God Never Leaves Us To Ourselves

God Never Leaves Us To Ourselves

God never leaves us to ourselves. When Jesus called those first disciples, he called them to be with him. The first and foremost part of being a disciple of Jesus is being with him, up close and personal. In his summons to follow him, Jesus was exercising a belief in those he called. He believed they could become like him and do the things he did. But it was from the context of this up-close and personal association with himself that Jesus could express this belief in those he called.
Read Entire Article

The Kingdom of God is Within

God’s Signature Work is in Our Heart
I often say to those I coach that God’s signature work is in our heart. Jesus said it is out of the heart where actions and behavior flow. Transform the heart and the way we show up in the world as to our reactions, actions, and general behavior changes as a result. It is the inner world of our lives where God’s Kingdom is to find its first and primary expression. The result of hearts being renovated by God is an interior world where righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit reside as a natural state of existence – and this state can exist in spite of exterior conditions or circumstances. For our interior world to be naturally characterized by a condition of peace, rest, joy, and righteousness is to experience the Kingdom of God within. When God’s Kingdom invades and transforms our hearts, the exterior environments which we occupy can’t help to be impacted. God’s Kingdom and God’s will on earth happens one transformed heart at a time.
My Desire For Others Is For Them to Flourish in Life
My desire for those I invest in as a coach and trainer is that they may flourish in life. What I mean here is that they would come to experience an inner condition of soul where righteousness, peace and joy exist as a natural state. It is nice when outward circumstances are going well, when we are experiencing financial, relational, and physical blessing in our lives – when we are realizing dreams and callings fulfilled – when we are being satisfied by having needs and desires met by others and life’s circumstances. To flourish can certainly include all those external blessings. But having things going well and great for us in every area of our life is not the primary expression of the Kingdom. The primary expression of the Kingdom is in our heart. It is where we can honestly and unequivocally say it is well with my soul.
Flourishing is a Process
Getting to the place of where we are flourishing within is a process. The apostle Paul said he had learned to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself. This contentedness was an inner condition of his heart unaffected by his circumstances. But he had learned it. He did not come already predisposed to be at peace under every circumstance. Over the course of his own journey with Jesus he had come to be formed inwardly in such a way that the natural state of his inner world was that of contentedness regardless of what was going on in his external world. The reality is that there will be times when the external conditions of our life simply are not good but rather troubling, uncomfortable or perhaps even horrific. Jesus never promised a problem free, suffering free existence in this age. He actually said that in this world we would have trouble. But he also told us to take heart (be of good courage) because he had overcome the world.
It is All About Our Relationship With God
How do we arrive at that place where we are flourishing at the core of our being? It is in and through our relationship with God. Outward circumstances, things and others can satisfy us for a while, but alone, the satisfaction they provide is short lived and unsustainable. Isaiah put it this way, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters: and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me that your soul may live.” (Isaiah 55:1-3a NIV – my emphasis). Jesus put it this way, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Matt. 11:28-30 NIV – my emphasis)
Read Entire Article

Becoming the Kind of Person Who Brings Heaven to Earth

Sometime back I read Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins. The questions and issues Rob raises about heaven and hell and the eternal fate of people were challenging, thought provoking and stimulating. In all honesty, it was a refreshing contrast to the more canned, and rather boring, rehashes of Christian theology I have read.
God’s Kingdom on earth is to be and increasing reality now as well as a fulfilled reality in the age to come.
One particular truth I was struck with in a fresh way is the whole idea of heaven on earth both now and in the age to come. When Jesus instructed his followers to pray, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”, he was revealing the heart of God for manifesting the reality of heaven on earth now. This really is an amazing thought. Heaven was not intended by God simply to be somewhere else for sometime else. God intended heaven to invade this planet in such a way that his explicit purpose and will is done here  as in heaven. He intended for heaven to come to earth through an increasing manifestation of his Kingdom. God’s Kingdom on earth is to be an increasing reality now as well as a fulfilled reality in the age to come.
Jesus calls disciples in order to teach us how to be and what to be.
Bell makes this statement, “How we think about heaven, then, directly affects how we understand what we do with our days and energies now, in this age. Jesus teaches us how to live now in such a way that what we create, who we give our efforts to, and how we spend our time will all endure in the new world”. He goes on to say, “Jesus called disciples – students of life – to learn from him how to live in God’s world God’s way. Constantly learning and growing and evolving and absorbing…..Jesus calls disciples in order to teach us how to be and what to be; his intention is for us to be growing progressively in generosity, forgiveness, honesty, courage, truth telling, and responsibility, so that as these take over our lives we are taking part more and more and more in life in the age to come, now”.
Read Entire Article

Constructive Feedback and Personal Growth

I have the privilege of being part of a church culture in which honoring others and living out our lives from our identity in Christ are core values.
It is an inherently positive and affirming environment. It helps to produce within the lives of individuals a view of God, others and themselves that is positive, affirming, embracing and self-accepting. I believe it produces a great foundation for an environment of growth and development. When I know I am deeply loved and accepted by a very good God no matter what, I am better positioned to face the deepest issues of my heart with courage to change.
Read Entire Article