Be Loved!

To find God, is only to lift our eyes. We don’t have to search, but rather allow ourselves to be found. Jesus – God himself in the flesh – came to ‘seek and save’ us. (Luke 19:10) Jesus is ‘God with us’. (Mt 1:23)

Yes, God does want us to ‘seek’ him also, just as any lover longs for the other to also be in pursuit, reaching for the relationship. God, in fact, made us with the purpose of ‘seeking’ and ‘reaching out to find him’. (Acts 17:26) But the very next verse of this same scripture tells us – once our hearts are now turning towards him – that God is, in fact, ‘not far from anyone of us.’ (vs.27) He is not only close, but part of us. We are told that in God we ‘live and move and have our being,’ and we are his ‘offspring.’ (vs.28; Gen 1:27; Jn 10:34/Ps 82:6)

God comes to us as Jesus Christ, and reaches for us today through the very Spirit of Jesus Christ. The ‘good news’ of the bible is not so much that God can be found, but that he came and found us. We need only lift our eyes!

Jesus, with you now, calls you to lift your eyes to him, and to let go of your sin. He calls you to lift your eyes, and let him come into your heart. Search no more – just be found!

‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.’ Revelation 3:20

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Where Do You Hide?

It’s OK to hide. It’s natural to hide. We are born into the ‘hiding game’!

The question is not, ‘Should we hide?’, but, ‘Where should we hide?

Let me jump straight to the ‘answer’, to the safest of safe places! The one that ‘hides’ the heart in healing, swallows up death, clothes us with a ‘new heart and new spirit’ (Ez 36:26)…

Jesus said that he was the ‘door’, and that in going through him – by faith, in spirit – we pass into salvation. Four of my favorite verses in scripture are below. If you repent of your sin, and commit your life to Jesus Christ, this eternal space will be yours now and forevermore!

‘Your life is hidden with Christ in God.’ Colossians 3:3

‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe!’ Proverbs 18:10

‘The eternal God is your refuge, and beneath are the everlasting arms.’ Deuteronomy 33:27

‘The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, ever-brighter till the full light of day!’ Proverbs 4:18

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How To… Destroy Evil!

Deep within us – where ‘eternity’ dwells (Eccl 3:11) – we are not satisfied with simply containing or incarcerating evil. We know that even if the bad guy is caught, badness might not be contained, and may even be on the increase – drilling down, spawning, spreading, thickening…

We grow tired of ‘covering up’ bad stuff, and something in us – that part of us made in the ‘image of God’ (Gen 1:27) – craves a ‘real’ victory, a breaking in and through of ‘purity’, of true beauty, of holiness. We cry out from deep within for the wind of a Spirit to blow over all darkness – including our past – and sweep through with redemption, a new self, a new start, or as the prophet puts it, ‘a new heart and new spirit.’ (Ez 36:26)

If we fix this today, it will still be broken and gone one day. If we heal this today, it will still fail and die one day… This very mortality that courses through our veins from the day we are born, this ‘death’ we need to destroy! Death is the ultimate expression of all things evil – from the body to the soul, the broken child, the broken heart… Who can destroy evil, who can defeat death? How can we break free – now and forevermore?

Jesus said, ‘Live by the sword, die by the sword.’ (Mt 26:52) The story of Christ is absolutely incredible, unequalled! God became man, and then lay down under the violence of men. Rather than defeating man, he allowed himself to be defeated by man, and used this ‘defeat’, this ‘bloodshed’, to destroy death itself. Yes, when Christ rose from the grave (the innate hope and yearning in every created human being), he brought with it the very ‘keys to death’. (Revelation 1:18) Jesus holds the keys to death – and he is the very doorway to eternal life!

