Posts Tagged ‘Son of Man’

Disciple Shift

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” – Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” – Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” – Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (Jn. 1:47-49)

Although I have been a Christian for over 30 years, I am still coming to terms with what it means to have a Kingdom perspective. It is not a religious worldview. It is the worldview of being a royal son of God. I want to see myself the way Christ saw Nathanael, as a man without guile or deceit, as a true spiritual disciple waiting for the King. I have come to understand that mental barriers are bigger than natural barriers when it comes to stepping out of the shadows of orphan-hood. Jesus has seen us, knows us and is calling us out of the shadows and into the Kingdom of His love and power. It is time to make the “disciple shift” – and truly learn from Him!

A Disciple Called Nathanael:

I love the story of Nathanael (John 1:43-51). In order for Nathanael to follow Jesus, he had to undergo a change of perspective. He had to shift his thinking from a traditional Jewish worldview to the Kingdom perspective that Jesus demonstrated and taught. Yet, not only was Nathanael successful, but he would experience the greatest move of God of all time. He became a passionate disciple of Christ and Apostle in the Early Church. He listened to the teachings and experienced the ministry of Jesus, watched the healing and participated in the miracles. This was the Kingdom of God with power and it was rushing in to sweep him up into a lifelong commitment of fresh perspectives. I believe that Nathanael’s story can be seen as a prophetic picture of where the Church needs to go today… from religious tradition to Kingdom discipleship.

Four Key Shifts:

  1. From Servants to Sons: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (Jn. 1:12)
  2. From Future to Present Kingdom: “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (Jn. 1:45)
  3. From Human Reasoning to Spiritual Reality: ”Nazareth? Can anything good come from there?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (Jn. 1:46)
  4. From Broken Dreams to Open Heavens: “Nathanael answered and said to Him, Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these. And He said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (Jn. 1:49-51)

A Triumphant Reality:

Shaking ourselves free of the former perceptions of tradition and religiosity causes us to rise from the shadow of Nathanael’s fig tree and become Kingdom Disciples. Jesus tells His Church to once again “Come and See!” We are not of those who shrink back to lame formulas without power, because we are Kingdom People (Heb. 10:39). We have shifted the way we think, because we have experienced the love of God and been washed in the Blood of Christ Jesus. He has made us kings and priests to God the Father (Rev. 1:5-6) and our experience with the Holy Spirit has clothed us in the Glory poured out at Pentecost (Lk. 24:49). We do not need to live with only the dreams of the past or hopes of a future move of God. We can live in a present move of God!

These things are available to Kingdom Disciples. We do not need to wait for revival, but we do need to change the way we think. Revival is here – we live beneath an open heaven! This is our triumphant inheritance through Christ!

Angels on Assignment

Imagine getting help from heaven! Its not such a silly reality… for the Child of God. Angels came to minister to the Apostle Peter while he was in prison “…behold an angel of the Lord stood by Peter, …and said, put on your garment and follow me” (Acts 12:5-8) and the angel led Peter safely out of jail. Wow- pretty amazing, right?

Angels are Ministering Spirits:

These same kind of things are happening in the lives of believers everyday. We are told that angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:13-14). That’s you and I, every believer who trusts in God, becomes an heir of the blessing that Christ bought for us at the cross. Jesus even spoke of how angels watch over us from infancy through life. ”In heaven their angels always see the face of My Father” (Mt. 18:10). We call these spirits guardian angels, because they are delegated with the specific task of keeping you and I safe.

Angels are God’s Messengers:

God employs innumerable invisible ministers to help us. The supernatural power of angels; willingly and obediently responsive to the voice of the Father, actively minister to the welfare of His Children. Lets take that truth a little further.

  • We read that angels will hold us up and protect us “lest we dash our foot against a stone” (Ps. 91:11-12).

These angels are concerned with even little things in our lives. Just think for a moment, who and what the angels are; how great, glorious, holy, and blessed; how high and majestic the office they fill and the assignments in which they are engaged. And then think of their stooping to such works as this… the preventing of a man from stumbling over a stone. God has given the angels charge over us, so our feet may not even come in contact with a stone! Surely that seems beneath them, but no – it is the purpose of angels to do the Lord’s bidding.

“Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father knowing it” (Mt. 10:29).

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Mt. 10:30).

Taking Charge Over:

Holy angels have charge over the minute by minute details of our lives, as well as over great events. Why? Because for our body, the slightest stumble could have a lifetime of consequence. And for our soul, we fall little by little, not by great crimes, but by little sins… little distractions. Desires pull upon our attention and refocus our eyes upon temporary, carnal things. We need heaven’s intervention more than we even know.

