Don’t Lose Heart! Meditation on Matthew 10

King Jesus is revealed as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He sent his followers intentionally as sheep among wolves in order to display the glory of the kingdom of God on earth. Somehow, the presence of sheep who are filled with the Spirit of the Lamb of God provokes and exposes the deadly wolf-like ways in the world.

As in the days when the New Testament was written, the good news about the arrival of God’s kingdom still causes upheaval. It is good but usually not predictable or pristine. God’s presence exposes everything that is against the New Creation and anti-renewal. In the end, the wolves are seen for who they are in the presence of the Lamb of God.

As I meditate on my life of identifying as a child of God in life-union with Jesus, I need to make a confession. My experience is that the Lamb of God has to expose the ways that I am a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That is the way to enter into eternal life. There is no other way.

The beautiful, overwhelming truth is that my sins have been forgiven and I live in Christ for God’s glory. But, the place of connection is agreeing with his assessment of my ways, even when he exposes what is out of line with His heart in me.

It is a profound thing to invest our lives in God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. We do that only by God’s grace. As we live in the Spirit, the wolf-like ways in the world will come to light. We can’t allow that to discourage us. Instead, we must focus on Jesus, the Lamb of God and trust His presence more than ever. Somehow, He uses our lives in those moments as evidence of His kingdom’s life and resilience. Don’t lose heart!

(Inspired by Matthew 10)

Prayer to SEE in 2020

God, I come before you through faith in Jesus. You have taught me to believe in my heart that I have been rescued out of a dead, meaningless existence. My sins have been forgiven because of your faithfulness expressed in Jesus. I do freely and willingly confess that you are King of heaven and earth. Your kingdom is present everywhere and the increase of your government will never end.

At the beginning of a new decade, I pray that the eyes of my heart would be healed, restored and renewed. I long to see with 20/20 vision on earth as it is in heaven. King Jesus, I long for you to help me admit my blindness in any form and to receive your healing touch. In your mercy, touch my spiritual eyes so that I will see what you see, go where you send me, and say what you want me to say.

May the year 2020 mark a shift in my perception of your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven here and now. By your grace, I admit my need for gold refined in the fire, purified clothes from heaven to cover my shame, and healing ointment for my eyes. These things can only come from you. (Revelation 3:17-18)

Prepare me to serve in your overwhelming season of harvest in all nations. In a fresh way, help me see how you are manifesting the glory of your Name as you flood all creation with your Presence. I hear your knock at my door and your voice asking to come in. In the fear of the Lord, I gladly throw the door open again trusting you to come renovate, restore, and transform my life as a living temple in all that I say and do.

At the start of a new year and a new decade, this is my prayer.

Amen

Christ is walking where you walk

I was reaching out to friends of mine this morning with a “stirring up” word. After I sent the message to them, I realized that it is an important word for all of us. We have come into a time of unprecedented harvest around the world. We have been sent as his children to do the harvest work. We HAVE TO get it done with Christ.

Wherever you place your feet, Christ in you is also placing his feet. Because he is in you and you are in him every place you walk is a place that the kingdom intends to show up. The Spirit has me contending for greatly improved vision for the eyes of your heart.

You and I can’t let the stubborn resistance of the rebellious world we are living in outwit us as children of God. It will submit to us in Christ if we remain present and enforce the kingdom (in love of course) wherever we go. The very places that resist us or that we don’t feel we belong are places that will be transformed by the kingdom soon! Jesus intends to do this with us as his family if we will keep showing up.

In Christ, you are a blessing!

Giving up our lives? – inspired by 1 John 3:16

King Jesus did SOMEthing that changed EVERYthing. What he accomplished re-launched creation. He gave up his life for us.

But, don’t let that overshadow the greater glory he achieved by rising again from the dead. By giving up his life, he actually opened a massive door for heaven to mesh with the earth that will never be closed. When he rose again, the life he had surrendered began to multiply. As a result, the increase of his government will never end.