Jesus is life, the Destroyer of death and all darkness. You, too, in Christ can be a Destroyer of darkness. We are told that our weapons – as believers and followers of Christ – are not those of the world (i.e. the ‘sword’, or guns and force). We are told that in Christ we have ‘divine power’ to demolish strongholds, and everything that sets itself up against God – like violence, lust, betrayal, abuse… (2 Cor 10:3-5). Christ has the keys to death and life, but he puts these keys into our hands. He says, ‘I have given you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Everything you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and everything you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ (Mt 16:19)

This is amazing power, and amazing responsibility! Do you pray? In Jesus’ name you can ‘bind’ darkness that you perceive here on earth, in violent and dishonest people! Do you ‘demolish’ strongholds? In Jesus’ name you can declare that dark powers – and structures and leaders and relationships) fall, and are no more, and that the light of Christ pours in…

We need more warriors! Jesus himself told us to pray for ‘workers’ (Mt 9:36-38), but he also called us to ‘be’ the workers! (Ps 94:16)

Let’s storm heaven and earth in prayer and testimony, that we might see true ‘Light’ and true victory sweep through our hearts, our homes, our nation, our world, in Jesus’ name!

‘The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea!’ Habakkuk 2:14

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Passing Through!

Jesus said he was the ‘door’. (John 10:9). He is the door to many, many things – forgiveness, healing, eternal life – but he is also the door to heaven. Truly, my friends, I encourage you to ponder the ‘city’ of heaven for 2 reasons:

  1. Heaven Is Your True Future: We are told, in light of having been rescued by Christ and promised heaven, that we are only passing through here. Yes, we are told that Abraham lived in ‘tents’ because he had his sights set on the ‘city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.’ (Heb 11:9-10). We are told by Paul that we only live here by ‘faith’, and that we are ‘hidden with Christ in God.’ (Gal 2:20; Col 3:3). Paul goes on to admonish us to ‘live by faith and not by sight’, and to do so intentionally, i.e. to ‘fix our eyes not on the seen, but the unseen…’ (2 Cor 4:18; 5:7) This vision of our true future, our true ‘citizenship’ (Phil 3:20), gives us correct lenses for seeing this life, and doing this life…
  2. Heaven Is Other People’s True Future: If you do not have your sights on heaven – and the ‘door’ to heaven, Jesus Christ – you will not encourage and invite others to go through this door, to come to Jesus. This life is so demanding, pressing, ‘urgent’, that we will never find ‘natural’ time to make the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ a priority here. This is the real battle of walking with Christ – his kingdom is not of this world. (Jn 18:36)

Heaven is astounding! It is true and imminent, for all who repent of their sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ. I encourage you to search up these two passages, that are found in the last 2 chapters of the bible, and ponder the picture of heaven: Revelation 21:1-5 and Revelation 22:1-5

Know Christ. Share Christ. There is nothing outside of Him! (Colossians 1:15-20)

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What is the Gospel?

Jesus warned of ‘false prophets’ and even ‘false christs’. (Mt 7:15; 24:24) Possibly the most striking warning that Jesus gives is when he says that ‘many’ will come to him – having done miracles in his name – and he will say, ‘I never knew you.’ (Mt 7:22-23)

The preachers and church ‘members’ were the ones who turned against Jesus and called for his crucifixion. In the midst of their prayers to God, their songs about Him, their networking and ‘Hallelujahs’… they plotted God’s death inside the walls of His own church.

What ‘christ’ do you worship? What ‘prophet’ do you heed? 

In this brief video I share my heart on the true Gospel message:

 

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The Canaanite Woman

Jesus spoke some very, very strong (jarring, hurtful) words to people. He was not harsh in spirit, but we cannot deny – and must absolutely learn from – those words of Christ that are actually hard to hear.

One example of this was when he was approached by the ‘Canaanite Woman’, bringing to Jesus her ‘demon-possessed daughter’. We are told that as she cried out for ‘mercy’, Jesus ignored her. Yes, he stone-walled her. If you do not believe me, read Matthew 15:21-28.

When this woman persisted with Jesus, he said, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’ (vs. 26) This woman did not shrink back. She did not take offense. She leaned in, persisted further, even contradicted him: ‘Yes, it is Lord. For even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the children’s table.’ (vs. 27)

Jesus commended her ‘great faith’, and healed her daughter.

