was willing to be rid of hers.

He stepped in to take over for the two women and I saw something amazing. Read the rest of this entry »

What Does it Mean to Know the Truth?

January 27, 2009

The Western world worships the intellect.  We prize rational thought.  We believe that we can come to know and understand anything through logic and observation.  This is directly the opposite of what Biblical writers meant when they spoke of “knowing” something.  To know something in the Hebrew culture meant to become that thing – to do that thing.  The idea that you could read someone else’s teachings and repeat them to show that you understood the teachings would have been preposterous to them.

In Jesus’ time, when a boy wanted to study under a rabbi, he would go and plead to study under him.  The rabbi would then test the boy to see if he was an acceptable candidate.  If he was, he would enter a long period of training.  The purpose of this training was not to simply show you could repeat back to the rabbi what he taught you to prove you had learned and mentally understood it.  It was to learn to be just like the rabbi.    Only through this experiential living, could he really know what the rabbi knew and understand what the rabbi was teaching. Read the rest of this entry »

An Unmistakable Presence: Mission Trip Excerpt

January 23, 2009

(June 26th 2006 – Reynosa, Mexico)

Monday(later that day)

Covering Prayer room (2 days later/someone smartly added cushion)

Covering Prayer room (2 days later/someone smartly added cushion)

After lunch we began another ATL.  But this time I couldn’t hear the Spirit counseling me.  What a bummer.  And I knew what it meant.  I had seen in the morning session that those who didn’t hear  would get stuck in Covering Prayer.

Being obedient to God’s direction in our lives can be the hardest, yet most rewarding thing we ever do.  If you’re new to it, it’s extremely difficult to bend your own will to that of some invisible God.  In fact it really doesn’t get any easier to submit.  But over time you begin to see that God actually wants what’s best for you.  When you are obedient and follow Him, you’ll experience a far richer more blessed life than if you had gone your own way.  (Of course at this time, I was pretty new to this, so I had no idea what was about to happen next). Read the rest of this entry »

Reading Scripture: Hearing the Word

January 14, 2009

A couple of posts ago, I gave advice on how to start reading scripture. The advice was pragmatic:  find a comfortable place to read, and make time every day.  My advice moving forward is more ephemeral.

As you start reading, pray that God speaks into your life.  I typically pray that Holy Spirit come and be present with me: that He guide me, lead me, change me, and grow me.  When you do so, you are asking the Holy Spirit to reveal things to you that you have never before seen, or that, perhaps, you have seen, but forgotten.  Only God has this power.  How can an already Christ-committed person have his whole life transformed by the reading of the word, while a skeptic can read the entire bible over and over again and only grow harder towards God?  The answer is God and His Holy Spirit.

The Bible that you have is only a bunch of words on a page.  Read the rest of this entry »