Archive | August, 2012

Quote: The importance of God’s validation

26 Aug

“When we fail to understand the nature of the Kingdom, we only have our church culture to sustain us. Drawing strength from people around us is good, but not the best. Jesus is our source for all of life; people are a bonus. When God resources through people, they are an exceptional gift to us. I have a number of people who are a part of God’s provision for the ministry, and they are quite outstanding friends. However, I need to hear God for myself primarily, and people are His confirmation. Occasionally, of course that works in reverse too, which is wonderful.” – Graham Cooke (excerpt from book: “Manifesting Your Spirit”)

http://www.brilliantbookhouse.com/manifesting-your-spirit.html/

“We are as He is”… Is this too good to be true?

24 Aug

The phrase, “we are as He is in this world” is found in I Jn 4:17 and is so powerful and so huge that it almost sounds unbelievable.  So the question is “How much like God do we become?”  Do we become a little bit like Him… do we get a part of Him… do we get almost all of Him… or are we “as He is”?  Let’s search the matter out… like kings do.

Gal 4:19, “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you…”

Somewhere in Paul’s vision and faith for the future, he can see Jesus being fully formed in us.  If we just take this verse at face value, it indicates that Jesus is forming Himself inside of us… or allowing Himself to be formed… INTO us.  Jesus is making His abode in us until He looks like us and we look like Him. (Could that be like wax being poured into a mold?)

Amazing… let’s look further:

Eph 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:”

Did you notice that we will grow up unto the “perfect man”, even “unto the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS of Jesus”?  I’m sure that this grandiose language stretches us.  So how do I respond to it?  Should I just relegate it to common clergy-speak, or colorful religious fluff??  But then, what if it really means what it says… that WE WILL BE TOTALLY LIKE JESUS… so much so that you can’t tell us and Jesus apart. (Remember: “unto the measure of the stature of… Christ”)

Let’s take another look at this “fullness” idea…

Eph 3:17-19, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Doesn’t this sound like a romance passage with “love” woven throughout?  So much so, that being “rooted and grounded” in love seems to be vital before we can even comprehend the deeper meanings of love.  And just think of this phrase for a moment, “To know more than I can know.”  I’m not sure my mind understands this.  As much as I’ve come to love the way that He loves me, evidently there is more love that I don’t know yet… and He wants me to know that love that I haven’t experienced yet.  Wow, this only gets better.

It just seems that Jesus must really be in love with us.  I remember in Lk 9:58 Jesus didn’t have a place to rest His head(ship)… until now… and now it’s (or He is) resting on us. (“grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” – Eph 4:15)  Now He’s as ‘One as can be’ with His bride… completely filling ALL of Himself into us.  You talk about a consummation!  What a marriage plan!  It turns out that we were His whole focus and passion all along.  His joy was, and is… fulfilled in us.  No wonder He was slain for us from before the foundations of the earth… because He was utterly love-struck and knew that ultimately He would get to pour Himself into us and live through us!!!  So according to this passage we’re not just MORE like Him… not just partially like Him…  not even almost like Him… but we are filled to ALL the FULLNESS of Him.

So how much like God do we become?  It looks like love has compelled Jesus to give ALL of Himself to us to the point that we are made perfectly equal and fully like Him.

Well, if you’re like me, even though I’m pretty excited right now, I also know that this is impossible in my own strength.  For me to ‘get there’, it’ll take more than just your ordinary garden variety mercy drops… or osmosis assimilation from a well-crafted sermon… or even a liberal dose of heavy-duty goose-bumps.  It’ll take an empowering personal revelation and an epic outpouring, something on the order of Pentecost.  Yes, a revelation that will transform my understanding, giving me faith which will in turn transfigure me into just exactly what the Word says.  But the good thing is that this is where God wants to take us.  And since God has never lied to us before, I think we can believe that He really will fulfill all of His over-the-top good intentions in us.  This is good news!

This is light-years better than what I used to believe when I wondered if Jesus even liked me enough to tolerate letting me into His Heaven.  This is so much better and so much more victorious and frankly… it promises to be lots more fun.  It makes me more eager to face my future… and more happy and in-faith for my world.  And it makes me want to fall madly in love with my huge-hearted and gracious Jesus, even more.

