Archive for January, 2010

God’s Goodness

A Royal Tulip Cluster

Beholding Goodness

As a rule many of us are over stimulated. The trend in society is on speed… getting on the fast track and getting the results we want. We must have everything on demand.

 This is bad teaching. When we begin to expect things immediately; we not only are setup for disappointment, we are also not patient enough to wait for God’s goodness to be revealed.

 No other revelation of God is more important in this generation than an accurate understanding of God’s goodness.

 In order to stay in the present and gain clear focus on what is happening right here, right now, we must calm our minds. Psalm 46:10 tells us how:

“Be still and know that I am God”.

 This not only has a quieting effect on our hectic brains, it is also essential advice for nurturing positive spiritual growth. God is revealing Himself to us in the midst of stillness… “goodness” is something that must be allowed to unveil itself. The more we know God’s goodness, the more we trust Him. The more we trust Him, the easier it is for us to put our lives into His hands. Only by placing our lives in His hands can the way be opened for Him to save us, bless us and work through us.

 I like David’s encouragement to take the plunge: “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 34:8).

 It declares that if we try God’s way, the effort will result in goodness bursting forth into our life. Its kinda how beauty is revealed as a Tulip bursts into bloom. Goodness is God’s glory bursting through.

Believe Bigger

Sometimes we are like children with a million dollar check, who haven’t learned how to cash it. Ignorance of God’s promises, and ignorance concerning the principles of faith; which must be applied to receive them, have cost us dearly.

 This ignorance exists because of a deficient personal knowledge of Jesus Christ in our lives. If we drew near to God and sought to please Him through a life of active faith, the results would be amazing. It would change the way we talk, the way we think, the way we act, and the way God would move in and through our lives.

 God wants us to talk, think and act consistent with what we believe… He just wants us to believe bigger! 

 Too many Christians struggle along, desperately begging God for things He has already promised. Emotionally tormenting ourselves does not impress God or move Him to respond. God responds to faith… not just to need. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). It is essential that we have some understanding of how faith works in regards to pulling the promised blessings of God into our lives. Notice this wonderful promise of Scripture:

 ”His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

 The key statement in this verse is: “through the knowledge of Him”… no way around it we must get to know Christ in order to gain access to the promises. I would suggest that to grow in our knowledge of Christ is quite simple and that inside of every person is a seed of faith ready to be fertilized with some good experience.

 The Bible is like a bank full of money ready to exchange your faith or “spiritual check” into real blessings, if you and I will just spend some time reading it.

Exhaust Yourself

Worship is the logical response of the created… toward the Creator. Scripture invites us, as the lovers of God to worship Him with all we are… expressive and holding nothing back (Mt 22:37)(Jn 4:23-24). We find ourselves accepting His invitation to “come up here…” and see the worship taking place in Heaven (Rev 4:1-2).

 The worshipper exists to be a demonstration of “on earth as it is in Heaven…” (Mt 6:10).

 Worship is for us a longing and release of the beauty of Heaven through creative flow, the sounds of Heaven through music and the movement of Heaven through dance.

 It has often been said that the “signature experience” at heavenly gateways is the joy of God’s Manifest Presence.

 When you come to any spiritual gateway, you may notice that worship is different. The Holy Spirit ushers us into new and intimate places, under an open Heaven, where we are learning to express deep passion to God that He is worthy to receive.

 We seek this experience… to be led by the Holy Spirit as we flow with Him in spontaneous motion and sounds.

 Our focus in worship is to prefer the Lord, rather than personal needs, desires or musical preferences. Holy Spirit is teaching all of us how to minister to the Lord, as we choose within our hearts to look into the face of Jesus, gazing on the beauty of who He is to each of us. We believe that as we learn to do this, the Lord will release more and more of His Glory on us corporately.

 As each one of us becomes radically extravagant in our worship, He will become more extravagant in our living. We want to worship as ones who could never give back to God the Glory He deserves.

 Exhaust yourself on Him, reserving no reputation for yourself.

We must choose to take on an identity that may even seem contradictory to our personality… becoming known as people who are desperate for God.

Just One Church

From the looks of our Western Christian landscape anybody with any observational skills would ask… how many churches does the Lord have? You got your Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Pentecostal and Nazarene… your Church of God, Church of Christ, Church of Deliverance and the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.

 But… Jesus said “Upon this rock I will build My Church” (Mt 16:18).

 The word “My” shows possession and the word “church” is singular; therefore it does not take a rocket scientist to understand that there is just one authentic Church and that it belongs to Jesus.

 We must take notice of the fact that He builds the New Testament Church by way of adding only those individuals being saved daily (Acts 2:47). Joining is not an option, growing up in the group doesn’t suffice as membership and the only roll call will be that which comes at the judgement seat, on the last day we have on Earth.

 The Apostle Paul wrote, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in you all” (Eph 4:4-6).

 Just as there is only one God, there is only one body… one Church.

 ”And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is His body” (Eph 1:21-22).

 Here we see that the Bible says the Church is “the body”. So the one body is the one Church which belongs to the Lord. It makes more sense to believe that there is more than one god, than to believe that Jesus has more than one Church.

 Today we hear sincere people tell us to “attend the church of your choice”. Why not attend the Church of God’s choice, the only one that Jesus “purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). Christ did not shed His blood to purchase any denomination. The one Church that Christ purchased with His own blood belongs to Him and the name it wears must honor Him.

Genuine Love

Genuine love for others brings “credibility” to the Church. Jesus said that the world would identify His followers by love. He indicated that the Gospel message would influence the whole world, from this evidence of our love for one another.

 Perhaps this is what the world is waiting for… to see a body of Christians who sincerely care about each other.

 A believing people who are not embroiled in conflict or competition, would be a rare site indeed. If this were accomplished perhaps the world would more likely trust that we really do represent Jesus, and might be inclined to embrace the message we preach.

 Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:34-35).

 Interesting isn’t it… that Jesus said we would need to love in order to fully comprehend the character of the genuine desciple. We all need to come to Him and see it in His eyes, hear it in His voice and experience it from His touch.

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