Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth

In Jesus first public sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, He emphasized meekness as one of the core values of the Kingdom of God. At the very onset of His message He made a shocking statement, it’s not the strong, rich, or accomplished who will reign with Him in His Kingdom, it’s the meek, lowly, and humble. This statement didn’t only fly in the face of the leaders of His day; it stands in direct contradiction to leaders in virtually every culture the earth has ever seen. People love strong leaders who exude confidence and power. They especially love when someone looks the part as much as he plays the part. Jesus’ statement, however, is the antithesis of what people look for in leadership. This is the truth of His kingdom, not many noble, not many mighty, and not many powerful people are the leaders in His kingdom; it’s the meek and lowly that He chooses (1 Cor 1:26 -27).

If you’re like me you love the idea of meekness and you probably even value those who act humbly. At the same time you probably realize that you fall woefully short of Jesus’ example. If you’re like me, when you get past the surface of these truths and look deeper into your own heart you realize you don’t’ really resemble the meekness that Jesus taught and live. What’s worse is you have probably realized you can’t just do meekness. Humility and the fallen human heart are completely incompatible. Here we are, you and I, stuck with hearts that are deeply stained by pride and Jesus requires humility from those in Kingdom. We know we can’t fake it. How do we change? Here is the bottom line; you and I can’t truly be humble without God transforming us. Sure we can act humble for a moment, an hour or a day, but to live our lives loving humility, loving being least, last, and lowest takes a complete change of heart only available through the power of the Holy Spirit. Transformation of this kind doesn’t happen because we try harder, it only comes as a product of God’s powerful grace released to our soul.

Jesus taught us to come to Him to learn meekness (Mat 11:28-29). It’s the only time He directly tells us to learn a topic from coming to Him. Paul tells us that as we contemplate Jesus’ we are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 3:18). Here’s the point: if we want to grow in meekness we have to come to Jesus, admit our pride, and ask Him to transform us. As we ask for change, we must consider and reconsider Jesus, the One who is meek and lowly, and He will impart grace to our hearts to transform us.

Think of it. Jesus is co-equal with the Father. He is from everlasting. Uncreated. All Powerful. He who is most highly exalted put aside His divine privilege in becoming a man and submitted himself to human weakness, humiliation and death. Though He is so great, all that He was and is as a man expresses perfectly His core identity. He didn’t become a man as a “humility assignment”, He is humility. He didn’t have to try to be humble, He simply expressed His core nature.

As we continually consider who He is in humility, it will have a powerful transformative effect upon our hearts. I encourage you to continually consider Jesus astounding humility, ask Him to teach you of Himself in this way, and the power of God will transform you.

entitlementHere at the onset of 2015, the Lord has freshly impressed upon me the dangers of having an entitlement mentality. You know, the idea that we are owed something or that we deserve better than what we have. I’m face to face with my own propensity to believe I DESERVE comforts, things, honor, etc. The problem is I don’t deserve anything better than what I have, in fact, truth be told, because of my rebellion against God, all I really  deserve is hell. Anything I receive one degree better than hell should be considered a huge blessing. So, I’m turning to the Sermon on the Mount again to gain perspective and help extinguish my entitlement mentality.

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crucibleWaiting is a crucible. Almost nothing causes your flesh to burn like waiting on the Lord. Bob Sorge recently tweeted, “There is no hotter flame than waiting on God. That’s why God calls you to wait—He’s refining you.” Bob knows what He’s talking about, having walked a path of waiting few of us have ever experienced.

When we understand that God uses waiting as a means to purify our hearts it gives us courage to persevere, though we may wait long. We know that the outcome of the waiting is ultimately for our good and blessing, though the pain of the waiting can be excruciating.

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Waiting on the LordWhen the bible talks about waiting on the Lord, what exactly is it talking about? Waiting is quieting yourself in stillness with hopeful expectation of the Lord’s leadership and action in your life. It’s ceasing for your own ways to allow the Lord to accomplish His will through your life in His way. Waiting is not idleness nor laziness. It’s not in opposition to work. It is actively choosing to pause, maybe for an extended period of time, in order to allow the Lord to show Himself strong on your behalf.