No, this isn’t a fairy tale.  This is the real thing.  This is an outrageously wonderful love story about a King in Heaven who gives all that He is to His bride-to-be so that she is equal to Him in every way.  Then they get married and happily co-rule and co-reign together… forever… and there is no end to this story.

Matt 25:34, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”

Any takers…

— MLH

The same glory as Jesus?

20 Aug

Do we want to be the wear-ers of… and live in… the same glory as Jesus?  Consider this:

“When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” – Col 3:4

In recent years I’ve come to understand the phrase “we shall also appear with Him in glory” to mean that the appearing of Christ will automatically engulf us and translate us into the same glorious state that He comes in.  Great news!  His ‘appearing’ isn’t something where we just behold how glorious He is, rather this epiphany personally and powerfully impacts us such that we are overcome and robed in His same glory.  He graciously shares all that He is with us!!

And even more recently I’ve come to see that the first word of the sentence doesn’t restrict this experience to a one-time event of His appearing afar off in the indeterminate future.  Rather “When” and “shall” strongly suggest ‘as often as’ and ‘every time’ He appears we will be transformed into carriers, containers and wear-ers of His glory.  Of course this lines up with John 17:22 where Jesus says, “Father, the glory you’ve given me, I give to them…”  The same glory that was befitting of the Son of God is the same glory that He lavishes on us.  What a rich and powerfully gracious God we have!

Personal musing: Gotta have more encounters and ‘appearings’ so that my glorious state is up to par…    I’m just sayin’…

Question: When was His most recent appearing in your life?

— MLH

Quote: Church people and Kingdom people…

20 Aug

“Church people think about how to get people into church; Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world.  Church people worry that the world might change the church; Kingdom people work to see the church change the world.”   Howard Snyder

A Good Leader must be a Student of the Heart

20 Aug

To be a good leader one must become a student of the heart: God’s heart, our heart and others’ hearts.  Leaders are influencers of people… and people represent hearts.  So we must study…

1.  what restrains or releases God’s heart

2.  what shuts down or inspires our own heart

3.  what offends or opens up others’ hearts

This learned skill and ability to live and move in the heart realm makes us effective in Heaven and on earth.  And actually, the only thing that we can take to Heaven is a heart.  So if we’re living for eternity, then we must focus on the matters and care of the heart.

heart-with-open-door-by-nirots-FDP-net

Questions to ask: How does a heart operate?  What makes a heart tick?  What makes it open up?  What makes a heart shut down?  What makes a heart feel that it has to defend itself?  What makes a heart put up walls?  What makes a heart ask you to come in further?

There are many natural skills that are helpful (speaking skills, music skills, hospitality skills, etc) but bottom-line, learning how to touch God’s heart, and other’s hearts is the main thing.  But there is NO touching other’s hearts in a positive and eternal way without touching God’s heart first.  And touching God’s heart has to be a lifestyle… not just the occasional pop-call to Heaven or the desperate cram session before leading a meeting.

Then we must learn how to walk into people’s hearts without making them voluntarily or involuntarily raise their defenses…  and that could be because of one or more problematic reasons, e.g. we’re too insecure, too proud, too assertive, too talkative, not talkative enough, not relevant, too ‘in their space’ without their permission, take too long to say what we’re trying to say, we don’t take long enough to develop what we want to say, don’t let the conversation breathe, we’re too coarse or crass, we’re too apologetic, too robotic and unfeeling or too gooey and touchy-feely, too stoic, too goofy, etc.  We must be able to listen without being a pushover… and we must able to speak our mind without being too opinionated and untactful, and the list goes on and on…..

Ideally, we should know more about what God thinks about their heart and life than they do… and be able to communicate it in a way that is unobtrusive and inspiring.  If we do it right, we will usually have an automatic audience… because most people want to hear from their Heavenly Father and know what He thinks about them.

So each of the above issues makes for either a successful or unsuccessful incursion into people’s hearts.   And if we want to know how we’re doing in these areas, just take note of whether people come back after the first few times.   This will give us a commentary on our heart skills.  Our ‘heart’ skills either open people up further and inspires them to ask for more… or shuts them down and they won’t be coming back.