  • Angels Surround Us: We are told that “the angels of the Lord encamp all around those who fear Him…” (Ps. 34:7).
  • Angels Cover Us: We are told that angels contend with Satan and demons on our behalf in spiritual warfare – “but the prince (evil angel) of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days, and behold Michael, one of the chief princes (arch- angel), came to help me, …” (Dan. 10:13)(Eph. 6:12)(Jude 9).

These angels that God sends are responding to us and they are encamped around us for two specific reasons. First, because we fear God. We are designed to honor the same heavenly realities they do. And second, because we obey God and fight for His purposes and priorities in life. They are protecting, defending, and guarding us so that God’s will is accomplished. They are like an army that defends a country, only they are defending us.

Called Alongside The Faithful:

These angels are fellow worshipers and associates in the heavenly realm, always looking at the One whom they serve. They are willing and ready to walk alongside of those who have their eyes on God. You see, their highest priority is alignment with the will of God. One important truth however – we can make no claim on Divine Providence, if we want to live apart from God in disobedience and rebellion. The promise is for those who walk by faith… see through faith and delight in their faith. The best news of all is that when a person puts their trust in Jesus – a partnership emerges.

Jesus told Nathaniel, “you will see greater things than these… I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open and angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” (Jn. 1:50-51).

New Levels of Faith

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” – Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” – Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” – Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (Jn. 1:47-49)

Faith requires fresh perspective… unobstructed vision and values. Although I have been a Christian for over 30 years, I am still coming to terms with what it means to have a Kingdom perspective. It is not a religious worldview. It is the worldview of being a royal son of God. I want to see myself the way Christ saw Nathanael, as a man without guile or deceit, as a true spiritual disciple waiting for the King. I have come to understand that mental barriers are bigger than natural barriers when it comes to stepping out of the shadows of orphanhood. Jesus has seen us, knows us and is calling us out of the shadows and into the Kingdom of His love and power.

A Disciple Called Nathanael:

I love the story of Nathanael (John 1:43-51). In order for Nathanael to follow Jesus, he had to undergo a change of perspective. He had to shift his thinking from a traditional Jewish worldview to the Kingdom perspective that Jesus demonstrated and taught.Yet, not only was Nathanael successful, but he would experience the greatest move of God of all time. He became a passionate disciple of Christ and Apostle in the Early Church. He listened to the teachings and experienced the ministry of Jesus, watched the healings and participated in the miracles. This was the Kingdom of God with power and it was rushing in to sweep him up into a lifelong commitment of fresh perspectives. I believe that Nathanael’s story can be seen as a prophetic picture of where the Church needs to go today… from religious tradition to Kingdom discipleship.

Four Key Shifts:

  1. From Servants to Sons: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (Jn. 1:12)
  2. From Future to Present Kingdom: “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (Jn. 1:45)
  3. From Human Reasoning to Spiritual Reality: ”Nazareth? Can anything good come from there?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (Jn. 1:46)
  4. From Broken Dreams to Open Heavens: “Nathanael answered and said to Him, Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these. And He said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (Jn. 1:49-51)

A Triumphant Reality:

Shaking ourselves free of the former perceptions of tradition and religiosity causes us to rise from the shadow of Nathanael’s fig tree and become Kingdom Disciples. Jesus tells His Church to once again “Come and See!” We are not of those who shrink back to lame formulas without power, because we are Kingdom People (Heb. 10:39). We have shifted the way we think, because we have experienced the love of God and been washed in the Blood of Christ Jesus. He has made us kings and priests to God the Father (Rev. 1:5-6) and our experience with the Holy Spirit has clothed us in the Glory poured out at Pentecost (Lk. 24:49). We do not need to live with only the dreams of the past or faint hopes of a future move of God. We can live in this moment, confident of a present move of God! These things are available to Sons and Daughter, who have hearts that respond to the breath of heaven!

Wait for revival no longer… its in the heart of God’s Child! Revival is here – our triumphant inheritance through Christ!

Seeking & Saving

Seeking the Lost in Kenya“Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Lk. 19:9-10)

Zacchaeus was a creative thinker… you might call him a “person of initiative”. He wanted to see Jesus; so going up the road a bit ahead of where Jesus would pass, he climbs up into a common sycamore tree and waits. I wonder if Zacchaeus lived his life this way? In order to compensate for people’s hatred, would he anticipate the places where they would need him or his money? Perhaps money was the only thing in his life that people even saw of value to him… or about him. As a rich tax collector, he had no shortage of enemies. Some would find his creative leanings more manipulation than honest interest. But somehow this seemed different. Perhaps his need for love was getting the best of him? We do not know, but I wonder…

So Jesus sees this little man in the tree. Instead of passing him by, ignoring him, turning a cold shoulder or just laughing at him, Jesus stops and calls him by name – a name which means “pure”. Jesus says, “Get down from that ridiculous perch, and take Me home with you. I would like to go to your house today for supper!”