Waiting and Hoping are synonymous. Consider Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.” When we wait on the Lord we position ourselves in hopeful expectation of His activity in our lives.

There are multiple components to waiting on the Lord. Here are a few that helped give me clarity as to what waiting on the Lord is really about. Read More

Better Be Prompt! One of the chief story lines of Scripture is the struggle between the arm of the flesh and the arm of the Lord. The arm of the flesh speaks of the strength of man while the arm of the Lord speaks of the strength of God. The struggle between the two is a repetitive theme throughout the entire bible – humankind’s unwillingness to hear and obey God’s voice and God’s answer with power to show humanity his utter and complete need of God. Mankind tries to prove, albeit horribly ineffectively, how much he can establish without God, while God shows humanity that without Him we can do nothing.

It’s ultimately rebellion in the heart of man that causes him to attempt to assert himself against God. Fallen humanity loves to try to prove that he doesn’t need God, that he can take care of himself and accomplish all he wants without God.

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danielfastLast week I got an email from Mike Bickle inviting me along with other leaders to join him in a 21-day Daniel fast in preparation for a Daniel Seminar he will be teaching at the end of the month. In the last few days Mike has put out a couple videos and an outline that explains in detail what’s on his heart regarding this fast and specifics of how to go about seeking the Lord in fasting and prayer. I want to encourage you to check those resources out.

When I got his email I was on vacation in Florida. I have to admit I was in more of a feasting mode than a fasting mode. But as I read the invitation my heart was immediately moved to go for it. I emailed our leadership team and there was unanimous agreement that we should participate and call our whole community to it. Read More

Family_Portrait_I rapid tweeted a paragraph on family yesterday and since the ideas are still resting on my mind, I thought I’d take a blog to elaborate. Here’s what I wrote:

“I’m marveling this AM over God’s genius in constructing the family. It provides all the foundational ingredients for life & relationships. Father & Mother, together, declare the myriad attributes of God. The two, masculine & feminine, as one, declare the knowledge of God. The foundations of love, care, comfort, instruction, correction, discipline, mercy, camaraderie, conflict & healing all reside in family. No wonder divorce is such a violent rending…it fractures the foundations and distorts the knowledge of God.”

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Burning-Heart-burn-fire-heart-love-hurt-redThe Lord is stirring so many right now to go to the nations of the earth and preach the gospel. Many, especially young people, are hearing the call to go to those who have never heard. I’m personally touched in this way, believing God’s plan is to mobilize the greatest mission thrust the earth has ever seen in this generation. This is the hour we will see a massive army of missionaries mobilized to the hardest and darkest parts of the earth for the glory of the Name of Jesus.

I was thinking if I were 20-ish and felt compelled to go to the nations I would like to know the most important things to sustain my heart on the field. It’s no secret that a large percentage of missionaries find themselves off the field within a very short period of time. I’d want to know the heart realities that sustain someone while they’re serving the Lord in a culturally unfamiliar and spiritually challenging location. Without getting into necessary natural issues like language training and dealing with culture shock(yes, it’s real), I want to offer you essential components that will sustain your heart in a missions context. Read More

life-is-the-word-typographyThere’s a famous quote, “The most important things in life aren’t things.” This is so true. Unfortunately, in America we live as if things are the most important thing. In the church and out – we emphasize natural successes above nearly everything else. From an early age we educate our children so that they will be successful. I’m all for education and literacy, but because our motive is that they would be “successful”, we start them on a cycle of futility that will never satisfy. It looks something like this: We want them to do well in grade school so they can get into college. We send them to college to get a good degree. They get a good degree to get a good job. They get a good job to make a lot of money. They make a lot of money to buy a nice house and start a family so that they can have kids, send them to school and hopefully to college to get a good degree. What’s the point? Read More

suncloudsOk, I’ll admit it, that title is HUGE. I mean who really knows THE MOST important thing about God? I’m even trembling a bit as I write this. But here’s 2 reasons why it’s important: 1) We need To Know Him as He is and not as we supposed Him to be and 2) the most important thing about God has a massive effect upon us. Whatever His main thing is, will automatically be our main thing.

So what is the most important thing about God? Read More