So here’s a starting place to influence people’s hearts: 

1.  Listen well
2.  Affirm them
3.  Believe in them

To be an effective steward and influencer of people’s hearts, A GOOD LEADER MUST BE A STUDENT OF THE HEART.

— MLH

“This Is That” Age

20 Aug

Peter stood up at Pentecost and without mincing any words declared of the unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit, This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel”. (Joel 2:28)  In like manner, when we consider Eph 2:7, could we declare as strongly, “This is that age which was spoken of by the apostle Paul?”

“So that in the ages to come the exceeding riches of His grace may be shown toward us in Christ Jesus.” — Eph 2:7

What can we ‘mine’ out of this verse?

1. There are different ages (epochs… or eras) in history.
2. There are at least two more “ages” after the age that Paul was living in.
3. And in at least two (or all) of those future ages “exceeding riches of grace” will be shown/manifest toward those who are in Christ Jesus.
4. It seems to indicate that there will be an emergence of greater… or exceeding riches of grace in these future ages.
5. This exceeding Grace is shown to those who are IN (the ‘bloodline’ of) Christ Jesus.

Comments: We’re living on the threshold of a brand new “age” (the Kingdom era) and are about to experience the ramping up of Grace unto the level of “exceeding riches of Grace”.  That would explain the keen interest and greater emphasis on Grace which is currently proliferating around the globe.  Our Father knows that revelation comes by hearing so He’s exposing and saturating His people in the rich rhema of Grace. (see Rms 10:17)  And of course, rhema is followed by transformation.

Conclusion: With these things in mind, prepare for our paradigms of Grace to be radically enhanced and for Grace’s resulting freedoms to stretch us… and maybe even offend us at times. View the latest video entitled, “Father of Lights” and be impacted by the freedom… even lavish freedom… with which Heaven showers goodness on the pre-saved… with no strings attached.  Our Father is so good!  We’re in for an exciting and wild ride of epoch proportions.  I declare that “this is that” age which Paul spoke of where the “exceeding riches of His Grace” are poured out upon the earth so much so that in five years we’ll hardly be able to believe what we’ve come to believe about Amazing Grace.  

— MLH

Who’s Ur Daddy?

18 Aug

Knowing the answer to this question will help us receive the revelation of Grace, which is our ‘ticket’ into the Kingdom Era we’re now entering.

By now, many of us realize that God is making an unprecedented emphasis on Grace.  Most of us believe in the concept of being made righteous by Grace, even if we don’t understand it very well.  But a common battle ground has been: If I am MADE righteous, am I STILL righteous if I sin?  Well, here’s a small insight that will likely make a huge impact.

To find out how we are declared righteous, let’s first find out how we were declared un-righteous… or sinners.  Let’s start with Romans 5:19 which says, “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.”  All it took was one man to sin and all of us who were born into our ‘daddy’ Adam’s bloodline were automatically sinners.  We didn’t do a thing to become sinners except to be born into the Adamic race.  In fact, as much as we may have tried to get righteous by our works, we were still unrighteous sinners.

Likewise, when we are born of the Spirit after our ‘daddy’ Jesus, we are DECLARED righteous. (Note: Isa 9:6 says that one of Jesus’ names is “Everlasting Father”)  When we were born into Jesus’ race / lineage we were automatically declared righteous… just like Jesus.  It just comes from being in His ‘bloodline’!   Romans 3:23-24 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified (declared righteous) freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”  This free gift is so good that it’s hard to believe that it’s true… BUT IT IS!

So the good news is that we’re righteous not by our actions (past, present or future), but by the simple and profound fact that our bloodline ‘daddy’ is Christ.  Of course, this doesn’t give us a license to sin… rather it cuts the mental ball and chain of our preoccupation with sin consciousness and sets us free to soar into free Grace and glorious liberty from condemnation.  And that’s just for starters.  This invitation extends on into the Heavenlies… into “infinity and beyond”.

Now, “Who’s ur daddy?”  This changes everything!