What is our call… our response to this? God is awakening people and nations because King Jesus gave up his life. For all of us who say yes to becoming God’s daughters and sons, there is an expectation. It is more than an expectation… it is a fire that we fan with the wind of the Holy Spirit.

Because Jesus gave up his life, we must also give up our lives. It is time for us to blow up the myth that Jesus gave up his life so that we are free to live for ourselves. You and I actually get to give up our lives to increase the legacy of King Jesus… now and for generations to come!

Whatever it costs you today to give your life to what matters, it won’t go unnoticed in heaven. We praise God for you and for the life you are living for the glory of Jesus.

In Christ, you are a blessing!

Seeing differently

People often ask, “If God is real and present with us, why doesn’t he do something about the evil and destruction in the world?”. The prophetic voice asks, “Because God is real and present with us, what am I doing?”. Communing with the Holy Spirit will always change you into more of a living expression of heaven here and now.

God is talking to us today, revealing more of his dreams to us. He is focused and intent on his family in all nations finally growing up until the whole world sees King Jesus. The Holy Spirit is inviting you to trust him, not with the seemingly insurmountable challenges of tomorrow but in the middle of your next steps today. Invite him to show you where and how the light of heaven is streaming into your dim and dark places. God is building us together in Christ. Somehow in his incredible mercy and creativity, he is shining in us and creating a masterpiece on earth as it is in heaven. – inspired by Ephesians 4:11-16

Because Christ is in you, even your most challenging times contain the light of God’s presence. God is real, He is not avoiding your life or your space. Open our eyes, King Jesus to see this day on earth with the vision from heaven. – AMEN

SEEING IN 2020

I’ve been crafting and honing a prophetic word for 2020 over my own life. The phrase that has been coming to me is, “This year you will SEE in 20/20”. I’m working on a prayer that will express what I want God to do in me over the coming year. It involves restoring the eyes of my heart and renewing my ability to see clearly in the Spirit

According to the American Optometric Association, “20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 100 feet… Having 20/20 vision does not necessarily mean you have perfect vision. 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance.”

I want an inner vision that has been refined to “normal visual acuity” for a child of God living to see God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. I want to see at 20 (spiritual) feet what I am supposed to see. And, I love the prophetic idea of having clear “vision at a distance”.

I feel like God is blowing on the fire in our hearts with a desire to see in 20/20 in the New Year. I am definitely intrigued. Has the Spirit been stirring up anything similar to this in your life? I am wondering if others have been getting revelation for the year to come.

I would love to hear your reply!

HOME #14 – laying down our lives

I grew up in a pastor’s home. I had a front row seat in watching what it means to lay down your life for your friends.  My dad & mom pastored an urban church of 100-200 people while my dad also taught school full time. Though he loved his life, it never really seemed “fair” to me! Although there was something about my dad that drove him, from my perspective as his son I never felt any bitterness or resentment in him.

What I do remember was a resolve… something lived with him that held him, animated him, brought him to life. It was a life of ministry. Somewhere along the way in his life he had given himself over to friendship with Jesus to a place where it consumed him. I don’t know if he ever directly invited that to happen. I assume he did but I never really knew. But, regardless his way of life vibrated with service to others and it was always because Jesus had loved him first.

There are people you would lay down your life for. I have them too. But it is rare to find someone who has been so consumed in friendship with Jesus that they have laid down their life for him. How can you tell? One of Jesus best friends, John (kind of fitting to me that my dad had the same name as one of Jesus best friends) wrote “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” I John 3:16. It is also poetic that the reference is “3:16” as John 3:16 references the sacrifice God the Father & Son gave so that we can have eternal life!

You know that someone is being consumed in friendship with Jesus because they express it by laying down their life in whatever they do just like Him. But it is never a bitter or resentful sacrifice. It is one that honors Jesus & brings others to life!