Do you ‘take offense’ at Jesus – at his presence, at his absence, at his words, at his silence? I do. Often. I wonder what I miss out on for this lack of faith and perseverance…

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World Peace

‘From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks’ (Jesus, Luke 6:45)

From the overflow of the heart, a nation is at war with another nation… a family with a family… a husband with a wife… a brother with a brother…

War spills up and over from the heart of mankind. World War is an extension of individuals at war with truth. We have the same essence of ‘World War’ at work within our own streets, our own homes, our hearts and minds.

If war on a world scale comes ultimately from the ‘heart condition’ of all the individuals within it, I ask you:

Is your heart right with God? World Peace, will come from Individual Peace – when mankind is right with God.

Jesus calls us to ‘repent’ of our sin. What this means is to recognize that we are sinful – full of selfishness, greed, envy, lust, vengeance, violence – and to ‘turn’ from this sin. Jesus then calls us to put our faith and our trust in him. What this means is to recognize that Jesus is God, that he is Truth, and to commit our lives to him. Have you repented of your sin? Have you come by faith through the ‘door’ of Jesus Christ?

‘Jesus said, ‘I am the door, and whoever enters through me will be saved.’ John 10:9

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Let Your Heart Break…

We expend all of life – our money, time and relationships – trying to keep things in tact. Most of the walls we build, are walls around our heart. Most of the vacations we invest in, are ultimately from painful memories…

We fear stopping, in case there is nothing that meets us there. We fear the silence, in case there is no word or song of reassurance that comes to us there. We run and strain to find hope and healing and peace…

In some respects, however, we are running to find God, when He has already come to find us. Jesus said, ‘I have come to seek and save the lost.’ (Luke 19:10) Maybe by ‘seeking’, you miss being ‘found’?

These words of Jesus shake the earth and indeed all things temporal. If you hear these words, and in faith go through the ‘door’, you enter into life eternal. Stop running. Let your heart ‘break’, and the light of Jesus will pour in and heal!

‘Come to me all who are weary, and I will give you rest.’ Matthew 11:28

‘Jesus said, ‘I am the door, and everyone who enters through me will be saved.” John 10:9

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Your #1 Doubt That Costs You Everything!

I have lost love, opportunity and character, because I doubted. I doubted myself, I doubted others, I doubted the ‘signs’, I doubted the ‘warnings’, I doubted truth and wisdom… There is one ‘doubt’ that literally costs us everything…

If you doubt how much God loves you, you can – and will – lose everything. Why? Because you will not, therefore, go to him.

Paul prays for us, asking that we would know ‘how long and wide, deep and long is the love of Christ…’ He goes on to ask that we would ‘know this love that surpasses knowledge.’ Why? So that we would be ‘filled with the full measure of God.’ (Eph 3:14-21)

If we do not accept the love of God towards us, through the invitation of Christ, we will miss God’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life. What is the ‘invitation’ of Jesus Christ? It is this: that we turn from our sin, and follow Jesus.

Have you repented of your sin this day, and put your faith in Jesus Christ?

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God’s First Words To You!

Jesus encouraged us to pray! He actually told a parable once, with the express purpose that we would ‘persist’ in prayer! (Luke 18:1-8) So, yes, pour out your heart to the Lord. He hears. He bottles your tears. (Psalm 56:8) And he will bring you victory!

But here is a key moment in scripture, that teaches us much. Let me share with you…

When a lame man was brought to Jesus for healing, Jesus looked at him, and Jesus’ ‘first words’ to him were, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ (Luke 5:20) Jesus heard the man’s prayer, that is, his hope and request for physical healing. And Jesus did go on to heal him. But the ‘first words’ of Jesus, the first ‘act’ of Jesus in this moment, was to give this man a deep, eternal prize – forgiveness of sins, and eternal life!

Don’t miss the deeper and wider and more eternal ‘first words’ that Jesus is whispering to you, and giving you, while you are in the act of asking for something else. Jesus will hear your cry and answer your prayer, but he may be ‘first’ giving you a spiritual touch, a soul healing, an identity promise. What is he saying to you? What are his first words to you at this time? Listen for this!

‘He will seek me, and he will find me, when he seeks me with all his heart!’ Jeremiah 29:13

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