It amazes me to realize I have unsurpassable worth in the eyes of God. I get that. But when it comes to His kingdom, I don’t matter. This thing is all about God, and when the focus is anywhere else, the whole thing goes a bit sideways. I don’t matter, only Jesus. This doesn’t make me irrelevant. It simply brings perspective. God could do this whole thing without you or me, but He has chosen to include us in His plans.

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He doesn’t need us to be His hands and feet, He desires us to be His hands and feet. This is a tremendous honor and responsibility. It changes the way we see the world and the reason we get up each day.

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Does it strike you as odd to read of the power of the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament? Do you ever wish you had a healthy dose of the same spirit today? The same Spirit that permeates the pages of the New Testament, and indeed all of history, is alive and active in our world today. The reason we miss Him is we aren’t looking for Him.

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We’re so wrapped up in our own world and busyness we wouldn’t recognize the Spirit of God if He visibly showed Himself in front of our faces. Somewhere throughout the centuries, we’ve lost our sensitivity to the Spirit. Or is it perhaps we have lost the desire to truly see Him?

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The latest book by Francis Chan, “Letters to the Church” is a fantastic and convicting work that compares the modern Western church to the early Church detailed in the New Testament. This will always be a touchy topic because one feels the need to walk the tightrope between offending and convicting. I think Francis does a masterful job of doing this, but much to my delight chooses to err on the side of not worrying what anyone other than God might think.

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Early on, Pastor Chan writes, “The older I get, the more aware I am the end is near. There is no time to care about what I want in the church. There’s no time to worry about what others are looking for in a church. I will be facing Him soon, so I have to stay focused on His desires.” This is a word by which we all should be living.

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Are you willing to die for your faith? Have you ever even considered it? Would you hold fast to Jesus if someone had a knife to your throat demanding you choose to deny Christ or die? While it seems like an extreme scenario to many of us, thousands (perhaps millions) of believers live with this as their reality every day. Recently I learned before you can become a member of the church in Iran, you must sign a paper agreeing to lose your property, be thrown in jail, and die for your faith.

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If that sounds radical, consider the Church in Iran is one of the fastest growing evangelical communities in the world. The Church is expanding because they are willing to die. Contrast this with the Western church which is shrinking perhaps more than any other reason because we are not willing to die.

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I read a quote from a Malaysian pastor who said, “Fear is not as real as God. When the time comes, we’ll find that it [fear] doesn’t matter anymore.” When we meet Jesus, we will understand how futile our fears have been. In Jesus, there is such love, such joy. There is nothing to fear in the arms of our Savior.

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When we see Him face to face we will realize this as never before. But what if we didn’t have to wait? What if we would come to understand right now, in the midst of all we’re going through, the reality of God’s love and the façade of fear?

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How big is your God? Do you believe He can cure any sickness, heal any wound, solve any problem, and handle any situation? Do you believe that He can? Never forget the God who lives inside You, the God who sacrificed His Son for you, the One who is always acting for you is the same God who created everything in the world around you.

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He is the same God who sustains the universe moment by moment, who feeds the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. He is the One who provides for His creation, sustains its life, and blesses it for His glory. This is a God who knows no impossibility. He is our rock, our refuge, and our provider. Do you see God this way, or is He somehow smaller to you?

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What we live for matters. More specifically, who we live for matters. One day, each of us will die. We’ll face our Creator and be asked to give an account for our lives. We’ll have to answer the question of who and what we lived for. Make no mistake, Jesus already knows the answer to the question before you open your mouth. The truth is, we all know the answer today, and that should scare some of us to death. Life is not about being a “good” person or doing “good” deeds. Life is about God. Period.

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How closely our lives resemble that of Christ’s life has huge implications for where we will spend eternity. Don’t miss this. Don’t stop reading because you’ve heard this before. There is nothing more important at this moment than making certain you are living a life worthy of your calling (Ephesians 4:1-2).

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What would a life completely surrendered and devoted to God look like? We have so few modern examples I’m not sure we know anymore. I think we recognize it when we see it, but what would it mean for you and me to be totally consumed with Jesus Christ? Isn’t that what we want? When we surrendered our lives and will to Him, didn’t we expect to live the rest of our lives serving Him and Him alone?

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The commitment didn’t last. I know this because as I look around the world and at the country in which I live, I see scores of nominal Christians who confess their Creator with their lips but deny Him with their lives. I do it every day.

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The way many of us live relegates God to an afterthought. After we’ve done everything we want to do, spend money on things we want to buy, and talk to the people with whom we want to speak, then we are ready to communicate with God. We owe God the firstfruits of all our offerings (Nehemiah 10:35-37). This implies we also owe Him a tithe on our time. He should get the best of our time, not the leftovers.

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To me, this means beginning each day with God. To not begin the day with God is a recipe for disaster. I see how He rejected Cain’s offering but accepted Abel’s (Genesis 4:3-5). I don’t want to insult God with the time I give to Him. It needs to be my very best, and it needs to be the first I have to offer.

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Do you see God as useful or beautiful? This was a question mentioned somewhat in passing by David Platt recently, but it hit me hard. Why are you a follower of Jesus? You may have initially chosen to follow Christ because you saw the beauty in His love and His compassion for you, but has that same fascination remained?

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Perhaps as the years have passed you’ve come to view Him as more useful than beautiful? A good way to measure this is by looking at the content of your prayers. Are they more focused on His magnificence and the holiness of who He is, or are they more self-focused requests on what you want or need?

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