Keys to Seeking & Saving the Lost:

  1. Seeing Brokenness as an Open Door
  2. The Anointing of the Holy Spirit
  3. The Will to Eat Together

Brokenness is not always easy to focus upon. Yet, its hard to miss in this story of Jesus going to the home of Zacchaeus… his deepest issue is “brokenness”. Brokenness takes many forms, but it is the most visible effect of being a “sinner”. It can look like anger and rage, or bad attitudes that protect our emotions or it can look like endless searching, longing for love and embrace. But no matter what form brokenness takes it is always an open door to the hungry heart.

The Holy Spirit had anointed Jesus with a message and ministry that would “heal the brokenhearted” and bring “deliverance to the captive” (Lk. 4:18). His ability to walk into people’s lives was undeniable! He was anointed for this, and whenever Jesus spoke into the broken heart with His love; “lost-ness” was dissolved. Yet, Jesus still needed to be willing… willing to go where He might find others accusing Him of association with the sinner. He knew that beyond the point of association was connection and the common meal. Jesus said, “I must go to your house for supper”.

Reaching the Lost:

The lifestyle that reaches the lost around us requires intentional discipline. We must notice other people’s pain and brokenness, because it is an open door to their heart. We must rest on our anointing; as Jesus did, and trust God for words and power that will turn opportunities into testimonies. The Holy Spirit has always surprised me in these moments, when I find myself sharing with someone who is in a season of transition or struggle. I rarely have thought out how the words should flow ahead of time, but the Holy Spirit gives generously when we ask for wisdom.

Lastly, we must be willing to “eat with sinners” as Jesus was accused of doing when He went to several tax collector’s homes. Remember His disciple Matthew was one of those “sinners” that Jesus found through eating with him. Meals are amazing moments, because they bring us together in ways that nourish more than our bodies. Time spent around a meal turns conversation into fellowship and becomes a fire that melts away the impure motives or the apprehensions of the broken heart.

What Jesus models for us with Zacchaeus, needs to become our daily experience in the marketplace… and throughout the nations.

Eating With Zacchaeus

“Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Lk. 19:9-10)

Zacchaeus was a creative person. He wanted to see Jesus; so going up the road a bit ahead of Him, he climbs up into a common sycamore tree and waits for Jesus to come to him. I wonder if Zacchaeus lived his life this way. In order to compensate for people’s hatred, would he anticipate the places where they would need him or his money? Perhaps money was the only thing in his life that people even saw of value to him… or about him. As a rich tax collector, he had no shortage of enemies. Some would find his creative leanings more manipulation than honest interest. But somehow this seemed different. Perhaps his need for love was getting the best of him? We do not know, but I wonder…

So Jesus sees this little man in the tree. Instead of passing him by, ignoring him, turning a cold shoulder or just laughing at him, Jesus stops and calls him by name – a name which means “pure”. Jesus says, “Get down from that ridiculous perch, and take Me home with you. I would like to go to your house today for supper!”

Keys to Seeking & Saving the Lost:

  1. Seeing Brokenness as an Open Door
  2. The Anointing of the Holy Spirit
  3. The Will to Eat Together

What we should never miss in the story of Jesus going to the home of Zacchaeus is the issue of “brokenness”. Brokenness takes many forms, it can look like anger and rage, attitudes that protect our emotions or it can look like endless searching, longing for love and embrace. But no matter what form brokenness takes it is always an open door to a hungry heart.

The Holy Spirit had anointed Jesus with a message and ministry that would “heal the brokenhearted” and bring “deliverance to the captive” (Lk. 4:18). His ability to walk into people’s lives was undeniable… He was anointed for this and whenever Jesus spoke into the broken heart with His love, lost-ness was dissolved. Yet, Jesus still needed to be willing… willing to go where He might find others accusing Him of association with the sinner. He knew that beyond the point of association was connection and the common meal. Jesus said, “I must go to your house for supper”.

Reaching the Lost:

The lifestyle that reaches the lost around us requires intentional effort. We must notice other’s pain and brokenness, because it is an open door to their heart. We must rest on our anointing; as Jesus did, and trust God for words and power that will turn opportunities into testimonies. The Holy Spirit has always surprised me in these moments, when I find myself sharing with someone who is in a season of transition or struggle. I rarely have thought out how the words should flow ahead of time, but the Holy Spirit gives generously when we ask for wisdom.

Lastly, we must be willing to “eat with sinners” as Jesus was accused of doing when He went to several tax collector’s homes. Remember His disciple Matthew was one of those “sinners” that Jesus found through eating with him. Meals are amazing moments, because they bring us together in ways that nourish more than our bodies. Time spent around a meal turns conversation into fellowship and becomes a fire that melts away the impure motives or the apprehensions of the broken heart.

What Jesus models for us with Zacchaeus, needs to become our daily experience in the marketplace… and throughout the nations.

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