Archives For God’s Kingdom

I’ve seen a lot of political madness in my day, but nothing approaching the ridiculousness of what is out there today. It is absolute insanity. Personally, I pay little attention to any of it. It’s like watching an updated version of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. I can’t justify spending the precious few breaths entrusted to me getting captivated by something over which I have no control. I mean no offense to the news junkies out there. I was once you many years ago. 

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I do think we all will one day have to answer for how we spent our time, and to me, that is more than enough reason to avoid the political madness as much as possible. The truth is, who happens to be in power in Washington D.C. or in whatever country you reside, means little to those of us whose sole allegiance is to the King of all Kings.

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We are never defenseless. God has promised to never leave our side (Deuteronomy 31:8). He will always stand with us. A.W. Tozer wrote, “If you accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, you will have all the power of God back of you to defend you; all the will of God on your side; all the justice and righteousness of God pledged to your defense, as well as all the infinite love and mercy of God to welcome and bless you.” What amazing promises!

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Too many of us spend too much of our lives living in fear. Whether it’s a fear of failure, intimacy, confrontation, inadequacy, rejection, whatever, we spend much of our lives in fear. The fear of what complete strangers will think of our appearance or actions keeps us huddled within a protective cocoon. Jesus called us to live in love, not in fear (John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:18). He didn’t call us to shrink back but to go out (Matthew 28:18-20)!

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When doing my usual daily reading of something from A.W. Tozer, I came across a question which pierced my soul: “Can you renounce everything which is inconsistent with the glory of God and the highest good of your fellowmen?” I wish I could say I immediately responded ‘yes’ without hesitation, but this wasn’t the case. I try and live a simple life but still find myself living in absolute luxury compared to almost all the other 7 billion people roaming this planet.

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By American standards, I’m not rich. It’s worse than that; I’m comfortable. Comfortable; what a horrible word in this context. Jesus has called his followers to a lot of things, but comfort was never one of them (Luke 9:57-62; Luke 14:25-27).

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What matters most to you? Before you answer, you may want to review your last couple of days, weeks, months, and maybe even years. Would your actions leading up to today support your answer? I am guilty of allowing life to roll on too quickly without taking the time to make certain I’m not simply be dragged along with it.

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If you aren’t intentional about the way you are living, what difference does it make what’s most important to you? Unless you are living life on purpose you won’t be doing what matters most to you. That’s no way to live. We all want our lives to count, to mean something to someone. As followers of Christ, we all want our life to matter for the Kingdom.

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I have a friend who frequently laments they don’t have any gifts to use for the Kingdom. I have to consistently remind them if they have breath, then they have been created with a unique combination of skills, talents, and passions to be used for building the Kingdom of God here on earth. I will say the same thing to you: if you are breathing, you have gifts! No one is here by accident.

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While some gifts may be more visible and obvious than others, it takes all of us working together to accomplish the work Christ has given us to do. Never minimize your contribution, because you have the potential to do everything God intended you to do.

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A couple of days ago I told the Lord I’m not playing anymore. I’m done with the pathetic commitment I’ve demonstrated in my life. No more. I’m done. I can’t take it anymore. There is Jesus and nothing else. I’m tired of living life as a split-personality, living for Christ one day, and for myself the next. Have you ever come to this point in your own life?

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There comes a moment when you recognize you are either going to live for Jesus or you aren’t. We can’t do this thing half-way. We’re in or we’re out; We are for Him or we are against Him. There is no middle ground. There has never been, and if we continue to live like there is, we are only fooling ourselves.

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If you’re like me, you probably struggle to not take for granted the significance of having the Spirit of God dwelling within You. This is an awesome and all but unfathomable truth. It’s too big to grasp all at once, so it’s been helpful for me to look at a single piece of this truth at a time. One of those pieces is to realize our hearts burn with the same passion in which Jesus’s heart burns. As much as He loves us, such is the capacity we have to love others.

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It becomes sobering when we contemplate how little of this great love we are sharing with and showing to others. As followers and disciples of Jesus, I believe it is our duty to maximize the gifts He has given us for the purpose of building His Kingdom here on earth. As we begin to understand the immense power available to us, we, in turn, begin to realize how little of it we are employing.

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We are as close to God as we want to be. Or, as A.W. Tozer put it, “Every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be.” There’s no wiggle room. You can try and rationalize, look for the gray area, or the loophole. It isn’t there. We are as close to God as we want to be. Paul tells us in Romans 8:38-39 it is impossible for anything to separate us from God: not death, angels, demons, rulers, authorities, height, depth… nothing!

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There’s one thing he doesn’t cover though: ourselves. We are the “X” factor. We are the only thing that can separate us from God. We can choose to walk away. We can choose to keep Him out of our lives. Only us.

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I am hesitant to write this because I am paranoid and convinced (is that possible?) people will take this in a manner I do not intend. Still, the message is heavy on my heart, so I’ll ask you to please read this in the spirit it is intended, which is to further the Kingdom of Christ. It is not my intention to demean the laudable actions of others or to criticize any particular ministry. With the disclaimers out of the way, let’s begin.

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This past weekend I had the thrill and sorrow of attending a concert with about 10,000 other Christians. The love and ministry of the band were evident throughout the couple hours they played. It was an uplifting experience that encouraged and challenged me, and from which I took several action items. One of them was to write this article.

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David Platt said, “You and I both have a choice. We can stand with the starving or with the overfed. We can embrace Jesus while we give away our wealth, or we can walk away from Jesus while we hoard our wealth.” No one wants to admit they are a hoarder. I suspect most followers of Jesus want to consider themselves generous. But we can’t deny the fact those of us in the West live in incredible comfort while nearly half the world is starving and lacks access to clean drinking water.

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Half of the people groups in the world have never heard the name of Jesus. Half the world has never been given a cup of cool water or a piece of bread in the name of Jesus. This is devastating.

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